Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Pre-Game Quick Hits

  • Alfonso Soriano's MRI on his left knee Saturday showed no damage and Soriano is expected to get a cortisone shot, so he'll be out for a few games.
  • Aramis Ramirez is not expected to have shoulder surgery this offseason. He is fine!
  • The Twins are "balking" at the Cubs asking price for Harden. Paul Sullivan expects Harden to remain with the Cubs the rest of the year.
  • The Cubs and Giants are still in negotiations about Aaron Heilman. The Giants watched Heilman pitch 2 scoreless innings yesterday.
  • Jeff Baker, who was scratched yesterday because of a hand injury, had an X-ray and it came back negative. He should be available today.
  • Derrek Lee was named the recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Waiver Updates!

According to ESPN and other source, Rich Harden has been claimed off waivers by the Twins and the Giants claimed Aaron Heilman. The deadline the Cubs have to decide whether to keep the 2 right handed pitcher, trade them, or let them be claimed is noon on Monday.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Heilman and Harden are not the only Cubs who have been claimed. This could get very interesting if Jim Hendry decides to clean house. Who else was claimed? Bradley? Miles? Gregg? Fontenot? We'll find out!

  • Milton Bradley continued to discuss the Wrigley Field atmosphere by stating that he's had a hard time with day games.
  • Alfonso Soriano will have an MRI on Monday on his injured knee.
  • According to Bruce Miles, Jim Hendry put almost his entire roster on waivers, and 6 or 7 guys were claimed!
  • According to Bruce Levine, the Twins were awarded the claim on Harden and the Giants were awarded the claim on Heilman. Levine is the only source reporting this right now.
  • Read Paul Sullivan's mailbag here!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Harden and Heilman Claimed off of Waivers!

Update: According to Bruce Levine, the team that claimed Harden might be the Twins. The Cubs want good prospects in return. Stay tuned...

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Cub pitchers Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman have been claimed off waivers. The teams have not yet been named, but most likely both guys were claimed by NL clubs. The Giants, Rockies, and Dodgers are among the teams that could be interested in Harden. The Cubs will have until Monday to work out trades, allow Harden and Heilman to depart on claims, or pull them back from waivers.

I'll keep you posted on this story!

A few other Cub notes:
  • Lou Piniella won't blame the Cubs' troubles on chemistry.
  • Reed Johnson is waiting for another X-ray to come back that could finally clear him for a minor league rehab stint.
  • Yesterday, Milton Bradley told the Chicago Tribune that he is never comfortable playing at Wrigley Field because of the atmosphere. He said he faces hatred on a daily basis
  • Today Soriano said that you can't listen to the fans. Alfonso get booed as much as anybody, but he handles it well unlike Bradley.
  • Kevin Gregg will not return for the 2010 season in all likely hood.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

AFL Players, Sale, Harden's Future, and Much More

Lou Playing His Vets
Cubs manager Lou Piniella told the media today that he plans to play his veteran players down the stretch, despite the fact that Fuld and Fox have played well. "I said that I was going to have to play my veteran player, they're going to have to get it done. I'll get the kids in as much as I can, but I'm going to lean as much as I can on our veteran players here and see what they can do and how far we can do." Does that make sense to you? Play the guys that hit Lou! Alfonso Soriano was in the starting lineup tonight, but was scratched because his knee is still bothering him. Jake Fox took Sori's place in left.

Caridad To AAA
As expected, the Cubs optioned righty Esmalin Caridad to AAA today when they activated Big Z from the DL. We could see Esmalin back when roster's expand on September 1.

Will Harden Return in 2010?
According to Paul Sullivan, Rich Harden is in line for a long term deal approaching $60 million. Harden says, "I kind of don't even want to talk about it right now." Hendry will also have to consider that he will need to re-sign Ted Lilly at some point next season, which is the last year of his contract. Buster Olney doesn't think Harden will make more than $20MM as a FA.

How to Fix the Cubs
Carol Slezak says that Tom Rickets should look to the South Side to see how to build a winner. Carol points out that the Cubs message is not clear, they're outfield stinks, and the farm system is a disaster.

September Call-ups Update
Carrie Muskat says that we should expect the Cubs to call up 8 guys on Sept. 1. Jeff Samardzija will be one of the call-ups, and most of the rest will be youngsters who have already spent time with the big league team this season.

Reed's Foot
Reed Johnson was able to take BP, but he's not able to run on his left foot. He's one of the guys that has a hard time staying off the field, he wants to be out there.

Kenney Extension?
The radio buzz today is that chairman Crane Kenney might get a contract extension under the new ownership. Also, according to Bruce Miles, Jim Hendry is probably going to be back next season. In the mean time, Steven Rosenburg would like to see Steve Stone as the Cubs' president.

AFL Players Named
The Cubs will send 7 players to play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. Former #1 draft picks Andrew Cashner and Josh Vitters will play for Mesa. Pitchers John Gaub, James Russell, and Blake Parker will join Cashner on the Solar Sox staff. Catcher Welington Castillo and SS Starlin Castro are also on the team. I'll have more info as the start of the AFL gets closer and during October and November I will have lots of updates. Opening Day is Oct. 13, the Rising Starts game on Nov. 7, and the championship game on Nov. 21.

Samardzija to the Bears
One Cub fan wrote into Carrie Muskat's mailbag and said that Samardzija should be sent to the Bears because the need a wide receiver and Samardzija has not pitched well. Read Muskat's full mailbag here. Also, The Cubs are 31-20 when Koyie Hill starts behind the plate and just 31-40 when the catcher is Soto according to Muskat.

Closer's Role
Carlos Marmol is excited about being the Cubs closer, and if he does well he could own that role for the year's to come. Link.

Hearing Set
The judge has set the hearing date for the Cubs sale, it will be Aug. 31.

And lastly, Ken Rosenthal wonders how Hendry will get out of this mess.

Lots of good stuff today! The bad news- the Cubbies are losing yet again, tonight to the Nationals! They are 8... count'em 8.... games back of the Cardinals going into today and could fall to 9 behind. It's not looking too good for us.

I'll keep you posted on everything Cubs!

Monday, August 24, 2009

8-24 Down on the Farm Report

The Cubs playoff hopes may be bleak, but many of the Cubs' minor league clubs are right in the thick of things in their leagues. Today on the Farm Report, let's take a look at the teams and where they are in the standings.

AAA Iowa Cubs
The I-Cubs are in 3rd place in the PCL American North going into play tonight, but they are just 3.5 games back of first place Memphis. Iowa is looking to make it to the Pacific Coast League playoffs for the second year in a row. The rest of their season:
2 games VS NEW
5 games VS OKL
4 games @OMA
4 games VS ALB

The regular season ends for the PCL on September 7th.

AA Tennessee Smokies
The Smokies are tied for first with West Tenn going into play tonight in the SOU North. Chattanooga is also right there, just a game back. Huntsville, the 4th place team, won the first half. Here is the rest of the schedule for Sandberg's boys:
@ CAR, 4 games series stared yesterday, so 3 left
VS MOB 5 games
@WTN 5 games
Those last 5 games are going to be big ones between the two teams at the top!

High Class A Daytona Cubs
Daytona is the only Cub affiliate who's have no hope of making it to the postseason. The D-Cubs are 24-31, in 5th place in the FSL North, 16.5 games out of first.

Class A Peoria Chiefs
Going into play tonight, the Chiefs are in first in the MID Western, 4.5 games ahead of second place Cedar Rapids! Here is the schedule for the rest of the regular season:
VS QC 4 games
@ CR 4 games
VS KC 3 games
@ CLI 3 games

Class A Short Season Boise Hawks
The Hawks are currently in second place in the NOR East, 6 back of Tri-City. The still hope for Boise, here's what they have the rest of the way:
@SPO 5 more starting tonight
@TC 3 games
VS SPO 3 games
VS TC 3 games

Mesa Cubs (R)
The Arizona League Cubs are 27-25, 3rd place in the AZL East, 10.5 games out. They are not in the playoff hunt.

For Part II of our report, let's speculate about potential September call-ups.
First, let's get an idea of how many call ups will be mayed. Here is the amount of callups in the recent years for the Cubs:
2008- 4 callups + 2 DL activations to put roster at 31.
2007- 5 call ups + 1 activation to put roster at 31
2006- 1 call up + 3 activations to put roster at 29

This year, I'd expect to see the roster at 32 after the roster expands. First the Cubs are expected to bring 3 guys off the DL:
David Patton- There's a chance he won't be activated, we'll see.
Andres Blanco
Reed Johnson- Coming off the DL on or a little after September 1.

Second, the Cubs can make 4-5 callups. Here are some candidates:
Esmalin Caridad, P- With the Cubs now, but most likely will be sent down when Zambrano comes off the DL tomorrow.
Chris Robinson, C- Hitting .329 at AAA this season
Brad Snyder, OF- Has been red hot since coming off the DL, .287 AVG this season with Iowa.
John-Ford Griffin, OF- Midseason I-Cubs pickup, putting together a solid year.
Bobby Scales, 2B- hitting .283 with a .386 OBP for AAA. I think Cubs fans would love to see him back up.
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B- Has hit just .218 since being sent down for work.
J.R. Mathes, P- 12-6 with a 3.36 ERA for Iowa
Jeff Samardzija, P- Has been a little off in his stints with the Cubs this season, still could get a call up.
Vince Perkins- 2.79 ERA in 71 innings of work for the I-Cubs!
Jeff Stevens- Has proven himself in his short time with the big league clubs this year.

Bold= Guys I think will get called up.

You can get minor league updates each and every day on my Twitter. I'll update here on the blog about the farm clubs' stretch runs as they fight for the postseason and have plenty more about September Call-ups. The next Off Day is September 10, and that day I will focus on the Former Cubs Updates.

That does it for our look at the Future Cubs!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are the Cubs done?

Things are not looking good, but there's always hope. Let's just get right to the notes and links:
  • Everyone was wondering if Sweet Lou would retire at the end of this frustrating season. Piniella said, "I'm planning to come back for next year," to clear things up.
  • Tom Gorzelanny will move to the bullpen when Zambrano rejoins the rotation on Tuesday. Most likely Esmalin Caridad will be sent to AAA according to the Sun-Times.
  • Lou and Von Joshua have suggested that Soriano needs to use a lighter bat to help break out of his slump, but Alfonso is more comfortable wit the heaviest bat on the team and will not change it.
  • The Cubs got just one hit in last night's 2-1 loss. Something has got to change. Lou has hinted that Alfonso Soriano could find himself on the bench soon. It's about time! We need to get Fuld and/or Fox in the outfield everyday!
  • Stick a fork in the Cubs? Pretty much according to Bruce Miles.

Stay tuned to Everything Cubs, because win or lose we'll have something interesting for you to read. On the off day Monday, I'll update the minor league clubs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Poll, 7 Games Back, Zambrano, and More

  • With the loss last night, the Cubbies fell to 7 games back of St. Louis. Things are not looking good for this year's club right now.
  • The Cubs and Pirates will make up the game that was rained out on Sunday as part of a day-night double header on Wednesday September 30.
  • Randy Wells had some extra time off in between starts, let's hope he's ready to go tonight.
  • Milton Bradley had an exchange with a Padres fan on Wednesday, but he declined to comment. Lou said that he's OK with guys having a little fun once in awhile, but he would rather them stay focused on the game at hand.
  • Carlos Zambrano pitched 5 strong innings with the Peoria Chiefs in his rehab start last night. He will return to the Cubs starting rotation next Tuesday when the Cubs open up a homestand and battle the Nationals.
  • The Cubs are the subject of a death suit. Click for more info.
  • Paul Sullivan has 10 suggestions for the new Cubs owner.
  • Jim Hendry is frustrated and knows that he's at fault.

Thanks to everyone who voted on our last poll. Results Time!:

What role should Jake Fox be in?

  • 1. Switch Positions: 8 votes
  • 2. Start in LF/Start in RF/Platoon with Soriano: 2 votes
  • 5. Backup Catcher: 1 vote

Please vote on our new poll!

Q: If you're in charge of the Cubs, who is fired after this season?

A. Jim Hendry

B. Lou Piniella

C. Both

D. Neither

Well, that's it for now, and remember,

Anything can happen Cubs fans.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

8-19 Pregame Notes

Here's the recap of Ron Santo's interview with Lou Piniella on today's Pre-Game show:
  • Dempster forgot the base runners last night.
  • The Cubs told their catcher to remind Dempster to check the runners, but Lou thought Ryan threw the ball OK, better in the later innings.
  • Neither Lou nor Ron have an explanation for the lack of offense against the Padres.
  • He did not expect the Cubs to lose 5 games in a row in San Diego.
  • The Cubs have not done well on the West Coast. The biggest explanation is the lack of runs according to Lou.
  • The Lineup: Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Kosuke, Soriano, Baker, Hill, & Harden.

Next, Ron talked with Matt Sinatro.

  • Soto has had a tough year. Geovany reported to camp ready to go, but then when he went to the WBC he didn't play and was affected. As soon as he started to get back, he got injured. Geo hasn't had a chance to put it all together yet. Matt expects big things from him the rest of the month.
  • Matt says that Geo is a good listener and a good learner. He is not throwing as well because of the injury, but now the Cubs have corrected that.
  • Koyie Hill did very well filling in for Soto, he works very well with the pitchers, and took advantage of the opportunity when he had it.

Sam Fuld talked with Judd Sirott on Cubs 101 about his trip to the Navy Seals training camp.

  • Sam got a enjoyed the experience, and learned what the Navy Seals go through.
  • The SEALS daily grind makes the Cubs daily grind seem easy.
  • Fuld was joined by at least 6 other teammates.
  • Sam got the chance to shoot a gun for the first time.
  • One week they get only 4 hours of sleep total.
  • The guys that make it are very goal oriented, very motivated, and do whatever it takes to get through.

Carlos Zambrano will make a rehab start tomorrow in Peoria. Reed Johnson could return at the end of the next home stand.

And last but not least, Jon Heyman doesn't think Lou will be fired.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gregg Blows Another, Out as Closer, Number Breakdown Time

The Cubs had a 1-0 lead late last night in San Diego in the 9th inning, and as most of you know Kevin Gregg allowed 4 runs all with 2 outs in the top of the 9th to blow the save. This morning Lou said that he's seen enough of K.G. as the Cubs closer, and tonight he named Carlos Marmol the man with the job of ending games for us. In my opinion, Angel Guzman should get a shot, and I'm not sure how much better Marmol will be than Gregg. Let's compare via Number Breakdown.

*All Stats are 2009 totals

Gregg: 23/29
Marmol: 4/8

Carlos has blown half! Point Gregg.

Gregg: 4.47
Marmol: 3.51

Point Marmol.

Walks (Both men have pitched 56.1 innings):
Gregg: 23
Marmol: 52 + 11 HBP

Marmol's wild! Point Gregg!

Home Runs
Gregg: 12
Marmol: 1

This is what REALLY hurts Kevin. Point Marmol.

Nasty Stuff= Point Marmol!

So Marmol is a better option according to the numbers, but not by much. We'll have to just wait and see how Marmol responds to pitching in the 9th inning, but in my opinion he's too wild.

Remember, the numbers don't lie!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sale Update, Draft Picks, Roster Move, and More

Updated at 8:10 CT: Justin Berg sent back to AAA to make room for Lilly.

Roster Move on the Way
Ted Lilly will be activated today, and someone will go down. Right now, it will most likely be Justin Berg, but we'll see. I'll update and soon as a hear who was sent down.

Zambrano Rehab
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will make a rehab start on Thursday for Class A Peoria. If all goes well he will start the first game of the next home stand, which is on Tuesday the 25th against Washington.

Cubs of the Month
Koyie Hill was named the Sports Authority Cubs Player of the Month for July. Hill caught 26 games in a row while Soto was on the DL.

Ramirez in Lineup
Aramis Ramirez was in the Cubs lineup yesterday, but the game got rained out. He is expected to be in tonight in San Diego.

Draft Pick Deadline
Tonight is the deadline to sign draft picks from the First Year Player Draft in June. Of the Cubs top 25 picks, 8 remain unsigned, and 18 of the last 25 pick have yet to sign according to We'll see if these pick get signed. The good news is, the top 5 picks have all been signed for the Cubs.

Sale Update
According to David Kaplan, the Sale of the Cubs should be signed this week.

Bear Tosser Interview
Pretty interesting, Johnny Macchione was on Sports Central with David Kaplan.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cubs Finally Win, Should Lou be Fired, and More

Cubs Get a Win!
They needed that one! The Cubs romped the Pirates today by a score of 17-2. No that is not a type-o, the Cubs won by 15 runs. They scored 10 times in the second inning, their most prosperous inning since June of 2004. However, it only counts for one win. The Cubs need to use this big win as a start, and build on it by knocking off 4 or 5 in a row.

The Rest of the Way
And, the Cubs have not proved that they can beat the good teams. Could the Cubs squeak into October without beating good teams?? Let's check out the Cubs Schedule for the rest of the 2009 regular season:
  • VS Pirates: Aug. 15-16
  • @SD: Aug. 17-19
  • *@LAD: Aug. 20-23
  • VS Wash: Aug. 25-27
  • VS NYM: Aug. 28-30
  • VS Hou: Aug. 31- Sept. 1
  • *Make Up VS White Sox: Sept 3
  • @NYM: Sept. 4-6
  • @PIT: Sept. 7-9
  • VS CIN: Sept. 11-13
  • VS MIL: Sept 14-17
  • *@STL: Sept. 18-20
  • @ MIL: Sept. 21-23
  • *@SF: Sept. 24-27
  • VS Pit Sept. 29- Oct. 1
  • VS Ari: Oct. 2-4

*= over .500 team

So if the Cubs win 2 out of 3 (or 3 out 4) against every team under .500, which they've done for most of the year, and if they lose 2 of 3 (or 3 of 4) against every over .500 team, which they've done for most of this season, they would end up going 27-12 in these final 49 games. So we play the bad teams, let's beat them! If the Cubs can manage that very in reach 27-12 mark the rest of the year, and the Cardinals went 22-17 worse, then the Cubs would win the division! There's hope Cubs fan!

The Cubs have had there fair share of injuries, but every team has injuries. Zambrano and Lilly are set to return for their next starts, and that would leave only Reed Johnson of the major guys left on the DL.

A new Manager?

Some Cubs fans have had enough of Sweet Lou at the helm, could he end up being fired if the Cubs don't make the postseason? Names that have been thrown out include Bob Brenly and Ryne Sandberg.

Cubs Sign Korean Hitter

The Cubs have signed Kyung-min Na, an amateur outfielder, for 725K. He is one of the fastest player in high school baseball.

Cubs Could Add Bat or Arm

Gordon Wittenmyer has reported that the Cubs are going to stay put, but Jayson Stark of says the Cubs could look for another bat or starter if Lilly, Ramirez, and Zambrano are not healthy.

Hart Will not Start Against Former Clubs

Former Cub Kevin Hart will not pitch in this series, but Tom Gorzelanny will make his home debut against his former clubs tomorrow.

Let's hope the Cubs get a win streak together, it's a Noon CT game tomorrow!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lilly Rehab Update, What is Going on?

Don't even want to talk or write about the past 7 Cubs games (the Cubs have lost 6 of them). This team has not played good baseball at all in any way as of late. Samardzija was knocked around big time in his first big league start and Marshall also got hammered in relief yesterday. We need good outing from Dempster, some runs from the hitters, and a win today.

Ted Lilly started for the Peoria Chiefs last night, and pitched 5 strong innings. I would say after one more rehab start he should be ready to re-join the Cubs rotation. We need him! The Chiefs won the game 11-1.

A few Cubs Odds & Ends:
  • David Kaplan is sick of hearing that Zambrano is the Cubs ace and says Z is "not a big game pitcher. Read more.
  • Don't expect any waiver moves to help the struggling Cubs. Gordon Wittenmyer says Jim Hendry says that there is nothing out there that makes sense for the Chicicago Cubs.
  • Reed Johnson's fractured left toe is progressing slower that expected, and isn't expected to return for about 2 weeks. Reed came out and signed autographs on Sunday during the Road to Wrigley contest.
  • Tom Gorzelannyj's foot is fine and is expected to start on Saturday against his former clubs, the Pirates.
  • Geovany Soto is 1-14 with a homer and 8 Ks since coming off the DL.
  • Hoffpauir is 4-16 since being sent to AAA.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cubs Woes Continue: Injuries, Ejections, L's, and More

Another Injured Pitcher
Last night starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny left the game in the second inning after injuring his foot fielding a ground ball. He was charged with 6 earned runs in the Rockies 11-5 rout of the Cubs. The Cubbies dropped 3 out of 4 in a very frustrating series from a Cubs perspective. According to, Gorzelanny plans to make his next start.

Stevens Back to AAA
The Cubs continue to send reliever Jeff Stevens back and forth between Iowa and the big league. Yesterday they selected the contract of Esmalin Caridad from AAA before the game. Lou brought Esmalin right into the action after Gorzelanny left last nights game. Caridad tossed 5 and 1/3 to help out a spend bullpen in his big league debut, but did allow 7 hits.

Ramirez Sits Monday
Armamis Ramirez has missed each of the last 2 games after leaving Saturday night's contest with a shoulder injury. Aramis says it's a little better, but the Cubs are not sure when he will be back in the lineup. He could be headed for the DL according to Gordon Wittenmyer.

Lou Tossed
Cubs manager Lou Piniella was thrown out on Sunday for arguing the call on a double play that Randy Wells hit into in the top of the second. The ejection was Lou's second this season. Click for video of the play and more.

Smoltz a fit for the Cubs?
Veteran pitcher John Smoltz was DFA by the Red Sox this week. The Cubs need pitching, and are on of the team that Buster Olney of ESPN has mentioned having interest in the righty. However, it is unlikely that any NL team would want John in a trade with some financial adjustment from the Red Sox. Smoltz, the 42-year old future Hall of Famer, has an 8.32 ERA this season, but could be a good pick up. We'll see.

Phillies Series Won't Be Easy
The Cubs have been scuffling along, and the task ahead does not get any easier. In the next series, starting tonight at Wrigley, the defending World Champion Phillies will send 2 former Cy Young winners to the hill in Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee. The Cardinals have been playing well, so the Cubs are going to have to pick up the pace, and soon if they'd like to stay in the NL Central race. Going into today, the Cubs are 3 games back of St. Louis for the division and also 3 back of Colorado in the Wild Card race.

If you missed it, you can read my Road to Wrigley Recap by clicking here.

Also please vote on our poll on the right sidebar of the blog mainpage!

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted as always!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Road to Wrigley Recap

Final Score: Iowa Cubs 5, LV 51s 4

My thoughts: Great time at the ballpark! Good on the field entertainment in between innings. A Bird Mascot entertained the crowd by dancing with a fake umpire, having a dance off with the bat boy, tossing the third baseman's glove into the stands, and more. I bet the AAA guys had a great time. I got there as the 51s were taking BP (the I-Cubs had already finished). Got lots of autographs including Jason Lane (former Astro, now with Las Vegas), Buck Coates (former Cub farm hand, now with 51s), Luis Rivas, Chris Robinson, and Bobby Scales. Micah Hoffpauir made his Iowa Cubs season debut at Wrigley after being sent down last week.

Iowa Cubs Hitters:
  • Taguchi: 0-3
  • Rivas: 0-1
  • Scales: 1-4
  • Hoffpauir: 1-4, 2B
  • Griffin: 1-3, 2 RBI, HR
  • Snyder: 1-3
  • Clevenger: 0-1
  • Craig: 0-2
  • Spears: 1-1, 2B
  • Matulia: 0-1
  • Robinson: 1-3, RBI
  • Camp: 1-4
  • Barney: 2-3

Iowa Pitchers:

  • Mathes: 5 IP, 2 R, 6 K
  • Berg: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, Winning Pitcher
  • Gaub: 0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Perkins: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 K
  • Parker: 1 IP, 1 R, Save

My Player of the Game: John-Ford Griffin for his 2-run homer that put the I-Cubs in front.

Up Next: Game 2 of the 4 game series will be at Principal Park in Iowa tonight at 7:05.

Chicago Cubs stuff later...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Road to Wrigley Game Preview

Teams: Iowa Cubs VS Las Vegas 51s (AAA Blue Jays Club)

Records: The I-Cubs are 57-57, 3rd place in the PCL American North, 4 games back of first place Nashville.

Game Time: 1:20 PM CT, gates open at 11:20

Field: Wrigley Field

Event History: Last year was the first ever "Road to Wrigley" game. The Peoria Chiefs, the Cubs Class A club, took on the Kane County Cougars. the game was suspended due to rain in the 9th, and ended at O'Brien field a day later in the 12-inning Chiefs win.

Weather: A high of 93 degrees, windy, and a 20% chance of rains. More info here.

Pitching Matchup: Marty McLeary (LV); 1-0, 6.00 ERA VS J.R. Mathes (Iowa); 10-6, 3.60 ERA

Iowa Cubs Roster Info
  • DL: Neal Cotts, Matt Matulia, and Mark Johnson.
  • Darwin Barney, SS: hitting .246 since being moved up from AA Tennessee.
  • Matt Camp, 3B: .284 AVG in 71 games with Iowa this year.
  • Micah Hoffpauir, 1B: Just sent down from the Cubs to get some work. Will be back in Chicago soon, but I hope to see him in the lineup tomorrow.
  • Luis Rivas, INF: Just came off the DL with a leg injury.
  • Bobby Scales, 2B: Did very well in short stints with the big league club this season. Hitting .303 in 73 games with Iowa.
  • Nate Spears, 2B: Not a lot of power, but a good on base and defense
  • John-Ford Griffin, OF: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cubs, hitting .317 with 4 homers so far with Iowa in 60 games.
  • Brad Snyder, OF: Has been red hot since coming off the DL with wrist injury. Has hit safely in each of his last 16 games, and 31 of the last 32.
  • So Taguchi, OF: The former big leaguer with the Cardinals and Phillies has spent the whole year with Iowa, hitting .273.

Last Night: Iowa topped Reno 10-7.

Pitchers Update: The Iowa Cubs pitching staff has posted a 2.67 ERA so far this month, that's the league best.

Las Vegas 51s: The Blue Jay AAA clubs has a few names Cubs fans will recognize: former Cubs farm hand Buck Coats who's hitting .301 in 95 games with Las Vegas this season; and former Astros infielder Jason Lane, who played a number of games in the big leagues against the Cubs.

This is game one of a 4 game set.

I'll recap you what will be a fun (and hot!) day at the ball park later!

8-8 Cubs Notes

  • Yesterday the Cubs sent Micah Hoffpauir to AAA to make room for Soto on the roster.
  • Today the Cubs placed Carlos Zambrano on the 15 day DL with a back injury. Big Z was scratched from last night's game 15 minutes prior to game time. Sean Marshall took his place and pitched just 3 innings.
  • Jeff Samardzija will move in to the Cubs rotation for the time being. "Shark" will get the nod on Wednesday.
  • Jeff Stevens was called up from AAA to give the Cubs a fresh arm in the pen and to take Zambrano's roster spot. Poor Stevens keeps getting sent back and forth between the big league club and Iowa.
  • Aramis Ramirez left with a right shoulder injury tonight. Let's pray it's not serious.
  • Ryan Sandberg want to make it the the big leagues as a manager. The Sun-Times wonders if the Hall of Famer is the next Cubs manager. Ryno won't say if the Cubs are the only team he'll manage.
  • Jim Hendry will try to make a waive deal if he sees something that can make the Cubs better.
  • The Cubs are not the team that claimed Alex Rios off waivers, there were some rumors that they were going around yesterday.
  • The Cubs traded minor league outfielder Jason Dubois to the Mets for a PTBNL.
  • Tomorrow I will have the Road to Wrigley game preview up in the morning and the recap either tomorrow night or Monday morning.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: Roster Moves

The Cubs will make another roster move today with Soto coming off the DL, but right now let's talk about the one's they've made so far this week.

A.) Miles was called up to replace Blanco.
B.) Stevens was sent down instead of Samardzija.
C.) They activated Tom Gorzelanny.

C is the only move that was a good one. Let's break it down.

Aaron Miles called up
Well Andres Blanco was "hurt" so he had to be placed on the DL.

At AAA: hit .253 in 21 games
Infielders who could have been called up from AAA instead:

Nate Spears: hitting .257 in 103 games
Matt Camp: hitting .285 in 70 games
Bobby Scales: .296 AVG in 72 games

However, the Cubs are stuck with Miles because they're paying him big league money! Scales should be with the Cubs!

Stevens VS Samardzija
The Cubs said at the start of the year that Jeff Samardzija was going to be in the Iowa rotation to add pitches to his repertoire. Instead they've stuck him in the big league bullpen to rot, and sent poor Jeff Stevens back and forth. Let's take a look at the numbers:

  • 15 games with Cubs
  • 1-1 record
  • 6.64 ERA
  • 11 BB, 12 K


  • 5 games with Cubs
  • no decisions
  • 2.84 ERA
  • 4 BB, 4 K

Stevens should have stayed!

There is another roster move on the way today, and I'll break that one down for you once it happens also!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

8-6 Off Day Notes: Former Cubs Updates, News, and More

Let's Check in with our former Cubs (guys who played with us in 2008-2009)!:

  • Mark DeRosa (STL): hitting .185 with 7 HRs and 12 RBIs in 21 games with St. Louis.
  • Kerry Wood (CLE): 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 40 games.
  • Felix Pie (BAL): .240 AVG, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, in 62 games.
  • Rich Hill (BAL): 3-3 with a 7.80 ERA in 14 games (13 starts).
  • Ronny Cedeno (PIT): Traded from Seattle to Pirates. Hitting .273 with a HR and 3 RBIs in 6 games with his new club, hit .167 in 59 games with the M's before the trade.
  • Jason Marquis (COL): 12-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 21 games.
  • Henry Blanco (SD): hitting .194 with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs in 43 games.
  • Bobby Howry (SF): 0-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 42 games.
  • Chad Gaudin (SD): 4-10 with a 5.13 ERA in 20 games (19 starts).
  • Joey Gathright (BAL): .320 AVG with 9 RBIs in 61 games for AAA NOR.
  • Daryle Ward (CWS): .255 AVG with 8 HR and 36 RBIs in 69 games for AAA CHA.
  • Ryan Freel (KC): .193 AVG in 41 games with 0 HRs and 5 RBIs.
  • Scott Eyre (PHI): 1-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 32 games with the Phillies.
  • Sean Gallgher (SD): Was traded from OAK to SD. Is 1-2 with a 8.16 ERA in 6 games (2 starts) for the Padres.
  • Eric Patterson (OAK): hitting .326 with 9 HRs and 39 RBIs in 90 games with AAA SAC.
  • Matt Murton (COL): .267 AVG in 22 games at MLB, .333 AVG with 9 HRs and 58 RBIs in 68 games at AAA.
  • Josh Donaldson (OAK, catcher, also traded in Harden deal): .276 AVG with 6 HRs and 75 RBIs in 98 games at AA MID.
  • Jose Ceda (FLO, traded in Gregg deal): Done for the year after shoulder surgery in May.
  • Casey McGehee (MIL): .316 AVG in 66 games with 9 HRs and 34 RBIs.

Guys Traded to PIT in Grabow deal:

  • Josh Harrison: has reported to High Class A Lynchburg, hitting .333 in 6 games.
  • Jose Ascanio: 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 1 game for AAA IND.
  • Kevin Hart: On Pirates roster, but has yet to make debut with new clubs. Scheduled to make his first Pirates start tonight at 6:05 VS Arizona.

Poll Results:

Who should be batting lead off for the Cubs?

  • Kosuke: 22 Votes (73%)
  • Fuld: 6 Votes
  • Theriot: 1 Vote
  • Soriano: 1 Vote

Thanks to everyone who voted on that poll!

Please Vote on our new poll.

Q: What role should Jake Fox be in?

A) Backup like he is

B) Let him work on defense at AAA

C) Platoon with Bradley in RF

D) Platoon with Soriano in LF

E) Start in LF, bench Soriano

F) Start in RF Bench Bradley

G) Backup Catcher, send Hill to AAA

H) Trade him

Some other Cubs notes:

  • The Cubs granted B.J. Ryan his release. Ryan was only throwing 86-87 MPH, so even though his number were good at AAA, with the Cubs addition of John Grabow Ryan most likely was not going to get called up.
  • Ryan Theriot's arm was swollen from being hit on Tuesday. He should be ready to go tomorrow.
  • Minor League pitcher Jason Waddell was released yesterday for violating team regulations.
  • Jason Marquis is scheduled to pitch against his former team on Saturday.
  • According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs will claim Mark Teahen if he is put on waivers. (Thanks to Cubs Corner).

NL Central Standings:

  • 1. Cubs: 57-49
  • 2. Cardinals: 0 GB, 59-51
  • 3. MIL: 4 GB
  • 4. HOU: 5 GB
  • 5. CIN: 11.5 GB
  • 6. PIT: 12.5 GB

If your bored on an off night tonight, here's some links:

  • David Kaplan will likely talk Cubs on Sports Central tonight on WGN Radio. You can listen live on the website, here's the link. It's from 7-9 CT.
  • The Iowa Cubs will send James Russell to the hill tonight at 7:05. You can listen live here for free.
  • If you have gameday audio, listen in to see how the Brewers (only NL Central team in action tonight not counting the Pirates), the Rockies (this weekends opponent), or the White Sox (cross town rivals) play if you have the subscription.

No minor league coverage in this post, I will have some this weekend when I preview and recap the road to Wrigley game.

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stevens Sent Down, Cubs Sign Draft Pick, Bradley, and More

Update at 4:15 PM CT: Jeff Stevens has been optioned to AAA, Aaron Miles activated from 15-day DL. Soto will be activated by Friday night's game; Fuld, Hoffpauir, and Samardzija still on the hot seat.

Another Roster Move Today?
Aaron Miles was spotted at Great American Ball Park today. He has been rehabbing at AAA with an elbow injury and is finally starting to hit. Andres Blanco was placed on the DL yesterday, so the Cubs are a position player short right now. I would expect a pitcher, most likely Jeff Samardzija, to be sent down, but according to Bruce Miles the Cubs might send down Sam Fuld. I'll update this post if and when the roster move is made.

Geo at AA
Soto looked good again in his second rehab game for the Smokies. We went 1-3 with a home run last night. He will start one more game before returning Friday.

Raley Signs
The Cubs have signed 6th round draft pick Brooks Raley for $750,000. He was at Wrigley Field recently to throw a bullpen session for Larry Rothschild. He will report to a Cubs farm club soon.

Pitcher Convicted
Cubs minor league pitcher Julio Castillo was convicted of a felonious assault. Last season, Castillo throw a baseball into the stands in anger during a brawl in the Peoria Chiefs game VS Dayton. The ball was aimed at the Dragons' dugout, but it struck Chris McCarthy, a fan, who suffered a concussion. Here is the clip from the fight. Castillo is on the Boise Hawks roster, but could be released by the team too.

Cardinals Fall Today
St. Louis lost today to the Mets by a score of 7-0, so with a win tonight the Cubs will be a game ahead of the Cards in the NL Central!

No Bradley/Fox platoon
Last night Jake Fox was in right field for the Cubs, but Lou Piniella says that Milton is still his right fielder. The Cubs do need to find a way to get Fox's hot bat in the lineup!

Hill will finally get a rest
Koyie Hill has had a heavy work load since Soto went down, but he doesn't mind it. The backup catcher had an RBI double yesterday, but his bat had been effected negatively by all the innings he's caught. It will be good for his to have some days off starting on Friday.

Check out Judd Sirrot's Cubs Central Podcast. He talked with Pat&Ron, then checked in with Milton Bradley.

That's it for now, Let's go get a win tonight!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weather Update, Roster Moves on the Way, and More

Updated at 4:45 PM CT: Gorzelanny Recalled from AAA, Blanco to DL
Tom Gorzelanny has been recalled from AAA to make his start tonight. Andres Blanco has been placed on the 15-day DL to take his place on the active roster. Blanco strained his left calf Saturday in Florida. The Cubs could make another roster move tomorrow to help the bench and send a pitcher down. The weather is clearing up in Cincinnati and tonight's game could be played, it might even start on time according to Carrie Muskat. I'll have a post up tonight if the game does get rained out to entertain everyone during a no-baseball night!

Soto To Join Clubs Thurs.
Geovany Soto went 1-2 for the Tennessee Smokies in a rehab game last night. He caught well and will join the team on the off day Thursday if all continues to go well. Expect Geo in the lineup on Friday against the Rockies.

Will Ryan Come Up?
B.J. Ryan threw a scoreless inning for Iowa yesterday but walked 2. Bruce Miles says it's hard to see Ryan coming up to the Cubs with Grabow and Marshall in the bullpen but we'll see.

Other Minor League Notes
Josh Vitters has not played for the Daytona Cubs since last week, sources say he has a hand injury. I'll update when I get more info. Starlin Castro was promoted to AA after his game last night with the D-Cubs.

Rainy in Cinci
According to Carrie Muskat, it's been raining most of the day today in Cincinnai, and the chances of getting tonight's game in are not good. The 2 teams could play a double header tomorrow, and they both have a day off on Thursday.

Roster Moves Coming
If the Cubs do play tonight's game, they will have to make a roster move before hand to get tonight's starter Tom Gorzelanny on the 25-man roster. Most likely either Jeff Samardzija or Jeff Stevens will be sent down. Stevens has pitched better than Samardzija since coming up and most likely he will stay. The Cubs will have to make another move this week to get Soto back on the roster, I'm thinking Andres Blanco will be sent to Iowa.

Gregg's Arm is Tired
According to Cubs closer Kevin Gregg is dealing with a "tired arm." Hopefully he gets back on track next time he goes out there. He did a nice job in May, June, and July nailing down saves after a shaky start. Cubs fans are ready to run the closer out of town after 2 (really) bad outings, but the 9th inning is a tough role and I don't think we have anyone else to fill it. Marmol has been very wild. Heilman give up walks and home runs. Guzman has done surprisingly well this season, but we can't depend on him keeping it up. Grabow has been a nice add and Stevens has pitched well. Sean Marshall has done a great job. I would like to see Stevens, Grabow, Marshall, and Guzman getting more key innings in place of Heilman and Marmol. The bullpen is still in OK shape right now!

Tied for First
With the Cubs win and the Cardinals day off yesterday, the two clubs are now tied atop the NL Central. The Cubs have 58 game to play, the Cards have 54. Which ever team has a better record the rest of the way will win the division! It should be interesting!
I'll update on the weather and roster move later...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Injury Notes, Waivers, and More

Ramirez Injury
Aramis Ramirez left Saturday's game after being hit with a pitch in the 10th inning. He sat out yesterday, but expects to be back in the lineup tonight against the Reds.

Z is Fine
Carlos Zambrano left that wild game on Saturday night after just 3 innings with a back injury. He is doing fine and is not expected to miss his next start.

Patton Leaves Outing
David Patton had to leave his rehab start on Saturday for AA Tennessee after re-injuring his groin. He injured himself warming up for the 4th inning and left the game.

On the Way Back
B.J. Ryan could be back in the big leagues soon. He's pitched well in Iowa, he tossed a scoreless inning striking out a pair on Saturday.

Working Out
Ted Lilly is making great progress since going on the DL. He worked out in Florida this weekend.

Soto back soon!
Geovany Soto went 1-3 with 2 RBIs as the DH for the Mesa Cubs on Saturday. He will continue his rehab in Tennessee starting tonight, he is expected to catch 2-3 games there. Geo could return to the Cubs lineup as soon as Friday.

Waiver Time
The Cubs could be active this year in the with waiver moves. The Cubs could test the waters with some guys like Aaron Miles, Mike Fontenot, Jeff Baker, and Aaron Heilman to see what they can get on waivers. The Cubs could also try to pick up some guys, maybe an outfielder or left handed bench bat.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8/1/09: Peoria Chiefs VS South Bend Silver Hawks

Last night I got the chance to see the Peoria Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of the Cubs, play in South Bend. The Silver Hawks are the Class A ball club of the Arizona D'backs.

Coveleski Stadium, the home of the Hawks, was a nice little park. We had a perfect view from the second row, right behind the Silver Hawks dugout. It was interesting to get the chance to see the future Cubs play. Here's how they did:
  • Brett Jackson: 0-4, but hit the ball hard in 3 of his ABs, all fly outs.
  • Ryan Flaherty: 3-4, big kid looks like a good ball player.
  • Rebel Ridling: 1-4
  • Kyler Burke: 1-4, came over in the trade that sent Barrett to the Padres.
  • D.J. LeMahieu: 2-3, BB; Great hitter. Drafted this year out of LSU.
  • Jovan Rosa: 1-4, 2B, came around to score a big run in the 7th to tie the game
  • Michael Brenly: 2-3, HR, 2B; Bob's son came up big with a solo home run early in the game to give the Chiefs the lead, and doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the 7th.
  • Junior Lake: 0-2, very nice with the glove, made a few Web Gems.
  • David Macias: 1-3 with 2 RBIs, had the single that turned a 2-1 SB lead into a 3-2 Chiefs lead.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched a heck of a game, allowing just 4 hits, and 2 runs (on a home run). The kid has good stuff, and picked up his 3rd win of the year with Peoria. Chris Huseby came on in the 9th, he looked wild but got the job done, picking up his 14th save despite a pair of walks.

Final Score: Peoria 3, South Bend 2

Next week I'll get a chance to see more future Cubs at Wrigley Field when I visit the Road to Wrigley game on Sunday.

More posts later...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Soto Rehab, Trade Deadline, July in Review, and More

Cubs Didn't Add Bat
The Cubs did not add another player by Friday's trade deadline, but Lou said he was not disappointed. Jim Hendry talked to a few clubs about guys that could play 3-4 positions.

Soto to Rehab
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto will start a rehab assignment at AA Tennessee on Monday in hopes of returning to the Cubs next weekend in Colorado. He will DH today in Mesa, then join the Smokies to play 3 games behind the plate next week.

Sox Get Peavy
Last off season, there were lots of talks about Jake Peavy coming to the Cubs. Well yesterday, Peavy was traded to Chicago, but it wasn't the North Side. The White Sox gave up 4 minor league pitchers for the right handed starter.

Grabow Joins Cubs
John Grabow joined the Cubs on Friday and was given number 43. He wore number 34 with the Pirates, but the Cubs didn't want to give him the number, last worn by Kerry Wood. Grabow made his Cubs debut in the 6th, tossing a scoreless frame.

Lou Resting Cubs
The best part about Jake Fox is that the Cubs can rest the "big boys" and still get a big bat in their place. Fox has played first in place of Lee, 3rd in place of Ramirez, and now played left field with Soriano getting the night off yesterday. Fox could be in right field today or tomorrow, and can also catch. Piniella plans to rest his short stop, Theriot, who leads the team in games played. Ryan has played in 99 games. Andres Blanco could get a start at short this weekend.

Gorzelanny joins Cubs
LHP Tom Gorzelanny will join the Cubs tonight in Florida and toss a bullpen session. He is scheduled to start on Tuesday in Cincinnati and make his Cubs debut. Tom will stay in the rotation until Lilly returns.

July in Review
The month was a great one for the Chicago Cubs, they finished it with a loss last night, but still went 18-9, their most wins and best winning % of any month this year. The Cubs are a half game back of the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs scored 12 runs on July 29 for the first time this year, then did so again on July 30! The Cubs player of the month? Lee's numbers were great again, but Ramirez coming back sparked this clubs, so it is: Aramis Ramirez. The pitcher of the month? He's no longer a Chicago Cubs, it's Kevin Hart.

Cubs need to get back on track with a win tonight!