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Wednesday

9

May 2012

56

COMMENTS

Game 30: Ryan Dempster Can't Even BUY a Win

Written by , Posted in General

Braves 3 @ Cubs 1

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

I finished the night a little frustrated and decided to go to bed before I wrote this. I woke up still frustrated, but have three thoughts and a question for each.

Ryan Dempster – He still continues to pitch like a man not only possessed, but a man in a contract year. A seven inning, one run performance actually raised his ERA up to 1.02. He looked better last night than Randall Delgado so it’s a shame he didn’t get the offensive support needed to get a win. He remains winless on the season, which to me is amazing. While I don’t value pitcher wins, you can’t deny that he should have at least one to this point. It’s got to continue to be frustrating to him, especially given the fact that his last win was back on August 11.

QuestionDoes the continued success by Dempster in any way change your mind or the Cubs mind on moving him before the end of the year considering he’s in the last year of his deal?

Bryan LaHair – On the surface, there really isn’t any logical reason why he should be a part of the discussion from last night, but he is. In the box score you’ll see an 0-for-3 night. What you’ll also see is a walk, which runs his streak for reaching base to 26 games. It’s important to stop and really take a look at the numbers he’s put up and put them in perspective. Here are his numbers with MLB rankings for first baseman in parenthesis

Average – .373 (1st)
On Base % – .470 (1st)
Slugging – .771 (1st)
Homeruns – 8 (2nd)
RBI – 17 (6th)

Stop for a minute and just look at those numbers. Then look at the most important number, in my mind: $482,500. That’s his salary for 2012. Top production for bargain prices. LaHair is Costco.

Question – We’ll continue to hear all about how Anthony Rizzo needs to be called up to pair as a dynamic duo with LaHair, but will a shift to the outfield mess with LaHair and cause him to stop hitting as well?

Kerry Wood – He gave up the lead and looked bad doing it in the 8th. You kind of knew it was going to happen after watching a few batters. It’s like that moment where you know someone is starting to fall and it all goes in slow motion. What makes it all the more painful is the fact that a) he’s my favorite Cub of all time, and b) he’s fairly beloved by the organization. It’s tough because you don’t want the option of him to decline to the point where fans that love him begin to turn on him. You kind of just want him to ride off into the sunset and take a job in the front office like he’s expressed interest in. Going forward, I still believe he can be a profital part of this pen, but high leverage situations have to be ruled out right now for him and for Carlos “donkey kong” Marmol.

Question – How do you handle the Kerry Wood situation from a PR standpoint so as to not sour the way he’s perceived by the fans?

We’re at a 1-1 split so it’s going to come down to Maholm today to get a really big series win. That’s all it takes and I believe it’s do able. The key is going to be putting some runs on the board to begin to support the pitching staff early.

  • Cubs Future

    Been thinking about a lot of those same things. Obviously depends on what the Cubs can get for Dempster, just like Garza. The goal is to build up the farm system to sustain success. For Dempster you can’t get any better, so for as long as he continues might be a good chance to sell high. Garza has more youth, so he is more questionable to move as you need an ace when you turn the corner.

    As for Lahair, I know I have thought about what a move to the outfield or even a trade would do. Rizzo has been tearing it up and Jackson not as much with the strikeouts etc, so if those two were switched, might be easier to wait on. But I think the real thing is when can the Cubs dump Soriano. Sounds like it will have to be next year when in his last year unless the Cubs want to eat that much of his salary. More teams would be willing to take a chance and give him a chance to at least step it some so the Cubs can sell for more than a bag of peanuts. So I think unless they dump Soriano or if Lahair falls off dramatically, I think they will try to hold Rizzo in the minors until next year. That also would allow Lahair to practice more of being an outfielder before thrown into it so can be comfortable.

    Very difficult for Wood as he has to find his way the hard way. I’m sure he doesn’t want to be hurting the Cubs, so he may be the one to approach management to come to a way. Marmol needs to be traded so he definitely needs to built up again as with some swagger and fire, he will get something. Wanting to avoid these 2 for high pressure situations is like impossible as the cubs starters have kept the Cubs in games (that part is a good thing). Their offense hasn’t done enough to give any cushion. If they start clicking, then perfect for Kerry to be part of that. I know I’m hoping that the end of Marmol’s performance will get him kick started as finally seemed to get a fire.

    So definitely lots to think about, but sounds like Theo and company have more pressing matters with the upcoming draft. They want to try to get this to be a great draft to truly build upon. Lots of picks as even for their top pick, they have it narrowed down to 10 guys. LOL

  • Cubs Future

    Been thinking about a lot of those same things. Obviously depends on what the Cubs can get for Dempster, just like Garza. The goal is to build up the farm system to sustain success. For Dempster you can’t get any better, so for as long as he continues might be a good chance to sell high. Garza has more youth, so he is more questionable to move as you need an ace when you turn the corner.

    As for Lahair, I know I have thought about what a move to the outfield or even a trade would do. Rizzo has been tearing it up and Jackson not as much with the strikeouts etc, so if those two were switched, might be easier to wait on. But I think the real thing is when can the Cubs dump Soriano. Sounds like it will have to be next year when in his last year unless the Cubs want to eat that much of his salary. More teams would be willing to take a chance and give him a chance to at least step it some so the Cubs can sell for more than a bag of peanuts. So I think unless they dump Soriano or if Lahair falls off dramatically, I think they will try to hold Rizzo in the minors until next year. That also would allow Lahair to practice more of being an outfielder before thrown into it so can be comfortable.

    Very difficult for Wood as he has to find his way the hard way. I’m sure he doesn’t want to be hurting the Cubs, so he may be the one to approach management to come to a way. Marmol needs to be traded so he definitely needs to built up again as with some swagger and fire, he will get something. Wanting to avoid these 2 for high pressure situations is like impossible as the cubs starters have kept the Cubs in games (that part is a good thing). Their offense hasn’t done enough to give any cushion. If they start clicking, then perfect for Kerry to be part of that. I know I’m hoping that the end of Marmol’s performance will get him kick started as finally seemed to get a fire.

    So definitely lots to think about, but sounds like Theo and company have more pressing matters with the upcoming draft. They want to try to get this to be a great draft to truly build upon. Lots of picks as even for their top pick, they have it narrowed down to 10 guys. LOL

  • Doug Bagley

    Tough Loss. Dempster was outstanding again & 8th inning was brutal. Why does it take Wood loading the bases before anyone got up in the ‘pen in a tied game? However, hard to just blame Wood/Dale when offense gets 1 run. Campana’s bad bunt almost worked out but it didn’t. Soriano’s defense was Good but his bat, not so much. Lahair & Castro had off nights too.

    • Joe Aiello

      Doug, Soriano drove in the only run with a two out hit. He also drew a walk in the 4th to keep an inning going. I have no issues with him yesterday.

      • BLPCB

        I saw him make a nice catch also

      • Dusty Baylor

        .253/.276/.303…
        14 RBI’s…..great. Soriano still stinks

    • chet

      Soriano gets a bad rap becuase of his contract, outside of that he has become a decent outfielder and always provides above average hitting. Not much more though.

    • Doug Bagley

      I also think Soriano gets a bad rap for his defense which is just fine. People go nuts over a stupid route to the ball but when he has a good night defensively its mostly “crickets”. As for his bat, would it kill him to not swing at every ball in the dirt on a 0-2 count? Especially in the late innings. Also, he fouls off pitches right down the middle.

  • Doug Bagley

    Tough Loss. Dempster was outstanding again & 8th inning was brutal. Why does it take Wood loading the bases before anyone got up in the ‘pen in a tied game? However, hard to just blame Wood/Dale when offense gets 1 run. Campana’s bad bunt almost worked out but it didn’t. Soriano’s defense was Good but his bat, not so much. Lahair & Castro had off nights too.

    • Joe Aiello

      Doug, Soriano drove in the only run with a two out hit. He also drew a walk in the 4th to keep an inning going. I have no issues with him yesterday.

      • AC0000000

        I saw him make a nice catch also

      • Dusty Baylor

        .253/.276/.303…
        14 RBI’s…..great. Soriano still stinks

    • chet

      Soriano gets a bad rap becuase of his contract, outside of that he has become a decent outfielder and always provides above average hitting. Not much more though.

    • Doug Bagley

      I also think Soriano gets a bad rap for his defense which is just fine. People go nuts over a stupid route to the ball but when he has a good night defensively its mostly “crickets”. As for his bat, would it kill him to not swing at every ball in the dirt on a 0-2 count? Especially in the late innings. Also, he fouls off pitches right down the middle.

  • Doug S.

    Dempster – his stock has risen this year. I don’t see long term value. Sell high.
    LaHair – a very nice suprise and nice numbers. Guy’s been around. I’d be game to try him in OF and see how it goes.
    Wood – felt bad for him last night. The glove and cap toss to the crowd seemed ‘throwing in the towel’ like.

  • Doug S.

    Dempster – his stock has risen this year. I don’t see long term value. Sell high.
    LaHair – a very nice suprise and nice numbers. Guy’s been around. I’d be game to try him in OF and see how it goes.
    Wood – felt bad for him last night. The glove and cap toss to the crowd seemed ‘throwing in the towel’ like.

  • Eddie Von White

    1. Dempster’s success does not change my mind in any way. Hopefully he keeps it up and raises his value so we get more at the trade deadline.
    2. Wood has got to go. He needs to approach the front office and ask them to make a way for him to slide out gracefully. I do not have the same sentiment for Kerry as others do. Other than his community involvement, he does not have much to offer on the field- but maybe he’d be a great front office guy. He is to blame for the loss last night. Granted, the Cubs didn’t offer much offense, but they were in the game until Wood took the mound. At that point, the air went out of Wrigley. When I see him loosening up in the bull pen, I feel the same emotion I do when I see Marmol loosening up. It’s like watching a train wreck, you don’t want to look, but you can’t help it.

    Wood has to go.

  • Eddie Von White

    1. Dempster’s success does not change my mind in any way. Hopefully he keeps it up and raises his value so we get more at the trade deadline.
    2. Wood has got to go. He needs to approach the front office and ask them to make a way for him to slide out gracefully. I do not have the same sentiment for Kerry as others do. Other than his community involvement, he does not have much to offer on the field- but maybe he’d be a great front office guy. He is to blame for the loss last night. Granted, the Cubs didn’t offer much offense, but they were in the game until Wood took the mound. At that point, the air went out of Wrigley. When I see him loosening up in the bull pen, I feel the same emotion I do when I see Marmol loosening up. It’s like watching a train wreck, you don’t want to look, but you can’t help it.

    Wood has to go.

  • Eddie Von White

    Can LaHair play third?

    • Buddy

      Of course anybody can go stand at 3B, but I’m guessing LaHair would be beyond terrible over there.

  • Eddie Von White

    Can LaHair play third?

    • Buddy

      Of course anybody can go stand at 3B, but I’m guessing LaHair would be beyond terrible over there.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Dempster should be traded if he’ll allow it. It doesn’t matter if his ERA was 0.00 and he was 15-0 in July or if he was at 5.00 and 0-15.
    LaHair has been a pleasant surprise and I don’t think the position he plays will affect his offense (I’ve never understood why people link the two). But the Cubs will not sit Soriano (who HAS indeed played pretty good defense last year, again last night) in the hopes that some team will pick up even 5% of the remainder of his deal.
    *Maybe* you can put LaHair in RF, DeJesus in CF, and put Campana on the bench where he belongs….
    Wood…it’s been 4 innings. I’d give him time.

    • chet

      Campana on the bench where he belongs? Come on! Give the guy some credit he plays a good center field and gets the offense going. He has even done some real hitting this year. No he does not look like Josh Hamilton but he plays the game pretty hard and has some skills we have lacked in the past.

      • Eddie Von White

        Chet – agree!

      • Jedi

        Yeah, I’d let Campana’s production – specifically hitting – dictate his starts. Right now he’s justifying his playing time with .333/.385/.396…he’s never going to hit the ball for power, but if he can sprinkle a few walks in with a regular 1-for-3, 1-for-4 he’s certainly deserving of time in CF. And because of how bad at least one of your corner outfielders would be (whether it’s LaHair, Soriano, or both), Campana’s range in CF is very helpful as well.

      • Norm Bothwell

        This was in answer to Joe’s question. Campana is not as good as DeJesus or LaHair and the Cubs won’t sit Soriano. If the Cubs want LaHair in the outfield, Campana is the odd man out.
        And let’s be honest, “Skills” should probably be singular instead of plural.

    • Doc Raker

      Campana has earned his spot and with his current numbers and his speed he is more valuable than Soriano and DeJesus. Campana does not belong on the bench.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Dempster should be traded if he’ll allow it. It doesn’t matter if his ERA was 0.00 and he was 15-0 in July or if he was at 5.00 and 0-15.
    LaHair has been a pleasant surprise and I don’t think the position he plays will affect his offense (I’ve never understood why people link the two). But the Cubs will not sit Soriano (who HAS indeed played pretty good defense last year, again last night) in the hopes that some team will pick up even 5% of the remainder of his deal.
    *Maybe* you can put LaHair in RF, DeJesus in CF, and put Campana on the bench where he belongs….
    Wood…it’s been 4 innings. I’d give him time.

    • chet

      Campana on the bench where he belongs? Come on! Give the guy some credit he plays a good center field and gets the offense going. He has even done some real hitting this year. No he does not look like Josh Hamilton but he plays the game pretty hard and has some skills we have lacked in the past.

      • Eddie Von White

        Chet – agree!

      • Jedi

        Yeah, I’d let Campana’s production – specifically hitting – dictate his starts. Right now he’s justifying his playing time with .333/.385/.396…he’s never going to hit the ball for power, but if he can sprinkle a few walks in with a regular 1-for-3, 1-for-4 he’s certainly deserving of time in CF. And because of how bad at least one of your corner outfielders would be (whether it’s LaHair, Soriano, or both), Campana’s range in CF is very helpful as well.

      • Norm Bothwell

        This was in answer to Joe’s question. Campana is not as good as DeJesus or LaHair and the Cubs won’t sit Soriano. If the Cubs want LaHair in the outfield, Campana is the odd man out.
        And let’s be honest, “Skills” should probably be singular instead of plural.

    • Doc Raker

      Campana has earned his spot and with his current numbers and his speed he is more valuable than Soriano and DeJesus. Campana does not belong on the bench.

  • Doc Raker

    Maybe Dempster’s increased trade value will offset Marmol’s fall in trade value, like I said a zillion times this season is about the future, if a Dempster trade is better for the future than you have to do it. As for Dempster he should be happy to go to a contender in his waining years, a chance for a ring should always be the bright side for a player.

  • Doc Raker

    Maybe Dempster’s increased trade value will offset Marmol’s fall in trade value, like I said a zillion times this season is about the future, if a Dempster trade is better for the future than you have to do it. As for Dempster he should be happy to go to a contender in his waining years, a chance for a ring should always be the bright side for a player.

  • Doc Raker

    “Kerry, we need you to get some people out somewhat soon. This is the best way you can help this teams future. If you have trade value this year you will help make this team better in 2014 when you are in the front office. Can you do that for our organization?” said Thed.

  • Doc Raker

    “Kerry, we need you to get some people out somewhat soon. This is the best way you can help this teams future. If you have trade value this year you will help make this team better in 2014 when you are in the front office. Can you do that for our organization?” said Thed.

  • I don’t think the fan base is going to really care what we do with K.Wood. Even though he’s been a sentimental favorite for over a decade, the fan base is starting to coincide along with management in terms of accountability when it comes to performance. As much as I liked K.Wood over the years, he’s not doing anything thats beneficial to the team. He simply has got to go.

  • I don’t think the fan base is going to really care what we do with K.Wood. Even though he’s been a sentimental favorite for over a decade, the fan base is starting to coincide along with management in terms of accountability when it comes to performance. As much as I liked K.Wood over the years, he’s not doing anything thats beneficial to the team. He simply has got to go.

  • Jedi

    Trade Dempster, there is no scenario where he should be on the 2013 Cubs – trade him, trade him, trade him. It’s time to let someone else pay the price for being seduced by Contract Year Dempster.

  • Jedi

    Trade Dempster, there is no scenario where he should be on the 2013 Cubs – trade him, trade him, trade him. It’s time to let someone else pay the price for being seduced by Contract Year Dempster.

  • Wes

    What in the world was Castro doing on the (I believe it was…) Hinske at-bat in the 9th? They had an extreme shift on with Starlin just on the 2nd base side of the bag. The high chopper went off of Camp’s glove and bounded directly towards Cardenas. However, here comes Castro flying right in front of the 2nd baseman to glove it and flip to 1st. Don’t get me wrong, nice hustle and it produced an out…. But, Cardenas could have just as easily made the play from his position, whereas Castro should have been on the bag at 2nd. What if Camp had been able to snare the chopper? Would Castro have even been at home to accept Camp’s throw to force the lead runner? It didn’t look like it to me. As it was, Starlin ended up nearly running into LaHair and the baserunner after his flip, how often do you see a shortstop in foul ground off the first base bag? I guess you would rather guys be hustling than pulling an Aramis out there, but still, I had no idea why Castro did that.
    Wood’s outing, just brutal. Painful to watch. How in the world do he and Marmol lose the ability to even throw strikes? Good Lord, let the thing get smashed out onto the rooftops for all I care. But NOTHING tops walking a guy who is doing nothing but squaring around to bunt.

    • Joe Aiello

      Wes, I disagree with your assessment of the play. Cardenas had momentum going toward the second base bag. He would have had to make an off balance throw to first. With one out, there isn’t really a need to force the double play. Castro was alert and was trying to make a play.

    • Jedi

      Off the bat, the ball was hit at Castro – so there’s no way that he would’ve started towards second counting on Camp to make that play. The deflection eliminated any thought of a double play (probably non-existent on a slow grounder anyway).

      I wish we had more players who felt it was their birthright to field every ball in play – even if it led to the occasional mistake (which I don’t think this was). I’d take a handful of mistakes in exchange for maximum effort.

  • Wes

    What in the world was Castro doing on the (I believe it was…) Hinske at-bat in the 9th? They had an extreme shift on with Starlin just on the 2nd base side of the bag. The high chopper went off of Camp’s glove and bounded directly towards Cardenas. However, here comes Castro flying right in front of the 2nd baseman to glove it and flip to 1st. Don’t get me wrong, nice hustle and it produced an out…. But, Cardenas could have just as easily made the play from his position, whereas Castro should have been on the bag at 2nd. What if Camp had been able to snare the chopper? Would Castro have even been at home to accept Camp’s throw to force the lead runner? It didn’t look like it to me. As it was, Starlin ended up nearly running into LaHair and the baserunner after his flip, how often do you see a shortstop in foul ground off the first base bag? I guess you would rather guys be hustling than pulling an Aramis out there, but still, I had no idea why Castro did that.
    Wood’s outing, just brutal. Painful to watch. How in the world do he and Marmol lose the ability to even throw strikes? Good Lord, let the thing get smashed out onto the rooftops for all I care. But NOTHING tops walking a guy who is doing nothing but squaring around to bunt.

    • Joe Aiello

      Wes, I disagree with your assessment of the play. Cardenas had momentum going toward the second base bag. He would have had to make an off balance throw to first. With one out, there isn’t really a need to force the double play. Castro was alert and was trying to make a play.

    • Jedi

      Off the bat, the ball was hit at Castro – so there’s no way that he would’ve started towards second counting on Camp to make that play. The deflection eliminated any thought of a double play (probably non-existent on a slow grounder anyway).

      I wish we had more players who felt it was their birthright to field every ball in play – even if it led to the occasional mistake (which I don’t think this was). I’d take a handful of mistakes in exchange for maximum effort.

  • BLPCB

    Dempster should be traded. He is not part of the future. If he can keep this up through the deadline, we can get a good return from someone who needs an extra arm for the playoffs.
    This is a great problem to have with LaHair and Rizzo. It would be nice if we can move LaHair to another corner, but really, 1B to 3B? Usually the move is in the other direction. We should just bench Soriano and play LaHair in LF to see if he can do it. I don’t think Soriano is tradable, we’ve practically offered to pay his entire contract and still can’t find a taker

  • AC0000000

    Dempster should be traded. He is not part of the future. If he can keep this up through the deadline, we can get a good return from someone who needs an extra arm for the playoffs.
    This is a great problem to have with LaHair and Rizzo. It would be nice if we can move LaHair to another corner, but really, 1B to 3B? Usually the move is in the other direction. We should just bench Soriano and play LaHair in LF to see if he can do it. I don’t think Soriano is tradable, we’ve practically offered to pay his entire contract and still can’t find a taker

  • BLPCB

    As for Woody, he’s got to go. I think everyone will love him regardless of what happens at the end.

  • AC0000000

    As for Woody, he’s got to go. I think everyone will love him regardless of what happens at the end.

  • How about those Cubbies? We got our two of three…

  • How about those Cubbies? We got our two of three…

  • Buddy

    Can’t worry about the fans. Make the best baseball decision you can and let the PR chips fall where they may.

  • Buddy

    Can’t worry about the fans. Make the best baseball decision you can and let the PR chips fall where they may.