Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 03/22/11

Spring Training Game Twenty-Six: Cubs (10-15) vs. Dodgers (9-16)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: MLB Network – Radio: Webcast
Location – Camelback Ranch, Glendale

Ryan Dempster (1-0, 2.00/0.72) vs. Chad Billingsley (0-1, 4.80/1.33)

The first pitch of the Cubs 2011 Season is just 10 days away …

Q’s crew returns to work this afternoon after basically loosing a day Monday. The weather should not be a problem for the Cubs in the coming day as the Cactus League schedule comes to an end. The Cubs have only eight exhibition games remaining on the schedule … this is the last full week of camp, Opening Day is a week from Friday.

Ryan Dempster takes the ball this afternoon as the Cubs’ offense gets their second crack of the spring at Chad Billingsley

Ryan Dempster has put together a solid spring and figures to make one more start in the Cactus League before taking the ball on Opening Day against the Pirates. Dempster will make his fifth start of the spring this afternoon.

Spring Training stats are just that, but Dempster’s 15 strikeouts and only two walks in 18 innings are very impressive. Dempster has allowed only four runs, all earned, on 11 hits in four spring starts.

Aramis Ramirez has missed the last two games after being sent home Sunday with a 102 degree temperature. Ramirez was expected back in this afternoon’s lineup.

Chad Billingsley will make his second start of the spring against the Cubs. Billingsley has struggled this spring with his command and has allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 14 hits with six walks and 11 strikeouts in 15 innings. Today will be Billingsley’s fifth start of the spring.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • Neil

    Today’s Lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Colvin – LF
    Byrd – CF
    Pena – 1B
    Soto – C
    Baker – 3B
    DeWitt – 2B
    Barney – SS
    Dempster – P

    Aramis Ramirez is still sick …

    • Ripsnorter1

      What in the world is Jeff Baker doing over at 3B? Last year he made all 7 of his errors at 3B. Put Barney or Moore or Scales there, please.

      • Cheryl

        Could it be that there was an argument that Baker was versatile and somebody said – Let’s try him at third?

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yes, but since they tried him last year, and he made 7 errors in just 23 games started there (33 games over all), I thought they might have learned their lesson. Why keep making the same mistakes over and over again?

          • Cheryl

            You’re right.

      • cubtex

        Barney is at short and this probably signals that Scales and Moore did not make the 25

        • Ripsnorter1

          You are most likely correct. I’d be shocked if Scales and Moore make the team under this management.

  • Neil

    Justin Berg and Carlos Marmol are getting their work in at Fitch Park today.

    John Grabow, Scott Maine, Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija scheduled to throw after Dempster today.

  • Neil

    No word on the roster decisions yet …

  • paulcatanese

    Demp,save something for the season. Youre doing great!!!

  • Neil

    From the Tribune:

    Quade sez Silva not out of rotation picture yet. Starts Weds vs A’s.

    • John_CC

      Brilliant. Gotta love the “players manager”. In what world is Silva a viable starting pitcher?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Like I said earlier today, if Silva makes just one good outing, he’s in. The Cubs are not going to eat that money. And look at the bright side, somebody may be convinced to trade for him. We can only hope . . . .

        • cubtex

          That’s the only way to justify this logic since Silva has been absolutely awful! I am worried that they are screwing with Cashner now moving him from starter to reliever to starter and now back again if they somehow name Silva the #5 starter.
          Look how that messed with Joba and even Samardziga for that matter!
          I guess we need to hope Silva gets shelled tomorrow so they have to cut him!

          • Ripsnorter1

            I want Silva to pitch lights out tomorrow. I hope he no hits his opponent so that some suckers, er, I mean, the Yanks might deal for him. If they just took him for free I would rejoice.

            Samardzija: he isn’t messed up because he went starter to pen to starter to pen. He’s messed up because he cannot control his stuff.

            Cashner: control has always been his issue, too, but hopefully he can master it.

          • cubtex

            I would rather not take that chance and if he is not traded he is taking a roster spot away from someone more deserving!!

        • John_CC

          For as much as I hate the Mets, at least they aren’t afraid to cut the fat, swallow their pride and eat the money.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Quade met with Hendry, etc., & will sleep on some roster decisions

    • Ripsnorter1

      I thought the cotton picker lived in a coma all the time . . . .

    • Aaron

      I don’t know if I like the whole “sleep on it” strategy. It almost never works out in a team’s favor.

      From what we know, Quade likes the following guys:
      *these are the players he’s spoken most glowingly about

      What we don’t really know is how he feels about:
      Max Ramirez
      *this does NOT mean he hasn’t spoken of these guys, but simply that he has only mentioned them in passing, such as “Moore, Camp, etc. are ‘in the mix’ for spots, and ‘I wouldn’t rule anything out'”….sort of comments. Whereas, with guys like Johnson, Hill, and Silva, he’s all but guaranteed them spots on the team, ESPECIALLY Hill, which defies ALL logic.

      I am NOT looking forward to the roster decisions, as I already have a very good idea of what will happen. I hope I’m wrong, and have to eat some crow, but it doesn’t look likely.

      I think AZ Phil said it best on TCR when a reader asked him what it’d take for Hill to NOT make the team. He responded by saying, “there is a way, but it’s illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia”…..soooooooooooooooooooooooo true

      Anyway, I have just a few tweaks to my projected team (given injuries to Welly and Ojeda, otherwise they would’ve made it)


      Marmol, Wood, Marshall, Grab-ass, Samardzija, Cashner, Looper (he is the one wild card here. He’s not going to make the rotation, unless the Cubs cut ties with Silva, and that is HIGHLY unlikely. In the unlikely event they do, then Cashner is sent to the pen, and Looper is in the rotation. There’s also a possibility if Looper gets hammered his next appearance, that the Cubs just opt to go with Maine)

      C-Soto, Hill
      2B-DeWitt, Baker
      SS-Castro, Barney
      CF-Byrd, Johnson
      RF-Fukudome, Colvin

      Cubs Opening Day lineup:

      Quade is being melodramatic about this bullsh$t. The decisions have ALREADY been made, for crying out loud. I guess he’s following the same blueprint the Cubs used when they hired him, claiming that they were giving all the other candidates, especially Ryne Sandberg, an equal chance in landing the job, when in fact, the decision was already made in August when they bypassed Trammell and handed the club to Quade.

      Did anyone else see what Quade said?

      WARNING… might want a trash can or bucket handy to vomit in, as Quade actually speaks of himself in the third person


      Carlos Silva will get another start Wednesday against Oakland and hasn’t pitched himself out of the rotation picture yet.

      That’s according manager Mike Quade, who was involved in a roster meeting Tuesday with general manager Jim Hendry and others on the Cubs’ staff.

      “I never count anybody out,” Quade said. “I’m anxious to see him pitch (Wednesday). Still some tough decisions. Productive discussions today. Nothing definitive. I have a lot to sleep on, or not sleep on tonight, regarding the pitching and other areas, too.”

      Quade would not give any hints as to which direction the Cubs are going, and wouldn’t even name Randy Wells as the fourth starter, a decision which probably already has been made. Quade said he’ll meet again with Hendry on Wednesday.

      “I think we’re in agreement on most decisions,” he said, referring to Hendry, assistant general manager Randy Bush and assistant to the GM Greg Maddux.

      Quade said he expects a decision on the rotation by this weekend, and confirmed that some of his decisions will be made on “how Mike Quade is going to run a game, how do different people factor into” the strategy.

      Couple things….

      1) Silva hasn’t pitched himself out of the rotation picture yet? What?!?!?!? What a way to start the article, eh? And in case you were wondering, drugs are also banned for management….they were not, indeed, high, when discussing this issue

      2) “I think we’re in agreement on most decisions”….well, in that case, I could be wrong….Hendry’s ideal team would’ve included Ojeda….maybe even a career threatening back injury can’t keep him from this roster. Who knows? But what’s most disturbing about this, is Maddux is a GREAT baseball mind…and we already know Hendry, Bush, and Quade are of the same ilk….COMPLETE “yes men”…agreeing on every dumb decision Hendry makes. But back to Maddux…..he has now recommended (in public) two very bad players for the Cubs in Jason Marquis and Blake DeWitt. Therefore, I’m starting to question his judgement a bit. And if they’re in agreement on most decisions….BOTH Hendry and Quade have come out in full support of Koyie Hill making the team. Furthermore, they’ve all but decided to go with Barney as a back-up IF, and that’s alright with me….and they’ve all but said Johnson is also coming north. So the ONLY question marks are really NOT whether Silva, Cashner, and Looper make the team (which should be the decision), but which one out of those 3 will be the 5th starter. Then, the losers of that role go to the pen, so the decision has basically been made, with Quade saying Silva isn’t suited for the pen….but the only remaining question mark is whether or not DeWitt will be the starter. There’s a VERY remote possibility he could be optioned. But I think it’s more likely the Cubs will win the World Series than that happening. But, in the unlikely event that happens, and he’s demoted, there’s a slight possibility we could see Moore or Scales make the roster.

      3) ….and confirmed that some of his decisions will be made on “how Mike Quade is going to run a game, how do different people factor into” the strategy. Really?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? So…let me get this straight….a mediocre minor league manager and former MLB 3rd base coach that happened to go 24-13 down the stretch to “earn” himself the managerial job, is all of a sudden talking in the 3rd person?!? What?!?!? I guess he must think he’s the next Tony LaRussa or something. Does he even realize how ridiculous he sounds? Let me ask you something Mike……..How exactly do you run a game? Do you believe in playing the best 25 players, or are you a “yes man”, and play the veterans and players earning the most money? Because, I must say….during your 24-13 run down the stretch, you sure as hell didn’t play the guys that gave you the best chance to win. You played the veterans, because you absolutely understood the fact that if you were to ever win the job, you’d have to have their backing, and if you actually sat them in favor of younger guys that gave you the better chance of winning, they’d NEVER support you. You knew this didn’t you? So tell me then…..why don’t you cut Silva, Baker, DeWitt, Hill, Ojeda, and Looper already, and just be done with it? Is it really that hard to give the jobs to Cashner, Scales, Moore, Castillo/Ramirez, and guys like Mateo, Carpenter, Cabrera, etc?

      I don’t really see the point in keeping mediocre-at-best veterans around just for the sake of having a “veteran presence”…especially when you have younger players that not only have a higher ceiling than those guys, but also, have completely outperformed the veterans this Spring Training.

      Am I wrong on any of this? If so, please tell me why

      • JedMosley

        If I was a manager I’d want people who would work best for me as a manager. I don’t think he’s being egotistic, that’s just his personality. He’s a goofy guy if you hadn’t noticed. I don’t think Quade’s a “yes man” like everyone is saying, i think he’s sincerely doing his best to put out a team that he feels that can compete. He won 24 games with that crew last year in that stretch! And those games did have meaning, just ask the Padres. I’m starting to believe that Dewitt should be sent down and the job should be given to Barney, he’s earned it. I also don’t think Baker should be cut, he’s had a decent spring. All the others you mentioned, I wouldn’t be upset if they did get cut, and they probably should be. Cashner should be the 5th starter.

      • Ripsnorter1

        If you are RIGHT on any of this, I’m going to blow a gasket all over the CCO! If Quade the Quack takes DeWitt North with Silva, Wellemeyer, Hill and Looper, the season will be over before the first pitch is thrown.

        Maddux: was a great pitcher, but what does he know about second basemen? Apparently nothing if he recommended DeWitt. The guy has trouble turning the double play, let alone hitting. Quade jammed his hide into the three hole in the lineup last year! What was he thinking?

        I’m going to church right now so I can settle down. This is too much. Much too much . . . .

        • paulcatanese

          Had two teeth pulled this morning that was not as painful as mngmt “sleeping” on roster decisions till tomorrow that have already been made weeks ago.

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron,the only thing I think you are wrong about is I dont think you are going to have any “Comped tickets” from the front office. Other than that pretty much on dial.

      • cubtex

        Aaron..Guess what???? I almost completely agree with you on what the roster might be! I don’t like it but I agree that it looks like it will happen. I don’t think Looper will be on the roster. He has stated that if he doesn’t make the rotation for the Cubs…..he will retire.
        As I stated before….I think they need 3 lefties in the pen so I think Maine and they start Russell in AAA.

      • Scott McMeekan

        Aaron, I don’t care if you’re wrong or right, I just love to read your ridiculously long and well-thought out rants!!! I’ve been gone for awhile, and I come back tonight and get a treat.

        Actually, per usual, I do agree with you 100%. Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed it. Back to lurking and the occasional post.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Carlos Silva will start Wed vs Athletics & Zambrano will pitch at Minor League camp

  • cc002600

    Can someone help me with this one. ?

    What the heck do they see in Justin Berg ???

    I see that he is still around.

    Everytime I have seen him pitch, they have to issue hard hats to everyone in the bleachers before he goes into the game. WTF

  • Cheryl

    I just saw that Tampa cut Archer and Chirmos.

    • Richard Hood

      Sent them down not cut. They have not been waived.

    • cubtex

      I thought Chirinos had a really good shot at being the backup. I guess not. Archer is not ready and that is not a surprise. He only threw 4 innings I believe in ST.

    • cubtex

      I guess the Cubs aren’t the only ones taking a light hitting backup catcher. I am still holding out hope that they cut Hill! Tampa took Jaso over Chirinos even though Jaso went only 5 for 27 for a .185 while Chirinos hit over .400.

      Sam Fuld had a tough spring. He went 7 for 33 with only 1 extra base hit.

      Doesn’t appear as if Fuld will make the team either.

    • The Maven

      I guess the Cubs aren’t the only team that bases decisions on non-performance reasons. Kelly Shoppach is due 3 million this season with an option for 2012 and a 3K buyout. Oh yeah, he bats right handed, just like Chirinos

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Whether it be Scales or Moore I think either one of them is a better option than DeWitt at this point. I think they have both earned a strong consideration, DeWitt has limited range at second and isn’t making routine plays, he has an option left so I don’t see why they don’t send him down.

    I think the Cubs are hoping Silva has a strong outing and they can CON somebody into taking him off our hands.

    • paulcatanese

      I was totaly a DeWitt supporter when he came to the Cubs,I like left handed hitters. But I am really reserved now abut his future as a 2nd baseman as it has been pointed out he is having trouble turning 2 and range is a problem. I have read (Rip) that DeWitt is actualy a 3rd baseman. I don’t think I have seen him over there any number of times. The season hasn’t hardly started and already Rami has missed games. I think we really (Cubs) need to leave 2ndwith a little less attention and concentrate over at 3rd, and I don’t mean Baker.

  • Neil

    More left on base …

    • Aaron

      Outside of Soriano, Castro, and ARAM, that was your Opening Day lineup. And I do realize that with ARAM and Castro, certainly, that’s a HUGE chunk of the lineup out….but things wouldn’t have been a whole lot different anyhow….at least in my opinion.

      OFFENSE OFFENSE OFFENSE…..wasn’t nearly everyone on this site screaming for that last year? The best Hendry could muster was Carlos Pena, who was coming off a season hitting .196 and just 95 hits, which is the most pathetic stat of all….even worse than the average, because he did it in a full season.

      We already knew the Cubs had a huge hole at 2B and the back end of the pen. Neither were addressed. In fact, when he dealt Gorzelanny, Hendry made the 5th starter spot worse. Ironically, he goes out and signs Looper (albeit to a minor league deal) for $3.5 million if he makes the roster as a starter. Now please tell me how that saves the Cubs money if he makes the team….because Gorzelanny is set to earn $2.1 million this year.

      But….I don’t get it….Just like I didn’t get Hendry’s math in the offseason prior to the 2009 season when he dealt DeRosa, Pie, Cedeno, and Ceda, all in the name of saving money. He also let Edmonds and Wood walk, and went with Miles, Heilman, Gregg, and Gathright to replace those guys. Additionally, he signed Bradley to an outrageous deal. I posted several times on this site the math involved with all those contracts coming and going…., and I just could not understand how he claimed the Cubs were saving money, when it was intellectually dishonest of him to do so….Fact is, in the process of trying to get “more left-handed”, he not only destroyed the ballclub, but he ended up paying more than he otherwise would have if he’d just hung onto the same players, and signed Dunn…or even Abreu instead of Bradley.

      But now he’s up to the same tricks. His math…..and roster management is probably the worst in all of baseball in terms of GM’s.

      • Bill

        I agree with you that Hendry is a terrible GM and should be gone, but disagree on a couple of issues.

        First, I think the back end of the bullpen is very solid. Marshall, Wood, and Marmol are all quality pitchers. Moving Cashner to the rotation weakens this unit a bit, but it’s still pretty good. Now, if you want to talk about the rest of the bullpen, I’ll agree with you that it’s questionable. Still, my biggest concern isn’t pitching, it’s hitting. How is this team going to score runs?

        Second, from what I read earlier today (I think it was in the Tribune), it sounds like it’s not Quade fault that Hill will probably the backup and DeWitt the starting catcher. Sounds like Quade is arguing with Hendry over these moves. At least according to the article it sounds like Quade wants Castillo as the backup catcher and possibly Barney starting at 2nd. Hendry will never cut Hill after giving him a raise, and he can’t send down DeWitt because that would mean admitting he made a bad deal for Lilly.

        • cubtex

          I agree Bill! The Cubs bullpen is solid. Marshall,Wood and Marmol are one of the best late inning combination in the division. I think Grabow will be much better this year as well.
          Scoring runs will be a problem against good pitching! They have no situational hitters and no base stealers!

  • Neil

    Can’t ask for much more from Dempster

    • paulcatanese

      No,we can’t, great job by him,awsome spring.

  • Neil

    Tying run on third … no outs. Strikeout swinging, strikeout looking, walk, strikeout looking.

  • Neil

    Baker with a homer to left on first pitch of ninth, game tied at one.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to Dodgers 2-1 in 10 innings. Cubs offense: 6 hits, 10 Ks, 1-for-7 w/RISP, 8 LOB – Dempster’s line: 1 R, 6 H, BB, 6 Ks, 6 IP

    Samardzija loaded the bases in the 10th, Orlando Mercado, Jr. with game winning bloop single to left center off Samardzija.

  • Andrew Leff

    To all the Cubs Faithful: if you think Wrigley is the best stadium in the league, let us know…

    We’re hearing from all sorts of fans, and you don’t want to let Cards (or Sox) fans win!

    • Theboardrider

      Anyone notice Mark Prior is pitching pretty well for the Yanks?

      • Ripsnorter1

        I hadn’t noticed. Thanks.