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April 2014

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What Do We Do With Jose Veras?

Written by , Posted in General

Going for the sweep yesterday, the Cubs ran into the usual problem….Jose Veras. If you missed the game, it’s hard to blame everything on him, but he certainly did his share of damage, again.

In his appearances so far this season, he’s posted the following:

Date IP H R ER BB SO HR
Apr 2 1.0 1 1 1 2 1 0
Apr 6 0.2 0 2 2 4 1 0
Apr 8 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Apr 11 1.0 1 2 2 1 0 0
Apr 20 1.0 2 3 3 2 2 2
Apr 24 1.0 2 2 2 1 0 0
5.2 6 10 10 10 5 2

Basically he’s had one appearance that didn’t result in a run and that was over two weeks ago. Not only should he not be the closer of this team, but you begin to wonder if he should even be on the roster at this point. Let’s take a quick look at what options the Cubs have going forward.

Option 1Keep the Faith – This is probably the most beneficial option given the fact that he’s signed to just a one year deal at $3.85 million with a club option for 2015 that kicks in a $0.15 mil buyout if it’s not picked up. It’s a relatively low investment for a “closer” and if the Cubs can get him right, he could be a flip candidate. His recent struggles are a reason why I continually preach the concept of building your bullpen from within and not buying it on the free agent market. You never know what you’re going to get. I’d rather gamble with low cost guys from my system and spend money elsewhere. Nonetheless, if the Cubs keep Veras and hope that either something is broken healthwise that can be fixed or hope he can turn it around, then you have to continually try to put him in the easiest situations to have success. No situations even remotely high leverage at all. I’d almost be in favor of having him be a ROOGY just so he can have that one bit of success and build on that.

Option 2 – Remove Him From The Roster – While this is the decision most want now (me included), what purpose does it really serve other than keep our mental health a little stronger because we don’t have to watch? He’s out of options, so sending him to the minors is not going to happen given that he’d have to clear waivers and would have to consent to it beforehand. That just leaves being traded (not happening), claimed on waivers (probably not happening), or releasing him. I don’t like those options quite yet. This team is not a winning team so we can afford to roll the dice and go with option one with the hope that it turns out in the positive.


What’s On Tap

After another series non-win, the Cubs face the Brewers this weekend. I’m out of town on a camping trip so the blog will be kind of quiet on Saturday and Sunday. Just be aware, but still come by to chat. To hold you over, we get a guest piece on why the Brewers will crush the Cubs this weekend by our Brewers SweetSpot Network Friend, Ryan Topp (Disciples of Uecker)

Hello friendly Illinois baseball brethren

Most of us in Brewer-land are just about as shocked as you are by the standings right now. Some of us harbored hopes of being sort of fringe wild card contenders, but I don’t think anyone saw a start like this coming. Despite having played 16 of 22 games thus far against teams that made the playoffs in 2013, the Brewers have jumped out to a 16-6 record, the best in the major leagues.

They’ve gotten very balanced pitching up and down the rotation and the bullpen has been completely lights out locking down wins. The offense isn’t killing teams, but they’ve used an aggressive approach early in counts to score enough runs to let the pitchers win games for them. Just how sustainable all this is remains to be seen, but they have a deceptively deep roster and should have some wiggle room to make changes as the needs arise.

Now, for those of you who might be thinking of visiting Miller Park in droves and treating a couple of our best players unkindly, be forewarned. Ryan Braun LOVES it when you boo him. Eats it right up. Thus far, all six of his homers have come on the road. His three homer game in Philly with a bum thumb was basically just him returning their “brotherly love” in kind. He ripped the hearts out of Pirates fans with 9th inning homers off of Jason Grilli on both Saturday and Sunday, just because he could.

Furthermore, don’t expect Carlos Gomez to just put his head down and run around the bases when he hits a 450-foot homer this weekend. That isn’t how he does things and this also isn’t a funeral. It’s a game. You know, for fun. I would advise against having one of your pitchers try and tell anyone on the Brewers how they should go about their business. That didn’t play in Pittsburgh and it’s certainly not going to play in Miller Park.

Seriously, though, there are times when it’s hard not to envy what the Cubs have going with their minor league system and the way the roster is being setup to win big in a few years. This right now is the Brewers time, though. It has to be, because the roster isn’t particularly young and this window to win isn’t going to stay open forever. So please, come on up to Miller Park this weekend and enjoy the hospitality. Enjoy the brats, the beer, and the roof. Go home with your team barely having put up a fight in a three game sweep secure in the knowledge that not only does it help your hosts, but it also helps your position in the 2015 amateur draft.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I hear that Braun’s girl friend is unhappy with him. He apparently can only get it up on the road.

    • PLCB3

      Russell Wilson’s now ex-wife is available.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I hear that Braun’s girl friend is unhappy with him. He apparently can only get it up on the road.

    • AC0000000

      Russell Wilson’s now ex-wife is available.

  • Eddie Von White

    He is not writing to Cub fans. He is writing to his base and thus keeping his job. I advise all fans at Miller Park to wear latex gloves in case they catch a ball off the bat of the Herpes Hammer.

    • Seymour Butts

      Fairly unlikely that the little herpes particles travel the length of the bat and lodge themselves onto the ball. He would have to have some unusual bat care rituals that are anatomically improbable.
      Now a pitcher with a transmissible disease,who throws a spitter, another story.

      • Eddie Von White

        You can never be too safe. That’s what my Grandpa always told me.

  • Eddie Von White

    He is not writing to Cub fans. He is writing to his base and thus keeping his job. I advise all fans at Miller Park to wear latex gloves in case they catch a ball off the bat of the Herpes Hammer.

    • Seymour Butts

      Fairly unlikely that the little herpes particles travel the length of the bat and lodge themselves onto the ball. He would have to have some unusual bat care rituals that are anatomically improbable.
      Now a pitcher with a transmissible disease,who throws a spitter, another story.

      • Eddie Von White

        You can never be too safe. That’s what my Grandpa always told me.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Why does it seem like I’ve seen this movie before? First it was Kevin Gregg, then Carlos Marmol, then Gregg again, and now Jose Veras. Will we ever find an at least somewhat consistent closer?

    • PLCB3

      The Dump was pretty good from 2005-07, and then Woody in 2008.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Why does it seem like I’ve seen this movie before? First it was Kevin Gregg, then Carlos Marmol, then Gregg again, and now Jose Veras. Will we ever find an at least somewhat consistent closer?

    • AC0000000

      The Dump was pretty good from 2005-07, and then Woody in 2008.

  • PLCB3

    Enjoy your camping trip, Joe. I like camping too. I’ve had a few trips with my friend over the last year as part of his organization, and a lot of people bring their rigs. You have an RV yet?

    • That reads a whole lot like ‘boy scouts.’

  • AC0000000

    Enjoy your camping trip, Joe. I like camping too. I’ve had a few trips with my friend over the last year as part of his organization, and a lot of people bring their rigs. You have an RV yet?

    • That reads a whole lot like ‘boy scouts.’

  • Dork

    Is it me or do the Cubs really struggle against new pitchers that they have never seen before?

  • Dork

    Is it me or do the Cubs really struggle against new pitchers that they have never seen before?

  • Sit him…let Strop and Grimm do their thing. I do love the idea of a ROOGY. Minimize the damage.

    • Dork

      This worked today, seems like sound strategy

  • Sit him…let Strop and Grimm do their thing. I do love the idea of a ROOGY. Minimize the damage.

    • Dork

      This worked today, seems like sound strategy

  • PLCB3

    I wonder if Pineda was using pine tar when he beat us.

  • AC0000000

    I wonder if Pineda was using pine tar when he beat us.

  • PLCB3

    Our old pal Ian Stewart left the No Homer’s Club yesterday. I’m surprised he’s still in the game, let alone starting on an MLB team.

  • AC0000000

    Our old pal Ian Stewart left the No Homer’s Club yesterday. I’m surprised he’s still in the game, let alone starting on an MLB team.

  • PLCB3

    Joe is right with his prediction of 3-4 for this week. I’m predicting a 2-4 week. We go 1-2 in both series. 🙁

    • Dork

      1-2 in the series seems to be a trend, better than 0-3 I guess

      • PLCB3

        I think we get our first series wins vs. the trash when we sweep them to even up the all-time series. Next year we will likely play them 8 times.

  • AC0000000

    Joe is right with his prediction of 3-4 for this week. I’m predicting a 2-4 week. We go 1-2 in both series. 🙁

    • Dork

      1-2 in the series seems to be a trend, better than 0-3 I guess

      • AC0000000

        I think we get our first series wins vs. the trash when we sweep them to even up the all-time series. Next year we will likely play them 8 times.