Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 05/07/12

Game Twenty-Nine: Cubs (11-17) vs. Braves (18-11)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/906
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.41/1.23) vs. Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.74/1.43)

Updated 4:00pm CDTAdrian Cardenas Recalled from Triple-A IowaTravis Wood Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Weather permitting … The Chicago Cubs will try to cool down one of the hottest teams in baseball tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija has put together two excellent outings but will face the high-powered Atlanta Braves’ offense tonight … and arguably his toughest test of the season. While the offense tries to figure out Tommy Hanson, it will be up to Samardzija to put his team in a position to win.

The Cubs have historically struggled with the Braves, except for in 2008, and were 3-4 in the seven games against Atlanta a year ago.

With James Russell (26 pitches) and Rafael Dolis (30 pitches) both completing two innings of work in Sunday’s win, their status for tonight is unknown. If the Cubs have a lead late, it might be up to Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol to close it out.

The Cubs are expected to make a roster move prior to tonight’s game. Adrian Cardenas is expected to receive the call with Travis Wood likely headed back to Iowa.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off another excellent start. Samardzija held the Reds to one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings. Samardzija walked two, struck out seven and Dusty Baker said afterwards that Samardzija’s performance was the best the Reds had seen all season.

For as good as Samardzija has been for the most part this season, he’s been even better at Wrigley Field. Samardzija is 1-0 in two starts at home this year with a 0.59 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP (three runs, one earned, on eight hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings).

Jeff Samardzija makes his seventh career appearance, first start, against the Braves tonight. Samardzija allowed six runs, four earned, on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings to the Braves over the first six appearances.

Braves Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Michael Bourn – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Matt Diaz – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Freddie Freeman – 0-for-1
  • Jason Heyward – 0-for-1
  • Eric Hinske – 1-for-1 with a triple
  • Chipper Jones – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Brian McCann – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Martin Prado – 0-for-2
  • David Ross – 0-for-1
  • Dan Uggla – 1-for-8 with a home run and a walk

The Cubs get the pleasure of facing one of the best young right handers in the game. Tommy Hanson last pitched in the 15-13 marathon game between the Braves and Phillies. Hanson allowed four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings before being yanked with his team down by a bunch to Roy Halladay. Atlanta ended up battling back and won the game in 11 innings.

Tommy Hanson dominated in four of his five outings leading up to his start against the Phillies and figures to be back to form tonight against the Cubs.

Hanson is 2-1 in three road starts this season with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Tonight will be the third time in Tommy Hanson’s short career that he has made a start against the Cubs. Hanson is 0-2 in the first two with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in one start with a 7.20 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP (five runs, four earned, on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings).

Jeff Baker (0-for-2), Starlin Castro (0-for-2) and Ian Stewart (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) are the only position players on the Cubs’ active roster that have faced Tommy Hanson.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s Minor League starters:

    Tennessee – Nick Struck (3-2, 3.58)
    Daytona – Eric Jokisch (1-3, 3.93)

    Iowa won 1-0 over New Orleans. Casey Coleman 7IP, 9K, 1-for-2 double. Brett Jackson scores the only run on a balk.

    Peoria wins 7-5 over Quad Cities, PJ Francescon 6IP, 4R, 2ER, 4K. Jeffrey Lorick, save-4. Paul Hoilman 3-for-4, 5 RBI including a grand slam home run.

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Daytona v. Jupiter
    The D-Cubs’ bats are beginning to come to life, and Eric Jokisch is tied for eighth in the league in strikeouts. Daytona looks to take their first series of the season.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of Jeff Baker….it’s been awhile since he’s been on the field.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

       The flu hit Baker the hardest from the way I understand it

  • Ripsnorter1

    I was hoping to see Cardenas play tonight.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Jason Werth is out for 12 weeks. The Nats plan for RF–Xavier Nady. Actually Harper will play everyday in RF and Nady in LF. But Harper was playing anyway; the injury simply moved Nady into the lineup. WOW! 

    They need help. And fast!

    • John_CC

       Soriano had his best year ever there!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Even now, Soriano would be an improvement over Nady, too. 

        All we have to do is kick in $54 million, and he’s gone, too. 

        • matthew8510

          sori cant play rf

          • Ripsnorter1

            Harper is playing RF for the Nats.

            They moved Harper to RF with Werth going down. Nady is in LF.

          • matthew8510

            gottcha

  • John_CC

    This Braves lineup is really impressive. I watched a game a couple weeks ago and was amazed at how much young talent they have drafted for not having high picks for…for a long time.  They must have great evaluators and great development too.

    And they mix it up with solid veterans.  It’s a model team, in my opinion.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Atlanta Braves…..
      #1 in MLB in runs scored.
      #4 in MLB in BA.
      #7 in MLB in slugging and OBP.

      They are all about offense.
      #25 in MLB in ERA.
      #26 in MLB in Quality Starts.
      #25 in MLB in WHIP.
      #27 in MLB in BAA.

      They are all about offense. No question about it. 

      Comparo your Chicago Cubs:
      #25 in Runs.
      #18 in BA
      #25 in Slugging.
      #23 in OBP.

      The Cubs are not about offense. And if you take away Campana, Castro and LaHair–we’d be the worst in baseball.

      Pitching wise….
      19th in ERA.
      15th in Quality Starts
      12th in WHIP
      4th in BAA

      ……we have the better pitching in 2012 thus far.

      • Dorasaga

         Bill James 101: NO cherry picking. When the Braves scouts analyze this Cubbie lineup, they’ll consider Lahair and Castro.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Please explain what you mean with “no cherry picking.”

          I notice Chris Capuano of the LAD would have NOTHING to do with LaHair when he came to town. He just walked him twice, and pitched around him every at AB. LaHair hit into a DP when he swung at a ball–got himself out that time. 

          • Dorasaga

            “If you take away Campana, Castro and LaHair–we’d be the worst in baseball.”

            But they are considered. The Cubs are not worst in baseball.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Okay. Thanks for the answer.

            But sure the Braves will consider Campana, Castro and LaHair. I was simply pointing out to CCO reades that they represent most of our offensive power. 

          • Dorasaga

             That’s a good thing, since fans will ask for more of the Lahair, Castro, and Campana.

            Rebuild, the future is here!

          • paulcatanese

            LaHair with another dinger.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    I feel like a winning streak is coming for the Cubs

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    the shark pitch count is high already ouch

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

     double play!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Barney made a nice turn …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Three doubles for Campana in last six at bats

    • paulcatanese

      Thank you Neil,having trouble with computer. Mlb did show LaHair and Stewarts back to back HR’s.

  • Dorasaga

    HOLY COW! a sniper there! Chasseur de Lahair!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair with a dinger! That’s 25 for LaHair

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    LaHair homerun!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-back Jacks! Stewart with #3

  • EqDoc

    Back to Back!!  I think that is the first time the Cubs have done that this year…

    • Dorasaga

      So close, could’ve been bak-2-bak-n-bak… But yeah, I know Stewart has been growing on me…

      • EqDoc

        His defense is an upgrade from the previous third baseman…  What was his name again?

        • Dorasaga

           Hahaha. Who cares now?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It is/was the first time this season.

      • EqDoc

        Hopefully we will see some more…

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Stewart with a home run nice

  • CerranoReadyNow

    anybody know where else i can watch the game besides WCIU?

    • cubsron10

      You can watch it online at Vipbox.tv

      • CerranoReadyNow

        thank you!

      • GaryLeeT

         Surprisingly fairly hassle free. Thanks

      • Ripsnorter1

        HUGE THANKS!

  • Dorasaga

    BTW, Hamels was honest for saying WHY he nailed Harper. I don’t care what people think of him (stupid or “don’t say it”, like Brenly). Hamels is respectable for not liking Harper and his “showy” style. If Hamels wants to teach any rookie just out of puberty age how to respect the game, hey, he’s the man to do it.

    • BosephHeyden

       This is my thought on this whole Hammel situation:  if he wanted to hurt (like chance taking him out for either the game or an extended period of time), he’s aiming higher and throwing faster.  And that doesn’t necessarily even mean the head region:  he could’ve easily hit him in the elbow or wrist.  Instead, he hit him one of the most protected parts of the human body with a pitch that didn’t really have full velocity to it.  Obviously, it was dumb of him to say it, but the MLB (and all these sportswriters) treating this like it is one of the ten worst things to have ever happened in sports in the past four years is ridiculous.  Especially since this exact same thing has happened numerous times in that time frame…it’s just the pitcher was a bit quieter than Hammels was.

    • John_CC

       I agree. More power to him.  Brenly’s take is his own, he was a player, but I think he said that only because he didn’t want to say what he was really feeling, “good for him”. Len just went on and on sounded like a little weenie, in my opinion, “I don’t know why you would justify hitting someone just because of his age.”  Really, Len? 

      Hammels wasnt’ trying to injury anyone, he hit square in the back. I was a nice pitch. :)

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soto in 2012….
    2 CS in 22 attempts vs Soto

    LaHair got nothing but breaking stuff in that last AB….

  • Ripsnorter1

    Shawn Camp up in the pen, boys and girls……

    • Dorasaga

      I rather Swammy keeps Jeff in the game, through this inning. At least he strikes out… If anything, he needs to learn the game, handle his own jam, and garner the win…

  • Ripsnorter1

    You know Heyward will run on Soto….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by LaHair … got out of the jam. Hinske smoked that ball.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ain’t that the truth….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija with another excellent outing

  • Dorasaga

    Was Flaherty just tossed out??

    • Dorasaga

       What went on? Someone tossed out, ATL manager?

      • John_CC

         Yeah, ump warned both benches after O’Flarhety his DeJesus. Freddie didn’t like the warning, got tossed.

        • Dorasaga

           Thanks for the complete story. Now it makes sense.

  • Denver Mike

    That comment says it all…..”Time called as a ball gets out of the Cubs bullpen, Carlos Marmol warming up to putch the 8th.” 

    Forgive me if I want to turn the game off already.

    • EqDoc

      Were gonna need a bunch of insurance runs…

  • Denver Mike

    I’ve never been a HUGE Campana fan, but man the kid can do no wrong right now. Beautiful bunt for a it!

    • paulcatanese

      You have to hand it to Campana, he is a little s##T disturber to the defense. I love the guy.

  • Dorasaga

    Wow. RBI single, right through the hole in front of the shortstop, what a natural swing… And I recall we on CCO were debating whether Castro should lead off or bat second, sometime past All-Star break last year. I think cleanup would be fine, too.
    :-)

  • Denver Mike

    That is a huge insurance run by Castro…let try this with no typos this time!

  • Dorasaga

    The Shark expresssion seems like he wants to pitch more. Good boy. Hang in there the rest of the season; you’ll have your chance and complete some games.
    :-)

  • Ripsnorter1

    Marmol….here we go again….

    • Ripsnorter1

      Bring on Shawn Camp….

    • Dorasaga

       Yeah, this is not good. Two walks, and one after he led in counts.

  • John_CC

    3 fastballs, gets to 1-2, then tosses three sliders in a row, all out of the zone! 

    • John_CC

      0-2 to Freeman that 8 balls in row now…

    • Dorasaga

       Will this be the last day for Senior Marmol?

      Swammy might deploy him a mop-up now… not good at all…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Get him out …

  • brent carmona

    GAG!!!!

  • Scott McMeekan

    Figures.  First game I’ve watched in 3 weeks, and Marmol has to walk the first two batters.  UN FREAKING BELIEVABLE.

  • Ripsnorter1

    He’s throwing 94-96 mph fastballs….just not for strikes.

    • gary3411

       I didn’t notice any on WGN over 94, was that somewhere else reporting those velocities?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes. I was watching the speed gun on the Atlanta Braves broadcast.

        • gary3411

           Just curious, he was throwing hard for sure, all at least 93, most 94. I just would have noticed if I saw some 95-96s and woulda liked it, who knows which gun was correct.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Braves helping us out!  Freeman swings at a pitch!

  • John_CC

    Get him out of there!!!!

    • Dorasaga

       Somehow inefficient, but at least he had the pitches low in the zone…

  • Scott McMeekan

    Wow, great pitch to get the second out.  I’m blue in the face from holding my breath.

    • Dorasaga

       I’m hoping that this is not the entertainment upgrade that Tom the owner talked about. I’ll stick with the Jumbotron if this is an alternative…

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Just getting in from Talladega. What have I missed?

    I’m going to need Marmol to throw some (quality) strikes here…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marmol got out of it … 

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

     Like those. Way to get out of it, Marmol!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Soto goes yard …

    • Scott McMeekan

      Great shot by Geo.  Line drive to straight-away center, no doubt about it.  I sure hope he can get in some kind of groove offensively.

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    I haven’t done this at the CCO in a long-long time, so excuse me for being a little rusty. But here goes…

    GEO!!!

    SOTO!!!

    GEO!!!

    SOTO!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      A blast from the past …

  • Dorasaga

    Nice swing by Cardenas, a Cuban descent, native of Miami. Must be exciting debuting for the Cubs.

    • Dorasaga

      Just thought I share this interesting story, back from 2006 on Baseball America; had a partial interview of what his parents think:

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/high-school/awards/player-of-the-year/2006/261722.html

      A smart guy in high school, perhaps studious…

      • Hoosierboy3423

        Thanks for sharing, great article. Theres not much doubt this kid can hit. Hopefully he takes that “Cerebral” approach to learning the field as well and can improve at 2b.

  • RMercer69

    Might be a hump moment for Marmol…he had to make some quality pitches those last two hitters and had some pop on his fastball along with a couple of tight sliders. A lot of emotion and fire shown by him leaving the mound. Hopefully this will give some confidence and fire moving forward

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat Braves 5-1 Monday night

    Jeff Samardzija: 1R, 5H, 2BB, HBP, 7K in 7IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4, RBI; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-3, HR, BB; Ian Stewart:
    1-for-3, HR, BB; Geovany Soto: 2-for-4, HR, 2RBI

    • BosephHeyden

       So…I’m going to be really upset if they don’t win at least one more game in this series.  This looked like a game to watch, but apparently the Cubs have some lifetime contract with WCIU to ensure I get to watch two or three Monday games a season.

  • Tom U

    The first time I’ve been able to report this for the season:
    System-wide sweep

    • Aaron

      Feels good, doesn’t it? The problem, as you’ve mentioned in several posts is the fact that the minor league system as a whole has dealt with some pretty significant injuries to start the season, doing without key cogs like Lake, Whitenack, Lopez, Cerda, McNutt, etc. 

      And while some of those might not sound like big losses, it can have an unexpected trickle-down effect:
      -the players are getting moved up a level
      -veteran roster fillers are held onto and rather than being just that, are instead thrust into starting positions
      -guys are being moved to unfamiliar positions
      -pitchers are switching roles from starter to relief, or vice-versa, or piggybacking, etc.

      Even injuries at the MLB level have unforeseen consequences in the minors. A great example of this would be the Clevenger injury where Castillo was called up, thrusting Lalli into an everyday role, and moving Apadoca up a level as well, which in turn led the Smokies to have to reach for a catcher as well……

      So when DeWitt eventually moves to AAA, there will be a trickle-down effect there as well, because they need a spot for him. When Lake was activated, there was a corresponding move there as well. 

      I never quite understood it before, but that’s why guys like Vogelbach, Baez, Shoulders, etc remained at EXST instead of A-Ball…because if they were brought up at the start of the year, they’d need to stay there for awhile, or more moves would need to be made if they couldn’t hack it, and then it’s a vicious cycle. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Russell: 20 pitches tonight. 

    26 pitches yesterday.

    Needs a couple of days off now….

    But He does as good a job as Marshall.

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    The
    Cubs have now won nine of their last 15 including games against some of the best
    teams in the National League. With
    Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson set to make their Cubs and ML
    debut respectfully, can they make some noise this season?

    • http://twitter.com/Golfnut70Bob OttawaBob

      Where are you putting Jackson?

      • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

        I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions. It just depends on who is playing hot when the call-up happens.

        It also depends on what they decide to do with Soriano and how they envision DeJesus fitting into their long-terms plans.

        So short version: I have no idea but it’s nice to have options.

  • paulcatanese

    The way the Cubs are playing of late, one has to remember that they are rebuilding right now and now a lot of us have come to expect this every time they take the field.
    Getting a little spoiled.

  • jw

    Win or lose 95 this summer this team has a different feel to it. Last year they didn’t tack on too often when they were up. They seem willing to give the players a shot but are creating competition and holding players accountable. Seem to have some direction and come to play ball.

  • Aaron

    First of all, GREAT WIN….Hanson is a great pitcher, and the Braves have come back in some games recently (Colorado), so this was great to see. 

    Secondly, did anyone else notice that Sveum has been putting the team in great position to succeed in the field (well, McKay too), but the Freeman line drive up the middle would’ve been a turning point last year with Quade. As it was tonight, Castro was right there to make the grab. 

    I’m sure most of you had the opportunity to go to that link posted earlier on ESPN about Sveum’s defensive positioning against Matt Kemp. 

    I love me some Swammy Ball….this guy appears to be the real deal. Let’s hope he has a shorter leash for Marmol though, because apparently he’s not learning anything with that guy.

    Also, like DeWitt, it looks like Johnson and Baker might be playing themselves off the roster. I would suspect that likely candidates to be called up would include:
    Jackson (later on)
    Valbuena
    Lake (later on)
    Wright (if he adjusts better to AAA)
    Adducci (this is a long-shot, but could happen)

    If you read between the lines of Sveum’s comments regarding the Cardenas call-up, you’ll also see his patience is wearing thin on Barney, and Cardenas might get a look. It is also clear that Soriano’s inconsistencies are wearing thin on him. You simply cannot have automatic outs in your lineup when you’re in the National League. In the AL, you have the DH to get away with it, but if you have guys like Barney, Soriano, Stewart (prior to recent semi-hot streak), Soto, etc., it really hurts your lineup and severely impairs your chances of winning. I think Theo, Hoyer, and Sveum are starting to realize this, that even their pinch hitters/bench guys need to be able to hit, and that’s why I feel Johnson and Baker could be on the bubble now or very soon.

    The roster I posted earlier this year looks like it’s taking shape, and the weird thing is, it’s much different than the circumstances I thought it’d be, where they’d be in last place in all of baseball. It really seems like we might finally have the right management in there that feels salaries be damned…they’re going to field the best team possible. 

    That’s a VERY important fact we’re seeing. The previous regime led by Hendry would’ve waited until August or even September to DFA DeWitt or demote Marmol. They would’ve waited until the team was out of contention until they dealt Byrd….the list goes on. I’m not trying to rehash the past, but I am using it as a reference point right now, because things have changed, and while I haven’t agreed with everything they’ve done, I still believe it’s an improvement over the past.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, thank you for mentioning the defensive positioning and the job the coaching staff is doing … it’s in my recap. The positioning is great to see and something I’ve been looking for the Cubs to do for a long time.

    • Guest

       I think management is very well aware that they need everything the can get. But, they are also looking for maximum value from any piece they have. Sori for instance is looking much better in the field, and he is notorious for having a cold streak, especially at the start of the year. So he’s getting used for now. Stewart was total gamble on a rehab, but he is starting to look much better at the plate. Considering he said himself when he was traded that he was never able to get comfortable or into a routine last year, I think they are making the effort to let him get himself back into the game, and its starting to pay off. 

      I was absolutely cringing and I might have even shouted at my tv tonight when marmol was on. However, I understand exactly why sveum did what he did. And I think its working. Marmol prior to his demotion was not using his fastball, he wasn’t even trying to throw strikes. Since the demotion, marmol has been using his fastball and attacking the plate. he may be wild, but he is at least looking like he is trying. I don’t think he believed they woudl ever dare demote the great marmol, and when they did he took it as an insult and he is out to prove he CAN do it.

      That said, I have a sneaking idea that part of why the team dumped salary this year was to free up money to buy out contracts. I think they came in with every intention that Z, Byrd, Sori and Marmol would be bought out this year either as part of a trade or just plain dropped. Shift all that money to this year, take the hit, get anything you can back for them and start fresh next year with a mostly clean slate. Byrd looking like a dead byrd this year was unexpected, makes one almost wonder if he was tanking on purpose, though that would be out of character. yeah, theres others on the team I also expect to see go, I still expect to see Soto gone by the deadline, but its looking a lot more iffy.

      This team is going to be in flux all year I expect, but I think May is going to set the tone. This team is NOT as bad as it first looked on paper. Yes, it has problems, the biggest is the fact that there are too many dead bats in the lineup so that all those hits are not converted to runs. just adding one kid with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove to the lineup to replace a 0 made a huge difference to this team. get one or two more bats going so that 5-9 aren’t auto outs and some of those hits start becoming runs. I can’t beleive the number of runners this team strands on base. just take out the games marmol single handedly blew, and this teams standing looks a lot different. Who would have ever expected we’d have four starting pitchers throwing like they have been?

      • Aaron

        You’re right about everything you just said….

        I would add, however, the fact that younger players more often than not show a propensity to start hot, then slow down as the season goes on once the league figures them out. Veterans show a propensity to start slow, then get into a groove later as the season progresses.

        Guys like Soriano, Baker, Johnson, DeJesus, Soto, Stewart, etc. may very well start heating up once the year goes along, thus increasing their trade value….and that’s probably why the Cubs have put up with their slow starts. But “young” guys like LaHair are most likely to see a correction later in the season than they are to see consistency or an increase in production. That’s why Barney’s start to the season is so alarming. It’s not like he hasn’t been given every opportunity to get going, and last season, he started out hot, then faded down the stretch. It’s why it’s alarming when young guys like Castillo also start slow. 

        Hopefully I’m making sense.

        Do I believe DeWitt is really a .100-ish hitter? NO, but historically, as a veteran, you know what you’re getting with him, which is a .250’s hitter, 5 hr, 20-30 RBI. So it’s all relative to what that hitter can potentially produce, whether or not you’ll stick with him in tough times. Same thing applied to Byrd. What this regime probably realized is that Byrd was EXACTLY the 2011 hitter than the 2009 hitter. That is to say, he was more along the lines of a 30-40-ish RBI player vs a 70-80-ish RBI player.

        So, with veterans, you have the advantage of having historical stats to go off of when you’re looking at cutting/trading someone. YOu know that even though they start out slow, they will likely revert to career averages (Bill James’ research still applies that you can count on career averages prior to 32 years old), whereas with a rookie like LaHair, he might start out hot, then totally tank later on. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, check out tonight’s game preview if you jump on.

  • CubsTalk

    It takes time to sort out the quirks, but Sveum will show everyone that he will be a great manager.  I do believe his hitting coach Rudy, could be replace if the bats don’t come alive.  Byrd left and hitting much better in Boston.  I hope Theo gives Rizzo some more time before he is called up.  Jackson needs more at bats in the minors.  When Theo make more trades, he needs to get pitching prospects ready to step in.  I take 10 wins out of 15 games any day.   Four out of our five starting pitchers are doing okay.  If only Volstad gets on track to pitch quality starts.  If not, make him a long reliever.  So many of Stewart outs have been solid hits.  I hope he can provide more power.  The bench players need to get back to hitting, or they will be released or traded for a bag of balls.  Yes, I mean Baker & Johnson. 

  • CubsTalk

    Brewers looking at Derrek Lee to play first base.

    Did anyone notice the White Sox lost two games tonight?  If not, then YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARD, YES.

    • John_CC

       excellent. thank you!