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   1. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:29 AM (#3267884)
The Cubs need to get Freddy Sanchez.


MB looks to be an on base machine, Fox looks like he is going to be this years version of Soto. Fukudome is getting on base. Right now the Cubs have two get on base guys with Fuku and Bradley and they have two guys with pop Aramis and Lee/Fox. If Soriano is on a hot streak again then that is 3 guys. With Sanchez starting the bench is rather good and with Fox always prowling around the Cubs offense looks to be much improved down the stretch, with or without Sanchez. The Cubs are riding high but I think the Cards are going to be in there until the end.
   2. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:01 AM (#3267913)
I'm not a big enthusiast about acquiring Sanchez. I'm not against it, depending on what is given up, but I don't see acquiring a platoon partner for Fontenot as particularly high priority. I don't see using him as an everyday player as having a particularly strong impact either.
   3. Cabbage Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3267960)
The Cards also have Albert, which counts for a bit.
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:47 AM (#3267978)
In the meanwhile, it seems that the wheels have fallen off in Milwaukee. Their first two months of .600 ball were followed by two months of .400 as their pitching staff has unraveled and they have some surprising black holes in their lineup.
Milwaukee's other problem is that beyond Gamel and Escobar, they don't really have much in their system to trade if they want to acquire a difference maker in their rotation. Heck, am not sure they have enough to even acquire Jon Garland right now...
   5. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:09 PM (#3268274)
Sanchez wouldn't be a platoon partner with Fontenot since he isn't hitting anything. Fontenot would go to the bench.

Cubs' secondbasemen are putting up this line: .226/.280/.314 and Sanchez has a .296/.334/.442 line right now. That is about 180 points of OPS. That is a pretty big turnaround.
   6. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3268316)
The Cubs need to get Freddy Sanchez.

Gee whiz, it's time to let it go. It's not going to happen. The Cubs haven't been linked to him at all. Yes, 2nd base is a problem. Yes, Sanchez would easily be the best 2B on the roster. Yes, he's not *that* expensive. Forget our previous argument about it. Just accept that it's not even a "real" rumor. It's nothing, but a possible solution in your mind. Unless Freddy Sanchez actually puts on a Cubs rumor, I think we should stop talking about him already.

let’s be honest about it: a weak division.

Cliche time: They're winning the games they should be winning. They should dominate the Nats and Reds, and they weren't beating team likes that earlier this season. So that's progress. And very, very encouraging.

---

Might as well put a couple of my other thoughts here instead of in a seperate post. Aramis looks back. I was worried about his shoulder and whether or not he'd be able to swing with any power, but that's been answered. With him heated up, the Cubs top 4 looks great at the moment: Fukudome has been great this month and in the leadoff role, Theriot is still doing his usual thing, and Lee hasn't cooled down yet. With Bradley on base a ridiculous amount (I think I heard Len say yesterday he has 18 walks this month), anything we get from Soriano and Fontenot is gravy.

Harden now has had 2 straight HARDEN starts. Again, weaker competition, but something we hadn't seen lately. Gregg has become increasingly reliable, Guzman is still fairly solid, and Marmol probably had his best inning on Saturday (never the stuff with him, so something little and minor like that could put him right back on track). Marshall has been lights out in the pen. Zambrano has been fairly consistent, and both Wells and Hart are filling in nicely (even though Wells is 6-1 in his last 7 starts, he's had 3 straight subpar starts and I'm starting to worry a little bit). Dempster is back tomorrow night, and hopefully Lilly and Soto will be back before we know it.

The Cubs just have to add a backup C or let Fox give it a try, in spite of Hill's flukey double and triple yesterday (the double was a perfectly placed bloop off a bail me out swing on an 0-2 count and his triple is only a single if Dickerson doesn't deflect it past Tavares on the dive attempt), he's a total zero at the plate and he has to be wearing down. But in spite of everything that has gone wrong, things are looking up and this is about as optimistic as I've been since the start of the year.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:41 PM (#3268334)
Sorry, but I'd take Fontenot against RHP over Sanchez, this season or any other. He's been mostly terrible this season, but he's been better lately. A platoon situation at 2B could work quite well, but I see no reason to think Sanchez is an important solution.
   8. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:50 PM (#3268351)
I think we should stop talking about him already.

Nobody is forcing you to respond to my posts. This is the freakin internet, if I want to say the Cubs should get Freddy Sanchez then I will and it doesn't really freakin matter if the Cubs are trying to get him or not. I'm not really sure why you get to play out your little fantasies such as trading DeRosa was a good move while you want me to stop talking about my fantasies. This seems to be a common move on your part. You assume your opinion is the correct and right opinion and if someone doesn't have the same opinion as yours you eventually tell them to stop talking about their side of the view. You were wrong about the DeRosa-Fontenot thing and there is no reason to expect you to be right about this.


I see no reason to think Sanchez is an important solution.


And I see no reason to think Fontenot is an important solution to the Fontenot problem.
   9. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3268356)
Oh, I agree Andere. The money and cost in prospects probably outweighs the value.

---

From a story in today's Trib about Hill:

Manager Lou Piniella probably will ride Hill until Soto returns next week. Piniella said he would consider starting Jake Fox with Randy Wells or Rich Harden on the mound, noting that Fox caught Wells once in the minors.


First solid info I've seen on Soto being back next week and the Cubs riding Hill the whole way.
   10. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:58 PM (#3268372)
I don't think Hendry needs any prompting to go after another second baseman.
   11. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3268375)
Nobody is forcing you to respond to my posts. This is the freakin internet, if I want to say the Cubs should get Freddy Sanchez then I will and it doesn't really freakin matter if the Cubs are trying to get him or not. I'm not really sure why you get to play out your little fantasies such as trading DeRosa was a good move while you want me to stop talking about my fantasies. This seems to be a common move on your part. You assume your opinion is the correct and right opinion and if someone doesn't have the same opinion as yours you eventually tell them to stop talking about their side of the view. You were wrong about the DeRosa-Fontenot thing and there is no reason to expect you to be right about this.

I'm not trying to make this personal, and I'm not trying to claim I'm always right. I've said I was wrong about the DeRosa thing. I just commented again because I feel like you're obsessing about Sanchez, and for no real reason. It'd be one thing if the Cubs were trying to get him (think how much we talked about Roberts last year or Peavy this year), but you mentioning Sanchez every possible chance doesn't make it any more likely that Hendry is going to try and trade for him. Take it as constructive criticism if you will, just like I'll take your post into account and try and not come across as a know it all.
   12. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3268414)
And just for the sake of the discussion:

Sanchez vs RHP 2009: .285/.327/.438 (career: .282/.318/.393)
Fontenot vs RHP 2009: .233/.314/.388 (career: .275/.356/.442 - obviously inflated because of last season)
DeRosa vs RHP 2009: .250/.324/.411.
   13. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3268420)
I don't think Hendry needs any prompting to go after another second baseman.

RDF. And Sanchez is the kind of player that appeals to Hendry.

think how much we talked about Roberts last year

Hey, there's an idea! Kidding, kidding...

Anyway, I agree that a lefty-mashing middle infielder would be a nice acquisition. It would be good to have a better LH hitter on the bench than Hoffpauir. And of course, the catching situation has to resolve. Otherwise, I think we're sort of stuck with the position roster we have, for the most part. I also think that Soriano and Bradley are both likely to come around.
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3268434)
The Cubs have been linked to Mike Grabow which makes some sense. Besides being superior to the other lefty bullpen optioms, he would allow Marshall to move back into the rotation to cover for Dempster and Lilly.
   15. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3268449)
I can't see what the Cubs would have that could net them Sanchez.

Vitters, obviously - and I'm all for moving Vitters - but that's quite a bit to give up for a 2B whose primary - and really, only - skill is BA. I suppose Cashner can properly be termed a 'prospect'... but beyond that?

I mean - Kevin Hart was BA's #5 prospect in the Cubs system and I don't think I'd give a bucket of warm spit for Hart.

The Cubs system is really pretty bare.
   16. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3268450)
Dempster is back Tuesday, and Hart's been fine filling in so far. I don't think the Cubs will move Marshall back to the rotation unless both Grabow and Ryan make the team, and even then it sounds like Lou really like Marshall in the pen (I'm in agreement for now). I think guys like Grabow or Ryan would really be replacing Stevens and Berg, not Marshall.

It would be good to have a better LH hitter on the bench than Hoffpauir.

I think he's done fine in that role - not the best average or OBP, but lots of power. I'm not sure there's really a lot of cheap options out there that are clear upgrades.
   17. CFiJ Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3268482)
Fukudome has been great this month and in the leadoff role
Wow, you're right. It looks like he had a bad four weeks from the end of May into June, but from late June to now he's been hitting really well. With his BA steady in the .250s-.260s since mid-June I rather thought he was treading water, but he's really been good, particularly since the All-Star break.
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3268500)
I have been griping for six weeks that Milwaukee has a four man lineup (Braun, Fielder, Cameron and whomever is playing second base). Melvin keeps waiting for Hart/Hardy to hit while seeming to accept voids at catcher and third base.

Suppan and Looper have done about what was expected, maybe a tad less.

But with Dave Bush getting hurt and Parra flaming out you have not one but two gaping holes in the rotation which in turn has stressed the bullpen.

Which in turn has exacerberated Macha's few poor decisions because they have taken place in high leverage circumstances. He insisted on using Carlos Villanueva in an 8th inning role and it took CV giving up 18 runs in 12 innings , I sh*t you not, to change course. Then Seth McClung, who b*tched nonstop about getting a chance, threw up all over himself when he GOT a chance.

I accepted the mediocre pitching staff coming into the season counting on the offense to carry the load. That did not happen. It's the same as last year. So despite the bullpen being better the team has lost ground.

What's especially galling is that because it's a "what are you doing right now" perspective even though JJ is a very good defensive shortstop who HAS hit because he has NOT this year teams aren't willing to give anything of substance to the Brewers. Melvin isn't going to give up a minor leaguer of value as an add in when Hardy is a perfectly capable SS.

But then if JJ had HIT the team wouldn't be willing to trade him.

grumble, grumble.....
   19. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3268526)
The Cardinals won a game in Philadelphia, Pineiro's start.

They could end up kicking themselves about the sweep in Houston.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3268540)
I like the Cards chances. Ludwick is hitting and Holliday will keep hitting. The Cards already have a better than average offense. You know the team will play defense. And the pitching has been very solid.

The Cubs get a bump with Aramis but that doesn't close the gap. Everything else is a wash.

It's the Cards division to lose.......................
   21. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 27, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3268723)
Zonk, the Cubs system has taken a huge leap forward this year. Cashner has been lights out all year. As has Chris Carpenter. Jay Jackson and Starlin Castro are legit prospects as well.

The Pacific Rim scouting has brought back some serious potential as well with Rhee, Lee, and Searle.
   22. Spahn Insane Posted: July 27, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3268742)
Harden now has had 2 straight HARDEN starts. Again, weaker competition, but something we hadn't seen lately.

The first was against the Phils at CBP, actually.
   23. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 27, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3268769)
I was thinking about the start at Was and forgot about the Phillie start. So make that 3 straight HARDEN starts.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3268931)
Cubs-Cards is pretty much a stone-cold wash. The Cubs carry a 115-108 edge in ERA+, the Cards a 96-89 edge in OPS+. The Cubs have a .11 advantage in RA/g and the Cards carry a .12 advantage in RS/g. The Cubs are +18 runs, the Cards +20 runs. The Cards have improved by adding Holliday and DeRosa; the Cubs improve by getting back Ramirez and Soto. Though, wow, Ludwick has really heated it up, he's added about 20 points of OPS+ in a month. But then Bradley has added about 10 and Soriano (please Lord!) is heating up. The Cards so far have managed to survive Greene, Ryan, Thurston and Duncan/Ankiel while the Cubs have so far managed to survive Miles, Fontenot, Hill and Blanco plus a bullpen that thinks it's sporting to walk a guy every inning.

It's a coin flip -- as you might guess for two teams seperated by 1/2 a game.

On other issues ...

I would love to see the Cubs pick up another lefty (in addition to Ryan) for the (eventual) pen. To beat Philly in the playoffs (if we get there), I'd love to see Marshall moved into the rotation plus two lefties in the pen. Two Lilly starts, one Marshall start plus Harden and Z just might be enough to hold Philly in check through the first 6 then with two lefties to get past Utley, Howard, Ibanez the pen should be OK. But that's the only series where I think that's a good idea ... at least until the World Series. :-)

I know, Lou would never do it and you probably shouldn't ask a guy to switch from 1 to 6 innings in the playoffs (though Marshall could get a couple warm up starts in Sept).
   25. Srul Itza Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3268940)
Wow. Until I saw this in the sidebar, it had totally slipped past me that the Cubs had climbed into first. And this was even after glancing at the standings today.

The Central Race could be a lot of fun right to the end -- for an uninterested bystander. For the participants, it could be a banner year for Pepto sales.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3268962)
For the participants, it could be a banner year for Pepto sales.

Well, nothing new there. At least for the Cub-leaning participants.
   27. Cabbage Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3268985)
I'm still skeptical about the Cards starters, but Dave Duncan seems to be doing his usual smoke and mirrors, so I'm not going to hope for an implosion.


Bit of an off-topic cross-post from today's chatter:

I'm going to catch a Brewers-Pirates game at the end of August up at Miller Park; a Friday "escape the wives" sort of thing. I've heard that getting out of the parking lot is pretty absurd, but also remember a bit of a discussion on this topic a year or two ago. Was there a tip for getting into and out of the lot?

Thanks
   28. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3268989)
Interesting. I thought the Cubs had been in first all year, like they were last year and were predicted to be this year.
   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3268994)
Walt:

The Cards have the best player, the better manager, the best front-line pitcher and the support group is coalescing.

Again, it's the Cards to lose...................
   30. Weeks T. Olive Posted: July 27, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3269029)
I've heard that getting out of the parking lot is pretty absurd, but also remember a bit of a discussion on this topic a year or two ago. Was there a tip for getting into and out of the lot?

Honestly, parking probably won't be too bad for a Pirates game, but just in case ....

You'll want to use the lot north of I-94. Assuming you're heading west on 94, just ignore all of the signs that say "To Miller Park"/"General Parking", etc. Instead, take exit 308A (Mitchell Blvd.) and head north after exiting. From there, you should see plenty of signs to direct you to the lot.

It's a bit of a hike to the park (5 - 10 min. walk depending on where you have to park in the lot), but getting out after the game is incredibly easy. That's the fun tailgating lot, as well, if that interests you.
   31. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3269061)
What I used to do was drive to Potawotami. Park there for free, catch a cab to the stadium since there is a road that leads from the Casino to the stadium, get out at the entrance since it will be jammed by that point. On the way back catch a cab again and the cabs have direct access to the exit. It costs more than parking at the lot but it is so much easier and less aggravation than driving directly to the stadium.
   32. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3269063)
Walt:

The Cards have the best player, the better manager, the best front-line pitcher and the support group is coalescing.

Again, it's the Cards to lose...................


Besides the "best player" part the Cubs can say the same thing. If the division is the Cards to lose then they have been losing it since the end of April.
   33. Cabbage Posted: July 27, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3269372)
Thanks Weeks.
   34. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 28, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3269615)
I'm skeptical Piniero can keep this up.

The Cubs have had the most injury-riddled season I can remember in years - but it's not like the Cardinals (or Brewers, for that matter) haven't had their own own health issues.

I think the division comes down to who has the healthiest rotation come September.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3269622)
zonk:

Nah. Milwaukee is done. Macha insists on Kendall catching Parra so after two solid starts since coming back from Triple A Jason catches him and Manny collapses. Despite a wealth of evidence that Rivera is the better option Macha is insistent the two work together.

Bush is still hurt. Looper and Suppan are struggling.

Since Melvin is adamant on not trading Escobar and Hardy's lack of offense keeps him from providing a decent return there are no real trade options.

It's Chicago/Houston/St. Louis.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3269904)
The Cubs have five games in hand against the Cardinals? That makes it their division to lose.
   37. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 28, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3270252)
That's a good point, cfb. Even if the Cards are better (and I don't believe they are), the gap is small and the 3 game difference in the loss column favors the Cubs.

And I also disagree with HW that the Brewers are done. No matter how bad they've looked, they're still only 4 back. That's not enough to write them off with so many intra-divisional games left. The Cards have made their moves already, the Cubs are strapped for cash, and the Astros have nothing to deal; so that leaves Milwaukee as the most likely to add a significant piece. It has seemed kinda quiet up there lately, but I'm taking a wait and see aproach with them until the deadline passes.

With Berkman on the DL, the Astros have to stay close, and playing well in Chicago this week is a big part of that. Last night was a big win for the Cubs and a tough loss for the Astros (they can't afford to lose many games that Wandy starts), but it was a close tight game that could have gone either way. They need to hope to pull out 2 of the last 3.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2009 at 08:18 PM (#3270793)
The Cards have the best player

Agreed, but their offense isn't much better.

the better manager

Meh. If LaRussa has an advantage, it's in getting more out of crappy players, but that's already set for this season. At this point, it's "in-game" strategy, an area where LaRussa overthinks and Piniella underthinks.

the best front-line pitcher

But the Cubs have the better overall pitching.

the support group is coalescing.

Ditto. The Cubs' depth looks much better these days now that Miles is a non-factor and the bullpen has settled down some. We've got the luxury of being able to keep Sean Marshall in the pen and Jake Fox on the bench for crying out loud.

The best player and best starter aspects may make it more likely that the Cards would advance in the playoffs but they aren't really a full-season advantage. In the first half, the Cubs' offense was about as bad as they can be so they should be better. The pitching to date (117 ERA+) has been right where it was last year (115 ERA+) and the year before that (115 ERA+) so that's no fluke.

There's no doubt in my mind that pre-Holliday (and even moreso pre-DeRosa) the Cubs were the more talented team. Now it's a question of whether the return of Ramirez and Soto and, hopefully, the resurging Soriano and Bradley make up for the Holliday and DeRosa additions.

It's the Cubs' division to lose ... which, being the Cubs, we probably will.
   39. Voodoo Posted: July 28, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3270818)
It's the Cubs' division to lose ... which, being the <strike>Cubs</strike> two time defending Central Division Champs, we probably <strike>will</strike> won't.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2009 at 08:35 PM (#3270826)
In some ways Milwaukee's pitching is in a worse shambles then in July/August of 2007. It's breathtaking in its depth and breadth.
   41. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 28, 2009 at 08:36 PM (#3270828)
Damn straight, VoodooR.

It's breathtaking in its depth and breadth.

I enjoy the sound of this sentence (not a dig at the Brewers rejoicing in their current troubles, just the turn of phrase).
   42. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3270900)
Obviously anything can happen between now and October but I truly think it is the Cubs division to lose. They have the players to win the division and currently they are not in shambles. They have deep talent on the pitching side and they even have a lot of talent on the hitting side, something no other central team can say.

The Cards have 3 losses in the bank and haven't played well since April. The Cubs have basically treaded water since the start of the season and it is only recently that they have turned it on. Obviously they won't stay a .700 level team but they are beating the bad teams and keeping it close against the good ones. They should take the division.

Now if the only get Sanchez. . . . .
   43. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 28, 2009 at 09:22 PM (#3270924)
The Cards have 3 losses in the bank and haven't played well since April.


'course - the downside is that the Cubs are going to need that pitching depth, as they're likely to face some rather long stretches without offdays to deal with the various rainouts that have 'em about 2 to 5 games behind everyone else.

I personally think the Cards have all but pulled even, lineup talent-wise... They've solved the gaping hole at 3B, and by basically swapping Duncan for Holliday (in terms of what gets written into the lineup), pretty much gotten where they need to be in the OF. The Cards have had better luck pulling rabits from hats at SS than the Cubs have at 2B.
   44. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2009 at 10:05 PM (#3270994)
While the Cards seem to have done a better job patching up their blackhole the Cubs have done a darn good job building that pitching depth. The Cubs have routinely called up a minor leaguer and that minor leaguer has routinely done well.


The funny thing is that a lot of people are trying to beat up the Cubs and Hendry for having a poor farm system and yet Hendry's farm has done an excellent jo getting major league talent to the majors. Plus they have done a pretty good job of jettisoning players that end up flaming out while they are still thought of fondly.

Theriot
Fontenot
Soto
Foxx
Hoff
Wells
Hart
Marshall
Marmol
Guzman
   45. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3271740)
Yeah, tell me again how the Brewers can put a push together.

I knew the pitching staff would be challenged. But this is getting ridiculous......
   46. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 29, 2009 at 09:45 PM (#3272932)
Great win today. Reed Johnson broke his foot on the foul ball, he's going to miss about a month. I'm guessing Sam Fuld will be back up.
   47. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3272999)
How do you score 12 runs when it looks like everybody went 1 for 3?
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: July 29, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3273014)
Reed Johnson broke his foot on the foul ball, he's going to miss about a month.

As soon as I saw he'd left the game, I knew it. Just the way things have gone on the health front for the Cubs this year.
   49. Voodoo Posted: July 29, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3273058)
I think we can do without Johnson. Fuld can't hit, but he can field and Fukudome has been decent in center and is swinging the bat well, and it's fine time to put Bradley in the lineup everyday and see what happens. Worst case: he's a bad fielder, with not much pop, who walks a ####-ton and has a above average OBP. Could be a lot worse.
   50. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3273076)
There goes Freddy Sanchez. Let the Utley rumors begin.
   51. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 29, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3273097)
We all get one, McCoy... Peavy was mine - Sanchez was yours.
   52. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3273110)
Kind of sucks that my white whale is 5'11" 30 something year old guy from Hollywood that feels it is necessary to attach a "dy" to the end of his name.
   53. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 29, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3273116)
At least yours is DtD rather than out for the season.
   54. Voodoo Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:07 AM (#3273363)
Corey Patterson released by the Nationals. Would he be a better option as a fifth outfielder than Fuld at this point?
   55. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:46 PM (#3273557)
VoodooR, HELL NO. Maybe talent wise, maybe, but the circus and attention wouldn't be worth it. And really, they should be looking for a righty bat anyway, so I figure Fuld is temporary. Speaking of which...

Florida's Cody Ross, with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs, would be a good fit if the Marlins decide to move him. The Marlins are in the NL wild card-hunt, though they considered trading the righthanded-hitting Ross to Atlanta before the Braves acquired Pittsburgh's Nate McLouth.

Hendry has about $2 million to $3 million to spend if he needs it, team sources said. He also is looking for a left-handed reliever to complement Sean Marshall, with Washington's Joe Beimel and Pittsburgh's John Grabow atop his list.


First time I've seen a dollar figure attached to what the Cubs can add. That makes some sense. I'm starting to think that although it's early for BJ Ryan, things can't be promising if the Cubs are still looking for other lefty relievers.

As for the Sanchez thing, that seems like a pretty big overpay and I don't think the Cubs could have, or really should have matched that (I'm guessing Vitters is the only one prospect that definitely compares).
   56. JJ1986 Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:52 PM (#3273563)
Fuld is awesome.
   57. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3273577)
Eh, Fuld is completely fungible. He's just another scrappy guy who's shorter than me that should never play with any sort of regularity. He's an ok option as a defensive replacement in the corners (he's only so so in CF) or pinch runner, but he can't hit at all. He's got ok patience, but is a 27 year old OF who has a .777OPS in his minor league career - and that includes a lot of time over 3 seasons in hitter friendly Iowa. I'm not saying he's not awesome, he's just not awesome enough for this team...
   58. JJ1986 Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3273581)
He's one of those guys who I've irrationally loved since 2006 or so, so I just like seeing him play in the bigs at all. I don't think he'll ever amount to anything, but as a fifth outfielder he's fine (when the fourth outfielder's a real CF). He'd be more useful if teams went back to six man benches.
   59. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:16 PM (#3273587)
Indeed, I agree. He's fun to root for, and he seems to have earned fan favorite status this year. Although I'd love to see Bobby Scales again (I think Scales could be doing just about as good of a job as Baker is doing right now).
   60. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:16 PM (#3273588)
Patterson would be fine -- except he hits lefty, and Fukudome needs a RH caddy.

All that said, Patterson makes a perfectly fine 5th OF. He runs relatively well, plays good defense, and on rare occasions -- can even pull off not looking totally lost at the plate.

If Hendry has 2-3 million to spend, frankly -- I think I'd be happiest if he just used it to eat the rest of Milesy Virus's contract. I'm perfectly fine with Blanco as the utility IF -- his bat isn't any better than Miles (in fact, it may even be worse, if that's possible), but he's a legitimately great defender and I have no problem carrying an all glove utility IF if the guy is truly all glove and not a decent 2B who happens to have 100s of AB at a position (SS) he doesn't really have the arm for.
   61. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3273592)
zonk, that $2-3mil is in addition to Miles's contract, so although they can eat next years part (prefereably after the season; maybe even someone would trade for him if we paid half or more of his pay) I'd still like to see some sort of upgrade somewhere.
   62. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3273602)
Eh, Fuld is completely fungible. He's just another scrappy guy who's shorter than me that should never play with any sort of regularity. He's an ok option as a defensive replacement in the corners (he's only so so in CF) or pinch runner, but he can't hit at all. He's got ok patience, but is a 27 year old OF who has a .777OPS in his minor league career - and that includes a lot of time over 3 seasons in hitter friendly Iowa. I'm not saying he's not awesome, he's just not awesome enough for this team...

He's got two useful skills: some decent defensive flexibility, and his ability to get on base. He has a career .370 OBA in the minors. I don't mind having him on the roster as a PH and late inning defensive replacement. I admit an irrational love for him myself, but I don't think he's just another scrappy guy either.
   63. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3273603)
Well, I suppose the Tigers were stupid enough to 'acquire' his Neifiness a few years back, so you never know. The Royals seem to like accumulating shitty middle IFers... maybe Jim ought to give Dayton a call.

A LOOGY is probably optimal -- as others have noted, it would allow Marshall to slot into a more appropriate Terry Mulholland/Glendon Rusch type role as the long man, spot starter, and when necessary, 2nd lefty.

I personally would prefer to see the focus be at 2B -- but with only 2-3 mil to spend, together with the Baker acquisition - what we've got is probably what we're going to get at 2B.
   64. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3273617)
He's got two useful skills: some decent defensive flexibility, and his ability to get on base. He has a career .370 OBA in the minors. I don't mind having him on the roster as a PH and late inning defensive replacement. I admit an irrational love for him myself, but I don't think he's just another scrappy guy either.

Sounds like in describing his skills, you described a scrappy guy. I'm not saying it in a totally derogatory way, but I think of a scrappy guy as a guy who isn't necessarily good at baseball but does a couple of things well, mostly because of effort, that can help a team win when used appropriately.
   65. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3274549)
Per rotoworld:

A deal that would send John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from the Pirates to the Cubs is "just about done," reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Chicago has been on the hunt for another reliable left-handed reliever and Grabow (3.65 ERA in 43 appearances) would be a good fit. No word yet on what Pittsburgh would acquire in the transaction. The deal would deplete the Pirates of left-handed relief pitching at the top of the organization, with Donnie Veal the only lefty reliever remaining on the big league club.


Anything other than Vitters (whom I'm quite willing to deal, but not for a LOOGY and assorted baubles) -- and this looks like a steal.
   66. Voodoo Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3274566)
it would allow Marshall to slot into a more appropriate Terry Mulholland/Glendon Rusch type role as the long man, spot starter, and when necessary, 2nd lefty.

I think that would be an ideal role for Marshall, and having a guy like that on hand can sure be handy. Boy thinking about that reminds me of the stretch run in '98, when Riggleman ran Mulholland out there as a starter or a reliever damn near every day it seemed. He simply wouldn't let anyone from the bullpen besides Beck and Mulholland touch the ball. Looking back it was freaking amazing that team somehow snuck into the playoffs.

As far as acquiring a LOOGY goes, I dunno. I wouldn't want to give up much at all. LOOGYs don't grow on trees, but they are better found in the scrap heaps than the retail aisles. Besides Ryan are there any lefty options down in Iowa?
   67. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3274574)
According to MLBTR, Grabow's currently slotting as a Type A free agent (?!?), which would require arbitration to be offered, but still is something beyond a regular LOOGY. Also, where would Gorzelanny fit? Iowa? Or would Samardija, Adkins, and Stevens all go down?
   68. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3274576)
Neal Cotts. *ducks*
   69. Voodoo Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:18 PM (#3274581)
Neal Cotts. *ducks*


Ugh. I thought he was DFA'd. He had to be out of options, right? But then again, who the #### else would want him...
   70. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3274590)
Neal Cotts. *ducks*


Ducking is generally what you have to do after Cotts throws a pitch.

In Chicago (sun-times) only Grabow is mentioned, but Pittsburgh continues to have Gorzelanny in on the deal.

Rights to Veal is almost certainly going to be part of this trade... what more? I cannot conceive of Vitters going. I think a Flaherty or Castro is too much.
   71. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3274592)
Luckily (or unluckily in his case), Cotts had TJ surgery in the last month or so.

Considering Gorz has been a big ol' ball of suck for 2 years now, he'll be a reclamation project down in Iowa (or so I would assume). If Grabow is a type A, that's sweet. Possible draft picks for him. He's a little more than a LOOGY, and he's not a true lefty killer. I'm with zonk though, if he'll help there's little I'd be upset to lose.
   72. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:22 PM (#3274597)
And 8 games over. Even though it's lesser teams, I'm starting to feel better and better about this team.
   73. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3274623)
Me too.

Another good day for the offense - granted, it's Russ Ortiz, but he's had his confounding days against the Cubs lineup.

With the Astros suddenly surging, taking 3 of 4 in convincing fashion is a nice statement to wrap up July.
   74. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3274640)
WGN: Grabow and Gorz for Kevin Hart.
   75. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3274642)
Rumor is Jay Jackson. That would suck.

Cross from Chatter: Russ Ortiz was released after the game.
   76. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3274646)
Or not.
   77. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3274647)
MLBTR says Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and Josh Harrison for Grabow and Gorzelanny.
   78. Sweet Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:53 PM (#3274648)
Also crossing from Chatter:

Cubs are now 7th in the league in runs scored per game (4.46) and 3rd in runs allowed per game (4.08).
   79. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3274652)
I can't imagine many games in MLB history where neither of the starters in a game were on their teams 30 minutes after the game ended.
   80. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3274653)
MLBTR says Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and Josh Harrison for Grabow and Gorzelanny.


That sounds fine to me. I have a known distaste for Hart, I'm not at all high on Ascanio. Don't know Harrison well beyond vaguely recognizing the name, but seems like a solid move to me.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3274654)
"Rumor is Jay Jackson. That would suck."

Pirates just announced: Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and Josh Harrison.
   82. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3274657)
I'm semi-uncomfortable, because I really do like Ascanio, but I suppose that, knowing Jim Hendry, it could have easily been worse.
   83. Sweet Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:05 PM (#3274666)
Snap judgement, subject to further thought: Don't like the deal -- I think Ascanio's the best pitcher to move, and I hate trades that give up the best guy -- but it probably helps the major league team a little this year and probably doesn't materially hurt it in the future, so . . . whatever.
   84. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:07 PM (#3274671)
I think Hart could make a nice 3rd guy out of the pen, but he's nothing special. Ascanio probably never should've been demoted earlier this year, he's what I'll miss most, though Harrison has some decent potential, but wouldn't crack the top 10 of our middling system. I can't be too upset with this, cept for the Gorzo part.
   85. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:15 PM (#3274679)
This deal seems like a lot of "meh" for "meh". Hopefully Grabow wins "Middle Reliever Roulette" for the rest of this season.

Just a fun note on the series just-played: the Astros 'pen had to throw 22 innings over the 4 games. And that was with Wandy going 7 in game 1.
   86. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM (#3274683)
The other day I took my son to the local NY-Penn League game, and I won a prize at the ring toss. The prize was your choice of baseball card, all of them players in the Pirates system. My son picked Tom Gorzelanny.

Gorzelanny is doing a good job in AAA this year, showing nice peripherals. I'm not too high on him, but there is significant upside here.
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3274686)
"The other day I took my son to the local NY-Penn League game..."

State College?
   88. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3274688)
So lets place some bets on who starts next Tuesday in Cincinnati. Marshall? Gorz? Samardzija?
   89. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3274696)
I imagine Marshall. Will start, that is.
   90. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 31, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3275431)
I'll post a couple of quick thoughts here...

I agree Ascanio is the biggest loss, but I think he's replaceable. Outside of lefties, the Cubs have really done a great job of churning out reliever arms. Rarely do they come back to haunt us - Wuertz has been good this year, and while he may have not been given the biggest leash here this is still above and beyond what he did. Gorz could turn out to be something, he could turn out to be nothing. But he probably has a higher upside than Hart (surprised he's already 26). Grabow should help this year.

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