Cubs Shelled Sunday in St. Louis – Cubs 3, Cardinals 10

Game Ten – Cubs 3, Cardinals 10
WP – Jake Westbrook (2-0) LP – Paul Maholm (0-2) Save – None

For as difficult as the beginning of the season has been from a win-loss standpoint, Dale Sveum’s team had been in every game, even against the Brewers when Paul Maholm put them in an early hole, the Cubs never quit playing. Sunday was a different story. With the lineup on the field, the rubber game of the weekend series in St. Louis was over before it began.

For the second time in as many starts Paul Maholm did not take the hill after the fourth inning. Maholm threw batting practice again after a very good first inning. Maholm allowed six runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Like in his first start, a three-run homer did him in and he hit two batters.

Paul Maholm’s final line from Sunday in St. Louis … six runs on six hits (one home run), one walk, two strikeouts, two HBP on 70 pitches, 42 for strikes, in four innings.

The Cardinals offense pounded Cubs’ pitching to the tune of 10 runs on 12 hits and scored multiple runs in half of their at bats. The Redbirds had at least one big scoring inning in each of the three games. St. Louis put a five spot on the board against Jeff Samardzija in the fifth inning on Friday. Chris Volstad was touched up for four runs in the fourth on Saturday and Paul Maholm gave up four runs in the third inning Sunday.

Matt Carpenter, subbing for the injured Lance Berkman, had a huge series and a career day in the series finale. Carpenter drove in half of the Cardinals’ 10 runs and was just a double short of the cycle (4-for-4 with a home run, a triple and five RBI). Carpenter’s two-run dinger in the fifth off Lendy Castillo was his first big league home run.

Lendy Castillo was both very good and not-so-good on Sunday afternoon. Castillo struck out the side in the fifth but also served up a two-run shot to Matt Carpenter on a 0-2 pitch in the fifth. Castillo pitched two innings and gave up two runs on four hits (home run) with a walk and four strikeouts. Rodrigo Lopez pitched the final two innings and surrendered two more runs to the Redbirds on four hits with a walk.

The Cubs’ offense was predictably bad on Sunday. Dale Sveum gave Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Bryan LaHair and Darwin Barney the day off. With the slumps that Marlon Byrd (0-for-3) and Geovany Soto (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) are stuck in, there were too many outs in the starting nine as well as players that could not field their position.

Reed Johnson (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI) and Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) recorded the Cubs only two RBI … the third scored on wild pitch.

The Cubs’ bad defense was on display again Sunday. The middle infield of Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt failed to turn two double plays in the second that prolonged the inning. Blake DeWitt might be a viable option off the bench as a pinch hitter but there is not a position he can field that makes him worthy of a roster spot.

With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs dropped the series to the Cardinals after winning the first game on Friday (1-2) and will spend Monday’s off day with a 3-7 record after the first 10 games of the season.

Jake Westbrook made quick work of the top of the Cubs’ lineup in the first. Reed Johnson worked the count to 3-2 before grounding out to third. Blake DeWitt grounded out to second (1-1 pitch) and Starlin Castro struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) … 1-2-3 for Westbrook on 12 pitches, eight for strikes.

Paul Maholm put together a good first inning. Maholm sat down the Cardinals in order on 15 pitches, nine for strikes.

Westbrook mowed down the Cubs in order on 11 pitches in the second, seven for strikes.

The Cardinals took advantage of Maholm’s command in the bottom of the second. Maholm plunked Carlos Beltran on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. Yadier Molina looked at three straight out of the strike zone (not close) before taking a strike. Maholm walked Molina on the next pitch.

Matt Carpenter stepped in with runners on first and second with no outs and hit a 1-0 pitch back up the middle. Blake DeWitt flopped over the top of the ball as it rolled into centerfield. Beltran scored easily and Molina ended up at third.

Shane Robinson hit a tailor made double play ball to Castro (0-2 pitch). Castro could not get the ball out of his glove. The Cubs forced Carpenter at second but DeWitt’s throw was late. Molina scored … 2-0 Cardinals. Both the hit batsman and walked scored.

Daniel Descalso hit another tailor made double play grounder, this one was to DeWitt. Blake DeWitt could not get the ball out of his glove. The force was made at second but that was all. With Descalso at first, Westbrook looked at strike three to end the inning.

After two, the Cardinals led 2-0. Paul Maholm had thrown 38 pitches, 22 for strikes and the Redbirds two runs scored on one hit.

Geovany Soto grounded out weakly to Furcal for the first out of the third. Marlon Byrd hit a weak grounder to the hole at short. Descalso tried to pick the grounder but he could not field it cleanly. Byrd was given an infield single (later changed to an error on Descalso). On the first pitch to Maholm with his team down by two, Byrd took off for second … and Molina threw him out easily. Maholm grounded out to short for the third out.

Rafael Furcal led off the third with a double down the left field line. Tyler Greene gave the struggling Maholm an out when he popped up a bunt to Ian Stewart. Maholm fell behind Matt Holliday 2-1. Holliday went with Maholm’s next pitch and drove it into right (DeWitt in the shift). Furcal scored easily … 3-0 Cardinals. Carlos Beltran popped a 2-1 pitch into shallow left center that Mather and Byrd both broke back on. Byrd and Mather could not recover … and the ball fell in.

Maholm jumped ahead of Yadier Molina 0-2 but quickly found himself behind in the count 3-2. Molina crushed Maholm’s next pitch over the wall in left … 6-0 Cardinals.

Matt Carpenter hit Maholm’s next pitch into left. The Cubs middle infield finally turned a double play. Shane Robinson hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the third.

Reed Johnson (0-2 pitch) and Blake DeWitt (1-2 pitch) reached on back-to-back singles to start the fourth. Starlin Castro lined out to short for the first out. Jeff Baker hit a tailor made double play ball towards short. Furcal fielded the ball, ran over touched second and showed off his arm … but pulled Carpenter off the bag. Johnson ended up at third with two outs.

Westbrook uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-1 offering to Ian Stewart, Johnson slid in safe with the Cubs’ first run. Stewart walked but Joe Mather swung at the first pitch and grounded out to short.

Paul Maholm hit Daniel Descalso with his first pitch of the fourth. Westbrook bunted Descalso to second. Maholm finally found his command and retired both Furcal and Greene on fly outs. Maholm threw 70 pitches, 42 for strikes, in four innings Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs scored another single run in the fifth … and it should have been more. Geovany Soto led off the inning with a double off the base of the wall in right center (2-1 pitch). Byrd reached for the second time in the game, on a Cardinals’ error. With runners on first and second with no outs, Dale Sveum went to his bench and sent David DeJesus up to hit for Paul Maholm. DeJesus popped out to shallow right. Soto advanced to third and scored on a check swing grounder to third off the bat of Reed Johnson. Blake DeWitt grounded out to first to end the Cubs’ fifth.

With the Cubs down 6-2, Lendy Castillo took over on the hill and struck out Matt Holliday swinging (3-2 pitch) to start his afternoon. Castillo walked Beltran. With Molina at the plate, Beltran stole second. Castillo struck out Yadier Molina for the second out.

Matt Carpenter stepped in and crushed a 0-2 pitch from Castillo. The ball ended up over the wall in center … and just like that the Cardinals led 8-2. Castillo struck out Shane Robinson to end the inning.

Jake Westbrook faced the minimum in the sixth after Jeff Baker recorded the Cubs’ fourth hit, a single to right, but Ian Stewart smoked a 1-1 pitch toward first that Carpenter caught and stepped on first to end the inning.

Lendy Castillo pitched the bottom of the sixth and retired three of the four batters he faced … Jake Westbrook singled to right (1-2 pitch) with one out.

The Cubs did nothing against Westbrook in the seventh.

Rodrigo Lopez made his way in from the pen in the seventh. Sveum also inserted Steve Clevenger at first base, moved Jeff Baker to right and pulled Marlon Byrd in favor of Reed Johnson in center.

Lopez retired Matt Holliday on a lineout to left. Erik Komatsu singled to left and advanced to second on a single to center off the bat of Yadier Molina. Matt Carpenter ripped a 2-2 pitch into left center. Carpenter’s fourth hit of the game drove in Komatsu and Molina with the Cardinals’ ninth and tenth runs. With the infield in, Shane Robinson grounded out to short, Carpenter held. Descalso grounded out to Clevenger at first to end the inning.

After Tyler Greene robbed Steve Clevenger of a single to right to start the eighth, Reed Johnson doubled to center. DeWitt grounded out to first, Johnson advanced to third and scored on an infield single to the hole at short off the bat of Starlin Castro. Kyle McClellan retired Jeff Baker on a ground out to third to end the inning.

Tony Cruz led off the eighth with a double to center off Rodrigo Lopez. Rafael Furcal flied out to left and Tyler Greene walked. With runners on first and second, Holliday flied out to deep right. Cruz advanced to second but Erik Komatsu popped out to third to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Victor Marte in the ninth … game and series over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Monday is an off day for the Cubs. Dale Sveum’s team opens a three-game series on Tuesday night in Miami against Ozzie Guillen and the new-look Marlins. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Josh Johnson in the opener.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • GaryLeeT

    Until changes are made, I would say the 30% of the games that the Cubs have won so far this season, will be the norm. These floggings will continue until the morale of the fans improve.

  • Zonk

    I didn’t see the game, but this is a strong statement from you Neil:

    ” Blake DeWitt might be a viable option off the bench as a pinch hitter but there is not a position he can field that makes him worthy of a roster spot.”

    Were those two plays that bad?  Just wondering.

    Supposedly, Cardenas has problem with the glove, but maybe he’s better than DeWitt.

    I have been critical of Barney, and I don’t think he is a starting 2B, but he can field the position, no doubt about that…..

    • Chadaudio

      Zonk. Those words stood out to me too. I listen to most game on WGN radio, and there they seemed to indicate that the double plays were botched by Castro… whatever.

      At least DeWitt wasn’t playing first? Man, what a terrible lineup they put out today.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I am replying to this comment because it was the last one made but I am replying to both.

        Castro messed up the timing on the first one but I think Barney’s stronger arm would have been able to complete the double play. The second one the timing was thrown off by DeWitt’s throw (to the centerfield side of the bag). DeWitt also flopped over the single by Carpenter in the second. His body was closer to the ball than his glove.

        DeWitt cannot field well enough to play second base and is scary at third. Please do not get me started on him being in left, right or first base.

        From what I have seen of Cardenas and the plays he is making with the I-Cubs, I do not see how he could be any worse. Couple DeWitt’s defense with his poor approach at the plate and I would rather see a younger player inserted into that role, especially one like Cardenas that figures to be a bench player at the big league level.

        • Chadaudio

          Neil,

          I hope my comment wasn’t taken as a criticism.  I was simply showing what your summary added to the radio coverage (ie. the team defense was terrible).

          Honestly, I respect your coverage more then the mainstream media’s… for whatever that’s worth.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Chad, not at all and if my response made you think I took as so, my apologies. Thank you for the compliment, it means a lot.

          • Chadaudio

            No worries Neil, I just wanted to make sure :)

      • John_CC

         I was watching. And though Castro maybe didn’t make the best relay on the first one, DeWitt wasn’t in good position and his weak arm to first was the difference. The second one (same inning) Castro had to stop himself at the bag waiting for the relay from DeWitt, the timing was terrible and that was all DeWitt. I don’t know what Pat and Keith saw. Neil’s assessment is completely accurate in my eyes. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      See below … thanks.

    • Aaron

      Let’s just say they were VERY ugly. He flopped over the top of a grounder that would’ve stopped the bleeding in their big inning. He then botched a double play, and on a force play that could’ve also been a double play, he threw high to Castro and almost pulled him off the bag.

      I’m waiting to hear back from Tom on this, but we were having a discussing during the game about why the hell Baker and DeWitt are both still on this team. They are average to below average depending which position they’re playing. They’re also average to below average offensively (depending on how much playing time they get), and neither can play SS, so the only other SS on the roster is their starting 2B, which is simply NOT a wise thing to do.

      I want to wait to see what Tom says, but here’s my take on it….

      1) The original plan must have been to build their trade value to deal them at the deadline, otherwise it makes ZERO sense for them to have traded LeMahieu, AND lost Gonzalez and Flaherty in the Rule 5, AND have claimed and optioned both Valbuena and Cardenas…especially since they both “earn” over $1 million, while those guys all would have made MLB minimum.

      2) The management team ultimately wants the Cubs to win this year…but they secretly hope they fail, and here’s why:

      a. They want all the veterans they’ve accumulated/re-signed (whether arbitration or not) to do well and have resurgent years: Maholm, Stewart, Volstad, T. Wood, Johnson, Baker, DeWitt, Soto, DeJesus, Wood, Camp, Lopez, Corpas, and even Mather. Why? Because they don’t see any of them as building blocks for the future, nor do they see them as part of a true rebuilding effort. Hopefully everyone now sees what I mean that they “want the team to lose” secretly, because…

      b. If the team loses with these stopgap veterans, then management has ample reason to sell a complete rebuilding effort to ownership and the fan base

      3) Of the players that Team Theo has traded for or re-signed, ONLY Ian Stewart is having a decent season. I’m even talking about the minor league players acquired, such as Torreyes, T. Wood, Cates, Sappelt, etc. That’s pretty sad if you think about it. And for that reason, again, I firmly believe that they not only were counting on this team to struggle this year, but actually wanted it to happen, not only for draft picks, but because they wanted good reason to blow this thing up completely

      • Tom U

        Sorry I wasn’t fast enough, Aaron. See below. :-)

        • Aaron

          no worries…i did respond

      • Chadaudio

        What’s so frustrating is that we actually had gotten rid of DeWitt this offseason… only to get him back for some reason. So disappointing. The terrible defense would be acceptable if he was one of the best pinch hitters in the game… but he’s also a terrible pinch hitter.

  • cubs1967

    svuem had interesting line-ups in ST; which was blown off as ST; but he had some quade in him; granted he has a very bad team which makes a bad line-up as true lead off or clean-up hitters are missing.

    2nd, bombs away wood was horrid in ST and now maholm is beyond horrid; a real bullpen killer; you really have to question why we traded 2.8 WAR marshall and what was seen in maholm; wells would be just fine and the 4.75M should of gone to bullpen arms.

    not trying in 2012 i understand; but scarey thought woods and maholm were wanted on this team…..and what will be wanted for 2013 (if they try) or 2014 and beyond………

    • Tony_Hall

      Since we all like stats after a week and a half.  

      Sean Marshall 1.71 WHIP
      1 blown save

      • GaryLeeT

        Not surprising, when you have a setup guy suddenly pressed into closing.

      • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

        Take a look at Heath Bell’s stats with the Marlins to start the season…not exactly what they were expecting…

    • Hoosierboy3423

      just wondering, what impact would Marshall really have on the team right about now? I think in the end Sappelt as a 4th OF and Torreyes will end up making good contributions to the future of this team. Marshall would be a set up guy who wouldnt be setting up a whole lot this year. GET OVER IT!

      • cubs1967

        yes……get over bad cubs trades, you know like:
        lou brock
        bruce sutter
        lee smith

        OR the FA blunder of the past 30 yrs; greg maddux.

        cubs track record is great………..

        i’m entitiled to my opinions……..so i suggest you get over tellimg me that……..

        OR the fact that marshall is 29 so what good would he be for the next 6 yrs; you know cuz lefties have a tendency to stick around…………see another ex-cub in 49 yr old jamie moyer……..

        and 5th OF in sappelt are hard to find……..(if he was a 4th how come he could not beat out released mather or 35 yr old reed?? ……..and low A minor leaguers have a LONG way to go……

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

          I’ve been supportive of Sveum but today’s lineup was unforgivable.  

          Imagine how Paul Maholm felt when he got the the stadium and saw that?  What a bad spot to put a guy who needs a bounce back game in.  

          What was he thinking?  And I don’t mean that as an indictment but strictly a question.  What justified today’s lineup?

        • Scott

          It’s too bad we don’t have any good trades in our favor…

          Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus

          Ferguson Jenkins for Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson

          Sammy Sosa for George Bell

          Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for Jose Hernandez, Matt Brubeck and Bobby Hill

          Darn.  We got robbed in those deals….

    • Scott

      Do you realize that Maholm had a 2.6 WAR last year?  And for his career has a 11.1 to 6.6 WAR advantage over Marshall (or 1.6 to 1.1 WAR/yr)?  Oh, and Baseball Reference has the WAR for Marshall last year at 2.5, not 2.8.  And that would mean that Maholm was more valuable than Marshall last year…..

  • Tom U

    As I promised (dinner’s over) Aaron, here’s what I have to say about the backup infield positions.

    Call this a hunch, but in observing how well everyone has started at Iowa, I think we may see an organizational shake-up in about a month.
     
    Aaron, you were astute in seeing how Cardenas and Valbuena are playing. I feel that at least two of the Cubs’ outfielders will be moved in some way anytime after mid-May. Baker and DeWitt could be deal sweeteners. As someone else posted, they are seen as seasoned veterans. They’re the right kind of players that a struggling contender would get to shake up a team. Especially if there are unforseen injuries.

    The four players that would be called up would be Cardenas, Valbuena, Campana, and probably Sapplet. Campana and Sappelt are on options, and can be sent back down for Brett Jackson and/or Anthony Rizzo after the Super 2 date. 

    Another wave could happen before the trade deadline, with two more outfielders, Geovanny Soto, and Ian Stewart on the block. Call-ups can include Josh Vitters and Welington Castillo. In the meantime, the organization would probably acquiring a lot of talent in return. 

    It seems logical, but then again, it’s baseball.

    • Tony_Hall

      And sounds like a plan….

    • Zonk

      You’re probably on target there.  Certainly, I think the Cubs are going to wait on Rizzo and B-Jax to set the Super-2 date back.  There is no reason not to.  (and in Rizzo’s case, doubly-so if LaHair continues to hit)

      I can see Baker spending the season on the roster, because he can hit LH pitching, and is a body that fills a spot.  But DeWitt and Cardena/Valbuena are redundant. 

    • cc002600

      Tom, When is super 2 date ?  June ?

      • Tom U

        That hasn’t been determined yet, as that is by agreement between MLB and the union. Using last year’s criteria, it calculates to sometime between the first and second week of June.

        • Hoosierboy3423

          Tom just outta curiosity, and with ut most respect of your opinion, with Vitters not so great in the field, if Stewart keeps hitting and with the fact hes still pretty young, do you really see stewart on the block? Or could he be a building block if he hits? 
          He is a former TOP prospect and maybe the whole “change of scenery” thing will work out for him. From day one I thought acquiring him was a good low cost move for a potential star.
          Do you really think it may be set in stone that he is trade fodder?

          • Zonk

            I personally don’t see the Cubs trading Stewart.  If he continues to hit at least OK, I think they keep him as Vitters insurance.  He isnt’ expensive, and is under club control for 2 more years.  It was a worthwhile gamble on our part, and so far it’s looking OK. 

            If he doesnt’ hit, we won’t trade him because he’ll have little value….he needs to rebound this year

            I personally think Stewart will hit like he did before last year.  Some power, middling contact.  Basically enough to be a journeyman starting 3B.  At least he can field, I’ll give him that.

          • Hoosierboy3423

            heck yeah he can field, I honestly, and maybe its the Cubbie Cool Aide, can see him as a solid 275 average 20+ Hr guy if not more. And thats in hopes his wrist holds up. The trade for him regardless of what others think was very low cost to get a guy at a postion of MAJOR weakness for this team. And i completely agree that if he hits he wont be traded and like you said if he doesnt he has no value. Stewart is a Cub for the foreseeable future, like it or not. And in all honesty, I like it!

          • cubs1967

            um……he’s never hit .275….and that was IN colorado…….it’s not gonna happen now; but yes…..U are drunk on cubbie kool-aid.

          • Chadaudio

            I also doubt we get rid of Stewart.  Anything can happen, but I don’t think the cost/benefit of trading him would work out… especially because Vitters seems pretty suspect at 3B.  In fact, I think we would sooner trade Vitters then Stewart.
            I would also guess that the Cubs also plan to hold on to DeJesus as well (again no one is untouchable, but I just don’t see any other leadoff options).
            I think the Cubs had really hoped that Moholm, Byrd, and Soto would prove to be trade assets.  Instead (so far), they are dead weight.

          • Tom U

            Hoosierboy, just because I write here doesn’t make me special. I can and have been wrong. Thank you for being respectful.

            Its hard to look forward, but if the deal is right, I don’t see any attachment to Stewart. Vitters has made improvements in the field, and is one of the best clutch hitters in the organization. Anything is possible.

          • cubs1967

            vitters can flat out rake; from the games on MILB.tv;he hits alot of solid liners………problem is his D and still not getting alot of pitches per at bat…….but he would not be up till sept so he’s got time unless he rakes in the .330 plus avg and forces his way up sooner.

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

            I like Stewart as long as he keeps hitting.  I think the change has helped him greatly. 

            I think he could end with good stats unless the wrist starts bothering him.  As of now he seems to be fighting through it. 

    • Aaron

      Tom,

      Thanks for your reply…seems like we’re both somewhat on the same thought process here

      Do you agree with what I posted above?

      I do not see any possible way that the following guys are on this team at the end of the year, unless there is an insane turn of events where they make the playoffs (…I will wait until you’re done laughing……still waiting………………………………..good enough?):
      Baker
      DeWitt
      Byrd
      Johnson
      DeJesus
      Soriano
      *Stewart
      Maholm
      Volstad
      Lopez
      Camp
      *Marmol
      *Garza 

      *-there is an outside chance that Stewart remains, but ONLY if Vitters doesn’t have a good year at Iowa. There is a good chance Marmol stays, but ONLY if he turns it around big time and nobody else like Rhoderick, Batista, or anyone else in the minors steps up. The only way Garza stays is if he signs an extension

      • Zonk

        No team has ever cleared out that many players; I don’t see it happening.  Now, I think it’s safe to say several names on that list won’t be around, but I don’t see that many names moving.

        Soriano, DeJesus, Volstad won’t be traded for various reasons.

        Stewart, Marmol almost certainly won’t either.  The Cubs will keep Stewart if he hits, even if Vitters looks good; there is no guarantee on Vitters, and Stewart is an insurance policy.  I personally don’t think Vitters is a superstar in waiting, his upside is very Shea Hillenbrand.

        Garza only if a) he refuses long term extension (he has so far), AND b) someone backs up the truck on us with a prospect haul.  There is no time urgency for us to make a trade that doesn’t return a big haul, because he is under control another year. 

        Camp, Lopez, DeWitt, Baker, Johnson are pretty expendible, and are most likely to be gone. They were added as roster fodder, and roster fodder can be jettisoned anytime.

        Byrd is on the block already, that’s well documented

      • Tom U

        We seem to be thinking along the same line, except for a few points. I don’t think that management has to sell ownership on rebuilding, I think they are already sold.

        Like the conversation we had a few days ago, the present sports landscape is was it was ten or twenty years ago. Ownership depends on fair-weather fans to supply revenue, whether that seems right or not. Those fans have to be appeased at times to keep them coming. They’re not the type to know about or be patient with the minor league system. They need “names”, and some of the veteran players fit that role. 

        However, some of the reporters do their jobs, and there have already been reports of Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters, and Welington Castillo filtering into the media. When it becomes obvious that they need to be called up, as it was with Starlin Castro, fans will be more accepting of them. That’s when the trades and other movement will start to happen.

        The only other area that I disagree with are the trades. The only deal I would have done this off-season was with Sean Marshall. Its going to take a while, but that deal will look better down the road.

        Maholm will probably last the season, but won’t be resigned.

        • Zonk

          You wouldn’t have traded for Ian Stewart?  He isn’t our saviour or anything, but we didn’t give up much either, and so far I like the return.

          And you wouldn’t have traded Cashner for Rizzo? 

          Just curious, interesting that you ONLY would have made the Marshall trade.  That one gets the most flak….

          • Tom U

            Its just me personally, but I would have damned the torpedoes and went full speed ahead. 

            I would not have tendered Baker and DeWitt; placed Gonzalez and Flaherty on the 40-man roster; started LeMahieu and Colvin at third and right respectively; not signed Kerry Wood; and had Andrew Cashner compete for the closer role. Then I would have seen where the chips fell and picked up the pieces.

          • Aaron

            I love your take, and we’re definitely mostly on the same page.

          • GaryLeeT

             Speaking of Colvin. I am happy to see that Tyler has gotten off to a pretty good start in Colorado.

          • Chadaudio

            Not bad – I would like to have done the 40-man Baker/DeWitt swap for LeMahieu and Gonzalez – but I think I’m alright trading Cashner for Rizzo (even though it makes our bullpen suck).
            BTW – I wish we could have kept Colvin, but without DeJesus, I don’t know who would bat leadoff for us.

      • Aaron

        I should also add a few names I think would be considered to replace them:
        Cardenas
        Valbuena
        B. Jackson
        Campana
        Rizzo (by way of moving LaHair to OF)
        Ha/Burgess/Ridling/Lake (depending which is having a better year)
        Vitters
        Rusin
        Jay Jackson/Struck/Coleman/Raley/Rhee/Beeler (depending which is having a better year)
        Rhoderick
        Maine/Rowland-Smith
        Batista
        McNutt

        In addition to the list of veterans I can’t see with this team at the end of the year, here is a list of others I can’t see with the team going into next season:
        Wood (Team Theo is NOT attached to him at all)
        Dempster
        Mather
        LaHair (even if he has a good year, they might opt to move hi based solely on age, especially if they have some strong OF performances in the minors this year, because Rizzo will take over at 1B, leaving only LF and RF for LaHair)
        Soto (only if they don’t find a good enough deal near the deadline)

        That would seem to leave Barney, Castro, Russell, Samardzija, Clevenger, Dolis, and L. Castillo as the only guys to build around. Pretty sad isn’t it?

        • Dorasaga

          Great conversation from both you and Tom! I’m tracking some of the Padres, Nats, and A’s players who were traded to their respective teams while considered prospect. Josh Donaldson, for example, was a promising catcher from the Cubs, before some kind of personal issue ruined his relationship with the J. Hendry management. Josh is now a third baseman for the A’s.

          But the more interesting question is how long will the Padres and Nats put up with these young players? Both of them are in need to contend, and there are holes. The Nats do not have an everyday catcher (I now can see why the Twins traded away Ramos to them; he’s terrible defensively)…

          What I want to say here: Any organization has a hole in its Major League roster. Contenders are shopping for “name” players. Major League-ready prospects are not necessarily more valuable than a Dewitt or Baker, especially considered low-return and the contending ballclub might throw out a low-level prospect and call it a steal to fill its bench.

          Garza can be very valuable to both the Yankees and the Padres right now, and I hope Hoyer knows their system and pull out a bid-war.

      • cubs1967

        dejesus is not leaving……..worse case a 4th OF next year.
        garza needs to be signed…NOW.
        volstad or wells could be kept for next year; the other DFA.
        marmo could be traded if he gets hot; otherwise 9.8M reasons to be around  1 more year; and there is NO closer in waiting until Zych is ready……..2014?

        stewart i would keep as def insurance to vitters; plus vitters could play some LF next year…

        the rest need to be gone; soriano won’t have a taker in july……….so he’ll be released or traded in the winter….

        hoepfully bjax-rizzo-w castillo-vitters-mcnutt-will be taking up alot of the spots……..

    • J Daniel

      Baker and DeWitt deal sweeteners?  Really?  I am all for getting rid of them – sure Jed and Theo are as well, the problem is the other gm’s must want them.

  • GaryLeeT

    I just love the sheer genius of saving $1.25 million by signing Maholm over Joe Saunders.

    • Tony_Hall

      What makes you think that Saunders is all that much different than Maholm or any of the other SP depth that was accumulated?  He is nothing special. Just another back of the rotation type pitcher.

      And what make you think he was interested in the Cubs?  He would have to want to come here, to go along with the Cubs wanting him.  Without both, it has nothing to do with sheer genius, just basic business.

      • GaryLeeT

        Are you serious? A. Saunders only signed a 1 year deal, which means anybody could have had him B. The Cubs use pound Malholm almost every time when he was with the Pirates, was that suppose to magically change now that he pitches for them? C. Maholm could only dream of putting up a pitching line like Saunders did in his last outing for Arizona

        • Zonk

          Maybe Saunders wanted to stay in Arizona.  You don’t know the whole story behind it.  Arizona also projects to be a better team.  It’s very possible we were interested in him, but he wasn’t interested in US.  You never know.

          Also, Maholm wasn’t this bad last year.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

          • Chadaudio

            Exactly.  Also, Saunders wouldn’t help our middle IF turn a double play either… or our bullpen withstand big league hitters… or help Soto and Byrd hit anything.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, but with fewer runners on,  the infield play is less exposed, and Saunders could have helped there. Marshall and Cashner would have helped the Cub’s bullpen.
              I would have been OK with these trades, if they had gotten good pitching prospects in return. But they got the MUCH easier to come by position players, when they should have been trading FOR pitching, not trading it away.

          • John_CC

             1. Anthony Rizzo is not an easy to come by position player. He is a highly regarded prospect.

            B. The Marshall trade included a 24 year old starting pitcher along with a couple good position player prospects.

            And would you really be happier if the Cubs were a 75 win team with Marshall and Cashner in the bullpen (like last year) or a 65-70 win team without them but a year into the growing process that they wouldn’t be if they had not traded them?

          • GaryLeeT

             All Rizzo has done is rake it in AAA, again,  so it’s a little early to sing his praises, and yes, good hitting 1st baseman are easy to find.  Pitching is hard to find, and that’s why the Cubs don’t have much of it in their system. The Cubs could have spent 35 million on short term contracts and won 85 games this year. That would have kept  fans going through the turnstiles, spending money on concessions, and not subjected the younger players to the sloppy losing culture exhibited by today’s team.

          • GaryLeeT

             And yes, I would be happier if the Cubs won 20 more times this year than they are going to .

          • GaryLeeT

            You said that about Marshall too, but in reality, you don’t know either. Fact is, every player has his price. Oh, and you do know that Maholm has horrible career stats, right? Who cares what his ERA was last year?  He was 6-14, and 9-15 the year before that. Even through rose colored glasses, that’s awful.

          • cubtex

            Don’t confuse anyone here with logic :) It was a small market move signing Maholm. You and I both know they are doing a small market rebuild. They will lose fans after this year.

          • GaryLeeT

             Like I said, they will lose twice in concession sales that they saved in payroll. It’s a moronic business model.

          • Zonk

            Win-Loss means nothing at all.  Saunders has a career WHIP of 1.371, and Maholm is 1.421.  Maholm’s was actually lower last year, but not by alot.  They both have high career OPSs ( Maholm: .770, Saunders .762), but they eat innings and don’t walk a ton of guys.  Saunders is a little better, but not much; they are close to the same guy before this year. 

            You are right I don’t know either what’s happening behind the scenes, but I’m not ripping Cubs management based on things I don’t know.  You’re doing that.

          • GaryLeeT

             Wins and losses mean nothing at all? Sure.

          • Zonk

            In evaluating pitchers?  No, doesn’t mean much.  The other stats mean much more.  It’s hard to get wins pitching for the Pirates.

          • John_CC

             W-L ratios are about the worst stat for trying to evaluate a pitcher. WHIP, FIP, xFIP and even QS (which i think is on the liberal side) are far better than Ws or even ERA.

          • Zonk

            PS:  Here is a quote from Saunders, stating that he really wanted to come back to Arizona:

            http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/17/diamondbacks-re-sign-joe-saunders-after-non-tendering-him-last-month/

            He wanted to stay.  Period.

          • GaryLeeT

            Again. every player has his price. Plus, he may have wanted to stay in Arizona, but a 1 year contract, says the feeling was not as mutual.

          • Zonk

            You’re right it wasn’t mutual, but don’t rip the Cubs for not spending the extra $1.5 mil.  You don’t know what his price was, other than it was certainly higher than what Arizona paid

          • cubtex

            Lets call the kettle black. They looked for low cost options to field this team for 2012. P

          • Dorasaga

             That’s what I thought too, Joe Saunders wanted to stay at a contender and was comfortable with the Dbacks staff.

            But I didn’t feel that replying this makes people think a lot better. Debating a million or 2 for a 5th guy in your rotation is like questioning if Dewitt is our future 3rd baseman. What’s the point?

        • Tony_Hall

          A is not true, as he still has a say in it.

          B – not true either

          They are about the same pitcher, but go ahead and take Saunders first start and think that is how he will continue to perform.  I wish you were in my fantasy baseball leagues, as I love guys like you that jump on guys after 1 or 2 weeks like this.
          C – Not true either

          Last year Maholm’s first start 

          6 2/3 – 5 H  2 BB 3 K’s 0 runs

          Then later in the year

          9 IP 3 H 3 K’s 0 Runs

          As noted below, he actually had a better WHIP last year than Saunders, and are very similiar for their career.

          All 3 arguments you made are not true.

  • Josh

    Red Sox DFA’d Michael Bowden. Any clue on whether this would be an option for the Cubs – they definitely need pitching help.

    • Aaron

      Someone brought this up earlier. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that it would happen. The ONLY way is if they took Byrd, but he’s soooooooooooo awful, that even that is an unlikely scenario. The Red Sox don’t need anything else the Cubs have to offer that would be on the block. I guess you could make a case for Soto, but would it really be wise for the Cubs to trade Soto at his lowest value right now. Catchers that can hold their own offensively and are decent defensively are in high demand late during most seasons, so he could bring a decent haul later this year. Bowden is NOT a decent haul in my opinion. It’d also be a “buy low” situation.

      The Red Sox also are highly unlikely to do a trade now with the Cubs, considering how much animosity Luchinno has toward Epstein and the Cubs now. 

      In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Cherington (by communication through Luchinno) would ask for Brett Jackson straight up for Bowden…..I really think Luchinno has that much animosity

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    How about calling up Randy Wells to take Maholms spot???

    • Darrell Nugent

      His era at Iowa is higher than the national debt !

    • Will

      wells got shelled today..

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

        I’m telling you, Sveum screwed Maholm today. He was doomed from the start.  Tough to bounce back when you arrive and see the garbage that your manager is putting in to support you.  Mentally, that’s “I sunk your battleship,” before the game even starts. 

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

          The more I think about this I’m worried that this could cause Maholm to “check out,” mentally.  If I were him it would be tough to not be royally pissed at Sveum and wonder if my manager had my back.  

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      I didnt look up his stats at all…his name just came to mind. 

      • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

        So after looking at the stats…I’d pull up Travis Wood instead…..Id also like to see Tony Campana up and put into CF and leadoff spot.  I’d also give consideration to moving LaHair to RF and putting Rizzo at 1B.  Use DeJesus for defensive replacement in RF or LF.

    • Tony_Hall

      Maholm is out of options, and on a 1 year contract.  If he continues to pitch bad, he will be sent to the bullpen or just released, as he is on a 1 year deal.  

      Their hope is he turns it around and pitches more like last year, and is a trade chip at the deadline.

      • cubtex

        Problem is that Maholm pitched well in the 1st half of last year. His second half was bad and that is carrying over this year. He won’t be much of a trade chip.

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

          Again, I don’t think we can hold Sunday against him.  Rubber game against your biggest rival, trying to win your first series of the season with a pitcher who needs confidence and to bounce back from a tough outing.  Maholm arrives at the park and sees his 4 best hitters are taking the day off.  

          Man I’m mad for the guy.  Sveum:  horrible decision…

  • Cliffy

    DeWitt, Johnson and Byrd are a drag on this team and bring no value on a daily basis. Please stop the madness find a way to rid them from the team.

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