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   1. Neil M Posted: October 04, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1663066)
This is a good thing.
   2. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 05, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1663077)
It is.

We may have to get some sort of permanent link to this year's last game chatter.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 05, 2005 at 12:12 AM (#1663095)
I missed the last chatter, I figured it would angry up the blood. Now I'm disappointed because it looked fun.

I'm excited about the Cubs blog but disappointed they didn't use my name suggestion of "Cubtharsis."
   4. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 05, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1663619)
I do like Gonfalon. It harkens back to the last time the Cubs won anything.

DUSTY SUX0R.
   5. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2005 at 05:25 AM (#1663669)
Great. And here I was looking forward to a productive offseason.

Seriously, though, this is cool. Looking forward to it.
   6. Neil M Posted: October 05, 2005 at 08:02 AM (#1663724)
So, the Trib is saying that Leyland wants to take Rothschild to Detroit.

Says Rick Krantz would be brought up from Iowa.
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 05, 2005 at 01:06 PM (#1663784)
I still like Rothschild.
   8. Neil M Posted: October 05, 2005 at 01:16 PM (#1663790)
Me too, Pops.

I also valued the fact that he wasn't one of Dusty's cronies and thus, possibly, somewhat immune to the prevalent idiocy. I doubt that Krantz, if appointed, would feel secure enough in his new post to resist any hare-brained notion that Dusty might develop.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1663998)
Great idea. Hell, this may even be therapeutic enough for me to remain a Cub fan.
   10. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2005 at 05:24 PM (#1664317)
Yesterday's BA article and chat on the top 20 prospects in the Southern League featured a decent amount of info on Cubs' prospects, five of whom made the top 20 (Pie, Murton, Hill, Nolasco, Pinto). Pie was tagged as the top-10 propect least likely to reach his potential and attained his ranking almost solely on the basis of his very high upside. Sound familiar? Sing and Ryu were pegged in the 30-40 range in what was an incredibly deep league. Pinto is thought to have better raw stuff than Nolasco but Nolasco is thought to be the surer bet -- a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy.

So far, here's how BA has ranked Cubs' prospects:

AZL: Pawalek (1)
Northwest: Veal (2), Reed (20)
Midwest: Harvey (7), Gallagher (15), Patterson (16)
FSL: Moore (15), Dopirak (18)
Southern: Pie (8), Murton (12), Hill (15), Nolasco (17), Pinto (18)
PCL: ??? (Cedeno is probably the only one with a shot)
   11. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 05, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1664393)
Sorry, but I think it's about time for Rothschild to go.

Whether or not he deserves blame, both Prior and Wood have struggled with injuries (and haven't been that effective while healthy) the last couple of years. He hasn't been able to do much with the bullpen pitchers (well, I'd say Dempster, Ohman, and Weurtz look fine; too early to say on Novoa), but what's really obvious is how well some guys have done *after* they've left the Cubs (most notably Farnsworth and Alfonseca). Zambrano has gotten better, Rusch looks like a great reclamation project, and Williams definitely shows potential.

I guess as I'm typing this out I realize I'd have to look at it a lot more detailed. As bad as the offense was the last couple of years, we always expected our pitching to carry us. And it definitely failed this year.
   12. Neil M Posted: October 05, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1664452)
Here's a thing about the Cubs relief pitching.

The second to last day of the season, FSN Houston posted a graphic that showed the Cubs to have the third-best record in the majors where they scored first.

This would indicate that for the most part the chosen set-up men and closer were able to get the job done effectively.

Where it all fell apart was with Dusty's frequent refusal to use any of his better relievers unless the club was already leading. This led to a lot of close games turning into blow-outs as the Remlingers, Wellemeyers and Mitres got knocked around.

Just as silly was Baker's reluctance to give run-outs to less-used players when the club was winning comfortably. Their under-use certainly contributed to some of the travails referred to in the previous paragraph.

This rigidity of bullpen management cost the Cubs more than did the actual quality of the options available. I think that the blme for this lies with the manager and not the coach.
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1664645)
Southern: Pie (8), Murton (12), Hill (15), Nolasco (17), Pinto (18)

I realize that Pie is rated as highly as he is by BA because of his age and tools, but putting him as the top prospect in this group is, well, an overstatement. He has a LONNNNGGGG way to go in developing pitch recignition skills, plus getting hurt and losing development time isn't going to help him at all.

I have a suspicion (nothing more) that Cub fans are going to be disappointed by this group.

-- MWE
   14. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1665040)
Inasmuch as disappointment entails surprise, Mike, I think you're wrong. I, at least, won't be surprised if none of these guys is a productive major leaguer five years from now. I give Murton the best shot, if only because, even if he doesn't become a star, some team will find a use for his ability to hit for a decent average.

I'm no expert, but I'd probably rank all the listed prospects as follows:

Murton
Nolasco
[Cedeno]
Pie
Patterson
Pinto
Hill
Moore
Gallagher
Harvey
Dopirak
Veal
Pawalek
Reed

I'd find a place for Sing somewhere in the top half, too. But there are certainly no sure bets on that list.
   15. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 05, 2005 at 09:58 PM (#1665127)
I think that if the Cubs are slightly lucky, Pie is Corey Patterson, 2002-04. I'm not sure if "luck" would describe Pie learning pitch recognition skills, but if that happens they have something special.

I'm not sure where he's going to learn it. In this organization, guys who are selective at the plate seem to unlearn it, not the other way around.
   16. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2005 at 10:14 PM (#1665160)
Guzman made his first AFL start today:

4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

I'm not going to read too much into any one stat line, particularly when it comes from the AFL, but this looks like typical Guzman -- not unhittable, but with impeccable control.

Game is still going, though Guzman's done for the day. Sing has a double and a walk, Patterson, is 1-4 with a SB, and Coats is 2-3 with a double.
   17. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2005 at 10:25 PM (#1665171)
Guzman now has an 82:5 K:BB ratio in 70 IP since coming off major shoulder surgery in the summer of 2003. Of course, you wish those 70 IP weren't spread over two years, but man, if the guy could just stay healthy . . . .
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 06, 2005 at 12:04 AM (#1665424)
I wonder what it will take for the Cubs to give in and move the man into the bullpen.

He would be a big boost right away.
   19. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 06, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1665480)
I like your list, though I think I'd move Gallagher up a couple of notches. He showed some real flashes this year, and his 12th round selection status was more indicative of his signability than his talent.

2006 will be a big test, to see if he can continue to succeed at AA. Really, a lot to watch next year, with Nolasco and Pinto moving up to AAA (presumably) as well, and I'd guess Rich Hill will join them if he's not in the Cubs bullpen.

And I agree on Guzman -- there is a sufficient number of good looking prospects down there that stretching him out as a starter doesn't make a whole lot of sense given his injury history. Even as a one-inning specialist, a guy with that kind of control is a bullpen jewel. How often did we see the pen walk their way into trouble this season? (In fact, wasn't there a stat showing the Cub bullpen was last in the league in walks allowed?)
   20. Meatwad Posted: October 06, 2005 at 12:45 AM (#1665588)
i wonder what is next to my name for the diamond thingy
   21. Sweet Posted: October 06, 2005 at 05:00 AM (#1666301)
BA's PCL rankings are now out. Hill checks in (again) at 14, one spot higher than his ranking at the AA level. (He's the fifth-ranked pitcher.) Cedeno pegged at 16. Nice to see him get some recognition after his phenomenal year, even if -- undertandably -- no one seems to be quite sure what to make of him yet.
   22. Neil M Posted: October 06, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1666643)
Updating the Rpthschild story. The Sun-Times reports that the Cubs have offered him a new deal but have also given Detroit permission to speak to him.
   23. Sweet Posted: October 06, 2005 at 04:40 PM (#1666840)
From today's BA chat:

Q: Do you see Rich Hill or Ronny Cedeno having much of an impact in the major leagues? It seems to me Cedeno didn't do much of anything until this year, and I wonder if he can be even a solid starter, let alone an all-star. Hill does have a great curve, but I don't see him ever having an ERA under 4.50 at the major league level. Am I wrong? I hope so.

A: Jim Callis: I think they both have the chance to be regulars, Hill as a starter and Cedeno as an everyday guy in the lineup. Cedeno was rushed too quickly by the Cubs and it led to two awful years with the bat, but he finally starter to recover in 2004. He might not be an all-star, but he can hit for average with some pop and play very good defense. Hill always had great stuff and very little command or control. The light switched on for him this year (at least it did in the minors), and if he can maintain his newfound control he could be pretty good.

***

Earlier, Callis said that Cedeno should definitely start at short for the Cubs next year, but "who knows what Dusty Baker will do."
   24. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 11, 2005 at 07:05 PM (#1677280)
Cubs have kept Rothchild and he turned down a 3 year contract offer from the Tigers.

Methinks this signals the 2yr extension for Dusty and his staff is a mere formality at this point.
   25. Sweet Posted: October 11, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1677486)
Many of you have probably seen this, but just in case, note that www.minorleaguebaseball.com has GameDay coverage for Arizona Fall League games. Wonder whether they'll do this for all minor league games next year.

Murton is now 5-8 with 3 BB in 11 PAs over 2+ games. Of the five hits, four are doubles.
   26. Neil M Posted: October 11, 2005 at 09:16 PM (#1677586)
Methinks this signals the 2yr extension for Dusty and his staff is a mere formality at this point.

Dusty, maybe, but according to the Cubs website all the other coaches got one-year contracts.
   27. Sweet Posted: October 11, 2005 at 10:43 PM (#1677831)
In happier news, Murton has 3 doubles today. So, that's 7-11 with 3 BB in 14 PAs. Six of the seven hits are doubles. Guy has a knack for getting off to a quick start.
   28. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 12, 2005 at 03:33 AM (#1678496)
Cubs have kept Rothchild and he turned down a 3 year contract offer from the Tigers.

I view this as a good thing.

Methinks this signals the 2yr extension for Dusty

geh
   29. Sweet Posted: October 12, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1679383)
So, I was thinking (sort of) . . .

- The Cubs have lots of money to burn
- The Cubs have lots of pitching prospects to give
- The Cubs have a centerfielder to trade
- The Cubs need a shortstop

What if there was a trading partner out there with a disaffected, expensive shortstop, a dearth of pitching, and a need for a centerfielder?

How about Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood, and any two Cubs pitching prospects for Alex Rodriguez?
   30. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 12, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1679685)
How about Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood, and any two Cubs pitching prospects for Alex Rodriguez?

Are the Cubs paying his entire salary (the Yankees part)?

Either way, Do It.
   31. Sweet Posted: October 12, 2005 at 11:12 PM (#1680115)
Ooof . . . Guzman and Aardsma combined for the following line today --

4.2 IP, 13 H, 10 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

-- as Mesa lost 10-1 to a stacked Surprise team featuring Angels prospects Kendrick, Wood, and Morales, among others. Murton had another double.
   32. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 13, 2005 at 02:52 PM (#1681274)
How about Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood, and any two Cubs pitching prospects for Alex Rodriguez?

What's plan B for centerfield if Corey gets shipped out?
   33. Sweet Posted: October 13, 2005 at 05:39 PM (#1681670)
What's plan B for centerfield if Corey gets shipped out?

Dunno. Hairston, maybe, until Pie's ready. Brian Giles, maybe, if there's still money left. Kenny Lofton, maybe. Weren't there rumors during the season that Hendry liked Kotsay? So maybe a trade . . . .

I'm one of the few remaining Corey backers, and I don't think he should be traded, particularly while his value is at an all-time low, but I do expect it to happen -- probably not for Alex Rodriguez, of course.

The outfield could be a disaster next year. Heck, the team could be a disaster next year.
   34. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 13, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1681833)
Weren't there rumors during the season that Hendry liked Kotsay? So maybe a trade

He signed an extension. I doubt Oakland would do that just to turn around and trade him.

I'm one of the few remaining Corey backers

I am as well. None of those listed options look very enticing.

The outfield could be a disaster next year.

It would take some doing to be worse than the 2005 version. I can't think of a worse outfield in all of baseball.
   35. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 13, 2005 at 09:44 PM (#1682332)
I'm all in favor of making a move for ARod when his stock is at its lowest (which, in the eyes of New York, it probably is right now), and I'd happily give up Patterson, Wood, and prospects to make it happen.

He's expensive, yes, but it's not like he doesn't produce superstar numbers every year. With Lee, Ramirez, and ARod in the infield (plus Barrett and Walker), it's not like the Cubs would need to carry some kind of mega-productive outfield in order to score. Put Murton out there with two guys who can go get it defensively, and let the good starting pitching and rest of the lineup carry them.
   36. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 17, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1689006)
Just found this new addition. Cool thing. Hopefully, I'll be able to take more advantage of it without having to fully jump ship next year.

At the moment, the Devil Rays are my AL team du jour.

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