Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 03/19/11

Spring Training Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (9-14) vs. Padres (9-10)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria

Matt Garza (0-2, 10.13/1.88) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 8.00/1.44)

It has been a rough week for Q’s crew. After sweeping the split squad games against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks last Sunday, the Cubs have lost four of their last five games. Wins and losses in the spring are not important but the team has struggled in the field, at the plate and on the mound for the better part of a week.

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, it is time for the Cubs to play better ball.

Matt Garza will get the start this afternoon. Kosuke Fukudome is expected to leadoff with Geovany Soto hitting cleanup. Fernando Perez is expected to get the start in centerfield.

Matt Garza will make his fourth start, fifth appearance, of the spring this afternoon. Garza is coming off his best start of the spring. Garza completed four innings of work against the Mariners. He allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Garza threw 64 pitches, 35 for strikes and mixed in breaking balls and changeups.

Garza has allowed 12 runs, all earned, on 13 hits with seven walks and eight strikeouts in four games (10 2/3 innings) this spring.

Matt Garza needs to build on his last outing against the Padres this afternoon.

The Cubs will face a very familiar foe this afternoon in Aaron Harang. Today will be the Cubs first look at Harang in a Padres uniform. Harang has had quite a bit of success against the Cubs in recent years … and throughout his career (10-8 in 24 starts with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP). The last time Harang faced the Cubs, he picked up a win after allowing only two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.

Harang has struggled this spring. In three starts (nine innings), Harang has allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 12 hits with one walk and three strikeouts … he’s also served up three home runs. Harang has reportedly locked up a spot in the Padres rotation.

Bud Black is expected to use Corey Luebke, a candidate for the fifth spot in the Padres’ rotation, after Harang. If all goes as planned for the Friars, the Cubs could face only two pitchers this afternoon.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    DeWitt – 2B
    Colvin – LF
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Baker – 3B
    Matt Camp – SS
    Perez – CF
    Garza – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Grabow and Samardzija are in the pen today

    • SuzyS

      OH God!!!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Actually the Shark had a good day,,,,,,,,,for him.

  • skavoovee

    Matt camp and fernando Perez looked overmatched in their first at bat against harang. Fukudome looks like he is in midseaon form. I wish Scott Moore was given a shot today but he clearly is not being given serious consideration.

  • Dorasaga

    Brenly made an interesting comment: Eric Patterson shouldn’t stop at second base (could have reached third with his speed while that ball rolled down the line and bounced).

    You know what’s funny? Baseball insiders believed Adam Dunn didn’t like baseball. Well, my outside view sees a former prospect of the Chicago Cubs doesn’t care about baseball.

    How can you be paid big league money, and with all your skills, not going all out or more? I think that’s why we missed DeRosa. He might not be the best athlete, but he sure went all out all the time.

    I don’t know what the Hendry Regime of the Cubs was thinking, but there was the “Employee” Prior and this, and I just thought: These are not great athletes I want my kids to find a role model in. I’m losing respect for these guys.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Way to forget that after Brenly said that SD took Paterson out of the game with an injury. But it is your story preach on.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza’s missing his spots again

  • Ripsnorter1

    Eric Patterson: never learned to field, or he would have been a ML baseball player. He didn’t have enough power to overcome his very lousy glove. But boy, did he bang one today off of Garza. And Perez didn’t look very good in CF chasing that ball down. If it has to come down to Johnson or Perez, at least Johnson can catch the ball.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rough day for Garza

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Looper serves up a Grand Slam

  • Tony_Hall

    Man that ball got outta here in a hurry. I mean anything travels that far oughta have a damn stewardess on it, don’t you think?

    Send Looper home please……………….

  • The Maven

    Bye-bye, Bradon Looper

    • Ripsnorter1

      You wanted to dump Silva yesterday, and now Looper? But who will keep Grabow and Samardzija company in the bullpen?

      • The Maven

        Maybe the Cubs will keep Stevens and recall Gaub :-)

  • Tony_Hall

    Perez misplayed that ball off the wall, badly!

    • Dorasaga

      Brenly also mentioned Perez misplayed that triple by EPat earlier. Fantastic, our stopgap CF?

      Actually, why is the Rule 5 kid Steven hanging in there? I thought opponents loved batting practice against his fastballs?

      • Tony_Hall

        It sure seems like they could thin out the ranks pretty easily. There are some guys who are just not good enough, that are being given AB’s and Innings still.

        • Dorasaga

          We are what? 22 games into Spring Training, and nobody care anymore who should be given more Major League ABs? I’m speechless… Oh well, at least Bobby Scales is here to keep ripsnorter funny.

          • Ripsnorter1

            HEY YOU! BACK OFF SCALES, YA HEAR?!!??!!!!!

            LOL

    • The Maven

      Perez, another over-aged, over-valued Hendry acquisition

  • Tony_Hall

    Mad Max with a Grand Slam!!

    • Tony_Hall

      And I am sure Koyie is STILL the back-up catcher!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Max Ramirez with a slam

  • The Maven

    Max Ramirez, your table is ready!

    • Dorasaga

      He’s a keeper.

      • Tony_Hall

        If they are going to keep Hill as the back-up catcher, I would rather keep Max around instead of Johnson or Perez. I just don’t see them doing that.

        Neil – Have they given Max anytime at other positions, 1B or 3B?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Tony, not yet. Ramirez has played first in the past. I keep hoping they will give him some time over there this spring.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice to see they give Burke an AB, of couse against a Lefty!

  • Tony_Hall

    This is hard to watch :(

    • Dorasaga

      At least it’s nearly over… Think positive: Maybe Kevin Towers simply drafted nice kids before he was fired by San Diego. And let’s leave the thought like that, without thinking about who is the Cubs GM. By the way, can we give a certain GM credit for picking up Max?

      • Tony_Hall

        He only gets credit for Max, IF he keeps him.

        And that is that – Game Over!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Max cannot run. Max cannot field. Max cannot throw. Max cannot hit for average. And Max cannot hit for power, most of the time. I give Jim Clueless full credit for picking him up.

    • paulcatanese

      Not for me,company had just walked in the door.

  • Ripsnorter1

    What surprises me, Neil, is that in your poll about how many games the Cubs would win in 2011, you set them up to win at least 70. Perhaps you might consider putting in the possibility of 55-60, 61-65, and 66-70 wins.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Sure, I know: ya’ll are thinking I’m very optimistic in ST.

      Yeah.

      • Ripsnorter1

        To enhance my optimism, I’ll have to see whether Grabow, Samardzija, Looper and Silva make the team.

        Zonk on Grabow: “He needs to show something today. He hasn’t shown anything thus far.”

    • Tony_Hall

      Rip – That would make us have to think about the poll versus, just clicking the least amount of wins.

      • Ripsnorter1

        But Tony, you and I can think. It is Jim Clueless that has so much trouble with thinking.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony,I have been clicking the least amount of wins every day,it amazes me how many click at the other end,it is not to be.

  • Aaron

    Three positives from this ugly game:
    1) Samardzija battled back from a rough beginning to strike out 3 in a row….VERY good development
    2) Max Ramirez hitting that bomb
    3) Scott Moore’s defensive plays (even though he missed a tremendous diving play by throwing it away…it was still a good one, then he had that near double play he started from his knees)…and he hung tough against a lefty and barely missed dumping it into left center field.

    On the negative side:
    1) Garza continues to suck, and is NOT worth the talent the Cubs gave up, no matter how you look at it. He’d have to be an Ace to warrant that, and he just is clearly nowhere near that caliber….even though it’s Spring Training…he wasn’t that to begin with in Tampa….I can’t wait for his interview after this game. I wonder what his excuse is now. Oh….Len just said it for him…It’s a “tight” hamstring…LOL….surrrrrrrrrrrrrrre
    2) Looper sucked even worse
    3) Perez, DeWitt, and Stevens didn’t help themselves either. Perez was dreadful in the field and at the plate. DeWitt was dreadful at the plate, and had yet another GIDP (I believe that’s 5 of them this spring for him if I recall correctly…which is HORRIBLE). And Stevens….well….he looks like the quad-A player he’s always been

    • Ripsnorter1

      Perez: can’t hit; can’t field; can’t hit for power; can’t throw. He CAN run, though, and that means he’s perfect!

      We gave up a better OF than him. Yes, that would be Sam Fuld. He can run AND catch the ball. And I think he could hit .250 and poke 6 HR or so.
      Another bad trade . . . .

      Garza is working on becoming the Milton Bradley of 2011. You know what I mean: an abysmal failure.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip,I saw Garza for the first time today,,,I was not inpressed. I can clearly see he throws a lot of fly balls. I do not predict Hall of Fame figures for this guy.I now understand what everyone was saying about a bad trade. I would say no more than 8-9 wins for the season. He will require run support which apparantly the Cubs cannot give. Another reason for a dismal season ahead.

        • Ripsnorter1

          8-9 wins looks pretty good for the way he has been throwing. The wind had better blow in for every start, or else we can just forgetaboutit.

      • paulcatanese

        Also Rip I agree on Sam Fuld ,excellent outfielder and think he also would hit a few long ones. And he can run,,,very well.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      I can not wait until this season ends because:

      * Bake (r) / Blake at 2b is really going to blow.
      * Jeff samardzia
      * Charlie Silva
      * Koy Hill
      * Fukudome
      * Marlon Byrd batting third.

      • SuzyS

        Hey Jim, I’m with you…re this season….Go Marquette over the orange.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Samardzija, when he has control, is TOUGH. But he almost never has it, so he gets smashed around a lot. I do not want him on my team. Not now, at least.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I just wonder how in the Sam Eugene will Jim Clueless justify making DeWitt the opening day 2B? Or if the Cubs sign L. Castillo to play 2B, will you all realize that the Cubs dumped a better 2B (Theriot) to sign this has-been? That’s what makes it hard to get better: we keep dumping good players for bad ones. DeRosa for Stevens; Edmonds for Gathright; etc.

      BUT WE SAVED MONEY!

      59 wins? Man, it is hard to lose that many games. The Pirates have done it last year, and wouldn’t it be just peachy if the Cubs succeeded in knocking the Pirates out of their perennial hold on the cellar? P.K.Ricketts would be the laughing stock of MLB.

      • JedMosley

        DeRosa for Stevens AND Archer I believe, Archer was pretty good and most would take him over DeRosa now.

      • SuzyS

        Rip, I liked Theriot…lbut he was never an all star…and never will be.
        I did not mind losing the “Riot”…With visions of Castro at 2nd and Hak Lee
        at short….But ALAS…..

        I had major hopes that good moves would be made when Ricketts was coming on board…but then he retained JH to make personnal decisions….
        now, I just don’t post much…and won’t until the Cubs get a real GM…capable of making some good moves.

    • Dorasaga

      The five Grounded-Into-Double-Play explains DeWitt’s ability at the plate.

      I’ll probe this interesting question: How can the Cubs improve their defense with their current Big league roster?

      They definitely should not keep Perez and DeWitt. Castro, so young, can still improve. I wonder might Barney and Moore be the best choice?

      Then a defensively driven lineup will turn out to be:

      Fukudome, RF, LHB,
      Castro, SS, RHB,
      Byrd, CF, RHB,
      Colvin, 1B, LHB,
      Soto, C, RHB,
      Barney, 2B, RHB,
      Moore, 3B, LHB,
      R.Johnson, LF, RHB,
      P

      Not bad, eh? Though Byrd is not a prime choice, at least he’s been there more than old Reed, I believe. There’s even a balanced order of lefty-righty to keep believers (maybe even Quade) happy.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Colvin=Soriano in glove, according to last year’s stats.

        • Dorasaga

          But I don’t trust Pena and his “Gold Glove.” At least the younger Colvin might benefit by moving to the same side (from RF to 1B), but with less running around… I can’t believe I just justified his potential glovehavoc by saying that… LOL

          • Ripsnorter1

            Last year Pena’s glove declined sharply and he had a poor UZR.

          • paulcatanese

            I aagree,Pena and his glove. If he is as good as everyone says he is he should have picked off that ground ball to his left only inches away. If one dosent try one dosent suceed.

  • Aaron

    Just FYI for everyone….Report now says Rangers willing to eat half of Young’s deal ($48 million over 3 years, which would make it $24 million to the team acquiring him).

    I think it’d be a very wise move to acquire him, and should include Chris Davis to make it worth it to the Cubs. Fact is, ARAM is getting old and broken down. Pena is only signed one year (we don’t even know if we can get Fielder or Pujols anyway with large $$ commitments to both), and there’s no clear cut 2B of the future. The Cubs think highly of LeMahieu, but he’s supposedly not very great at 2B, and is better suited for 3B and 1B, especially if he adds power. He was kind of pigeon-holed at 2B because he lacked the power to be a corner IF.

    So….Here’s a proposal:
    Dolis (they were interested in him before), Silva (offset some salary, plus Rangers need more SP depth), DeWitt, Cabrera, and either Raley or Rusin. They would get 3 guys in our Top 20 prospects list. (Dolis and Cabrera in Top 10) Plus, while Silva sucks right now, he would at least give them some more depth behind Wilson, Holland, Lewis, and Harrison (and would allow them to put Feliz back in closer’s role where they need him right now). And if they need someone other than DeWitt, I’d give them Flaherty.

    Here are both Young and Davis’ stats this spring:
    Young-.355/.462/.548, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 0 hr, 6 RBI, 7 walks, 5 K’s
    Davis-.405/.422/.833, 6 doubles, 4 hr, 15 RBI, 2 walks, 9 K’s

    • Ripsnorter1

      I like Young. He’d start for me at 2B over Bobby Scales.

      Texas would not take Silva. They are not stupid. Any right thinking GM will recognize that he will be free in less than two weeks.

      Davis is worth little on the trade market, imho. Don’t overpay for him.

      Young shouldn’t fetch too much simply because he costs so much. We should not have to part with Dolis and Cabrera both, imho.

      Give them Dolis, Russell and Samardzija. See what that fetches us.

      • Aaron

        Actually, I like your take on it….but I want Davis badly. I wanted Moreland in the past before he made it to MLB, but there’s no way they ever trade him now. Davis on the other hand….With Moreland locked up at 1B and Beltre signed long-term at 3B….there’s no spot for him.

        At least with the Cubs, he has a chance to either stick at 3B or 1B with both ARAM and Pena being potential FA next year.

        Dolis, Russell, DeWitt/Flaherty, and Cabrera should net us both Young and Davis. We might have to include some low level prospect too, such as Junior Lake, or possibly even include Marquez Smith.

        • Dorasaga

          Ike Davis has the plate discipline, a much needed asset on this current Cubs roster, esp. if JHendry will trade Fukudome by July for salary-relief.

          The question is why would Texas give him away? Davis can pinch-hit, serve as an occasional DH or 1B. Sometimes a good bench player makes the difference between a good team and a champion; e.g. Matt Stairs for the 2008 Phillies, Fontenot for the Giants last year.

          I feel that with the well-balanced roster Texas has right now, there’s no urgency to make any trade right now. They might keep hold of Young and Davis as long as the market permits until the big bidders (presumably from the NL) pop out for a fine-tune.

          • JedMosley

            I don’t think Fontenot was the difference for that team last year, that’s a pretty big stretch.

          • Dorasaga

            I agree. Just checked Fonte’s splits for Sep.(amidst the heat of a NL West pennant race) and postseason; stats not pretty.

            But somehow, Buchy still played him a lot those time: 15 PA in Oct. and 48 PA in Sep.; I guess it’s the intangibles… LOL

            Anyway, my point was that good bench players are necessary, however limited their skills are (Stairs), but if they are good at one thing, they are keepers for that team.

        • Wickitkevin

          I am with you on Moreland I was calling for the Cubs to trade for him in the beginning of last year. I think if the Rangers don’t trade Young right now, Moreland maybe available for pitching by June.

          Here is my suggest around the deadline:

          Dempster and Pena for Moreland, Holland, Olt and Robbie Ross.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Aaron,
          Lastings Milledge is killing the ball with the White Sox. He’s made the team, imo, and will get his 300 AB because Juan Pierre is about done.

    • Tom U

      LeMahieu is a very good defensive second baseman (.990 fielding last season). The trouble with him is that at 6″4″, he’ll eventually have trouble getting down on grounders (like Mark DeRosa did). This is why there has been some thoughts on moving him to third, first, or the outfield.

    • cubtex

      It’s great that you evaluate players based on spring training stats! So Chris Davis has it figured out hitting .405 against AAA pitching,and has beens like Braden Looper trying to make a roster! I guess Jake Fox will be the MVP in the American League this year!
      Aaron, I got a question for you…..How many times have you seen Cabrera,DolisRaley or Rusin pitch?????
      How many at bats have you seen Chris Davis have??? Against what type of pitching???
      Hmmmmmmmmmm….
      Let’s back up a little as well…
      You have ripped Hendry constantly saying the Cubs gave up too much for Garza even though the market was calling for that much(see the Rangers offer)
      So what was your scouting report on Brandon Guyer??? How many times have you seen him play or what grades did you give him???
      What about Hak Ju Lee???
      You get my point!!
      Now you are willing to trade 2 of our top 20 prospects for a player who has performed badly with terrible strikeout ratios based on spring training stats for 2 top 20 prospects that could turn out better than who we gave up for Garza????
      Would you not agree that it is possible that Dolis or Cabrera could turn out better than Archer???
      I know your cup is half empty all the time but just because a prospect is not in the top 10 does not mean they could not turn out to be an orginization’s top player.
      It is easy to rip and bitch like you do and make trades like it is a video game without having any knowledge on what the other team is asking for.

      You proved your point about your lack of knowledge with me when you said the White Sox trade to SD trade to Peavy was a wash!!!

      Or that the Gio Ganzales for Nick Swisher deal wasn’t that bad a deal for the Sox.

      Enough said!!!!!!!!

      • The Maven

        In a world full of “Cubbie Occurrences”, Jake Fox will be the MVP of the AL :-)

        • Ripsnorter1

          I hope so. I wish him well. Lou shafted him.

      • paulcatanese

        I dont know who could trade for who,it makes no difference. Watching and following the Cubs this ST has been a headache. They look worse now than they did last season. I will take into account that they shuffle players in and out,but so do the other teams. I take into account that people are working on things,again that applies to the teams they are playing,yet the others seem to take the Cubs apart often. Obviously I dont pretend to know as much as you seem to but the ones I have seen play downright suck.watching Garza today I dont see him as a number three but rather four or even five starter. As a Cub fan I hope I am wrong about him,but he is a high ball pitcher and will throw a lot of long balls over the season, I know the Cubs needed another starter but should not have traded Gorzo and kept what they had. Offense is wat the Cubs despartly need and thats what they do not have in any stretch. Pitchers will have to throw near shutout ball most of the time,and that aint gonna happen.

      • Aaron

        Are you still talking? LOL….I mean, seriously, lay off the Cubbie Kool-Aid.

        First of all…NEVER once did I say players that are performing well in Spring Training (or for that matter poorly like Garza) would carry those same stats to the regular season. I find it absolutely ludicrous that you would infer that. Furthermore, I do not even think Chris Davis is a .300+ hitter.

        All I ever do is look at comparisons. For instance….
        Koyie Hill vs Max Ramirez/Welington Castillo/Steve Clevenger
        *you’re out of your mind if you take Hill…..which is PRECISELY what the Cubs are poised to do.

        Silva vs Cashner
        *believe it or not….given Quade’s words and Silva’s contract, it appears Silva is the frontrunner. True, Cashner SHOULD be given the spot, and has outperformed Silva in every single way. However, Quade said Silva is being looked at as just a starter, and Cashner has relief experience. Complicating matters even more for Cashner is the fact that no other right-hander has stood out for the pen. It will all boil down to Silva’s last start. If he gets torched, he just might be released, but if not, he might remain, as the Cubs won’t want to risk him signing with another team while paying the bill

        Ojeda vs Moore/Camp/Scales/Barney
        *Quade already made it clear from the beginning that Ojeda was his choice, but due to injury Quade might be forced to go with someone else

        So…..what I think is pretty clear to just about everyone that reads this site (except for you obviously) is that NOBODY on this site is saying Moore, Camp, Castillo, Max Ramirez, Barney, etc. will become stars, but what I say….and others have too, is that these guys are BETTER options than the alternative.

        You just seem to love arguing with every point I make, because you don’t want to hear it. And that’s fine….it’s hard to be in denial…I know it…I think almost every fan knows this, but at some point, you have to be honest with yourself, and see the Cubs for what they really are——a VERY poorly run organization.

        Moving on….

        I’ve seen every single one of those players in person: Lee, Cabrera, Dolis, Guyer, and Archer.

        First of all, the scouting report I had on Guyer prior tot he trade was that he’d be a better option than what we had, and the Cubs would be better off by trading Byrd while his value was still high, and using Guyer in the OF until Brett Jackson was ready….especially since the Cubs weren’t expected to compete in 2011. I’ve also stated that Guyer is probably nothing better than a 4th OF eventually, and while he’s always had a ton of potential as a starting OF, the injuries have caught up to him, and the greatest comparison is probably a Reed Johnson-esque career.

        In my opinion, Hak-Ju Lee is the superior defender in comparison to Castro, and he’s got more speed. Additionally, if you look at both of their stats at similar ages, Lee grades out a bit higher in most categories.

        As for Garza trade, it was extremely ill-advised on many different levels. The fact Garza was entering expensive arbitration years, and the Cubs weren’t expected to contend this year were at the top of the list.

        Do you not understand this?

        I hate to be a jerk….but do I literally have to spell everything out for you in an elementary way?!?

        Really….the White Sox trades? It’s quite clear you didn’t read my response to you. I think I spelled that out to you in a very elementary way as well point-by-point….in a numbered list. Gonzalez was in White Sox deals 3 times. In a way, you can say he netted them Jim Thome, Gavin Floyd, and Nick Swisher. That’s actually a very good return for a pitcher that was a big disappointment to everyone up until last season. As for Peavy, given both their stats with the new teams, I even put up the stats to show you how it worked out. Additionally, I said this year would be huge in determining who won that trade. If Peavy is injured most of the year, and has an ERA over 4, and Richard has another year under a 4 ERA, then yes, you can consider that deal won by the Padres.

        But using your same argument….(if the same thing happened to the Cubs with the Garza deal), I bet you’d say the Cubs did the right thing by getting the more experienced and “sure thing” pitcher. And while Garza is on the DL, and Archer has a 1-something ERA for the Rays, you’d likely still say the same thing, because that’s how your mind works.

        You will go to the ends of the earth to defend Hendry’s decisions…and the Cubs decisions as a whole, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just understand that I don’t see the overly optimistic side that you see.

  • Tom U

    In a truly troubling statistic, the Cubs, who are supposed to have pretty good pitching, are last in the NL in ERA this spring.