Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/01/12

Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (8-15) vs. Reds (11-11)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/903
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13/1.42) vs. Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 2.70/1.09)

Updated – 8:12pm CDT – Tuesday night’s game between the Cubs and Reds has been Postponed – No Make-Up Date has been announced.

Updated – 5:45pm CDT – The start of tonight’s Cubs-Reds game will be delayed due to rain in the area. The Cubs and Reds are hoping for a first pitch around 7:00pm CDT

Weather permitting … The second month of the baseball season begins tonight for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were just 8-15 in April but have played better ball of late. After a 1-5 stretch, the Cubs won four of seven to close out the month.

The Cubs make their first trip to Cincinnati for the first of three against Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and company. The Reds took two of three at Wrigley a couple of weeks back and Dale Sveum’s team will look to return the favor at the Reds’ home park.

Jeff Samardzija makes his return to the hill after receiving an extra day of rest. Samardzija was very sharp in his last outing and will make his first career start against the Reds.

Following tonight’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija and Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm will square off against Homer Bailey in game two with Ryan Dempster returning from the DL on Thursday to face Mike Leake. Randy Wells will be available out of the pen for the next two games as the Cubs ponder two roster moves prior to Thursday’s finale. Along with Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood is expected to be activated prior to the last game of the road trip.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija more than bounced back from his horrible outing in Miami when he faced the Cardinals last Tuesday. Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball and allowed just four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. Samardzija quieted doubts, at least for one start, that his first outing was what could be expected … not a one-start wonder.

Samardzija’s two good outings have come at Wrigley (1-0 with a 0.59 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP) and his two bad starts have come on the road (1-1 with a 10.38 ERA and a 2.77 WHIP) … maybe he can find better than a middle ground tonight.

Jeff Samardzija missed the Reds when they were at Wrigley (April 20 – April 23) and will make his first career start against the Redlegs tonight. In 14 games, all in relief, Samardzija has no record with a 5.65 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP versus Cincinnati … at Great American a 10.80 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP (seven runs, six earned, on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings) in six appearances.

Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 0-for-1
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-2
  • Chris Heisey – 1-for-2
  • Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-7
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-1
  • Drew Stubbs – 0-for-2
  • Wilson Valdez – 0-for-1
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-9 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Bronson Arroyo tonight. Arroyo is off to a very good start to the season after a rough first outing. Miami scored five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings off Arroyo on April 8 but after a bad first outing, Arroyo has allowed a total of four earned runs in his last three starts.

After tossing 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Nationals on April 13, Arroyo gave up three runs on five hits in eight innings to the Cardinals and picked up his first win of the season. Arroyo received a no decision in his last start, a Reds 4-2 win over the Giants, after allowing two runs, one earned, on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings.

Bronson Arroyo has two no decision in his first two home starts of the year (3.97 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP).

The Cubs have seemingly done nothing against Bronson Arroyo since Theo Epstein traded him to Cincinnati prior to the 2006 season. Arroyo owns a 9-8 record in 25 career games, 23 starts, against the Cubs with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in three starts with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP after posting a 2-1 record in three starts in 2010 with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP.

The Cubs must make him work tonight … early swings and misses will led to another loss to the Reds.

Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-7
  • Tony Campana – 2-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-11 with a home run
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-8 with two walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 9-for-25 with a double and two home runs
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-16
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-42 with five doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-14 with four walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup

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

    • Zonk

      I have been an advocate of playing Soto, if for no reason than showcasing him.  But I don’t know what we’re doing with DeWitt.  Maybe Barney has a horrible career record vs. Arroyo, I don’t know…

      Or maybe we’re playing DeWitt to make sure he stinks before we cut him and replace his spot with Cardenas. 

      DeWitt has been a somewhat productive hitter with smooth actions at 2B, but seems like he has regressed both offensively and defensively. 

      • John_CC

         I don’t like DeWitt starting either and I don’t like the match-up game, but Arroyo has struggled mightily vs. LH hitters this year, and for his career.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona – Austin Kirk (1-0, 1.53)
    Tennessee – Brooks Raley (1-1, 3.65)
    Iowa – Jay Jackson (1-2, 6.20)

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Daytona v. Clearwater
    Austin Kirk has quietly become one of the top pitchers in the organization. He is in the top ten in the FSL in ERA and WHIP. He’ll be up against the second best offense in the league tonight.

    • Zonk

      Tom, any hope for Jay Jackson?  He was a 9th round pick who blazed through 5 levels in 2 years, making onto BA’s Top 100 prospects (at #98).  Then…………regression.  It’s year 3 now at Iowa, and he ain’t getting better.

      What happened?  And, should we write him off now as a prospect?

      • Tom U

        Jackson had arm trouble last season, when he looked like he would have an outside shot at making the parent club.

        There have long been debates over the best use of Jackson, Some see him as starting material, while others more of a middle reliever. One thing is certain, he is one of the better hitting pitchers you will find.

        Jackson had shaky performances in winter ball, and this season’s results may indicate that he is still not quite right physically. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      • SuzyS

        Zonk, In previous threads…you keep referring to Rizzo’s service time…ie FA Clock starting after the Cubs bring him up in late June.
        Didn’t that clock start last year when Hoyer brought him up with the Pads????

        • Zonk

          Apparently, it stops again.  Someone posted a summary of where everyone is.  Basically, Rizzo’s FA year is set back if he stays at Iowa until late June, and Super-2 status if he stays there until late August (which is unlikely, barring a collapse or injury on Rizzo’s part). 

          B-Jax has his FA set back if he stays through April (already happened), and Super-2 status if he stays through June (which looks very likely the way he, and Campana, are playing).

        • Tom U


          A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a “Super Two” and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season. 

          Rizzo currently has 43 days of major league service.

          • SuzyS

             Zonk and Tom U. Thanks for clarifying
            Rizzo’s status..
            …”at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season…”
            seems to be the key.
            Thanks guys.

          • John_CC

             Wow, what a mess of a system! How ridiculous is this?

          • Trevor Petersma

            Thanks Tom, I didn’t really understand how any of that worked.

  • John_CC

    Arroyo and Leake each have a BAA vs. lefties of over .300 and Bailey isn’t much better.   I’m looking for LaHair to have big series in the band box.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Rain washed out batting practice for Cubs in Cincy. Radar is very colorful, which isn’t a good sign.

  • Neil

    Not looking good from the reports on Twitter. The Cubs make only one more trip to Cincy this season (August) and the two teams do not share an off-day around that time. And tomorrow does not look good.

    I will keep posting updates.

  • paulcatanese

    And thats why DeWitt is playing tonight his line vs Barney’s against Arroyo, but then DeWitt gives it up with the glove.
    With that standard in mind  Castro,Soriono and Soto should not play either.

    • Tom U

      Within the next three weeks, I expect three of the following players:

      Baker, DeWitt, Tolbert, and Amezaga

      to be gone from the organization.

      Both Valbuena and Cardenas have shown enough at Iowa to merit a place on the big league roster. The system has to start getting rid of some players in order to accommodate others, such as Junior Lake and Pierre LePage, coming back from rehab and to get ready for the draft.

      • Zonk

        I agree on DeWitt; he is completely redundant with Valbuena and Cardenas.  In fact, Valbuena might be up before Cardenas, because he can play an OK SS, and Cardenas can’t. 

        Tolbert and Amezaga are just guys

        Baker, as we all know, has one skill:  He rakes left handed pitching.  Besides that, he offers poor defense at several positions, which makes him versatile the way Jose Macias was versatile.

          I think Baker stays because he bats right handed, and we have alot of left-handed hitting infielders.

      • paulcatanese

        I would not be unhappy with that Tom, and I dont doubt it either the way management has reacted so far. And thats a good thing.

      • Jim_Tinley_Park

        Can you add Soriano to that list?

  • Tom U

    With the game in question, here’s something I noticed from yesterday’s Iowa game. It has less to do with any particular prospect, as it does development.

    For anyone who questions whether building confidence has any effect, yesterday’s game was a good example. While watching Iowa play Memphis last season, it was not only clear that DJ LeMahieu was a better player than Redbird prospects Mike Carpenter and Allen Craig, he was head and shoulders better than them.

    Now, Carpenter and Craig look to be big parts of the future for the Cardinals. Carpenter replaced injured Lance Berkman while Craig is tearing things up while rehabbing. Meanwhile, LeMahieu spends another season rotting behind has-been veterans and mediocre guys playing out of position. Why? Because the Cardinals do a good job of integrating young talent with veterans. The Cubs and the Rockies, well, not so good.

    When Cubs fans look to organizations that they should model themselves after, the Cardinals, Braves, and Rangers, not the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Rays or Twins, are the systems they should emulate.

    FYI – LeMahieu is hitting .305 with a home run, 12 RBI, and 7 steals at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

    • Dorasaga

      Some begs the question, though: Should Big Market teams like Chicago Cubs model itself after these smaller market clubs or the peculiar*. *(The Rangers sucked, but with the booming metros of Dallas-Arlington, had enough fans since the last massive labor strike to sustain and continue to suck, until the turn of this millennium).

      I think our history teaches a lesson. The Cubs were one with the least, among all Major League ballclubs, in terms of signing independence affiliates (minor league teams). The Cubs would not pay enough to their superstars (Ernie Banks). The Cubs managers despised fans, front office fooled around and sold beers or TV commercials regardless of a plan to succeed for another generation…

      Well, I guess I’ll cut chase to conclue: The Cubs had lost its Golden opportunities in the 1960s and the 1990s to truly stand above all others, to shake comrade hands with the Yanks, the Red Sox, or even the Angels to play their own Big Boy Rules.

      The Cubs need to rebuild, and rethink where they are right now.

      • SuzyS

         Dorasaga et al, for better or worse…for the very first time in our history…I believe the new Cubs management has already decided how they want to model themselves…organization-wide.
        This IS NOT the PK Wrigley-led disorganization of the College of Coaches.

        We may or may not agree with the management…but I do think a management philosophy is indeed being put in place….in a thoughtful manner.

        For the very first time in our history…Dallas Green notwithstanding.

    • cubtex

      I think if LeMahieu had showed more power in the minors he would be starting at 3rd base for the Cubs this year.

      • Tom U

        Carpenter has only 27 career homers in 3 minor league seasons. While Craig had some big home run seasons early in his career, he has only hit 18 minor league homers since 2009. He has 15 major league home runs in 2 seasons. 

      • SuzyS

        Maybe, But with the little time he had to evaluate the system…I don’t think Theo really respected most of JH’s pics…and would err on the side of jettisoning/replacing a JH pick with a player of his own…if he can…just a thought.

        • paulcatanese

          You are not far off Suzy, that would be typical
          of any new management that came in.

      • paulcatanese

        And I believe he would have done the job.

        • SuzyS

           For the record…I would have much preferred to watch Lemahieu succeed or fail…then go with Stewart…But I’m just a fan.

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Tentative start time is 8 pm (7 pm) CST.

    • GaryLeeT

       The 2nd of 3 lines of thunderstorms just moved through. Heavy downpours with each one. The last one is only an hour or so away. I just don’t see how they get this one in, but if they do, it will be very sloppy, and after 10:00 PM EST

  • Tom U

    This is an interesting development. The Daytona Cubs are batting Rubi Silva at lead-off, while Matt Szczur drops to third. Szczur has batted lead-off all season.

  • Tom U

    Another development, Iowa has Brett Jackson in right field, Dave Sappelt in center.

    • RMercer

      what are you reading into that?

    • Neil

      Tom, please correct me … but I think this is his first game in right this season. Also, if you haven’t yet, please check your email.

      And Jackson just doubled to start the game …

      • Tom U

        Thanks Neil!

        This is Jackson’s fourth game in right field.

    • paulcatanese

      Could speak volumes Tom on both of you’re posts.
      They may feel that Szczur will be more of a power hitter
      or want to develop him in a pressure spot in the lineup.
      Bewildering though on Jackson in right, unless the Cubs are thinking of trading DeJesus.

      • Tom U

        Paul from a pure line-up perspective, it kind of makes sense, Szczur came into the season as Daytona’s best hitter, and probably should been batting third. However, it seemed as if the organization was “all in” for developing Szczur as a lead-off hitter, which is why he remained there.

        This may have something to do with what I mentioned a few days ago, plate appearances. Szczur was one of four minor leaguers with over 100 plate appearances. This may be to reduces that number.

        Logan Watkins and Jae-Hoon Ha, two of those four players, look like they benefited from having yesterday off. Watkins is 2-for-3 with a homer and 2 RBI, Ha is 1-for-3 with a double.

        Incidentally, this is the first extended look I’ve had at Hak-Ju Lee. Right now, his defense is much better than Starlin Castro’s.

        • Neil

          Lee can pick it, right now he can’t hit it.

          • paulcatanese

            Neil, within the next fifty years baseball will transform like football, with an offensive team and a defensive team:)

          • Neil

            I don’t think so but it would be nice to have a defensive replacement for several of the guys currently on the roster.

          • paulcatanese

            OK Neil, I’ll check back with you in fifty:)

  • Neil

    Rizzo drove in another run. I-Cubs up 5-0 in the first. Jackson is hitting for the second time.

    • Trevor Petersma

      Is there any place online or on TV to watch the I-Cubs play?  I should know this already…

      • Neil

        Here ya go … but you have to pay for it

        You can listen online for free. There is not a radio app but the Smokies is free on iTunes and the I-Cubs feed can be found on TuneIn Radio app

        • Trevor Petersma

          Thank’s Tom and Neil.  I’ll check out the TuneIn radio app and just try to make it downtown to the ballpark more often on home games.

      • Tom U

        $39.99 for a year’s subscription.

  • Neil

    Jackson just doubled in another run, his second double of the inning.

    Jackson saw 10 pitches in two first inning at bats.

  • Tom U

    Iowa sends 11 men to the plate in the first. Brett Jackson with 2 doubles. Iowa leads 6-0 over Memphis.

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago:  ‏No delay update. The rain cell has passed but another looks to be forming behind it. No rain now but tarp still on field.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: This is 4th Cubs game delayed by rain this season. Still waiting for a rain cell to pass thru area

    • GaryLeeT

      It looks like the heavy stuff might just skirt the ball park to the north. It may just be sprinkles out of the last round of rain. I say, play ball.

  • Neil

    Tonight’s game has been postponed … no makeup date announced

  • Neil

    Jackson is now 3-for-3, just reached on a bunt single

  • Neil

    Jackson with his fourth hit tonight … 4-for-4, three runs, two RBI and two doubles

  • Trevor Petersma

    Disqus question: Is there a way when you hit reply to someone’s comment to receive an email or something when they reply to you?  It would make it a lot easier to track responses.  

    • Neil

      When you have a chance, log into your account there should be a settings tab where you can check email notification.

  • cc002600

    so the cubs put bjax in RF tonight. interesting.

    does that mean Dejesus gets traded at some point, and we have an OF of Lahair, Campy, Bjax by the second half ? 

    Probably too many lefties, but I would still love it… would be a whole lot of fun to watch

  • cc002600

    David Wright is going to be FA (Mets have $16M option for 2013)

    Can we get him ?

    How about Soto, Junior Lake, Vitters for Wright ?