Archive for July, 2007

Breakfast on the Farm

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Spotlight on Sean Gallagher (Player Page) – Sean is a guy that has been in the Cubs system since he was drafted in the 12th round of the 2004 draft out of high school. High school players tend to develop slower than college players due to the lack of experience at a competitive level. As a result, they tend to move through the system at a slower pace and don’t usually see the Majors for at least four years. Gallagher has pitched very well through the system fairly quickly, especially for someone drafted so low. In his second year, he saw both Peoria and Daytona. 2006 saw him start in Daytona but get promoted to AA, where he continued to pitch well. This season he’s been in AA, AAA, and even seen big league action with the Cubs. He’s not ready just yet to make an impact, but if he can continue to pitch well and get the experience he needs, he could be valuable down the stretch, and have an opportunity to make the club outright out of spring training.

John Sickels had the following to say about Gallagher in his prospect book (buy the book)

It has taken the scouts some time to warm up to Sean Gallagher, but his numbers have always been good, and his reputation is starting to match the numbers. He improved his fastball from 87 – 89 MPH to 90 – 93 MPH last summer, while also improving the consistency of his slider, curve, and changeup. He will throw any of his pitches at any point in the count, and has developed a reputation for strong pitching under pressure. He made a successful transition to Double-A last year. His walk rate spiked, but his K/IP and H/IP ratios remained strong., enabling him to keep his ERA below 3.00 despite the higher walk rate. I really like Gallagher, but I would like to see the walks come back down. If I were the Cubs, I’d start him in Double-A to begin 2007, with a promotion to Triple-A on the table by June if he continues to pitch well. Look for him in the majors sometime late in 2007 or in 2008. He projects as an inning-eating starter. Grade B</blockquote

News and Notes

  • The Cubs are expected to recall Ronny Cedeno for tonight’s game and option Jake Fox. I’m not sure why Fox goes and Moore stays, considering Fox has more versatility, but that’s why they run the team. =)
  • Mike Downey weighs in on the recent death on the field (Source)
  • Get to know Eric Patterson on the Iowa Cubs homepage (View Story)
  • Kevin Goldstein weighs in on Kyler Burke, the OF picked up in the Michael Barrett trade from SD in his recent Monday Morning Ten Pack on Baseball prospectus.

    Kyler Burke, OF, Short-Season Boise (Cubs)

    Burke was the big prize of last month’s Michael Barrett trade, though the value of that prize was debatable, as San Diego’s supplemental fist-rounder from last year was hitting just .211/.305/.268 for Low A Fort Wayne at the time of the deal. Clearly not ready for a full-season league, the Cubs put the 19-year-old on their Northwest League roster, and he started his career with the organization in a 0-for-22 slump. Much like his new parent club, Burke has come alive in July, going deep on Sunday as part of a ten-game hot streak in which he’s gone 16-for-33 with five doubles and three home runs, which has raised his season averages at Boise to .283/.411/.517. Burke’s bat speed and power are both impressive, and there’s potential for him to shine in a system that’s pretty short on high-ceiling offensive prospects. (Source)

    Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa – No Game
  • AA – Tennessee 8, Carolina 7
  • High-A – Daytona 2, Palm Beach 6
  • A – Peoria 2, Fort Wayne 6
  • Short Season – Boise 15, Spokane 4
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 8, Rangers 0View the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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    Ranking The Cubs

    Monday, July 23rd, 2007

    In honor of the off day, I decided to take a look at various statistics to see how the Cubs rank.

    The Rotation

    Starting Pitcher Run Support (based on 27 outs)
    1. Jason Marquis – 5.71
    2. Ted Lilly – 5.20
    3. Carlos Zambrano – 5.15
    4. Sean Marshall – 4.08
    5. Rich Hill – 2.90

    Ground Ball Ratios
    1. Sean Marshall – 1.59
    2. Jason Marquis – 1.46
    3. Carlos Zambrano – 1.15
    4. Rich Hill – 0.91
    5. Ted Lilly – 0.80

    Pitcher per Inning
    1. Ted Lilly – 15.3
    2. Rich Hill – 15.3
    3. Sean Marshall – 15.4
    4. Jason Marquis – 15.9
    5. Carlos Zambrano – 17.0

    The Lineup

    Pitches seen per plate appearance
    1. Jason Kendall – 4.31
    2. Derrek Lee – 4.10
    3. Mark DeRosa – 4.10
    4. Daryle Ward – 4.00
    5. Mike Fontenot – 3.91

    Runs Created for every 27 outs (explanation)
    1. Daryle Ward – 8.52
    2. Derrek Lee – 8.22
    3. Mike Fontenot – 6.77
    4. Aramis Ramirez – 6.71
    5. Alfonso Soriano – 6.24

    Win Probability Added
    1. Aramis Ramirez – 3.07
    2. Derrek Lee – 1.94
    3. Mark DeRosa – 1.29
    4. Daryle Ward – 1.01
    5. Angel Pagan – 0.63

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    Breakfast on the Farm

    Monday, July 23rd, 2007

    News and Notes

  • Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday night after being struck in the head by a line drive (Source)
  • Bomb threat halts Hens-Braves game (Source)Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 8, Nashville 7
  • AA – Tennessee – No Game
  • High-A – Daytona 5, Brevard County 4
  • High-A – Daytona 0, Brevard County 5
  • A – Peoria 6, Fort Wayne 1
  • Short Season – Boise 1, Spokane 11
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 0, Mariners 6View the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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    Game 97 – Ouch

    Sunday, July 22nd, 2007


    July 22nd, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Arizona 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0   3 7 1
    Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 4 1
    W – Y. Petit (2-2)  L  - S. Marshall (4-4) S – J. Valverde (30)
    Homeruns: C. Snyder (8)

    Box Score

    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Yusmeiro Petit (40.0%)
  • Second Star – Sean Marshall (21.1%)
  • Third Star – Connor Jackson (14.7%)
  • Turd of the Game – Carlos Marmol (-17.9%)

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  • Game 97 – Open Thread

    Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Yusmeiro Petit – Petit took the loss in his last start against the Brewers, but the right-hander did not pitch poorly. He allowed three runs — two earned — on eight hits over five innings. Prior to the All-Star break, Petit threw well in a pair of starts — allowing three runs in five innings on July 8 against the Reds in a no-decision and one run in 5 1/3 innings on July 3 against the Cardinals to get the victory, Arizona’s only win in its last six games before the break.

    Sean Marshall – Marshall walked away with a no-decision in his last start, a 4-2 loss against the Giants. The lefty gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings, and left the game after the Cubs tied it 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Marshall has not won his last three starts. He has not faced the Diamondbacks this year.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Yusmeiro Petit – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

    Question of the Day

    Which of the current five in the rotation has the highest ground ball to fly ball ratio? Who has the lowest?

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    Game 96 – Photo Blogging

    Saturday, July 21st, 2007


    July 21st, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Arizona 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0   3 10 0
    Chicago 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0   2 4 2
    W – J. Cruz (4-1)  L  - B. Howry (5-5) S – J. Valverde (29)
    Homeruns: S. Drew (6)

    Box Score

    I’m going to try something a little different today. We’ve got some company coming over in about 15 minutes, so I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on some pictures that are Cubs related instead of posting a long recap of a loss. I’m disappointed, but a win tomorrow takes the series, which is all you can expect against a good team like Arizona.

  • Is this not the coolest patch you’ve ever seen on the arm of a jersey? The D & B representing Diamondback forms the head of the snake.

  • Is it just me or does this one seem like it could easily be an advertisement for Cialis or Viagra?

  • Are you beginning to get excited about seeing this guy again? He pitched another good inning for the rookie league today.

  • Am I the only one disturbed by this one?


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Stephen Drew (30.5%)
  • Second Star – Juan Cruz (23.5%)
  • Third Star – Jose Valverde (20.9%)
  • Turd of the Game – Mark Reynolds (-22.2%)

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  • Game 96 – Open Thread

    Saturday, July 21st, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Micah Owings – Owings has lost his past three starts and his past four decisions after allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings in a 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Monday night. Three of the runs came in the first inning, when Corey Hart led off with a homer, J.J. Hardy singled and Ryan Braun followed with two-run homer. Owings was able to settle down after that and allowed just one more run over the next five frames. In previous starts, Owings struggles came during his third pass through a lineup, but he did better at limiting the late damage against the Brewers.

    Rich Hill – Hill, in his first appearance since July 4, started the second half in a good way, picking up a win over the Giants on Monday night at Wrigley. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks over eight innings for his first win since June 7. The lefty was able to locate his fastball inside, throw his curve at two different speeds and mix his pitches well. He had the snap back on his curve, and that’s a good sign.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Micah Owings – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

    Question of the Day

    I’m going to throw out a question each day for you guys to discuss in the comments. Some days it may be open ended, and some days it may be true/false. Other days it may even be a trivia question. All I ask is that you don’t cheat and look it up in the event that it is a trivia question. What fun would that be? Today, we start out with a true or false question dealing with Park Factors. If you’re not sure what they are, click the link and read the short paragraph. Basically, it’s a measure of how much a park affects various hits like doubles, triples and homeruns. If a park has a measurement of exactly one, it means the park doesn’t play a role in any way. Anything below means the park hampers and above 1 means park assists.

    True / FalseWrigley Field is playing above 1 in every category except for HR?

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    Game 95 – Just What the Doctor Ordered

    Friday, July 20th, 2007


    July 20th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Arizona 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0   2 4 3
    Chicago 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 3 X   6 9 0
    W – J. Marquis (7-5)  L  - B. Webb (8-8) S – None
    Homeruns: C. Young (15) A. Ramirez (16)

    Box Score

    If you would have told me that we were guaranteed to get six innings out of Jason Marquis with just two runs allowed, I would have been thrilled out of my mind. If you would have told me it would be 7.2 innings, I’d have wet myself and watched in giddy anticipation. This was the kind of outing that Jason needed out of himself more than we needed out of him. We’re playing good ball right now and could have rebounded from a loss today. Another poor outing for Marquis may have started to mess with his confidence. This was more important for that more than anything. With this performance, it means every one of our five pitchers in the rotation have ERA’s under 4.00 and ERA+’s over 110. I can’t figure out why people want another starter via trade.

    I’m going to shock Tommy for a second here and give a tip of the cap to Mike Fontenot, despite the fact that he doesn’t make the top 3 stars of the game. He got on base three times and stole two bases, both of which yielded a key run. He was hitting in a run producing part of the lineup, and I give him credit for producing runs, even though he wasn’t the one credited with driving them in.

    I hope all those Jacque Jones haters out there are prepared to apologize. Jones has played hard and is battling back to respectability despite the boo’s, trade talk, and sporadic playing time this season. I’m glad to see him playing every day and I am excited to see him produce. He’s not a bad player, he’s just having a tough season.

    Finally, I enjoyed commenting on the comments this morning, so I’m going to try to make it a regular feature of the recaps and game threads. Hopefully that will be informative and fun for everyone.

  • Is anybody else comforted by the fact that A-Rod is probably going to break Bonds record in relatively quick time…barring injury? ~ dprob

    I’m not a big fan of the record book. I don’t follow it as much as other people, so I’m indifferent about anyone breaking it. Hank Aaron means nothing to me, so to see someone break his record doesn’t really bother me. I do like the idea of A-Rod coming to Chicago, though it will really depend on when this team gets sold. If it happens early, new ownership may be excited about making a big statement and A-Rod would be just that.

  • I think [recalling Moore] says tons about how the organization feels about Murton and Cedeno. I know the last coaching staff did not care for Cedeno, I’m guessing that has come over with this staff. ~ Matt

    I don’t think it does. Murton and Cedeno don’t play first base and Moore does. Right now, Moore better fits what the team needs. When Lee comes back, my guess would be that Cedeno will be recalled at the expense of Moore.

  • Does a middle infield of Fontenot and Theriot everyday (give or take) for the rest of the season, make anyone nervous? even a little bit? ~ Jacki

    Not at all. At some point, you have to trust your farm or else why develop your own players?


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Jacque Jones (27.8%)
  • Second Star – Aramis Ramirez (22.6%)
  • Third Star – Jason Marquis (22.1%)
  • Turd of the Game – Orlando Hudson (-12.2%)

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  • Game 95 – Open Thread

    Friday, July 20th, 2007
    ***** Breaking News *****

    The Cubs have placed Daryle Ward on the 15 day DL and recalled Scott Moore to take his place. Moore will wear # 9.

    Ryan Dempster has been activated from the DL, with Sean Gallagher being optioned to AAA Iowa

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Brandon Webb – Webb’s struggles continued on Sunday against the Padres, as he gave up four runs (three earned) on a season-high 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings, though he did tally 10 strikeouts, including two in each of the first four innings. Webb felt as if he had good stuff but still gave up at least four runs for the third straight start, all D-backs losses. The poor stretch comes after Webb went seven starts without allowing more than three earned runs. The Arizona ace’s upcoming matchup usually proves favorable, as he’s 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his career against the Cubs.

    Jason Marquis – Marquis has lost his sink. The right-hander did not get a decision in his last start against Houston, giving up six runs, eight hits and three walks over four innings. He has one win in his past 12 starts, and that was on July 1. The problem is his sinker — he’s not able to throw it for strikes, and hitters are taking advantage. Marquis has been unable to get past the fifth inning in his last two starts, and that doesn’t bode well.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Brandon Webb – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference


    Clearing Up a Few Things:

    I wanted to set the record straight on a few issues that came up in the comments yesterday. This seemed like the best place to do it. User comments are in italics.

    Q: Joe…I want to compliment you on the job you are doing each and every day. Some very interesting stuff; thanks…Also; I miss reading comments from Mark. Is he still around? ~ Big Bob

    A: Mark is no longer with the site. There were a few issues in which he disagreed with some of my decisions for the site and decided he would post late one night bashing me. Luckily, Matt caught it and called me right away. He won’t be back. He had a mixed audience, so I’m sure there will be some that will be sorry to see him go and some that will be relieved. We’re still alive and kicking harder than ever though.

    Q: Please do not rationalize the Steroid Era. The game was hijacked by greed. Steroids ruined statistics during that time. Apologists like you only facilitate future problems in baseball and society in general.
    Nice blog… poor commentary with regards to Bonds.
    ~ Seth

    A: I’m not apologizing for Bonds or anyone else. Do I think he used PED’s? Of course I do. But do I know with 100% certainty? Of course not. With that being said, I’m not going to come out and say he did. That’s why I use the word allege. As far as ruining the records, can you really put that much stock in records? I’ve never been one to get upset with the records for a number of reasons. 1) We have guys that hold the Wins record that pitched in a total different era that saw them pitching double headers. He have “all-time” save leaders that only span games since 1970. That’s a very short “all-time”. Part of the years, there were a different number of games played and a different number of teams. The game has constantly been changing, so to say this is the all-time record is just not something I enjoy that much. 2) Putting a little star next to a guy doesn’t change anything. The record would still be there, and really, how many people read what the stars mean in a book? I’m not excited about him breaking the record. I’m not going to cheer it when it happens. I probably won’t even mention it when it does, but the fact is he’s out there, and will always be out there. There is no way around it.

    Q: Look where Andre Dawson and others are, they are forgotten, their stats dwarfed by the new generation of grotesquely juiced freaks. ~ Tommy

    A: How do you know Andre Dawson never used anything? We don’t know who used and who didn’t. My guess is that you’d be surprised at who did and didn’t use. That is why I don’t ever accuse. I would have never thought Palmeiro was one, but we found out he was. You just never know.

    Q: You say that Bonds “allegedly did the stuff when it wasn’t banned.” Who cares whether or not MLB had laws about it? It was banned by the federal government. Why do you think BALCO labs was raided by the feds? I’m pretty sure that MLB doesn’t have specific laws regarding the illegality of murder, but that doesn’t mean that a first baseman who goes on a killing spree hasn’t done anything wrong. ~ Professor Y

    A: I say that for the simple reason of MLB dealing with Bonds. If MLB didn’t ban it, you can’t erase his records. As far as the federal government punishing him, have at it. MLB can’t discredit a record(s) because someone murdered someone or took PED’s. That would be setting a dangerous precedent and opening up a pandora’s box of questions as to what merits your records being erased.

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