Rambling With Visions of Opening Day Dancing in My Head

It’s Friday, cuts have been made, dreams have been shattered, veterans have been shocked and all signs point to the Shark.

Opening Day is less than a week away, the roster has taken shape and it’s time to play some meaningful baseball games, for a few months, at least.

So, let’s get to some rambling …

  • I have to imagine that if Mr. Wells gets back to Chicago, his alleged nightlife habits might be quite different.
  • Nothing can be taken for granted, especially in baseball.
  • I expected Castillo to get the job. My take away is that McThoyer wants Welington playing every day and not pining away as they see his as the starter next year.
  • When you compare the stats of these two from this spring, it is somewhat amazing how similar Clevenger and Castillo are. Both have 12 hits in 37 at-bats with two homeruns, only a difference of one RBI. Castillo has four more strikeouts, but his OBP is 34 points higher. Just crazy similarities over the course of an entire spring.
  • Either way, congrats to Clevenger, just proving once again, hard work and good performance can make your dreams come true. Cool stuff if you ask me.
  • I, for one, am rather surprised Scott Maine got sent down. James Russell will be the only lefty in the pen.
  • And for that matter, Maholm is the only left in the rotation. So whether it is 11 or 12 pitchers on the staff, there will only be two lefties.
  • However, I have been told/heard that the McTH is searching for a lefty and Byrd is bait. Shall be interesting to see how that plays out in the next six days.
  • If they don’t trade Byrd by Opening Day, they should hold on to him until the trading deadline because they are sure to get more for him at that point. So, maybe they should just wait until then anyway.
  • Soriano is hitting .341 with six long balls and 15 RBI. I know I mention this every week, but it is too funny. When he steps to the plate against Strasburg on April 5th, we can only hope the youngster tries to “announce his presence with authority!”
  • I am out in California visiting family and playing golf. A few days ago, our caddy realized I was from Chicago, and asked if I was a Cubs fan. I responded of course and he told me that his great grandfather was Johnny Evers. The caddy had the same last name. Pretty random, but rather cool.
  • This week’s prediction game: How long will it take Sveum to have his first “media outburst?” I will set the over/under at June 9th, and I will take the over. Let’s hear your thoughts below.
  • Andy Sonnanstine has a 14+ ERA and doesn’t accept his assignment to Triple A … HA!
  • Back to Marlon, if he is traded, I still think Sappelt comes up before BJax. Whether or not it is an “arb years” thing, no matter what, I don’t see he or Rizzo coming up before late June.
  • Manny Corpas still hanging on for a spot. Not sure how long it will last, but the non-roster invitee pitcher I picked to make the team is still there. We shall see.
  • Yes, the previous bullet was all about subtly or not so subtly giving myself a pat on the back. Lay off me, I’m starving … for a pat on the back.
  • I am sorry, but I have a big penchant for including comedy quotes no matter how far I have to reach.
  • Back to Wells, my guess is that McTH prefers him to be the first rotation option if anyone goes down, even over Lopez. I think they sent him down so he will not have to be “stretched out” when the Cubs have that need.
  • That’s only my opinion, but that is where my head is at on the matter. Again, I am wrong rather often.
  • Guys and gals from far and wide, the Opener is six days away. No matter what the outlook or prognosis, it’s hard not to get giddy for it, just like a kid on Christmas morning.
  • Cheers to all my fellow Cubs fans!!

Enjoy your respective weekends, and as always, but also in honor of Ron Burgundy’s recent announcement regarding the making of “Anchorman 2″ …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." - Betsy Smith

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  • Cubs 31

    Received my season tickets this week and are they ever cool..  On season tickets there is a baseball card picture of a great Cub from the past.

    • Henry

      I loved the tickets!  they are the best looking tickets in years.  I keep looking at the tickets and thinking I have that one!  How did you like the season ticket holder gift?

      • Cubs 31

        The season ticket holder as the best I have received in my years as a season ticket holder.  It sits on a bookcase with my signed baseballs.

  • Cloycub13

    Seriously Red Sox, Seriously. I have lost all respect for that organization. First it was Garza or Castro (Dillusional), then it was BJax. They settle on a flame thrower or two and are shocked when said young flame thrower gets hurt. (History lesson Ben and Larry, they are called Prior and Wood, look it up! and more recently a kid named Strasburg) They should not have gotten as much as they did for gods sake, look at what the Twins got for McFail. Now they are crying in their chowda! If Selig allows for them to re-open the talks I will hate his old tired all star game ruining self as well. Seriously! I am not a twitter guy but those who are need to use the hashtag cryin in their Chowda whenever they discuss the Bosox, you have my permission.

    Go Cubs and Go Bud Selig telling Larry “The Don” Luchino to shut the hell up.

    • Cloycub13

      One other note… Their Dr’s approved the deal with passed physicals! They should complain to Bud about their Doctors and then take a good look in the mirror.

      Sorry but this issue has me fired up!

  • Anthony

    The Senior Sign, not Crash Davis!

    It is a misnomer, it is biased, unwarranted, and the label gets attached to college players even when it comes from a positive track.

    D1 college baseball is very competitive, and when you disregard the metal bats, players compete at a high level and it has been a platform for many many current pro baseball players to improve and show their goods to scouts.

    It would be foolish to try and compare what level D1 college baseball is to minor league baseball simply because at any given time, the mixture of talent ranges from blue-chip 1st round players to kids who will never participate in affiliated pro baseball, yet, the successful ones usually do.

    A Senior sign 4 year player made a decision. We don’t know how many draft calls came after their Junior year and we don’t know how many were never called. Regardless, the 4 year college player has experience, maturity, time management skills, and a college degree.

    In exchange for that, the Senior Sign played that one extra college baseball season that included classroom obligations and other academic time constraints, or in other words, baseball wasn’t yet a FULL-TIME JOB, which usually delays baseball production.

    Most 4 year college players get drafted in later rounds, they are usually age 22, the typical age for a prospect to be in a level no lower than Advanced A baseball. Since these senior signs have experience, and most likely faced many pitchers on weekends that currently reside in MLB, AAA, AA, organizations should consider that when making assignments, or even before that when drafting. The Senior sign should be treated like a “deal of the century” low-cost talent versus a throwaway filler.

    The Cubs have a current player that back in college was his conference POY and a Senior sign. As usual, his first short-season was a struggle, and with most, the conversion from metal bat to wood the cause. After that first go-round, the Senior sign becomes a full-time player and what he does afterwards starting with his first full season determines his fate, if they even get that first full season.

    The old Cubs regime stuck with this player, and he is one of the best hitters currently in the organization, but as good as he is, and older, is stuck instead of being in AA knocking on the door of a September callup.

    The new organization just discarded a similar talent, actually a more complete player who was a former top-ranked high school player, a college All-American, a conference record holder, and very experienced and successful over 4 years facing several early round pitchers and also competed against some of the best in NCAA Regional tournament games.

    We all read about the tools, athleticism, and the reports of a short, but very successful 2012 ST where the player would have earned a spot at A+ and an opportunity to hit his way to AA at age 23 and become viable. The new regime didn’t care obviously and made a decision.

    I have followed the kid since first seeing him in Joplin USA Baseball in 2006 when I was scouting, and I hope another Organization can fit him in somewhere to prove himself. Crash Davis played affiliated baseball for over 10 years, not for 2 months. Doesn’t make baseball sense to me at all.

    Case Closed

  • cubs1967

    may 2nd; sveum loses it after cubs get off to 8-20 start and someone mentions the iowa team is 20-8 and is he managing the wrong team.

    sending maine down is the final piece to a very bad off-season puzzle.

    clevenger has had 1/2 yr in AAA; castillo 2 yrs………you do the math.

    • Steve Rock-Vegas

      What “math” are you referrring to? So when a player skips AAA and come right out of AA and is a star, gee any of those around, what “math” do you follow then?

    • Steve Rock-Vegas

      The only “math” being calculated is caled Logic.  They felt Clevenger is more equipped to handle playing twice a week to develope further, not to mention a L bat they desired on bench, vs Castillo who they’d rather see play every day to continue to develop. Once again, let’s keep the larger picture in mind here.  Hopefully Soto is traded for a bag of practice balls and Castillo starts with Clevenger as his backup for the next several years. Makes sense to me.

      • cubtex

        You would be OK to trade Soto for a bag of balls??? I guess that is why you are such a Theo fan. You don’t care about utilizing trade pieces and getting back any value.

        • Ripsnorter1

          If Brett Jackson could put up Marlon Byrd-type numbers, there would be celebrations all over CCO land. Meanwhile, huge numbers of CCO fans want to dump Byrd for nothing. It’s the same way with Soriano. “Release him!” Yet if Vitters, Jackson, Sappelt, Campana, LaHair, or any other AAA player could put up just 1/2 of his numbers, there would be great joy in Wrigleyville.

          • cubtex

            It’s the same argument I had about the Garza trade. Just because Tampa had a lot of pitcing depth means that they don’t really care what they got back for Garza??? The reason you build a farm system is to have depth at various position that can be used as traid bait or brought up to replace a veteran who you look to move. The Cubs have 3 mlb caliber catchers….so we should just give Soto away because we have depth??? I got an idea. How about trading Soto for some players who might actually help the ballclub?

          • Steve Rock-Vegas

            Would this trade take place on your MLB 2K12 game or in the real world where no one else seems to want him?  If Theo even got a reasonable offer he’d be gone already.

        • Steve Rock-Vegas

          You didn’t answer my question, do what math?  What was the point of your “do the math” comment on Clevenger vs. Castillo making the team?  And I guess I’d ask for two bags of balls so I could negociate down to one if they balked at my request.  On a serious note, at Soto’s paycheck because JH WAY overpaid him, yes, I’d trade him for next to nothing to move his salary and insert Castillo and Clevenger as the pair behind the plate.  Tony has a great theory on C’s and how he’d utilize them on a roster  but he’ll have to explain it again in another post.  Soto to me is at best a mid-level MLB catcher who can hit a little, whenever the pressures off of course, and can’t field or throw out a runner to save his life.

          • cubtex

            According to FanGraphs…Soto is the #8 ranked catcher in the NL for 2011(in a down year) with a WAR of 2.4

            Thank god you are not making any trades!

          • Steve Rock-Vegas

            OH, so he’s the 8th ranked C out of 16 teams in the NL, so in another words completely average.  And that’s only the NL, which makes him then what, below average in the MLB.  Thanks for proving my point that he’s a below average C making top 10 C money.  Hence, I’ll repeat my comment above, mid-level C at best who can hit a little. I guess I had in ranked a little high in my initial statement.  Thanks for looking that up for me and proving my point correct.

          • cubtex

            He is making 4.3 mil a year. He hit 17 HR’s last year. How many catchers did that? As I said before…thank god you are not making any trades!

          • Tony_Hall

            9 Actually

            Napoli 30Santana 27
            McCann 24
            Arencibia 23
            Wieters 22
            Avila 19
            Olivo 19
            Montero 18
            Martin 18

            I think he is being sarcastic on the bag of balls.  He is just pointing out that if there was a real demand for him, someone would have offered enough this off-season to make him already gone. But just like Byrd, and Soriano, it is going to be hard to get back a lot for them. 

            By the way…

            Saltamach 16
            Barajas 16
            Ianetta 14

            All hit more HR’s per AB than Soto.

            In total 22 players who catch, hit more than 10 HR’s last year.

          • cubtex

            And Barajas is making 3.5 mil and so is Ianetta. By the way…how much does DeJesus make??? lol

          • Tony_Hall

            DeJesus $4.24M
            Soto $4.3M

            Let see who has a higher WAR at the end of the year.

          • cubtex

            Different positions. I would take Soto compared to other catchers in the NL over DeJesus compared to the RF in NL. And you would too. DeJesus also has a buyout so it is 5 mil. Soto has more value than DeJesus there is no doubt. He shouldn’t be given away. Just like Tampa shouldn’t give away a starter just cause they have depth. That statement is wo off the wall you made.

          • Tony_Hall

            I only said that we won’t get back as much as you think of Soto.  I have never said to just get rid of him.

          • Steve Rock-Vegas

            Your right, and he hit .228, with 124K’s and can’t field his position worth a crap. If HR was all anyone cared about Rob Deer would be in the HOF. (i’m sure everyone non-brewer fans will have to look that reference up) :)  Final comment and point, he’s paid like a Top 10 C, but performs like an average catcher at best.

          • cubtex

            By the way there are 11 catchers making more money than Soto so re-check your math!

          • Tony_Hall

            So just because their are 11 catchers making more this year, makes Soto’s pay ok.  It’s kind of goes against your other theory above.

            I would love to see the list of 11.

          • cubtex

            Put it this way…AJ Pierzinski is making a hell of a lot more than Soto. Who would you rather have?

          • Tony_Hall

            He is in the 2nd year of a 2 year, $8M contract.

    • John G

      I’m not as knowledgeable as you are, but I have to believe that a 20-8 start is just as likely as a 8-20 start. i.e. neither is very likely. My question is, will you be humble and admit you were wrong, even if they have a 14-14 start?

      • paulcatanese

        John, I would be estatic with 14-14 start, and a year at .500 would be great. How many of those have they had over the years?
        Would be a definite improvement.

  • Redlarczykg

    Turns out Sveum and Camp are old buddies.  Good to have a friend when you lost a job.  But it is the Chicago way.  Sveum says he like Camp’s attitude and Camp’s rubber arm.  Camp’s attitude must be being very thankful.  Don’t worry about his ERA, it’s who you know and the whole world runs on that premise.  Some things never change.  Scott Maine…. you and Cub Fans just got screwed!

    • Coachdon

       This is one of the reasons I wanted Sandberg as the manager. He came through the system with our young guys and if he would have given preferred treatment, it would have been to young guys, not a washed up has been.

      • John_CC

        So preferential treatment is OK when it favors the guys you like, but not the other way around?

      • RayKoenig

        If things didn’t go his way, Sandberg would quit like he did in ’94 and when he didn’t get the manager’s job.

    • Ripsnorter1

      WOW, RED! What a post!

      I can tell Sveum is another QQuade. My only question….

      WHERE DO THEY GET THESE PEOPLE?!?!!??!!!??

      Murphy’s Law:”IF a misfit leaves an organization, another one will be recruited to take his place.”

      • cubtex

        I actually think Sveum has what it takes to be a good manager. Unfortunately, the roster decisions are not his. Team Theo is running that show!

        • Ripsnorter1

          Please! I am laughing so hard my sides hurt!

      • Redlarczykg

        Thanks Rip! 

         I work in the world of government politics like Daily’s old machine.  But everyone has to deal with these “relationship” – irrationally based decisions no matter what walk of life you travel.

        Hopefully Camp will be soooo bad that Sveum is forced to help his buddy to find a new occupation.

        Scott Maine deserves and chance.  And so do old Cub Fans who only hope to build a winning team some day.

  • Niren23

    Anyone know exactly how many days/ABs for this year to not count against BJax as a year against him?

    I’m more interested in our lineup July 1 or whenever BJax, Rizzo and other kids are on the roster.

    I think that anyone that plays well this year, will be flipped for more kids that will be under control for the coming years.

    Brian Jackson
    Anthony Rizzo
    Dave Sappelt
    Travis Wood
    Trey McNutt
    Josh Vitters
    Wellington Castillo
    Jeff Beliveau

    Will all be playing at Wrigley sometime this year.

    Who am i missing?

    What the rotation at Iowa?

    Wells
    Wood
    Coleman

    July 1st lineup

    Dejesus
    Barney
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Soriano
    Stewart
    Jackson
    Soto (or Castillo)

    • Tom U

      In 2011, the Super 2 date was set at 2 years, 122 days, This landed on May 30.

      If you follow that as a guide for this season, the Super 2 date will be around June 4.

      Anthony Rizzo spent 43 days in the majors last season, while Dave Sappelt spent 52. If the team is worried about their Super 2 status, they will be called up later. Around July 17 for Rizzo and July 27 for Sappelt.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Most of the year is over by then.

  • paulcatanese

    Welcome to California,”the sunshine state”,it’s been raining for three weeks now.(Northern Calif,).
    Where are you playing golf, chances are, I have played there.
    I expected Clevenger to be the backup all along because of his left handed bat, and the ability to play other positions.
    Good post Brian, and I always prefer humor to be included.

    • cubtex

      Paul, be careful what you wish for…. DeJesus is in the lineup today :)

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah, well someone will have to show him where the batters box is,I guess he peaks very late and the Cubs want him to be just right for the season opener:)