Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 07/17/11

Game Ninety-Six: Cubs (38-57) vs. Marlins (45-49)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (1-3, 6.80/1.73) vs. Chris Volstad (5-8, 5.40/1.46)

The Chicago Cubs will face the Florida Marlins for the last time this afternoon … beginning in 2012, with the opening of the new ballpark, the Florida Marlins will be known as the Miami Marlins.

The Cubs have won three of five in the season series against the Fish and a win today would not only give Q’s squad a victory in the season series but it would improve their 2-12 record on Sundays.

With Randy Wells and Chris Volstad on the mound, there could be a lot of runs scored. The Cubs’ offense has continued to struggle but has been good for a big game once in a while this season.

Latest from the Rumor Mill … The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is two weeks from today. According to Bruce Levine, the Tigers are hot on the trail of Aramis Ramirez … and the Phillies are one of the teams that have shown interest in Marlon Byrd.

Today it all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells has not pitched in 11 days and he struggled, again, the last time he took the mound. Wells is one of the many questions the Cubs must find an answer to over the last 60-plus games of the season. Wells has continued to be ineffective and he must find a way to finish the year on a positive note.

The Nationals knocked Wells out of his last start after four innings. Wells gave up four runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts. The Nationals pounded two home runs and Wells was all over the strike zone.

For as bad as Randy Wells has been this season, he’s been slightly better at Wrigley. Wells is 1-2 in five home starts with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.

Randy Wells was 0-1 in his last two starts before the break with a 8.71 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP … teams hit nearly .400 against him over his last 10 1/3 innings of work (.391).

Today will be Wells’ second career start against the Marlins … 0-1 in one game with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP.

Mike Cameron (1-for-7), Wes Helms (0-for-1), Omar Infante (4-for-5 with 2 home runs), Hanley Ramirez (0-for-4) and Gaby Sanchez (1-for-4 with a home run) are the only active position players on the Marlins’ roster that has faced Randy Wells.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander has been up and down for the roller coaster that is the 2011 Florida Marlins. Chris Volstad has seemingly put together an excellent start, then a so-so outing, just to follow up with a horrible game. Volstad last pitched on July 10 and he held the Astros to three runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings … but the start before, the Phillies knocked him out after four innings and seven runs on nine hits.

Chris Volstad posted a 1-1 record in his two starts before the break with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

The Cubs beat Chris Volstad back on May 19 in Miami 5-1 and Q’s offense scored three of the five runs off Volstad on four hits in five innings of work. Volstad is 0-2 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in three starts with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-5 with a double and a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6 with 2 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-14 with 3 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-8 with 2 doubles
  • Carlos Pena – 3-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-10 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with a double and 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Johnson – RF
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Byrd – CF
    DeWitt – LF
    Soto – C
    Barney – 2B
    Wells – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dave Bush is making his I-Cubs debut tonight.

    • Brett

      This is the 1st time I’ve posted on here but I’ve been reading this site for 8 months. Neil & Tom, you both do a great job! This is the best site for cubs info out there. Very classy, great reports without the good ole cubs sugar coating and quality reader posting.

      I was at the ICubs game last night…& would honestly watch that lineup everyday… but that’s another topic. I just wanted to thow in what I noticed last night for everyone. Keep in mind no one would ever confuse me for a scout & I don’t have experience evaluating players skill sets. Here we go.

      Brett Jackson looked good. He takes quality ab’s & works counts very well till he gets a pitch he can drive. 2 bb’s and 2 hits last night & the ball jumps off his bat. He had a clutch hit to drive in a run late in the game & looked confident in the box. Played center well but I was most impressed with the little things. He actually hit his cut-offs & runs the bases very well. Not just with speed but he is a sharp base runner.
      Flaherty looked solid at 2nd base & turned a big dp in the 8th to bail out Carpenter. I thought he passed the eye test at the dish. He is patient, has a nice stroke & looks very “hitterish” up there. I think he’s close.
      Tom I agree with you on DJ. He is going to be a fine hitter and just a good ball player.
      Colvin didn’t se more than 2 pitches in his last 3 ab’s…not good.
      Marwin Gonzales looked VERY smooth the leather at short. He had a tough night at the plate & like colvin wasn’t very patient but he stayed up the middle & their 2nd baseman made some nice plays on him. I was still impressed with him.
      Coleman had a bad 1st inning..(seems like a common theme in the organization huh)..but settled in & got several ground balls on a hot night with the wind blowing out to center. Carpenter had a looked dominant & shaky in his 2 innings. Scott Maine was nasty. He gave up a leadoff dbl in the 9th but struck out the side with 94-95mph gas & a nasty slider. I hope he’s starting to put it together.

      Keep in mind I’m no expert & this was based on one game but that’s what I took from what I saw.

      Tom, has marwin gonzales played any CF? Also, how has Flaherty looked in the OF?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Brett, thank you.

        I know you asked Tom, but Marwin Gonzalez played center for the Smokies this season after Jackson and Adduci went down. As for Flaherty in the outfield, he is average and is still learning to read the ball of the bat. He will take bad routes but has made improvement in the outfield.

      • paulcatanese

        Welcome Brett. That looks like a pretty fair analysis of what you saw. I am particularly interested in Carpenter, think he has the stuff to make it. Thanks.

      • Tom U

        Thank you Brett for the compliment. 

        Neil echoes my feelings exactly on Gonzalez and Flaherty. 

        I’ve been very high on Gonzalez since winter ball. He has a lot of qualities you see in Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro. Like both, he has good speed but isn’t necessarily a base-stealer. He’s fundamentally sound like Barney, but a better hitter. He can be flashy in the field like Castro, but doesn’t have Castro’s natural hitting instincts. On top of all of that, he is a switch hitter.

        Brett, you touched on a few things that are in my report tomorrow, The increased speed and defensive ability seems to have affected the confidence of Iowa’s pitchers. Both Jay Jackson and Casey Coleman looked more relaxed, and didn’t seem to be concentrating on being “too fine”. They should also benefit Nick Struck and Chris Rusin, as they are familiar with their abilities from their time together at Tennessee.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks, Brett. I need that.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Dave Bush (0-0, 0.00)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (1-4, 4.80)
    Daytona – Dae-Eun Rhee (4-5, 4.08)
    Peoria – Luis Liria (0-0, 0.00)
    Boise – Willengton Cruz (1-1, 2.18)

    In an interesting note (I’m sounding like Cliff Klaven now), Peoria is playing the Fort Wayne TinCaps, a team with one of the better nicknames and logos I’ve come across. The name references legend Johnnie Appleseed, while the logo is an angry-looking apple with a pot on its head.

  • Cha boy

    What do you guys think the Cubs can get for Aramis Ramirez?

    • cubtex

      Bruce Levine is reporting today that ARam does not have a clause in his contract that would kick in and pay him 16 mil for next year if he is traded. According to Levine….he is owed roughly 7 mil plus 2 mil buyout for next and 1mil if he is traded for relocation fees. Total of 10 mil. Much more doable!

      • Mark

        Please!  I hope we can get rid of him.   10 million is “do-able”.  He did fine for us years ago when we needed him but now it’s time to move on.  We need LOTS of new faces for 2012.  

  • Tom U

    Remember, consider the source:

    Phil Rogers is reporting that the Cubs are finalizing a deal with Dan Vogelbach.

    • cubtex

      Jim Callis also reported that they have a deal in place for Vogelbach so hopefully there is some validity to this.

  • Brp921

    Detroit has a pitcher in double A who is listed as #10 on the top prospect list I wonder what it would take to pry him away from them?

    • carmelo

      Any trade with Detroit for ARam starts and ends with AA players Turner, RHP and Martinez 3B—-you get both of these players and it’s a great trade for both teams.

      • Brp921

        I think it’s a great trade for the Cubs. The question is would Detroit give up their #1 and #6 prospects for Ramirez? I think they would have to believe Ramirez could put them, at least, very deep into the playoffs. I would love to see that trade. I would even be willing to sweeten the pot a little.

        • Dorasaga

          I’ll cross my fingers. Detroit craves for quality, veteran starting-pitcher(s). I mean, they URGENTLY need him, whoever he will be. A #1 and #6 look like reserves for that, not ARam and his 2012 contract.

          • Brp921

            For a #1 and #6 maybe Hendry could be persuaded to throw in a Dempster or Zambrano if Detroit would bite.

        • cubtex

          I think the Tigers are getting impatient with Porcello and I would take a chance on him. He is still only 22 and needs to command his curve better. He has an above average curve…but I just wish the Cubs had Rothschild to work with him instead of Riggins. You are right though…the Tigers would definately want a starter back if they traded him…..Casey Coleman? Randy Wells? Take your choice Tigers.

    • cubtex

      I saw a rumor trade between Detroit and Houston involving Wandy Rodriguez and Jeff Keppinger going to Detroit for Rick Porcello and LHP Casey Crosby. Crosby is a top ten prospect for Detroit. Tigers have 3 lefties in their top top. Andy Oliver, Dan Schlereth and Casey Crosby. I can see them moving one of those lefties for ARam and I know the Tigers are down on Porcello. I think a changer of scenery would help Porcello.

      • Brp921

        If they could get a veteran pitcher or two somewhere else then maybe they would let the double A guy go for Ramirez.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Peter Gammons: Jim
    Hendry has no interest in trading Dempster or Garza during season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Greg Rohan has been promoted from Peoria to Daytona

    • Tom U

      A very deserving promotion to a true team player.

      • JW

        Who got sent out or placed on the dl with the addition of Bush?

    • Tom U

      In a small flurry of moves, Rohan and Dustin Geiger promoted, while Marco Carrillo and Matt Loosen were sent down. 

      If Tennessee’s offense continues to struggle, expect Evan Crawford and an infielder, either Logan Watkins or Matt Cerda, to be promoted. 

      • garrett

        Tom I  have also hears that  Zeke DeVoss has been promoted to Boise as well

        • Tom U

          Its not on the wires, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

          Incidentally, DeVoss lead off and played second, going 1-for-4 with an RBI in an AZL Cubs’ loss yesterday.

          • cubtex

            I mentioned after the Cubs drafted him that high that they might project him as a 2B.
            Tom, what are your thoughts on positions for DeVoss? 2B or CF?

          • Tom U

            Both positions are really stacked in the organization, so the determining factor would be defense. Does DeVoss have the arm strength to be an everyday outfielder? Is he quick enough around the bag and have soft enough hands for second? I’m glad the organization can take their time in evaluating him. If he had to be rushed, they might have spoiled a good talent.

            You have to like the speed and athleticism the organization has in the outfield. Including DeVoss, you have Brett Jackson, Jae-Hoon-Ha, Evan Crawford, Matt Szczur, Rubi Silva, Taiwan Easterling, Pin-Chieh Chen, Blair Springfield, Kyung-Min Na, Oliver Zapata, and Jeffrey Baez. Folks, that’s almost a track team.

          • cubtex

            Loving that Tom! You can’t coach speed! Can’t wait to see some base stealing threats on the big league team.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ryan Dempster, on XM Radio, said that he
    doesn’t want to opt out of contract and wants to spend his career with the
    Cubs.

    • Cha boy

      can’t believe it’s been 8 years with the Cubs … If he doesn’t have a NTC, Hendry better load him for some prospects. 

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Dempster has 5-10 rights and must approve any trade.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Any trades the Cubs make this year needs to be for pitchers pitchers pitchers!!!
    We also need a better pitching coach, maybe a new manager, and DEFINITELY A NEW GM!

    • cubtex

      Agreed! I really think we will see all 3 (GM,Manager and pitching coach) replaced for next year.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Moves I want to see by the end of the year.
    Byrd traded – Jackson in CF
    Ramirez traded- Flaherty at 3b
    Fukudome traded – Colvin in RF
    Soriano traded LOL I know it’s not going 2 happen but we can dream!

    In Iowa I want to see LeMahieu get time in LF and RF, maybe time at 1b too as he can already play SS, 2b, 3b, hopefully he develops his power stroke. He would make a great super utility guy.
    If Colvin doesn’t work out I would move Jackson to RF, Campana in CF, just think of the speed at the top of the lineup with Campana, Jackson and Castro!!
    Also LaHair should play 1b the rest of the year.

    • paulcatanese

      Nice, Patrick like to see all or any of it. Love to see the young guys, so much more to offer to the fan. The speed here would be a trip all in itself.

    • Brett

      After seeing these guys last night I totally agree. Swap Flaherty in OF for Brad Snyder, move Gonzales to 2nd with Castro at ss & go left to right -Flaherty, Jackson, Colvin in the OF with DJ & LaHair at the corner IF…. it’d be fun to watch these last few months. Btw a fun note okc walked LaHair with 2 on in the late innings with a hard throwing lefty on the mound after he already taken 2 bb & crushed a long homer to rght. He is a feared man in the PCL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Wells walks the leadoff man with the wind blowing out …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Greg Dobbs homers, 2-0 seven minutes after first pitch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    4 batters in … 3-0 Marlins, two homers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Randy Wells served up two homers in the first inning. Marlins scored 3 runs on 2 HRs and a walk.Wells threw 21 pitches, 9 for strikes

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    After
    allowing the Marlins
    to score 3 in the top of the 1st, the Cubs have
    surrendered an MLB-high 77 first-inning runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thankfully Castro ran through DeJesus’ stop sign … although Quade will probably bench him for it.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I noticed Soriano didn’t get benched for not running out the pop up that was dropped on Friday. We got two unearned runs and won the game 2-1, but Soriano got only first base when he should have easily had two bases. When does Soriano get benched?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        When the Cubs current management team is no longer in place.

    • paulcatanese

      Oh Yeah, did you see Quade making gestures to Castro as he entered the dugout? Showing Castro the stop sign with his hands? Quade has to cover himself with the cameras. Castro just continued down the dugout and away from him.Kinda think Quade is starting to be a non-entity with his players.

      • Brp921

        I didn’t notice that but I can sure believe he’s losing the team. You have to earn respect and Quade has not done that.

  • Brp921

    Ivan DeJesus does not seem to be able to make good decisions on sending guys from third.

  • Demitri

    I still have hope for Wells. I know many here don’t like him but if he goes somewhere else I bet he will do so good.

  • Tom U

    Dave Bush lasted 2.1 innings for Iowa, allowing an earned run on five hits, walking two and striking out three,

    • Ripsnorter1

      Pretty good start for Bush! When do we call him up? Can he start here on Thursday? We need another terrible, awful starter to ensure we lose 110 games this year. 

  • The Maven

    Hopefully, this is Blake DeWitt’s showcase game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dobbs should have been called for interference

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Umps missed that call.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Woody was bad in the eighth but I agree with Bob that he got out of the inning … but the second base umpire blew the call.

    • RynoTiger

      well actually Woody has just been plain ol’ bad since coming back from the DL…

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thank you for correcting me …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro works the Cubs first walk of the day … only 4 walks by the Cubs in the series. The Marlins have walked 19 times.

    • RynoTiger

      wait..Neil..are you saying this is a problem?  Neil, I don’t think you’ve been called a “hitting guru” or have been touted as one of the most coveted hitting coaches in the game..so till you are called such items or your name becomes Rudy J, I’m not sure you’re in a position to judge his strategies and plans….

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Well played …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson: 0-for-3, BB; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 2-for-4;
    Ryan Flaherty (2B): 0-for-4 in Iowa’s 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 7-5 to Marlins, 20 game under .500. Starlin Castro: 1-for-3,
    2B, BB, 2R, RBI; Aramis Ramirez: 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI; Randy Wells: 4R, 8H, 3BB, 4K in
    6IP

  • Brp921

    I have been following this site for quite some time and have just recently started commenting . I really like to read the daily articles. Neil and company do a great job and I thank you all. I have even stopped reading the Chicago newspapers online everyday. One thing that I have always liked about this site is the people who comment are knowledgable Cubfans who can disagree respectfully. Here lately though its been annoying to have to read some of the disrespectful and immature comments by a few people that I have to wonder if they’re even Cubfans or if they know anything at all about the game. Maybe these people can learn if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.

  • Tom U

    A late change for Daytona, as Angel Guzman gets the start.

    Matt Szczur reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch, made it to third on a bunt single, and then stole home for the D-Cubs’ first run.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Quade sounds off on umpires, saying he’s becoming a fan of instant replay after apparent blown call at second base.

    What about the other 19 games that has landed his team 20 games under .500?

    • GaryLeeT

      Whether it’s Baker being called out on a strike 3 call on a ball 6 inches off the ground with the bases loaded (in the first game of the series), or when Pena was clearly dragging his foot across the bag with the ball in his mitt, but the runner was called safe (yesterday), it’s obvious that the League’s worst defense, and 2nd worst team, is getting no respect from the umpires……….as it should be.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More from Bruce Miles:  Quade also blasts deportment of MLB umps saying they made comments to his players

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    How long can fans put up with this nonsense our ownership is a joke they need to get rid of everyone.

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 lineup idea

    B.Jackson-CF
    S.Castro-SS
    D.Barney-2B
    B.LaHair-1B
    G.Soto-C
    R.Flaherty-3B
    L.Montanez-LF
    T.Colvin-RF
    Pitcher

    bench

    D.LeMahieu-INF
    R.Ridling-INF
    W.Castillo-C
    T.Campana-OF
    M.Spencer-OF

  • cubtex

    As far as I am concerned…The way the Cubs have started the second half is great! No way Hendry can fool the fans into thinking the Cubs still might be buyers. Hopefully the Cubs can convince ARam to waive his no trade…trade Byrd to the Phils, trade Fuko and see if there is any way to move Soriano(obviously this will not be easy) and build for next year.

    • Anonymous47701

      Hopefully, An AL team like the Yankees can take him and stick him in as a DH. Soriano clearly has no business playing in the NL with his Sorry Defense. He is Better off using only his bat and that’s all there is to it.

      • cubtex

        that would be nice. I’m all for getting 2 different corner outfielders for next year playing alongside BJAX.