View From The Bleachers

April 30, 2009

When do we see changes?

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 5:50 am

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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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • Doug

    Man yesterday was painful, but I watched the whole thing.
    I’ll quote a friend. “Once Fontenot, Lee, Soto, and Bradley hit at least their weight – we should be fat city.”
    Here’s hoping.

  • Rick Beato

    I would take the risk of sending David Patton down even if we lose him. He will not contribute to a championship team at his present level and we will not be able to afford keeping him around all season. Neal Cotts can’t get a lefthander out, so there is another spot open. Other teams find lefties during the season — remember, the Phillies found one named Scott Eyre — and we need one.
    I disagree about Gathright. He looks worse than Jacque Jones, which I know is saying something. No power, no batting eye, no place to play him, no use for his limited skill (speed, the most overrated element in a player. Speed really helps a good player play well, but speed in a terrible player only makes him a speedy terrible player who looks like he ought to be able to help.) Gathright must go and must be replaced by someone who can play 3B. I have written before that Aramis and Josh Vitters seem to be the only 3Bs in the entire system who can play (Bobby Scales will be a 31-year-old rookie. Here is a list of all the great players who have been 31-year-old rookies: ______________________________). That is an awful mistake on the part of Jim Hendry, and he needs to do something about that. Mike Lamb was available but the pitiful Mets stockpiled him in their system.
    We need a positive move or three, soon.

  • Rick Beato

    Heard on WGN in the eighth inning:
    “Boy, this is embarrassing.”
    Ron Santo, right on the money.

  • gordon

    What I heard on WGN was (and you don’t hear these types of criticisms from Pat and Ron): you can take losing, but you can not take not competing. This is the 3rd game in 4 that the Cubs have not competed.

    When I got to my radio yesterday and the Cubs were down 4-0. The game seemed over to me, everything else was just frosting.

  • Doc Raker

    4 games out by mid April with the Cardinals looking like their 2004 team with Ludwig and Duncan playing the rolls of Edmunds and Rolen.

    Then I come home and have to watch Mark DeRosa going 3-4 in Cleveland.

  • Matt

    Above all, the rush to judgment might simply be caused by our collective impulse to attach meaning to all of life’s events — doubly so on the baseball field. When weird stuff started happening last April, similar panic ensued. At this time last year the Orioles and A’s led their divisions, and the Diamondbacks were on pace to win 118 games. CC Sabathia was projected to go 6-24 with a 7.88 ERA. The Phillies were just a run-of-the-mill third-place team, offering few hints of the World Series-winning juggernaut they would later become.

    Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a pitcher’s mechanics, nothing noteworthy about a hitter’s power outage, nothing revolutionary about a ballpark, and nothing special about a hot-starting team. As unsatisfying as it is to say it, sometimes stuff just happens.

    ~Jonah Keri Sports Illustrated

    Quoting because it’s the truth.

  • Rex Jaybels

    Well quoted Matt. This season is a far cry from 2008, when no matter the score, you felt this team was going to pull it out. I have to believe that the offense will get their hits and that they will be fine when all is said and done.

    Hopefully Hendry and Lou will make some tweaks that are definitely needed, but the main thing for now is that this offense starts swinging the bats.

  • Mastrick

    It’s gonna be a pretty grim clubhouse for a while, hard to make moves in the bullpen when everybody out there (save Heilman) is sucking now. I would have a talk with Samardjiza today and let him know that he might have to be sent down for a pitcher who has better results (such as Jeff Stevens or Jose Ascanio.) Insofar as Cotts is concerned I would DFA him now and bring Casey Lambert up from AA. If he doesn’t work out then send him down and bring Jason Waddell up from Des Moines. Gregg should be demoted to seventh inning work (in front of Heilman and closer Marmol.)

    Gathright should be traded or DFA’d to make room for Jake Fox.

  • Seymour Butts

    Matt’s quote above is a good example of reality being interjected into our desire not just to win, but to do it all the time and wire to wire. Yes we want to dominate and crush opponents on a daily basis, but baseball just doesn’t work that way.
    The best record ever in baseball was the 1906 Cubs at 116-36. during that season, in the dead ball era, they were occasionally blown out by lopsided scores of 10-1, 10-3, 8-0, 7-0. But not often. There will be no 17-0 Dolphins in Baseball. We have a good team, but are playing like a diaper load at the present time. Hendry’s curious off season would not be questioned if we had won 4 or 5 of the games we have lost. I was no fan of Visciano, but he hadn’t screwed the pooch in the regular season yet,and even though he’s a lefty, cotts really needs a change of scenery. And who needs a player whose only contribution is that he’s fast. We could have kept Felix….and Rich Hill!

    I’m also envious of some of our more advanced commentators ability to use the gray box. Please share your knowledge with us lesser beings so we can mock you with more high tech bells and whistles. Now every one go grab a banana, they are good for you.

  • Matt

    The grey boxes are only for those of us that know the true power of the banana, once it’s removed from your posterior.

    I’m also reminded of the 2002 Dodgers (might be the wrong year), that started 12-2. The finished with over 90 loses. It’s still too early to be playing EA Sports GM.

  • rob

    I have an honest question that I would like people to answer:
    At what point is it no longer “too early?” I am not being difficult I wonder what people think that point is. When do you realize it is not longer too early before it’s too late?

  • Joe Aiello


    That’s a good question. In fact, I’d like to put up some polls on the topic tonight to see what people think.

  • Archie


    My opinion: June is when I would start to worry.

  • Matt

    Last year’s standings at this time:

    Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
    CHC 17 10 .630 — 171 120 .657
    STL 18 11 .621 — 135 104 .617
    MIL 15 12 .556 2.0 126 128 .493
    HOU 13 16 .448 5.0 131 132 .497
    CIN 12 17 .414 6.0 124 139 .448
    PIT 11 16 .407 6.0 128 160 .399

    The Cubs also lost to Milwaukee 19-5.

  • Seymour Butts

    I will buy late May, early June.
    Though I would have loved to have used the nifty grey (?gray) box to jazz up my comment.

  • Mastrick

    I’m not worried that this point but I would like to see Uncle Lou stir the pot a little. And I have seen all of Neil Cotts that I would like to see, maybe we should pick up Casey Fossum, he just got let go.

  • lizzie

    I am not all that worried. But here’s the thing. If it’s September and we’re down by, say, a half game in the standings, yesterday’s loss is just as much to blame as a September loss. Every game matters, it’s just that we don’t see them as mattering as much now as we will see them as mattering come September. If that makes any sense. I understand me, that’s good for something. :-)

    I’m all for a pot stirring. If it turns out it’s not the right recipe you can always stir some more.

  • Doc Raker

    When is it too late?

    For me it is a sliding scale as the season progresses, it is all in the games back column. I think it is important to stay within 10 games before the all star break. But Longshoreman Lizzie is correct, a win in April means the same as in September and what LaRussa is always good at is not throwing games away early in the season, he goes balls out from game 1, he isn’t much for ‘let’s see how it goes’ crap, he keeps guys on a short leash which Lou does also to a lesser extent. Dusty didn’t even have a leash, how long did Dusty go with Korey Patterson for Christ sake, he even traded for him in Cinci. LaRussa would have traded Korey before spring training ended.

    Lizzie- Do you like banana’s with your dinner?

  • Matt

    Patterson was signed in March to a one-year, $3 million contract and made the starting center fielder and leadoff man by manager Dusty Baker. The two had previously worked together with the Cubs.

    Once again, get your facts straight.

    And the banana joke….yeah that’s funny. Especially when it has no meaning with Lizzie’s response.

  • dave l

    Matt… the guy thinks that Jake Fox and Ryne Sandberg are somehow comparable. Facts might be asking for a bit much.

  • sherm

    I didn’t get that someone was comparing the HOF Ryne Sandberg to Jake Fox. I thought the point was that at one time Ryne Sandberg was just a minor leaguer who needed to be called up and needed to play to prove whether or not he could do the job. Which he did. Remarkably well. I think people are suggesting that Fox will never be a good major league ballplayer…as long as he’s at AAA, so why not figure out a way to give him a chance while we have these injuries, etc. At least that’s what I was thinking…


  • Mark

    In terms of the question of what is too early, I think that the end of April is definitely the first check point. There are serious concerns with the Cubs bullpen right now and they need to be addressed somehow.

    Also get used to needing 6 outfielders. The platoon requires 4 and the Milton Bradley health status of the day (Cubs should really think about getting a sponsor here) is always a question. Hauf can’t play the field well. It all just adds up to needing an ungodly amount of OFs.

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