Rambling About a New Realization

Well, well, well. This team ain’t so awful. In fact, they are not half-bad. Heck, they are even somewhat mediocre and, while we’re at it, they can be downright entertaining.

After a grotesque and gut-wrenching 3-11 start, the Cubs have won 10 of 17 and head to Milwaukee to face a surprisingly struggling Brew Crew. So, with the impending series in Milwaukee, I just have this to say …

LET’S GET READY TO …. RAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMBBBBBLLLEEEEE

  • Sorry about that. The idea struck me, and I just couldn’t tell myself no.
  • So, Paul Maholm not to shabby as of late. Four in a row.
  • The Cubs have two pitchers who have four wins. Last year, Dempster and Garza tied for the lead in wins with 10. T-E-N! Let that swirl around your head a little.
  • I am very much enjoying the attention Bryan LaHair is getting, especially from the national media. People from all walks of life root for the underdog. And it is great to see him succeeding.
  • It is May 11th, and James Russell has a sub 1.00 ERA. That is just great stuff.
  • Personally, I’d like to see a little more of Bowden. Hey, we got him for Byrd, so what do we have to lose.
  • To be honest, I almost said we got Bowden for “nothing.” While that may be accurate from a production standpoint, it is not fair to Marlon Byrd because of the type of person and professional he is. I will always wish him the best.
  • Not that you care about my feelings on Byrd, but just wanted to share.
  • It’s 8:41 pm on Thursday evening as I type this. I had a long day at work, and then had to hit Sports Clips for a solid haircut and quality shampooing. I am hungry and need to eat. I know you are reading this on Friday morning. I ask this from everyone for future knowledge … what should I have ordered to eat? And I am not talking about pizza.
  • When you are looking for some quality food from a delivery standpoint, what is your go-to? I have one that I will keep to myself, but I have worn it out lately, and need some new ideas. I don’t need restaurants, but I am looking for certain dishes. Thank you in advance for your solid suggestions.
  • And, well, now we return to, you know … baseball.
  • Rafael Dolis has looked pretty solid in the closer’s role. I like it.
  • I read some chatter on here about Marmol returning to the rotation. I just don’t know if he can go out there and remain calm, cool and collected for 6 innings at a time. These days he can barely do it for four minutes.
  • Simply put, he doesn’t have the control to be a starter.
  • Tony Campana has hit the ball HARD as of late. This is very, well, unlike Campana. I wonder if the Rudy has anything to do with this. He normally slaps at it or drops it down, and he has just ripped the ball multiple times this week.
  • Your weekly Soriano update: 25 hits. 20 singles. 5 doubles.
  • Over/under on Sori’s first dinger … I will set it at May 21st. I will go under. How about you?
  • There has been a lot of discussion around DeJesus as the leadoff hitter … his OBP is .371. That is pretty darn solid.
  • Speaking of DeJesus, I would just like to say … “Hi, Kim. What’s going on?”
  • As the Cubs roll into Milwaukee, I am feeling better about this team that seemed humanly impossible three weeks ago. It should be fun to watch the development and maturation as the season progresses.

Let’s get some good chatter going today. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 tonight in the Good Land. And speaking of good, a good weekend for the Cubs will give us all that fun feeling we hope for as fans.

Until next time … Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
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  • Theboardrider

    Lahair is legit. Shark is legit.  Maholm seems legit.  I’d say that Theo is so far getting an A+ for what he’s put on the field and getting done in the system.  Considering what he was given, one word…WOW!  

    • Theboardrider

      And of course we knew about Starlin.  But all those moves people were complaining about with Theo? I even had some doubts but I guess I’ll take my crow well done!  Midas touch?  Not quite but I don’t see how it could be much better at this point…

      • Ripsnorter1

        Just a friendly reminder that LaHair, Samardzija, and Castro were already here. Team Theo (Jed is the GM) did trade/acquire:

        Stewart .194 …3 HR…11 RBI
        DeJesus….257…0 HR…4 RBI…0 SB and 2 CS
        Volstad   0-4…6.55 ERA
        Maholm   4-2..4.05.Bowden…only 4 IP so far…
        Cardenas…..000 in 7 AB
        Camp…..0-1…3.38 ERA
        Castillo…..0-0….5.87 ERA
        T. Wood….0-0….4.50 ERA
        Mather….2 HR…6 RBI….286

        Really, the only real offensive threat we have are…

        DeJesus OBP, 
        Campana hitting .320
        Castro hitting .347
        LaHair hitting .384.

        The rest of the lineup together is hitting sub-.230
        Soto .154
        Stewart .194
        Barney .248
        Soriano .253 0 HR and everybody wants him gone.

        We are winning of late because the starting pitching has been SUPERB. They are giving up 1 run per start.

        • Tony_Hall

          Lahair and Samardzija may have been here, BUT, JH had Lahair in the minors and signed Pena instead of giving him a shot.  Samardzija was a set-up guy, now looking very good in his rotation slot.

          • cubtex

            Come on man! No one would have given LaHair a shot last year. He had that huge year in AAA last year! And Shark was progressing to the fact that he would have been given a shot this year as well.

          • J Daniel

            Bring back JH!

          • cubtex

            we all might be saying that in a couple of years!!!

          • cubtex

            by the way….have you seen the mess the Red Sox are in right now???? Who do you think is responsible for that :) They’ve got more immovable contracts than anyone in baseball

          • Dorasaga

            The same was said about Minaya, Bill Smith, and Moore. At least Redsox got the resource to cut most of their baggage (if any), unlike the latter two aforementioned, mid-size and small market clubs.

            Welcome to the Big league, fella! lol

          • Tony_Hall

            Really!

            So last year when Lahair was hitting in AAA and trade offers were coming in for Pena (while JH was here and after), they couldn’t have traded Pena, brought in some prospects and given Lahair a shot.

            And wasn’t it JH’s regime that moved Samardzija into the relief role…you have no way to say that JH would have given him a chance to start.

            Both of these guys were given their opportunity by Theo and Jed.

          • cubtex

            ? Ye of short term memory :) Listen….Hendry needed to go. A change was needed but Shark was given an opportunity to win a starting job last spring training….Member that? While you and others wanted to drop Shark while I was saying that arms like his don’t grow on trees and how he doesn’t have a lot of baseball experience because of football. One other point about LaHair. Do you honestly think Theo knew LaHair would have performed like this? Before you answer that…..think to yourself would Theo have traded Cashner for another 1st baseman????

          • Tony_Hall

            Nobody could have known that Lahair would hit like this at the major league level…no one ever gave him a shot.  I was actually calling for him to be the 1B for last season, instead of signing Pena.  

            As far as Samardzija, he was mis-managed, being bounced back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen.  Yes he needed more time to develop…that is where patience comes in to play.

          • cubtex

            So then why did Theo trade for Rizzo? Why would you trade one of our better young pitchers for another 1st baseman if he thought LaHair was a long term player? Answer….He wouldn’t

          • Tony_Hall

            Replying up here where it’s a little wider.

            Please re-read what I posted.

            I said NOBODY could have known that Lahair would hit like this.

            NOBODY.

            Someone could have thought he could.  Someone could have hoped he could.  Someone could have even said they have no doubt, but until a player gets to the majors, they don’t know.

            They went and got Rizzo, because they wanted him and are hopeful, that both guys end up in the same lineup together.

          • cubtex

            They gave LaHair the job BECAUSE they got Rizzo. They imagined he would be a short term option and when Rizzo is ready he would take the career minor leaguers spot.

          • Tony_Hall

            So why did they tell Lahair  in their 1st conversation with him, before they traded for Rizzo, that he would be their 1B.

            They were giving him his opportunity.  They never intended to bid on Fielder or Pujols.  All of this happened before they traded for Rizzo.

          • cubtex

            The one thing that I think Theo will be a huge upgrade over Hendry is the minor leagues and drafts. That is something that all Cub fans should be excited about.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree except for the part of “one thing”.  I think he will be an upgrade over JH in many ways.

          • cubtex

            I hope he is. He signed way more bad contracts than JH ever did.

        • Scott

          It appears the the team chemistry is much better this year than in the past few years.  And I believe removing clubhouse cancers like Zambrano and Aramis are a BIG reason for that.  Sometimes it is possible to have addition by subtraction….

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree. Good observation.

        • John_CC

           They also hired Dale Sveum, who is proving to be a pretty solid manager.

        • DWalker

          been posting as a guest, but guess I’ll start using a name at least.

          Stewert
          April avg .169 obp .247 slug .260 .ops .507
          May avg .269 obp .321 slug .538 ops .860     

             I am not giving up on this kid yet. He’s looking better almost every start, and his power is starting to appear. I also noticed it seemed like he was working the count a lot more then when he started the last game I watched.  I won’t say he’s out of the woods, but I don’t think his april stats are going to be really indicitive of his future performance. I don’t know if hes our 3rd base for the future, but he might also be our best shot for the next few years. I give a lot of credit to the psychology of the game, and Stewert came in badly damaged goods. Considering most of those pickups are has beens, damaged goods and rejects; I am willing to give another month before I totally discount some of these guys. Now, guys like Marmol, Woods, Barney, Soto, Soriano and some of the kids in the minors who are suppsoed to be doing well, but aren’t, those scare me.Soto and Soriano at least are also starting to show a little life, still pathetic, but at least going in the right direction for May. Barney though, he’s going backwards.   Did anyone see the comment Chipper Jones made the other day?  “I like where the Cubs are headed. I like the two young kids up the middle (Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney). They’re starting to get some power arms at the top of the rotation in (Matt) Garza and (Jeff) Samardzija. That’s a really good start.” http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cubs/cubs-news/Chipper-and-his-love-hate-relationship-w?blockID=705204&feedID=10336

          • John_CC

             Chipper sounded genuinely impressed by Samardz.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s a good post, Dan. Glad to have you sign on.

        • cubtex

          Exactly! Good starting pitching covers up a lot of flaws and that is why I have said you can compete with an excellent starting staff even if you have a below average starting 8. This team has trouble scoring runs and it will catch up to them.
          What players that Theo picked up this offseason have performed better than expected thus far? DeJesus? Ian Stewart? I will say that Maholm has been pitcing very well. The Marshall trade? The Cashner trade?(I am excited about Rizzo but you have to imagine that IF Theo had any idea that LaHair would produce like he had he wouldn’t have made that deal) Andy Sonnanstine? Manny Corpas? Shawn Camp? Adrian Cardenas? The reason the Cubs are playing well is because of the leftovers from last year. Campana,Castro,LaHair,Shark,Garza,Dempster,Dolis,Russell. Theo did nothing to improve the bullpen. For the life of me…..I do not know why Marmol was handed the closer role after last year. He should have had to compete for that role and started out as a set up man. People are saying to give Concepcion 3 years…..but he is on the 40 man roster and was given a contract as if he is alot closer to the mlb than 3 years. That was Thoyers BIG international signing this offseason and so far he is getting lit up in A ball.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JKQGSH67PHSCQL7OCOLRJHIGY TomO

       Don’t forget to consider Stewart and Volstad before handing out grades.  If I’m handing out an A+, then ALL of those off seasons acquisitions must pan out.

      Oh, and don’t forget about Concepcion, who’s on the 40 man roster with a ERA of 12.66 and WHIP of  2.719 in four starts.

    • cubtex

      A+ ?

  • Cory

    “The Good Land”… That’s too funny. I learned that about Milwaukee from Alice Cooper’s cameo in Wayne’s World.

    Does this guy know how to party or what?!

  • Tony_Hall

    You are assuming that Soriano will keep playing long enough to hit another dinger….

  • Tony_Hall

    371 OBP for a lead-off guy…not too bad.

  • Steve Rock-vegas

    Hey Neil, just curious if you have an update on Solar while we’re rambling? Seems like he’s fallen off the map unless ive missed some updates recently.  And YES, i love what’s going on and how entertaining this team is.  I think Dale and Bosio have done a great job on the field and once Theo & Co. figure out a way to shed the rest of the dead weight for at least a bag of balls and bring up the kids, watch out!

    • Zonk

      Neil mentioned earlier that they are taking time on Soler to verify that he is indeed Jorge Soler, and is indeed 19, and not like, 22. 

      I don’t mind a delay for that reason; I bet anything there are more major-league players than Carmona (or whatever his real name is), or the “prospect” the Nats signed that are older than reported. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I have not read or heard any updates on Soler. There is a lot of speculation floating around right now about the delay with him.

  • Tony_Hall

    C’mon now, everyone…please admit that this team is more fun to watch than what we had to watch the last 2 years….c’mon admit it…it’s ok to like your favorite team.

    And while we are at it…13-18, with Woody and Marmol blowing, I believe 6 games.  But even at 13-18 that is on pace for 67 wins.  I’m starting to believe they will get to 70 wins pretty easily…maybe even enough to not even lose 90 games.  

    • cubtex

      Didn’t Marmol and the bullpen blow a lot of games last year as well? Especially for Matt Garza.

      • John_CC

         Yes they did.  But so far, 6 blown saves/bullpen losses out of 31 games is 20%.  That is a lot.  I don’t for sure, but I don’t think that the bullpen lost 32 games last year.

      • Tony_Hall

        They let Marmol pitch his way out of the closer job and same thing with Woody in the set-up role.  Both guys were given the beginning of the season to show they should keep their job and both have now lost it.  

        • cubtex

          Marmol shouldn’t have been given anything after last year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Unfortunately, they had $16M reasons to give him another chance to prove or disprove his ability to close.

    • cubs1967

      70 wins pretty easily………put down the team theo kool-aid.
      lahair could drop 100 points in avg and still have a good year at .285. with 25 HR/90 RBI.
      castro is gonna drop 30-40 points becuz of his lack of plate discpline…3 walks to date and he does not use the count/situation to his advantage.
      dempster won’t finish with a 1 ERA. closer to 4.
      garza at 2.67 could go up 1/2 run and still have a good year.
      smardz at 3 ERA could go up 1/2 run too and he’ll stop pithcing around the 150-160 IP range; so wells or bombs away wood will pitch the 50 IP missing at 4.50 ERA clip.
      sori may hit homers, but his .253 avg is about right so other than soto adding 75-100 points to his avg; the rest of the hitters are doing as we thought….dejesus is at .250 and stewart is below .200 like last year.
      we have NO closer.
      add in the fact the team ERA is 2.51 since april 22 and the cubs are still in last……….
      this team will be  luck to avoid 100 losses; as we expected it to after team theo made is worse……….worse than a JH or a quade lead team.
      now maybe rizzo or bjax will help; depending on when they come up….but basically this team will lose more than last year and that will put the Ricketts regime with 3 years of continually worse W-L records; 1st time that has happened since the late 1940s.

      104 yrs and counting…………there is no FUN in a last place team……

      • Calicub

        As WE expected it to?

        Seems to me your the main one pushing the doom and gloom of a 100 loss season.
        worse than JH and Quade? Are you on drugs? What about the way swuem and bosio and all the rest are doing is worse than the lame duck bull quade was pushing?

        And thoyer making the team worse? Cancers like aram and big z need ed tp be expunged years ago, but jh #1 never had the balls. Sure some of their pick ups havent been diamonds in the rough but what were you expecting out of a rehab like stewart and dejesus?

        • Calicub

          Im having more fun watching this season progress thhan i have since 08 season. Losses may not be fun but gauging the future of this club through the progress of the new guys in the show right now is plenty enjoyable. Watching these guys play real baseball for the first time in several years in enjoyable. In fact everything about this year is more enjoyable than the past four years combined.

          So shut up. Sit back. And ENJOY some baseball

      • Tony_Hall

        You have such a sad point of view…I actually feel sorry for you, that you can’t enjoy watching this team progress and develop, in a year no one is expecting the playoffs.

        I actually think you get more joy out of watching the losses and getting to speak your Cub hatred speak, then when they win a series.

    • GaryLeeT

       I will admit that this team is more fun to watch, because lately, they are winning more than they are losing.

      • Tony_Hall

        Take away the final scores and just watch baseball and tell me that as a hole they aren’t progressing and being a lot more fun to watch, from a baseball perspective.  

        Of course wins are more fun to watch then loses. 

  • Cspan63

    While they struggled in other areas too, where would they be right now if Marmol nd Woody would have been even average? I am not ready to order playoff tickets – a long way to go before that is on the radar – but you can definitely see the potential here. Let’s keep it rolling.

  • Dogguard11_psychic

    You should have ordered Greek food. A Gyro would have hit the spot for you. Veggies, meat, and dairy all in one pita!!!

    I like the improvement in Soriano’s defense also. He’ll go yard this weekend…

  • Bryan

    Am happy to see the recent “better play”, but certainly this is attributed to quality starting pitching.  The offense remains challenged.  I’m just not drinking the kool-aid as yet.

    Am still disappointed that Rizzo remains in AAA where there’s nothing left to prove.  You want to give this team a positive jolt…then bring up the young man and have your 3-4-5 of Castro, LaHair and Rizzo.  Then you’ll have something to get excited about.  Perhaps in another 45 days…ah, the financial side of baseball. 

    • Zonk

      Well, the financial side is extremely important these days.  No question.

      I probably should stop saying this, but the most important decision around Rizzo is really the decision around Soriano.  The Cubs need to determine if he is in a slump, or the tank is truly empty.  You don’t want to cut him, and pay him $45 mil and have him perform for someone else. 

      Soriano was major-league productive last year, obviously the lack of HRs is a problem.  He hit them in spring, so I think that aspect is a slump.

      But overall, I think he may be cooked.  He is playing right now, not because he is good, but because the Cubs need to be VERY sure before cutting him.

      • GaryLeeT

         I completely agree that the Rizzo situation is being dictated more about what to do with Soriano than it is saving a year of player control. In terms of cost, that year of control pales in comparison to the amount they stand to lose on Soriano’s contract.

      • Dorasaga

         Please continue saying this. Most of us on CCO were tired of Hendry mismanaging his budget. For once in a lifetime (mine at least), the Cubs can play their cards thinking ahead. Soriano, Reed, Marmol, et al., they all got value. Heck, Byrd, Colvin, Z got value too. So many things can happen to a club in 162 games. Some clubs want “our guys” as much as we want to give away.

    • cubtex

      agreed. said the same thing above. a string of quality starts covers up a lot of flaws :)

  • DaCubs

    It’s May 11 let’s see where we stand August 1 and then pass judgment,
    we are 20% through the season and tracking for 94 loses and while we have
    played better as late the season  is long
    and to say we won’t revert back a bit is unrealistic.  Not to mention they are playing to win but
    make no mistake they are playing for the future and anyone and everyone (but
    Castro) is for sale.  Enjoy the good
    times because as they say it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  • Aaron

    -Starting pitching outside of Volstad seems legit

    -Theo is right about LaHair…he’s legit. He takes pitches, so while he might slump, his slumps won’t be as prolonged as most power hitters. Additionally, as Theo mentioned, he’s short to the ball, with probably the most compact swing you’ll see from a power hitter

    -Russell and Dolis are pleasant surprises

    -Soriano is toast, but his first dinger will come within the next week. Overall, I estimate he’s looking at 10-15 home runs on the year, even with one of his usual hot streaks. Yes, he’s really THAT bad now. Teams are throwing fastballs up and out over the plate, and he can’t even make them pay, because he either fouls them straight back, or whiffs altogether

    -I agree, Bowden needs to pitch

    -I would go with a pastrami reuben….been watching the Food Network, and saw it on there…very good samich….and yes, I misspelled it on purpose Chicago style.

    • paulcatanese

      Watch the Food Network all the time and have posted with them.
      We enjoy the Pastrami Reuben once a week, but don’t forget the Italian beef sandwich, dipped. Having that tonight for the game.
      Totaly agree on LaHair, I think he’s for real.

    • Texcubnut

      If you lived in North Texas you could get meatloaf-to-go with a huge side of mac and cheese and lots of ketchup. I like pastrami but have to pass on the sauerkraut.
        Yes, Lahair is for real, hitting-wise, but Aaron, where else can we play him besides first base. Some say a corner outfield position but the guess here is he would be a defensive liability. Plus, and I haven’t done the research, but an all southpaw outfield may just be a first in baseball. (Lahair, Campana, DeJesus and eventually B Jax.)
      . Soriano hitting 10/15 dingers seems about right. Check with the Nationals for outfield needs.
         Finally, for all the Theo-doubtists, he got rid of Dewitt!!!

    • Dorasaga

       I had some reuben in a north suburban mall (Old Orchard). Good stuff. Loved it while in college, away from Chitown though.

  • Josh

    Top Performers in System (NOT A PROSPECT LIST)

     

    HITTERS (min 100 PA, OPS > 750 or stat leader)

     

    Infielder

    Anthony Rizzo (22) AAA: 357/413/643 — 6 2B, 9 HR, 1 SB

    Luis Valbuena (26) AAA: 333/414/505 — 5 2B, 4 HR

    Paul Hoilman (22) Low-A: 308/364/521 – 12 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR

    Rubi Silva (23) High-A: 299/344/453 — 6 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 1 SB

    Greg Rohan (26) High-A: 271/345/450 — 8 2B, 5 HR

    Arismendy Alcantara (20) High-A: 287/318/475 — 6 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 6 SB

    Logan Watkins (22) AA: 289/374/405 – 2 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 6 SB

     

    Outfielder

    Nelson Perez (24) High-A: 317/430/577 — 4 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 3 SB

    John Andreoli (22) High-A: 306/443/388 — 5 2B, 1 3B, 7 SB

    Brett Jackson (23) AAA: 238/345/429 — 9 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 5 SB

    James Adduci (27) AA: 277/339/416 — 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 SB

    Matt Szczur (20) High-A: 250/353/348 — 9 2B, 2 3B, 16 SB

     

    PITCHERS (ERA/WHIP K/BB)

     

    Starters (min 6 GS)

    PJ Francescon (23) Low-A: 2.48/0.83 35/10

    Michael Jensen (21) Low-A: 3.51/0.96 26/9

    Austin Kirk (22) High-A: 1.83/0.95 22/9

    Eric Jokisch (22) High-A: 3.30/1.31 43/14

    Nicholas Struck (22) AA: 3.49/1.35 30/17

    Trey McNutt (22) AA: 2.66/1.28 15/10

    Brooks Raley (24) AA: 3.68/1.26 19/10

    Chris Rusin (25) AAA: 3.40/1.08 21/12

    Casey Coleman (24) AAA: 3.48/1.22 30/16

     

    Relievers (min 7 GP/8 IP)

    Andrew McKirahan (22) Low-A 1.80/1.00 11/4 — 2 SV

    Yao-Lin Wang (21) Low-A: 3.38/1.05 10/6

    Jeffrey Lorick (24) Low-A: 0.69/1.15 17/7 — 4 SV

    Austin Reed (20) Low-A: 3.00/1.17 11/4

    Joseph Zeller (24) High-A/AA: 2.37/1.11 15/8

    Scott Weismann (22) Low-A/AA: 2.08/1.038 14/2

    Casey Harman (23) High-A/AA: 1.83/0.91 14/3

    Alberto Cabrera (23) AA: 2.30/1.02 19/5 — 1 SV

    Kevin Rhoderick (23) AA: 1.38/0.92 15/4 — 4 SV

    Frank Batista (23) AA/AAA: 2.19/1.22 13/5 — 5 SV

    Blake Parker (27) AAA: 0.79/0.88 8/4 — 3 SV

     

    Swing (min 2 GS/20 IP)

    Frankie De La Cruz (28) AAA 2.22/1.23 8/11

    Ryan Searle (21) AA: 2.57/1.24 14/5

    Kyler Burke (24) Low-A: 2.41/1.07 24/7 — 1 SV
     

    • roguesqr09

      This may be more for Tom U, but I’m going to the Daytona Cubs game vs Brevard manatees on Monday, 5/14. Can someone tell me who the starter for the cubs will be? And any players that I should look for besides the ones Josh mentioned above?

      • Tom U

        The Daytona rotation is as follows:

        Kirk
        Jokisch
        Loosen
        Cates
        Del Valle

        Kirk starts tonight, and they are off on Sunday. So the projected starter would be Loosen. Hayden Simpson has been piggybacking Loosen as he regains his strength from recent injuries.

    • Tom U

      Josh, here’s some more info for you:

      Marco Hernandez is hitting .316 since April 28

      Elieser Bonne has hit .368 with 7 RBI in his last 10 games

      Andrew McKirihan is on the 7 day DL with elbow tightness

      Frank Batista’s ERA is now 7.94

      Alberto Cabrera has given up 8 runs in his last 10 outings

      Scott Weismann has a 1.80 ERA since leaving Peoria

      Yao-Lin Wang has given up seven runs in his last two appearances.

  • daverj

    Coming from a guy who likes what he sees so far with the Cubs … this team is still the bad team we saw the first few weeks of the season.  Dolis and Russell are due for major negative corrections in their stats.  This bullpen is still very, very poor.  Maholm will be up and down all season (like he’s been his entire career).  Dempster will settle down somewhere between last years numbers and those he’s put up so far this season before he is ultimately dealt in July for a prospect.

    Not sure how we can give Theo any grades yet … it’s going to take time to see where this is all going …

    • Zonk

      I agree:  It’s nice to see us more competitive, but we don’t have the horses right now to seriously compete. 

      Pre-season prediction by SI was 66-96; I think we beat that now.  Prediction was that Cubs would have decent starting pitching, poor bullpen, and struggle to score runs.  All that is true so far.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Garza and Samarardzija bring depth to the pitching staff. All the Cubs need is some good timing hits to support them and the other pitchers. Please don’t trade them away. And good luck against the Brewers tonight.

  • Gramps

    I like watching this team. They hustle all the time. I would not give them a grade at this point of the season because it is way too early. But they are much more enjoyable to watch compared to the teams of the past few years. Let’s hope this is the start of something. GO CUBS!

    • daverj

      Definitely agree with this … much more fun to watch this year than the last few years.

      I’m driving up to Milwaukee for the game tonight.  Looking forward to watching Garza!

  • frustrated

    just think what this team would look like if they had ANY production in the bottom half of the batting order.

  • cubtex

    Tony…this is to further the point on Shark. He wasn’t ready to be in the rotation till this year. He was given opportunities but players need to be ready. Most young pitchers are put in the bullpen until the teams feel they are ready. Shark had command issues(you know that) I have always been a fan of his….even when he wasn’t performing well. Just like pitchers like CJ Wilson who started out in the pen first……that was the proper move for Shark.