Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 06/27/12

Game Seventy-Five: Cubs (26-48) vs. Mets (39-36)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34/1.37) vs. Jon Niese (5-3, 3.75/1.27)

Updated 10:03 am CDT - Randy Wells Designated for AssignmentRafael Dolis Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

Can Dale Sveum’s team complete the sweep over the Mets? After two good games against the Metropolitans, the Cubs have a shot at completing their second three-game sweep of the season (Padres, May 28 – May 30). But in order to accomplish the task and equal their longest winning streak of the year, they will have to win a game started by a southpaw. The Cubs struggles against left-handers this season are well-documented … Sveum’s team is 4-16 against lefties.

Dale Sveum is going to need a long outing from Jeff Samardzija this afternoon. With the short outing from Randy Wells, Sveum had to use Scott Maine, James Russell and Shawn Camp each for basically two innings less than 24 hours ago. Sveum did not have to use either Jairo Asencio or Manny Corpas but even with Thursday’s off day, Samardzija might have to take one for the team if he struggles early.

As for today’s lineup, look for Dale Sveum to run out as many right-handed bats as possible. Anthony Rizzo is supposed to remain in the lineup but Jeff Baker will likely replace Bryan LaHair in right with Reed Johnson in center and Joe Maher at third. The two, three and four spots are expected to be the same as Tuesday night … Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano.

In other newsAccording to a report from the Sun-Times, the cortisone shot Ian Stewart received in his left wrist did not help with his discomfort. Stewart is hoping for the pain to subside soon to avoid exploratory surgery. Stewart acknowledged that would be the next step and he could make the decision to have the surgery soon.

Update – The Cubs designated Randy Wells for assignment on Wednesday morning and recalled Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa. The roster move creates a spot on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players.

Today it all starts with Jeff Samardzija

There are no two ways about it Jeff Samardzija needs to put together a good outing this afternoon. After a decent start against the Red Sox (three runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings), Samardzija took a step back in his last game. Samardzija threw the ball rather well until the third time through the lineup. Samardzija did not adjust and Arizona did. Samardzija ended up allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five-plus innings.

Samardzija has shown how good he can be, now it is time he shows he can repeat his performance.

Jeff Samardzija was 3-2 in six starts in May with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. In 40 innings, Samardzija struck out 40 and walked 11 while giving up 31 hits. In his last four starts (0-3), Samardzija has walked 11 and struck out 19 with 27 hits in 19 innings (8.53 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP).

Like many of his teammates, Samardzija has been much better at Wrigley (3-2 in six starts with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.98) than on the road (2-4 in eight starts with a 6.37 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP) this season.

Jeff Samardzija has faced the Mets six times in his career (0-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP) and this afternoon will be his first start against the Metropolitans.

Mets Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
  • Lucas Duda – 1-for-2
  • Ruben Tejada – 1-for-2
  • Josh Thole – 0-for-1
  • Andres Torres – 0-for-1
  • Justin Turner – 1-for-2
  • David Wright – 0-for-2

Jon Niese is putting together a solid season for Terry Collins and if not for guys named Dickey, Santana and Gee, Niese would be getting more attention. Niese is coming off a win against the Yankees. The lefty gave up two runs on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

After beginning the season 2-0 in his first four starts with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, Niese had a horrible May (1-2 in six starts with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP) but is back on track. Niese is 2-1 in his last four games with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Niese’s home and away splits are almost identical. Niese owns a 2-2 mark in seven road starts with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP and at Citi Field, Niese is 3-1 in seven starts with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Jon Niese is 1-2 in four career starts against the Cubs with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-1 in two starts with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Niese

  • Jeff Baker – 4-for-6
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6 with a triple
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Joe Mather – 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and two walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Mather – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Baker – RF
    Soto – C
    Barney – 2B
    Valbuena – 3B
    Samardzija – P

    • Aaron

      Baker? Really?!?! Must be attempting to showcase him..it’s unfortunately not working. I would rather see Campana flail away at a lefty as at least he might hit a dribbler that he can beat out…and have Mather move to RF

      • Cloycub13

        Baker is 4-6 against Neise, maybe that’s it.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Aaron, but I fear Campana is now a lost soul
        with the Cubs, he hasnt played for about a week and is just sitting on the bench, wasting away.
        I hate to see that and wish they would trade him or send him back to AAA so he can play.

        • Cubs44

          I would much rather see Campanga batting lead off than Mather ! I am about sick of these so called mix & match lineups !

          • Brp921

            I just got home and turned on the TV long enouph ago to see the 9 runs scored and I’ve got to say that Samardziga has looked bad of late. I hope he can get back to the stuff he had earlier this year or the pitching will be horrible once Dempster and Garza are gone.

    • BosephHeyden

      Just because this lineup has Rizzo in it doesn’t make it suck any less. I don’t care that they beat the Mets with a similar lineup Monday: they’ve also lost 4 times as many games than they’ve won with it.

    • LastPlace

      Heaven forbid we go for the sweep and run out the best lineup possible. Further proof this season was meant to see the Cubs finish last.

  • CubsChatter

    Wells gone…lets all Celebrate!

    • Aaron

      I don’t know if you want to celebrate any player essentially being fired….unless that player is Koyie Hill…..zing!!!…..just kidding

  • cubs1967

    Randy, this Bud’s for you dude! see yaaaaaaaaaa

    • cubs1967

      time for ian stewart to go bye-bye; have the surgery and thanks for playing. horrid move by team theo.
      i realize bjax Ks too much, but he is probably the LH version of drew stubbs, maybe he hits .250 or so , but unlike stubbs should have a .375 OBP, hit 15-20 dingers and steal 20 plus bases and good D; better than what we have now and no one can adjust to MLB pitching in AAA; so I hope he’s up after the break ……he is what he is…let’s see what that is. there is NO value in a 110 loss season to see sori or dejesus play anymore. (dejesus is owed about 6.4M for rest of year, 2013 yr plus buyout; how bad is that contract now for a 0 SB, 2 HR, -5.6 UZR and 0.3 WAR OF-Yikes).

      • paulcatanese

        I had mentioned earlier that cortisone shots for Stewart would not solve the problem and they havent.
        But expanding a little on you’re post regarding Stewart, DeJesus,and Mather, they have one thing in common, the present regime brought them in and will continue to be played.
        Rizzo is the only legitimate prospect that provided a track record to be brought up. He was at least not a re-tread,and has earned his call up.
        Doubtful on Jackson being called up anytime soon, as he was not brought over to the Cubs by Theo and Hoyer, who proclaimed a little earlier Jackson would have “to earn it”.
        That dosent make all of that sense as he is a better option than(where do I start) Baker,DeJesus,Mather, Stewart and Johnson. Jackson is the future and is playng just as well as the players I just mentioned,
        Instead of playing around with these stupid platoon lineups go with what will progress towards the future.
        I can live with loss’es under that, but not with the re-treads.

        • DWalker

          Rizzo repeats, the fact they haven’t been called up could just as easily be taken as they feel both their potentials far exceeds the current guys, but they really don’t want to see them come up, get crushed by pitching and get set back another year like Rizzo. Oh, I’d love to see Jackson and Vitters up, but really, neither one are exactly destroying AAA. Both have issues and letting them work through them in AAA really does have value in both service time and productivity.
          I heard the comment last night that Rizzo said he was alright with being held in AAA a few extra weeks. He said the last few weeks he’d been working on things he knew he could get away with in the minors but would kill him in the majors and he felt the last few weeks had been really productive. I thought that was interesting not only as a mature attitude, but it also could explain some of his drop off recently if he was really tinkering.

  • cubs1967

    so t wood is making me eat me words on the marshall trade; as much as saffellt was a waste and the kid torreyes cannot be figured out hitting .350 at low A and now sucking to .225 at high A; that’s too much of a swing to know what he is; other than suspect suspect at best now; but t wood has suprised me; plenty of time to pitch like maholm, but if he continues like this plus smardz and garza, that is 60% of a rotation under 30; may not want to tank 2013 completely…

    • Tony_Hall

      Torreyes is hitting 311/366/432 in June at 19 years old at High A. I wouldn’t write him off yet, just because of a slow start, after a promotion. Sometimes players need some time, look at Travis Wood.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Tribune: Wells was designated to free up a roster spot. Soler signing in next few days.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Cubs’ intent is to keep Wells. But needed to clear a 40-man spot for Soler’s contract getting finalized next few days.

  • paulcatanese

    I could not get last nights game on tv, but did catch several re-plays of Rizzo’s debut.
    He hit the ball well and squared it up on the two hits he got.
    But I understand the Met broadcasters being upset with the Cubs official scorer.
    The first ball he hit should have been called a hit right from the start, but it wasn’t and then changed creating doubt, that was bad, as clearly should have been a hit.
    The second one called a double, really was Rizzo taking advantage of the throw beng made towards third base, and the shortstop cut it off and threw to second, barely not getting Rizzo.
    But the fact is, there was no other thing the scorer could have called it but a double, since the throw was handled cleanly and then the throw to second was also handled cleanly, so it was no different than the throw going directly to second but was off line.
    No choice its a double, if the announcers from New York had seen that(I’m sure they did) they would not have commented what they did, just sour grapes on their part.
    Anyway the interview with Rizzo by MLB was classic, those guys didnt have a clue, truly some of the most stupid questions I have ever heard.
    And the most unintelligent ones came from “the wild one”, that guy should not even be on the air, he asks questions like he pitched, way off the mark. Rizzo handled himself well in spite of those guys.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs release 1B Jair Bogaerts, Xander’s twin brother, whom they received as throw-in in Theo Epstein-Chris Carpenter trade

  • BosephHeyden

    I really just want to skip to Rizzo’s AB so I can see what he’s got. Six pitches in and Samardzija looks very off right now. I don’t know what happened to him but he is not the same pitcher that I thought should be the Cubs’ All-Star back in May.

  • Baron_S

    Samardjza has a 9+ ERA in 5 June Starts ….
    He has almost tied his career high for innings pitched in a season — might be time for a 2 week – rest ‘DL trip’

    • cubtex

      Agreed Baron! They need to be cautious with him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another short outing for Samardzija.

    • J Daniel

      That is why a larger sample size is so important I do like him but most had him as cy young after his first game and most were writing off Travis wood. This is going to be a slow painful process

    • Zonk

      There is clearly something wrong. Shark’s command was impeccable early in the season, and his April was no fluke based on what he was bringing. Fangraphs had a nice article that broke down how good he was.
      He’s clearly lost “it”, whatever it is. It’s not velocity, it’s command.
      There is a mechanical or injury issue that needs to be corrected, or fatigue; those are the only explanations

      • DWalker

        I knew this was going to happen as soon as i heard he had cut his hair.
        seriously though, I vote fatique, he’s at as many innings as he pitched all of last year, he’s also had higher pitch counts the last few outings IIRC. He’s not been good in June, and I think its just he’s been dead arming it. He got through May but just started to run out of gas. I noticed they haven’t skipped starts with him or really pushed him back in a while now.
        I think he’s also been pushing himself, heck, all the starters have, to try and win by themselves, knowing they aren’t going to get run support. He needs a rest, go relax a little and get his mojo back.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Coleman walks Niese, second free pass for Niese today.

    • Zonk

      Not sure about you guys, but I personally have seen enough of Coleman to know that he is not a major league pitcher.
      He should be considered roster filler, not part of any long-term plans

      • J Daniel

        Zonk
        I agree with you. That is why you have to be careful with young players as well and not bring them up until they are ready. Not sure in his case if it matters.

      • BosephHeyden

        They keep on flopping him between starter in Triple A, long guy in the majors, regular reliever in the majors, and when they send him back to Triple A, he’ll be back to being a starter. He could have been a solid four or five guy had they developed him correctly. But between Hendry/Quade and Hoyer/Sveum, they haven’t, so he’s pretty much done unless they commit to him being a full starter ASAP.

      • CubsChatter

        He sucked just as much as his old man sucked when he was with the Cubs back in the 70’s.

    • CubsChatter

      Yankees lost Pettitte to a broken ankle…….will it be Dempster or Garza going to the Yankees now?…..Maybe Maholm!

  • paulcatanese

    I think the imense lady has sung her song early in todays game, and the party’s over before it even got started.

  • CubsChatter

    Poll Question of the Day…..

    Do you think now that Jeff Samardzija still can be traded before July 31st by The & Jed?

    A – Yes….he is not untouchable anymore…trade him
    B – No……he is an untouchable in any trade….keep him

    • John_CC

      Epstein does not believe in the “untouchable”

      • J Daniel

        Traded Nomar!

    • Aaron

      I don’t want to sound like a jerk, as you clearly enjoy these polls, and you are entitled to say whatever you want…but please stop with them already. It gets annoying. There was some dude on here like last year or something that constantly posted in the third person, and it was annoying. I would say if you are really into doing the polls, maybe you could do it at the end of the year…not every single game.

      • J Daniel

        Agree wih you 100%! Most of the questions are stupid!

  • CubsChatter

    I didn’t know the Jets were in town today…..2 touchdowns and a field goal already at Wrigley.

  • CubsChatter

    Yankees lost both Sabathia and Pettitte to injuries…….

    Could two of our starters be heading to the Yankees?……

    Where is Charlie Brown Tom?…….that guy knows all the good minor leaguers…..tell us Tom who does the Yankees have to give to us……..Theo would love to make a trade with the Yankees.

    • Tom U

      Uh, thanks CubChatter, I think?

      Here is a listing of the Yankees top 15 prospects

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-15-prospects-new-york-yankees/

      It’s usually not in the Yankee’s MO to give up top prospects for pitchers like Dempster or Garcia, so looking toward the bottom of the list is a good place to start.

      One player to forget about would be Dante Bichette Jr, as the Yankees love to market players like him. Tyler Austin has been playing RF in Single-A, and has been named to the Futures Game. LF Ben Gamel is a left-handed power hitter also at Single-A.

      If the Cubs add a prospect such as Junior Lake, they can ask for more like C Gary Sanchez or OF Mason Williams.

      • Dorasaga

        Tom, by replying you just convinced me that you are a nice guy.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 17-1 to Mets on Wednesday afternoon – Jeff Samardzija: 9R, 6H (2HR), 4BB, K in 4.1IP; Casey Coleman: 7R, 6H (2HR), 2BB, K in 1.2IP; Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-4,2B; Luis Valbuena: 1-for-4,2B,RBI

    • CubsChatter

      Time to say bye bye to Coleman

  • SuzyS

    Any more news on draft signings….such as Underwood???
    Nada to say on a 17-1 loss. We’ve been spanked.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Update – The Cubs designated Randy Wells for assignment on Wednesday morning and recalled Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa. The roster move creates a spot on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players.

    Please keep in mind when the Jorge Soler signing is made official, Soler will be added to the 40-man roster. Soler’s signing is expected to be announced before July 2.

  • John_CC

    So if Randy refuses the assignment does that make him a free agent?

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    I thought about that too…With Wells off the 40-man now, there are only 3 options the Cubs have (at least in my opinion): recall Volstad, move Coleman to the rotation, or add Rusin to the roster.

    I believe the latter two make the most sense to me, unless they are planning on getting rid of another reliever that can’t throw strikes like Maine.

    If they add Rusin, then they still need to jettison a reliever…which is why either Dolis is up for a short period of time, and once Wells’ spot comes up again in the rotation, he’s optioned out, or they plan on moving someone from the pen because they have 8 guys right now in there.

    As for Soler, if they do not add Rusin to the roster, then he can just take that spot, or they can place Lendy Castillo on the 60-day to open a spot for him…..or, the option that makes the most sense to me is just to have an “eye for an eye” situation (okay, that’s not the best description)…but what I mean by that is a position for position replacement, and that would be DFA-ing Sappelt, who is dreadful this year, and doesn’t offer much anyhow. Fact is, they Cubs have a better version of him in AAA already in Wright, so they wouldn’t be missing much.

  • Aaron

    Yes, however, I might add that we still need info on the type of DFA, as there are outright waivers, and conditional, so who knows at this point. What I am assuming is that the Cubs are actively looking to trade him for whatever they can get right now, whether that’s cash or a low level player

  • Zonk

    Randy Wells is in the same boat as Volstad and DeWitt, as he has less than 5 years service time.
    —Wells can be claimed by any team; however, if they claim him, they will pay his $2.7 mil salary the rest of the year
    —Wells can opt for free agency; however, in doing so he surrenders that $2.7 mil salary
    —If he clears waivers and doesn’t declare himself FA, he can go to Iowa
    So, he’ll go to Iowa.

  • John_CC

    And if he accepts the assignment, he is sent to Iowa but removed from the 40 man?

    What is best case, for us? He declines, passes waivers and is traded for a case of Red Bull?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I would not be surprised if they brought up Rusin, especially with Sveum mentioning him by name. Volstad, as you know, is not getting results in Triple-A either. I think they like Coleman as a short reliever for now. I doubt they would start him at this point without sending him down to stretch him out. They can skip what is Dempster’s turn because of the day off tomorrow.

    I think you are right on with Castillo. They can transfer him to the 60-day to create another spot.

  • cubs1967

    actually for randy; it would be a case of old style………..let me hear ya, a 1,a 2, a 3…….

  • Aaron

    My understanding is that if he refuses they can withdraw or just let him leave….problem for him as it was with DeWitt is nobody will claim and assume their salaries so he’s pretty much assured of staying or the Cubs could just assume all his salary in a trade but then they would have a depth issue at AAA….hopefully i explained that well

  • CubsChatter

    Wells is only worth a half a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
  • J Daniel

    Love the no comment by Wells – how about ” I stinks”!

  • J Daniel

    No doubt on he is already there

  • matthew8510

    is soler gonna play on big league level this year or is it too early

  • cubtex

    Are you serious? He will start in A ball. Probably 3 years till he reaches majors.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soler will report to Mesa once he is officially signed. I would imagine after he gets back into game form, Boise would be his first stop.

    Soler is 20-years old and the earliest he should be expected is late-2014 … more realistic is 2015.

    The contract is the reason Soler has to be added to the 40-man roster.

  • matthew8510

    why is he going on 40 man roster then

  • cubtex

    Same reason Gerardo Concepcion is. Signed a major league contract.