‘sup, ‘sup, Cubs fans? Whew. Did our boys get pwned last night or what? OK, raise your hands: Who was kinda/sorta hoping Brett Myers would pitch a no-no just so it would make the game more interesting? Don’t be ashamed. C’mon, get ‘em up there.
YOU TRAITORS! GET OUT!
Ha, just kidding. I had mixed feelings throughout the first five innings. One major factor was, well, I just don’t like Brett Myers or his caveman hunter shtick, so I was more than happy to see the walk followed by Soriano’s line single. Would’ve been nice to score at least a run off of him, though. Sigh … the sad, waning days of a losing season. In any case, let’s get on with the news:
How is Derrek Lee doing? Not too well. Click on that link and you’ll find that Braves manager Bobby Cox is already fielding questions as to why DLee is in the lineup at first base over Troy Glaus or rookie Freddie Freeman. In 18 games (69 plate appearances), Derrek is hitting .250/.348/.350 for a .698 OPS. He’s grounded into three double-plays, including the rally killer mentioned in that article. And, of course, the Braves have now fallen out of first place — they’re a half game back of the Phillies as of this writing.
Of course, DLee still has time to turn things around and finish the season hot. But that particular trade is looking good for the Cubs. A couple of questions come to mind, too: 1) Is this the end of Derrek Lee’s career? 2) Should the Cubs invite him back on a one-year deal if they intend to pursue one of the Big Three in the 2011-2012 off-season? The Magic Daver 8-Ball says, “Seems doubtful,” in both cases.
Derrek’s struggles also got me wondering about how the other recently traded Cubs are doing. Let’s find out:
Ted Lilly. He’s probably gotten the most press of any of the Cubs’ recent tradees. Lilly was lights out in his first four starts for the Dodgers. He struggled a little bit in his fifth one against the Brewers (who’ve seen him a lot over the last few years) but still got the win. It was in his sixth start vs. the Rockies that Ted hit a wall, getting lit up for seven earned runs. But he bounced back this past weekend, going seven strong (in a loss) against the Giants. Overall, his Tedness has a 3.18 ERA over 45.1 innings pitched for L.A. with a 8.5 K/9. I’m predicting right here and now that he signs on to stay in L.A.. His flyball tendencies make the NL West a good place to wind down his career.
Ryan Theriot. In 35 games (147 plate appearances) for the Dodgers, The Riot has played a touch better than he did in the 96 games (412 PAs) he played for the Cubs this season. Unfortunately, a “touch better” doesn’t mean “good.” He’s hitting .281/.354/.344 for a .698 OPS. OK, that is a decent OBP and, interestingly, he has hit a home run for L.A.
Meanwhile, Blake DeWitt has hit .271/.326/.398 for a .724 OPS in 35 games (129 PAs). Blake does have four home runs, however. I still think this particular trade was a break-even at the least, with the Cubs still in line to come out ahead if DeWitt can flourish under Rudy Jaramillo.
Mike Fontenot. Lil’ Babe Ruth is a lil’ ole bench player for the contending San Francisco Giants. He’s appeared in only 11 games (35 PAs), hitting .281/.343/.313 for a .655 OPS. The good news is I got a few amusing tweets from the minor leaguer, Evan Crawford, whom the Cubs got in trade for Fontenot, before, inexplicably, he blocked me. Let’s call that trade a break-even, too.
An Adam Dunn update. According to one report, the Nationals won’t be re-signing the Big Donkey — mainly because of his poor defense. This clears the way for the Cubs to sign him, which ESPN’s Bruce Levine is predicting (in this live chat) to happen. So if the idea of Dunn in a Cubs uniform excites you, get excited (at least a little bit). And if it worries you, get a bit concerned. Assuming Hendry either has no interest or confidence in acquiring one of the Big Three, Dunn on a three-year deal would be a relatively acceptable pickup (uh, assuming one can live in denial about his defensive shortcomings, which aren’t as pronounced at first base as they are in the outfield, though still present).
Call-ups, Caridad and Grabow. You’ve heard about the Cubs’ September call-ups right? Say it with me: Berg, Samardzija, Fuld, Scales (!!!) and Snyder. Shameless self-promotion: I wrote about Samardzija and Scales here. (Warning: Contains White Sox content.) Berg we’ve seen plenty of. Fuld is, um, speedy. Snyder has had only one at-bat that I know of – his MLB debut. I happened to see it on TV and let’s just say he struck out on three pitches, looking awful against Astros LOOGY Byrdak. Honestly, Brad looked like a local college student who’d won a contest. I’d be curious to know what the team intends to do with him. Bruce Miles also notes in that article that two notorious ’10 no-shows, Esmailin Caridad and John Grabow, have been transferred to the 60-day DL.
Joe Giradi: All but out. Well, Joe was, in an ideal world, my top choice to take over as Cubs manager. But I’ve read a couple items recently that have led me to believe that what was unlikely initially is now all but impossible.
First, recently I read something from a New York writer (can’t remember who or where, sorry) that Girardi is on excellent terms with Yankees management. So not only is he being well compensated to manage a winning team, but he likes his boss. (And that wasn’t the case in Florida.)
Second, buried in this Bruce Levine post, is a mention that the Cubs want to be settled on a candidate by Nov. 2, and the Yankees could very well still be playing the World Series by then. So, perhaps if the Yanks are eliminated earlier in the postseason, Girardi may take a little more time to reflect and maybe even interview for the Cubs job. But, odds are, he’s going to be too occupied to even consider it.
That’s all I’ve got for the moment. Enjoy this day off from the agony. We bid adieu to the NL Central this weekend and next week with two series against the Brewers and Cardinals, respectively.