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   1. Bunny Vincennes Posted: March 30, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3118815)
I find this week to be one of the more agonizing in sports. Really the only thing going on is golf on Thursday.
   2. Hack Wilson Posted: March 30, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3118832)
Hi Bunny,

Let me know when you will be in town for a game, I'll try and get down to Wrigleyville.

But I refuse to address you as Bunny.

Hack
   3. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3118839)
It is kinda the stretch for the NBA, but the good teams are starting to rest for the playoffs. It's a long week until opening day, the final 4, and Wrestlemania.
   4. Bunny Vincennes Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3118845)
The only person who actually calls me Bunny is My Girl.

The only two games I have on the docket thus far are July 11, and August 29. But I will be in Milwaukee April 10-12 for that first series with the Brewers in MKE for my birthday.
   5. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3118846)
As someone who pretty much follows only baseball, I love this week. The NFL talk is at a low ebb, and the NHL and NBA seasons are at the boring time of the year, when the only thing going on is which bad teams will make the playoffs and which won't.

It's final cuts week! And it's the time of year when you can imagine best-case scenarios, before the season bursts that bubble.
   6. Voodoo Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3118848)
As someone who follows two sports religiously (college basketball and ML baseball), I'm ready to turn my full undivided attention to the 2009 Cubs! It works out pretty well, as I have only a few weeks of the year without one of my two loves to follow.
   7. Meatwad Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3118885)
its needs to be april 6th now. is anyone doing a cubs preview for this year?
   8. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 30, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3118893)
I don't think the site is going the "Looking forward to" this year. So if someone wants to write a preview, I'll post it for them. I'm not sure I'll have time to do a very detailed one before the season starts, but I'll do a quick and dirty one if no one else volunteers.
   9. Cabbage Posted: March 30, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3118953)
BCB says Hill was named the backup. Gabor and Stanton released.

3 more cuts remain.
   10. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 30, 2009 at 05:39 PM (#3118978)
Buh-bye, Gabor. Don't let the bullpen door hit your ass on the way out.
   11. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 30, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3119138)
How much of Bako's salary are the Cubs on the hook for? I thought I remembered reading somewhere that teams were only responsible for something like the first 30 days of the contract if the player was cut before some certain deadline.
   12. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: March 30, 2009 at 07:46 PM (#3119165)
How much of Bako's salary are the Cubs on the hook for? I thought I remembered reading somewhere that teams were only responsible for something like the first 30 days of the contract if the player was cut before some certain deadline.


I saw $180K somewhere...

Concerning Gaudin - the scuttlebutt is that he's really still not right physically and his stuff is much the worse for it.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 30, 2009 at 07:49 PM (#3119169)
BCB says Hill was named the backup. Gabor and Stanton released.

3 more cuts remain.


Hasn't Koyie Hill suffered enough cuts already?
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 30, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3119174)
Concerning Gaudin - the scuttlebutt is that he's really still not right physically and his stuff is much the worse for it.


Well, the A's might have lost their bet that Harden would get injured, but they were right about that one.
   15. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 30, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3119186)
The stories are the Cubs are seeing what interest there is in Gaudin, Guzman and Patton. Sounds like Lou really likes Patton. If they can trade one, maybe BPJ goes down so they can keep Patton.
   16. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 30, 2009 at 08:09 PM (#3119207)
I saw $180K somewhere...

It's 1/6 of his salary, I believe. Which calculates to $125,000. But I don't know. Either way, not too shabby for getting to spend a couple of winter months in Arizona.

Hasn't Koyie Hill suffered enough cuts already?

Nice.
   17. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: March 31, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3120553)
Sean Marshall got torched today, mostly on balls in play. 3.1 IP, 8 H, 8ER, 5 Ks, 2 BBs, and 1 HR.

Patton looked good in 1 2/3 of an inning of long relief. I'm not going to put too much emphasis on ST small samples, but I think I'd prefer Patton to Gaudin. Worst case is that Patton's as bad as Gaudin was last year. And based on the glimmer of upside that he's shown, I think we can either deal Gaudin or wait 'til he gets healthy. As Rothschild said during yesterday's broadcast, whether Patton makes the team or not, the fact that they're considering him for the 25 man roster reveals him as a good Rule 5 pick.
   18. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: April 01, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3120990)
Yeah, I haven't seen him throw - but it's hard to ignore Patton's spring numbers (even if they ARE spring numbers). 15 Ks in 12.3 innings, ERA of 0.73.

I know virtually nothing about Patton - but his K rates look very good throughout his minor league career, though he seems to have gopher ball issues (no idea what Modesto and Asheville's park effects are).

I hope they can fit Gaudin on the DL for the time being - he still doesn't seem right, though he's throwing... You gotta think someone would be interested in Gaudin, but maybe not at 2 million. I was relieved when Gaudin was retained rather than non-tendered, but now... I'm almost wondering if non-tendering him (and saving 2 million) would have been enough to keep DeRosa.
   19. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 01, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3121232)
It always comes back to DeRosa, doesn't it? Man, that was a terrible decision (once again, I'll admit that I don't expect DeRosa to be as good this year as he was last, but flip him for Miles and I'd have almost nothing to complain about right now - that almost, of course, is Joey F. Gathright). Gaudin and Miles's salary come pretty damn close (add in Gathright, and we're there). Ugh.
   20. McCoy Posted: April 01, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3121237)
To me the "cost cutting" of getting rid of DeRosa seems penny wise/pound foolish to me. The downgrade of DeRosa to Miles and possible downgrade of Edmonds to Bradley could cost the Cubs a spot in the playoffs. Which in turns lowers their revenue this season and possibly curbs revenue in future seassons.

The Cubs might very well have managed costs but they might have done so at the cost of revenue.
   21. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: April 01, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3121605)
It always comes back to DeRosa, doesn't it? Man, that was a terrible decision (once again, I'll admit that I don't expect DeRosa to be as good this year as he was last, but flip him for Miles and I'd have almost nothing to complain about right now - that almost, of course, is Joey F. Gathright). Gaudin and Miles's salary come pretty damn close (add in Gathright, and we're there). Ugh.


I keep hoping that if we point it out enough - and under a wide variety of ways he could have/should have been kept, we'll somehow reach critical mass and it will magically be undone.
   22. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 02, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3121992)
The downgrade of DeRosa to Miles and possible downgrade of Edmonds to Bradley could cost the Cubs a spot in the playoffs.

Far be it from be to be too optimistic, but I don't think that's an issue. It's not a pure downgrade from DeRosa to Miles, Fontenot is taking a lot of those at bats. While none of the 3 can replicate DeRosa's 08 performance, I think Fontenot/Miles will come close to DeRosa's 09 (and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Fontenot outperformed him this season). Same goes for Bradley replacing Edmonds, I think Bradley will easily replace TOFU's production, and in probably the same amount of playing time. There's a huge problem if Ramirez misses too much time (meaning full time Miles, or if Gathright/bad Fukudome are the key replacements for Bradley (as opposed to Hoffpaiur getting a lot of time). CF for the first 2 months and RF for the last 2 months last year were pretty bad, so there's some cushion. And I still think the Cubs downgraded less overall than their competition.

I keep hoping that if we point it out enough - and under a wide variety of ways he could have/should have been kept, we'll somehow reach critical mass and it will magically be undone.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home. Too bad Santo doesn't have his heels to kick together...
   23. McCoy Posted: April 02, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3122014)
Well, I did say it could cost them, I didn't say it will cost them. I'm saying that I believe the Cubs took on added risk when they made payroll transaction decisions that might very well cost them revenue this seasons and in future seasons.

As for the actual players I am optimistic on DeRosa's performance this season while I am not high on Fontenot and Miles. For awhile there every year while I did projection I always stated that SS couldn't possibly be as bad as it was the year before and every year I was proven wrong. I don't think 2B will get that bad but I do think it will be bad this year.
   24. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 02, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3122107)
ZIPS projects Fontenot at .268/.340/.418 and Miles at .282/.326/.347. It puts DeRosa at .283/.362/.431 in the Cleve.
PETCOA goes Fontenot .279/.356/.441, Miles .279/.327/.339, DeRosa .269/.355/.414.

I don't see how 2b will be bad this year, since Fontenot has won the job. Either way, what I'm trying to say that even if Fontenot and Miles both come short of their projections, I don't see that being the difference in missing a playoff spot. If the Cubs don't make the playoffs, it'll be because of lots of missed time by Ramirez and/or Soriano, big declines from Bradley and/or Lee, Zambrano either being hurt or pitching like most of September last year, and Dempster completely reverting to his pre-TJ starting form. Not necissarily all of those, but a couple of those could do us in. I wouldn't be surprised to see the division won with 87 wins, even though I expect the Cubs to clear 90 again.
   25. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: April 02, 2009 at 04:27 PM (#3122170)
I completely agree with #22 and #24. I think DeRosa deserves a starting job. And he was a good candidate for a trade because the Cubs have two starting caliber 2B. I don't really regret that DeRosa isn't a 2009 Cub, but I wish that the Cubs could have gotten more value for him. It's also disappointing that they didn't wait until the market fell to sign Aaron Miles, who i see as being an asset.
   26. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: April 02, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3122492)
I suppose it was inevitable, but it's still always surprising when you see it happen...

Per rotoworld:


Cubs released OF Ryan Harvey, LHP Mark Pawelek, RHP Grant Johnson and LHP Edward Campusano.


Harvey hasn't even been an afterthought for years, and Pawelek pretty much disappeared after his first year... but man... that 2 first round picks plus another formerly 'regarded' prospect in Grant Johnson... Gone...

I'm not saying I disagree with the moves - but it always hurts (and makes you question the scouting) when high picks bomb so completely and miserably.

We really, really, really need to get it done this season - I'm seeing an awfully barren stretch coming up after say... 2010 or so.
   27. Cabbage Posted: April 02, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3122627)

We really, really, really need to get it done this season - I'm seeing an awfully barren stretch coming up after say... 2010 or so.


Esp. since we just trade the 09 & 10 1st rd picks, and a 3rd for Jay Cutler
   28. Voodoo Posted: April 02, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3122679)
Apparently Casey McGehee has made the Brewers opening day roster.

That is all.
   29. McCoy Posted: April 02, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3122692)
I understand Moses that the 2B spot could very well not be the reason the Cubs miss the playoffs. What I am saying is that it makes little sense to me to increase the risk of not making the playoffs which then increases the risk of revenue going down simply because you had a small budget crunch. If the Cubs go overbudget by keeping DeRosa and they go to the playoffs and they continue to sell tickets then his cost is largely meaningless. If by saving the few millions by getting rid of DeRosa ends up costing them a playoff spot then they lose revenue and their "savings" ends up costing them.

I personally project DeRosa if he was in the NL and on the Cubs to put up a .280ish/.370ish/somewhere around .450 line.

I personally don't think Fontenot is a starter and I think we all know Miles isn't much. It all hinges on Fontenot, the club seems to think he is the real deal thus they were able to save on the budget by going with him. I hope they are right but I don't think they are.

The Cubs as compared to the rest of the division have room to make mistakes, but I fear that is only on paper. At times this season reminds me of what it was like heading into 2004. At the time we looked at the rotation, we looked at Sammy and we thought hey this is a very good team. Sure some things might not go right but with a core like that we'll still win a bunch of games. It turns out the core wasn't so great. The Cubs have question marks and personally I like to answer as many question marks before the season starts. I think DeRosa is an answer, I think Fontenot does not answer that question just yet.
   30. McCoy Posted: April 02, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3122693)
In otherwords heaing into this season the big question was going to be about the health of our players. Now the question going into the season is the health of our players and the second base spot. I see no real reason to add a question onto the pile.
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 02, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3122694)
Grant Johnson was the team's first pick that season so there's three in that group with that distinction.

I thought Harvey was just coming back from TJ? Maybe that was last year.

In even stranger news, Luis Montanez nearly went North with the Orioles.
   32. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 03, 2009 at 12:23 AM (#3122739)
I personally project DeRosa if he was in the NL and on the Cubs to put up a .280ish/.370ish/somewhere around .450 line.

Well, that's where I think your mistake is. Last year, DeRosa hit .285/.376/.481, both the OBP and SLG career highs (his OBP was .371, so maybe he did turn a corner there). For his career, he's hit .279/.348/.422, and he's going to be 34 this season. Last year was not going to be repeated. He was so good last year, which is why this is hard for us. But he just isn't that good. I mean, he hit 21 HRs last year, after seasons of 10 and 13. Unless we traded for Brian Roberts, 2B was a guaranteed drop off this season. I believe in Fontenot, so we'll just have to see what happens there.

The Cubs as compared to the rest of the division have room to make mistakes, but I fear that is only on paper. At times this season reminds me of what it was like heading into 2004. At the time we looked at the rotation, we looked at Sammy and we thought hey this is a very good team. Sure some things might not go right but with a core like that we'll still win a bunch of games. It turns out the core wasn't so great. The Cubs have question marks and personally I like to answer as many question marks before the season starts. I think DeRosa is an answer, I think Fontenot does not answer that question just yet.

It's not fair to compare this team to 2004, for so many reasons. First, most of these guys weren't here then. Secondly, we still won 89 games that year (which, IMO, will be good enough to win the NL Central). Third, the difference from Dusty to Lou is huge. We still have what projects as the best offensive in the NL, and one of the best rotations. Yes, we could say that about the 2004 rotation, but not about the offense. The defense looks solid, and so does the pen (the pen was a question mark in 2004, even with the widely approved move of signing Hawkins). As bad as the bench is, it's better than that bench. If there's a question mark on this team, I think it's CF (and SS isn't great, but Theriot could fall off a lot from last year). But we have so many fewer question marks than any other team in the division. And we still have the best in season GM.
   33. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 03, 2009 at 12:23 AM (#3122740)
his OBP was .371,

Sorry, add in a "in 2007" there.
   34. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3122752)
I'm not using the 2004 comparison as a one to one match up. It doesn't matter if the players are not the same or if the weaknesses are not the same. That isn't my point. My point is that at the time we thought the Cubs strengths were so good that a few problems could be papered over, but what we didn't realize at the time was that we didn't really have those strengths. Prior and Wood were injured and Sosa wasn't the same. Sure they won 89 games but nobody thought the win total was going to be that low which is my point about this team. I'm not saying I think this team is going to win 75 games, I'm saying that if some of those strengths turn out to be not so strong then every point of OPS or ERA is going to be needed to maximize their wins.

I'm definitely heading into this season believing the Cubs are the #1 team of the division but that isn't my point in regards to DeRosa either. Like I said it seems to me to be an unnecessary risk simply to "save" a few million when in the short run and long run it could very well cost the Cubs millions.


And we still have the best in season GM.

Who now has a leash.
   35. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: April 03, 2009 at 01:03 AM (#3122767)
Grant Johnson was the team's first pick that season so there's three in that group with that distinction.

I thought Harvey was just coming back from TJ? Maybe that was last year.

In even stranger news, Luis Montanez nearly went North with the Orioles.


That's right, somehow I had thought Johnson was supplemental, but he was a first rounder.. Too bad he didn't pan out, or the Cubs could've boasted three domers on the staff (not that I like ND, but it's still pretty cool).

We're two years removed from Stockstill - Wilken's 3rd draft will be this year, so it's too quick to judge him - but it's really hard to look back on Stockstill's time as Scouting Director and like what we got out of the drafts he ran. I suppose Hendry's done his part shipping some of it out of town, but Jake Fox, BPJ, and Tyler Colvin are the only of 5 years of rounds 1 through 5 picks still in the organization (4? Is Matt Craig still around?). Granted, Harvey was the only time he picked in the top 10 - but he had a first rounder plus 3 supplementals in 2002 - and not one has sniffed the bigs. They haven't really shined on the international front, either.
   36. Cabbage Posted: April 03, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3122850)
Sorry to see Johnson taper out. He was an acquaintance of mine in high school, and I always thought he was a very nice guy.

We're two years removed from Stockstill - Wilken's 3rd draft will be this year, so it's too quick to judge him - but it's really hard to look back on Stockstill's time as Scouting Director and like what we got out of the drafts he ran. I suppose Hendry's done his part shipping some of it out of town, but Jake Fox, BPJ, and Tyler Colvin are the only of 5 years of rounds 1 through 5 picks still in the organization (4? Is Matt Craig still around?). Granted, Harvey was the only time he picked in the top 10 - but he had a first rounder plus 3 supplementals in 2002 - and not one has sniffed the bigs. They haven't really shined on the international front, either.

I have mixed feelings about where to pin the blame, and I know there aren't any easy answers. The draft can be a crapshoot (10th rd. STL - A. Pujols 3B - HS, Kansas). Coaching is hugely important at the lower levels. And we haven't made much noise in Latin America lately.

Outside of saying that Logan White knows what the hell he is doing, I'm really not convinced that anyone is a genius or fool. To borrow from Jerry Krause, baseball organizations build solid farms systems. If anything this gets laid at Hendry's feet because there needs to be a whole system to develop players -- based on what I've seen, I don't know that we have that.
   37. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: April 03, 2009 at 05:01 AM (#3122922)
If you can pick up a Sean Marshall in the 6th round, you can waste your first rounder on a Ryan Harvey.

2001: Geo, Theriot, Prior
2002: Rich Hill, Micah Hoffpauir
2003: Sean Marshall (Tim Lincecum)
2004: E Patterson, Sean Gallagher, Jerry Blevins (turned into Kendall who turned into Ryan Flaherty)
2005: nothin'
2006: BPJ
2007: Vitters, josh donaldson (who along with EPatt and Gallagher = Rich Harden)

So that's 40% of their current rotation (Harden and Marshall), 22% of their starting lineup, a good bench bat and one of their bullpen arms (noting that Marmol & Heilman were indirectly the product of scouting in Latin America).

When you look over a slightly longer time horizon, you can see that the Cubs have managed to grab useful players later. Sure, you wish the Cubs could have Pedroia, Shoppach, Hansen, Bucholz, Ellsbury, Meredith, Papelbon, Lester & Youkilis over that same span. But Geo, Theriot, Hoffpauir, BPJ, MArshall & Harden + good seasons from Rich Hill and Mark Prior is pretty spiffy.

Add to that the fact that the Cubs have done a good job acquiring quality FA talent and minor league sleepers and the Cubs' any problems the Cubs have with the draft are minimized. For instance, Todd Walker for Jose Ceda gives me hope that the Cubs have a hunch about the arms they got for DeRosa. Fontenot looked like an old utilityman when the Cubs got him, but wound up an astute pickup.

My point is that the Cubs are a good team all-around at evaluating talent. They can afford to have a middle of the pack system because of their major league talent, their depth, their willingness to spend and their ability to find bargains in FA (Derosa, Marquis, Reed johnson, Edmonds).
   38. Biscuit_pants Posted: April 03, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3122931)
Sorry to see Johnson taper out. He was an acquaintance of mine in high school, and I always thought he was a very nice guy.
Cabbage did you go to LT? My brother was on the team with Grant, though I think a he was a year older.
   39. Biscuit_pants Posted: April 03, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3122932)
Sorry to see Johnson taper out. He was an acquaintance of mine in high school, and I always thought he was a very nice guy.
Cabbage did you go to LT? My brother was on the team with Grant, though I think a he was a year older.
   40. Cabbage Posted: April 04, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3124337)
Yup. Class of 2001. I wasn't on the baseball team, but I rocked the Scholastic Bowl!

I think there are a couple of LT connections here on BTF.
   41. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 05, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3124988)
Shockily, the Cubs released Gaudin and sent BPJ to AAA (doesn't say whether he'll start there or not, but I figure he will). I don't know if this a big mistake or not, but on first glance I don't like it. He's a good pitcher, but had a rough tenure here. I have no idea if keeping Guzman or Patton over him is the right move, but it's costly, so it must not have really been that close (they are eating $1.6mil and couldn't find anyone to trade for him).
   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 05, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3125022)
If I were the Brewers I would pick up Gaudin.

My one grandson is ticked off. He drafted Chad. And holds ME accounting for not telling him this might happen. Surprised me......

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