Rambling as the Madness Begins

We are exactly three weeks away from Opening Day, Brett Jackson should be the starting center fielder, there are still battles to be won and Alfonso Soriano is the early favorite for MVP.

So, with that said, let’s get rambling before the Madness is in full swing!

  • I have to be honest. I have no idea what is going on in the bunt tourney. And I really don’t care anymore.
  • Please remember, it is only Spring Training. It doesn’t necessarily portend of things to come. Please keep this in mind when viewing and listening to games and/or reading stats.
  • I am not saying this as an excuse for bad performance. I am saying this so people realize definite answers cannot yet be made.
  • If we did this, then Soriano would be the starting left fielder in the All-Star Game.
  • Did Dale Sveum tell his bosses to trade Marlon Byrd? I think he definitely suggested it the other day.
  • Saying Brett Jackson is ready, but there is not room for him is a direct statement to McThoyer. Let’s go, boys. Take care, Marlon. Thank you for your professionalism and your hustle.
  • Chris Volstad and Jeff Samardzija are really making this interesting. It appeared to start as a one or the other situation, or situaish, if you will, but it is morphing into a four-way battle for two spots.
  • Unless something DRASTIC happens, David DeJesus is the starting right fielder. This is the way it is. He has more of a future on this team than Marlon Byrd. That is just the way it is.
  • You know David DeJesus isn’t? He is not Fukudome, and that is cool by me.
  • If DDJ hits a game-tying three-run homer on Opening Day in the bottom of the ninth, I am going to be scared. Very, very scared.
  • I am interested to see if Sveum’s “chat” with Marmol helps. Hendry gave him a lot of money. The Cubs have no choice do whatever it takes to help him.
  • Sorry, I use the pronoun “we” way too often when referring to the Cubs.
  • Is that stupid? Does this bother anyone? How many of you do this? I feel like a lot of people do this, but I can see it being a pet peeve for many.
  • Over/under time:
  • Over/under on Garza’s wins. I will set it at 13. I will go over. You?
  • Over/under on LaHair’s homeruns. I will set it 18. I will go under. You?
  • Speaking of LaHair, again, using the “this is only ST thought-process,” it is okay. We just need to give it time and see what happens.
  • If Welington Castillo keeps this up, we could have multiple starting catchers. Geo is a great insurance policy. No matter what, the Cubs have an extremely average catcher on their roster, and that cannot be underrated.
  • Unfortunately, that is not sarcasm.
  • Since I last mentioned him, Jeff Beliveau’s ERA has dropped 30+ points. I take all the credit. Watch it keep plummeting!
  • I will now try this trick on Travis Wood. Please, Travis Wood. Pitch good and stuff. Okay.

Well, it is time for the Madness to begin. If you are so inclined to watch, enjoy the heck out of a great sporting event. Here is to buzzer beaters and a great weekend in Sin City for the Cubs!!

Until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Nathan

    I use we all the time. The way I see it is we are Cubs fans and care out about that team on the field and follow every move so in a sense its the proper word to use. It sounds weird to not use we in my opinion.

  • Cubs 31

    Yes, we can be used if you are using it as the collective term for “me, myself, and I.”

  • Tony_Hall

    They are the Cardinals.  They are the Brewers.   We are all a part of the Cubs.  

    These are only ST stats.  And I thought Blake Dewitt would hit over 500 this year, it has been 11 AB’s.

    I never cared about the bunt tourney results, but loved the idea for the team.  But it’s not already over?

    Brett Jackson will be in Iowa until his clock has flipped 1 extra year of control and delayed arbitration 1 year.  Look at Castro and ask yourself if that extra month of time he played in his rookie year was worth him being arb eligible as a Super 2 after this season….it was not.  If the Cubs were Brett Jackson away from being a World Series contender, then he would be my starting CF…but they are not.

    • Zonk

      There is no question we should have left Castro in AAA for a couple more months and set the clock back a year.  But that was under Hendry/Pinella who had more of a “win now” agenda.

      The smart thing to do is leave B-Jax down until June at the earliest, and probably not until Byrd is dealt.

    • GaryLeeT

      The year of control given up by playing Castro right away is meaningless. Just like the Rays did with Longoria, and the Brewers did with Braun, I am sure (if the Cubs are smart) there will be a long term deal put in place long before his arb eligible years run out. Castro has dramatically out performed his pay grade, and I don’t mind seeing the kid get his money.

  • Tony_Hall

    Garza – OVER (14..some reason I just can’t say 15)
    Lahair – OVER (21)

    Yes we are average at Catcher, but for $4.3M, some can think we are above average.  

    I am ready to move out Byrd and Soto to create an opening for BJAX and Castillo/Clevenger.    It won’t happen until June or July, but it needs to happen.

  • Agustinrexach

    I use we All the time when referring to the Cubs but It feels awkward when other people use it! Lol

  • John G

    When I talk to my friends who are Sox fans, I say THEY won a World Series, YOU didn’t, but WE will. (Someday)

  • cubtex

    Yes it is spring training. I was vocal last spring on how stats don’t matter. When many on here were panicking about Garza, saying how he sucks and is brutal…I was telling people to relax,that he was pitching in Florida spring training for the last several years and the Arizona climate(as all of you should know) is totally different. I was telling people to relax about Pena, he will hit his HR’s and drive in runs(he did it his entire career!)

    But………here is the difference. Those 2 are veterans! They have a track record. Young players who are trying to win a spot need to make an impression in the spring. Stats are important for players trying to make a team. I am not a David DeJesus fan……but his brutal stats this spring really don’t mean much because he has a track record.  

  • cubtex

    LaHair- Way under 18! He will have under 10. He will not be a starter after the All Star break if he makes it that far.

    Garza-Under 15. He will pitch well again but the bullpen is still shaky and he will have some blown games again like last year.

    • woody34

      If Fukudome can hit 11 in a season, LaHair can hit at least that many.

      • cubtex

        I am saying under 10 because he will struggle and not get the at bats. I think Rizzo will be brought up after all star break and play full time. Here is what LaHair has done in his 2 brief stops at the mlb level.

        2008- 150 PA    only 3 HR’s

        2011- 69 PA     only 2 HR’s

        Over 18 will be a huge stretch!

  • Aaron

    While I thought Sveum’s comments were definitely curious, considering the Cubs already have Byrd, Soriano, and DeJesus (the latter 2 locked up beyond this year) in the OF…..I have to go back to Hoyer’s comments that Byrd and Soriano will start the season with the team. I don’t understand that, especially if you’re trying to compete, but what I think their goal is, is just what I said the other day…they’re trying to delay his arbitration “clock”. Additionally, I believe that they want to bring up both Rizzo and Jackson at the same time.

    What I don’t understand is why they’re so insistent upon keeping Byrd, Soto, and now, even Soriano, considering his value might be at its peak with his hot spring thus far.

    The guys most likely to replace them long-term are:
    Vitters (unless his defense improves enough to keep him at 3B, then it’d likely be Jackson or Szczur in RF or LF)

    Only Vitters in that group needs more refining. Szczur does…but not as much, especially if he handles CF and Jackson plays corner OF.

    If the Cubs sign Soler, then it’s a virtual lock that he becomes the heir apparent in LF, and if he signs a deal with a 40-man spot, he could just be a year away….again, assuming he signs with the Cubs.

    Byrd and Soto right now could bring a decent return of prospects. I do not understand what is keeping them from doing this IMMEDIATELY. Castillo is so obviously ready to take over for Soto, comes at the right price, and comes with a cannon arm and a better bat (at this point). Soto is, and always will be an injury risk, whether it be the persistent left hand/wrist problem he has, or the groin and hamstring issues in the past, and inconsistency….it’s just time to move on, and this will be Castillo’s last year with options remaining.


    • cubtex

      Agreed. I know Soriano is very tough to move with his contract……but moving Byrd shouldn’t be that difficult. This is a rebuilding year…..so rebuild!

    • Anthony

      Szczur is far from refined.

      Soler is not a Cub, and is years away from MLB.

      Soler last played consistently against high school players on the CJNT. He has been working out with 16-17 year olds in the DR, and all of a sudden he is a year away from MLB?

      Once again. A player this inexperienced needs to live the Grind for a couple years, learn to hit, how to handle Uncle Charley, and master the position of 1B.

      Reports are he is already 225 lbs, and may end up 240 plus because of his height, which is classic 1B.

      I guess the question is this.

      What’s the rush?

      This stuff has been bantered about all winter.

      1. Byrd is on the way out
      2. DeJesus is a stop-gap
      3. Soriano and his contract warrants his presence as a Cub

      Lets see what happens. Jackson is first to get a shot when a spot opens. After that, Campana and Sappelt depending on what they do with Mather.

      Szczur is on the 40 man due to technical reasons/contract, and is either Daytona or TENN bound.

      Lets see what the 2012 full minor league season reveals. kets see how the SD/BOS Comp issues unfold.

      As much as any can understand having a fascination for dream lineups, they rarely come true as the game and the business side usually interfere with wish lists.

      A clearer picture should present itself after the 1st half season and the trade deadline. The 40 man will look different, and minor league prospect status’ will look way different according to rosters at that time, NOT what BA and all the other non-scout Guru’s say.

      The field of play and the organizations needs will make that determination.

  • Richard Hood

    I personally would like to see Byrd have a bounce back year before we move him. His future value is as a 4th outfielder at this point. If we let him play a month or 2 and he struggles then his value does not go down because everyone thinks he is probably done as a regular now. If he can stay healthy and show that he could still be a good corner OF then his trade value is higher.
    Jackson may be ready but I agree with Sveum he can not just sit on the bench and spell everyone once a week until a spot opens up. He has too much too learn by being on the field as much as possible.

    I do not think that a super two arbitration case should have anything to do with a player but that is not good business. Especially in this day of super payrolls verses bottom feeders. If from the business side they want to wait for a while before Jackson is on the roster then I understand but agree to disagree. No player should be held back because of some silly negotiated rights clock. Lets put the top 25 men on the field and go forward. 

  • Josh

    Top Performers in System


    HITTERS (min 80 PA, OPS > 750 or stat leader)



    Anthony Rizzo (22) AAA: 357/413/643 — 6 2B, 9 HR, 1 SB

    Paul Hoilman (22) Low-A: 303/366/514 – 12 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR

    Luis Valbuena (26) AAA: 319/396/462 — 4 2B, 3 HR

    Rubi Silva (23) High-A: 315/362/481 — 6 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 1 SB

    Greg Rohan (26) High-A: 278/348/460 — 8 2B, 5 HR

    Arimendy Alcantara (20) High-A: 281/314/465 – 4 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 6 SB

    Ryan Cuneo (23) Low-A: 256/344/423 — 4 2B, 3 HR



    Nelson Perez (24) High-A: 327/433/602 — 4 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 3 SB

    John Andreoli (22) High-A: 317/451/402 — 5 2B, 1 3B, 7 SB

    Brett Jackson (23) AAA: 256/362/462 — 9 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 5 SB

    James Adduci (27) AA: 301/364/452 — 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 SB

    Matt Szczur (20) High-A: 254/352/357 — 9 2B, 2 3B, 16 SB



    Weight ERA/WHIP (EW) : (ERA + 3*WHIP)/2


    Starters (min 6 GS) (EW < 3.8)

    PJ Francescon (23) Low-A: 2.48/0.83 35/10

    Michael Jensen (21) Low-A: 3.51/0.96 26/9

    Austin Kirk (22) High-A: 1.83/0.95 22/9

    Eric Jokisch (22) High-A: 3.30/1.31 43/14

    Nicholas Struck (22) AA: 3.49/1.35 30/17

    Trey McNutt (22) AA: 2.66/1.28 15/10

    Brooks Raley (24) AA: 3.68/1.26 19/10

    Chris Rusin (25) AAA: 3.40/1.08 21/12

    Casey Coleman (24) AAA: 3.48/1.22 30/16


    Relievers (min 7 GP/8 IP) (EW < 3.40)

    Andrew McKirahan (22) Low-A 1.80/1.00 11/4 — 2 SV

    Yao-Lin Wang (21) Low-A: 3.38/1.05 10/6

    Jeffrey Lorick (24) Low-A: 0.69/1.15 17/7 — 4 SV

    Austin Reed (20) Low-A: 3.00/1.17 11/4

    Joseph Zeller (24) High-A/AA: 2.65/1.18 13/7

    Scott Weismann (22) Low-A/AA: 1.65/0.98 14/2

    Casey Harman (23) High-A/AA: 2.08/1.04 12/3

    Alberto Cabrera (23) AA: 1.84/1.02 17/5 — 1 SV

    Kevin Rhoderick (23) AA: 1.38/0.92 15/4 — 4 SV

    Frank Batista (23) AA/AAA: 2.19/1.22 13/5 — 5 SV

    Blake Parker (27) AAA: 0.79/0.88 8/4 — 3 SV


    Swing (min 2 GS/20 IP) (EW < 3.6)

    Ryan Searle (21) AA: 2.57/1.24 14/5

    Kyler Burke (24) Low-A: 2.30/1.06 20/6 — 1 SV