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Cubs Newsbeat

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Jed Hoyer Speaks: Being Good Enough, Bunting, Evaluating Managers, Suzuki, Bullpen, More

Hoyer is careful not to throw David Ross under the bus, and I still get the sense that he overall believes his manager has done a good job, but it’s not hard to read between these lines (The Score):

“When you call for (bunts) and it works, everyone looks smart. When you call for bunts and it doesn’t work, everyone gets mad. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of bunting in general. But there are certainly late-game situation that it makes sense. Obviously, unfortunately, it didn’t work out (Tuesday) night ….

“I’m not going to second-guess those decisions. It’s so hard, right? Because if Seiya (Suzuki) catches that ball and we hold the lead in the ninth, no one is really talking about those things. And it gets magnified in that situation. So I don’t want to spend the time with five games left second-guessing it. But I do think in general, I’m a big fan of protecting your outs. I think that that’s the most valuable resource that an offense has. Whenever you can have that mentality of try not to give up outs – and there’s a fine line on the bases as well. Being aggressive, when it works, looks great, but when you give up outs against below-average pitching sometimes, that can really, really hurt you. So in general, that’s kind of always the philosophy I’ve had – is protect your outs. Bunting, in general, doesn’t do that.”

Some defense of Ross, and the managerial job generally (The Athletic):

“Make up a number of moves in a given game. Let’s call it like five to 10 moves in a given game. (Ross) and (bench coach) Andy (Green) are going to go through it and they’re almost all probabilistic decisions that they’re making. But some of them are going to go wrong. That’s just the nature of it. The manager in every market in baseball — other than maybe (Atlanta right now) — is going to face that when you lose close games. The nature of our team is it feels like we played so many close games that it probably magnifies it.

“People are going to ask you about your bad decisions a hundred times more than they’re going to ask you about your good decisions. That is the job. That’s probably the way I look at my job, too. I don’t think I spend a lot of time looking at the positives. I look at what you can do better and try to keep learning.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 28, 2023 at 12:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david ross, jed hoyer

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki commits brutal error as Chicago blows six-run lead in crucial loss vs. Braves

The Milwaukee Brewers clinched the National League Central on Tuesday night, albeit not because they were able to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Rather, the Brewers clinched the division crown after the Chicago Cubs blew a six-run lead against the Atlanta Braves in painful fashion.

The Cubs’ meltdown was capped by an error committed on a routine fly ball by outfielder Seiya Suzuki. It allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the eighth and turned a one-run Chicago lead into a one-run deficit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2023 at 03:14 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, September 11, 2023

Cubs calling up top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, sources say

The Chicago Cubs are calling up their top prospect, outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, sources told ESPN.

Crow-Armstrong, 21, is ranked 15th in ESPN prospect guru Kiley McDaniel’s latest top 50 prospects. He compiled an .876 OPS split between Double-A and Triple-A this year, including 20 home runs and 37 stolen bases. He’s considered one of the best defensive center fielders in the minor leagues and will likely get a chance this week to roam spacious Coors Field, where the Cubs play a three-game series against the Rockies.

The son of the actress that played the mom in “Little Big League” is now a big leaguer.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2023 at 10:57 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pete crow-armstrong

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Cubs’ Ross rips umpire, decision to close roof in Milwaukee

In the sixth, with the Cubs leading 4-1, Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich singled with one out and stole second. William Contreras hit a squibber in front of the plate for what was ruled an infield single, with Yelich scoring on an errant throw that skipped into right field. The play led to a heated argument between Ross and Bacchus over whether Contreras got in the way of the throw to first from catcher Miguel Amaya.

Ross’ displeasure didn’t end there. He also questioned why the Brewers closed the retractable roof at American Family Field on a mostly sunny afternoon.

“They were closing the roof to get rid of the shadows late,” Ross said. “It was really frustrating.”

When asked if it was permissible for the Brewers to close the roof without a weather-related issue, Ross responded with a profanity-laced answer.

“There were so many things today that I thought weren’t good,” he said. “I’ve got terrible language today. I apologize.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 05, 2023 at 09:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs

Friday, June 23, 2023

Ricketts: Cubs Are “Buyers Right Now”

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts made an appearance at a fan event in London yesterday, ahead of the club’s matchup against the Cardinals as part of the London Series, and was asked whether the club would be buyers or sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. “Obviously we’re buyers right now,” Ricketts said, per Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune. “Things can come off the rails, but I don’t think they will. I think what we have is a core that can compete for the division and compete for the playoffs and now it’s finding the missing parts to add to it.”

It’s been pointed out by many observers that this year’s trade deadline could potentially have a different alignment than many in years’ past. Due to the expanded postseason and weak Central divisions, very few clubs can be firmly categorized as true sellers and situations can change quickly. As of just two weeks ago, the Cubs were 26-36 and 7.5 games back of of the Brewers while the Reds were 29-34 and five games back. Both clubs have been on hot streaks since then and flipped the script. The Reds are now 40-35 and atop the division, putting them into the buyers camp. The Cubs are 36-38 and just 3.5 games behind and now seem to be thinking of buying as well.

As of just a few weeks ago, there was much speculation about the Cubs potentially trading away rental players like Cody Bellinger or Marcus Stroman, the latter of whom having one year remaining on his contract but the ability to opt out this fall. Putting those names on the market could have put the Cubs in position to reap huge prospect returns but their recent string of victories could now take those names off the table.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2023 at 05:58 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Marcus Stroman tweets that Cubs aren’t interested in exploring extension now

Just hours after turning in another ace-level performance for a Cubs team well outside of the playoff picture, Marcus Stroman himself has contributed to the growing rumors surrounding his future on the North Side.

Replying to a tweet that recapped Stroman’s Cy Young-level start to 2023, the pitcher shed some light on how talks between him and the Cubs have proceeded during the first few months to the season.

Stroman continues to make it clear that he loves being in Chicago and could see himself with the team long-term, and if what Stroman says is correct, it is head-scratching as to why the Cubs would not explore options at locking down one of the game’s premier pitchers.

While Stroman is likely to command one of the most significant hauls of this year’s trade deadline if he is moved, the Cubs also stand to gain long-term value by pursuing an extension and selling off other trade chips, a strategy that could be amplified with the return of a healthy Cody Bellinger.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 11, 2023 at 02:10 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, marcus stroman

Friday, June 09, 2023

Fourth-place Cubs, with NL Central up for grabs, are blowing their shot; is Jed Hoyer to blame?

Entering Friday, the Brewers hold down first place at 34-29. That’s an 87-win pace and if they keep it up, they’ll surely win this lackluster division. Given their bad offense and rotation injuries, the door to first place was left wide open, but no one else wanted to take it. The Pirates and Reds have had their bright spots, but neither entered the season planning on competing for first. The Cardinals did, but they head into Friday worse than the Cubs.

More succinctly: The Cubs could be in the first place right now with proper performance from the front office on down through the players. Organizationally, to be in the position they are, at a low-water mark of 10 games under .500 (26-36), instead of at least contending in this division seems, again, embarrassing.

Hoyer has been with the club since he joined in October 2011, serving as Theo Epstein’s right-hand man until taking over as the president of baseball operations in November 2020. They built the team that would win the World Series.

With Hoyer in the top job, the Cubs have undergone a facelift. Difficult decisions needed to be made. The World Series core wasn’t getting it done any longer, so there were defensible moves made in moving the club past reliving those glory years.

In looking to reload instead of rebuild, Hoyer specifically said this effort “is not going to be a 2012, ‘13 situation in any way” (via NBC Sports Chicago).


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 09, 2023 at 06:14 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cubs president Jed Hoyer on bullpen construction: ‘I’ve put Rossy in a tough spot’

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has given his vote of confidence to manager David Ross whenever asked this season. On Tuesday, Hoyer took it a step further.

Fans have voiced plenty of frustration with Ross this season, but the most consistent complaints have revolved around bullpen management.

“I’ve put Rossy in a tough spot to a certain extent,” Hoyer said.

When Hoyer and his front office went about supplementing the bullpen this offseason, they followed a similar script to recent years. Going into 2021 and 2022, the Cubs signed veteran relievers Andrew Chafin, Ryan Tepera, Chris Martin, Mychal Givens and David Robertson, then traded them.

“We’ve, candidly, done a really good job of finding relievers that could come in and throw high-leverage innings at a relatively low cost on one-year deals,” Hoyer said. “And we’ve been building bullpens that way for a while. And this year, that hasn’t worked yet.

“And that’s on me.”

The Cubs brought in Michael Fulmer and Brad Boxberger as their veteran relievers on one-year deals. But Fulmer has had an up-and-down season and ran into some bad luck. Boxberger is on the 15-day injured list with a strained right forearm. Ross has adjusted his strategy accordingly with mixed results. Entering Tuesday, the Cubs bullpen’s 4.50 ERA ranked 24th in the majors.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Friday, May 19, 2023

Eric Hosmer DFA: Cubs designate veteran first baseman for assignment after offensive struggles all season

Hosmer is owed the balance of his $13 million salary this season plus another $26 million from 2024-25. The San Diego Padres are paying just about all of that, however. The Boston Red Sox, who acquired Hosmer at last summer’s trade deadline and released him over the winter, owe him the league minimum from 2023-25. The Cubs only owe Hosmer the league minimum in 2023.

Once Hosmer clears waivers and is released, any team could sign him for the prorated league minimum. He does offer leadership skills and championship pedigree (including a World Series ring with the Royals, a Silver Slugger and four Gold Gloves), though Hosmer has been an average at best hitter for five years now. He may not draw much interest until another team suffers an injury and has a need at first base.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2023 at 05:49 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, eric hosmer

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

How this one-time MVP found new life in Chicago

Six weeks into the season, the deal has paid off and then some. Bellinger is hitting .288/.360/.530, good for an OPS+ of 141 that makes him 41% above league average as a hitter. His April was so good that it was his best month in four years. Throw in the defense that’s been as advertised, and he rates as one of baseball’s dozen most valuable position players, at least so far as FanGraphs is concerned.

So he’s “back,” right? Well, no—not in the way you think. This version of Bellinger is a quality player, but one that in many ways hardly resembles the ascendant superstar who won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 and the NL MVP Award in 2019. As he nears his 28th birthday this summer, we’re seeing yet another of the seemingly endless iterations of Bellinger. Will this one last?


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, cubs

Thursday, May 04, 2023

Cubs calling up Mervis to boost offense

The Cubs’ offense went cold over its recent road trip through Miami and D.C. But reinforcements are on the way.

The team is planning to promote top first base prospect Matt Mervis, a source told’s Mark Feinsand on Thursday. The club has not confirmed the news, which surfaced during its series finale against the Nationals in the nation’s capital.

The 25-year-old Mervis emerged as one of the game’s best power prospects in 2022, when he cranked 36 home runs across three levels and led the Minors in extra-base hits, total bases and RBIs. He was also off to a strong start this year with Triple-A Iowa, hitting .286/.402/.560 with six homers and 27 RBIs in 24 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2023 at 03:40 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, matt mervis

Saturday, April 29, 2023

On Lee Elia: 40 thoughts on the 40th effin’ anniversary of baseball’s best rant [$]

The Athletic sub required.

There are slightly varying accounts of who exactly was present at the start of the scrum, but let’s go with the version recalled this week by Don Friske, formerly of the Daily Herald. According to Friske, he was one of three writers standing around Elia’s desk, along with Bierig and Robert Markus of the Chicago Tribune. The manager stood behind his desk and gave mundane answers. “He was calm and everything else,” Friske said. “He was talking about the game and the fans being upset. We’ll be good, we’ll be fine.”

Things changed, Friske said, when a fourth reporter joined a few moments later, this one holding a clunky recording device. “And then he saw the microphone,” Friske said of Elia, “and he just lost it.”

“We’re mired now in a little bit of difficulty,” Elia said matter-of-factly. But it wouldn’t be long until Elia’s flirtation with understatement would give way to nearly four minutes of potty-mouthed pyrotechnics.

6. Elia quickly turned his focus to the denizens of Wrigley Field. It didn’t seem to matter that the Cubs were only three weeks into the new season. The manager had seen enough.

“We’ve got all these so-called f——’ fans who come out here and say they’re Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you, rippin’ every f——’ thing you do,” Elia said. “I’ll tell you one f—— thing: I hope we f—— get hotter than #### just to stuff it up them 3,000 f—— people that show up every f—— day. Because if they’re the real Chicago f—— fans, they can kiss my f—— ass right downtown and PRINT IT!”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2023 at 10:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, lee elia

Friday, April 21, 2023

Drew Smyly loses perfect game on infield collision in Cubs win

Drew Smyly and Yan Gomes tumbled to the grass under a sunny sky at a picturesque Wrigley Field. Reclining on his side for one brief moment, Smyly grinned.

It was over, but it was a really fun afternoon for the Chicago Cubs.

Smyly lost his bid for a perfect game when he collided with his catcher while trying to field an eighth-inning dribbler that went for an infield single in a 13-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

“That’s a tough way to end it,” Smyly said. “You feel like you’re really close.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2023 at 08:03 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, drew smyly

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Sources: Cubs, OF Ian Happ agree on 3-year, $61M extension

The Chicago Cubs are in agreement with outfielder Ian Happ on a 3-year, $61 million extension, sources tell ESPN.

The deal includes a full no-trade clause.

Happ, 28, was set to become a free agent after the 2023 season but will remain in Chicago through at least 2026 as his new contract begins next year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 12, 2023 at 02:23 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ian happ

Friday, December 11, 2015


Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein


Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.


Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cubs installing 70-foot digital scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Pitch count of 3,665?  Dusty is back??

From’s Jake Flannigan comes the below mockup of a 70-foot LED scoreboard that will be installed in right field at baseball’s second-oldest stadium. Construction will be completed this spring.

Above the new scoreboard you’ll see something called the “Budweiser Patio.” It will contain 150 all-inclusive seats (not bleachers), and is also going in before the start of the season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cubs Agree To Contract With Kerry Wood

Wood: “I Feel Like Playing”

The Cubs and veteran reliever Kerry Wood have agreed to a one-year contract that also includes an option for 2013.  The contract will pay Wood $3MM next season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MLB: Cubs front office calls on Bloomberg Sports

I knew he’d miss Bill James…

The Cubs are using every potential avenue to improve their club. Chicago announced Thursday that it will partner with Bloomberg Sports—a company already allied with for fantasy baseball—to design a new player evaluation system for the team’s baseball operations department.

The player evaluation system is expected to combine video with an extensive database on all professional players, and it will also include customized technology to assist the evaluation process. The Cubs will be able to access their system via laptop and will have mobile capability, and the two sides will begin development and implementation of the program immediately.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in analytics and information management,” said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. “The management and analysis of data—whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video—is a critical component of our operation.

“We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cubs sign Paul Maholm, reports Paul Maholm

It’s otherwise unconfirmed, but it seems like you should only need the one source when it’s actually the guy himself.

Just wanna say thank u to everyone that has cheered for me during my career as a Pirate. I loved my last six plus years in the city.

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:44 AM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates

Friday, January 06, 2012

Cubs acquire Rizzo in trade with Padres

Theo: You’re looking good, Riz.
Rizzo: Eat your heart out.
Theo: And sloppy seconds are my style!

The Cubs acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates from the Padres on Friday, sending right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to San Diego.

The 22-year-old Rizzo batted .331 with a 1.056 OPS, 34 doubles, 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Tucson last year… Rated the top first-base prospect in the league by, Rizzo struggled during his brief time in the Majors last season batting .141 with one home run and nine RBIs in 49 games…

Cates, 22… made his professional debut last year, posting a 4-10 record and 4.73 ERA in 118 innings over 25 starts for Class A Fort Wayne. He struck out nearly a batter an inning and allowed only four home runs on the year.

Cashner, 25, went 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 60 big league appearances with the Cubs, including one start, over the last two years….he was limited to just seven outings in the Majors last season due to a right shoulder strain.

Na, 20, hit .268 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs in 83 games between four different teams in the Cubs’ Minor League system last year.

The District Attorney Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, padres

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Robothal: Big Z Headed to Miami

What could possibly go wrong?

The Marlins, seeking to make another offseason splash, are close to acquiring Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano, according to major-league sources.
Zambrano is owed $18 million in the final year of his contract. The Cubs likely will pay most of that sum to purge Big Z, whom they placed on the restricted list in 2010 and disqualified list in ’11 due to issues with his temperament.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, miami

Monday, January 02, 2012

hardball talk: Dodgers’ Ethier high on Theo’s wish list

The Cubs are looking for another outfielder long-term and a guy like Andre Ethier could be a good fit.

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says Ethier is high on Theo Epstein’s wish list and the Dodgers may not have enough funds to keep him around when his contract expires after 2012 now that they gave Matt Kemp a huge payday and have a contract extension for Clayton Kershaw looming.

But, the former second round pick is still superb at getting on base, with a career .364 OBP, thanks in part to a .291 career AVG. He won’t turn 30 until the 2012 season’s second week, so there are still several years left of his prime.

If Epstoyer can make a deal for Ethier in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made that move. But that might be hard to do. What do the Cubs have that the Dodgers want? Not much in the way of young talent to trade.

But if Ethier hits free agency this fall (man, feels weird to say that now that it’s 2012), expect Epstoyer to go hard after him.

The Cubs already have David DeJesus for the next two seasons (with an option for a third year) and Brett Jackson quickly ascending through the system, but if Theo and Jed Hoyer are somehow able to deal Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd, Ethier could be a great fit. He could play right and push DeJesus to left.

A starting outfield of DeJesus, Jackson and Ethier in 2013 would be mighty nice.

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, rumors

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