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April 2012

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COMMENTS

Game 12: A Cure for Insomnia

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 1 @ Marlins 9

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

I have honestly spent the last fifteen minutes since the game ended trying to think of a witty title for this game re-cap, but my mind went to sleep somewhere around the fifth inning. The last few nights I have been tossing and turning throughout, but I’m glad that I have finally found a cure to my sleep ailments: watching this team play baseball.

Most people who don’t like baseball will tell you that it is too long or too slow for them to get in to unless they are physically at the game. I’ve never debated that fact and mixed in with the long season, I can understand how baseball plays second fiddle to the NFL in terms of popularity. But this Cubs team is redefining sleep-inducing baseball.

We’ve all seen bad teams before, none of that is new to this fan base. However I can’t remember a time in recent seasons where it was this hard to watch a baseball game without getting bored. Even in the close games this season, the Cubs have never felt in it. I’m not sure if I can attribute this to being an eternal pessimist or that this team is really this hard to watch play the game.  Never mind winning, this team doesn’t even lose in interesting fashion any more. It is the same script every night except with a different lineup to add a slight flavor of pizzazz.

The errors can be seen coming from a mile away, the ball rarely gets hit out of the infield and the bullpen innings are like a comedy that isn’t funny. The best word that I can find to describe the first twelve games of the Cubs 2012 season would be: stale.

Garza Struggles

One of the few things I dislike about Garza is that he has too many of these kinds of starts over the course of an entire season. He started off pretty sharp in terms of velocity and pitch location, but by the fourth he was hanging way too much over the plate. Major League hitters are going to crush the kind of pitch he gave to Donnie Murphy, regardless of who they are.  He did seem to be getting a little frustrated about not getting strike calls on outer-plate sliders, but I could have been imagining things. At least the offense didn’t waste a good start from him today, which is about the only positive thing I can say at the moment, albeit a backhanded “compliment.”

Back Order Disaster

The back third of our lineup reminds me of a joke my second grade teacher told. Why was six afraid of seven? Obviously because seven ate (eight) nine. Well right now seven, eight and nine are as lame as the joke. Byrd collected a hit tonight to drive up his average to an impressive .081 on the season and Soto was hitless again. I made a joke on Twitter (@jcstats) about how the Cubs should hold a fan contest for fans to bat in the final three slots because we wouldn’t be getting any less production. I’m not even sure it was funny –it isn’t–but I got a few laughs out of it. Until these guys start hitting, we’re essentially giving three outs in a row. Not a recipe for run scoring.

Bring Up the Kids?

I know it is too early, but how long can we watch this stagnant team? As a fan base the expectations were never high to begin with, but let’s at least try to put an entertaining team on the field. I’m not sure if bringing up AAA super star Anthony Rizzo up soon would really do much of anything, but why not? The kid is tearing it up at Iowa and can’t be any worse than what we are putting out there at 1st and 3rd every other night. Guys like Keith Law and Buster Olney were predicting July/August call-ups for Rizzo and Brett Jackson, but every passing game makes me think it could be much sooner. Then again, there is a reason why I’m sitting on my couch writing this article instead of sitting in a player personnel meeting.

Relief Catchers

As the game became increasingly out of reach, Len and Bob turned their sights to talking about youth pitch counts. Apparently two high school pitchers in Louisiana combined for 25 IP and 347 pitches in a game this week. As ridiculous as that was, it wasn’t half as ridiculous as what came out of Bob’s mouth after. He said since we put pitching counts on pitchers, we should put them on catchers as well. They can only catch a certain amount pitches before a “relief catcher” needs to come in. Is there really no other material out there to make lame jokes about? We’ve been relegated to bad baseball AND listening to jokes about “relief catchers?” (Sigh).

Mad Libs

(Complete the blanks)

The _______ (place) Marlins of Florida have turned ________ (numerical) the number of double plays as the Cubs have _______ (baseball term) in this series.

The Cubbies hope they can maintain their streak of winning one game per series, as Ricky Nolasco and two-win (crazy) Jeff Samardzija duke it out at 12:40 ET tomorrow.

  • Chetwest

    Try this mind numbing experience…..if you have MLB extra innings or something equivalent, flip back and forth and watch the Tigers (my choice, or for that matter any other good team you may choose) and the Cubs games.  The difference is almost incomprehendable, they are not playing the same game!  

  • Chetwest

    Try this mind numbing experience…..if you have MLB extra innings or something equivalent, flip back and forth and watch the Tigers (my choice, or for that matter any other good team you may choose) and the Cubs games.  The difference is almost incomprehendable, they are not playing the same game!  

  • Good stuff, Josh, as usual, even when there’s not much good to say. Love the Mad Lib! @Chet I had that same thought when the Cubs were in a rain delay on Fox the other day and they showed some other game while we waited. I don’t even remember who it was, and I wasn’t watching closely. But the few times I did glance over I thought “Wow ……..” with a dreamy, wide-eyed look on my face. “This is baseball!!!!”

  • Good stuff, Josh, as usual, even when there’s not much good to say. Love the Mad Lib! @Chet I had that same thought when the Cubs were in a rain delay on Fox the other day and they showed some other game while we waited. I don’t even remember who it was, and I wasn’t watching closely. But the few times I did glance over I thought “Wow ……..” with a dreamy, wide-eyed look on my face. “This is baseball!!!!”

  • LVCubFan

    At least Theo didn’t try to get my hopes up before the season – “we don’t have much talent” – as past regimes have tried to package journeymen as “the missing piece” (Bradley, Burnitz, Byrd in 2010).  Now my usual April ulcers after losses have turned to good hearted “good God we’re bad in a Mighty Ducks 1 sort of way.”

  • LVCubFan

    At least Theo didn’t try to get my hopes up before the season – “we don’t have much talent” – as past regimes have tried to package journeymen as “the missing piece” (Bradley, Burnitz, Byrd in 2010).  Now my usual April ulcers after losses have turned to good hearted “good God we’re bad in a Mighty Ducks 1 sort of way.”

  • Doc Raker

    We can’t bring up the kids until we push arbitration back a full season and get some trade value for Soto, Byrd, Marmol and anyone else that isn’t in the plans for 3 years out. Playoff hockey is going on right now which is much more entertaining than Cubs baseball at this point. Heading to Chicago today for some youth hockey, much more exciting than the slumbering Cubs.

  • Doc Raker

    We can’t bring up the kids until we push arbitration back a full season and get some trade value for Soto, Byrd, Marmol and anyone else that isn’t in the plans for 3 years out. Playoff hockey is going on right now which is much more entertaining than Cubs baseball at this point. Heading to Chicago today for some youth hockey, much more exciting than the slumbering Cubs.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Sigh..I know I will be shouted down for this…and I understand the arb clock thing, but I’d rather see if Jackson and Rizzo are ready to play at the MLB level..let them work through the adjustments this season, where there isn’t pressure to contribute.  Name the last Cub prospect where there was worry over the arb clock?  I mean, 5 years from now IF both Jackson and Rizzo have made it, and are worth keeping around….then I’d worry.  These are not 19 year old players getting pushed too quickly.   Anyway.  Thanks for listening.

    • Noah_I

      First, I’d argue both Rizzo and Jackson could benefit from more time in Iowa.  Rizzo apparently had a hole in his swing last year when he came up to the majors that was exploited.  He’s apparently been working on that all offseason, but it’s better for him to continue working out that sort of kink in Triple A.  Brett Jackson has struck out in just about 30% of his Triple A plate appearances.  It’s hard to be more than an average major league hitter if you strike out that much. 

      You also can’t worry about the arbitration clock 4 or 5 years from now.  Once you’ve brought the player up and they’ve “made it”, there’s nothing you can do 4 or 5 years later to adjust the arb clock.  It had to be thought of prior to bringing the player up.

      It’s one thing if the Cubs were competitive this year and you believe that Rizzo and Jackson would be immediate improvements over LaHair and Byrd.  These arguments could definitely be reasonably made.  But the Cubs aren’t competitive, and both players have gameplay issues beyond merely learning to adjust to major league pitching.  If they can benefit from more time in Triple A (and both can), they should be in Triple A instead of using up team control.

      • Dusty Baylor

         I understand how the arb clocks work…I just don’t give a flying fuck….If in 5 years, you have to worry about how much to pay them?  What are the chances of both of them succeeding, and playing well enough to where the Cubs will need to worry about this?   Besides Starlin Castro, name a young Cub player where this has been an issue…Felix Pie?  Brooks Kieschnick?  Lance Dickson?   Is it better to move them up from AAA in a season where there is no pressure, and the Cubs are not expected to compete for a playoff spot, or in a season where the Cubs are expected to compete for a playoff spot?   If Jackson was striking out a lot, and his OBP was .320…I’d be concerned.  His .292/.387/.550 in AA so far is pretty decent, yeah?  Team control…good lord.   Well in 5 years we MIGHT have to worry about…..lord.

      • Noah_I

        I’ll just say it so Joe doesn’t have to.  This blog has an affiliation with a major organization, and having somewhat regular commenters dropping f-bombs doesn’t help that relationship.

        You can’t just look at a guy’s minor league stats and say he’s going to be ok.  Jackson has put up insane BABIPs at AAA that he’s simply not going to match.  This is especially true in the PCL, which is a huge hitter’s league.

        And what does the “pressure to succeed” even mean?  There are plenty of examples of prospects coming up in competition years and excelling.  Two years ago, the best offensive players on two playoff teams were rookies: Jason Heyward and Buster Posey.  Do you have any data that says that prospects who come up in years where their teams are terrible do better than prospects who come up in years when their teams are good?  Or is this just gobbledygook you make up on the fly?  And shouldn’t the Cubs try to push as many of their prospects to be as inexpensive as possible in the years where they can be set to be in contention so those young players will be cheaper and the Cubs can spend that money bringing in free agents to fill the spots they can’t fill through the farm?  Plus, the Cubs aren’t very likely to compete next year anyways.  So even if your “theory” that rookies do better if they debut in years their teams’ stink is true, Jackson and Rizzo will get that time late this year and through next year.
        Neither Rizzo nor Jackson are complete prospects who can’t benefit from more time in the minors.  Since they can benefit from more time in the minors, they should stay there for now.  Just because you personally would find the team more interesting with Jackson and Rizzo on it (which is what you and everyone else pushing for their early promotions really are saying), doesn’t mean that it’s right for Jackson, Rizzo or the Cubs.

      • Jedi

        Let’s not chase off the regulars.

      • Dusty Baylor

         Sorry all..forgot to bleep my comment this morning…coffee hadn’t kicked in yet.

      • Jedi

        My comment wasn’t meant for you, Dusty.

      • Dusty Baylor

        oh no worries Jedi…sorry, was just throwing that out there….hey look..another dumb Cub baserunning mistake?

      • Yes.  Redact that before ESPN’s crack team of F-bomb sleuths swoop in and pull VFTB from the blog lineup.  

      • Dusty Baylor

         Neither of these players, Rizzo and Jackson, are 19 year old phenoms.  They have both had a few seasons in the minors already.  Jackson’s number’s over 1400 PA’s are .291/.393/.493.  If he came up and as a rookie hit .260/.350/.420, with improvement as time went on…I’d be happier with that than watching him in the PCL facing retread pitchers, and playing in bandboxes.  Find out what the Cubs have in the minor league cupboard..  What happens in 3 seasons when Jackson and Rizzo, god forbid, are both struggling…but hey, thank goodness the Cubs saved an arbitration year.  I’m not saying all rookies do better in seasons their teams suck..I’m saying there is less pressure if the team is not contending.  The Cubs could play them, without worrying about every a t bat…every performance, and let them play.  Byrd is a known mediocre commodity, and Soriano is a sunk cost.

        Meh..whatever.  If these two were 20 year olds, with 1 season experience each…I’d be saying to take your time.  they’ve played a few seasons in the minors, and have had success.   There is no perfect time to bring them up.  Sink or swim.  Give them a season or two up in Chicago and let’s see how they do.

      • Dusty Baylor

         BTW come June, and Rizzo/Jackson are struggling..and LaHair is still hitting and/or Byrd is playing much, much better…then sure…great..leave the prospects in AAA.

      • Norm Bothwell

         Yes, Rizzo isn’t 19…but he’s still the 5th or 6th youngest position player in the PCL. There just isn’t a rush.

      • Noah_I

        So you think we’re going to get vastly more relevant information on who Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo are going to be in 2014 and 2015 by seeing two to three months less of them over the next two years?  Or that they’ll make some some great strides or gain some great experience in the next two to three months in the majors that they wouldn’t have made in the minors? 

        Just be honest: You want to see those two players sooner in the season rather than later because it would make the season more exciting for you.  And I understand that sentiment.  It will be exciting when those guys are called up.  But that difference of a few months is not going to teach the organization anything about either player long term, and the better organizations over the past several years have in fact been keeping their prospects in the minors until they are absolutely 100% ready.  Look at how long the Rays keep their players in the minors. 

        Both Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will get their season or two in Chicago to play every day when they are called up.  Jackson’s will probably start sometime in mid to late June, Rizzo’s will probably start in mid to late July.

      • Dusty Baylor

        I want to see Jackson and Rizzo in the majors, because “learning” at AAA is overrated.  If being blocked my THE Marlon Byrd and Bryan LaHair, who I do like btw…is what’s going on?  Really?   Again, in small words…I’d rather see what the Cubs minor leaguers can do, than fringe veteran types.
        It has nothing to do with excitement.

      • Noah_I

        I’ll ask you just one question: what evidence do you have that “learning” at AAA, as you put it, is overrated?  Because if you don’t like players being kept down in the minors longer, you’re just not going to like the Epstein/Hoyer regime.  Barring a huge immediate need, they keep their top prospects down until they think that they can get the maximum possible value out of the 6 years of team control they get.  It’s just the way they work.

      • Dusty Baylor

         Ok..yeah..I see Pedroia and Ellsbury..were starting oh..wait…after about 3 full seasons in the minors..hm..Clay Buchholz…same…let’s see….same.  Looks like they were brought up when they were ready, or when management thought them ready….whatever.  They’ll save that precious arbitration time…great.   I’m just glad to see that the Cubs have SOMEONE who looks like an actual prospect…and who might be up here this season.  I will just hope that in 5 years, we’re glad they saved the arbitration time…that both are good players.

    • Noah_I

      First, I’d argue both Rizzo and Jackson could benefit from more time in Iowa.  Rizzo apparently had a hole in his swing last year when he came up to the majors that was exploited.  He’s apparently been working on that all offseason, but it’s better for him to continue working out that sort of kink in Triple A.  Brett Jackson has struck out in just about 30% of his Triple A plate appearances.  It’s hard to be more than an average major league hitter if you strike out that much. 

      You also can’t worry about the arbitration clock 4 or 5 years from now.  Once you’ve brought the player up and they’ve “made it”, there’s nothing you can do 4 or 5 years later to adjust the arb clock.  It had to be thought of prior to bringing the player up.

      It’s one thing if the Cubs were competitive this year and you believe that Rizzo and Jackson would be immediate improvements over LaHair and Byrd.  These arguments could definitely be reasonably made.  But the Cubs aren’t competitive, and both players have gameplay issues beyond merely learning to adjust to major league pitching.  If they can benefit from more time in Triple A (and both can), they should be in Triple A instead of using up team control.

      • Dusty Baylor

         I understand how the arb clocks work…I just don’t give a flying fuck….If in 5 years, you have to worry about how much to pay them?  What are the chances of both of them succeeding, and playing well enough to where the Cubs will need to worry about this?   Besides Starlin Castro, name a young Cub player where this has been an issue…Felix Pie?  Brooks Kieschnick?  Lance Dickson?   Is it better to move them up from AAA in a season where there is no pressure, and the Cubs are not expected to compete for a playoff spot, or in a season where the Cubs are expected to compete for a playoff spot?   If Jackson was striking out a lot, and his OBP was .320…I’d be concerned.  His .292/.387/.550 in AA so far is pretty decent, yeah?  Team control…good lord.   Well in 5 years we MIGHT have to worry about…..lord.

      • Noah_I

        I’ll just say it so Joe doesn’t have to.  This blog has an affiliation with a major organization, and having somewhat regular commenters dropping f-bombs doesn’t help that relationship.

        You can’t just look at a guy’s minor league stats and say he’s going to be ok.  Jackson has put up insane BABIPs at AAA that he’s simply not going to match.  This is especially true in the PCL, which is a huge hitter’s league.

        And what does the “pressure to succeed” even mean?  There are plenty of examples of prospects coming up in competition years and excelling.  Two years ago, the best offensive players on two playoff teams were rookies: Jason Heyward and Buster Posey.  Do you have any data that says that prospects who come up in years where their teams are terrible do better than prospects who come up in years when their teams are good?  Or is this just gobbledygook you make up on the fly?  And shouldn’t the Cubs try to push as many of their prospects to be as inexpensive as possible in the years where they can be set to be in contention so those young players will be cheaper and the Cubs can spend that money bringing in free agents to fill the spots they can’t fill through the farm?  Plus, the Cubs aren’t very likely to compete next year anyways.  So even if your “theory” that rookies do better if they debut in years their teams’ stink is true, Jackson and Rizzo will get that time late this year and through next year.
        Neither Rizzo nor Jackson are complete prospects who can’t benefit from more time in the minors.  Since they can benefit from more time in the minors, they should stay there for now.  Just because you personally would find the team more interesting with Jackson and Rizzo on it (which is what you and everyone else pushing for their early promotions really are saying), doesn’t mean that it’s right for Jackson, Rizzo or the Cubs.

      • Jedi

        Let’s not chase off the regulars.

      • Dusty Baylor

         Sorry all..forgot to bleep my comment this morning…coffee hadn’t kicked in yet.

      • Jedi

        My comment wasn’t meant for you, Dusty.

      • Dusty Baylor

        oh no worries Jedi…sorry, was just throwing that out there….hey look..another dumb Cub baserunning mistake?

      • Yes.  Redact that before ESPN’s crack team of F-bomb sleuths swoop in and pull VFTB from the blog lineup.  

      • Dusty Baylor

         Neither of these players, Rizzo and Jackson, are 19 year old phenoms.  They have both had a few seasons in the minors already.  Jackson’s number’s over 1400 PA’s are .291/.393/.493.  If he came up and as a rookie hit .260/.350/.420, with improvement as time went on…I’d be happier with that than watching him in the PCL facing retread pitchers, and playing in bandboxes.  Find out what the Cubs have in the minor league cupboard..  What happens in 3 seasons when Jackson and Rizzo, god forbid, are both struggling…but hey, thank goodness the Cubs saved an arbitration year.  I’m not saying all rookies do better in seasons their teams suck..I’m saying there is less pressure if the team is not contending.  The Cubs could play them, without worrying about every a t bat…every performance, and let them play.  Byrd is a known mediocre commodity, and Soriano is a sunk cost.

        Meh..whatever.  If these two were 20 year olds, with 1 season experience each…I’d be saying to take your time.  they’ve played a few seasons in the minors, and have had success.   There is no perfect time to bring them up.  Sink or swim.  Give them a season or two up in Chicago and let’s see how they do.

      • Dusty Baylor

         BTW come June, and Rizzo/Jackson are struggling..and LaHair is still hitting and/or Byrd is playing much, much better…then sure…great..leave the prospects in AAA.

      • Norm Bothwell

         Yes, Rizzo isn’t 19…but he’s still the 5th or 6th youngest position player in the PCL. There just isn’t a rush.

      • Noah_I

        So you think we’re going to get vastly more relevant information on who Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo are going to be in 2014 and 2015 by seeing two to three months more of them over the next two years?  Or that they’ll make some some great strides or gain some great experience in the next two to three months in the majors that they wouldn’t have made in the minors? 

        Just be honest: You want to see those two players sooner in the season rather than later because it would make the season more exciting for you.  And I understand that sentiment.  It will be exciting when those guys are called up.  But that difference of a few months is not going to teach the organization anything about either player long term, and the better organizations over the past several years have in fact been keeping their prospects in the minors until they are absolutely 100% ready.  Look at how long the Rays keep their players in the minors. 

        Both Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will get their season or two in Chicago to play every day when they are called up.  Jackson’s will probably start sometime in mid to late June, Rizzo’s will probably start in mid to late July.

      • Dusty Baylor

        I want to see Jackson and Rizzo in the majors, because “learning” at AAA is overrated.  If being blocked my THE Marlon Byrd and Bryan LaHair, who I do like btw…is what’s going on?  Really?   Again, in small words…I’d rather see what the Cubs minor leaguers can do, than fringe veteran types.
        It has nothing to do with excitement.

      • Noah_I

        I’ll ask you just one question: what evidence do you have that “learning” at AAA, as you put it, is overrated?  Because if you don’t like players being kept down in the minors longer, you’re just not going to like the Epstein/Hoyer regime.  Barring a huge immediate need, they keep their top prospects down until they think that they can get the maximum possible value out of the 6 years of team control they get.  It’s just the way they work.

      • Dusty Baylor

         Ok..yeah..I see Pedroia and Ellsbury..were starting oh..wait…after about 3 full seasons in the minors..hm..Clay Buchholz…same…let’s see….same.  Looks like they were brought up when they were ready, or when management thought them ready….whatever.  They’ll save that precious arbitration time…great.   I’m just glad to see that the Cubs have SOMEONE who looks like an actual prospect…and who might be up here this season.  I will just hope that in 5 years, we’re glad they saved the arbitration time…that both are good players.

  • BLPCB

    Really, Brenly? Relief catcher? Going to the finale right now, then Bulls-Heat tonight. Hopefully the Bulls will have better luck than the Cubs. Bulls win tonight, and we clinch the East. (I know the magic # is 3, but that’s bc Miami has tiebreaker right now. We win tonight, we lop 3 off bc we get tiebreaker)

  • AC0000000

    Really, Brenly? Relief catcher? Going to the finale right now, then Bulls-Heat tonight. Hopefully the Bulls will have better luck than the Cubs. Bulls win tonight, and we clinch the East. (I know the magic # is 3, but that’s bc Miami has tiebreaker right now. We win tonight, we lop 3 off bc we get tiebreaker)

  • Doug S.

    Let’s study the results from the beginning of this year so far….
    2 losses followed by a win
    3 losses followed by 2 wins
    4 losses followed by……???

    • Jedi

      At least we haven’t been swept…yet.

    • Another loss?

      • Doug S.

        Correct, Josh.
        And Jedi, the brooms surfaced.

      • Jedi

        Yeah, I had to sneak it in while it was still true.

  • Doug S.

    Let’s study the results from the beginning of this year so far….
    2 losses followed by a win
    3 losses followed by 2 wins
    4 losses followed by……???

    • Jedi

      At least we haven’t been swept…yet.

    • Josh Cornwall

      Another loss?

      • Doug S.

        Correct, Josh.
        And Jedi, the brooms surfaced.

      • Jedi

        Yeah, I had to sneak it in while it was still true.

  • Jedi

    Nicely done Josh – glad I didn’t have to listen to the ‘relief catchers’ bit live…that sounds horrible.

  • Jedi

    Nicely done Josh – glad I didn’t have to listen to the ‘relief catchers’ bit live…that sounds horrible.

    • Josh Cornwall

      It was. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

  • Chuck

    This may be herecy around here, but I may be laying down a bunt for this year.  The team sucks.  There aren’t any new youngsters to get excited about yet.  I just way too much other stuff going on and most of it baseball related.  For example I am:
    1) Running a Little League
    2) Coaching a T-Ball team
    3) Assistant coaching/helping out with 3 other USSSA teams
    4) Getting my house ready to be put on the market by summer
    I just have no time for a bad and boring team.  Now if they were bad, but with character, i could get behind that.  This group is just blah.

  • Chuck

    This may be herecy around here, but I may be laying down a bunt for this year.  The team sucks.  There aren’t any new youngsters to get excited about yet.  I just way too much other stuff going on and most of it baseball related.  For example I am:
    1) Running a Little League
    2) Coaching a T-Ball team
    3) Assistant coaching/helping out with 3 other USSSA teams
    4) Getting my house ready to be put on the market by summer
    I just have no time for a bad and boring team.  Now if they were bad, but with character, i could get behind that.  This group is just blah.

  • In case you were wondering the answers were. Double and runs is what they were.

  • Josh Cornwall

    In case you were wondering the answers were. Double and runs is what they were.

  • flyslinger2

    What do the Cubs have to loose by platooning others in?  If they ramp up the win percentage by a smidgen then they benefit.   If they don’t, then they look no worse then they do now which is not all that great.  If it is about rebuilding then get some of the young bucks up there and get them the experience.   Every loss has looked the same to me:  SP throws well for 3 to 5 innings and then panics knowing that someone from BP will step in and loose the game so the SP looses his concentration and starts throwing erratically.  This snowballs into the very fear that vaulted into his psyche.  Defense around him sputters, spits and then offers up an error or 20 to make sure that there are plenty of base runners.  When the Cubs are able to get their turn at bat, only the first 4 to 5 batters have the ability to spray singles  as offense. There are no extra base hits nor dingers.  The bottom half of the batting order sucks.   Not only is the the cure for the common sleepless night but some wannabe sports novelist couldn’t dream up this type of
    fictitious team.

    I say screw it to potential future contract issues (the lawyer in me reminds me that rules are made to be broken) and make the most of the talent that is through out the system right now. 

    Don’t know if you are aware but Scotts Lawn care company has an IOS app called “Beat he Streak”. It’s fun.  I appreciated Joe’s mention of the GC app.  I wish they had a bit more integration/automation built into it.  It would be nicer.

    • Jedi

      I wish we’d have gotten 3 to 5 good innings from Samardzija today.

  • flyslinger2

    What do the Cubs have to loose by platooning others in?  If they ramp up the win percentage by a smidgen then they benefit.   If they don’t, then they look no worse then they do now which is not all that great.  If it is about rebuilding then get some of the young bucks up there and get them the experience.   Every loss has looked the same to me:  SP throws well for 3 to 5 innings and then panics knowing that someone from BP will step in and loose the game so the SP looses his concentration and starts throwing erratically.  This snowballs into the very fear that vaulted into his psyche.  Defense around him sputters, spits and then offers up an error or 20 to make sure that there are plenty of base runners.  When the Cubs are able to get their turn at bat, only the first 4 to 5 batters have the ability to spray singles  as offense. There are no extra base hits nor dingers.  The bottom half of the batting order sucks.   Not only is the the cure for the common sleepless night but some wannabe sports novelist couldn’t dream up this type of
    fictitious team.

    I say screw it to potential future contract issues (the lawyer in me reminds me that rules are made to be broken) and make the most of the talent that is through out the system right now. 

    Don’t know if you are aware but Scotts Lawn care company has an IOS app called “Beat he Streak”. It’s fun.  I appreciated Joe’s mention of the GC app.  I wish they had a bit more integration/automation built into it.  It would be nicer.

  • BLPCB

    Miami
    2x
    Runs

  • AC0000000

    Miami
    2x
    Runs

    • Josh Cornwall

      Good work.

  • Norm Bothwell

     Brett Jackson just isn’t ready. If the fan base is deflated now,
    imagine how it would be if the Cubs best prospect comes up and hits .200
    with a sub .300 OBP and striking out at a pace of more than 200 times
    in a full season? There is just no reason to do that other than to
    appease fans for a week before they get tired of the K’s and contact issues.

    • Dusty Baylor

       He might not be ready.  How do we know he’s not ready?  How many seasons do the Cubs wait?  1 more?  2 more?   Screw the idiot fans man…the ones who are there only to drink and “enjoy the atmosphere.”  Jackson might struggle….sure.  he might come up and do really well.   I’d worry about Jackson more if he was struggling in the minors, striking out 150+ times, and hitting .240/.310/.400.
      June 1 I surely hope to see Jackson and Rizzo.

      • Norm Bothwell

        We know he’s not ready because he’s striking out in 1/3 of his plate app’s.

      • There are plenty of MLB players that strike out a lot. This shouldn’t be the determining factor.

      • Norm Bothwell

         How many of them struck out in 1/3 of their AAA plate app’s?
        I have yet to find one…
        Seriously, I’ve looked.

      • That must have taken you a few days to look at every talented player who’s ever donned a MLB uni. Nice. The K’s are worrisome, but they aren’t the end all be in how I view prospects. Other’s, like my buddy Dave think more like you. There’s no one set logic that everyone HAS to adhere to.

      • Josh Cornwall

        That must have taken you a few days to look at every talented player who’s ever donned a MLB uni. Nice. The K’s are worrisome, but they aren’t the end all be in how I view prospects. Other’s, like my buddy Dave think more like you. There’s no one set logic that everyone HAS to adhere to.

    • Jedi

      Top to bottom the organization has said that Jackson is ready to be at the MLB level.  This notion that he’s not ready has been bogus since the middle of Spring Training.

      ”There are a couple of guys who are ready to play here, especially Brett Jackson,” Sveum said. “He is ready to play here. ”

      Sveum would go on to mention that he still had things to work on in the minors, and that he was going back because there wasn’t a spot for him on the current roster.  But effusive with his praise for Jackson, multiple times saying that he was ready to play at the MLB level.

      • Noah_I

        So wait… Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod need to prove themselves again here, but Dale Sveum doesn’t?  Solely because Dale Sveum says someone is ready means they are, in fact, ready? 

        Of COURSE the organization is saying that Brett Jackson is ready.  They want the fan base to get excited about him when he’s called up the same way the fan base got excited when Castro got called up or Felix Pie got called up.  It doesn’t mean he actually is ready, especially when 1400 minor league plate appearances show he has some major contact issues.  Considering you’re often the most skeptical of anyone here, I’m a little surprised that you’re taking those statements at face value.

      • Jedi

        Something has really gotten your dander up over the last two days.  I haven’t a clue what the point of your first paragraph is – and it sure seems like you don’t appreciate having your opinion challenged with fact.  Perhaps I’m just not “in” enough with the organization to know that the entire month of March was a disinformation campaign to boost interest & attendance if/when we bring up a prospect.  The prevailing opinion from most baseball people at the end of March was that Jackson was ready but didn’t have an everyday spot and he’d be sent down until he could play regularly – I think it eventually became a mandatory mention during each Cubs’ spring training broadcast…so I guess everyone was in on the grand conspiracy. Or maybe that’s just gobbledygook you’re making up on the fly.

      • Noah_I

        Aside from the fact that multiple scouting gurus (Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein) have all had, and made many statements both in their publications and on Twitter that they have strong concerns about Brett Jackson’s readiness considering his massive strikeout rate.  Mike Newman, one of FanGraph’s two scouting guys, thinks he’s a Tyler Colvin redux due to the Ks (I disagree with Newman, by the way). 

        So I’m not sure who these “most baseball people” you are talking about are.  Len Kasper and Bob Brenly?  Look, I like them, but they haven’t even mentioned his strikeout problem.  Not once. 

        I let the actions of the organization speak much more loudly than the statements they make.  Had they thought Jackson and Rizzo could not have benefitted from being in the Minors, they wouldn’t be in the Minors. 

        I’m perfectly fine with being disagreed with.  So tell me why Brett Jackson is clearly “ready?”  I think he could really benefit from more time in Triple A because he has severe contact issues.  The data tells us that it’s very difficult for those sorts of players with his contact issues to maintain their minor league performances in the Majors.  And the data also tells us that, once those types of guys are in the Majors, it’s rare that they will ever not strike out a lot.  He might not be able to be a guy who doesn’t strike out 25-30% of his plate appearances.  But the best place to work on that is Iowa. 

        See, I really thought Brett Jackson was ready at the end of last year.  But I read what people who had seen him (and the guys who have access to scouts who saw him a lot last year) said.  And the reports were similar: a lot of concerns about the contact rate.  So I looked into it.  And I saw, yeah, the contact rate is bad.  Then I looked into other players who had similar strikeout rates.  I discovered that if you don’t hit home runs like Adam Dunn in his prime, striking out in 30% of your plate appearances makes it very difficult to be an above average big leaguer.

        I’ve only gotten two arguments regarding why Brett Jackson should be called up: First, we need to see what we “have in him.”  Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will get extended looks when they’re called up.  They will at least both get whatever amount of time they’re in the Majors this year plus all of next year.  And I’d bet even if they are struggling they’ll get at least 2014 as well.  Second is that the Chicago media and some members of the Cubs’ organization, in public statements made to the media, have said Jackson is ready.  But the less biased observers (those unaffiliated with the organization) have concerns about him. 

        Although I will say my statement regarding the Cubs’ public statements as far as they concerned Jackson and Rizzo was worded a little strongly.  The Cubs are going to hype all their prospects publicly.  It’s not disinformation, but just the way it goes.  And it’s not just to get fans excited, but it’s the way you do business.  You hype your assets’ strengths and diminish their flaws, at least publicly. 

      • Jedi

        You should’ve started this whole thing long ago with “how dare you disagree with Keith Law”…it’s much easier to cut to the chase.  By the way, until Keith Law is Jackson’s employer it doesn’t matter one wit what Klaw thinks; if the Cubs think he’s ready that’s all that matters.

        “It’s not disinformation” – you’re right, it’s not disinformation; they DO believe he’s ready, every time I saw someone associated with the organization interviewed during Spring Training there was a consensus opinion on Jackson – he’s ready.  In fact, I heard more than one person from the Cubs go out of their way to make the point that he’s ready BUT he needs to play every day.  I’m not sure how you get from that to the advertising angle of ‘it’s just hype to raise interest.’  They have to move someone (either out of town or to the bench) before they can call him up.  It’s pretty simple.

      • Noah_I

        We’re arguing two things, so let’s separate them: (1) You say that the Cubs have made unequivocal statements that they think Brett Jackson is ready.  I disagree.  (2) I’ve said that, independent of what the Cubs have said, Brett Jackson has shown signs that he could use more time in the Minors, namely a very high strikeout rate.  You have yet to respond to the second argument, so I’ll let my above statements just stand on that one.

        Regarding the first argument, I’ll admit this thought happened to pop into my lap when I was perusing this morning’s Sun Times.  First, you have clearly shown that Dale Sveum thinks Brett Jackson is ready.  But his opinion only counts so much here.  His opinion does not show the organization thinks that Brett Jackson is ready.  Instead, two things greatly trump what Dale Sveum says: the actions of the organization and the statements of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, who make the personnel decisions regarding when minor league players get promoted and demoted.

        First, regarding the actions: the reason why Brett Jackson doesn’t have a spot in the outfield is because the Cubs signed David DeJesus this offseason.  The Cubs created the logjam by bringing in a veteran to play right field.  The Cubs could very easily have started Brett Jackson in center and moved Marlon Byrd to right, or just started Jackson in center.  But they didn’t.  They signed a veteran guy who you view as a “left handed Reed Johnson” to fill that role instead.  Reports also say that Jackson is not likely to be the one called up if Byrd, Soriano or DeJesus go down with an injury early in the season.  That he’s behind both Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt on that totem pole.  Now, that may be a service time issue more than anything else, but, if it is true, it is an indication the Cubs aren’t just waiting for a spot to open up for Jackson.

        Regarding the reports from the individuals higher up than Sveum: find me one report where Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer or Jason McLeod even IMPLY that Brett Jackson is ready. 

        From today’s Sun Time, regarding both Jackson and Rizzo: ‘‘Those guys are continuing their development at Triple-A, and things that they’re working on, they need to continue to improve,’’ team president Theo Epstein said.

        http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/12013520-573/theo-epstein-its-too-early-for-anthony-rizzo-and-brett-jackson.html

        Jason McLeod on Brett Jackson in late January:

        McLeod, the man who bypassed him in the draft for the Red Sox, says the question on Jackson at Cal-Berkeley was “his overall hitting ability … but I loved his athleticism. He just looked the part (of being great). There weren’t too many guys walking around who had that physical package.”
        The package now has matured to 6 feet 2 and 210 pounds. In his full two minor-league seasons, Jackson has shown the expected speed (51 steals) and power (32 homers, 55 doubles, 144 RBIs), but he also has struck out a lot (264 against 146 walks).
        “The thing with Brett is his upside is so big because he has the strength and speed and can play defense and really throw,” said McLeod, who hasn’t seen Jackson play in person since college. “Ultimately, his bat is going to tell who he is, whether he’s going to be a superstar or complementary player.”

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-28/sports/ct-spt-0129-cubs-brett-jackson-chicago–20120129_1_cubs-prospect-cubs-fans-robinson-chirinos

        Neither of those statements appear to be ringing endorsements that the organization views Brett Jackson as ready now.  So where are those quotes from the people above Dale Sveum?  You know, the people who actually decide for the organization if Brett Jackson is ready or not? 

        Last, just regarding using Law, Goldstein, etc. as sources, just keep attacking the messenger on that one.  Do you know how Law and Goldstein come to their opinions?  They each have a wide swath of scouts who work for MLB teams that they are able to talk to and get honest opinions regarding prospects.  Do they speak for the Cubs’ organization?  Of course not.  Have I ever claimed they did?  No.  But the fact that both of them have raised the contact concerns means that multiple scouts have raised the issue to each of them.

      • Jedi

        Let’s just speed this up.  Until/unless Keith Law, Goldstein, etc. say he’s ready, it won’t matter what the Cubs say – you won’t change your mind.

        Secondly, McLeod said it in a TV interview during spring training, Epstein said it in a radio interview (I believe just prior to the Opening Day game).  But unless it’s printed on a page you have no use for it (which isn’t surprising, that’s the methodology used for tracking games – if it doesn’t show up in a box score, it couldn’t have mattered).  I’m not sure what McLeod’s opinion from January (before anyone even reported to Mesa), or the DeJesus signings have to do with anything.  In March, remember MARCH, the Cubs as an organization started to repeatedly proclaim Jackson as ready.  Sveum was doing it nearly every day during the last two weeks of Spring Training (apparently, you think, in opposition to the opinion of his bosses).

        There’s really no point in discussing it anymore…so I’m done.

      • Dusty Baylor

        2400 PA’s also show that he gets on base, hits for some power, and can steal 20-30 bases.  Mentioning Castro in the same breath as Felix Pie? Really?  Even though Pie never got a real shot here…sheesh.

      • Noah_I

        I didn’t mention them as far as their results or concerns are considered.  I merely mentioned their hype upon initial call up, which was similar.  Yes, the Cubs terribly mishandled Felix Pie.  If they had such deep issues about the length of his swing, that’s something that should have been fixed before he even reached Double A.  By the time he reached the Majors, they should have just lived with the player he was and given him extended time to see if he could contribute.  But the Cubs’ handling of the two players wasn’t anywhere near my point.  What, because the Cubs treated Castro and Pie differently after they were called up means no one can mention their similiarities as highly rated prospects who the fan base was very excited to see? 

      • Dusty Baylor

         you win Noah.  You’re right…I’m wrong…you’re the best..I’m the worst..you’re good looking..I’m not attractive.

        done.

      • Jedi

        I guess you don’t mind chasing off the regulars.

      • Jedi

        Lest you conflate my comment and my regular sparring with you and Norm, then conclude that I’m some type of hypocrite – understand that I rarely antagonize our regular readers with any venomous intent…our other writers, that’s a different story in my book.

      • Why would any of you be proud of directing venom at anyone? It’s not a very flattering personality trait.

      • Jedi

        There was a little tongue-in-cheek there as to how the two of them like to portray me…sorry it didn’t come off like that…

  • Norm Bothwell

     Brett Jackson just isn’t ready. If the fan base is deflated now,
    imagine how it would be if the Cubs best prospect comes up and hits .200
    with a sub .300 OBP and striking out at a pace of more than 200 times
    in a full season? There is just no reason to do that other than to
    appease fans for a week before they get tired of the K’s and contact issues.

    • Dusty Baylor

       He might not be ready.  How do we know he’s not ready?  How many seasons do the Cubs wait?  1 more?  2 more?   Screw the idiot fans man…the ones who are there only to drink and “enjoy the atmosphere.”  Jackson might struggle….sure.  he might come up and do really well.   I’d worry about Jackson more if he was struggling in the minors, striking out 150+ times, and hitting .240/.310/.400.
      June 1 I surely hope to see Jackson and Rizzo.

      • Norm Bothwell

        We know he’s not ready because he’s striking out in 1/3 of his plate app’s.

      • Josh Cornwall

        There are plenty of MLB players that strike out a lot. This shouldn’t be the determining factor.

    • Jedi

      Top to bottom the organization has said that Jackson is ready to be at the MLB level.  This notion that he’s not ready has been bogus since the middle of Spring Training.

      ”There are a couple of guys who are ready to play here, especially Brett Jackson,” Sveum said. “He is ready to play here. ”

      Sveum would go on to mention that he still had things to work on in the minors, and that he was going back because there wasn’t a spot for him on the current roster.  But effusive with his praise for Jackson, multiple times saying that he was ready to play at the MLB level.

      • Noah_I

        So wait… Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod need to prove themselves again here, but Dale Sveum doesn’t?  Solely because Dale Sveum says someone is ready means they are, in fact, ready? 

        Of COURSE the organization is saying that Brett Jackson is ready.  They want the fan base to get excited about him when he’s called up the same way the fan base got excited when Castro got called up or Felix Pie got called up.  It doesn’t mean he actually is ready, especially when 1400 minor league plate appearances show he has some major contact issues.  Considering you’re often the most skeptical of anyone here, I’m a little surprised that you’re taking those statements at face value.

      • Jedi

        Something has really gotten your dander up over the last two days.  I haven’t a clue what the point of your first paragraph is – and it sure seems like you don’t appreciate having your opinion challenged with fact.  Perhaps I’m just not “in” enough with the organization to know that the entire month of March was a disinformation campaign to boost interest & attendance if/when we bring up a prospect.  The prevailing opinion from most baseball people at the end of March was that Jackson was ready but didn’t have an everyday spot and he’d be sent down until he could play regularly – I think it eventually became a mandatory mention during each Cubs’ spring training broadcast…so I guess everyone was in on the grand conspiracy. Or maybe that’s just gobbledygook you’re making up on the fly.

      • Noah_I

        Aside from the fact that multiple scouting gurus (Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein) have all had, and made many statements both in their publications and on Twitter that they have strong concerns about Brett Jackson’s readiness considering his massive strikeout rate.  Mike Newman, one of FanGraph’s two scouting guys, thinks he’s a Tyler Colvin redux due to the Ks (I disagree with Newman, by the way). 

        So I’m not sure who these “most baseball people” you are talking about are.  Len Kasper and Bob Brenly?  Look, I like them, but they haven’t even mentioned his strikeout problem.  Not once. 

        I let the actions of the organization speak much more loudly than the statements they make.  Had they thought Jackson and Rizzo could not have benefitted from being in the Minors, they wouldn’t be in the Minors. 

        I’m perfectly fine with being disagreed with.  So tell me why Brett Jackson is clearly “ready?”  I think he could really benefit from more time in Triple A because he has severe contact issues.  The data tells us that it’s very difficult for those sorts of players with his contact issues to maintain their minor league performances in the Majors.  And the data also tells us that, once those types of guys are in the Majors, it’s rare that they will ever not strike out a lot.  He might not be able to be a guy who doesn’t strike out 25-30% of his plate appearances.  But the best place to work on that is Iowa. 

        See, I really thought Brett Jackson was ready at the end of last year.  But I read what people who had seen him (and the guys who have access to scouts who saw him a lot last year) said.  And the reports were similar: a lot of concerns about the contact rate.  So I looked into it.  And I saw, yeah, the contact rate is bad.  Then I looked into other players who had similar strikeout rates.  I discovered that if you don’t hit home runs like Adam Dunn in his prime, striking out in 30% of your plate appearances makes it very difficult to be an above average big leaguer.

        I’ve only gotten two arguments regarding why Brett Jackson should be called up: First, we need to see what we “have in him.”  Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will get extended looks when they’re called up.  They will at least both get whatever amount of time they’re in the Majors this year plus all of next year.  And I’d bet even if they are struggling they’ll get at least 2014 as well.  Second is that the Chicago media and some members of the Cubs’ organization, in public statements made to the media, have said Jackson is ready.  But the less biased observers (those unaffiliated with the organization) have concerns about him. 

        Although I will say my statement regarding the Cubs’ public statements as far as they concerned Jackson and Rizzo was worded a little strongly.  The Cubs are going to hype all their prospects publicly.  It’s not disinformation, but just the way it goes.  And it’s not just to get fans excited, but it’s the way you do business.  You hype your assets’ strengths and diminish their flaws, at least publicly. 

      • Jedi

        You should’ve started this whole thing long ago with “how dare you disagree with Keith Law”…it’s much easier to cut to the chase.  By the way, until Keith Law is Jackson’s employer it doesn’t matter one wit what Klaw thinks; if the Cubs think he’s ready that’s all that matters.

        “It’s not disinformation” – you’re right, it’s not disinformation; they DO believe he’s ready, every time I saw someone associated with the organization interviewed during Spring Training there was a consensus opinion on Jackson – he’s ready.  In fact, I heard more than one person from the Cubs go out of their way to make the point that he’s ready BUT he needs to play every day.  I’m not sure how you get from that to the advertising angle of ‘it’s just hype to raise interest.’  They have to move someone (either out of town or to the bench) before they can call him up.  It’s pretty simple.

      • Noah_I

        We’re arguing two things, so let’s separate them: (1) You say that the Cubs have made unequivocal statements that they think Brett Jackson is ready.  I disagree.  (2) I’ve said that, independent of what the Cubs have said, Brett Jackson has shown signs that he could use more time in the Minors, namely a very high strikeout rate.  You have yet to respond to the second argument, so I’ll let my above statements just stand on that one.

        Regarding the first argument, I’ll admit this thought happened to pop into my lap when I was perusing this morning’s Sun Times.  First, you have clearly shown that Dale Sveum thinks Brett Jackson is ready.  But his opinion only counts so much here.  His opinion does not show the organization thinks that Brett Jackson is ready.  Instead, two things greatly trump what Dale Sveum says: the actions of the organization and the statements of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, who make the personnel decisions regarding when minor league players get promoted and demoted.

        First, regarding the actions: the reason why Brett Jackson doesn’t have a spot in the outfield is because the Cubs signed David DeJesus this offseason.  The Cubs created the logjam by bringing in a veteran to play right field.  The Cubs could very easily have started Brett Jackson in center and moved Marlon Byrd to right, or just started Jackson in center.  But they didn’t.  They signed a veteran guy who you view as a “left handed Reed Johnson” to fill that role instead.  Reports also say that Jackson is not likely to be the one called up if Byrd, Soriano or DeJesus go down with an injury early in the season.  That he’s behind both Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt on that totem pole.  Now, that may be a service time issue more than anything else, but, if it is true, it is an indication the Cubs aren’t just waiting for a spot to open up for Jackson.

        Regarding the reports from the individuals higher up than Sveum: find me one report where Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer or Jason McLeod even IMPLY that Brett Jackson is ready. 

        From today’s Sun Time, regarding both Jackson and Rizzo: ‘‘Those guys are continuing their development at Triple-A, and things that they’re working on, they need to continue to improve,’’ team president Theo Epstein said.

        http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/12013520-573/theo-epstein-its-too-early-for-anthony-rizzo-and-brett-jackson.html

        Jason McLeod on Brett Jackson in late January:

        McLeod, the man who bypassed him in the draft for the Red Sox, says the question on Jackson at Cal-Berkeley was “his overall hitting ability … but I loved his athleticism. He just looked the part (of being great). There weren’t too many guys walking around who had that physical package.”
        The package now has matured to 6 feet 2 and 210 pounds. In his full two minor-league seasons, Jackson has shown the expected speed (51 steals) and power (32 homers, 55 doubles, 144 RBIs), but he also has struck out a lot (264 against 146 walks).
        “The thing with Brett is his upside is so big because he has the strength and speed and can play defense and really throw,” said McLeod, who hasn’t seen Jackson play in person since college. “Ultimately, his bat is going to tell who he is, whether he’s going to be a superstar or complementary player.”

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-28/sports/ct-spt-0129-cubs-brett-jackson-chicago–20120129_1_cubs-prospect-cubs-fans-robinson-chirinos

        Neither of those statements appear to be ringing endorsements that the organization views Brett Jackson as ready now.  So where are those quotes from the people above Dale Sveum?  You know, the people who actually decide for the organization if Brett Jackson is ready or not? 

        Last, just regarding using Law, Goldstein, etc. as sources, just keep attacking the messenger on that one.  Do you know how Law and Goldstein come to their opinions?  They each have a wide swath of scouts who work for MLB teams that they are able to talk to and get honest opinions regarding prospects.  Do they speak for the Cubs’ organization?  Of course not.  Have I ever claimed they did?  No.  But the fact that both of them have raised the contact concerns means that multiple scouts have raised the issue to each of them.

      • Jedi

        Let’s just speed this up.  Until/unless Keith Law, Goldstein, etc. say he’s ready, it won’t matter what the Cubs say – you won’t change your mind.

        Secondly, McLeod said it in a TV interview during spring training, Epstein said it in a radio interview (I believe just prior to the Opening Day game).  But unless it’s printed on a page you have no use for it (which isn’t surprising, that’s the methodology used for tracking games – if it doesn’t show up in a box score, it couldn’t have mattered).  I’m not sure what McLeod’s opinion from January (before anyone even reported to Mesa), or the DeJesus signings have to do with anything.  In March, remember MARCH, the Cubs as an organization started to repeatedly proclaim Jackson as ready.  Sveum was doing it nearly every day during the last two weeks of Spring Training (apparently, you think, in opposition to the opinion of his bosses).

        There’s really no point in discussing it anymore…so I’m done.

      • Dusty Baylor

        2400 PA’s also show that he gets on base, hits for some power, and can steal 20-30 bases.  Mentioning Castro in the same breath as Felix Pie? Really?  Even though Pie never got a real shot here…sheesh.

      • Noah_I

        I didn’t mention them as far as their results or concerns are considered.  I merely mentioned their hype upon initial call up, which was similar.  Yes, the Cubs terribly mishandled Felix Pie.  If they had such deep issues about the length of his swing, that’s something that should have been fixed before he even reached Double A.  By the time he reached the Majors, they should have just lived with the player he was and given him extended time to see if he could contribute.  But the Cubs’ handling of the two players wasn’t anywhere near my point.  What, because the Cubs treated Castro and Pie differently after they were called up means no one can mention their similiarities as highly rated prospects who the fan base was very excited to see? 

      • Dusty Baylor

         you win Noah.  You’re right…I’m wrong…you’re the best..I’m the worst..you’re good looking..I’m not attractive.

        done.

      • Jedi

        I guess you don’t mind chasing off the regulars.

      • Jedi

        Lest you conflate my comment and my regular sparring with you and Norm, then conclude that I’m some type of hypocrite – understand that I rarely antagonize our regular readers with any venomous intent…our other writers, that’s a different story in my book.

      • Why would any of you be proud of directing venom at anyone? It’s not a very flattering personality trait.

      • Jedi

        There was a little tongue-in-cheek there as to how the two of them like to portray me…sorry it didn’t come off like that…

  • SBardo

    What the Cubs really need to do better is draft and develop quality players within the organization.  I glanced around on Baseball Reference and found that the last player with a career WAR of over 10 that the Cubs have drafted in high rounds are:

    Round 1 : Mark Prior in 2001.  13.7 career WAR.  Of the 14 first round picks since then, only 3 have reached the majors, with a combined WAR of -0.5.

    Round 2 : Greg Maddux in 1984.  96.9 career WAR.  Only 21 second round picks since then, 9 reaching the majors.  -4.3 combined WAR.

    Round 3 : Scott Downs in 1997.  Before that, Dennis Lamp in 1971.

    Round 4 : Ken Holtzman in 1965.

    In the rounds beyond that, our “best” are Dontrelle Willis in the 8th round of 2000 and Geovany Soto in the 11th in 2001. 

    THIS is what is wrong with the Cubs.

    And yet I still love them.

  • SBardo

    What the Cubs really need to do better is draft and develop quality players within the organization.  I glanced around on Baseball Reference and found that the last player with a career WAR of over 10 that the Cubs have drafted in high rounds are:

    Round 1 : Mark Prior in 2001.  13.7 career WAR.  Of the 14 first round picks since then, only 3 have reached the majors, with a combined WAR of -0.5.

    Round 2 : Greg Maddux in 1984.  96.9 career WAR.  Only 21 second round picks since then, 9 reaching the majors.  -4.3 combined WAR.

    Round 3 : Scott Downs in 1997.  Before that, Dennis Lamp in 1971.

    Round 4 : Ken Holtzman in 1965.

    In the rounds beyond that, our “best” are Dontrelle Willis in the 8th round of 2000 and Geovany Soto in the 11th in 2001. 

    THIS is what is wrong with the Cubs.

    And yet I still love them.

  • RichBeckman

    Geez, how did I missed the preseason hype that the Cubs would be good this year. Oh sure, plenty (including me) tried to pretend that the Central would be weak this year and if this happened and that happened, who knows??! But didn’t we all know in our hearts that this season was going to be difficult to watch?

    I thought the whole point to the new regime was to build a club that would compete on a year in year out basis. I don’t care what Theo and company said about a competitive team this year, I am confident that future seasons are the priority over this season.

    Maybe the guys in AAA are ready for the majors, or maybe they are not.  Maybe they are just down there waiting for room on the Cubs roster.

    Maybe the Cubs will never be able to get anything for Byrd or Soto or Soriano or whoever, but it is still only April 19.

    I would love to see a more dynamic competitive team out there, but I am content to suffer through what we have to suffer through so in the future we do not have to suffer.

    I went though three years of rebuilding from nothing with IU basketball. It was well worth the wait (and I watched every game I could the entire three years).

    We are just eight percent into the season. It is gonna be a long one!

    • Noah_I

      Very well said.

    • Pretty sure this has team has been eternally rebuilding….so not sure it’s much of a change.

  • RichBeckman

    Geez, how did I missed the preseason hype that the Cubs would be good this year. Oh sure, plenty (including me) tried to pretend that the Central would be weak this year and if this happened and that happened, who knows??! But didn’t we all know in our hearts that this season was going to be difficult to watch?

    I thought the whole point to the new regime was to build a club that would compete on a year in year out basis. I don’t care what Theo and company said about a competitive team this year, I am confident that future seasons are the priority over this season.

    Maybe the guys in AAA are ready for the majors, or maybe they are not.  Maybe they are just down there waiting for room on the Cubs roster.

    Maybe the Cubs will never be able to get anything for Byrd or Soto or Soriano or whoever, but it is still only April 19.

    I would love to see a more dynamic competitive team out there, but I am content to suffer through what we have to suffer through so in the future we do not have to suffer.

    I went though three years of rebuilding from nothing with IU basketball. It was well worth the wait (and I watched every game I could the entire three years).

    We are just eight percent into the season. It is gonna be a long one!

    • Noah_I

      Very well said.

    • Josh Cornwall

      Pretty sure this has team has been eternally rebuilding….so not sure it’s much of a change.