Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 06/06/12

Game Fifty-Six: Cubs (19-36) vs. Brewers (24-31)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Paul Maholm (4-4, 4.82/1.32) vs. Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.46/1.32)

Updated 4:13pm CDTCubs Selected Contract of Manny Corpas from Iowa Cubs, added to 40-man Roster and called up from Triple-A – Blake Parker Placed on 60-day DL with Right Elbow Stress Reaction

After going nearly a month between road victories, can Dale Sveum’s Cubs make it two in a row tonight behind Paul Maholm? The offense had one of their better nights Tuesday but runs figure to be at a premium tonight against Zack Greinke. While Greinke is beatable on the road, he has not lost a game at Miller Park during the regular season. Greinke is 14-0 with six no decisions in 20 starts at Miller Park.

In other news Geovany Soto is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday. Soto has been out since May 17 with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Cubs have not announced which minor league team he will rehab with but the Iowa Cubs open a 13-game homestand with the first of six against the Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee Brewers) on Thursday night. According to multiple reports, once Geovany Soto is able to rejoin the big league club he would take Koyie Hill’s spot on the active roster. Dale Sveum has hinted that Soto will have to earn his playing time and will not be given his starting job back. Steve Clevenger is expected to remain with the big league team.

Tonight it all begins with Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm struggled with his command again in his last outing and the veteran southpaw could really use a good outing tonight. Maholm has not been anywhere near as good as he was during a four start stretch from April 21 through May 9. Maholm is 0-2 in his last four starts (Cubs 0-4) with a 5.96 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Maholm has walked 10 with only 16 strikeouts in his last 22 2/3 innings.

Paul Maholm is 1-2 in five starts outside of Wrigley with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP and will face the Brewers for the second time this season.

The Brewers lit up Maholm back on April 10 to the tune of six runs on six hits in four innings. Maholm walked two and struck out two in his Cubs’ debut.

Maholm has had a little success against the Brewers in his career (3-9 in 20 starts with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) and is 2-4 in 11 starts at Miller Park with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Ryan Braun – 12-for-35 with two double, a home run and six walks
  • Carlos Gomez – 7-for-15 with two doubles and a home run
  • Zack Greinke – 0-for-2
  • Corey Hart – 15-for-46 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and five walks
  • George Kottaras – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • Edwin Maysonet – 3-for-7
  • Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-5
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-41 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Cody Ransom – 3-for-4 with a home run
  • Rickie Weeks – 8-for-42 with a double and eight walks

Zack Greinke is one of the best pitchers in the National League but at Miller Park, he is arguably the best in the league in his home park. Greinke is 14-0 in his 20 starts at Miller Park since he was acquired from the Royals. Greinke is a perfect 3-0 this year in five starts with a 1.30 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP.

Greinke is coming off an excellent start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Greinke allowed just one on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.

After starting the year 3-1 in five starts with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP, Greinke is 3-1 in his last six starts with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

The Cubs and Matt Garza beat Greinke at Wrigley back on April 12, 8-0. The Cubs scored eight runs off Greinke on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings … but that was at Wrigley Field.

Zack Greinke is 2-2 in four career starts against the Cubs with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Both of his wins against the Cubs have come at Miller Park (one run on seven hits with five walks and 16 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings in two starts against the Cubs at Miller Park, 0.61 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-9 with a double and three walks
  • Steve Clevenger – 2-for-2 with two doubles
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-4
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-4
  • Paul Maholm – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-15 with a double and a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 4-for-7 with a double and a triple

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Campana – CF
    Castro – SS
    DeJesus – RF
    Soriano – LF
    LaHair – 1B
    Clevenger – C
    Barney – 2B
    Stewart – 3B
    Maholm – P
     

  • paulcatanese

    Whats not to like about this lineup? On a winning streak, not smart to change horse’s in the middle of the stream.

    Also happy Clevenger is staying with the team and hope Sveum is true to his word regarding Soto.
    I don’t think he will win his job back.

  • Aaron

    I posted this earlier, but I wanted everyone to know how the new bonus rules affect this year’s draft:
    *********************************************************************************
    “Each Club will be assigned an aggregate Signing Bonus Pool prior to each draft. For the purpose of calculating the Signing Bonus Pools, each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft has been assigned a value. (These values will grow each year with the rate of growth of industry revenue.) A Club’s Signing Bonus Pool equals the sum of the values of that Club’s selections in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Players selected after the 10th round do not count against a Club’s Signing Bonus Pool if they receive bonuses up to $100,000. Any amounts paid in excess of $100,000 will count against the Pool.”b. Penalties for exceeding the Signing Bonus Pool are:Excess of Pool Penalty – (Tax on Overage/Draft Picks)* 0-5% – 75% tax on overage* 5-10% – 75% tax on overage and loss of 1st round pick* 10-15% – 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st and 2nd round picks* 15%+ – 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st round picks in next two drafts*********************************************************************************The Cubs 2012 draft pool allotment for the first 10 rounds is a hair over $7.9 million. With possibly $4 million committed to Almora as some have said, and an additional $4.55 million for the rest of the picks as per my calculations on slot money, you’re already above your $7.9 million limit, and thus you pay dollar for dollar over that, plus they’d be in the dangerous territory of exceeding that limit.Do they have to pay slot money to everyone? No. Will some not sign? Sure, but according to the rules, that money does NOT get added back, as per my understanding, and thus, it behooves a team to pre-determine if they’re signable, then try to sign everyone in their draft pool.The Cubs will NOT be able to offer Wiseman overslot, because his money would count against the pool for 1-10 rounds, so only the initial $100k in his bonus wouldn’t count against it, but you’re already looking at $8.5 million and some change to sign everyone else, so signing Wiseman would cost at least $1.5 million probably, which, in turn means that they’d be in the $10 million range, and they’d have exceeded the allotment by over 20%, which means they lose their next 2 first round picks, plus pay a dollar for dollar penalty.Why does this matter? The Cubs took 15 high schoolers, all of whom will likely require over-slot money to sign….don’t fool yourselves.They took 12 college seniors. The rest are juniors or JC guys, which means, potentially 28 guys in their draft will require over-slot….potentially (or in the case of rounds 11-40, more than $100k) In the first 10 rounds, which is where this really gets complicated, the Cubs took 5 high schoolers, 3 college juniors, 1 college senior, and 1 JC guy.In other words, 9 of the 10 selections will likely require over-slot money. Again, with Almora likely requiring $4 million, or even worse, $5 million to sign, it’d be a miracle if most of the others signed, because that limits the pool of money they can be signed to over-slot from over $4 million to roughly $2.9-3.9 million (all depending on what Almora signs for). If they go into the $8.55 million range as I outlined above, then they cannot sign ANYBODY over-slot in the later rounds, or  they’d risk forfeiting future draft picks, because they’d be over the 10% range.Am I making sense to everyone here? I cannot stand Bud Selig with a passion. He is a freaking weasel, and do NOT discount the fact Reinsdorf had something to do with this. All in a year the Cubs were going to turn around this franchise too….Coincidence? I think not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

      I’ll admit my head is spinning a bit after reading that.  Can you give me a layman’s summary??  It is very informative don’t get me wrong, just a bit over my head.

    • Brett

      I for one can’t wait to see what crazy loopholes the more creative GM’s find in this new system. One thing Aaron I wanted to mention to you is something I heard on Inside Pitch a couple wks ago when Leo Mazzone was on. He was talking about how overrated the radar gun has become. He was using Brandon Beachy as an example. Beachy has like a 1.87 era so far. Mazzone talked about how this yr, Beachy has been 91-93 with his straight as an arrow 4 seamer but with his simple delivery, he has great late life & “easy gas” that gets on hitters. Then he went on to say they looked for that in guys all the yrs he was in Atlanta. He wanted guys with a smooth delivery and a good change up to eliminate lefty/righty match ups. It was a good listen. Hopefully that’s the take they had on a number of these arms they just drafted since, as you pointed out, there aren’t many big power arms in there.

      Thanks for all the work & info on the draft btw…good stuff!

      • Aaron

        Brett,

        What Mazzone was saying is true. HOWEVER, he wasn’t exactly putting it into context. If you look at the history, you’ll see that guys like Maddux were throwing 92-93 mph for a majority of their careers, and mixed in speeds VERY well. The problem is, guys like Maddux, Glavine, Beachy, and others…is the fact that they’re an extremely rare breed. They’re kind of like the power pitcher with a tremendous knee-buckling breaking pitch. Those guys are pretty rare in their own right.

        But for every Beachy, there are about 10 Jason Marquis’ out there. When your velocity is low 90′s/high 80′s, your margin for error is extremely small, whereas if you’re throwing mid 90′s, you can get away with the occasional miss every now and then.

        Again, I’ve mentioned this before about Maddux (but I’d even add Glavine to the discussion as well)….as they aged, and lost their high 80′s/low 90′s stuff, they became extremely hittable. Fact is, if you’re a power pitcher early on, you can have a much longer career like Randy Johnson, Schilling, Clemens, Dempster, etc., because if you lose your mid-to-high 90′s stuff, you can always re-invent yourself as a low 90′s location type of pitcher with a splitter or cut fastball, etc.

        Hopefully I make sense

      • John_CC

         I’ve liked Beachy since he broke in last year. Undrafted but man that kid is deceptive. I’ve watched a few of his starts this year and it is really quite amazing when you watch on tv. Like you said, his fastball sits around 92 and they look like down the pipe mistakes. But he just doesn’t get hit. He has a great change -up and works in a curve I think too. He pounds the strike zone and when he’s on his game is always pitching ahead in the count.

        His match-up against Strasburg last weekend was fun to watch. Quite different approaches both very effective.

    • Cheryl

      It appears that even if the cubs try to sign Almora at $4 million they can’t do it because of other commitments and Almora’s agent will push for more than $4 million. They could end up not signing Almora because of this. If they don’t could they get Wiseman?

      • Aaron

        Yes, but the way I understand it, Almora’s $3.25 million slot does not go back into the pool. This is why I think MLB literally thought of every possible loophole out there, because if that truly were the case (ie.-slot money going back into the pool), then it would lead teams to select guys in round 1-10 they knew they likely couldn’t sign, then save that money and spend it on the later rounds on high school guys that are “committed” to college, and count on other teams passing them up because of that. I’ll try to look for the specific language there, but I believe they aren’t allowed to “re-invest” that money.

        • Cheryl

          Aaron, I wonder if this may result in players declaring themselves free agents prior to the draft? Is that possible?

      • Dorasaga

        Kudos to Aaron RE above… That’s what I thought. Simply put, the money for each “slot” or top rounds are defined. Each ballclub may take exceed that defined amount and use the money they can spend for the next top rounds. But not otherwise; ballclubs are not supposed to spend more on the next round, which will have its own defined amount that is lesser than the previous top round.

    • Henry

      Aaron, I am not sure if it was the score or ESPN/AM1000 today but as I was driving along I heard an interesting interview.  I believe the name of the guy they had on was Kevin Goldstien from Baseball Prosectus.  He believes the Cubs knew all along Almora was going to need above slot money.  He said that the 1st 3 Cub picks were somewhat expected in terms of where they were taken.  After that he believes the Cubs took players that might have lasted another round or 2 in order to pay them under the slot money.  He believes some of these players were contacted to see if they would sign for under the slot money if taken early.  He did not specifically name players.  He also said the Cubs were not alone employing this strategy.  He felt this was the only way around the the new system.  This strategy would allow the Cubs to sign more players but not allow them or other teams to take the best players available.

    • Dorasaga

      You are quite extreme to say that while the Cubs “took 15 high schoolers, all of whom will likely require over-slot money to sign….don’t fool yourselves.They took 12 college seniors. The rest are juniors or JC guys, which means, potentially 28 guys in their draft will require over-slot.”

      I’m no draft-expert, but that doesn’t sound right. Most ballclubs in recent draft history have been paying less for their top rounds. With the new CBA limiting spending or else, penalty, the Cubs have more incentives to pay less. It won’t be the end of their World Series-chase if they won’t sign those two or three who demand overslot money, while failing to see this new world of limited bonus.

      And most will sign regardless of pushing for a higher bonus or not. That’s because players want security as well. Players want to enter pro ball as early as possible. Not everyone’s your Harper or Strasburg.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Gerardo Concepcion (1-4, 7.24)
    Daytona – Matt Loosen (3-1, 3.47)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (3-4, 2.68)

    Iowa has the night off

    Notes:
     Peoria recalled 3B Dustin Geiger, placed 1B Ryan Cuneo on the 7-day DL

     OF James Adduci, 1B Justin Bour, RHP Frank Batista, and RHP Kevin Rhoderick were named Southern League All-Stars

    • John_CC

      Concepcion with 2 hits allowed in 5+ innings, 4 K to go with 4 BB.  Nice improvement. Good thing they didn’t cut him after those first two starts when he was declared a total bust by some.

      • cubtex

        He is pitching in A ball. He should be dominating that level and he is not.

        • Tony_Hall

          Why should he be dominating that level at his young age?  Just because of his contract?  

          Take away his 1st 3 horrible starts and his numbers are more than acceptible.  He walks too many at this early stage of his minor league career, and that will have to improve.

          I just don’t get how you say he should be dominating when he is one of the younger players on the roster.

          • cubtex

            Correctomundo! Absolutely because of his contract and spot on 40 man roster!

          • Tony_Hall

            Both his contract and spot on the 40 man roster is what it took to get him signed.  The price of international talent leading up to new rules about to start is high.

            That doesn’t change that he needs to be developed and will take time, and doesn’t make him automatically able to dominate the Midwest League.  As you know, Cuban baseball is not that high of a level and there is pressure on young guys who sign contracts, let alone the adjustment factor of being out of his home country.  He is settling down, as you can see by his game by game stats.

  • Steven Petty

    I like this lineup.  Speed at the top.  Contact at the 2 hole.  Dejesus played TEAM baseball yesterday with the safety bunt to bring in a run.  Soriano is hitting the ball out of the park.  Lahair is hitting the ball hard and getting on base.  Clevenger is a hitting machine.  Barney is putting the ball in play.  Stewart is always a wild card.  You dont know what to expect.  Lastly, Maholm.  I like him!!  Good lefty.  Gonna be a win tonight.  Go CUBS!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice around the horn to double off Gomez

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    I saw your response on the other post…I had heard the same thing about the loopholes, but my understanding was MLB already has had thought ahead, and as part of the new CBA, implemented penalties for skirting the system. In other words, they did the whole contractual “implied” meaning thing which gives them blanket enforcement, even though it isn’t explicitly stated. Again, that’s why I think Selig is a jerk-off….not because he wants to enforce the rules, but because he knew ahead of time it’d be incredibly damaging to teams.

    I sure hope the Cubs and all their lawyers would be able to look through the CBA contract, and find ways to get around the limits. 

    Even so, the Cubs draft was extremely lackluster. In fact, outside of Almora and Wiseman, there’s really nobody you’d go over-slot for, and feel you were getting an above average, high-ceiling guy, and that clearly won’t happen for the reasons I’ve already outlined.

    So, to me, it doesn’t really matter. Last year’s draft was the one you’d find loopholes and go all out for it. Does that make sense? I mean, I just don’t think it matters at this point, because their draft was BLAH

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      We’re on the same page. Thank you for doing a better job explaining than I did. I know you are hearing/reading the same thing, I have not heard anyone that likes the new draft rules.

    • BosephHeyden

       Was listening to the Score today, and they said something along the lines of how Boras’s positioning was dumb unless they were planning on actually going to Miami.  From what they said, I guess they think Boras is trying to see how willing they would be to overpay and deal with the penalties (loss of draft pick next year if it’s a certain percentage higher, multiple picks if higher than that).  But, in the end, everyone else seems to think Almora’s options are sign with the Cubs for the amount of money assigned, or roll the dice and pray that you’ll do well enough at Miami that you wind up the #1 pick in the next few years (though the pay raise, I’ve heard, is minimal).

      • Aaron

        $7.25 million (this year) vs $3.25 million (this year) is more than twice the amount he’d receive…again, that is THIS YEAR’s slotted amount. For more information, here is the link:
        http://www.mymlbdraft.com/2012-mlb-draft-slot-values 

        Now, this is “slotted” amounts. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the players will actually get that amount, but it DOES, however, factor into a team’s overall draft pool of money, so that’s already been accounted for. That’s precisely why going over-slot is even more cost-prohibitive than people realize. The system is already a “hard slotting” system, versus in recent years with a “soft slotting” system with MLB essentially advising teams how much they should be spending on any given pick, but without the penalties to enforce those guidelines.

        Don’t think for a moment Boras isn’t in Almora and his family’s ears telling them if they wait 3 years, the system might change, being even more favorable to him, and even if it doesn’t, he’ll tell them that Albert is the best all-around player in this year’s draft blah blah blah, and that he’ll likely improve his status to the 1st overall pick. He’ll then show them how he can more than double his money if he waits and plays hardball. The problem is, time is NOT on their side, as they only have about 4 weeks left to figure it out.

        Boras also knows that Almora is a very confident kid…he’s not as cocky as Baez, but he’s an extremely confident kid. You can bet all the money in the world that Boras is going to play to his confidence, and tell him he can double his money….that’s just the way it is with him….even though Boras probably knows that they’ll likely incorporate an international draft before then….obviously, he’s not going to tell them this fact…..which, again, is why he’s a sleezeball, because he ONLY has his best interests in mind, and not his clients

      • Dnuge

        Almora also takes the chance of getting a serious injury while in college and blowing a nice payday .

    • Ripsnorter1

      How can this year’s draft be “blah?” It was a Team Theo draft. So it is impossible for it to be ‘blah.’ 

      These are the All-Stars of the future. We did not build a team for 2012 because this draft was going to save us. 

      Therefore, it simply cannot be a “blah” draft.

      No way. Not a Team Theo draft. Oh no. Not possible. Uh-uh. 

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Several scouts from other teams gave kudos to the Cubs’ haul in the first Draft of the Theo Epstein era. After nabbing Albert Almora in the first round, Chicago went pitching-heavy, taking seven arms in a row after the toolsy outfielder. Four were of the high school variety, with Paul Blackburn and Duane Underwood offering upside one scout in
        particular liked.

        http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120606&content_id=32875604&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb&tcid=tw_article_32875604

        • Ryan

          To add to what Neil posted if anyone is interested, here is Keith Law’s take on ESPN:

          Chicago Cubs
          Summary: Strong first few picks for the Cubs, leading with Albert Almora (1), a high-floor high school center fielder who still has star potential because of his bat and mature approach at the plate. Pierce Johnson (1A) might have been a first-rounder if he hadn’t been felled by a forearm strain this spring; I worry about it becoming a recurring issue because of torque generated at the end of his delivery, but the stuff and results are first-round worthy, with No. 2 starter ceiling if he holds up. Paul Blackburn (1A) is a potential midrotation starter who could have three above-average pitches and already has solid command. Duane Underwood (2) is a 17-year-old prep right-hander who gained velocity as the spring went on, hitting 96 mph late in the year (but not holding it), and it seems like a good gamble that playing baseball full time and maturing physically will help him evolve into a plus-fastball/plus-curveball starter. Ryan McNeil (3) is similar in projection, a big kid who still has that teenager’s lack of coordination but is 88-93 with a chance for an above-average curveball. Josh Conway (4) was probably a top-50 pick before blowing out his elbow in May. Trey Lang (6) was an oddly used JC reliever and first baseman, a 6-3, 225-pound right-hander who can work at 90-94 but whose slider comes and goes.

  • BosephHeyden

    At this point in time, I don’t care how good his defense is:  Stewart has to be gone by the trade deadline.  He’s obviously not a part of this team’s future as is, but he’s becoming a complete offensive liability, and right now, lack of offense, not lack of defense, is losing games.

    At this point in time, I’d consider bringing up Vitters about the same time they brought up Jackson and/or Rizzo.
     

    • Aaron

      I agree….it’s gotten to the point with Stewart the way it was with Neifi and so many others before them…hell, even Koyie Hill, where they were kept on board, even though their hitting was brutal, because they had a “good glove”.

      The problem is, when the primary reason you are losing games is because of your offense, you CANNOT afford to keep those guys on the team.

      What needs to happen, is the Cubs absolutely have to figure something out with their prospects right now. June is usually the time where you figure out if you’re going to compete with veterans, or start over.

      I am looking for guys like Jackson, Rizzo, and Vitters to get called up anytime now. 

      Unfortunately, while Lake started strong upon his activation from the DL, he’s regressed a bit…and there’s always the problem with Jackson’s contact rate as well, and Vitters has actually gone the way of Lake as well recently, so it’s not likely this new regime will even bring them up.

      However, I believe the best thing they could possibly do right now is bring these guys up now, and ride them until the end of the year. Will they fail? Most likely, yes, they will fail, but they’d be getting experience in a completely lost season, and after all that’s what teams are looking to do nowadays….they’re looking to pick the best time to bring prospects up, and let them play full-time. That way, you’re not playing the “yo-yo” game, where they fall flat, you option them, they tear it up, they’re back again, they struggle, you option again, then bring them up again in September. 

      Consider this lineup for a second:

      Jackson-CF
      Castro-SS
      Rizzo-1B
      Vitters-3B
      LaHair-LF
      Mather-RF
      Clevenger-C
      Barney-2B

      L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R….that’s a pretty difficult match-up for any team, even if a majority of your lineup is rookies.

      Bench, you’d have Castillo (when he’s off the DL), Campana, Cardenas, Valbuena, and I’d probably just give Wright a shot at the bench, because he’s older, and would be a good replacement for Johnson.

      That team would have 6 guys with 1B experience (Lahair, Rizzo, Mather, Vitters, Clevenger, and Cardenas), 5 guys with middle IF experience (Castro, Barney, Cardenas, Valbuena, and Mather), 5 guys with 3B experience (Vitters, Barney, Cardenas, Valbuena, and Mather), and 6 guys with OF experience (Jackson, LaHair, Mather, Vitters, Campana, and Cardenas).

      So, obviously you’d have some guys to trade/release: Hill, Soto, Baker, Stewart, Soriano, Johnson, and DeJesus. That’s not really a difficult task, except for Soriano. Nearly all of them would be easy to just part company with and eat their salary if you had to. Teams would surely take Johnson, DeJesus, Baker, and Soto, and you’d at least be able to get low-level prospects for them. Hill and Stewart you’d likely have to simply release, and Soriano, you’d have to eat 95% of his deal to move him.

      But the bigger point here is that I wouldn’t hesitate at this point to blow it all up.

      But if they really wanted to get creative, and bring in some legit prospects instead of Wright, Valbuena, etc., they could look to deal pitchers with value like Garza, Dempster, and possibly even Marmol if they’re lucky (edit: any value he had left just went in the pooper with that bomb to Green)…guess you could throw in Camp as well (even though I’m not sold on him). 

      As of right now, the Cubs can likely obtain top prospects for Garza and Dempster. If they miss out on Soler, and they can’t come to an agreement with Almora, then I would look for the Cubs to not only trade Garza and Dempster, but also Castro, as they simply cannot wait 4-5 years to turn this thing around.

      • SuzyS

        Aaron, This team has already been blown up…all we’re looking at now is the shrapnel… To the point … We’re still working out the old contracts this season…”Z” etc.
        Demp and Garza will bring the most return…but is it still enough??? or should we extend/reup if there is not enough return on the trade deadline market???

        After this season, I see an adjustment to “THE PLAN”
        as we see how the cba truly impacts us…and Ricketts realizes he still needs to put some fannies in the seats to keep the revenue flow going….Translation…we’ll be limited players on the FA
        front in the offseason.
        Johnson/Soto/Baker/Dejesus/Stewart and a can of Campbell’s beans will net you a can of Campbells Beans.
        The season is exactly what it started out to be…Extreme Patience Required.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Well Suzy, the fact is this:

          things can get worse than this. Or to say it another way:THIS AIN’T THE BOTTOM.The bottom comes in August. 

          • SuzyS

            Rip… How do you figure? The bottom is next year…if we are no better.

          • Ripsnorter1

            When I say, “The bottom comes in August” I am referring to the possibility of the Cubs making an even longer losing streak than what we’ve been seeing thus far. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was a 39-pitch fourth for Maholm

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells is coming in

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs have struck out 11 times in first five innings …

    • Aaron

      forget the game Neil…let’s talk the draft…although, that is equally depressing at the moment :)

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I’m okay with the draft. I’m holding off judgement until the players are either signed or elect to go to college. Also keep track with Jorge Soler.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I think the draft is more depressing than the game if one considers that the entire 2012 season was junked in January in favor of this draft. 

        And think how winnable this division is right now. St Louis is .500, while 2nd place Pittsburgh is one game over .500. The Brewers are way off the pace to play even .500 ball. Only the Reds look like they could win 90 games. But remember: Dusty “manages” the Reds and their pitching staff. He’ll find a way to make them a sub-.500 team yet.

        And consider, too, that all of those teams have feasted off this horrible Team Theo concoction. It has helped pad their records. 

        So this division is even weaker than it appears, and the Cubs could have had a stronger, more competitive team. Instead, that idea was junked in favor of this draft.

        Now that is depressing. 

        • SuzyS

          Hey Rip, This year was not tanked for this year’s draft…but for  next year’s draft. (IMHO).
          It usually take’s several years of high pick slotting…(bad mlb teams)…to really rebuild a minor league system.
          Hard to stomach either way…But I’m not going
          to give up the ship just yet….We’re still in uncharted waters here as Cubs fans.

        • cubtex

          All this anticipation for the draft for Theo to draft the guy represented by Boras who is going to play hardball. As I mentioned earlier…..he should have drafted Appel if he is going overslot.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And who is Appel’s agent……?  Hmmmmmm?

            Scott Boras.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Appel said he’s looking forward to returning to Stanford.

            Frankly if I were Theo, I’d play hard ball with Almora. I’d say, “here’s the slot money. Take it or leave it.” 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice 1-2-3 inning for Corpas

  • SuzyS

    Here’s a blurb on one of our draft picks…with a decidedly Bostonian flavor… http://www.enterprisenews.com/brockton-rox/x1472542882/Rhett-Wiseman-drafted-by-Chicago-Cubs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs shutout 8-0 by the Brewers Wednesday night – Maholm:
    4R,6H,1BB,3K,4IP; Castro: 1-for-4,2B; Soriano: 1-for-4,2B; Cubs: 3H, 15Ks, 3BB

    Cubs struck out 29 times in last 18 innings.
     

  • cubtex

    With Almora playing hardball…….it makes even more sense that Theo should never have let Appel slide past them. He is a top of the rotation talent and if you have to go over slot to sign Almora or Appel…….I am paying Appel!

    • Aaron

      Initially I thought you were crazy, but then I realized what you were trying to say. The draft as a whole is a crapshoot, but when you’re looking at draft high schoolers, it’s even worse. At least Appel is a college guy, throws mid 90′s, and has had success at the Division I level. Almora has success on the international level with Team USA, but Division I college ball is entirely different than that. That also happens to be a major reason why I criticized Team Theo for the pitching selections, as more than a handful of them dropped down levels after struggling at the Division I level. 

      At first blush, I think you’d be crazy to pay Appel anywhere near what Almora is asking, but I get what you’re saying, and it makes sense, as Appel would likely shoot up through the system in no more than 2 years, while Almora would likely take about 3-4 years.

      Still, neither are worth that kind of money. I could be wrong, but Vitters got $3.2 million to sign, and he was drafted 3rd overall….3 spots above Almora and 5 above Appel. $4+million is silly money for a high school guy drafted below top 5

      • cubtex

        We will see how this pans out but if they have to pay Almora the same amount what Appel signs I am taking the #1 ranked pitcher in the draft. That is what I was trying to say.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Almora says he’s ready for MLB right now. No minor league tuneup needed.

        All the evidence you need to prove he’s a head case. 

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

           A head case?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Overconfident. 

            Not Manny Rameriz.