Archive for April, 2009

GirlieView (04/30/2009)

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

GirlieView is a day early this week, but with good reason. Guess where this girlie will be tomorrow. Go ahead, guess! Yay! I’ll be at Wrigley in the Dugout Box seats row A in honor of the day of my birth. With any luck part 2 of my birthday present (part 1 being the tickets themselves) will be a Cubs win. I’m a photo junky so I’ll post some during the week.

Meantime, let’s talk about this past week. Feast or famine, huh? Either the Cubs were winning big and looking great, or losing badly and looking like they forgot to show up. I gauge how the week went overall by how much I’m looking forward to recapping it. This week, not so much. But I try hard to see the good in everything, so let’s give this a go!

Fri 24/Sat 25/Sun 26

Death Race movies

– Neither feast nor famine Friday in St. Louis, but this tough one run loss was made worse by the injuries to Ramirez and Marmol. This also was the first of a two-day-Lou-experiment with Soriano batting third. He looked awful and I’m happy to have him back in the leadoff spot. I’m not saying he’s a classic leadoff hitter and I’m the very very very last person to cater to anyone’s ego but if he isn’t happy in the other positions he’s not going to do well so if he keeps hitting I’ll live with it. I like talking lineups, in fact it’s one of my favorite topics of discussion, but there’s not much to talk about here. He’s won the spot for whatever reason, and I think he’ll be staying. Saturday, yuck. Famine. 7-2 and not in our favor, with Patton giving up the grand slam to Pujols and taking us out of the game. Sunday, FEAST! Cubs came out scoring and just kept going. 10-3 Chicago. Derrek Lee had neck spasms and had to come out of the game before he even had a chance to play defensively, making an already tentative situation worse. At least we won. Soriano was back to leading off.

Mon 27/Tue 28/Wed 29 – I thought with Soriano’s leadoff home run maybe the run of good luck would hold over from Sunday but no go. Haren pitched a great (full) game and we’re back to famine again. And I think they even looked a little worse than the 7-2 score implies. Bad fielding, bad bullpen, Soto is having a rough time (difficult for me to admit considering he is my favorite Cub) … just a hard game to watch overall. So, I went to bed. Tuesday’s a new day! And it was. Feast! Chicago 11, Arizona 3. This is the kind of game I like to watch. Alas, I fell asleep. I’m a morning person at heart. But I enjoyed reading about it the next day! Wednesday. Famine. Hard to watch, hard to discuss. Very disappointing. What needs done? Anything? Or do we wait it out and see how things progress?

Thurs 30 – Well, I’m writing this before tonight’s game so I can’t say what tonight will bring. It’s a crappy weather day here in Chicagoland though at this point it seems the game should get in. I hope for a strong first game to welcome the Marlins to Chicago but I’d be even happier with a strong game tomorrow (See Paragraph 1).

Even though there were a few feasts in there, the whole week left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I’m not worried, it’s a long year, but I also haven’t found it very enjoyable to watch either. 10-10 record (before Thursday’s game), second to last in the NL Central, injuries all around, bad bullpen, questionable defense … this is not a good time by anyone’s standards. Today (or tomorrow, see Paragraph 1) would be an excellent time to turn things around. I am an optimist at heart, but I’m having a hard time seeing the path out of this mess. I do believe there is one, though!

Some other stuff – I found this week’s chemistry discussion to be really interesting. The “feast or famine” theme played out here as well. Seems folks either think chemistry means a whole lot, or not much at all. I didn’t see a lot of middle ground, yet I think there is some. If chemistry meant nothing, then teams full of great players should never lose, even if they all hate each other. If chemistry meant everything then, heck, I ought to be on the Cubs just by virtue of being a delightful dinner companion. I have a fantastic group of friends with great chemistry among us and I can assure you we are collectively good at almost nothing. So I think there’s merit to both sides. Haven’t you ever worked with a problem employee who brought down the morale of the entire department? It sucks, doesn’t it? Then when s/he leaves all of a sudden it’s better … people aren’t calling in sick anymore, productivity is up, etc. No, I don’t have any hard and fast stats on it. And no, chemistry is not going to turn a bunch of slackers into an award winning department or baseball team. But I think it can turn multiple individual bits of talent into a greater whole.

One last thought – I read with great glee Joe’s post about commenting etiquette, particularly the final paragraph. Because even though I’m a delightful dinner companion with a positive and optimistic attitude who tries to see the good in everything and not intentionally insult anyone, I have a nickname among my previously-referenced group of friends. Longshoreman Lizzie. I swear like a sailor. Though I have absolutely no intention of airing out here, I’m happy to know if I slip it will be ok. Thanks Joe!! :-)

Beyond the Sea divx

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When do we see changes?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

It’s early is the season, I’ll admit that now, but at what point do we see changes? How long do we wait before we begin to say we’re worried that there are holes that need to be addressed? When is the proper time to begin retooling in areas that are weakening our team?

The way I see it right now, the following changes need to be made.

  1. The Bullpen – Not a day goes by that this pen doesn’t give up a run. Today it was our “best” reliever who couldn’t find the strike zone if it bit him in the crotch. Unfortunately, is there really an answer? Jose Ascanio The Secret dvd is a definite possibility, but the Cubs have him pitching out of the rotation. Chad Fox

    The Woodsman film

    is also pitching well for Iowa, but ultimately, we may be stuck with what we have for awhile.

  2. Too many OF

    War Wolves dvdrip I see no reason why Joey Gathright is on this roster right now. It’s not that I don’t think he can be valuable, but rather that I don’t see him being valuable for this Showdown at Area 51 movie full team. With Hoffpauir able to play in the OF and both Kosuke and Reed Johnson able to play CF, there is no reason to carry essentially 6 OF. Let’s dump Gathright and bring up a bat in the form of Jake Fox. At this point he doesn’t even need to play the IF. Give him some starts in RF when Bradley needs to rest. Give him a start at 1B if Lee or Hoffpauir is unavailable. Having Fox on the roster even allows the use of Koyie Hill’s hot bat as a pinch hitter because Fox has experience behind the plate and could move there in a pinch if Geo got hurt late in the game after using Hill.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll have the farm report up later today.Dark Blue psp

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A Quick Review of Commenting

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Lately we’ve had some heated discussions of the merit of Jake Fox, the ability of Ryan Theriot and the reliability of rechargeable vs. non-rechargeable batteries (not actually, but that may be a good discussion).

As is the case when people have disagreement, words are said that shouldn’t be said. For example, instead of saying “Pablo, you’re an idiot saber nerd….Ryan Theriot is a god”, a better way to handle it is to simply continue to make your case without the ridicule against the commentor.

I really like the disagreements we’ve had over the players we’ve been talking about, particularly Jake Fox. Let’s just try to get along. As far as the language, I’m trying to be more lax with that. Just keep it somewhat PG. Don’t be dropping any f-bombs and things of that nature and we should be good. In the meantime, carry on.Herbie Rides Again release

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Strange Things Are Happening (or should be)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

One of my son’s favorite movies is Toy Story. When Woody begins to realize he’s being replaced in Andy’s life as the number one priority, the song Strange Things Are Happening is being played and you begin to see Andy’s room take on a new theme. What if we had this Cubs team take on a new theme as well. Here’s how:

  1. Koyie Hill is swinging a hot bat and Geo is not. Call me crazy, but why not ride out the hot bat of Hill and let him start a few games in a row until his streak is over. It’s strange, but why can’t a backup catcher replace an All-Star in the lineup for a few days when he’s hot and the all star is not? Why can’t we be strange here?
  2. It’s clear Soriano is going to be our leadoff man. With Zambrano going one triple away from the cycle, what about hitting him 8th on days he starts and hitting Theriot 9th. Worst case scenario is that if Theriot leads off the inning, you have someone with some speed on before Soriano comes up. Best case scenario is you have Zambrano swinging a good bat and driving in some runs. I don’t have the research in front of me, but a lot of people who have analyzed lineups actually feel the best spot for your worst hitter is the 8th spot, as strange as it may sound. What if we tried it one game out of five?
  3. Jake Fox is tearing the cover off the ball, and it continued yesterday as you’ll see below. Dave always argues that he’s not a 3B because he’s only played three games there in his minor league career. Call it strange, but what if we used him as pinch hitter and tried him at third, assuming he’s going to be a step down defensively, knowing he could provide some offense? Tony LaRusa has a converted OF playing 2B this year because he had nowhere else to play him and wanted his bat in the lineup. Let’s give it a try.
  4. Milton Bradley returned to the lineup (though I doubt he was “100% healthy” like Lou had said he needed to be) and had a pair of hits and a walk. Strange!!!
  5. Bullpen in…..bullpen out….no runs allowed……strange!!!!!

Yesterday on the Farm

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Nashville 7, Iowa 4

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  • It’s getting silly. It reminds me a little of 1998 when every day fans would ask themselves “Did he hit one? Did the Cubs win?” All people cared about was if Sosa hit a home run. That’s the way I’ve been feeling with Jake Fox in AAA. Every day I get excited to check the box score and see if he hit another one, as was the case yesterday when he went 2-for-4 with his 12th homerun of the season.
  • Starter JR Mathes Shadowboxer on dvd

    gave up 12, count ’em, 12 hits in five innings of work to go with four ER and took the loss. It drops him to 3-2 on the year.

  • Another Chad Fox sighting and another scoreless inning. That brings his ERA to 1.93 on the early season.

Tennessee 5, Carolina 7

    Go Tell the Spartans
  • Every member of the pitching staff that appeared in the game for the Smokies (Casey Coleman, Jeremy Papelbon, and Blake Parker) gave up runs in the game.
  • Wellington Castillo Titan A.E. trailer got the start behind the plate and hit a home run. He went hitless his last start on the 26th, so it’s a nice rebound for him.
  • The Mudcats shut down the red hot Tony Thomas and held him to an 0-for-3 day at the plate.

Daytona 0, Brevard County 1

Daytona got no-hit in this one and I thought it might be more fun to give you the game recap provided by the Cubs media department to read.

DAYTONA – Brevard County starting pitcher Evan Anundsen (2-2) worked nine innings of hitless baseball in the Manatees (12-6) 1-0 victory over the Daytona Cubs (9-9).  The no-hitter was the first in the Florida State League since 2006.

The game was dominated by the pitchers as it was a scoreless ball game until the eighth inning.  The Cubs got a very good spot start from Craig Muschko who worked four scoreless innings and only gave up three hits and struck out four.

Jose Pina came on for the next two innings and was just as good.  The Daytona newcomer struck out three and only allowed one hit.

With Steve Vento (0-2) on the mound in the eighth left fielder Logan Schafer hit a one-out triple off the wall in right field.  After a walk to Eric Farris, Cubs Manager Buddy Bailey elected to go with a lefty-lefty match-up as he brought in Dustin Sasser to relieve Vento.  Sasser got ahead of the reigning Florida State League Player of the Week, Caleb Gindl, but surrendered a RBI single to center field that would be the difference in the game.

Things did get interesting in the bottom of the ninth for Anundsen.  He induced a pop fly to shallow left field off the bat of second baseman Nathan Samson, but it was dropped by shortstop Brent Brewer for his second error of the game.  Anundsen did not get rattled and promptly struck out designated hitter Tyler Colvin to complete the no-hitter.

Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 0

Peoria 1, Cedar Rapids 0

  • It was a good day to be a starting pitcher named Chris as both Chris Archer and Chris Carpenter both made good starts for the Chiefs. Archer went 5 innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 8 hitters while picking up the win to run his record to 1-0. Carpenter went 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits and stuck out 3. He induced 11 GB and just 3 flyballs.
  • In game 2, Rebel Ridling went 3-for-3 with a homerun, his 2nd on the year.

Organizational Depth Chart – Righty SP

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Jake Fox is Ridonkulous

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

Chicago 2, Arizona 8

I didn’t see much of this game, which is something you’ll learn when we’re on the road to the west. Living on the east coast and having a job to go to in the morning causes me to prioritize sleep or losing baseball. What I do know is Dan Haren is outstanding. Honestly, did you really expect to beat him last night based on the way he’s pitched this year and the lineup we trotted out there? When Reed Johnson is your cleanup hitter, odds are you’re not going to be winning that game.

Iowa 7, Nashville 3 Phantasm trailer

  • Staying true to the title, Jake Fox played out of his mind yet again last night with two more home runs, giving him 11 on the season in 18 games. Just to give you some prospective, that puts him on a 99 HR pace over the course of a 162 game season. I’m at a loss as to what more the guy needs to do to merit a call up. At some point, it becomes beyond ridiculous and enters into ridonkulous territory.
  • For some reason, Sam Fuld is still the leadoff hitter for Iowa, despite the fact that he’s now hitting .233 after the 0-for-5 night. I’m not sure why he’s hitting in that spot, probably because he has a little speed and plays CF. After all, that’s the stereotype, right?
  • Randy Wells picked up his third win on the season with a six inning quality start that was finished off three scoreless bullpen innings from the trio of Jeff Stevens, Jason ‘don’t call me Tom’ Waddell, and Greg Reinhard. For Waddell, it was a rebound outing after getting hit hard in his outing on Saturday.

Tennessee 4, Carolina 6

  • Tony Thomas picked up another two hits, including a double, and is hitting .349 on the season out of the leadoff spot. He’s definitely raised his stock with this start so far and I hope he continues to produce at this level to earn himself a promotion, whether to AAA or the big league team.
  • One of the prospects we got in return for dealing Michael Wuertz to Oakland was Ritchie Robnett (Justin Sellers being the other one). He was a former top prospect who showed promise but never really developed. He’s playing the OF for the Smokies and doing poorly at the plate. With an 0-for-2 night at the plate, he’s now hitting .116 on the young season and things don’t look good.
  • Oak Park, Illinois native Brian Schlitter, who was acquired in the deal for Scott Eyre with the Phillies, picked up the loss after surrendering two 9th inning runs.

Daytona 4, Brevard County 2

  • Robinson Chirinos led Cubs hitters with a three-hit night performance that left him a home run shy of the cycle.  He also scored a run in the second.
  • Ryan Searle got the start for the Cubs and went five innings, picking up his second win of the season. It’s his second straight start with a win.
  • Nate Samson Marked for Death release , who isn’t off to the best start with the bat, played 2B and got on base three times with two hits and a walk out of the leadoff spot.

Peoria Chiefs – **** Rained Out ****

The scheduled Monday night game between the Peoria Chiefs and Cedar Rapids Kernels has been postponed due to rain and wet grounds at O’Brien Field. The rain throughout the afternoon plus the ominous forecast led to the postponement. As a result, there will be a doubleheader played at O’Brien Field Tuesday with first pitch of game one slated for 11:00 AM. Tuesday is D.A.R.E Day at the ballpark when thousands of 5th and 6th graders throughout the Peoria area will be in attendance. The Chiefs will start RH Chris Carpenter (0-1, 3.21) in game one and RH Chris Archer (0-0, 2.25) in game two while the Kernels will start LH Manuel Flores (1-1, 4.15) in game one and RH Manuarys Correa (1-1, 7.31) in game two.

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The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs have announced that catcher Mario Mercedes has been added back to the Chiefs roster after being placed on the disabled list last week with a calf strain. As a corresponding roster move, outfielder Cliff Andersen has been placed on the disabled list due to a strained right hamstring suffered during Sunday’s 8-7 win.

Mercedes was signed as a free agent by the Cubs in 2003. So far this season Mercedes has started two games and averaged .333 with one RBI in six at bats.  In his first start of the season with the Chiefs on April 11, he was 1-for-4. In his second game on April 14, Mercedes raised his average to .333 in two at bats with one hit and he drove in one run. He collected a pinch-hit single on April 15 and was lifted for a pinch-runner. Mercedes was placed on the DL the next day with a strained right calf.

Andersen, a ninth round pick in 2006 out of Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City, strained his right hamstring on his way to first base Sunday afternoon. Andersen lined the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning into the left-center gap but pulled up at first base and was replaced by Tony Campana. In 11 games this season, Andersen is batting .296 with a double, one triple, three RBI and four runs scored. He heads to the DL in the midst of a five-game hit streak (6-for-12) that has improved his average from .133 to .296.

Thanks to the Peoria Chiefs media department for the information and media write up

Organizational Depth Chart – 1B & DH

A Passage to India divx

John Sickels of had the following to say in his prospect book about Micah Hoffpauir this year:

Micah Hoffpauir has been hanging around Des Moines since 2004, but his ’07 and ’08 monster seasons were just too much for the Cubs to ignore any longer. No, he is not going to hit .342/.400/.534 in the majors in the long run, but he could likely hit .270-.280 with 20-25 homers if you gave him 500 at-bats. His walk rate isn’t high, but his strikeout rates have been remarkably low for a power hitter the last couple of seasons in Triple-A, which could make him ideally-suited as a pinch-hitter. He has no speed and his defense at first base is merely average, but the bat should prove useful to someone if the Cubs can’t find a spot for him. Grade C due to age.

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Bring Out Your Dead

Monday, April 27th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

Cubs 10, St. Louis 3

Watching the game today, I felt like I was watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the dead cart was wheeled through the street with a driver calling out “Bring out your dead!!! Bring out your dead”. Bodies were piled up, including one guy who said he wasn’t dead yet. It made me laugh because between Lee going down and Soriano getting hit in the head with a pitch, the Cubs look like a bunch of not quite dead players on the dead cart. We’re a MASH unit right now. After the game, I pull up the Yahoo box score and laugh out loud. Derrek Lee is actually on the dead cart, but not actually dead. Take a look at the box score and you’ll see his name curiously absent in the lineup, despite the fact that he had an RBI double in the first. It’s listed in the scoring summary, but he’s not listed in the lineup and he’s not listed as having a double in the box score. Poor guy. I’ve included the box for your browsing pleasure. Just click on the image to view full screen. With all the injuries, I really want to see a move to DL Milton Bradley retroactive to his last game on the field. Call up Jake Fox from AAA to fill a need on the bench with Lee having neck spasms, Ramirez having a twisted testicle (oh wait, that was someone else), and Soriano suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from a combination of being hit in the head and hit in the third spot in the order. Fox can help this team and needs to be called up.

Soriano was back in the leadoff spot, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why Lou makes these switches for such a short period of time. If you’re going to try Soriano in that spot, I’m OK with it, but don’t do it for two games and then abandon it. That’s retarded. If he’s your leadoff man, then leave him there. For me, I want him at leadoff. Case closed.

Fukudome is my homie. He’s busting out in a big way. He had a good start to last year, but not this good. This is the player we hoped we would come close to getting when we signed him. If this is the real Fukudome, I’m psyched. Happy Birthday Kosuke. We head out to the desert tomorrow, which is one of my least favorite.

Quick side note….I’m tired of hearing all this crap about how it was a mistake to deal DeRosa. Last I checked, he wasn’t hitting with Cleveland. I listened to a caller on the Score and I have read the comments that are clamouring that DeRosa would help this team. Sometimes you have to deal a guy before he sours to get something for him.

Iowa 3, Nashville 0

  • No homerun for Jake Fox tonight, but he did continue to get on base with a walk and a single and scoring a run.
  • Christopher Robinson

    , who doesn’t have a best friend named Winnie the Pooh, had a nice night at the plate with three RBI from a three run home run (his first of the year).

  • Esmailin Caridad worked seven scoreless innings and combined with a pair of relievers (Kevin Hart and Chad Fox) on a three-hit shutout.
  • Nashville centerfielder Tony Gwynn (yes, he’s related) had his PCL-best 15-game hitting streak come to a close with an 0-for-4 afternoon.

Tennessee 4, Carolina 3 Paulie movie download

  • Ty Wright
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    led the Smokies’ offense going 2-2 on the day and driving in the game-winning RBI.

  • Marcos Mateo made his 2009 Smokies debut on Sunday and lasted 3.2 innings, giving up only one hit. He struggled to find control on the mound, walking four and hitting one, before being lifted for James Russell, who would pick up the win.
  • Wait!!! What’s this?!!?! Tony Thomas didn’t get a hit? What’s wrong? Ah well, he still found a way to score a run out of the leadoff spot.

Daytona 5, Lakeland 3

  • Andrew Cashner

    , who many consider one of the top prospects in the system, made his debut for the Daytona squad after an oblique injury forced him into extended spring training, and pitched 2.2 innings as the starter, giving up one hit and one earned run. He’s got some worked to get stretched out. I see his primary role for the big league Cubs as one of a setup reliever, but the little league Cubs want him to work on developing all of his pitches and the best way to do that is in the starting role. My guess is as he advances in the system a little more, which hopefully shouldn’t take long considering many thought he’d be up last year after being picked out of college, you’ll start to see him getting experience in the role he’s more suited for.

  • At the plate, Jovan Rosa provided most of the offense that the team needed with a 2-for-4 day that included a double, homerun, and three RBI. Rosa was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Lake City Community College

Peoria 8, Cedar Rapids 7

  • Justin Bristow made his 2009 debut and gave up two hits and two runs in two innings
  • Junior Lake was 3-for-4 with a double, two singles, a run scored and an RBI. It was hit first three hit game of the year.
  • Rebel Ridling now has a six game hit streak and leads the league with seven doubles
  • Cliff Andersen was injured in the leg when rounding first in the first inning and was replaced by Tony Campana
  • One of my favorite prospects in the system, Kyler Burke, is having a decent start to the season and picked up a pair of hits to raise his numbers to .317 / .391 / .537. In case you don’t remember, he was packaged with Rob Bowen from the Padres for Michael Barrett in 2007. He’s got a decent ceiling, but just hasn’t been able to put it together to rise through the system like the Padres had hoped.

Organizational Depth Chart – RF The Cake Eaters hd

How I Voted

Bleacher Nation is running a recurring poll on the top prospects in the system and they were kind enough to ask for my vote each month. In case you’re interested in taking a look at the first poll, here it is. I submitted my ballot for this month and it looked like this:

  1. Jeff Samardzija – P
  2. Josh Vitters – 3B
  3. Andrew Cashnew – P
  4. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  5. Tyler Colvin – OF
  6. Tony Thomas – 2B
  7. Jake Fox – 1B / OF
  8. Micah Hoffpauir – 1B / OF
  9. Jose Ascanio – P
  10. Wellington Castillo – C
  11. Kevin Hart – P
  12. Mitch Atkins – P
  13. Jay Jackson – P
  14. Jovan Rosa – 3B
  15. Esmailin Caridad – P
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Panick Is Setting In

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

Cubs 2, St. Louis 8

  • I wasn’t able to see this one due to MLB blackout rules, which is completely retarded considering I paid for MLB Extra Innings. It just seems illogical that MLB wouldn’t make every game available to be seen when someone has agreed to pay for it. Show me the Fox feed on Extra Innings for cryin’ out loud. Absolutely ridiculous.
  • Someone explain to me why we decided to designate Luis Vizcaino for assignment in favor of a kid like David Patton who was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft for a reason. I know Vizcaino isn’t the difference between a bad bullpen and a good pen, but he hadn’t allowed a run in his limited role. Why get rid of him?
  • I’m done with Derrek Lee. Say all you want about sample size and all the other garbage, but I’m done. There is a time to realize when a veteran has lost something on his game and that time is now. Is Micah Hoffpauir the answer? I don’t know, but he’s put his time in and deserves a shot to play more at 1B. If Lee wants to play, step up at the plate and produce. I’m in no way abandoning ship on this team. It’s just a tough stretch, but I’m also not going to keep my mouth shut in calling out guys that need to produce, especially when those guys hit in the 4th spot in the order.

Iowa 3, Nashville 6

  • Jake Fox is ridiculous. He hit his 9th homerun of the season and reached base three more times in four plate appearances at 1B. I don’t know what you need to do to get his bat in the lineup right now, especially for a big league team that has injury issues and can’t seem to score, but you have to find a way. If you’re going to have freakin’ Carlos Zambrano and Koyie Hill taking grounders at third base before Saturday’s game just in case it comes to that, you mean to tell me Jake Fox couldn’t get his hacks in and hold his own over there? Come on.
  • Jose Ascanio got another start and continues to stretch himself out after pitching exclusively out of the bullpen last year. He went four innings and tossed 68 pitches, 49 of which were strikes. He lowered his ERA to 0.54 in 16+ innings of work and wouldn’t be a bad addition to this big league pen if we decide to get bold and offer David Patton back to Colorado.
  • Bobby Scales went 1-for-4 and appears to be the leading call up candidate if Milton Bradley is placed on the DL with Ramirez hurting. I think that’s the wrong move, but what do I know?

Tennessee 5, Carolina 0

  • Another game and another great performance by Tony Thomas out of the leadoff spot. A 2-for-4 night with a double and single at the plate. I wouldn’t rush him at this point, but if Fontenot and Miles continue to struggle, you have to begin asking the question of whether Thomas is ML ready.
  • Casey Lambert got the start for the Smokies and picked up his first win of the season. In six scoreless innings he allowed only three hits striking out two and zero walks, while also gathering his first career hit.
  • Tennessee’s victory moves them to 8-7, tied for first place with Huntsville.

Daytona 6, Lakeland 3

  • Marquez Smith hit a two run homerun over the scoreboard in the 6th inning.
  • Newly promoted right handed pitcher Andrew Cashner (last year’s first round pick) will make his return to Daytona, where the 2008 first round draft pick finished last season.
  • David Cales worked a scoreless ninth to earn his, and the Cubs, first save of 2009.

Deadgirl video

Peoria 6, Cedar Rapids 5

  • Kyler Burke was 2 for 3 with a double, two RBI and a walk scored in the Chiefs win. Batting in the clean up spot for the first time this season, he gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead in the first and then added an insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth.
  • Rebel Ridling now has a five game hit streak and leads the league with seven doubles.
  • The Chiefs are now 3-0 in the first game in a series at home
  • It is the second time this season the Chiefs registered two out field assists in the same game

Minor League Roster Moves

  1. Marcos Mateo promoted to Tennessee
  2. Phantasm psp

    Andrew Cashner The Message dvdrip to Daytona from Extended Spring Training

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  3. Dan McDaniel placed on 7-Day DL retroactive to 4/23/09
  4. Jose Pina
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    promoted to Daytona from Peoria

  5. Jayson Ruhlman was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa
  6. Justin Bristow added to Peoria

Organizational Depth ChartCF

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Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I didn’t see the game — for whatever reason it wasn’t showing on the plane; but when I landed I checked my phone and saw that we had a runner on third with one out in the eighth of a 3 -3 game and I thought “great — we should go up 4 – 3.” By the time I got to my car, Pujols had stolen second and was being singled home. It was 4 – 3 alright, but not in our favor. For some reason, I thought of a great Tommy LaSorda line from the past…when asked after a game what he thought of his team’s execution, he responded “I’m in favor of it.”

That’s not the topic of this post, which doesn’t really have a set topic, but 1.) not scoring in those situations hurts, and 2.) Pujols stealing? Come on. But I didn’t see it…so whatever…

Here’s my thought for the day:

Aaron Heilman is doing a great job. But I don’t think he should be a one inning everyday pitcher. The guy is a starter by definition — live arm and more than two pitches in his repertoire — so if he’s not starting for us, at least use him for what he is best suited. Why not let him go two or three innings twice a week? I am not saying that this is why we lost last night — who could know that Marmol wouldn’t get it done? I’m saying that if the game goes thirteen innings, who pitches? No one would be left in the bullpen in whom we can have any confidence. If Heilman pitches the seventh (as he did) and let’s say the eighth and ninth — even if both teams are still scoreless — he gives the Cubs a chance to take the lead and let Gregg or Marmol try to save it. This pitcher an inning thing is becoming a trend that could and will bite us in extras. I think Heilman once through any order is a decent bet — why not use him that way? The same could be said for Sean Marshall, but I prefer him as a starter (and I think given the ball every fourth or fifth day he’ll be a 12 – 15 game winner every year.)

Part two:

This speaks to management, but when you have players with a propensity for minor injuries, like Aramis Ramirez, shouldn’t you build your team with some contingency for that? He always has a few things during the year that happen to him, hammies, whatever, that cause him to miss a few stretches of games. I’m not criticizing him for it — it is what it is and he’s been a very solid player for us — but knowing that, why don’t we have a player who can backup for third base. Fontenot is not the guy. As Joe noted, Fontenot may not even be the guy for second base. Yes, the DeRosa trade is looking worse and worse — but that’s not my point with this. Trading DeRosa for whatever reason is fine; why wasn’t the need for an Aramis backup addressed? We have a load of outfielders and guys who can play second base — why not a utility guy who can play third? I think that was an oversight by management. In fact, I think this team was “oddly” constructed — almost without considering certain possibilities in order to become more left handed and “faster.” We have Jumpin’ Joey and AAron — neither of whom we REALLY NEEDED — and no real third base backup, no real right handed bat off the bench to PH, and the middle of that bullpen? Never mind that.

Despite last year’s playoff debacle, It appeared that the team had good chemistry. This year, I’m not seeing it yet. Maybe later. Or not.


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A New Era Begins?

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

St. Louis 4, Chi Cubs 3

  • Alfonso Soriano mentioned at the beginning of  the season that whatever spot he was placed in the lineup, he wanted to stay there all season. Lou put him in the lineup in the leadoff spot and then moved him yesterday to the third spot. I don’t know how it made him feel, but I would imagine it’s not his ideal idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t work last night as Ryan Theriot went 0-for-5. All that being said, I decided on what my ideal lineup would be, but I want to post it during the week so I have some time to expand on it. I’ll give you a hint, though, it doesn’t involve Theriot in the one spot.
  • At what point do we begin to worry about the second-base position with Mike Fontenot struggling at the plate. Aaron Miles needs to get in the lineup a little more to take some pressure off Fontenot, who is struggling big time at the plate. I know a lot of people feel like Miles is better suited for AA, but right now he’s the only other option we’ve got on the roster so we need to see what he can bring to the game.
  • Another game and another run given up by this bullpen. If it doesn’t get better soon, this bullpen will be the death of us.

Iowa 7, Albuquerque 5

  • Jason Dubois hit a walk-off three run HR to win the game in regulation for the Cubs.
  • I continue to campaign wildly for the promotion of Jake Fox to this roster. With Aramis Ramirez leaving the game with a strain and Milton Bradley possibly going on the DL, what better time than to call up Fox to be available at a bunch of positions (OF, 1B, C, 3B in a pinch) off the bench. The kid is killing the ball and continued to do so yesterday with a 3-for-4 day that featured his 8th HR to tie the game early and a single that started the winning rally late. CALL HIM UP!!!
  • On the pitching end, Mitch Atkins got the start and went six innings. He was average as the starter, which allowed Chad Fox to sew his arm on in the bullpen and come in to get a win.

West Tenn 9, Tennessee 2

  • The Diamond Jaxx score runs in six of eight innings to blast the Smokies
  • I was looking forward to see how Jay Jackson fared, as he’s struggled early this season, but his issues continued. He managed 4.1 IP with 6 ER on 2 HR. Hopefully his struggles get cleared up because I’ve got some decent hopes for this kid.
  • Smokies manager Ryne Sandberg was ejected arguing with home plate umpire Tripp Gipson in the bottom of the third. Sandberg visited the mound after two walks sandwiched in between a base hit loaded the bags with no outs. Gibson head to break up the conference when he and Sandberg got into a heated discussion.

Daytona 1, Lakeland 5

  • Rafael Dolis struck out three, walked none and allowed just one hit in four innings of work before the righty lost command of his fastball and was out after five. The end result was 5 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 HBP
  • No one in the lineup was able to manufacture any success at the plate except the leadoff man, Marwin Gonzalez and 9th hitter Starlin Castro The Brothers Solomon full who both had a pair of hits in the loss.

Wisconsin 5, Peoria 3

  • The Chiefs have not played a game that was decided by more than three runs all season, and Peoria  has lost 12 different leads on this seven-game road trip.
  • Michael Brenly put up a 0-for-5 night with two K’s as his father sat in the stands of Miller Park. Poor kid, I wonder if he was nervous.
  • Ryan Flaherty was the player of the game for the Chiefs with a 2-for-3 night at the plate with two doubles and two walks.

Organizational Depth Chart – LF

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