Archive for May, 2008

Daily Roundup – 5/21

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Sean Gallagher picked up his first big league win and decision in his second start, beating Pittsburgh, 7-4. The right-hander, who is the fifth youngest to start for the Cubs in the last 10 years, gave up one run on four hits and three walks over six innings. He benefited by the Cubs opening a 6-0 lead after two innings. He threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 24 batters he faced, which is a good ratio.

Shawn Chacon set the Major League record for most consecutive starts without a decision to start the season with his ninth in his last outing, but he needed help from the offense to get it. In his worst start of the season Chacon was raked for eight runs (five earned) on six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings against the Rangers. The right-hander said he didn’t have good command of any of his pitches and that lack of control cost him dearly as he allowed a pair of homers to Josh Hamilton.

  • His mid-90′s heat mixed with a slider and change-up help him be particularly tough on right-handed hitters. Shows some pretty good poise with runners on.
  • Has to watch his tendency to leave the ball up in the zone because he gets hammered when the ball hangs. Can get very wild and lose his focus.
  • A back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever.
  • 0-0, 6.75 in last 9.1IP
All Scouting Info taken from MLB.com and TSN.ca

News & Notes

    Romeo Must Die release

  • Luis Bautista hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Casey McGehee hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Koyie Hill hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Jeff Samardzija allowed 6 runs in 5 innings pitched
  • Nate Spears hit 2 doubles
  • Randy Wells allowed one run in 5 innings pitched
  • Felix Pie was 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Eric Patterson was 2-for-4 with a double


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Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Won vs. Omaha (8-2)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Lost vs. Mississippi (4-8)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – Lost vs. Clearwater (3-9)

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs Quad Cities (10-6)

(SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

(RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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Daily Roundup – 5/20

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
Webtopia
  • Tony Thomas adjusting to Florida State League – (Source)
  • IMDB review the new Indiana Jones movie – (Source)
  • Rich Hill has been DL’d in Iowa – (Source)
  • Chad Fox sent to DL (please let his career with the Cubs be over) and Jose Ascanio recalled. (Source)
  • Jake Peavy headed to the shelf – (Source)
Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Ryan Dempster struck out a career-high 12 batters in his last outing against the Padres, and nearly posted a complete-game shutout. It’s the first time he’s pitched in the ninth inning since his days as a closer at the end of last season. The right-hander gave up six hits over 8 1/3 innings in his longest outing of the season. The Cubs now are 7-2 when Dempster starts.

Chris Sampson struggled in his last outing against the Giants on May 15, yielding seven runs — five earned — on 10 hits over six innings. It was a step back from his previous start, when he induced nine ground-ball outs over seven shutout frames against the Dodgers. Sampson faced the Cubs in his first start of the season on April 4 at Wrigley Field, taking a no-decision after allowing two runs over six frames.

  • The former shortstop shows tremendous command over a deep arsenal that includes a sinker, slider, splitter, curveball and change-up.
  • Given his relatively mediocre fastball, he needs to maintain that command throughout the game or else he gets hit hard.
  • A back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever.
  • 1-0, 3.46 in last 13IP
All Scouting Info taken from MLB.com and TSN.ca

News & Notes

  • Blake Lalli hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Jake Fox hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Andres Torres hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Kevin Hart struck out 6 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 5.0 innings pitched yesterday
  • Matt Murton was 2-for-3 with a home run

Got a player you’d like to see added to the player tracker? Drop us a line in the comments

Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Won vs. Omaha (5-4)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Lost vs. Montgomery (5-11)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – Lost vs. Clearwater (3-4)

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Lost to Quad Cities (0-6)

(SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

(RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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The Pitch – Week 8

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Carlos Delgado’s would-be home run in the Yankees-Mets weekend finale sparked an old favorite discussion on the show: Is there room and a need for instant replay in MLB? The debate touches on ideas for implementation, broadcasters, fans and guilt trips for umpires.

Hosts Joe Aiello and Brandon Rosage digress into big league play-by-play commentator reviews and the age-old interleague play argument. But the fun starts when film producer John Fitzgerald joins the show for an interview.

Fitzgerald is the producer, director and editor of the television series “Playing for Peanuts”, an episodic adventure through minor league baseball.

The show uses reality TV and documentary techniques to follow the South Georgia Peanuts in their inaugural season. The Peanuts, managed by former Major League second baseman Wally Backman, are made up of a mix of rookies and veterans, all hoping to get back into affiliated minor league baseball.

The program adds in a review of its weekly “Pick-Off” game, a DVD giveaway and more news and notes from the past weekend in Major League Baseball.

Download the MP3 

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Jim “Willie Mays” Edmonds

Monday, May 19th, 2008

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  • Heck of a 2nd at bat for Aramis. He saw 11 pitches. After battling with 6 straight foul balls, he finally worked a 3-2 count and singled. That’s the way to deflate a pitcher. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the next four hitters got to Moehler. Fukudome came up next and drew a walk after seeing a good amount of pitches and Geo came up next with an odd inside the park home run that I thought should have been called a regular home run. I talk about it all the time, much to Matt’s chagrin, but it’s important. Taking pitches, regardless of the overall result of the at bat, is beneficial to the overall team goals of getting into the bullpen early and shaking up the pitcher’s psyche. Call me an idiot, but I’m not budging on this. I want my guys to see pitches. If you go up there, and get an at bat with some good foul balls, work the count, and go down swinging, I’m gonna pat you on the butt and say “good job”.
  • Miguel Tejada stole third base completely on Lilly in the 4th. He probably could have stole it running backwards because Lilly never looked at him once. He’s got to get better at holding guys on. Something like that is unacceptable. I understand if you don’t have a good move to first, but at least look at the guy.
  • Soriano was completely frozen in the 4th on the ball hit by Carlos Lee. He probably could have made the catch, preventing the run had he read that ball off the bat well.
  • Any doubts as to whether Jim Edmonds could still go get the ball in CF was answered tonight on a deep fly ball off the bat of Pence in the 4th. If MLB wasn’t so anal about video copyright, you could probably find it on YouTube. Instead, you have to catch Baseball Tonight or hope it’s on the video highlights they provide on the Cubs homepage. If you didn’t see it, think Willie Mays.
  • I’m going on record right now and saying that Carlos Lee will charge the mound sometime this season. He took two pitches high and inside tonight and could have been hit in the head by either one.
  • I really wanted Wuertz to take care of business in the 8th so we didn’t have to use Marmol. It’s getting to the point where Lou uses him way too much and it’s eventually going to reap consequences in some form. Let’s just hope that those are not in the form of an injury. We really could use one more arm out of that pen in the late innings to step up for Lou to rely on in the setup role to begin to protect Marmol’s arm. Howry came in and pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning. It would be great if he can be that guy.
  • If you were watching the game live on ESPN, you had the “privilege” of seeing Jon Lester complete a No-Hitter for the Red Sox. I’ll be honest with you. I could care less if I see the last three outs on a no-hitter. Don’t interrupt the game I’m watching to go full screen on another game. At least have the decency to put a picture in picture for those losers like me that actually keep score at home and watch the game from behind on DVR. I had to stop scoring and just watch the rest of the game without the scorecard. Maybe I’m just being a grump, but I just hate when my game is interrupted without giving me a chance to at least switch to a different channel.
  • I went back to tabulate the recap records by writer this year. With tonights win, I’m now 20-9 in games I write about. The rest of the crew looks like this – Rob (2-4), Dan (3-2), Trent (1-0), Scott (1-0), and reader Pepi (0-1) in what, I guess, can be counted as a recap of our trip to DC. There were two games that fell through the cracks and didn’t get recapped.
  • Alfonso Soriano was named the N.L. Player of the Week and hit .525 (21-for-40) during the 10-game homestand to lift his average 108 points, from .188 on May 8 to .296 entering tonights game.
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Daily Roundup – 5/19

Monday, May 19th, 2008
Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Ted Lilly has reached double-digit strikeouts in back to back games for the first time in his career. On May 9, he fanned 10 Diamondbacks, and in his last start, he struck out 11 Padres. The lefty picked up wins in both games, and is now 3-0 in May. Against San Diego, Lilly gave up four runs on six hits over six innings. All the K’s don’t make him a power pitcher, though. Lilly still has to work on his breaking pitches, but he has been able to find one that works effectively in his last two starts.

Wandy Rodriguez will have to complete a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the Astros’ rotation, so Moehler will receive his third consecutive start in place of the left-hander. Moehler took a no-decision after allowing three runs over five innings against the Giants on May 14.

  • When he’s on, he keeps his good fastball low in the zone and induces ground balls, while setting the heat up with a solid change and good breaking stuff.
  • Command can be a problem at times. Must work on his approach with runners on, as well as his endurance beyond the sixth inning.
  • A quality mid-rotation starter.
All Scouting Info taken from MLB.com and TSN.ca

News & Notes

  • Randy Keisler struck out 9 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 7.0 innings pitched
  • Luis Bautista hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Jonathan Mota was 3-for-5
  • Yusuf Carter hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Matt Murton was 3-for-3 with a tripleTracked Player Results

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    Organizational Roundup Spread dvd

    (AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Lost vs. Round Rock (1-9)

    (AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Won vs. Montgomery (2-3)

    (High A) – Daytona Cubs – Won vs. Clearwater (7-5)

    (A) – Peoria Chiefs – Lost to Beloit (4-5)

    (SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

    (RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

    View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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    Bring Me the Head of Jason Marquis

    Sunday, May 18th, 2008


    (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


    Jason Marquis – I’m going on record right now and calling for Marquis’ head on a platter. His time in the rotation is finished. Last year, he was brilliant in the beginning of the year and made the signing look like a bargain. Of course we all know that the season went south from there and Marquis was eventually left off the playoff roster. It’s not the first time that’s happened in his career either. Did you know that every year Marquis has been in the majors, his team has made the playoffs? He got his start in Atlanta in 2000, when they were in the midst of their long run of division titles. In 2004 he went to St. Louis and the Cardinals won the division all three years he was there. Last year, after coming to the Cubs, he found his team in the playoffs yet again. Eight seasons in the majors and yet Marquis has only been on a playoff roster in three of them. That’s a pretty glaring stat.

    This year Marquis is not even off to his hot start, and has an ERA over 5. If he was the only option for this team in the rotation, then obviously you need to stay with him, but the Cubs have plenty of options in that spot. With Jon Lieber, Sean Marshall and Rich Hill all capable of pitching in the bigs, it’s getting to the point where Marquis time in Chicago needs to come to an end and the spot needs to be filled with someone who can get the job done.

    The numbers support the case. Marquis has seen his control take a hit, as evidenced by today’s wildness on the mound in the early part of the start. His BB/9 has increased over the past few years. He’s giving up more hits as well. Increasing the walks and hits, logically, can only increase the runs given up. That can only be a bad thing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the intangibles that Marquis brings to the mound. He fields his position extremely well and handles the bat with the best of them. Unfortunately, those are just a small portion of the game for a pitcher. The main portion, the pitching, he’s just not that good at. Don’t let today’s win fool you. Marquis’ days need to be numbered.

    Micah Hoffpauir – Before everyone gets all jacked up about his selection from AAA, I want to make you aware of a few things. First, Hoffpauir is a bench player, plain and simple. Second, he is not and never will be a starting position player in the majors. That being said, I think he can get the job done in Ward’s absence, but I look forward to Ward returning to full strength. I think the most important thing for Daryle is to rest and make sure he’s 100% before he comes back. Hoffpauir can fill in and do the job well enough until then.

    • Micah Hoffpauir is the 14th homegrown player to appear for the Cubs this season
    • Soriano had 5 hits in a game yesterday for the second time in his career as a Cub. The leaders since 1956 are Billy Williams and Don Kessinger, who both did that four times in their Cub career. For Kessinger, one of his was a six hit day.
    • Yesterday was just the second time this year that the Cubs scored 4+ and lost.
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    A Pair of Mini Book Reviews

    Sunday, May 18th, 2008

    I’ve been procrastinating a bit on writing reviews of things that have been sent to me over the past few months, so I suppose it’s time I mention a few of them. Today I’ll focus on a pair of books sent my way, both very different from each other.

    The Comeback Season – Jennifer E. Smith

    I admit, when Jennifer sent me this book, it was my first trip into the sports fiction realm and I was a big nervous. She described the book as being a young adult novel based around the Cubs and Wrigley field. That aspect intrigued me and I decided to give it a whirl.

    The book takes place during the 2008 season and follows the life of Ryan Walsh, a Freshman girl trying to survive high school. She deals with the typical things that kids go through and struggles to deal with a life that seems to be moving faster than she would like. Ryan wrestles with how to deal with social inadequacies as well as the death of her father and remarriage of her mother, not to mention lifelong hardship experienced by all Cub fans.

    Ryan meets a kindred spirit, Nick, who is new to the school and what follows is a wonderfully told story of teenage love, not just for each other, but for the team they have in common.

    I know I’m making the book sound incredibly gay, but I promise, the book was worth my time and worth a try on your part as well. Give it a look and you’ll be glad you did.

    Buy it now on Amazon.com


    Hammerin’ Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey Kid – John Rosengren

    This one didn’t wow me, but I want to make it clear that it was my fault that it didn’t. When I told the author I would review it, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I tend to shy away from biographies or baseball history books. I know they’re usually really good, but I just can’t get into them. This was one of those types.

    The book recounts the season of 1973, one of the most interesting in baseball. The game was recovering from the first strike in history and the attendance in the American League began to flounder. The Yankees were near the bottom and about to start the resurgence thanks to George Steinbrenner.

    Rosengren paints a great picture of the season and lets you get inside the personalities of guys like Reggie Jackson, an aging Willie Mays and Hammerin Hank Aaron as he pursued the record held by the Babe. The book reminded me a lot of the ESPN mini series about the Yankees, so if you enjoyed that, you’ll probably love this book. It’s an easy read and a good read, but just not my style of book.

    Buy it now on Amazon.com

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    Daryle Ward to DL & Micah Hoffpauir Recalled

    Sunday, May 18th, 2008

    CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today placed infielder Daryle Ward on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 14) with a bulging disc in his lower back and selected the contract of infielder Micah Hoffpauir from Triple-A Iowa.

    Hoffpauir, who joins his first major league roster, will wear uniform No. 6 and be available for this afternoon’s game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

    When he makes his major league debut, Hoffpaiur will become the 14th “home-grown” player to appear for the Cubs this season.

    The 28-year-old Hoffpauir is in his seventh professional season after being selected by the Cubs in the 13th round of the 2002 Draft. Hoffpauir batted .324 (11-for-34) with three home runs, 12 RBI and a .676 slugging percentage in nine games for Iowa this season after missing the first month with a strained left oblique.

    Hoffpauir last season batted a career-best .319 (99-for-310) with 24 doubles, 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 82 games with Iowa to earn Pacific Coast League All-Star honors before a right-knee injury ended his campaign in early July.

    In 613 career minor league contests, Hoffpauir has batted .281 (615-for-2,190) with 74 home runs and 379 RBI.

    Ward is batting .200 (5-for-25) with one home run, six RBI and a .412 on-base percentage in 30 games with the Cubs this season, including 23 pinch-hit appearances.

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    Daily Roundup – 5/18

    Sunday, May 18th, 2008
    Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers Peaceful Warrior movie full

    Phil Dumatrait – In his third start since joining the rotation, Dumatrait looked the strongest as he has all season. He extended himself out to 88 pitches and did it without tiring, which was a problem in his previous start. Using a newly invented changeup to complement his other pitches, Dumatrait limited the St. Louis damage to just a three-run homer in six innings of work. He continues to pitch with a confidence and poise that was not there a year ago.

    • Is a typical crafty lefty, with pretty good command of his pitches and an understanding of how to pitch in tight spots.
    • May not have enough of an arsenal to pitch every five days at the big-league level. Must always be pinpoint with his control.
    • A back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever.

    Jason Marquis had one bad inning in his last start against the Padres. The right-hander gave up four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings in the loss, his third in a row. He blew a 3-0 lead, and among the hits he served up was a three-run homer to Khalil Greene. Marquis has been stronger in the first half than the second, so his struggles are tough to understand. He needs to get back on track.

    All Scouting Info taken from MLB.com and TSN.ca

    News & Notes

    • Josh Donaldson (A Peoria) was 2-for-5 with a double
    • Sean Marshall (AAA Iowa) did not allow a run in 5 innings pitched
    • Eric Patterson (AAA Iowa) was 3-for-5 with a double

    Got a player you’d like to see added to the player tracker? Drop us a line in the comments

    Organizational Roundup

    (AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Lost vs. Round Rock (1-7)

    (AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Lost vs. Montgomery (1-2)

    (High A) – Daytona Cubs – Won vs. St. Lucie (8-4 in 10 inn.)

    (A) – Peoria Chiefs – Lost to Beloit (8-9)

    (SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

    (RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

    View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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