Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 04/19/12

Game Thirteen: Cubs (3-9) vs. Marlins (6-6)
Game Time – 11:35am CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/900
Location – Marlins Park, Miami

Jeff Samardzija (2-0, 3.95/1.10) vs. Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 3.46/1.00)

The Cubs will try to salvage the final game of the series in Miami behind Jeff Samardzija this afternoon.

After beating the Cardinals to start the road trip, the Cubs have dropped four in a row … and each loss has been a little more frustrating than the last. The Cubs are 1-4 over their last five but a win today would make the flight back to Chicago a little more enjoyable.

The Cubs have not been able to string together any hits during the first two games of the series. Dale Sveum’s team has put runners on base but they have grounded into six double plays in the last two games.

The Cubs must figure out ways to put runs on the board. Since scoring a combined 17 runs in back-to-back wins against the Brewers and Cardinals, the Cubs have been outscored 29-7. Dale Sveum hinted he could switch up the lineup for today’s game but he is not expected to sit Marlon Byrd any time soon.

Hopefully the coffee is strong in the Cubs’ clubhouse and all of the players stayed away from South Beach last night.

This afternoon all begins with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija has been brilliant and so-so in his first two starts of the season. Samardzija needs a good outing today in order to silence his doubters. Unfortunately for Samardzija, his last start was very similar to his performances in Iowa as a starter in 2010. Samardzija would be very good for four innings or a couple of times through the lineup then become very pedestrian.

Samardzija does not have to be as dominant as he was against the Nationals (three runs, one earned, on four hits without a walk and eight strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings) but he must be better than his long, five-inning performance against the Cardinals (five runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings).

For the year, Samardzija has allowed eight runs, six earned, on 14 hits with one walk and 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

Today marks the second time Jeff Samardzija will take the hill to start a game versus the Fish. Samardzija is 2-0 in 10 career appearances, one start, against the Marlins with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • John Buck – 0-for-1
  • Chris Coghlan – 1-for-2
  • Greg Dobbs – 0-for-2
  • Omar Infante – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Austin Kearns – 1-for-1
  • Logan Morrison – 0-for-2 with two walks
  • Jose Reyes – 0-for-4
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-6
  • Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton – 0-for-4 with a walk

The Cubs’ offense will have the tough task of dealing with Ricky Nolasco this afternoon. No matter how Nolasco is pitching coming into a series against the Cubs, he always steps up his game against the organization that selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft.

Nolasco put together an excellent outing against the Reds in his first start of the season (three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in eight innings) but lasted just five innings in his last game. Houston put two runs on the board on four hits with three walks and struck out five times.

Ricky Nolasco owns a 3-2 record in seven career games, six starts, against the Cubs with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in two starts with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ricky Nolasco

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-22 with two home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-9 with a double
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-12 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    LaHair – 1B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Samardzija – P

  • Cloycub13

    Breakfast with the Cubs… be sure to keep down your ovaltine! Go Cubs!

  • Bryan

    Nice of the Cubs to likely lose during work hours today.  It frees up tonight to watch the Blackhawks get the win!

    • paulcatanese

      Bryan, they come on at 9:30 AM here on the west coast. My wife said almost the same thing as you. “The anticipation of a win” is over early, and we can go shopping for the rest of the day.

      • John_CC

         I hear ya, Paul. I’m one time zone away to the East…unfortunately WORK is going to get in the way of me sneaking peaks at the game…dang staff meetings..

  • Bryan

    I know it’s only 12 games into the season, but truly do we have no other current option for CF than Byrd?  He is just lost at the plate.

    And 2 weeks into the season, and we’re already 6 games out.  I figure we’ll likely approach mathematical elimination by Memorial Day.  How sad for a big market team with a consistent fan base over 3 million. 

    • Zonk

      I think Byrd needs to play for now.  He doesn’t look great, but I noted the other day that he has a sub .100 BABIP, so his luck has been terrible.  But to the naked eye, he isn’t comfortable at the plate either.

      We clearly want to trade Byrd, so we need him to put a string together to make him more attractive to other clubs.  It’s only 12 games, so a couple weeks can get him back on track. 

      Sitting him won’t make a huge difference on the field; we’re not a good team either way, and the only reasonable replacement would be Campana.  Reed Johnson doesn’t have the range for full-time CF duties at this point.  We may as well play Byrd and hope he snaps out of it.

      To Byrd’s credit, he has played pretty well in CF, so at least he isn’t taking his bat out with him

      Oh, and I know some will say bring up B-Jax, but I am not in favor of that.  Playing him early won’t make a difference this season, and setting his super-2 status back is worthwhile, if he turns out to be good.  If he doesn’t, no rush anyway.

      • Chadaudio

        I sort of disagree with you Zonk.
        Byrd literally hasn’t hit anything hard all season.  It’s not just the eye test, he just isn’t squaring up on anything at all.  

        And as for CF, we actually have plenty.  Mather, and Johnson would do well to start, and you can bring Byrd in as a defensive switch later if you’d like.  Shoot, even DeJesus plays some CF (he should stay in RF, but the point is we have plenty of CF).

        I understand trying to raise his value, but he’s only had one day off.  Maybe it’s time to start playing him just 2 out of 3 times?  I mean, he is REALLY bad right now.

      • Dorasaga

         Zonk, you are a sane man.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Sanity runs deep in the Zonk…

  • Tom U

    Some reports from Arizona Phil on EXT:

    Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario are destroying the pitching in EXT. He can see both possibly going to Peoria soon.

    Outfield prospects Shawon Dunstin Jr., Trey Martin, and Garrett Schlecht have all been consistent at the plate. Dan Vogelbach is making good contact but needs to elevate his swing. Prospect Jair Boegarts, acquired from the Red Sox, has been used almost exclusively at third base.

    He feels Gerardo Concepcion will gain no more benefit from being in EXT, and he is ready to move up to Daytona.

    He also reports pitchers Starling Peralta, Roderik Pichardo, and Ramon Garcia are ready to move ahead.

    • Cloycub13

      Good stuff, let’s get em going, we need all the help we can get!

    • KevininSanDiego

      Was at the Game on Friday. Saw Baez hit a bomb and watched Coaches working on adjusting Vogelbach’s swing. But saw Vogelbach hit a bomb to LF in BP during an opposite field hitting drill. I think he is just making adjustment which is why he hasnt hit any out yet.

  • brent carmona

    Soriano obp higher than his slg? GAG

    • John_CC

       Bizarro world!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Accuscore gives the Cubs a 38% chance today.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • Cloycub13

      Thanks for sharing! Step off of the ledge people.

      • GaryLeeT

         We’re not on the ledge. That’s where fans go when their team was supposed to be good, but isn’t. Nothing that Theo said in that article makes me as a fan, feel any more confident in his abilities. In fact, he’s asking for a 2 year shield from criticism. He had a chance to field a better team this year, than last year’s team. It should not have been that hard to do. But he has failed his first real test, fielding a competitive team for this year. Good luck building a team with prospects and trades alone, because no free agent in their right mind would come on board a 100+ loss team.

        • Tony_Hall

          Not many free agents go to the 2nd highest offer either, so not sure any of the at matters when free agents are choosing which contract pays them the most money.

          • paulcatanese

            Ouch!! (Think I know who you are reffering to) C?

        • BosephHeyden

           I also think that, if his plan was to build a team with majority prospects, his choice of GM shouldn’t have been the guy that constantly blows those teams up after they have a winning season (because that’s exactly what Jed Hoyer did:  everytime the Padres had a good season, he let guys they needed go and traded other younger guys for more prospects…eventually you stick with a set group of guys, upgrade them when possible, and create a team that wins for a while).

    • SuzyS

       Neil, thanks for the link…Theo seems to be addressing uninformed Cubs fans….already. It will be really interesting to see how they stick to their “plan” when attendance drops dramatically at Wrigley.

      • Ripsnorter1

        “Theo seems to be addressing uninformed Cubs fans.”

        Well, that leaves us out. 

    • Zonk

      The Cubs are ridiculously in the hold in ML-talent.  We have a long way to go to dig ourselves out of it. 

      Theo clearly is thinking long-term, and won’t sacrifice any long-term asset to win more games this year. 

      Short term, this sucks, no argument there

      • GaryLeeT

         How does he sacrifice the future by signing better free agents than he did?

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I think we did the right thing in free agency for the most part.  I am worried about pitching though.  With Cain re-upping in SF who is out there for us to pick up?  That is a major concern of mine in the future.  However with Garza and Shark, we appear to have a solid couple of guys to build around.  But really we need a guy that can go in front of each of them…

          • cubtex

            exactly. the only free agent pitchers who will probably be willing to sign with the Cubs next year will be names like Brandon McCarthy and Edwin Jackson. Don’t expect either Cole Hamels or Greinke to sign here

          • Tony_Hall

            If we offer them more money they will play here…

          • cubtex

            disagree. most players want to be able to play for a winner. see Cliff Lee. CC Cabathia. You won’t find many high profile pichers who sign with a losing team.

    • John_CC

       Thanks Neil.  This is important, just yesterday someone was again accusing Epstein of being cryptic and somehow disingenuous with his statements about the club.  I argued the opposite. 

      And I repeat what I said yesterday, I find Epstein’s candor refreshing.

      Epstein, for the column Neil linked:

      “[We look at] what will help us maximize our competitiveness in 2012 and
      the bigger picture is how do we build a championship caliber
      organization,” Epstein said. “That’s a longer term issue. When those two
      interests butt up against each other, we’ll defer to the long-term.
      There are things we can do, smaller moves we can make and probably will
      make over the course of the season to try to put together a club that
      can be more competitive. We’re also looking out for the best long-term
      interests of the organization.”

      • cubtex

        Try that with your boss :)

        Sir…I am sorry that I am not being productive at the moment…but I am looking out for the best-long term interests of the company and while I am behind my competition right now……..I believe I am doing the right things to one day be championship caliber!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

          Actually, you can make the comparison if you want.  Companies investment strategies frequently recognize they will take short term losses in order or achieve long term success. Look what Amazon is doing with the Kindle Fire.  They are knowingly taking a loss on every unit sold rather than trying to be competitive (revenue wise) with the other tablets.  But they are building to something much bigger long term (if it works out for them of course.)  Compare that to the failed strategy HP took with the Touchpad tablet.  The tablet itself was not bad at all, frankly its pretty good.  But they came in thinking short term and tried to price it as much or MORE than the Ipad2 and Galaxy tabs AND sell it to the public that they are competitive now.  This despite the fact that they used an OS most were not familiar with and had app catalog that severely underwhelming/incomplete at launch time.  That gamble bit them hard, and hurt their long term value.  So bringing it back to the Cubs, we are not ready to compete right now but we are building the proper infrastructure to finally have a long time competitive team in the future.  Can we argue about a few free agent moves that would have made us slightly more competitive this year?  Sure.  But, I think Theo knows this isn’t going to happen overnight and I for one hope Cubs fans have enough patience to realize the reward of long term success is worth truly rebuilding the program.  

          • cubs1967

            EXCEPT; after 103 yrs of not winning a championship; ricketts and theo must accept the burden; like the players will that until something is won; asking for patience is unacceptable. cutting 40M off the payroll since he took ownership isn;t good enough.  it;s a process; add players bit by bit; assuming in 2 yrs players will sign is asinine; so let’s field rally bad teams in 2012 and 2013…..doesn’t mean 2014 will be any good. NOR does any team win w/o some longterm contracts so fans thinking theo is gonna build a team of pre-arb 25 superstars is saddenly mistaken……

            baseball is a form of sports entertainment; like any other sport; the cubs are not entertaining right now; so theo can do what he wants; here’s hoping fans do likewise and stay home…..and ricketts famously telling his father in the youtube video about fans showing up “no matter what” has to acknowledge enough is enough…….

            rizzo hitting .340 in AAA right now only proves he can hit AAA pitching; same with bjax; if he hits .240 now in the majors that’s 3 times better than byrd……play the kids and lots of us good stomach this……

            this crap NOW…….a slap in the face to the best fan base of any sport.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Ben Wells (0-0, 3.72) projected
    Daytona – Zach Cates (0-2, 22.85)
    Tennessee – Dae-Eun Rhee (1=0, 3.00)
    Iowa – Travis Wood (1-0, 4.91)

  • Dorasaga

    Viva LaHair! I’m enjoying aggressive baserunning as a team, something missed from the Cubs for too many years…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija walked one batter in his first two starts, walked two in the first inning today.

    And Byrd strikes out again …

  • Dorasaga

    All those muscles added pre-season are working for Barney! Slap hit triple!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a bases clearing triple to right …

  • SuzyS

    Interesting stat from Gameday scout: “Nolasco gets Castro to chase a curveball for the out….Castro batting .000 against curveballs in that location…but .358 elsewhere????

    • Dorasaga

       Small sample size (2012 only)?

    • Zonk

      “Gameday Scout”, early in the season, is purely comic relief.  It produces some pretty funny lines.  We’ll see how it looks later in the season.

  • Coachdon

     I like Darwin Barney at 2nd base. I think you just let him play there until someone from the minors takes it away from him. Then, with Castro at SS and presumably Castillo and Clevenger at catcher you have three positions settled for awhile. 5 more to go…

    • Zonk

      That assumes Castillo is an ML-starting catcher.  Jury out on that one.  Clevenger looks like he might be a ML-backup C.  So that’s progress.

      I don’t think Barney hits enough to be a starter on a good team, but maybe he’ll make me eat my words this year.  Here’s hoping.  He can field the position at least.

  • Nathan

    Are the Marlins aware of what byrd is hitting?

  • Ripsnorter1

    They just walked Byrd intentionally. 

    ARE THEY NUTS?

    Samardzija, at .133 lifetime, is a better hitter than Byrd is now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija now with four walks, make it five … Two have scored

  • Ripsnorter1

    We have the old Samardzija again today.

    • cubtex

      I told you to not annoint him as a 15 game winner yet. This is only his 3rd start.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes. You are correct. 

    • GaryLeeT

       I know. It’s like we can’t even have at least one feel good story to hang onto?

      • Dorasaga

         Seriously…

  • John_CC

    I’m gonna pick up where I left off last night with my crusty old man thing…what is with the single long arm superhero sleeves? 

    Why can’t everything just stay the same?!?!?!  ;)  I’ll stop now.

     

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija out after 88 pitches in 3 2/3. Have to wonder if Clevenger will catch his next start.

    • Dorasaga

       That’s a good one. Soto is not his match.

    • Aaron

       Neil,

      that comment is assuming this organization has half a brain….normally I would say, hey, give it time, they’ll figure it out, but honestly, how many “smart” baseball guys have come in here and failed miserably….from players to managers to front office types…it never ends. A lot of them do well elsewhere, come here, and COMPLETELY forget what made them successful before.

      I am NOT a believer in ghosts, aliens, Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) movies, or curses….but I’m starting to believe the latter is actually true, as crazy as it sounds.

      How many times last year did we question what the hell Quade was thinking with his lineups and pitching changes?!? How many times this year have we already questioned Sveum and his match-ups (ie.-the lefty-lefty-lefty lineups he’s had, or not starting Clevenger for Samardzija, etc.).

      It’s just never-ending with this team, and law of averages would tell you that even by throwing sh$t on the wall, hoping it sticks would land you several playoff appearances if not a championship in a 100-year span….or that the same philosophy would apply to finding a competent management structure given how many they’ve gone through over the years.

      It is still early in the Theo and Hoyer regime, but you can’t tell me that the moves they’ve made thus far have even come close to what they’ve done in the past. Hell, even Hoyer last year with his trade of Mike Adams for 2 top pitching prospects would prove that…versus his trade this year for a 4th/5th OF, 5th starter, and low-A guy that has a decent ceiling….

      Everyone probably remembers my apples-to-apples comparison with Hendry and his DeRosa trade, where he received two relief pitchers struggling with command, and both older for their respective leagues…much older in the case of Gaub, and a high-risk, high-reward pitcher in Archer. Then, the Indians turn around and trade DeRosa for 2 top pitching prospects, one of which becomes their closer.

      I like to compare what Theo and Hoyer have done in the past as a comparison, and I’m telling you, it’s NOT even close to what we’ve seen thus far, and that is the most troubling aspect of all of this.

      • Dorasaga

         But doesn’t that makes you wonder what’s down their sleeves?

  • cc002600

    Ok, question for the experts here.

    Since we know this year is a bust….I’m already looking at winter FA List.  Ah, gotta love being a cubs fan. haha

    I know he is not perfect player, but do you think cubs would be interested in BJ Upton ? Yes, he has low BA and lots of K’s, but there are lots of other things to like.  He has power, speed, youth, and his numbers have been getting better over last few years.  

    Also, I like the fact he is right handed.  All of the sudden, when you project what this team will look like in the next year or 2, there are too many lefties.  (Bjax, stewart, dejesus, lahair, rizzo). Plus, I don’t think he would command mega dollars (i.e 20M / year) in FA market. 

    It’s time to spend some of that dough that is coming off the books this winter. This ain’t KC or Pitt.

     Thoughts ?

    • Ripsnorter1

      I seriously doubt whether Team Theo buys any FAs.

      • cc002600

         so you think they will go with 75-80M payroll next year ?

        I don’t think that will go over so well.  I know it won’t with me. 

        I am season ticket holder, and paying $60 for UD box seat to watch a AAA team with a payroll that would be half of what it once was is not real appealing. 

        • Ripsnorter1

          Obviously, I am not part of Team Theo. BUT…what did they do this year? Added two very minor parts. What is coming up next year? I dunno. Rizzo isn’t ready, and BJax isn’t going to make it without better contact rates. I don’t see them spending money just yet.

          Just my opinion.

          • John_CC

             This year they cleared the books. Reduced cost and eliminated every contract that goes beyond 2013, except for Soriano’s.  They are in position to add via the Free Agent market. I am sure they will.

            Rizzo isn’t ready?

            There was a really sound discussion about Jackson’s approach to hitting the other day. His contact rate doesn’t seem to be a problem to many who have watched him.

            My opinion obviously differs.

          • Ripsnorter1

            It’s okay that your opinion differs. Reality will settle the question.

          • cubtex

            agreed.

    • Zonk

      I think we will be big spenders in FA, but not until we have a good young core of players on the field.  Building a team primarily through FA is ultimately suicidal; Hendry was doing that, look where it got us.

      FA is a tool to SUPPLEMENT a decent core.  Without a decent core, you’re just wasting money on a high $ free agents.

      The Cubs, once they clear bad payroll and get a new TV contract when the WGN one expires in 2014, will be HUGE spenders, if not before then.  Mark my words.  Just maybe not this offseason.

      • cc002600

        “I think we will be big spenders in FA, but not until we have a good young core of players on the field”

         Ok, I hear and read that all the time, and that just makes no sense to me. The FA market has always been fairly weak, and its getting worse as teams are re-signing their own studs more and more.

        I’m not advocating going out and HUGE dollars now, what I’m saying is that you have to start building something each winter. It’s not like you are going to be  able buy 3 or 4 guys one winter that are going to fit exactly what you need.  Doesn’t happen. It’s not like going to Wal-Mart and buying whatever you need right off the shelf.

        When you have the opportunity to get a young building block for the next 5 years, you have to seize it.

        I think guys like Upton and E. Jackson fit that mold.

        • GaryLeeT

          And locking up Garza & Castro.

      • cubtex

        Right. See who is a free agent in 2015. No point looking now

        • cc002600

           Exactly

          Its ridiculous

          • cubtex

            small market rebuild in a big market. unfortunately….that’s what this is.

        • cc002600

           Cubtex, I think you will agree with me on this, but you what I find a little weird when I read lots of the comments here and from Theo ?

          It’s almost like there is an obsession with cutting payroll. Yes, I get it, it needed to be done, we needed to let the bad money go away. yes, yes, yes. I get that. I’m glad it happened

          But holy cow, it just seems overboard to me now.  Example was the Marshal trade. All we heard was how basically the only reason they traded him was “cost control”.  WTF.   You would think that Marshal was going to command $25M / year as a FA.  Gimme a break.  I know its only 10 games in, but it ain’t looking too hot right now, as our bullpen is in shambles and T.Wood is in AAA.  Marshal was an elite reliever, still young, that would command $5M / yr.  And yes, I know more times than not its not a good idea to spend big on relievers, but jeez, come on.  The payroll is a fraction of what it once was.

          It’s almost like OMG we absolutely cannot spend any more money until “we’re ready to win”.  WTF. 

          and again, I’m NOT advocating going out and spending wildly again, just saying there is no reason we can’t add a piece here and there to starting building something when the opportunity arises.  (i.e E Jackson, BJ Upton, A. Sanchez,etc)

          • cubtex

            This is a completely differnet scenario that Theo is used to. He spent like a drunken sailor in Boston. Here is my issue with Theo. I believe the best way to compete is with pitching. The Cubs are severely lacking that in the minors. Realizing that immediately….he should have gone all in for Yu Darvish. He could have then tried to add another arm from trading Cashner and Marshall. If you have a Darvish,Garza,Shark,Gio Gonzales(example) now you can compete and you can add other positions much easier through free agency like BJ Upton.

          • cc002600

             I agree.

            I also would have liked for them to go after E. Jackson.

            To me, he fits the mold. Still relatively young in his prime years,.  The Nats got him for $8M this year.  That was a total bargain, IMO.  But we didn’t even consider him. why not ?

            Maybe they will this winter, since he will be FA again.

            If they don’t sign at least 1 big FA this winter, I will be REALLY annoyed.

          • paulcatanese

            Well, Camp had a stellar perfomance today, lock him up:)

          • Dorasaga

            You’ve always been an intelligent observer with sound argument, but “going all out for pitchers” then the team will compete simply sounds like too easy. Darvish and Gio are high risk and expensive options. The FA market has a lot more options than them… Look no further beyond the last offseason with Buerhle, for one…

            What had the Yanks been doing? Great hitters signed long-contract. Pitchers traded or picked up for short-term deals.

            There’s a reason why they control risks and plan for the future, it’s about REBuilding core competence as the Cubs have been wrecked too long.

          • cubtex

            Darvish is 25. Garza is young. Shark is young. I am not a huge Gio Gonzales fan(I just said his name because he was moved this offseason) My point is that you can compete with an inferior starting 8 with good pitching. Heck, the Giants won a ws with a mediocre 8. My question is……If you signed Darvish, traded for another starting pitcher to go along with Garza, how would that hamper the future? The aquired starting pitchers wouldn’t be taking any roster spots away from anyone and their payroll would only be about 15 to 20 mil more a year but they would be much more competitive and entertaining and be an attractive place for free agents to come.

          • Dorasaga

            The Giants got Posey, and both Renteria and Huff were having career years. Core farm product and retreads?? I guess I’m not arguing against anything but just stating my no advocate for pitching-heavy investment… This reply box is getting skinny, so this is as far as I can go, for now :)

      • Tedtop16

        Does the contract expire in 2014? I thought that I read that they had TV contracts until 2019. I may be wrong, because it seems like TV contracts are the major revenue drivers for all the extended contracts that are out there now.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          The contract with WGN TV expires after the 2014 season, the contract with Comcast SportsNet expires after the 2019 season.

      • GaryLeeT

         At least Hendry fielded a team that won 3 division championships. It’s not what he did, but who he did it with, that made the plan go awry. He was signing the Zambrano types, when he should have been signing the Cliff Lees. He was a poor judge of what a player had between the ears, and those players wilted in the post season. All this Theo hype is eerily reminiscent of when the ex Twin genius, Andy McFail came on board.

    • SuzyS

       cc002600…I’m no expert…but it’s waaaay too early to speculate on FA. We have to get through the season first and see what trades/dfa’s/waiver pickups etc. occur inseason first.

      Personally, Looking into the minors…I don’t see a lot of impact pitching coming…so I expect the bulk of the FA $$$ next year to address the pitching staff…both starting and pen.

      Too many questions for this season…Can Marmol still close??? If so…can we trade him??? etc/etc/etc Takers for Sori/Byrd/Dewitt/Soto etc.???

      For this season…don’t forget the Cubs are still paying the bulk of Zambrano’s salary.

      In 3 years time the Cubs want have ANY obligations…unless they extend Garza…and possibly Castro.

      So the landscape should change quite a bit before next year’s FA season starts.

      • cc002600

         Suz….Yes, I agree with you.  But I’m already bored watching a 3-9 team on its way to 95 losses.  I can’t help it.  :-)

        Also, I disagree with one of your points.  After this year, outside of Soriano & Marmol, they will have almost nothing committed.  They will have TONS of money to spend this winter. 

        I’m sorry, but when you are paying top dollar for ticket prices, it’s a bit insulting to have a 75M payroll, if that’s what happens.

        • SuzyS

          Agreed…about Soriano & Marmol…next year.

          For this year…I think everyone keeps forgetting about the 23 mil $$$ or so that they are paying for players no longer here…Zambrano/Pena/Silva etc…even Quade is still getting his  $900,000 in 2012.

          At least Ed Lynch is finally off the payroll:)!!!

          To Cubtex:::I disagree about the Yu Darvish thing… What good is an ace pitcher if you don’t have any fielding, offense or bullpen.
          Darvish is a big ticket…high risk pitcher…(especially to Theo in light of DiceK)..that might be the right move in another season or two…but not this year.  There is NO core to this team…Even Castro could be traded if he can’t cut down on his errors.

          We need to get 2-3 CORE players this year…another 2-3 CORE players next year…and then we might spend big on an Ace.
          Pitchers can blow out an arm with one pitch…(see Mark Prior) so don’t go nuts there on ONE pitcher…until there is something of a CORE team for him to lead.

          We have no CORE…so let’s develop one now.
          Patience…even Popeye and Dallas didn’t get it right.

          • cc002600

             no, I did forget about the Z money.

            The cubs are at 109M this year including those dollars. They used to be at 144M a couple years ago.

            For perspective, there are 9 teams that have higher payrolls than that.  The friggin Miami Marlins have a payroll of 118M and they can’t draw flies.

            Not saying we have to be at 145M again right now…but we’re at 109M now….next year, if they don’t sign any major FA’s, you’re looking at a payroll of $75M,  possibly… putting them in the lower third of all of baseball.

            Currently, the Padres have lowest payroll at $55M

            Sorry, but that is a joke if that happens.

            Just sayin….

          • SuzyS

            cc002600…”if that happens”.
            Ricketts isn’t stupid…Too many people would be upset if we don’t see movement in the “right” direction…by next season. The Cubs should make a major acquisition or two by next season…With Demp/Zambrano/Byrd/Pena etc coming off the books…and a bad season under our belts…The Cubs will want to fill the seats.

          • Dorasaga

             I replied cubtex before reading yours. What is risk and what is core competence? How to rebuild a team? We agree on the fundamentals.

  • Dorasaga

    A nice 1.1 IP by J. Russell. Give the boys a chance to win it back…

    • Dorasaga

      I guess too many groundballs are counter-productive with RISP…

      • SuzyS

        Dorasaga, it gets too skinny up there sometimes. Our core in the past would have been Aramis/DLee/Soriano…guys you build around…To my eyes…we only have ONE possible building block in Castro (if he can improve his fielding %),currently at the MLB level.
        Risk is a LONG TERM expensive contract…(We know about those)…that can impact a team’s capability to compete…for years to come…AROD/Rivera would be winning risks…Soriano/Prior/Wood…losers.

        BJAX/Rizzo etc have the capability/possibility of becoming part of our core…but they are not there yet.

  • Baron_S

    Man, What does Byrd have to do to get a day or three off?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Retire.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Rip, one would think that a player should at least have self pride and take a look at himself and say, it’s time. But then he’s getting paid.

        • Ripsnorter1

          “He’s getting paid….” rather handsomely, I’d say. $6.5 million check helps one get out of bed in the morning, doesn’t it?

          • paulcatanese

            Yes he does Rip, but I’ll bet he dosent have any mirrors around:)

      • Dorasaga

         I would love to see ol’Demp retire under Cubbie Blue as well, while he’s still respectable…

        • Ripsnorter1

          I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I think he’d like to pull a Jamie Moyer. And if he can, then more power to him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-3 to Marlins on Thursday afternoon – Cubs swept in Miami

    Jeff Samardzija: 5R, 8H, 5BB (IBB), 3K in 3.2IP; Darwin Barney: 1-for-5, 3B, 3RBI; Ian Stewart: 2-for-4; Cubs: 1-for-8 with RISP, 8LOB. Finished the three-game series 2-for-18 with RISP

    • cubtex

      Talk about beyond brutal… 2 for 18 with RISP. They deserve to be swept!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Just what are you belly-achin’ about? The Cubs are 22 for 99 with RISP this year. That’s good enough for #22 out of the 30 teams in MLB.

        Talk about uninformed fans…..LOL. We are ahead of the Orioles, folks. What more could you ask for?

        #30. Reds…Dusty Baker’s Bunch….171.
        #29. A’s….despite Cepedes…………174.
        #28. Pirates….where they belong…..176.
        #27. D-backs…snakebit bunch……..185.
        #26. SF…Lincicum is doing it……….193
        #25. Baltimore O’s N.H……………….204.
        #24. Tampa……no Sam Fuld………..216
        #23. Brewers…without Braun hitting.218
        #22. Your Chicago Cubs……………..222

        But what about results? You know, runs scored in these situations? 

        Cubs are #14 with 39 Runs Scored in these situations.

        SO why don’t we score more runs? NO POWER.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The recap will be up later tonight.

  • GaryLeeT

    On a positive note, Marmol’s slider looked MUCH better, and even got a couple of embarrassing swings from Coghlan, and Reyes.

    • Chadaudio

      Agreed.  The bullpen actually put together a pretty good day and it was a better game for our defense.
      Hopefully, this is just a little hick-up for Samardzija before he gets back on track.

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’s burped twice in a row now.

  • Ripsnorter1

    2012 Iowa AAA stats thus far….

    BJax….55 AB…20 K…..273 BA….2 HR
    Rizzo…53 AB…11 K…..377 BA…5 HR

  • paulcatanese

    Was it my imagination or is Barney taller than DeJesus?
    Looked that way before the game started and they were standing
    close together.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Aaron Miles is looking for work, Paul.

      What have you got available out in CA?
      I just knew you’d be interested. He can still play SS, so he says.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/04/aaron-miles-aims-to-play-in-2012.html 

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron Miles is a good bet, heard he will Pay to Play.

        The only thing we have out here are Sushi Bars and Vegetarian restaurants, Do the Giants still have Barry Zito?oh then he would cost too much:)

  • paulcatanese

    In defense of Soto today (and I am a fan of Clevenger) he squared the bat on the ball three times.
    And there was no way (unless he had a rifle, a real one) throw anyone out at second with the jump’s they had from first base, too much to ask of any catcher.

    • Dorasaga

      The Marlins triplet: Reyes, Bonifacio, and Hanley, are too good as baserunners to be gunned down by ANY catcher, albeit Soto.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, they are good but were also over a third towards second base when the ball was delivered.

        And that brings up a point, with the aggresive style the Cubs are attempting to install, it’s tough with only one baserunner with speed,,,Castro.

        • Dorasaga

           Yeah, we want Tony Campana :-)

  • cubs1967

    few more starts like this and the pen will get better with the addition of smardzjia……..3 2/3IP when he knows the pen is down 1 pitcher isn’t gonna cut it……..

    here’s hoping bombs away wood or wells get it together in iowa…..

  • cubtex

    Dorasaga… This is in reply to the the point about pitching. We have Castro and of course you need career years from other players to win a ws. I just feel with the Cubs fanbase and the revenue they generate from ticket sales…..they could put a much better product out there than this slop. How would a rotation of Darvish Garza Dempster Edwin Jackson and Shark look? You will win more games and not take anything away from rebuilding.

    • Dorasaga

       I somehow agree, but I also understand that the Ricketts Family is not in “spending mode” or a “bidding war” to compete against the Nats or the Yanks.Thoyer probably don’t know what they got as well. Who among these prospects left from the Hendry Era most likely become solid, MLB starters? What may be given away, what holes are left to fill? I would rather see this management team redefine the core for future success, and build from there. No J.Hendryesque moves that are reactionary, not planned to fit a team. Time will tell if this is the right year to start all these.

      • Dorasaga

         On a side not, I never liked the Nats trade for Gio. Tommy Milone looks REALLY good right now. I’ve been following him for a while already. I’m also expecting Peacock to advance and become solid. Thoyer probably took caution when they go after established Major League pitchers. E. Jackson has always been good, but he has his limit. We are not talking about future aces, but middle-tier, once highly regarded pitchers but had reached their limit after years in the Big.

        • cubtex

          I agree about Gio. He walks too many hitters for my taste.

      • cubtex

        I posted Hak Ju Lee and Archers stats on the next link. Take a look. Very few prospects are sure things