Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Tigers – 06/14/12

Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (21-41) vs. Tigers (29-33)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (0-2, 4.71/1.19) vs. Justin Verlander (5-4, 2.69/1.00)

Luis Valbuena added to 40-man roster, called up from Triple-A Iowa – Koyie Hill designated for assignment - Welington Castillo activated from 15-day DL - Ian Stewart placed on 15-day DL

The Cubs complete the three-game series with the Detroit Tigers this afternoon and they will have to figure out arguably the best pitcher in the game in order to post back-to-back series wins at Wrigley. Jim Leyland is sending the reigning AL MVP and AL Cy Young Award winner to the hill this afternoon. Justin Verlander has been called the Nolan Ryan of his generation and the Cubs will get to see him for the first time in nearly six years.

The Cubs are expected to place Ian Stewart on the 15-day DL prior to this afternoon’s game. Stewart is dealing with a sore left wrist, the same one he injured back in 2006 and has caused him problems ever since. Stewart was scratched just prior to Wednesday’s game and during his post-game press conference Dale Sveum said Stewart would be placed on the DL.

Reports suggested Luis Valbuena could be called up and replace Stewart on the active roster, not Josh Vitters. The Cubs will have to make another roster move in order to add Valbuena to the 40-man roster. The Cubs’ big league roster currently stands at 40 players.

Updated 10:39am CDTThe Cubs made a flurry of roster moves on Thursday morning. The Cubs placed Ian Stewart on the 15-day DL with a wrist injury. Stewart is scheduled to see a wrist specialist. The Cubs think Stewart may have nerve damage. The Cubs purchased the contract of Luis Valbuena from Triple-A Iowa, added him to the 40-man roster and called him up from Iowa. To make room of the 40-man roster, Koyie Hill was designated for assignment. Welington Castillo was activated from the 15-day DL. Castillo was not expected back this soon but the injury to Stewart and subsequent roster moves changed his timeframe. Geovany Soto could return from the DL as soon as Monday for the opener against the White Sox.

Today it all begins with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off a short outing against the Twins. Wood was in line for his first win as a Cub but the bullpen could not hold the lead. Wood allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings. Wood struggled with his command, ran up his pitch count and had to depart before Dale Sveum would have liked.

Wood has been solid in four of his five starts for the Cubs this season. Wood has no record in two starts at Wrigley with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Wood has to be at his best this afternoon in order to give his team a chance to win.

After posting a 0-1 record in his first three starts (5.94 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP), Travis Wood is 0-1 in his last two with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Travis Wood has not faced the Tigers in his short career … and Prince Fielder (4-for-10 with four walks) is the only player on the Tigers’ active roster that has faced Wood.

The Cubs have struggled mightily this season against pitchers that are nowhere as good as Justin Verlander. Verlander has not posted a win since May 18 but other than one uncharacteristic outing against the Red Sox, Verlander has done his job.

Justin Verlander is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP after posting a 3-2 record in his previous six outings with a 2.66 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.

For as good as Verlander has been he is just 3-2 in seven road starts this season with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Justin Verlander is 1-0 in his only start against the Cubs (one run on nine hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings). Verlander and the Tigers topped the Cubs 9-3 at Wrigley Field nearly six years ago to the day (June 17, 2006).

Jeff Baker (0-for-2 with a walk), David DeJesus (14-for-46 with four doubles and five walks) and Carlos Marmol (0-for-2) are the only Cubs on the active roster that has faced Justin Verlander.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Updated 10:39am CDT – The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves on Thursday morning. The Cubs placed Ian Stewart on the 15-day DL with a wrist injury. Stewart is scheduled to see a wrist specialist. The Cubs think Stewart may have nerve damage. The Cubs purchased the contract of Luis Valbuena from Triple-A Iowa, added him to the 40-man roster and called him up from Iowa. To make room of the 40-man roster, Koyie Hill was designated for assignment. Welington Castillo was activated from the 15-day DL. Castillo was not expected back this soon but the injury to Stewart and subsequent roster moves changed his timeframe. Geovany Soto could return from the DL as soon as Monday for the opener against the White Sox.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Today’s lineup:

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

      • cubs1967

        So who signed off on Stewart that he physically was OK; he showed up in ST hurt and now he has nerve damage; damn, another BAD trade by team theo along with the marshall disaster and even though Z had to go; JH traded todd hundley and got back 2 serviceable parts in karros and grundz;  volstad and the bryd got zero for the team……….

        not exaclty too excited about team theo moving dempster or soto and he just needs to not move garza cuz’ his cubs trade resume is an F.

        only cashner for rizzo is deemed fair and till rizzo is “ready” even that trade is not helping the team.

        104 yrs and counting…………….

        • paulcatanese

          Agree with you on Stewart, I don’t think it was any secret that he had the wrist injury that has lingered, and was the major cause for his performance last year.
          I didn’t understand bringing him to the Cubs then and still don’t.
          While his glove is supposed to be very good, at times this year he has looked as lost as anyone that was over there at third.
          I don’t know if Stewart can be released or given back because of it, but seems strange that being a pre-existing injury that this could not be achomplished with no loss to the Cubs and either compensation or whatever monies that have been spent returned.
          In my opinion this is what I was afraid of with the Cubs and the signing of players that had a down year and hoping for a rebound .

          • Chadaudio

            It’s not a total loss.  We had NO ONE to play third, but we had a really crowded OF.

            I agree, a wrist injury should always be taken serious, and Stewart’s last month hasn’t been Gold Glove defense.  It’s sort of a baffling.

            Let’s just hope some positive stuff comes from this Luis Valbuena call-up.  Remember when Brandon Phillips got picked up by the Reds from the Indians – converted from SS to 2B and became an All-Star/Gold Glover ever since?  We can dream right?

        • cubtex

          Even though I am not a big fan…..Tyler Colvin has been on a nice little run lately.

          Last 15 AB’s  he has 4HR’s and 6 RBI

          He alone has been more productive than Ian Stewart.

          • paulcatanese

            Yes,I saw that last night on Colvin, I believe 7 home runs total so far, and a decent average.

          • cubtex

            Just for kicks…..

            Ian Stewart- 179 AB  .201 Avg  5 HR  and 17 RBI

            Tyler Colvin- 117 AB  .291 Avg  7 HR  and 19 RBI

        • Ripsnorter1

          Jed & Team Theo–these two Saviors of Mankind.

          WHO ELSE?

          They have to take the blame. They traded for him. 
          When healthy, he’s only a .225 hitter anyway.

    • Chadaudio

      Wow.  What a mess.

      I think I agree with most on here that, as bad as Soto is this year, I’d WAY rather have him on the bench then W. Castillo.

      Castillo just looked horrible when he was called up (both hitting and catching).  He looked so lost catching, that I wonder if he is even salvageable.  I mean, he may just not become a big league catcher.  But to find out, he should play everyday in AAA… he has a LONG way to go.

      Stewart’s wrist.  Management knew about the wrist, but still felt it was worth the risk trading for… hopefully it’s something they can work out.

      • Dorasaga

        I’m not positive on the nerve part. If the nerves died, they seldom grew back. The body would try to “reroute” by growing smaller nerves around the dead part, but it’ll never feel the same.

  • SuzyS
    • paulcatanese

      Thank you Suzy, good article, but dosen’t make it any easier to take.
      What the most difficult thing for me is the delicate balance between waiting for prospects, and all have a failure rate, just some not as bad as others.
      As Theo said, it will be some time before this happens, and time is of the essance for some of us.

      • SuzyS

        Paul, The patience part IS TOUGH…”all have a failure rate, just some not as bad as others.”
        Paul, all of baseball is about minimizing failure.  A .333 hitter is basically a 67% failure. I know you know this as an educated fan…it just struck me.

        I’m going to take in a game soon…on a free ticket to the Boston series…and unlike other years…I’m really wondering if I want to invest my time in it.
        As a #1 Cubs fan and #2 Boston fan…it’s an extremely disappointing season for me…This year, it doesn’t matter to me who wins…I just hope for “good” baseball…and that is doubtful. Sigh.

        • paulcatanese

          Suzy, don’t think that way, you will have a great time at the game, you can’t lose since you are a fan of both teams, the only thing that could go wrong is the hot dogs may be cold.
          I envy the chance to go to a game and have to settle for TV.,just not the same.
          Enjoy the game and look forward to the report from you.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I am going to see the Reds play vs the Brewers on 26 Jun 2012. It will be a wonderful contest between a team full of injuries (Brewers) and a talented team with a horrible manager (Reds and Dusty Baker). I enjoy seeing Baker burn up his pitching staff. No doubt they are going NO WHERE AT ALL in the post season. 

          How that guy has a job in MLB, I dunno.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Kyler Burke (2-2. 2.14)
    Daytona – PJ Francescon (0-2, 4.50)
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (6-6, 4.42)
    Iowa – Brooks Raley (2-1, 4.09)

  • paulcatanese

    While happy to see the same basic lineup as yesterday if I were one of the players Sveum isn’t doing them any favors.
    The only way this could be any tougher would be to have Randy Jackson in the bullpen for relief( I know he’s retired, just a point).
    Not that I think Verlander is going to need relief, but I can dream, maybe he can trip on the way to the mound and need a day of rest.
    Good luck Cubs, try the best you can to get a few hits, Maybe Verlander was out all night.

    • cubtex

      It makes me nauseous looking at the Cubs lineup day in and day out. DeJesus as our #3 hitter? I am to the point that I have decided to avoid watching this team UNTIL there is something worth watching. Maybe when they bring up Rizzo. Maybe when they make a deal for some new players….but until then? No point.

      • paulcatanese

        Think you are nauseous watching now, wait until they start tradeing and bring back prospects only.
        How can they put a lineup on the field that would even make any kind of sense?
        This has gone from watching major league baseball into following minor league teams and expected to like it. This is like a deep freeze for Cub fans.

        • cubtex

          Yes. At least when they bring up some prospects we can take a little look at the future. To see guys like Joe Mather, Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, Koyie Hill to play is worthless. If they bring up Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters…..at least those 3 are players who could be part of the future.

          • paulcatanese

            I would think their hand may be forced to do just that they cannot just keep going the way they are and expect people to buy it.

          • Calicub

            wood is not long for this game

          • Dorasaga

            The V just made contact on a 1-2 count (good take on a corner pitch, could have been strike), but bad baserunning (late start from 2B) cost the Tigers a potential run. Go Cubs!

          • Dorasaga

            Wood got stuff.

          • cubs1967

            i’ve told my kids; we’ll go to a cubs game when i see rizzo and bjax up here; even if the team is bad; at least i can point to those 2 plus castro and show some of the future……otherwise for a large market team that just had 41,000 plus fans in the stands; this is beyond asinine for the Ricketts family to just collect monies and expect fans to be ‘excited” about this. & pay top 3 dollar in baseball for it.

          • cubtex

            agreed. most people going to Cubs games these days are for the other team.

  • SuzyS

    Just noted Doug Padilla (espn) said the Baltimore O’s had their top talent evaluator at the game last night. Not a good time for Garza to implode. I think the O’s might be a good trade partner…with some talent in their system.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Garza is overrated by the Cubs….more accurately assessed by the rest of MLB. 

      • BosephHeyden

         I’ve been of the opinion for a long time that the only reason Garza was able to get the prospect haul he got was the no-hitter he threw.  Heck, had he not thrown that no-hitter back in 2010, chances are pretty good very few people would actually know who he was.

        • cubtex

          Are you kidding?

        • cubtex

          so with that logic….Phil Humber would get back a ton of top prospects if the White Sox were to trade him.

        • cubs1967

          he was ALCS MVP; that actually shows more than a fluke no-hitter (see phil humber for almost any MLB pitcher can throw one now that the roids-HGH-greenies) are out of the hitters systems.

  • BosephHeyden

    According to ESPN Chicago, yesterday’s “bleacher meeting” between Theo and Dempster was, in fact, settling trade talks (figuring out who is ok’d, who isn’t).  It’s a good thing Dempster has been as good as he’s been, because any other player on this team would pretty much kill trade talks by saying no to certain teams.

  • Dorasaga

    Soriano limping and you know, he needs to land DL, not on the field. I love this guy, owns an authentic jersey of him, but his running, man, just disgusts me. It’s like forcing a disabled man on wheel chair playing at the regular Olympics, against all those with limbs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a single … and LaHair too

    • Zonk

      I’ve never seen Verlander pitch before, but that was a NASTY curve to get Clevenger.  No wonder he’s so good.

      • paulcatanese

        He is that good, and am pleasantly surprised the Cubs scored two runs off him so far.

    • paulcatanese

      So far Neil, the Cubs are responding a lot better than I had thought they would. And Wood crushed one to short, very hard hit ball.

  • Dorasaga

    Clutchman Darwin.

  • paulcatanese

    Not meant for a putdown to Garza but read his statement that he would “pitch on the moon”.
    Dosen’t he realize that has less gravity their and if he were to field a bunt and throw to first it could end up on another planet?:)

    • cubtex

      lol!

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah, Garza has a great sense of humor.still laughing at the statement.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Awesome …

  • CubsForever

    Boras does not want Mark Appel sign with the Pirates…..so he has to wait for next years draft, and hope for Theo to sign him?

    • Zonk

      Wood wasn’t Cy Young today, but he settled down, didn’t walk too many batters, and kept us in the game.  That’s what you need from a 4-5 starter.

      Too bad he’s on the hook for the loss right now

      • Dorasaga

         A #4 usually gives away 4-5 runs in 5 innings, but they hang in there. Most teams don’t have a #5, bouncing around washed-up veterans and prospects to fill the role, most of the time skipped to match schedules.

        I think Travis has been better than that. He’s a #3 on most Major League rotations.

        • cubtex

          I hate to disagree. 4 or 5 runs allowed in 5 innings would make them a minor league pitcher not a major league starter……See Chris Volstad.

          A #3 on most major League Rotations? Name them. Let’s not get carried away. He is a back end starter at best. Hopefully he can end up being a decent one but you are getting a little carried away.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Cubs lost 5-3 to Tigers Thursday afternoon – Travis Wood: 3R, 8H, 2BB, 2 HBP, 3K, 6.2IP; Darwin Barney: 2-for-3,2B,RBI; Luis Valbuena: RBI; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4,R; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-3,R, David DeJesus: RBI

          • Dorasaga

            #3s? Westbrook (STL), Wolf (Crew), Friedrich (COL), and the list goes on. These are guys who usually can’t pitch more than 6 innings, and with a combined ERA (my estimate) between 4.50-5.00, a usual scene in our modern New Dead Ball Era.

            I admit I exaggerated in my former post on the runs, but I don’t know had you read the fangraphs article I posted a year or two ago (offseason). Latest numbers from #4 and #5 are not pretty. They NEVER WERE.

          • cubtex

            Shaun Marcum is #3 for Brewers. Cardinals have Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Kyle Lohse and then Westbrook. Neither of those 2 are considered #3’s

    • Zonk

      If he declines any offer from the Pirates, though, what are his options?

      I’m not 100% sure how this new system works, but I understand that if the Pirates choose not to sign him, they’ll get the 9th pick next year as comp, in addition to their normal earned choice.  So, they could have 2 first round picks.  No skin off their nose.

      Appel, on the other hand, is a College Junior.  So, he can hold out for the Pirates to overspend his slot this year (which could cost the Pirates further down the draft), which means he could end-up back at Stanford.  Nothing wrong with that, but NEXT year he could a) easily NOT be #1 choice due to injury/ineffectivenss, and b) he HAS to sign next year, because the alternative is the Newark Bears or whatever. 

      There are some interesting games going on with this new system, that’s for sure

      • cubtex

        Appel could go back to Stanford and hope he is he #1 pick next year. The Pirates would get the 9th pick next year as well as their own pick so it was a very good gamble for the Pirates to take.

  • gary3411

    “Hey Detriot fans you SUCK!”

    Anyone else hear that from Jeff? then they cut off right away haha

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I did. He said it.

  • Dorasaga

    Wrigley had just unofficially become Detroit South. As V ended the inning, hear all the cheering, loud and clear.

    • BosephHeyden

       That’s going to be every game versus teams that are potential contenders.  It’s also why we all better pray that Ricketts actually does claim to be as big of a Cubs fan as he is.  Tickets will always sell out simply because Wrigley is a “destination” , both for tourists and for rich people who want to look casual by going to a sport they barely pay attention to.

  • cubtex

    If someone who is watching this game let me know if Valbuena tried to sacrifice Barney over to 2nd before hitting into the double play. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sveum didn’t try to bunt him over because he has made baffling decisions all year. When you have the tying run on 1st in the 8th with no outs and the bottom of the order up the sacrifice bunt should be an automatic.

  • Dorasaga

    Now’s time for Jose and his “spit-ball,” under official investigation:
    http://youtu.be/PSAdbWD85kg

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Baseball America: Cubs signed fourth round pick Josh Conway for $280k (pick value=$343,200). Right-handed pitcher had 94-96 fastball, nasty slider before TJ surgery. 

    • Zonk

      That’s $63K that goes back into the kitty……I wonder if they are starting to gather those bits together for Almora.  At least Boras wants them to be thinking that way.

      Alot of folks think the Astros took Correa partly to free up a couple million to overspend later in the draft.  It’s not a bad idea with that pick.

      • Calicub

        correct me if im wrong but it was my understanding that tey couldn’t roll over money if they didn’t reach the slot value?

        • Aaron

           No, I believe it’s all about NOT SIGNING…if you do not sign your pick, then that money does not go back in the pool, but if you undersign your picks, that money DOES go in the pool.

          In other words, what some of the so-called experts were saying about the Cubs draft was that in the supplemental rounds and rounds 2-10, they have some VERY signable guys that should go underslot.

          What was then said is that the money saved there could be applied to the 25th round pick, Rhett Wiseman, who has a solid college commitment.

          • Calicub

            i see thanks for the clarification.