Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 07/23/06

Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (37-59) vs. Nationals (42-56)
Game Time – 12:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.

Carlos Marmol (3-3, 3.86) vs. Tony Armas (6-5, 4.61)

Sean Marshall Put on the 15-Day DL – Aardsma and Wuertz Recalled from Iowa, plus Trade Deadline Rumors and Game Discussion

With the recent trade of Scott Williamson and all of the rumors surrounding the current crop of Cubs on the active roster, feel free to use this “Talkin'” to discuss the trade rumors as well. I know most out there are beyond frustrated with the way the Cubs have played this season but what the Cubs received for Scott Williamson is in direct reflection of the way he and this team has performed. The Cubs need to play Phil Nevin and Todd Walker as much as possible over the next few days and they need them to get hot at the plate and play well in the field, if neither are allowed to play and both perform poorly there will be more low prospects on their way to the Cubs organization.

Now to the game and the trade rumors….

Carlos Marmol has pitched extremely well for a pitcher that was not expected to be in the mix for the Cubs this season and was hopeful of a promotion to the Triple-A level, much less the big leagues. While most are disheartened by the amount of walks the young right-hander gives up per start (4+ per start, 29 walks total in 7 starts) he has pitched his way around the free passes and is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA in July. The walks are obviously running up his pitch counts, which is the reason for most of the concern. After a tremendous start against the Astros when he allowed only 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings of work the Cubs must receive another quality start from the rookie in order to give the bullpen a much-needed rest. Marmol did strike out 6 his last time out against the Astros, but he walked 6 has well and that caused his pitch count to reach 110. Both Michael Barrett and Larry Rothschild must keep Marmol from throwing so many unnecessary pitches. Of his 7 starts this season Marmol has held his opponent to 1-run in 4 of those starts and under 4 runs in 2 of his starts, allowing more than 4 runs only once (7 against the Twins). Marmol has the stuff, he just needs time and coaching.

Tony Armas made his first start after coming off the DL on July 17th against the Marlins. The Marlins scored 4 runs on 5 hits in just 5 innings of work; it was his first start in almost a month. Armas will beat himself if the Cubs allow he to do so. Last month he gave up 22 hits and walked 8 in 17 2/3 innings of work and May was more of the same. In 32 innings, Armas gave up 31 hits and 13 walks. The Cubs will have chances, all they have to do today is cash them in….sounds easy enough, right?

Sean Marshall on the 15-Day DL

Sean Marshall as expected was put on the 15-day DL with a stained left oblique that was suffered during Saturday’s game against the Nationals. According to the report out of Chicago, the Cubs did recall both David Aardsma and Michael Wuertz from Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs need bullpen help and are expected to make the decision over Marshall’s replacement in the starting rotation in the next couple of days.

Trade Rumors

With only a handful of teams out of the playoff hunt (Cubs, Pirates, Royals, Orioles, Devil Rays, Nationals, Indians, Phillies and Marlins) most of the experts are saying this will be a very quiet last week before the trade deadline….but here are the latest reliable rumors.

With the Giants acquiring Shea Hillenbrand from the Blue Jays, the reported interest for Todd Walker is now coming from the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.

The Cubs and the Marlins are reportedly interested in Astros’ centerfielder Willy Taveras, a report out of Chicago on Sunday morning confirmed a rumor that I had heard on XM Radio last week.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday morning, the Cubs and Astros are interested in Miguel Tejada. Phil Rogers is reporting that the Astros have more to offer the Orioles than the Cubs.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball and Rumors….

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt