Another Bad Inning … Another Bad Outing – Cubs 2, Brewers 8

Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 2, Brewers 8
WP – Shaun Marcum (2-1) LP – Chris Volstad (0-5) Save – None

After putting together one of their better homestands in a couple of seasons, the Cubs felt pretty good before they began the three-game series Friday night against the Brewers. Twenty-two innings later, the Cubs lost for the second time on Saturday at Miller Park and dropped their tenth in a row at the Brewers’ home park.

Chris Volstad was very solid for five innings at Miller Park on Saturday afternoon but once again Volstad completed six innings of work … and it was the sixth inning that was Volstad’s undoing.

The game was tied at one entering the bottom of the sixth. The Brewers proceeded to put up five runs with the biggest blow coming off the bat of Edwin Maysonet. The career minor leaguer hit the first grand slam of his big league career and just his second Major League home run off Volstad after he intentionally walked Travis Ishikawa to load the bases. The Cubs’ bad defense gave the Brewers an extra out in the sixth, Milwaukee took full advantage and put the game away.

Chris Volstad was shaky, but effective in the first five innings on a day his team needed him to step up. Volstad allowed one run in the first five on 62 pitches, 40 for strikes. Volstad hit the mental wall in the sixth and surrendered the five runs on 37 pitches, 23 for strikes. Chris Volstad allowed six runs, all earned, on nine hits with two walks and one strikeout in six innings.

Casey Coleman kept the Brewers off the board in seventh but the Brewers took batting practice off Coleman in the eighth and turned an ugly game into an embarrassment. Coleman allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and no strikeouts in his two innings of work. Coleman threw 46 pitches, 28 for strikes.

The Cubs offense was non existent against Shaun Marcum. Marcum improved to 4-0 in four career starts against the Cubs by allowing one run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. The Cubs managed only one hit after the first and the only run scored when Starlin Castro (0-for-4) grounded into a 5-4-3 double play in the first inning.

Adrian Cardenas (1-for-1 with a double and a run scored) doubled to start the eighth, his first big league hit. Tony Campana (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Cardenas with the Cubs second run.

The Cubs looked tired Saturday afternoon and for one of the few times this season they looked defeated after Chris Volstad was slammed in the sixth.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 13-20 on the season …

With the roof open for the second game in a row, David DeJesus started the game with a double past Braun into left center. Tony Campana dropped a perfect bunt toward Ramirez on the first pitch. Ramirez fielded the ball but never made a throw. DeJesus advanced to third on the play.

Starlin Castro put the ball in play but it was a poor at bat. Castro tried to pull a 0-1 pitch on the outside part of the plate. Instead of driving the ball to right, Castro rolled over and pulled the pitch to third. Aramis Ramirez started the around the horn double play. DeJesus scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Bryan LaHair struck out swinging to end the inning.

Chris Volstad made another two-strike mistake to start his outing Saturday. Nyjer Morgan fell behind 1-2 before he ripped a pitch past Soriano in left for a double … it was Morgan’s first extra basehit of the season. Jonathan Lucroy flied out to right on a 1-2 pitch. Morgan tagged and advanced to third.

Volstad hit Ryan Braun with the first pitch … second consecutive at bat Braun was hit by Cubs’ pitching (Lendy Castillo hit Braun in the back in the 13th inning of Friday’s game). Aramis Ramirez popped Volstad’s first pitch to LaHair for the second out.

The Cubs then allowed the Brewers to tie the game. Volstad did the old third to first move, Major League Baseball is actually discussing banning the move. Braun broke for second and Volstad actually had him picked off. But instead of forcing the play, Volstad allowed the Brewers to dictate the play. The Cubs paid attention to Morgan, who eventually broke from home and scored the tying run. Volstad should have run at Braun, forced him to make a decision and try to get the out before the speedy Morgan scored. The Cubs eventually tagged out Braun to end the inning (1-3-4).

Chris Volstad threw 10 pitches in the first, seven for strikes.

Shaun Marcum hit Alfonso Soriano with his first pitch of the second inning. Marcum retaliated for Braun, both benches were warned and Marcum went back to work. Ian Stewart hit a weak grounder to first (2-2 pitch) that advanced Soriano to second. After the struggling Geovany Soto fouled out to Ramirez, Marcum walked Darwin Barney on four pitches. With runners on first and second, Chris Volstad looked at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Travis Ishikawa reached on a one-out double in the second, another two-strike mistake by Volstad. Edwin Maysonet walked to put runners on first and second for Cesar Izturis. Izturis hit Volstad’s first pitch back up the middle. Darwin Barney charged, fielded, stepped on second and threw to LaHair to complete the 4-3 double play. Volstad tossed 25 pitches in two innings, 15 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third … Marcum threw 43 pitches in first three innings, 26 for strikes.

Volstad threw the ball a little better in the third. Marcum struck out swinging (0-2 pitch) to start the inning. Nyjer Morgan grounded out to first (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Volstad made another two-strike mistake to Lucroy. The Brewers’ catcher blooped a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Volstad then fell behind Braun 3-0. After getting one over, Braun grounded out to Castro to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair (looking) and Alfonso Soriano (swinging) struck out to start the fourth. Marcum retired six in a row before issuing a two-out walk to Ian Stewart (3-2 pitch) … the Cubs got the call on a check swing. Geovany Soto looked at a 3-1 pitch for strike two then hit a sinking liner toward third that Aramis Ramirez caught to end the inning … 65 pitches for Marcum after four, 38 for strikes.

Chris Volstad put together his best inning and retired the Brewers in order (Ramirez, Hart and Ishikawa) in the fourth. Volstad threw 53 pitches in the first four innings, 33 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … 1-2-3 for Marcum on 11 pitches (76 total, 48 for strikes).

Volstad threw the ball well in the fifth against the bottom of the Brewers’ lineup. Edwin Maysonet led off with an infield single to the hole at short. Cesar Izturis hit a 1-2 pitch toward first. LaHair fielded and threw to Castro at second but the Cubs could not complete the 3-6-3 double play. With Izturis at first, Shaun Marcum popped up the bunt attempt to Soto in foul ground. Nyjer Morgan popped out to Castro on the first pitch to end the inning … 62 pitches for Volstad after five, 40 for strikes.

After Tony Campana (ground out to second) and Starlin Castro (pop out to right) made two routine outs to start the sixth, Bryan LaHair singled to left on a 2-2 pitch. LaHair’s hit was the first for the Cubs since Campana’s bunt single in the first and extended his on base streak to 29 games. Alfonso Soriano looked at a 3-2 fastball to end the inning.

The Brewers finally got to Volstad in the sixth. Jonathan Lucroy ripped a double off the wall in right on a 3-2 pitch. Braun singled to right, Lucroy held at third with no outs. Aramis Ramirez hit a grounder to the hole at short. Castro fielded and threw to Barney with Braun barreling down on him. Barney rushed his throw and it was off line (homeplate side of the bag). Ramirez reached on the mistake as Lucroy scored the go ahead run.

Corey Hart smoked a 1-1 pitch off the base of the wall in left. Ramirez held at third on Hart’s double. Volstad intentionally walked Travis Ishikawa to load the bases.

Edwin Maysonet lifted a 0-1 pitch high over the wall in left … and just like that the Brewers took a 6-1 lead and ended the game. Volstad retired Izturis, gave up a single to Shaun Marcum then ended the nightmare of an inning by retiring Morgan on a fly out to center.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh … and for one of the few times this season looked defeated.

Casey Coleman, who left Fresno on a 4:45am local time flight, arrived during the game and made his 2012 debut in the seventh. Adrian Cardenas took over for Barney at second on a double switch. Coleman retired Lucroy and Braun to start the inning. Aramis Ramirez dropped a single in front of the hobbling Soriano in left. Corey Hart grounded out to short for the third out.

Adrian Cardenas led off the eighth and notched the first hit of his big league career. Cardenas ripped a 0-1 pitch into right center off Jose Veras. DeJesus struck out swinging but Tony Campana slapped a 0-2 pitch down the left field line. Cardenas scored the Cubs’ second run on Campana’s double. Castro hit a weak grounder to short for the second out as Campana advanced to third.

Travis Ishikawa led off the eighth with a double to right center (1-2 pitch). Maysonet popped out to Cardenas near the second base bag. Coleman gave up a single to Izturis that advanced Ishikawa to third.

Ron Roenicke called for a safety squeeze and the Brewers’ pulled off their third squeeze of the season against the Cubs. Norichika Aoki dropped a 1-1 pitch from Coleman down, the Cubs pitcher fielded as Ishikawa scored the Brewers’ seventh run. Coleman walked Morgan to put runners on first and second with two out.

Jonathan Lucroy proved once again how valuable it is to have a catcher that can hit and drive in runs. Lucroy singled to center (2-1 pitch) and drove in Izturis with the Brewers’ eighth and final run. Braun grounded out to the hole at short to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the ninth … game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Marco Estrada in the finale of the three game series on Sunday afternoon.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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  • matthew8510

    does volsted have options we need to send him down asap he isnt helping us or have colman take his spot and put volsted in pen till marmal gets back and send him down

    • Zonk

      Mentioned on last thread, Volstad has option, but would have to clear optional assignment waiver.

      If a player is placed on optional assingment waiver, another team can claim him and pay the full value of the contract.  If nobody claims him, the player also has the option of walking away from the contract and becoming a free agent.

      It basically comes down to whether the player is underpaid or overpaid for performance.  Volstad, at $2.6 mil, as Neil said, would now almost certainly clear waivers.  He probably would not have in April; someone would have claimed him.  Volstad would also be foolish to tear up that contract, and he won’t.

      Randy Wells has nearly identical salary, and cleared waivers recently. 

      • Zonk

        PS:  By comparison, Matt Garza was in the same status in April in terms of service time, and theoretically could have been put on optional assignment waivers.  Of course, because he is more valuable than his contract, he would have been claimed in 2 seconds, if the for whatever reason he was optioned.

        I misspoke earlier; once a player has 5 years service time, then need to clear optional assignment waivers AND must give their permission; an example of this is DeJesus, who has options left too.  But realistically, you can’t option veterans with more than 5 years service.

        • Tony_Hall

          Not sure that Dejesus has options left. Once you are a FA and have a contract, I believe there is no more options.

          • Dorasaga

            It depends on the player’s service years. If still under team control for 6 years since first registered under the 25-man roster, and at least one of the 3 options not used within that 6 years, then even if the player was DFA or waivered, resigned by another team or the same team that did so, the team may exercise that option.

            The Cubs had a LOOGY veteran signed from the White Sox in recent years, and to everyone’s surprise, got an option left.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is info on on the veteran waiver consent and options.  I don’t see anyway that a player who has reached FA (6 years) can have options left.   It actually says 5 years of service time, still needs his consent.

            Veterans’ consent

            If a player has 5 years of major-league service, he may not be assigned to a minor-league team without his consent, regardless of whether he has already been outrighted once, even if he clears waivers.

            If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster.

            In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract.

            If he is released and signs with a new team, his previous team must pay the difference in salary between the two contracts if the previous contract called for a greater salary.

            Here is the options rules.

            Options

            If a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the active major league roster, he is said to be on optional assignment—his organization may freely move him between the major league club and the minor league club.

            The rules for this are as follows. (In all cases, an assignment of a player on a major-league disabled list to the minors while on a rehabilitation assignment does not count as time spent in the minors.)Once a player has been placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a team has 3 options on that player.

            A player is considered to have used one of those three options when he spends at least 20 days in the minors in any of those 3 seasons.

            A team may have a fourth option on a player with less than five full seasons of professional experience, provided that both conditions are met below.

            A player has not spent at least 90 days on an active professional roster in a season.

            Minor leagues that play below Class A Advanced have seasons that are shorter than 90 days, and as such, any player who spends a full season in a rookie or Class A (short-season) league will receive a fourth option year.

            A player has not spent at least 60 days on an active professional roster AND then at least 30 days on a disabled list in a season. Only after 60 days have been spent on an active professional roster does time spent on the disabled list count towards the 90-day threshold.

            As with the prior example, this cannot occur with players who spend a full season in a rookie or Class A (short season) league.

            Once all of the options have been used up on a player, a player is considered “out of options” and a player must be placed on and clear waivers prior to being sent down to the minor leagues (there is also the “veterans’ consent rule; see below).(actually above)

          • Dorasaga

            I don’t think I was addressing the “player’s consent” part, but rather, whether a player still got an option or not, under peculiar circumstances not a 6-yr.FA.

            A player can reach FA without 6 years of service time on a ML roster. One is to be a minor league FA after 7 years. Another is among one of the as-you-listed, outright released (I’m not sure if this is the full technical term, but we’ve heard “release” enough). Though if signed with another team, the player did not FA enroute the common 6-yrs service time, so the option rule still applies.

            I hope I’m not creating confusion while the DFA plus waiver plus release are more than confusing…

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes, under 6 years of MLB service time, players who are released and picked up by another team can still have options.  Veteran consent still applies to players between 5-6 years of service time.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria  - PJ Francescon (3-1, 2.49)
    Daytona – Eric Jokisch (2-3, 3.30)
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (4-2, 3.49)
    Iowa – To Be Announced

    Daytona’s game with Charlotte on Friday was cancelled due to weather. Daytona had been leading 6-0 in the second inning. The game will not be replayed, as the two teams will not face each other again in the first half of the season.

    Iowa’s scheduled starter was Casey Coleman, however he was recalled to Chicago. The options include moving Chris Rusin up a day in the rotation; spot starting either Frankie De La Cruz or Jay Jackson; or calling up a pitcher.

    De LaCruz pitched 3 innings two days ago, while Jackson tossed 1.2 innings last night. After last night’s rain out, Austin Kirk might have been an option if the game were in Des Moines. However, the logistics of going from Daytona to Sacramento are too great. Tennessee could send Ryan Searle or Jeffry Antigua, but that too would be quite a haul. The only options in Arizona are Robert Whitenack, Matt Spencer, Graham Hicks, Zach Rosscup, and Starling Peralta.

    Spencer has experience at Triple-A, but as an outfielder, and is just making the conversion to pitcher. Whitenack, Hicks, and Rosscup are all rehabbing injuries. The only pitcher remotely ready is Peralta, who hasn’t pitched higher than Peoria. Stay tuned.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Scott Maine, 2012 stats for the Cubs:5.2 IP….1 ER….1 H….2 BB…..10 K….1.59 ERA

    Maine is a LHP and we do not have enough LHP in our bullpen.

    So whatdayathink? Who is more effective?
    Lendy Castillo or Scott Maine?
    Ans: Maine.

    So why is Maine in the minors and Castillo here?

    Casey Coleman or Scott Maine?
    Ans: Maine.

    So why is Coleman here and Maine in the minors?

    Mike Bowden or Scott Maine?
    Ans: Maine.

    So why is Maine in the minors and Bowden on the ML roster?

    Scott Maine or the beloved Kerry Wood?
    Ans: Maine.

    Scott Maine or Carlos Marmol?
    Ans: Maine.

    So somebody please tell me why Scott Maine is in the minor leagues.

    Otherwise I might reach the conclusion that it is the roster management of Team Theo, and of course, that answer isn’t acceptable to ……

    • cubtex

      Have you ever seen such a bad bullpen? Bowden and Castillo should both not be in the mlb. You can understand why Castillo is because he has to or we lose him…..but they cannot afford that luxury to waste a roster spot any longer.

      • Ripsnorter1

        So, Bowden is on the ML roster to save face over the Byrd trade? Or we might lose him if we try to DFA him like the BoSox did?

        They could have called Maine up “due to injury.” He should have never been sent down to begin with.

        • Dorasaga

          On Bowden, I want to see him three more appearances, under different situations, before I can make a decision of his whereabouts. I wonder what Swammy thinks here…

          • Ripsnorter1

            You wonder what “Swammy” thinks? Is Swammy a nickname? If so I don’t want to use it.

            I’ll tell you what he thinks: he thinks he is a poor pitcher because he doesn’t trust him to come into the game when the game is on the line. He has just sat in the bullpen most of the time, like Lendy Castillo.

            That’ll tell you all you need to know.

          • Dorasaga

            Yeah, we on CCO had a discussion about an alternative name (easier to pronounce) for Sveum a few posts back. Well, at least that was either March or April.

            Bowden had come in to eat innings when the team was behind, but also in high leverage situations, as well as when the Cubs was in lead. That told you how little Sveum is showing us about Bowden’s value, but that’s an observation from my part.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Have I ever seen such a bad bullpen? Let’s see, I think in 2010 with Arizona Diamondbacks had the 4th worst bullpen in MLB history. If not 2010, it was 2009. 

        In other words, yeah, I have.

    • cubtex

      Give Blake Parker a shot as well. He had good numbers in AAA last year. He’s got to be better than Bowden.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      From the way I understand it, Maine, Baker and Garza were the three players hit hardest by the flu. Maybe he is still not 100% yet, you saw Garza last night. Maine was sent down on May 3 and can be recalled Monday.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I was totally unaware that Maine had been sick. And there is no doubt that the flu will sap the strength of a man.

  • Tom U

    Frankie De La Cruz announced as I-Cubs’ starter. Expect a “bullpen day”.

  • Dorasaga

    Missed under the radar, Cardenas got his first Major League hit.

    Just watched the replay, I’m actually quite engaged by this lineup. It’ll be interesting if Swammy can plug in Cardenas at second base, move Barney to short, and start Mather at third base.

    I know this might sound Quadish, but things are different now: Castro now needs some bench time to think over his approach both at plate and on field. Everyone’s held accountable now, even ol’Fonzi; you ain’t alone.

    Watch and learn, kid. See how other “veteran minor leaguers” took their opportunities and worked their way slower than your career.
    This lineup then:

    Dejesus – leadoff, RF
    Campana – CF
    Mather – 3B
    Lahair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Barney – SS (He earned this spot.)
    Soto – C
    Cardenas – 2B
    Samardzia – pitcher

    • BosephHeyden

      Sitting Castro does nothing for the team.  All it does is sit your best player on the bench for a number of games and gives him an instant disliking for his new management, meaning that he’s that much more likely to up and leave Chicago once he’s due to hit free agency (if not demand a trade beforehand).  The only way he’s going to get better fielding is to actually play the field every day, and the only way he’s going to get better hitting is to get four or five plate appearances every day while working with the coaching staff between games to adjust his approach.

      Sitting young guys that are performing doesn’t have any benefits.  All it’s going to do is make it that much harder for the MLB to pick who the All-Star for the Cubs will be this year.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You are correct when you write that “sitting Castro does nothing for the team.”

        Well, it takes a bat out of the lineup that is hitting .328, leading the team in RBIs, and leading the team in hits. He also leads the team in SB.
        On a team that struggles to score 1 run per game, it doesn’t make much sense to bench an All-Star to play a AAA player.

        • Tom U

          Even though it is early in the season, you can run a player into the ground (and risk injury) if you don’t give him a day off now and again. Even if he is your best hitter.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yeah. That’s [Ripken] often true. You [Billy Willliams] don’t want to [Gehrig] risk an injury.

          • Tom U

            Knew you were going to go there. Was going to put it in my response. I didn’t think that a few exceptional players should set policy for everyone.

            By the way, how well did that work out for players like Ken Griffey Jr?

          • Ripsnorter1

            What constitutes an exceptional player? I mean, would your policy mean that Gehrig, Williams and Ripken would never have played that many games in a row? How would we know who is exceptional, etc?

            I am not trying to start a argument. I really took the original post to say that Castro needs to be benched, and not just have a single day off. 

          • Dorasaga

            Then you were reading mine the wrong way. One day; Castro NEEDS an occasional bench. Didn’t I mention the Shark (*nickname aware*)? That’s tomorrow (or today, depends on your time zone). I want to see how Mather and Cardenas handle their respective infield position as well.

          • Tom U

            Sorry Rip. I was tired and not feeling well, which caused me to be a little short. 

            It looks like we can all use a breather. I understood what Dorasaga meant, but maybe his choice of words were misleading. Likewise, I was trying to say that the players you mentioned are more the exception rather than the rule, and the way I was feeling got the better of me. 

            I’m going back to sleep now. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow, and there are no hard feelings.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Hard feelings? Never from me. Forgetaboutit. :-)

      • Dorasaga

        Apparently, Sveum won’t sit Castro everyday, right? like what Ripsnorter tried to convince that was my point. :-D

    • Ripsnorter1

      You want who catching? How about Castillo?

      • Dorasaga

        I’ve seen enough of his bat. I’m also aware that Soto has been calling Shark well, lately.

      • cubtex

        Castillo doesn’t look like an everyday catcher to me yet. Defensively…..he needs a lot of work!

    • RMercer69

      Barney earned this spot?

      • Dorasaga

         He’s been producing lately. He should be moved upper in the lineup as the backup shortstop while Castro has a day-off.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just watched Cashner throwing 102 MPH in Philly tonight. His changeup was running 91 mph. He has 14 BB in 15 IP, though. 

  • Tom U

    Paul Hoilman had his hitting streak stopped at 24 games.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Some interesting facts….
    Geo Soto’s slugging: .289
    Alfonso Soriano’s slugging: .296
    Ian Stewart’s slugging: .312
    Tony Campana’s slugging: .400

    Thus far this season, the best player in MLB in hitting an outside pitch is……Bryan LaHair. You NEED to read this:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/9974/lahair-takes-a-step-outside

    • Tony_Hall

      I made a previous comment about how he goes to left-center as effortlessly as anyone…nice to see some data backing it up.

      • cubtex

        I know you continually make comments about moving LaHair to LF after they bring Rizzo up. Personally, I think that would be a huge mistake. How about trading a player high for a change(unlike Byrd,unlike Z) Z they had no choice but the return they got back for those 2 were beyond brutal. It is obvious LaHair will not keep up this pace. He is currently hitting below .200 vs LHP. It is a small sample size but I would bet that it will continue. He needs to be dealt for as much as they can get for him. He is not a future outfielder so why hold him? So his average drops below .275 and they will get less for him?

        • Tony_Hall

          Do you really think a team is going to pay as if he will always hit at this level?  

          Do you really think teams can’t think like you just did?You move Lahair to LF, cut Soriano and put Rizzo at 1B.  Then if Rizzo struggles you still have Lahair to play 1B.If Lahair is a real sustainable LH middle of the order bat and Rizzo is the real, you deal with his D in LF.  Even at 29, Lahair he should have quite a few good years in him.  If Rizzo does  end up the real deal, and Lahair has a longer track record of sustained success you will get more for him than having a 2 month stint of great numbers.

          • cubtex

            If Rizzo fails? How long do you think they will play Rizzo at 1st with what they have invested in him? He will not be given a half year. So you are saying to keep LaHair for the entire year so he comes back to earth and struggle defensively in left field? Trade him. He is a 1st baseman that will have no spot on this team once Rizzo is brought up.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually never said failed, I said if Rizzo struggles.  

            I expect Rizzo to be up in late June or as soon as his FA is delayed a year. If both are successful, I don’t expect them to trade Lahair, until the OF gets crowded from younger players pushing for playing time.   

            If they do look to trade Lahair, it will be at the trade deadline, when a team will be looking for another bat for their playoff push.  But I just don’t think they are looking to trade away what few productive players they have in the lineup.

          • cubtex

            You implied that if Rizzo struggles you have LaHair to take over 1st so I consider that to be failing. I don’t consider to be LaHair apart of a future outfield(in fact he will be worse than Soriano defensively imo) You are always saying to trade high. Isn’t this a trade high? His value will not get higher by putting him in the outfield and wait for his average to dip and his flaws exposed. They need to trade LaHair because he is a 1st baseman and they have Rizzo. This is a no brainer. The only other option is if you are blown away in a deal for Rizzo and you trade him instead.

          • Tony_Hall

            Very few rookies, don’t struggle at some point.  If you call that failing, then almost every MLB has failed in their rookie year.  

            Yes you want to sell high, but not on all players.  Lahair is one that they need to decide if they want him for the next 3,4,5 years playing LF.  You obviously have already decided, but just like me, you don’t get a vote :) 

          • cubtex

            Do you think LaHair can be a starting LF on a WS team? I don’t and yes….I don’t get a vote :)

          • Tony_Hall

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Albert Pujols’ replacement in St Louis, Carlos Beltran, has 12 taters already. 

    They don’t miss Albert one bit.

    • Tony_Hall

      Amazing how things work out.  What will the Cardinals do with the extra $250M they saved going with Beltran?  

  • paulcatanese

     was gone all day watching grandaughter -soccer and then grandson doubleheader and didn’t get Fox for the game. Read all of the posts and the re-cap, wow, see all tommorow.

  • paulcatanese

    Just a few words on Castro. I don’t favor benching him. A rest maybe, but he is still young enough for the grind.
    When a different second baseman is inserted the timing is off for Castro and it affects his play. Not to say that Barney is the best in the world, but he has been Castro’s partner for the greater majority of the time. That is clearly evident to everyone.
    The bad habits that he has had lately with his approach does need to be nipped in the bud or that .328 average will suffer.
    I think he puts pressure on himself to do more and feel that needs to be addressed.
    And lastly, does anyone think that Castro does not hear that he is “young” and will mature? Of course he does, and I hope he does not use it as a crutch to excuse bad habits that turn into a definate way of doing things.
    He is a talanted young man, but needs to secrete an engrained way of doing things, and maybe a day off and a session in the batting cage on
    “picking a ZONE” only may help him to greater hieghts.
    That low outside slider that he tries to pull was hit solid to right when he was swinging well.
    I think he is cheating himself out of extra hits by doing that.
    I only say all of this as a constructive critisism, because he does have the tools and no limits on his success.

    • cubtex

      He is one of the few bright spots we as Cub fans have. I think you and I both know that he is not ready to be a #3 hitter on a good mlb team. The only reason he is hitting there now is we have no one else.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, and what I was trying to say was I don’t want him to become a Valadmir or a Yogi with the bat,or worse a Soriono with chasing.
        I don’t agree with benching him, that wouldn’t do him any good at all.
        Repitition is the saviour of us all as long as it’s not the bad side of it.
        He checks out as a #3 hitter with his ability but as you say, not yet, on a good mlb team.
        DeJesus is starting to impress, and he has some good moments, but then again probably not in the long run.
        Campana is getting to be more and more impressive, but again not for the long term, we both know the legs are the first to go.
        Interesting movie on last night “Invinvicble” the Vince Papale story, couldnt help comparing he and Campana, even at that Vince only had a three year career.
        Watched the movie because Dick Vermill was at our home recruiting the oldest son, and got the Eagle’s job over the phone while he was there.
        I do hope they extend Garza if for no other reason that he and the Shark form a nucleous for a future.
        I do agree LaHair, traded, he can only play first, period

        • cubtex

          good thoughts Paul! We agree. The only thing they need if they extend Garza will be 3 more starters and 4 or 5 bullpen arms :)

          • paulcatanese

            Yeah, I leave the pitching to you, Tony, Aaron and Rip, I know zilch about them except what I see and Garza and the Shark(to me) seem to be the future.

          • cubtex

            I don’t understand the logic in moving LaHair to the OF once they bring up Rizzo next month. His average will probably be under .300 at that point and he is not a long term option as an outfielder. Trade him and possibly fill another hole(god knows they have a lot of holes to fill :) )

  • Aaron

    A couple things really worry me about the state of the organization…
    -The entire organization keeps losing
    -There is next to NO offense coming up that is MLB-ready
    -There are no 1-2 starters coming up through the system…NOT a single one, unless you consider the rehabbing Whitenack to be one of them…but he’s not on a full-season team yet
    -The pen at the MLB level continues to blow games at the back-end. What was Sveum thinking when he put Marmol in during a close game? If Wood gets banished mostly to blow-outs, then why doesn’t Marmol as well? Oh well, the injury takes care of that question for at least 2 weeks.
    -Can they cut ties with Soto already? He already has 4 errors, has a 21% CS rate, and his pitcher’s ERA is 4.39 when he’s catching. Conversely, Castillo has 0 errors, has a 33% CS rate, and his pitcher’s ERA is 3.60 (which supposedly wasn’t his strong suit). Prior to his injury, Clevenger had 0 errors, (0% CS rate in 5 tries), and a pitcher’s ERA of 1.84….Soto’s stats, combined with last year’s 14 errors, are downright ugly….especially his bat. Anyone else find it curious that the Cubs lost the extra innings game when Soto replaced Castillo behind the dish? It sure as hell wasn’t lost on me…I’ve been trying to compare and contrast for awhile now, so I look for those things. Castillo even was able to calm Wood down, and get him through 2 IP
    -Can the Reed Johnson experiment also end? My goodness is his swing ugly. I thought only Jim Hendry could get suckered into re-upping with a player that had a statistical outlier season like Johnson did last year…and he’s over-the-hill
    -Can the Cubs also cut ties with Baker? All we’ve ever heard is how well he hammers LHP. This year, he’s batting .133 against lefties, rendering himself completely useless.
    -Can the Cubs also realize that Volstad, just like Travis Wood…and just like Randy Wells…was a one-year wonder, and just either option him, or get him out of the organization?

    Here’s what I hope happens in the next 2 weeks…
    -Clevenger comes back from injury, and continues to hit
    -Cubs cut ties with Baker, Johnson, and Soto…in the case of Baker and Johnson, just outright release them, and in the case of Soto, just accept the fact he isn’t going to hit, and get whatever they can for him
    -Cubs trade/option/release Volstad, and bring up Rusin, or someone else.
    -I hope the Cubs bring up Valbuena for Baker, and possibly even Watkins for Johnson (and Mather would be the extra OF).

    The unfortunate thing about Baker and Johnson, is that outside of Valbuena, there is NOBODY that has seized the opportunity to replace them. Sappelt, Wright, Brett Jackson, etc. have all failed miserably with a golden opportunity.

    Here’s hoping someone steps up, because while they’re just bench guys, it sure is getting ugly watching them play due to injury or giving someone the day off.

    • cubtex

      Have you watched Castillo catch? He is nowhere near a polished defensive catcher. Yes he has a gun but he is very raw behind the plate and cost pitchers strikes.