Author Archive

Tennessee Smokies Announce Their 2015 Promotional Schedule

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

From the Smokies Media Dept:

KODAK – The Tennessee Smokies today announced their promotional schedule for the upcoming 2015 campaign, which promises to bring an exciting blend of baseball with family fun to “America’s Friendliest Ballpark”. The calendar includes 14 fireworks shows throughout the season, as well as giveaways before every Saturday home game, and numerous other promotions and theme nights over the course of the year. The full list of promotions can be found online at www.smokiesbaseball.com.

“We’ve got a great mix of new theme nights with some classic staples planned for this upcoming season,” stated Smokies Director of In-Game Entertainment Kristi Servais. “Not only are we going to be ‘America’s Friendliest Ballpark’ in 2015, we are also going to be one of the most fun, with something for everyone this year.”

Friday nights once again this season will bring the boom, with fireworks following the conclusion of each contest on Remote Area Medical Fridays. In addition to those 11 Friday night home dates, the Smokies will also have a special Saturday Night Fireworks Show on April 25, as well as shows on Wednesday, July 1 and Thursday, July 2 as part of a Red White and Boom three-night fireworks extravaganza, which culminates with Independence Day Fireworks on Friday, July 3.

After staying late on Fridays, fans will want to arrive early for Giveaway Saturdays, with the team giving away items to the first 1,000 fans (unless otherwise stated) before all ten Saturday evening home contests. Items slated to be given away this year include bobbleheads featuring the likenesses of 2014 Smokies Kris Bryant (July 11) and Jorge Soler (June 20) featured, along with legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt (August 22), in addition to other giveaways including a Smokies Blanket (April 18), Super Hero Cape (April 25) for the first 1,000 kids 12 and under, Military Card Set (May 30) and Youth Jersey (August 8) for the first 1,000 kids 12 and under, among others. The Smokies will also be giving away special vacations to one lucky fan in attendance at two games this year, with destinations such as Chicago to see the Smokies’ parent club Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field (May 16) and the popular East Tennessee resort Dollywood in Pigeon Forge (June 6).

Theme nights will also be a staple at Smokies Stadium this season, with scheduled nights centered around movies such as The Goonies (April 18), Back To The Future (June 5) and Star Wars (June 19), as well as other fun themes, pairing family fun with Super Heroes (April 25), Minions and Princesses (May 29), Margaritaville (June 20), The Grateful Dead (July 11), and The Price Is Right (August 29). Nerds will have their revenge courtesy of a special “Geekend”, with consecutive nights featuring Eight Bit, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones themes between August 7-9. Various giveaways will also be themed with these nights, including Smokies Sunglasses on Blues Brothers Night (May 16), and a Smokies Snow Globe featuring Homer the Hound on Christmas in July Night (July 25).

The players and coaches will also be donning specially themed uniforms throughout the season on several of these nights, including pink jerseys on Breast Cancer Awareness Night (June 6), the return of Star Wars Themed Jerseys on June 19, Grateful Dead Themed Jerseys (July 11), Ugly Christmas Sweater Jerseys for Christmas in July (July 25), and Orange Jerseys onUT Night(August 22). Fans will be able to bid on their favorite player’s specialty jersey at that particular evening’s game, with the proceeds benefitting various East Tennessee charities.

After setting a single-season attendance record in 2014, the club will also be bringing back last year’s popular weekly promotions, with McGhee Tyson Airport Dollar Mondays, NexGard-Heartgard Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays, We’re Cooking All-You-Can-Eat Wednesdays, Coors Light Thirsty Thursdays, and U.S. Cellular Family FUNdays on Sundays. Fans will save big on select concessions items on Mondays, be able to bring along “man’s best friend” on Tuesdays, feast on different ballpark foods on Wednesdays, and enjoy drink specials on Thursdays, including one dollar drafts and Pepsi products.

The club’s 2015 home slate begins on Wednesday, April 15 versus the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, with a special 11:30 a.m. start time. The team will then celebrate Opening Night the next evening on Thursday, April 16, at Smokies Stadium, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

Season ticket and multi-game voucher plans are currently available and can be purchased online at www.smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300. Single-game tickets are expected to go on sale beginning in mid-March, with fans encouraged to visit the team’s website and social media channels for the latest information.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Why I Want the Cubs to Keep Travis Wood

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

It’s been awhile since I got up on my soap box, but since spring training is about here, it’s time. Pitchers and catchers report to camp this Friday. All throughout the off-season, we’ve heard rumors that both Travis Wood and Welington Castillo could be on their way out via trade prior to the start of spring or, at the latest, prior to opening day. That idea, assuming the return is marginal given the reason for the deal, does not excite me. I’d rather see the Cubs keep both and I’ll tell you why over two posts, starting with Wood.

I must preface this by letting you know that Wood is my favorite player. Maybe I just have a thing for good Wood, as Kerry Wood was one of my favorites as well. Nonetheless, I have not been able to wrap my hand around the fact that people are just writing him off. Some even suggested that he was a candidate to be outright released rather than negotiate a one year deal or go to arbitration. That’s crazy to me. When you look at his 2014 numbers, I’ll admit, they aren’t impressive. However, maybe there is more than meets the eye.

Year Age Tm ERA G GS IP HR FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2010 23 CIN 3.51 17 17 102.2 9 3.42 1.081 7.5 0.8 2.3 7.5 3.31
2011 24 CIN 4.84 22 18 106.0 10 4.06 1.491 10.0 0.8 3.4 6.5 1.90
2012 25 CHC 4.27 26 26 156.0 25 4.85 1.199 7.7 1.4 3.1 6.9 2.20
2013 ★ 26 CHC 3.11 32 32 200.0 18 3.89 1.145 7.3 0.8 3.0 6.5 2.18
2014 27 CHC 5.03 31 31 173.2 20 4.38 1.532 9.8 1.0 3.9 7.6 1.92

What I notice when I look at those numbers is a guy who had a wonderful year in 2013 as part of a continuing development and then probably got out a little over his skis and regressed a little in 2014. Do I think he’s the pitcher he was in 2013? No, I don’t, but I also don’t think he’s the pitcher from 2014. I think a more proper comp would be something a little better than 2012 and I’m happy with with.

I wanted to look to see if there were things he was doing differently that may explain the change. By now means am I a pitching expert, but I can make simple observations like this one:

What you can see there, if you compare the performance trend in his stats table with the pitch usage trend in that table, is a downward trend of the fastball usage and then a sharp spike again in 2014. Slider usage was also increasing only to see a sharp decline in 2014.

That got me wondering why he suddenly abandoned the plan of attack and reverted back to the usage on the fastball. What I found was interesting.

In 2014, hitters posted a slash line of .240 / .343 / .392 when he used his fastball. There wasn’t much of an increase on the batting average compared to 2013, but the OBP increased from .297 in 2013. He may not have been locating his fastball as effectively in 2014, but overall it didn’t show a horrible regression when it comes to effectiveness.

The slider, on the other hand, was a completely different story all together. Take a look at the comparison between 2012, 2013 and 2014 in slash line for the slider.

2012 – .159 / .172 / .286

2013 – .162 / .203 / .324

2014 – .306 / .323 / .629

Something happened in 2014 to that slider that caused hitters to not only recognize it, but to tee off on it compared to years past. I don’t know what it is, but if I’m Chris Bosio, I’m going through mountains of film to see if something was altered that caused the pitch to be tipped. If fixing Wood is as easy as identifying a flaw in the delivery that is causing his most effective pitch to leave him, then to give up on him would be ludicrous. 28 year old lefties with good stuff don’t grow on trees. He needs to be part of this rotation.

I believe Wood can be fixed and I believe it comes with figuring out that slider. I’ll be back on Friday with why I want Castillo to be a part of this team as well.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Contest: Predict the Cubs Opening Day Roster

Monday, February 16th, 2015

In case you were not aware of it, the start of spring training is just a few days away. Because of that, I decided we should run a contest. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to predict the Cubs opening day roster as accurately as possible. To give you some frame of reference, I’ve included the current 40 man roster as well as the non-roster invitees below. Remember that in order to make it as a non-roster invitee, you’re going to need to take someone’s place on the 40 man roster.

The winner of the contest will receive a shiny new copy of Out of the Park Baseball 16, which comes fully licensed by MLB for the first time ever. It’s a wonderful game and really cool prize.

To enter the contest, send your 25 names along with a tiebreaker answer to the question “How many games will the Cubs win in Spring Training” to viewfromthebleachers@gmail.com. Entries left in the comment section will not be counted.

Good Luck


Chicago Cubs Active Roster
# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
49 Jake Arrieta R-R 6’4″ 225 Mar 6, 1986
32 Dallas Beeler R-R 6’5″ 210 Jun 12, 1989
66 Drake Britton L-L 6’2″ 215 May 22, 1989
22 Felix Doubront L-L 6’2″ 225 Oct 23, 1987
79 C.J. Edwards R-R 6’2″ 155 Sep 3, 1991
52 Justin Grimm R-R 6’3″ 210 Aug 16, 1988
39 Jason Hammel R-R 6’6″ 225 Sep 2, 1982
28 Kyle Hendricks R-R 6’3″ 190 Dec 7, 1989
36 Edwin Jackson R-R 6’3″ 210 Sep 9, 1983
43 Eric Jokisch R-L 6’2″ 185 Jul 29, 1989
34 Jon Lester L-L 6’4″ 240 Jan 7, 1984
30 Jason Motte R-R 6’0″ 205 Jun 22, 1982
60 Joseph Ortiz L-L 5’7″ 175 Aug 13, 1990
50 Blake Parker R-R 6’3″ 225 Jun 19, 1985
54 Neil Ramirez R-R 6’4″ 190 May 25, 1989
56 Hector Rondon R-R 6’3″ 180 Feb 26, 1988
59 Zac Rosscup R-L 6’2″ 205 Jun 9, 1988
63 Brian Schlitter R-R 6’5″ 235 Dec 21, 1985
46 Pedro Strop R-R 6’1″ 220 Jun 13, 1985
38 Jacob Turner R-R 6’5″ 215 May 21, 1991
18 Tsuyoshi Wada L-L 5’11″ 180 Feb 21, 1981
37 Travis Wood R-L 5’11″ 175 Feb 6, 1987
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
5 Welington Castillo R-R 5’10″ 210 Apr 24, 1987
51 Rafael Lopez L-R 5’9″ 190 Oct 2, 1987
47 Miguel Montero L-R 5’11″ 210 Jul 9, 1983
3 David Ross R-R 6’2″ 230 Mar 19, 1977
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
7 Arismendy Alcantara S-R 5’10″ 170 Oct 29, 1991
9 Javier Baez R-R 6’0″ 190 Dec 1, 1992
13 Starlin Castro R-R 6’0″ 190 Mar 24, 1990
11 Tommy La Stella L-R 5’11″ 185 Jan 31, 1989
20 Mike Olt R-R 6’2″ 210 Aug 27, 1988
44 Anthony Rizzo L-L 6’3″ 240 Aug 8, 1989
61 Christian Villanueva R-R 5’11″ 210 Jun 19, 1991
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
8 Chris Coghlan L-R 6’0″ 195 Jun 18, 1985
15 Chris Denorfia R-R 6’0″ 195 Jul 15, 1980
24 Dexter Fowler S-R 6’4″ 190 Mar 22, 1986
21 Junior Lake R-R 6’3″ 215 Mar 27, 1990
68 Jorge Soler R-R 6’4″ 215 Feb 25, 1992
6 Ryan Sweeney L-L 6’4″ 225 Feb 20, 1985
41 Matt Szczur R-R 6’1″ 195 Jul 20, 1989

 

Chicago Cubs Non-Roster Invitees
# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
55 Daniel Bard R-R 6’4″ 215 Jun 25, 1985
82 Corey Black R-R 5’11″ 175 Aug 4, 1991
48 Francisley Bueno L-L 5’11″ 205 Mar 5, 1981
73 Anthony Carter L-R 6’4″ 215 Apr 4, 1986
71 Hunter Cervenka L-L 6’1″ 215 Jan 3, 1990
72 Jorge De Leon R-R 6’0″ 185 Aug 15, 1987
Gonzalez Germen R-R 6’1″ 200 Sep 23, 1987
80 Pierce Johnson R-R 6’3″ 170 May 10, 1991
81 Armando Rivero R-R 6’4″ 190 Feb 1, 1988
62 Donn Roach R-R 6’0″ 195 Dec 14, 1989
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
74 Kyle Schwarber L-R 6’0″ 235 Mar 5, 1993
12 Taylor Teagarden R-R 6’0″ 210 Dec 21, 1983
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
76 Kris Bryant R-R 6’5″ 215 Jan 4, 1992
19 Jonathan Herrera S-R 5’9″ 180 Nov 3, 1984
75 Addison Russell R-R 6’0″ 195 Jan 23, 1994
16 Chris Valaika R-R 5’11″ 205 Aug 14, 1985
45 Logan Watkins L-R 5’11″ 195 Aug 29, 1989
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
78 Albert Almora R-R 6’2″ 180 Apr 16, 1994
33 Mike Baxter L-R 6’0″ 205 Dec 7, 1984
40 Adron Chambers L-L 5’10″ 200 Oct 8, 1986
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Top 10 Worst Offensive Seasons as a Cubs SS

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Keeping with the theme from yesterday, I present the worst offensive Cubs seasons as a shortstop. Discuss among yourselves.

Rk Player OPS+ PA Year Age G R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1 Don Kessinger 37 336 1965 22 106 19 4 3 0 14 20 44 .201 .252 .233
2 Rey Sanchez 39 324 1996 28 95 28 9 0 1 12 22 42 .211 .272 .253
3 Ivan de Jesus 44 460 1981 28 106 49 8 4 0 13 46 61 .194 .276 .233
4 Mick Kelleher 48 363 1976 28 124 28 12 1 0 22 15 32 .228 .264 .270
5 Larry Bowa 49 423 1984 38 133 33 14 2 0 17 28 24 .223 .274 .269
6 Ronny Cedeno 54 572 2006 23 151 51 18 7 6 41 17 109 .245 .271 .339
7 Don Kessinger 55 628 1967 24 145 61 10 7 0 42 33 80 .231 .275 .272
8 Shawon Dunston 62 359 1987 24 95 40 18 3 5 22 10 68 .246 .267 .358
9 Don Kessinger 67 707 1968 25 160 63 14 7 1 32 38 86 .240 .283 .287
10 Jeff Blauser 69 435 1998 32 119 49 11 3 4 26 60 93 .219 .340 .299
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Top 10 Worst Offensive Seasons at Catcher for the Cubs

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

With the Cubs apparent shift of focus from offense behind the plate to a more defensive minded and pitch framing approach, there is the chance that offensively behind the plate, the Cubs could be challenged. I don’t think it will be horribly challenged, but I think we could see struggles. That got me wondering what the worst offensive seasons at the catcher position have been.

To compile my data, I only looked at seasons in the expansion area “1961 – present” and limited the search to players who played at least 75% of their games at catcher and saw at least 300 plate appearances. From there, I ordered them by OPS+

With that said, I present to you the top 10 worst offensive seasons behind the plate.

Rk Player OPS+ PA Year Age G R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1 Randy Hundley 52 387 1972 30 114 23 12 0 5 30 22 62 .218 .261 .294
2 Dave Rader 55 348 1978 29 116 29 13 3 3 36 34 26 .203 .281 .295
3 Dick Bertell 61 350 1963 27 100 15 7 2 2 14 24 41 .233 .284 .286
4 Scott Servais 63 360 1998 31 113 35 15 1 7 36 26 51 .222 .289 .338
5 Steve Swisher 65 411 1976 24 109 25 13 3 5 42 20 82 .236 .275 .326
6 Steve Swisher 65 325 1974 22 90 21 5 0 5 27 37 63 .214 .307 .286
7 Randy Hundley 68 406 1973 31 124 35 11 1 10 43 30 51 .226 .283 .342
8 Joe Girardi 72 447 1990 25 133 36 24 2 1 38 17 50 .270 .300 .344
9 George Mitterwald 72 382 1977 32 110 40 22 0 9 43 28 69 .238 .295 .378
10 Randy Hundley 73 606 1968 26 160 41 18 4 7 65 39 69 .226 .280 .311
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Trade Reaction: Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily for Dexter Fowler

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

If you missed the news yesterday, the Cubs made a trade to acquire the services of Dexter Fowler, sending Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily to the Astros in return. According to Jesse Rogers, the move “elevates their offense more than any other move this offseason”. Thank you captain obvious, as they have only made a move to essentially add a defensive starting catcher. While I do think the move is a nice one, I don’t know that it’s that huge. Let’s break it down.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE OUTFIELD

The addition of Fowler gives the Cubs an every day centerfielder and begins to clear up some of the mystery around the short term future of the outfield. Fowler has just over five years of ML service time, so he will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Cubs will need to decide on what their need is and determine if Fowler is one to fill it. With Albert Almora still probably two full seasons away from being the starter, assuming normal development, it will be an interesting decision.

As of right now, Jorge Soler will start in RF and Fowler will start in CF and probably hit leadoff. That leaves LF, where you can see a host of potentials all fighting to earn the spot. Chris Coghlan will probably get the first shot, given his play last year, but Arismendy Alcantara, Junior Lake, and Ryan Sweeney  could all figure into the mix as well. My guess is that it’s Coghlan’s job to lose with Sweeney backing up most of the OF spots.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE INFIELD

Here it gets a little more interesting. Valbuena figured to be the starter at third out of spring training, so moving him means there are a couple of scenarios. First, we could see Mike Olt get his last stand before being banished to the land of the forgotten third base prospects. It’s a land inhabited by names like Kevin Orie and Josh Vitters, Olt has to produce at this point. Another scenario puts Javier Baez at third with Tommy La Stella at second. I haven’t quite figured out what I think about La Stella yet, so I’m not sure where I stand on this one. In a perfect world, I’d dislike it because it means Olt failed and I really want him to be a guy. The final option, which I am diametrically opposed to is for Kris Bryant to get the opening day start at third. To do this, would be reckless and silly.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE ROTATION

Absolutely nothing. Dan Straily did not have a spot on this team and was probably not ever going to find a role. He’s ML ready so the Astros can give him a shot to show what he can do.

OVERALL CONCLUSION

I think it was a slightly too much to pay for Fowler, but it helps the Cubs look even more like a .500 or better team in 2015 and that’s the goal. It gets us better now without sacrificing the future.

FAN REACTION

 

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

My 2015 Sports Resolutions

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

I had planned on having my 2004 vs 2015 Cubs post go live today but as I was working on it last night, I wasn’t happy with it just yet so I want to work on it a little more. Instead, I want to talk about resolutions a little as we end our week and begin 2015.

I’m not a resolution type of guy. I’m a goal guy. Whether or not you think there is much of a difference is up to you. For the sake of the post, though, I decided to make some resolutions for this year in regards to sports. I’d encourage you to do the same and share them in the comments section.

My 2015 Sports Resolution List

  1. Watch every Cubs game in 2015 – Usually I check out sometime in August after the trade deadline, but this year I want to watch every game. Granted some of them may be the condensed game that is offered on MLB.tv, but I’m going to watch every game.
  2. Attend at least one game this season – For years, when I was living in Chicago I would go to multiple games a year. Since moving to NC, I’ve tried to make it a priority to go to at least one, whether it be in Atlanta or DC. Over the last three years, I’ve failed in that quest. This year, I’m going to head back to Washington in June.
  3. Have a blog post go live about every Cubs game this season. – It has been easy in the past to be slack on this, but I’m making a commitment this year to do it.
  4. Be more active in the comment section of the posts – I tend to stay out of there, but I want to be more engaged this season with the readers.
  5. Watch all the 30 for 30 documentaries - I have seen so few of these and it’s been on my list for awhile. I started last night by watching “A King’s Ransom”, the story about the Wayne Gretzky trade.
  6. Read the entire Bill James New Historical Abstract – It’s an 800+ baseball reference / history book. It’s interesting, but easy to get bogged down with. It should be an endeavor.

I’m sure there are more I will think of as the year goes on, but we’ll start with this list. I’d love your feedback as well as your lists as well.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Catching Up on Cubs News & Notes

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

On Monday, I had surgery on my eye lids to raise them up to give me better field of vision. I had horrible peripheral vision when it came to the upper part of my eye. As a result, I’ve been struggling with some discomfort and bruising and the idea of sitting at a computer any longer than I had to was not appealing. I’m doing better now, aside from looking a little like Boy George due to the eyes being bruised, so it’s time to catch up a little on the news.

Starlin Castro‘s Recent Conversation With the Authorities - I just happened to be on my phone when all of this broke on Twitter as a result of a tweet from an ESPN Deportes reporter. The biggest takeaway now that Castro has been cleared once again, is that he needs to surround himself with better people and commiserate in better places. I understand that the Dominican Republic is his home and that the people he was with are his friends, but you have to make smart decisions with the people you associate yourself with or you put yourself in a position to lose the things you’ve worked hard for. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cost you. Castro’s agent has come out and said that he and Theo and Jed have discussed the sitiaution and that Castro is in the process of looking at a move to the US. You can listen to the interview with Castro’s agent here.

A lot of people want to just give up on Castro, but I’m not one of them. I see him, at his peak, as a hitter with 200 hit capability (we’ve seen that before), 20+ home run power, and average to above average defense in the field. I don’t give up on a player this young with that kind of talent.

Stephen Drew Rumors – Jon Heyman mentioned that the Cubs were one of a few teams interested in the services of Drew to play second base. I don’t see the point as you have a potential star in Javier Baez ready to blossom and take over the position. To block him with an over 30 veteran that, really, isn’t all that good is absurd. I don’t give much credit to this rumor.

Chris Denorfia reportedly signs with the Cubs – His former teammate, John Baker, tweeted the news out, so take that with a grain of salt. As of right this minute, the signing has not been announced by the team. The deal is reported to be one year for $2.5 million. Denorfia figures to be a platoon outfielder with Chris Coghlin in LF, which signals to me that as of right now, a big bat in the OF is not coming. In the meantime, if we find something available, eating small contracts like that of Coghlin or Denorfia is not a big deal.

That will do it for today. I plan to have a post going up tomorrow comparing the 2004 Cubs, the first team I blogged about, to the 2015 projected Cubs. It’s been interesting to work on, so keep an eye out for that.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs / Padres Trade Just Makes Sense

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

In case you missed it, the Padres have made a flurry of recent moves to improve their outfield, bringing in Justin Upton, Will Meyers, and Matt Kemp. As a result, they have a bit of a surplus at a position that just so happens to be a need for the Cubs. It just so happens that the Cubs have a surplus at a couple positions that the Padres could use. The deal just seems to make sense for both parties.

Noah mentioned it briefly in the comment section the other day, but it bears repeating here. A deal to send Welington Castillo and /or Luis Valbuena to the Padres to net either Cameron Maybin or Will Venable would work quite nicely for this team. Both guys are coming off less than stellar years, but could provide equal or better production than the hodge podge we’re currently scheduled to run out there in LF. Venable fits the mold a little more than Maybin when it comes to what we’re looking for, which is power potential (in 2013, Venable had 22 HR’s), however he’s also four years older than Maybin.

For the Padres, the move makes a lot of sense given the fact that they are currently slated to trot out Will Middlebrooks at third base and Derek Norris behind the plate. Middlebrooks can’t hit and Norris can’t field.

It’s worth watching over the next few weeks to see if rumors of a deal begin to surface.


In other news, the Cubs saw themselves in a flurry of minor moves today. Here is the rundown.

  • 28 year old outfielder, Adron Chambers was signed to a minor league contract. Chambers comes from the Cardinals organization, where he spent the year in AAA last season, posting a .283 / .351 / .411 slash line in 206 plate appearances.
  • LHP Mike Kickham was claimed off waivers from the Giants. Kickham gives the Cubs another potential lefty bullpen candidate to compete for the open spot in the pen. He’s been a starter in his time in the minors, but so have guys like Tsuyoshi Wada and Felix Doubront, who are also potential candidates. A look at Kickham’s minor league numbers reveal that he gives up a lot of hits. That should come down a little out of the pen given that teams would get fewer looks at him compared to pitching out of the rotation, but that H/9 ratio is still too high.
  • The Orioles have claimed newly acquired catcher, Ryan Lavarnway off of waivers from the Cubs. This one frustrates me a little as I saw Lavarnway as nice catcher depth in a system that is all but void of depth behind the plate. He flashed great power early in his minor league career, but has since seen that trail off. Still, it would have been nice to keep him.
  • The Brewers have claimed Shane Peterson off of waivers from the #Cubs. Peterson, like Lavarnway, were both recently acquired via waivers by the Cubs. After trying to pass them through waivers in an attempt to outright them to the minors, both players were claimed. It sucks, but it’s how the game is played.

Tweet of the Day

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: