Garza Rocked … Cubs Drop Seventh in a Row – Cubs 4, Astros 8

Game Forty-Two – Cubs 4, Astros 8
WP – Bud Norris (5-1) LP – Matt Garza (2-2) Save – None

The Cubs lost their season-worst seventh straight game and if not for scoring four runs in the ninth, Dale Sveum’s team would have been shut out for the second day in a row. The Cubs have not been shut out on back-to-back days since May 4-5, 2006 (San Diego Padres). Over the last three games, the Cubs have scored runs in only two of the 27 innings.

While the Cubs offense was beyond horrible again for the first eight innings, Matt Garza picked a bad time to have his shortest outing of the season.

Matt Garza retired the Astros in order in the first inning on just 14 pitches … and it went downhill from there. Houston pounded Garza in the second and third innings to the tune of seven runs on five hits with two walks. Jason Castro and Chris Johnson both hit three run homers off Garza, who was lifted after the third inning.

Matt Garza simply did not have it Monday night … all seven runs he allowed scored with two outs. Garza’s final line: seven runs on five hits, two home runs, with two walks and two strikeouts. Garza threw 72 pitches, 42 for strikes. Monday was the second shortest outing for Garza as a Chicago Cub. Garza lasted two innings against the Nationals last season in D.C. and surrendered seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Randy Wells made his first appearance since being recalled from Iowa. Wells might have a shot at sticking in the Cubs’ pen after struggling at both the big league level and at Triple-A as a starter. Wells kept Dale Sveum from having to use his pen on a night Matt Garza barely made it through three innings.

Randy Wells allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings of work. Wells made only one mistake, a solo homer by Jed Lowrie in the seventh inning. Wells threw 78 pitches, 46 for strikes, in relief of Matt Garza.

The Astros scored all eight of their runs with two outs … and seven of the eight runs scored on three longballs.

Houston hit three home runs off Cubs’ pitching Monday night. Over the last four games Cubs pitching has served up 11 longballs … while the Cubs’ offense has hit just two balls out of the park.

The Cubs outhit the Astros 11-8 on Monday night but showed no life against Bud Norris. The Cubs were a miserable 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position prior to the ninth and finished the game 4-for-15 with RISP and left 10 on base.

Starlin Castro (2-for-5), David DeJesus (2-for-4, with a RBI, a walk and a run scored), Adrian Cardenas (2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored) and Koyie Hill (2-for-4 with a run scored) each notched multi-hit games while Blake Lalli’s first big league hit drove in two of the Cubs’ four runs in the ninth.

Of the Cubs’ 11 hits, only two went for extra bases (doubles by Cardenas) and not one left the park.

The Cubs have lost nine of their last 11 and with Monday’s defeat the Cubs have dropped to a season-low 12 games under .500 with a 15-27 record …

Bud Norris retired David DeJesus on two pitches to start the game. DeJesus fouled out to left. Tony Campana walked on a 3-2 pitch. On the first pitch to Castro, Campana took off for second and slid in safe. Starlin Castro ended up grounding out to third for the second out. Campana took off for third on the first pitch to LaHair and made it safely but was stranded when LaHair struck out swinging. Norris threw 22 pitches in the first inning, 14 for strikes.

Matt Garza sat down the top of the Astros’ lineup in order on 14 pitches, nine for strikes, in the first.

Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short (2-1 pitch) to start the second. Ian Stewart then worked the count full before grounding out to second. Adrian Cardenas lined a 2-1 pitch off Travis Buck’s glove in right. Cardenas was given a double. Koyie Hill predictably grounded out to short to end the inning. Norris threw 39 pitches in the first two innings, 24 for strikes.

Matt Garza made quick work of Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic to start the second. Garza recorded the first two outs on just four pitches. Chris Johnson put together a long at bat that changed the inning. Johnson ended up ripping a single into left on the seventh pitch (2-2 count). Garza lost his command and issued a five-pitch walk to J.D. Martinez.

With two on and two out, Jason Castro launched a 0-2 pitch into the bleachers beyond the right field wall. Castro’s first homer since 2010 (July 19, 2010 against the Cubs’ Mitch Atkins at Wrigley Field) gave the Astros a commanding 3-0 lead. Garza retired Bud Norris on a fly out to right. A disgusted Matt Garza walked to the dugout after throwing 37 pitches in two innings, 24 for strikes.

Matt Garza and David DeJesus struck out to start the third. Tony Campana reached on a single to left and Starlin Castro followed with a single to left … both hits came on the first pitch from Bud Norris. Bryan LaHair stepped in and lifted Norris’ first offering to deep left. J.D. Martinez caught the ball three feet from the wall to end the inning.

Garza continued struggling with his command in the third. Jose Altuve flied out to center on a 3-1 pitch. Jed Lowrie singled to right on a 3-2 offering. Garza put himself in his third three-ball count in as many hitters. Travis Buck struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch. Lowrie was running and slid safe as Koyie Hill’s throw ended up into center. Lowrie ended up at third with two down.

Carlos Lee did what Carlos Lee has always done against the Cubs … drive in runs. Lee ripped a 1-2 pitch into left that plated Lowrie with the Astros’ fourth run. Garza fell behind Brian Bogusevic 3-0 before getting one over. Bogusevic then walked on a 3-2 pitch. Dale Sveum made a visit to the mound after the free pass.

Chris Johnson launched a 2-1 pitch to the deepest part of the park (right center). The Astros’ second three-run homer of the night put the game away in the third inning. Garza retired J.D. Martinez on a fly out to right for the third out. Matt Garza threw 72 pitches in three innings, 42 for strikes.

After three, the Cubs trailed 7-0.

Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short to start the fourth. Ian Stewart walked. Adrian Cardenas flied out to center for the second out. Koyie Hill followed with a single to right. Stewart advanced to third and Sveum went to his bench. Jeff Baker hit for Garza and hit a routine fly to right on a 0-1 pitch to end the inning.

Randy Wells took over in the fourth and faced the minimum after issuing a leadoff walk to Jason Castro. Bud Norris popped out to right and Altuve grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

David DeJesus walked to start the fifth. Campana hit a weak grounder to short. DeJesus advanced to second as Lowrie’s throw just beat Campana … but both Castro and LaHair struck out swinging to end the inning.

Randy Wells’ second inning of work began with a single off the bat of Jed Lowrie (right field). Travis Buck hit a swinging bunt to the first base side of the mound that Wells fielded and shoveled to LaHair. With Lowrie at second, Carlos Lee grounded out to short and Bogusevic also grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth. Norris threw 96 pitches, 65 for strikes, in six innings.

Joe Mather took over in left in the sixth and Randy Wells sat down the Astros in order.

Other than a two-out single by David DeJesus, the Cubs did nothing in the seventh against Bud Norris.

Randy Wells took the hill for his fourth inning of work. Wells struck out Marwin Gonzalez swinging to start the seventh. Jose Altuve grounded out to short but Jed Lowrie cranked the Astros’ third longball of the night … a solo homer to right center. Wells then walked Travis Buck and gave up a single to Carlos Lee. Wells ended the inning by retiring Bogusevic on a pop out to left center.

At the end of seven, the Cubs were being pounded 8-0.

Starlin Castro led off the eight with a single to the hole at short off Enerio Del Rosario … but that was all. Blake Lalli hit for LaHair and grounded out to second. Castro advanced to second with one down. Joe Mather and Ian Stewart hit routine grounders to third and first to end the inning.

Randy Wells retired Houston in order in the eighth.

The Cubs were able to get on the board in the ninth against Enerio Del Rosario and the Astros’ bullpen.

Adrian Cardenas led off the ninth with his second double of the game … a bloop double to left that ended up in the stands for a ground rule two-bagger. Koyie Hill followed with a single. Cardenas held at third with no outs.

Reed Johnson hit for Randy Wells and broke up the shutout with a single to center. Hill was running with the pitch and advanced to third. Brad Mills went to the pen and brought in Fernando Abad.

David DeJesus singled to right center. Hill scored, 8-2 Astros. Johnson ended up at third with no outs. Tony Campana struck out swinging and Mills went back to his pen for Wilton Lopez.

Starlin Castro flied out to right center on Lopez’s first pitch. Blake Lalli, who stayed in the game at first base, knocked his first big league basehit into right. Travis Buck appeared to lose theball in the lights. Two runs scored and made it an 8-4 game. Joe Mather hit Lopez’s first pitch into right center to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is expected to face J.A. Happ in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us." - Earl Nightingale
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  • brent carmona

    Report from tonights game:

    Adrian cardenas hit the ball hard all night, even with his outs (bloop only exception but it was a hit)

    Garza must still be gaining weight back from the flu (cubbie goggles on excuse)

    We stinks.

    That’s it.

    Good recap Neil , the title says it all. Tomorrow is another day….

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

       Thanks, I saw you came close to Lowrie’s ball as well.

    • John_CC

       I wanted to grab a screen shot of you falling backwards both arms out-stretched, but I couldn’t do it.  Pretty hilarious picture.

      http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_05_21_chnmlb_houmlb_1&mode=wrap&c_id=chc#gid=2012_05_21_chnmlb_houmlb_1&mode=video

      • brent carmona

        Haha talk about an epic fail…..I don’t think ill ever come that close to catching a home run ball again.

        • SomeGuy27

          Here ya go.  Suitable for framing…

          • brent carmona

            I’m on my phone, can’t see it. If on home computer which link do I click?

          • SomeGuy27

            On a PC you’ll see a thumbnail.  Click it to expand and if you click on “Original Size” it will open in a new browser window.

          • John G

            Looks like John Voight, circa 1969, with a baseball mitt.

          • John_CC

             Nice!

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

      Well we should have the 1st or 2nd pick in the draft next year.

  • Zonk

    Meanwhile, B-Jax donned the golden sombrero in Des Moines last night, going 0 for 5 with 4 Ks.  But hey, that happens when you face flamethrowers like Forrest Snow.

    Color me skeptical on B-Jax, and certainly he should stay down at Iowa for awhile.

    • CubsTalk

      Trib reporter also says Rizzo should stay in the minors a little bit longer…..would hurt him if the Cubs call him up now….it seems Jackson is not helping his career with his poor hitting….is it bad picks or just bad coaching in the minors?….these (Jackson, Vitters, Simpson) are Hendry picks, so we cannot blame Theo on them…..I expect playoffs by 2014….World Series by 2015 under Theo.  Two World Series wins by 2020 for the Cubs.   If not, Theo failed.

      • cc002600

         If you want to keep  trading your best players (Garza, LaHair etc) for unknown prospects, you are really smoking something if you think you are gonna be in playoffs by 2014.  NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

        It will take a minor leaguer 5 or 6 years to get up to the talent level of a Garza type pitcher in the big show. MINIMUM.  You don’t just come up to the majors and be as good as Garza in 1 or 2 years. It takes years to develop that craft.

        • Tonydann1984

          I could have not said it better myself. We need to build the farm system and get lucky with some trades. Sign some free agents that will be worth what you have to pay for them on the open market. We are all high on Rizzo and Jackson but time will tell what they can do at a big league level.

          • cc002600

             Thanks.  There are some on this site who want to rebuild soooooo badly that they have lost all perspective on what that really entails.  While I want the cubs to develop young players as much as anyone, I think this notion of trading ANY valuable player who happens to be 28 or older to get prospects is so RIDICULOUS.  Newsflash to those people, if you want to win you need veterans as well, you can’t win anything with a bunch of 23 year olds.  Ask the Royals and Pirates how that has worked over the last 20 years. And oh, 23 year olds need time.  LOTS of time. Not 1 or 2 years, but 5 or 6.

            They should keep the likes of Garza and LaHair….and ADD players, NOT subtract. They should be adding FA’s this winter.  They will have tons of DOUGH to spend this winter. This is a big market team, for cryin out loud. 

            If they keep their best players and add a couple important pieces through FA or trades, they could easily contend in that crappy divsion in 2013 / 2014.

  • paulcatanese

    While I admire Soriono for his fortitude to play thru the pain in his knee’s(I believe was caused by being hit in the knee earlier) and he was moving well before that. I question the fact that why would he want to play in that pain?
    Even more than that , Why would Sveum play him, knowing he is hurting that bad?
    Kind of a “catch 22″.
    He(Soriono) was moving quite well (for him) before being hit, but now it just dosent make any sense, for him playing, and for Sveum playing him.
    I am not upset with Soriono at all, just feel his pain, and hope further damage is not going to happen.
    Not being callus here, but isn’t their an insurance policy by the Cubs that would cover Soriono’s contract if he is unable to play because of injury, and must quit the game?

    • brent carmona

      Hmm not too sure….but I guess its a good thing, maybe he will retire too? But he has too much pride so its probably a bad thing since he will play and won’t increase his trade value. Hard to say which way he will go…

  • John_CC

    Wells was good.  Cardenas hit the ball hard, finally…er…

    That’s all I got.

  • daverj

    Um … wasn’t it just 2 weeks ago that most Cub fans were so excited about this team and it’s recent winning streak?  And just four weeks ago that most Cub fans were down like they are now?

    This is going to be a long rebuilding process, but I still see positive signs.  Best not to get caught up in the highs and lows over the next couple years.  There will be many more lows than highs this season, but hopefully that will start to change.

    Wins and losses this year are meaningless.  What matters is whether Castro, Rizzo, and the other prospects/young players show signs of development over the course of the season.  What matters is whether the Cubs resign Garza and/or sign a couple top free agent pitchers in the offseason.

    I want a World Series title … right now, whether or not we get swept by Houston or lose 100 or more games this year is irrelevant to the goal.

    • BosephHeyden

       I’m more down on this team because I don’t know if I see any signs.  Castro will be a great shortstop, for certain.  Tony Campana has emerged as a very capable choice for a top-of-the-lineup speedster. 

      Outside of that…we have Rizzo and Brett Jackson ready to come up whenever, and bringing up Rizzo moves LaHair to the outfield, giving us an outfield until LaHair proves incapable of hitting or Matt Sczur emerges as the player we all think him capable of at the Triple A level.  Catcher became a question mark the second all of them got hurt (btw, whoever is in charge of conditioning at the catcher position should be fired, because losing two catchers is bad luck, but three is too coincidental to be that).  Our third base prospect seems to be perpetually stuck at a batting average around .250 while our stopgap is doing moderately worse than that.  And we have more good prospects for second that we do for pitching (which, as of right now, seems we have all of three).

      Like I mentioned when Theo officially took over:  he can build up a farm system all he wants, which is great for depth, but he’s got three years to turn this team into a perennial contender, because that’s all it should take.  They can talk about using that payroll money to sign foreign prospects all they want, but from what I’ve seen, they’re mostly overpriced and underperforming.  The really good teams go after the best free agents available at positions they need and supplementing that talent with homegrown guys.  That’s what we need to be, because if we’re in “full rebuild”, well, we’ve seen how well that’s worked for the Pirates, and they’ve traded away a greater amount of better guys than we’ve produced.

    • paulcatanese

      As a fan of the Cubs, for many years(too many to count) I am not pinning any hope of a World Series in my lifetime.
      What I would like is a competitive team, one that is a solid above .500 team, year in and out. Thats enjoyable. If they win and get into the playoffs , fine, I’ll take what happens from there.

      I’m not down on these guys and realize re-building is a process. But there is where I want to see improvement.
      Solid, positive moves that make sense and not just stop-gap moves.

      Its ok for me if they lose as long as development can be on a steady pace.They can develop players on the major league level, but fans have to be prepared for the losse’s that will occur while doing so. The trick here is to have the player build confidence at this level and have them understand that it’s a learning process.

      Fans must understand this process and be willing to accept it.
      Whats wrong with going to the ballpark on a sunny day and watching the kids,or whatever, play their heads off, win or lose?

      If the Cubs bring someone up that has legitimate talent, play him and help him develop.
      A classic example is Rizzo,they are hesitant to bring him up because of control issues or its too soon, he needs more confidence, thats bunk. If they know he has the talent, develop it here at the Major League level, not give him a false sense of security at the AAA level.

      Let these 35-36 yr olds play for someone else and sink or swim with them for the future and not the past for a few meaninless wins.

      • Chadaudio

        My thoughts exactly Paul. 

      • cubtex

        I agree Paul. How fun is it to watch that lineup they threw out there a couple of days ago? Reed Johnson leading off….Jeff Baker in RF……Koyie Hill catching. I am like you….I want to see a competitive team. This thinking that……We do not want to be a playoff team UNTIL we are capable of winning a world series is ludicrous. They will lose fans who will not come back. They lied to the fan base trying saying  that this team will be highly competitive.

    • paulcatanese

      I think we both said the same thing only different:)

  • brent carmona

    Pj francescon with a solid outing, 7ip 5ks 4ER

    Hayden Simpson came on and didn’t have much of anything, 3 hits, a walk, a HBP (didnt hear velocity)

    Matt szczur 2-4 with a clutch RBI double on an 0-2 count late in game to make it closer. Also stole his 19th base.

    Bored @ work so will finish listening to the game..

    • paulcatanese

      Hey, saw you’re picture, ever consider using the hat to catch the ball:) All kidding aside, that is one that is great to frame, will look good on the wall.

  • John_CC

    Steve Rosenbloom left his emotions and self righteousness at home this morning and wrote a sensible column!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/rosenblog/chi-cubs-should-leave-rizzo-in-iowa-20120522,0,2870903.column

  • Aaron

    Someone posted on here that LaHair is struggling, because nobody is behind him to protect him, so they’re not giving him anything to hit. Thus, he’s expanding his strike zone. Early in the year, he was taking close pitches, but now he’s swinging at just about everything. 

    The only way they start pitching to him again is if Soriano and Stewart start hitting more consistently.

    LaHair is the ONLY legitimate power threat the Cubs have right now. Nobody else puts fear in the other team. I believe just about all of LaHair’s home runs this year have either tied the game or put the Cubs on top. Here are some numbers for everyone to ponder:

    153 runs-14th in NL
    29 home runs-13th in NL
    113 walks-14th in NL
    .245 avg-10th in NL
    .306 OBP-13th in NL
    .375 SLG-12th in NL
    .680 OPS-14th in NL
    4.27 ERA-13th in NL
    6 saves…SIX!!!!!!!!!!!!-last (16th in NL)
    194 runs allowed-13th in NL
    K’s for pitching staff-14th in NL

    In other words, in every major statistical category, the Cubs rank at the bottom of the league. This record should shock NOBODY…in fact, there is very good reason to assume that the Cubs will break the 100 loss barrier this year.

    Are reinforcements on the way?

    Let’s take a look and see….

    CATCHING-Castillo and Clevenger should be coming back from injury soon, otherwise only Juan Apodaca is worth a look at .289/.439/.356
    *Call-up? 0% (unless injury to Hill and Lalli)

    1B-Rizzo: .344/.413/.681, 14 hr, 39 RBI, 17 walks, 34 K’s
    *Call-up? 100% chance

    MIDDLE IF-Valbuena: .299/.380/.433, 4 hr, 16 RBI, 18 walks, 34 K’s
    *Call-up? 75% chance

    3B-Vitters: .248/.296/.397, 4 hr, 19 RBI, 9 walks, 28 K’s
    *Call-up? 0% chance

    OF-B. Jackson: .228/.324/.430, 4 hr, 13 RBI, 21 walks, 58 K’s
    *Call-up? 25% chance, and outside of him, there is NOBODY even close to MLB-ready

    STARTING PITCHERS-
    Rusin: 4-3, 3.02 ERA/1.08 WHIP, 9 games, 53 IP, 43 hits, 15 walks, 32 K’s
    De la Cruz: 1-1, 2.57 ERA/1.26 WHIP, 4 starts, 35 IP, 28 hits, 16 walks, 13 K’s
    *Remember, Team Theo only wants AAA guys, because that’s the “finishing off” place for them. So, outside of Batista (has AAA experience this year) and Rhoderick (who might be the only exception they’d make if necessary), nobody else will even remotely be considered, including offensive talent. I also left out T. Wood (already recalled), Volstad (just optioned), and Lopez (removed already from 40-man). I’m also not including Wells who was just recalled for long-man duty.

    RELIEF PITCHERS-
    Mateo: No stats yet. AzPhil is reporting that he is at EXST, and looks decent. The thought process is he would move immediately to Chicago to bolster the pen
    Beliveau: 3.00 ERA/1.14 WHIP, 16 games, 21 IP, 15 hits, 9 walks, 23 K’s
    Batista: 2.76 ERA (combined stats AA-0.00 ERA in 8 games and AAA-5.87 ERA in 6 games), 14 games, 16 IP, 14 hits, 7 walks, 14 K’s
    Rhoderick: 1.00 ERA, 14 games, 18 IP, 8 hits, 5 walks, 20 K’s
    *I am leaving out Maine, whom the Cubs have clearly soured on, though it’s not completely unlikely they’d recall him later in the year, especially due to injury in the pen.

    With Reggie Golden out for the year now with a torn ACL, and no power hitters outside of Rizzo even remotely close to contributing at the MLB level, in addition to no power pitchers outside of McNutt who can’t get past the 4th or 5th inning it seems, I fully expect the Cubs to take power hitters (college or high school) and power pitchers (college primarily) early in the draft.

    I will have a draft preview soon, but here are some names to consider…

    OFFENSE:
    Michael Zunino-C
    Byron Buxton-OF
    Carlos Correa-SS
    Albert Almora-OF
    Courtney Hawkins-OF
    Richie Shaffer-3B
    Devin Marrero-SS
    Gavin Cechinni-SS
    David Dahl-OF
    Stephen Piscotty-3B
    Travis Janikowski-OF
    Nolan Fontana-SS
    Addison Russell-SS
    Trey Williams-3B
    Tyler Naquin-OF
    Adam Walker-1B
    Jesse Winker-OF
    Victor Roache-OF *my personal favorite, but due to injury, probably will be a supplemental or 2nd round pick
    James Ramsey-OF
    Dane Phillips-C
    Peter O’Brien-C
    Rio Ruiz-3B
    Patrick Wisdom-3B
    Tom Murphy-C
    Joey Gallo-1B
    Josh Elander-C
    Jesmuel Diaz-SS
    Alex Bregman-SS
    Avery Romero-3B
    Brandon Thomas-OF
    Tanner Rahier-SS

    PITCHERS:
    Mark Appel
    Kyle Zimmer
    Kevin Gausman
    Marcus Stroman
    Lucas Giolito
    Max Fried
    Andrew Heaney
    Michael Wacha
    Zach Eflin
    Lance McCullers
    Ty Hensley
    Chris Beck
    Taylore Cherry
    Chris Stratton
    Matthew Smoral
    Austin Maddox
    Pierce Johnson
    Clate Schmidt
    Martin Agosta
    Walter Weickel
    Nick Travieso
    Pat Light
    Mitchell Traver
    Adrian Sampson
    Lucas Sims
    Hunter Virant
    AJ Vanegas
    Jake Barrett
    Nolan Sanburn
    Branden Kline

    *I included these names as a reference point to look for between the 1st and through the supplemental first round. After that, it’s pretty much a crapshoot.

    Again, I’ll have more of an in-depth analysis as we get closer to the draft, but my favorites are as follows:
    HITTERS…
    Correa
    Almora
    Shaffer
    Dahl
    Roache
    Gallo
    *If Roache and Gallo are left over in the supplemental round, I would hope the Cubs would jump as quickly as possible to snag them

    PITCHERS…
    Zimmer
    Gausman
    Giolito
    Fried
    McCullers
    Sims

    Unfortunately, you never know how things might play out, and like I said it’s a crapshoot, but it’s even more of a crapshoot after the supplemental rounds, as you just never know the direction teams might go. In general though, this draft is unlike any other, because the playing field has been leveled. Therefore, college seniors with no leverage will most likely be taken in the 15th-20th rounds and later with a huge run on them from that point on. Since we now have a slotting system, high school draftees will be selected early on, along with college juniors…which was actually the case in year’s past, except the fact that some college juniors and high school guys were taken in the later rounds, then signed to over-slot bonuses with the scouting practice of “draft and follow” usually undertaken.

    • Christian2334

      Aaron I love your breakdown of the draft and can’t wait to read your predraft analysis coming soon. Unfortunately I think zunino will be going in the top 5 or top 3 picks. I really do like Correa, but most scouts feel he will be shifting to 3B and with us having Baez projecting at 3rd and doing very well at EXST right now I don’t feel he is the pick either. My top 3 picks for us in the 1st round are Almora because of he is being given the label of a 5 tool player, he doesn’t have amazing speed on the base paths, but hits for a great average, power, and has a great are and defense. Next would be Giolito bc a lot of scouts feel he is the best prep pitcher who is very polisheld(or fried, I’ve read the cubs are very high on him), and last would be gausman.

      I, like you, love victor roache! I think he has amazing talent and ceiling nd pray that if he is available in the supplemental 1st we jump all over him! Unfortunately, like Zunino, from mocks I’ve read, a lot of experts feel he may go in the early 20s to late 20s of the 1st round. I would love for the cubs to draft Almora in the 1st and Roache in the supp 1st. I feel that would be a great way to kick off the draft!

      Thoughts??

      • Aaron

        I know Zunino and Appel…and even Zimmer likely will not fall to the Cubs, but I just thought I’d list them.

        I do feel the same way you do about Correa, however, you HAVE to take the best player available, and if pitchers like Giolito and Gausman are off the board, then you almost have to take him, as he’s rated as one of the better pure hitters in the draft.

        Roache might just fall to the supplemental round due to his wrist injury. I doubt teams would want to spend a first round pick on a power hitter coming off a wrist injury…but I could be wrong. If he’s available in supplemental or 2nd round, I would be VERY upset if the Cubs didn’t choose him.

        Again, the biggest needs in the Cubs organization are power pitchers and power hitters.

        There’s a good chance if they choose a hitter in the 1st round, they’d look to go pitcher with their first pick in the supplemental, in which case I would be fine with them not picking Roache there, thus hoping he’d fall to the 2nd pick of the supplemental round for the Cubs.

    • Christian2334
  • cubtex

    Does anyone else feel as if Sveum will not make a move without clearing it with Theo first? He named his starting rotation on mlb radio and then backtracked the next day. He said he was going to shake up the lineup and then did nothing. He makes extremely questionable decisions during games. He is either way over his head(which is possible) or is the ultimate puppet manager who is being re-assured that wins are not important and don’t worry….you will still have a job. Sveum is making Quade look like Tony LaRussa compared to him.

    • John_CC

       Ha! That’s hilarious. It’s official, cubtex would rather have Quade and Hendry back!  Good for you man, you’ve gone over the edge into the hyperbole abyss.

      • cubtex

        If you think Sveum is a good manager…..You are so out of touch from reality! I swear he is trying to lose! I don’t think anyone can be that stupid! As my man Ron White would say……You can’t fix stupid :)

        • BosephHeyden

           I’m not a big fan of Sveum’s inaction with the pieces of his lineup he can do something about right now, but Quade was awful.  He was an awful third base coach who got his job because Jim Hendry didn’t want to be challenged and knew his time was likely coming to a close.

          • cubtex

            I thought Quade was one of the worst managers that I have seen….so what does that tell you what I think about Sveum?

        • John_CC

           Case in point.

          • cubtex

            I won’t respond back to that idiotic comment…but state your case smart guy. Give me some examples on how Sveum is one of the better managers in the league. Look at his record with Milwaukee. Look at his record so far with the Cubs. Look at the sacrifice bunts by the pitchers(great idea to waste all that time on the bunting tournament) Are the hitters getting more walks this year? Are they striking out less? Is he putting players in situation to succeed or fail? Go ahead…..fire away!

          • John_CC

             Which idiotic comment is your response not responding to? 

            I never made a claim about Sveum.  My comment was about the ridiculous level of hyperbole, look it up, smart guy.

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hyperbole

            Four decades later we’re all blabbermouths, adrift on a sea of hyperbole, shouting to be heard. —Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 1 Apr. 2002

          • cubtex

            Case in point 

          • John_CC

            Good one.

    • DWalker

      I think front office management is huge part of it, but Sveum is damned no matter what he does. Short of divine intervention, this club doesn’t have the tools to consistantly win. Anything he does is reorginizing deck chairs right now. Which means from the front office perspective, individual wins can and will be sacrificed to build long term value or prove the lack of to the ownership.

       Sveums bullpen management for instance was all about making sure the weakest, high paid arms were given every chance to succeed. Looking at it from a win the game perspective, a lot of his calls were horribly dumb. Looking at it from the long term, try and build value, get over the slump/rehab perspective they made a lot more sense. That includes not having another pitcher warming up when a proven flop like marmol walked to the mound, just to take the nerves of KNOWING you are expected to fail off him.  I have no doubt if Sveum had his way, Marmol and Wood would have both had recovory stints in AAA to get their heads on, especialy Marmol refusing to throw a fastball or a strike as a closer, or at least an earlier demotion. I have no doubt we would have seen more pitchers moving between AAA and the bigs if he had his way, but from a front office perspective, that isn’t the optimum in a rebuild year trying to find value or trade peices.

      Same way with a lot of the other struggling veterns on the list, everyone knows they are bad. Everyone including Sveum and Theo/Jed knows Sori can’t play at the level he was signed for. The question isn’t are they bad; its just how bad are they, can they salvage anything from them, and are they blocking anyone that can be used? They are going to keep playing them though because they will either wear out, prove beyond a doubt its not a spring slump or get better. Personally, I have little doubt that a lot of that money that wasn’t spent on salary this year is going to be spent on buyouts. But they want to be absolutly sure when the go to Ricketts and say we are buying out this player to open a slot on the 25 man, that there is no doubt its the last, best and only option.

       Sveums not looking great by any means, but at least I can understand most of his moves long term (all the bunting is one I can’t get my head around though), even if I don’t agree with them as moves to win individual games. He has a lot of learning to do still; but he has very little to work with, what he does have is problematic as well. so he’s expermenting, feeling out his guys and more importantly figuring out how opposing teams think and react. He is trying things now when they don’t matter, knowing that he is going to take heat for it, but prefering to do it now rather then in a year or two.

       I really like a few things that I see him doing. Defense shifts for instance. Its making marginal defensive players look pretty good, and its keeping a lot of games a lot closer then the offense has any ability to do. More aggressive base running is another. I hate that he was using Tony C as a sacrifice bunter so much there for a while to move DJ up a base, but overall the concept of manufacturing runs is what this team needs to be able to do. Watching Tony bat lately, I am starting to fall more into letting him lead of and let DJ work the plate as #2. I actually had the idea of switching Stewert for Castro, as he seems to be getting better at taking pitches and Castro struggles with that concept, even though its makes 1-4 lefties. I know Its a shame there just isn’t more threats in the lineup to string more of those singles into runs even when Castro or Campana steals into scoring position.

      This latest lineup deal, I can understand shaking up the lineup to try and get out of a slump. The bad thing is, no matter what combination you come up with with this lineup, it pretty well sucks. Sveum is damned either way.

      • cubtex

        I hear what you are saying. The cards he was dealt is pathetic…but his game management skills are so poor that it is like he is trying to lose. The other day…Soriano gets a base hit and drives in the lead run in the bottom of the 7th. He doesn’t take Soriano out of left field for defense and the leadoff batter gets a double past Soriano. He never had Russell up to face Adam LaRoche several times earlier in the year. Have you ever felt Sveum outmanaged any team this year? Do the Cubs win a lot of 1 run games late? He has pushed the wrong buttons continually all year. Quade was terrible and I didn’t think they could go backwards…but they did.

  • John_CC

    Good to see Clevenger got a couple ABs and a hit.  

  • CubsTalk

    Once end of July comes around, most of you will want LaHair and Garza out of town.   I do not see the Cubs winning with these players.  The Cubs can build a team from them.  If Garza & LaHair are so great, why did their former teams let them go? 

    The only player on this team to build on, is Starlin Castro. 

    This Cubs team is in the “Dark Ages” as an organization. Theo came into a mess.  Theo had something to build on in Boston.  But here, we have to tear down, wipe out any clubhouse cancer and rebuild.   Not only players are involved, but scouts and coaches. 

    I am not saying we trade players for unknown prospects.  We trade for top prospects who are near ready for the MLB.  Garza fits that bill of getting two or more players that can fill in holes with this club. 

    The trade market will change over the weeks.  Teams will have a need to compete.  The Cubs are not in a competing mode this year.  We are in a rebuilding mode.

    Relax, watch more crummy Cubs baseball.  Theo & Dale will make players learn that it is their way or the highway.  If it takes to lose over 100 games to change this franchise attitude, then let it happen.  All will be forgotten when the Cubs win a World Series.  It will take time.  Theo told all of you that in the beginning.   Cubs will make plenty of money once they have their own TV network, similar to the Yankees.  Then money can be spent on free agents.  Meanwhile, the Cubs will go through the draft to build this team up.  

    Signing Garza to a $16 million per year contract for five years will not help this club.  Did giving $18 million to Zambrano help us?  What about Soriano?  

    Go Cubs

    • cc002600

       Let me ask you a simple question.  If you think they should just trade every good player they have for 23 Y/O prospects, what is your expectation on when this team will win ?  

      Because if you think that would happen in the next 5 years, please call me, b/c I have a bridge to sell you.

      AND if your answer is 2014 or 2015, please tell me with what are they going to win with ??  Matt Szczur  ??  Junior Lake ??
      Trey McNutt ??

      Do you understand that they have almost NOTHING at the AA or AAA  ????

      Players at A or below are 4 to 5 years away.

      Please.

       

      • CubsTalk

        The Cubs won’t win now of what they have.

        What is your solution?   Who do you want in the upcoming free agents?

        Major free agents want to go with teams ready to win.   Cubs are not in that position.

        It is really up to Garza if he is willing to sign less to stay with the Cubs.  I doubt if he will do that. 

        Only “A’ player who will be ready for the majors in a short period of time will be Baez.

  • John G

    The weather is great. Get outside and enjoy the Summer. Cook something on the grill. Work in the garden. Don’t waste the good times by watching the Cubs this year. Follow them, keeping in mind that there is a plan in place, but don’t get your panties in a wad because they’re losing or not bringing up the next Babe Ruth from the minors. There are much better things to do than sitting in front of the TV watching them lose and getting an ulcer or kicking the dog. The old expression goes like this. “The mill grinds slowly, but it grinds fine.” Our day will come. Maybe it’s the kool-aid and/or the goggles, but I truly believe I will see it happen before I meet St. Peter. My only problem is that we’ll all forget the words to “Go Cubs Go”.

    • Texcubnut

      Good post and great perspective, John. Advice heard and taken.

    • cc002600

       Well said
      :-)