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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cubs - Signed Wilson

Chicago Cubs - Signed IF Enrique Wilson to a 1-year contract; optioned IF Ronny Cedeno to Iowa.

Remember when there was talk of Cedeno getting more time at shortstop, moving Perez to 2nd, and Hairston to the bench.  Well Cedeno did get that start at shortstop, but he went 2-4 and outshined Neifi.  So, now they have Enrique Wilson, who just might be a worse player than Neifi Perez, which is nearly unfathomable.  The Cubs really just need to bite the bullet and fire Baker now; casual fans are now just as upset about Dusty’s existence as the statheads are.

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 18, 2005 at 12:40 PM | 76 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. T.J. Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:00 PM (#1345051)
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
   2. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:08 PM (#1345057)
Ronnie Cedeno's career to date.

The man belongs in the minors. Enrique Wilson isn't the answer to any question the Cubs should be asking but I regard this season as a lost cause. I'd prefer Cedeno get development time and possibly help the team in the future. I wasn't very high on him before but his time with the major league club has convinced me that his power spike at the beginning of the season may not be a fluke. Cedeno could really be breaking through and turning into something of a prospect.

How much do the Cubs miss Brendan Harris right now? (I know he can't play short but neither can Wilson)
   3. Bobby Savoy Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:18 PM (#1345067)
Can someone please give a logical explanation for this move?

You know, when people start talking quantum physics or, to a lesser extent, the stock market, I have to squint my eyes to try to understand the thinking behind it. Sometimes I get it; sometimes I don't. But this...when they showed Wilson in the dugout last night, my brain just went into standby mode.
   4. D Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:20 PM (#1345071)
When do the Cubs face Pedro?
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:28 PM (#1345080)
Can someone please give a logical explanation for this move?

Sure: the Cubs get a player who costs them zero in young talent and they move a player back to the minors where he can continue his development. I certainly will not be happy if Wilson is still the solution for backup ss come July but there's nothing wrong with doing this move while looking for a better alternative. It's not like much can be done in the trade market in the middle of May.
   6. Chief Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:34 PM (#1345083)
Yeah, this is a deck-chairing moving transaction, but it's nearly cost-free.
   7. Chief Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:35 PM (#1345088)
From today's Trib:

Although Baker's job is safe, the conventional wisdom is he will not be back after 2006, when his contract is up. Even Carlos Zambrano answered a question about Baker's handling of him last week by saying Baker may not be his manager in two or three years.
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:52 PM (#1345114)
Although Baker's job is safe, the conventional wisdom is he will not be back after 2006, when his contract is up. Even Carlos Zambrano answered a question about Baker's handling of him last week by saying Baker may not be his manager in two or three years.

Not. Soon. Enough.

My problem with this transaction is that it plays into the manager's biggest weakness: his inability to understand that "veteran" does not equal "good". Dusty will overuse him, giving him starts each week and key pinchhitting opportunities that should be going to someone with talent.

Also, what the team really needed was someone who can play SS and spell (read: remove) Neifi from the lineup once in awhile. What they signed was perhaps the worst potential SS available this side of Jason Giambi. Here's a quick look at Wilson's range factor numbers at short:
Year   RF   lgRF
2004  2.49  4.12
2003  2.33  4.13
2002  2.29  4.15
2001  3.17  3.97
2000  3.40  4.01
1999  2.71  4.19
1998  3.20  4.26

You can't stick a guy with well below average range at SS next to a guy with below average range at 3B (Ramirez). The left side of the infield is going to be a giant single machine.

So what the team essentially will have is 4 2B (Walker, Hairston, Macias, and Wilson) and 1 SS (Perez).

The continued presence of Jose Macias on the bench is baffling, especially now. He's arguably 4th on the depth chart at his best position and can't hit to save his life. That doesn't prevent him from being the first bat off the bench in key situations, though -- like last night, when Dusty sent him up with 1 on and 2 out, trailing 3-2. He promptly grounded out.

And now Dusty's got Wilson to use at the 2nd bat off the bench, further burying someone like Ben Grieve or even Todd Hollandsworth, players who might conceivably get hits or hit with power.

If Derrek Lee wasn't having an MVP season (think 1987 Andre Dawson at this point), this team would be 12 games out. If he cools off at all, this is a 70-92 team, and Enrique Wilson is not going to change that.

If you know a change is needed, what's the point of doing something that accomplishes nothing? Yes, sending Cedeno back to the minors is something, but they could have signed anyone and done that. Instead, they added to the 2B redundancy and weakened the bench while all but assuring 550 PAs out of Perez.
   9. Mikαεl Posted: May 18, 2005 at 01:57 PM (#1345122)
Andre Dawson? That's selling him way short.

The man's hitting like Jimmie Foxx.
   10. Chief Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:09 PM (#1345138)
If you know a change is needed, what's the point of doing something that accomplishes nothing?

I think there's a lot of demands for the Cubs front office to do something, despite the lack of useful options. If Hendry feels compelled to respond to those demands, I'd rather he do something superficial and useless, but low-cost, than something useless but costly in money or talent.
   11. richie allen Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:17 PM (#1345152)
Andre Dawson? That's selling him way short.

The man's hitting like Jimmie Foxx.


tee hee.
   12. Chris in Wicker Park Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:33 PM (#1345190)
I feel for you Cubs fans.
   13. chris p Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:34 PM (#1345192)
the cubs are funny!
   14. Bobby Savoy Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:35 PM (#1345195)
If you know a change is needed, what's the point of doing something that accomplishes nothing? Yes, sending Cedeno back to the minors is something, but they could have signed anyone and done that. Instead, they added to the 2B redundancy and weakened the bench while all but assuring 550 PAs out of Perez.

UCCF, amen.

Pops, I understand you can't do a whole lot in the middle of May in regards to going out and getting a decent SS. But there's gotta be at least a dozen guys out there better than E. Wilson to fill the void. Hell, there's probably one or two bagging groceries at the Dominick's down the street who are no worse than he is.
   15. Tracy Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:41 PM (#1345208)
"Here's a quick look at Wilson's range factor numbers at short...:"

Jeez, I hope these are raw numbers, not per 9 innings. There are fossils that could do better.
   16. NetShrine Steve Posted: May 18, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1345210)
I guess the goat's not enough.

Wilson Curse
   17. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 18, 2005 at 03:01 PM (#1345246)
this move still makes no sense to me.
   18. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 18, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1345287)
Jeez, I hope these are raw numbers, not per 9 innings. There are fossils that could do better.

D'oh. Stop interrupting my rant with facts. (Those were the raw numbers. I didn't realize I was looking at the wrong column until you pointed it out. Stupid stupidness.)

RF/9 numbers:
Year   Rf9  LgRf9    Inn
2004  5.34   4.56   59.0  
2003  3.94   4.54  176.0
2002  4.82   4.55   58.2
2001  4.91   4.48  278.2
2000  3.90   4.60  117.2

So he has basically average range in very limited playing time (someone with better defensive metrics might weigh in here and give a more definitive answer than I've been able to provide).

It's still a stupid move.
   19. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: May 18, 2005 at 04:02 PM (#1345408)
I smell a pennant coming - for St. Louis! Has there ever been a bench in baseball history with so many never was's?
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:19 PM (#1345810)
Has there ever been a bench in baseball history with so many never was's?

This is what annoys me -- both about how the Cubs are perceived and Baker's management.

A bench of Dubois/Hollandsworth, Grieve, and Hairston (once Walker's back) is excellent! It would be nice to add decent bats at backup SS and C, but almost nobody has those.

But (1) it seems lots of people have unrealistic expectations of what a good bench looks like and (2) Dusty would rather use Macias or, before Nomar's injury, Neifi instead of guys who can actually hit, just like he used Goodwin the last 2 years.

The Cubs have a good bench. It's the guy who's deciding how to use them that's the problem in that regard.

Note, Neifi's 167/211/259 in May has lifted the moratorium on trashing Dusty. Not that anyone obeyed my order anyway.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1345832)
I'd prefer Cedeno get development time and possibly help the team in the future. I wasn't very high on him before but his time with the major league club has convinced me that his power spike at the beginning of the season may not be a fluke. Cedeno could really be breaking through and turning into something of a prospect.

O XBH in 22 ML ABs convinces you that his power spike may be for real? :-)

Anyway, I have only two questions about Cedeno. (1) Is he actually worse than Neifi right now? and (2) Would he develop more/faster at the ML level than AAA?

I'm pretty sure the answer to #1 is "not really." I think the answer to #2 is "no one really knows for sure." I'll grant you both questions are moot since Dusty would never start him regularly over Neifi (though he could steal some starts from Hairston) and if he's not going to play in the majors, he should be playing everyday in the minors.
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1345836)
I'm with Pops, though I could be convinced otherwise. If Wilson was a statue at SS, that would be one thing, but if he's essentially league average defensively, that's enough for me because the true motivation was to have a viable back-up SS in order to send down Cedeno.

Does this mean 550 PAs for Neifi? Sure, but what available acquisition wouldn't?

Bobby Savoy writes that "there's gotta be at least a dozen guys out there better than E. Wilson to fill the void" -- that might be true, but (a) who are they and (b) are they so superior that it is absolutely ridiculous to get Wilson, and (c) if so, can they be had with as little expense?
   23. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:32 PM (#1345872)
Anyway, I have only two questions about Cedeno. (1) Is he actually worse than Neifi right now? and (2) Would he develop more/faster at the ML level than AAA?

I'm pretty sure the answer to #1 is "not really." I think the answer to #2 is "no one really knows for sure."


Reasonable questions. My thinking about #1 is "probably," but that's because 22 MLB ABs is too few to judge and because I think Neifi! is liable to improve from the May numbers.

OTOH, if #1 is truly "no" or even "probably not," then the best answer is to be starting Cedeno at SS today and Hairston/Neifi! at 2b until Walker returns. As Walt notes, there is one real obstacle to this -- Dusty -- which tells me that perhaps this is more of a Dusty-imposed problem than a real one.
   24. Hack Wilson Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1345898)
Hey, I've got 2 extra tickets for friday Cubs/Sox game any interest?
   25. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:38 PM (#1345908)
Having written all this, why we now have Wilson AND Neifi! AND Macias AND Fontenot is an absolute mystery to me.
   26. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 06:38 PM (#1345914)
I should also add "AND Hairston."
   27. rlc Posted: May 18, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1346048)
So is this the quid pro quo for sending Mike Moriarty to the Orioles? (Well, to Ottawa)
   28. Chief Posted: May 18, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1346230)
So is this the quid pro quo for sending Mike Moriarty to the Orioles?

Don't think so. Wilson had the right to become a free agent if he wasn't called up by May 15, so the Cubs just signed him.

That said, I think the Cubs sent Moriarity to the Orioles as a favor to fill the void (however small) created by Wilson's absence. The Cubs will receive "future considerations."
   29. Neil M Posted: May 18, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1346262)
O XBH in 22 ML ABs convinces you that his power spike may be for real? :-)

No. But a HR in 16 ML ABs could.
   30. H. Vaughn Posted: May 18, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1346352)
(My name iz) Bake-daggah, da arm slaggah, da sun reflectah
Ya wanna 'xcuse? I'll bring it to ya.
Tick-tock that arm go pop. DL you when you drop.
Jimbo, you're up next wit your "knock-knock".
Jimbo spend the money, see.
Jimbo gets da wash-ups, G.
Ya better chill son, while I grab up Wilson.
Bums on my roster an my farm, an I'm no Theo
Uh. Check-check it, yeah!
Cuz we are da Cubbie Team
Make da Cards say "Ha!" n'da fans wanna scream!
Cuz we are da Cubbie Team
Make da Crew say "Ya-Hey!" n'da Trixies wanna scream!
Cubbie Team Injury Force
Number five in da hood, G!
   31. Urban Faber Posted: May 18, 2005 at 08:02 PM (#1346385)
The Cubs are 2-0 since Wilson and his winning aura arrived.
   32. Andere Richtingen Posted: May 18, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1346583)
Brilliant, Hippo. Brilliant.
   33. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 09:00 PM (#1346595)
Slight hijack: If you're interested, here is John Sickels's review of his Top 20 Cub Prospects.
   34. The Original SJ Posted: May 18, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1346609)
I am sorry cubs fans.
   35. MM1f Posted: May 18, 2005 at 09:18 PM (#1346649)
How has Mike Moriarty been doin? He can't be that much different in skill than Wilson right?The Os suddenly released Wilson only to have him snatched right up by the Cubs and right after that happened the Cubs sent Moriarty to the Os for "future considerations." Basically this was minor trade, though I'm not sure why it had to be done this way w. Wilson.
   36. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1346674)
Maybe I'm missing something, but who the heck is Mike Moriarty and why should I care about his loss?
   37. Cabbage Posted: May 18, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1346695)
Bums on my roster an my farm, an I'm no Theo

Geeze. Thats brilliant.
   38. DCW3 Posted: May 18, 2005 at 10:29 PM (#1346823)
Maybe I'm missing something, but who the heck is Mike Moriarty and why should I care about his loss?

Well, he'll have to be replaced on the 40-man roster by Sam Waterston.
   39. Urban Faber Posted: May 18, 2005 at 10:33 PM (#1346833)
deJesus, I think he used to pitch for the Yankees.
   40. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 18, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1346862)
Well, he'll have to be replaced on the 40-man roster by Sam Waterston.

Excellent!
   41. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:09 PM (#1346897)
Felix Pie: .355/.404/.638 at Double-A West Tennessee, with 13 steals. Looks like a breakout season, putting his tools together.

Did I mention lately how wrong I've been about Pie?

I was very wrong and he's really something to be excited about. The Cubs haven't had a CF prospect like this since... our current CF.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:33 PM (#1346931)
My thinking about #1 is "probably," but that's because 22 MLB ABs is too few to judge and because I think Neifi! is liable to improve from the May numbers.

Trust me, I'm not swayed by Cedeno's 22 ABs (nice though they've been), but other than his miraculous 67 PA last year and his April PA this year, Neifi's last few OPS+'s have been:

2002: 40 in 585 PA
2003: 65 in 353 PA
2004: 47 in 353 PA

with a 63 career OPS+.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't out-hit Neifi, but I think Shredder might and no matter how unimpressive his track record, it's hard to believe that Cedeno can't match that production. Or at least that he'd be far enough away for us to care.

Granted, Neifi should improve from his May numbers to, say, 235/260/300 territory. If Cedeno can give us 200/240/280, let's go for it.

On the other hand, between Cesar, Andujar, Domingo, and Roger, Cedenos in the majors have either been cursed or sucked. In Andujar's case both ... poor guy died at age 31.

Did I mention lately how wrong I've been about Pie?

Hmmm...those look suspiciously like Roosevelt Brown's AAA numbers.

The Cubs haven't had a CF prospect like this since...

Hmmm...those look suspiciously like Roosevelt Brown's AAA numbers. :-)
   43. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:42 PM (#1346961)
Granted, Neifi should improve from his May numbers to, say, 235/260/300 territory. If Cedeno can give us 200/240/280, let's go for it.

Fair enough. That leads to your question #2, however -- would a season hitting 200/240/280 for the big club help or hinder Cedeno's development? You're correct that no one knows for sure, but one reasonable possibility is that such poor performance may discourage Cedeno, hurting his confidence and stifling what would be a more productive development at a lower level. (See, e.g., Nolasco, Ricky.)

Maybe not, but this is in large part a psychological issue that the Cubs front office and coaching staff should be entrusted to determine, not someone stuck behind a computer like me.
   44. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:53 PM (#1346977)
Did I mention lately how wrong I've been about Pie?

--Hmmm...those look suspiciously like Roosevelt Brown's AAA numbers.


Great observation, putting aside the fact that Pie is only 20, whereas Brown was 23-25 when he hit at AAA. (Also, didn't Brown primarily play a corner OF?) Anyway, here are the eerily similar numbers:

Pie (2005, Age 20-AA): .355/.404/.638
Brown (1999, Age 23-AAA): .358/.404/.713
Brown (2000, Age 24-AAA): .309/.376/.496
Brown (2001, Age 25-AAA): .346/.374/.626
   45. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1346987)
Brown never really got a shot with the Cubs, though. He was a corner OF, and at the time one corner was Sammy. The other was Henry Rodriguez, then Moises Alou, with only 2001 as a gap where there wasn't someone. In 2001, the Cubs had 8 players who started at least one game in LF:

Rondell White (93)
Delino Deshields(!!!) (28)
Matt Stairs (19)
Brown (13)
Todd Dunwoody (6)
Michael Tucker (5)
Corey Patterson (2)
Gary Matthews Jr. (1)

Brown had put up an OPS+ of 139 in <100 ABs in 2000, and he still hit .265/.326/.506 with the Cubs in 2001 for an OPS+ of 115. But there were always questions about his defense, and he tended to be squeezed out in favor of White (who, for his part, did hit .307/.371/.529).

The Alou signing pretty much ended any chance Brown had of being successful. He started some when Alou was injured in 2002, but spent most of the year sitting on the bench and pinch hitting. He had a bad year, and that was that.
   46. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1346992)
Granted, Neifi should improve from his May numbers to, say, 235/260/300 territory. If Cedeno can give us 200/240/280, let's go for it.

I'm torn on this. Cedeno's young enough that another year at AAA won't kill him. If he was 24 or 25, I'd agree. But at 22 (and a young 22), I can accept that he's better off in Iowa for the season.

(Of course, Dusty's proclivities make this moot, but even with a rational manager who doesn't see Neifi as a starter, I'd probably feel the same way.)
   47. Walt Davis Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:12 AM (#1347001)
but one reasonable possibility is that such poor performance may discourage Cedeno, hurting his confidence and stifling what would be a more productive development at a lower level.

You call that reasonable??!!

I completely agree. I have no idea whether Cedeno would be most helped sucking in ML for a year or playing in AAA. I've always thought that was one of the great unanswered (to my knowledge) questions in baseball.

Whether I'd actually gamble on it would depend on what I expected Cedeno to turn into. If I don't see him as more than a backup IF down the road, why not gamble and see if he can make the leap via exposure to tougher competition, figuring at worst he becomes a sucky backup.

But obviously no one can mount a strong argument against sending him back.

Great observation, putting aside the fact that Pie is only 20, whereas Brown was 23-25 when he hit at AAA.

I was mostly kidding and it wasn't meant as a diss against Pie. The similarity struck me ... and I always wish Brown had gotten more of a shot.

I thought Brown had played mostly CF coming up and in his early AAA, though he was not considered good defensively and was destined to move. And there was the spring when Baylor publicly claimed there was an open battle for CF between him and Patterson, then, I think, said Brown had it all but sewn up ... all of which apparently was just to light a fire under Patterson's ass. Which it did for the last week of spring training and one good week was enough to put Brown back on the bench where he was almost never used even though Patterson went back to stinking. Then the Cubs signed Alou and it was all over for Brown.

Anyway, in those days, DM listed him as a CF. There, his offensive superiority to Patterson negated his defensive inferiority.

Speaking of "reasonable" theories about development, I've always been of the opinion that guys like Brown could have been something if given a legit ML shot when they deserved it. Not a superstar necessarily, but a starter (at least Juan Encarnacion, say). I think jerking around players who've destroyed AAA does screw them up enough that even if they get a later shot at some ML playing time, they never fulfill their potential. Ye olde self-fulfilling prophecy.
   48. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1347017)
I thought Brown had played mostly CF coming up and in his early AAA, though he was not considered good defensively and was destined to move. And there was the spring when Baylor publicly claimed there was an open battle for CF between him and Patterson, then, I think, said Brown had it all but sewn up ... all of which apparently was just to light a fire under Patterson's ####.

Hmm. My memory was that Brown was primarily a LF in the minors, but they were willing to try him at CF because they weren't thrilled with their first look at Patterson (hence, the announcement). I could be wrong, though, and don't see any on-line resources that can tell me his minor league positions.

Still, the stat line comparison with Pie was eerie.
   49. H. Vaughn Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:46 AM (#1347047)
I seem to remember them attempting to turn Brown into a CF because he was blocked in left and could run fast. Walt hits it right on the head. As with Julio Zuleta, Adam Melhuse and Bellhorn, the Cubs just love to focus on what a player can't do.
   50. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 19, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1347050)
the Cubs just love to focus on what a player can't do

In Brown's case it was his strange inability to be a proven name veteran.

It's surprising (looking back on it) that the Cubs never traded Brown for anything useful in other areas when it was clear they didn't want to use him.
   51. Walt Davis Posted: May 19, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1347265)
It's surprising (looking back on it) that the Cubs never traded Brown for anything useful in other areas when it was clear they didn't want to use him.

To be fair to the Cubs, nobody seemed to be knocking down the door ... Brown ended up in Japan for a couple years and is in the Braves system right now.

If Mondesi and Jordan keep this up, maybe he'll finally get his shot.

Pops, I demur to you on minor-leaguers. If you think he played a corner on the way up, you're probably right.
   52. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 19, 2005 at 02:59 AM (#1347288)
Pops, I demur to you on minor-leaguers. If you think he played a corner on the way up, you're probably right.

That wasn't me but I appreciate the cache (kevin spelling) I seem to have generated.
   53. Dolph Lungren's Super Friend Posted: May 19, 2005 at 03:40 AM (#1347388)
Was Rey Ordonez not available for a second stint?
   54. Neil M Posted: May 19, 2005 at 07:20 AM (#1347815)
I tried to point this out obliquely in post #29, but WTF.

Walt - where do you have Cedeno at 22 ABs? He's only had 16 (with a homer. BTw).
   55. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 19, 2005 at 07:36 AM (#1347829)
The Cubs should have signed Wilson before the Mets series. Did they face Pedro in that series?
   56. Neil M Posted: May 19, 2005 at 07:49 AM (#1347840)
Did they face Pedro in that series?

No.
   57. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 19, 2005 at 07:52 AM (#1347843)
No.

They signed Wilson in case they do. He's Pedro's Daddy.
   58. Andere Richtingen Posted: May 19, 2005 at 01:02 PM (#1348051)
I completely agree. I have no idea whether Cedeno would be most helped sucking in ML for a year or playing in AAA. I've always thought that was one of the great unanswered (to my knowledge) questions in baseball.

I agree, but I am comfortable with the idea that a player like Cedeno, who is learning to hit and has a lot more to learn, will make more progress playing every day in AAA than getting 5 plate appearances a week in the majors.

Hmm. My memory was that Brown was primarily a LF in the minors, but they were willing to try him at CF because they weren't thrilled with their first look at Patterson (hence, the announcement). I could be wrong, though, and don't see any on-line resources that can tell me his minor league positions.

I don't think Brown played much CF at all in the minors. I also think it's a stretch to say that the Cubs "tried" him there. He got a handful of starts in late 2002, particularly late in the season. There was speculation that that was done to put a fire under Patterson, who slumped horribly in the second half that year, but I don't think the Cubs ever thought seriously about using Rosie as a CF.
   59. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 19, 2005 at 01:10 PM (#1348062)
Julio Zuleta

That's that 1B guy playing for the Softbank Hawks right?
   60. H. Vaughn Posted: May 19, 2005 at 03:18 PM (#1348229)
Yep, last year he hit 37 homers and drove in 100 runs while hitting .284.
   61. VG Posted: May 19, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1348334)
Brown ended up in Japan for a couple years and is in the Braves system right now.

Only if the Braves trade for him. Roosevelt Brown is a teammate of Frank Thomas right now.
   62. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 19, 2005 at 05:55 PM (#1348522)
Speaking of the Braves...

The Oracle might be interested to know that John Thomson's been placed on the 15-day DL with a tendon injury in his middle finger.

Matt Childers was called up to take his place, and Kyle Davies is likely to be called up for a start on Saturday in Boston.
   63. Eric Opperman Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1348853)
It's interesting how little one game tells you about a player in person.

I saw Pie a week and a half ago and he was horrendous. He swing like he didn't know pitches above his head were, by definition, not in the strike zone. He struck out on four pitches, struck out on a full count after fouling off a 2-strike pitch, then struck out on three pitches.

He's a very good athlete, though.
   64. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1348887)
I guess we'll use this as a catch-all Cubs thread.

According to a story in the Sun Times, the Cubs are considering promoting AA pitcher Rich Hill (he of the 47 Ks in 47.2 IP) to be the number 5 starter over this next stretch of games. They don't like how Mitre's been throwing the ball.

Interesting. Hill (hopefully) wouldn't get more then 3-4 starts before Wood returns, but it would be a nice chance to see what he's got. I'd rather see them do this than promote someone like Darren Oliver.
   65. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:22 PM (#1348889)
Oops. That's supposed to be "he of the 73 Ks in 47.2 IP". Lousy lack of proofreading.
   66. Enrique Wilson Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:52 PM (#1348934)
Aw baby, why all this hatin' on the 'Riquester? I know you might've heard some bad things about me from Yankee fans, but baby, they're Yankee fans! Who you gonna believe, baby, Yankee fans, or the 'Riquester?

You know the 'Riquester loves you, baby. Just give me one more chance. You Cubbies fans got the blues, and there's only one cure: Mister Enrique Wilson, Esquire. Nobody loves you Cubbies fans more than the 'Riquester, baby - look in my eyes and you know it's true. You know it, baby. The 'Riquester is here to give you what you've been sorely aching for.
   67. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:58 PM (#1348945)
In Enrique Wilson also The Ladies Man?
   68. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:58 PM (#1348946)
The 'Riquester sounds awfully like Smoove B.
   69. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2005 at 09:59 PM (#1348948)
Is Enrique Wilson also The Ladies Man?
   70. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1348951)
Oops, sorry about that double post, didn't catch it in time.

Interesting if they do give Hill a few starts. I didn't realize he was on the 40 man roster (is he?). I never was high on Mitre, but then again, he didn't have many chances to prove what he could or couldn't do.

I'm assuming when Walker comes back (might not be this weekend, he's 0-15 in rehab right now), Fontenot goes down. But who goes down for Hill? I'd bet they'll want to go back up to 12 pitchers at that point.
   71. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1348977)
That's what I was wondering yesterday -- when they go back to 12 pitchers, who goes down.

My guess is that they release Wilson, making it essentially a 2-week contract. What did they sign him for anyway?
   72. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:18 PM (#1348982)
We can hope that's the case, but he's the only non-Neifi who can "play" SS on the roster, right?

I won't get my hopes up, but Macias is the most logical (although who else can back up 3rd?). Maybe it'll be Grieve.
   73. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:25 PM (#1348992)
Yeah, I was overlooking the obvious. I think that the need for a backup (or equally bad) SS might keep Wilson up, which means that the'll either (a) stick with 11 pitchers; (b) waive/demote/release Macias, if we're lucky; or (c) waive/demote/release Grieve, if we're not.

Meanwhile, Barry Rozner notices the similarities between May 2002 and May 2005. Maybe there is a hope to see Dusty gone.
   74. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1349004)
Meanwhile, Barry Rozner notices the similarities between May 2002 and May 2005. Maybe there is a hope to see Dusty gone.

Wow, that's freaky. You should repost that article in tomorrow's game chatter where more people will see that.
   75. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:38 PM (#1349012)
I'm taking the day off tomorrow, so I doubt I'll be at the computer. You might want to post it yourself if you get the chance.
   76. Andere Richtingen Posted: May 19, 2005 at 10:39 PM (#1349014)
Meanwhile, Barry Rozner notices the similarities between May 2002 and May 2005. Maybe there is a hope to see Dusty gone.

Well, Rozner saves this for the end:

"Baker’s team has a much better record and much better talent — and much greater expectations."

Better record indeed. On this date in 2002, the Cubs were 13-27.

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