Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 07/07/12

Game Eighty-Four: Cubs (32-51) vs. Mets (45-39)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Citi Field, Flushing

Jeff Samardzija (6-7, 4.77/1.37) vs. Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.34/1.28)

The Cubs have won eight of 11 and with a victory today Dale Sveum’s team would guarantee themselves a winning road trip for the first time this season. The Cubs are playing their best ball of the year heading into the All-Star break. While the overall record is still one of the worst in baseball, the Cubs have shown improvement and enter play this afternoon in fifth place in the NL Central

The Cubs will receive a little extra boost Sunday in the last game before the All-Star break. Ryan Dempster is expected to be activated from the DL to start the finale against the Mets. Dempster will be on a pitch limit (70-80 pitches) in his first game since June 15. Chris Volstad should be sent back down to Triple-A to make room on the active roster for Dempster. Once Volstad is optioned down, he has to remain in the minors for 10 days barring an injury. Volstad could not be recalled early to replace a player on the active roster that has been traded.

In other newsBrett Jackson missed his second straight game Friday night. Jackson is dealing with back spasms. Josh Vitters extended his hitting streak to eight games Friday night with a 1-for-3 performance that included a pair of walks and a run scored. Vitters is hitting .375 with a .990 OPS in July.

According to Baseball America, the Cubs released RHP Shane Lindsay and LHP Hung-Chih Kuo.

Today it all begins with Jeff Samardzija

It will be interesting to see how Jeff Samardzija responds to a Mets’ team that shelled him two starts ago. Samardzija is coming off one of his best outings of the year. After struggling for the entire month of June (0-4 in five starts with a 10.41 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP) that ended with his worst performance of the season against the Mets, Samardzija was more than impressive against the Braves. Samardzija allowed one run on seven hits with a walk and a career-high 11 strikeouts. Samardzija picked up his first win since May 29.

The remainder of the season figures to be more of the same for Samardzija. He will have his good starts, not-so-good stretches, and excellent outings. Samardzija needs to work on consistency and forming habits for the remainder of the year.

Jeff Samardzija has struggled outside of Wrigley this season (3-4 in nine starts with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP) and three of his last four road starts have been a struggle. The walks have really hurt Samardzija this year, especially on the road (21 with 49 strikeouts in 48 innings, 14 walks and 47 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings at home).

Jeff Samardzija will make his second career start against the Mets this afternoon. Samardzija is 0-1 in seven appearances, one start, with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP … at Citi Field, no decisions in three games with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.

Mets Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
  • Ike Davis – 2-for-3 with a double and a home run
  • Lucas Duda – 1-for-3 with two walks
  • Scott Hairston – 0-for-2
  • Daniel Murphy – 2-for-2 with a double and a home run
  • Ruben Tejada – 2-for-5 with a double
  • Josh Thole – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Andres Torres – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Justin Turner – 1-for-2
  • David Wright – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk

The Cubs beat Dillon Gee two starts ago and ended his streak of seven consecutive quality starts. Gee is coming off a loss to the Dodgers in which he allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in six innings. Gee walked two batters and struck out four.

Dillon Gee is 2-4 in nine home starts this season and is coming off a 1-3 record in five starts last month with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Gee is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP … both starts came at Wrigley … today is the first time Gee has faced the Cubs in his home ballpark.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dillon Gee

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-3 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better." - Jim Rohn

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      Better use of what platoon system they have been using,
      although yesterday it worked out, but that has been rare.

  • SuzyS

    For Neil or Tom U.
    I note that Zac Rosscup was promoted from Peoria to AA Tennessee. How big a deal is that to bypass High A Daytona?
    Is that more of a “NEED” move…or are the Cubs that high on
    Rosscup?

    • Tom U

      Suzy, it’s not technically a “skip” as Rosscup was 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 9 starts for Daytona last year, and he was on a rehab assignment.

      I was going to comment on this when I posted the minor league starters, but I’ll do so here. I believe this move is more of sense of the organization starting to get a better read on players. Rosscup has made only 26 starts over 4 minor league season, and at 24 years old now projects better as a relief pitcher.

      On the other hand, Jeffry Antigua, who went down to Peoria in the corresponding move, didn’t do as well out of the pen for Tennessee. Just turning 22 a couple of weeks ago, Antigua will probably be stretched out into a starting role, as the Chiefs could use another left-hander in the rotation. It could also signal that the organization is ready to move Gerardo Concepcion down to a lower level,

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thank you Tom … agree 100%.

        • SuzyS

          Tom and Neil…Thankyou.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Cubs rotation after the break: Dempster, Maholm, Garza, Wood and Samardzija.

  • SuzyS

    This you tube clip is for all of us with faulty memories…being a Cubs fan…that is sometimes an advantage. ( I originally posted this the other day for Ripsnorter just before Neil went on to the next thread…so I don’t know if anyone saw this).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yN-6PbqAPM

    • Ripsnorter1

      Er….I forgot to tell you that I liked it!

  • brent carmona

    Neil, I hear something about garza having an extra year of control plus a comp pick, what does that mean exactly? Grienke/hamels don’t have that extra year of control so that is why no comp picks come with them?

    If that is true, that means the team that gets garza in a trade this season can receive a comp pick post 2013 if he signs with a different team in free agency?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      I know im not Neil, but this is how I understand it. With the new cba, if you acquire a player midseason who is set to become a free agent after that particular season you do not get compensation if they sign elsewhere. In garzas case his contract goes through next season. If he is traded now he spends a full season with the team he goes to and therefore they receive compensation picks if he does not resign with them the following season. Just another reason Garza has a bit higher value then some of the others.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thanks Mike, beat me to it.

      • brent carmona

        Okay got it thank you

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Mike is correct, under the new CBA the team that trades for Garza would have the option of offering salary arbitration to him and picking up a draft pick. It would not come along automatically but the option would be there.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        yeah left out the arbitration part, nice catch, thanks!

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Tayer Scott (0-1, 2.20)
    Peoria – Jose Rosario (6-8, 4.28)
    Daytona – PJ Francescon (1-2, 3.40)
    Tennessee – Dae-Eun Rhee (5-4, 5.46)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin (6-6, 4.69)

    With the All-Star break looming, here’s how I see some things from the system:

    I know this is beginning to sound like a broken record, but with a break for both the parent club and Iowa, now would be a good time to do some house cleaning.

    Expect a starting pitcher yo be traded, with the surprise of Paul Maholm being first. The Cubs’ left handed starting prospects are further along, with either Chris Rusin or Brooks Raley taking Maholm’s place.

    Josh Vitters will not be called up, at least until September. If anything, watch for 26 year old Greg Rohan to move up quickly, especially if he keeps raking at Tennessee.

    Don’t be surprised if Carlos Marmol is traded. The organization is grooming Michael Bowden as a closer, probably temporarily, until either Rafael Dolis, Alberto Cabrera, Frank Batista, or Kevin Rhoderick can step up and claim the position.

    After today’s move with Zach Rosscup, a left-handed pitching bump is in order; with Austin Kirk to Tennessee, Eric Jokisch to Iowa, and as mentioned above, a lefty moving to the parent club.

    Other comments:

    Dustin Geiger is shooting to tie a Peoria record by going for his fourth straight game with a home run today.

    As I alluded to yesterday, Gioskar Amaya was on the bench last night after running through two stop signs, and into outs.

    Cubs fans will want to keep C Chadd Krist and OF Bijan Rademacher on their radar.

    • cubtex

      Grooming Michael Bowden as closer? Wow! I didn’t think it could get worse :)

      • Tom U

        His earned run allowed last night was his first in 14.2 innings spanning his last 10 games.

        • cubtex

          I realize he has done OK. He had 16 saves for Pawtucket last year,but he is not someone I would envision to close games for the Cubs. He is a fringe bullpen guy at best to me.

          • Dorasaga

            And I’m having a headache to regrasp such reality. This is how baseball teams rebuild, right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            yeah the kid has a pretty good Whip and K/9 between Iowa this year and Pawtucket last year. It cant hurt to give him a shot at the closers role. I mean it is basically up for grabs right now. And we got the kid for nothing anyways.

          • Dorasaga

            Honestly speaking, I don’t think Thoyer want Marmol be traded. Neither do I believe that Marmol must be traded. They’ll need to play Bowden in high-clutch roles, see how he performs, before finally axing Marmol on the table. That’s how “performance scouting” works, right? Post-moneyball style?

  • cubtex

    Since there has been some talk about a possible deal with the Tigers and some talk about Castellanos being aquired as the possible 3rd baseman of future….I decided to compare Vitters numbers this year with Castellanos. Vitters is 22 and Castellanos is 20.
    Castellanos tore up high A ball and is currently in AA. These are some of his combined numbers.
    329 AB’s 23 2B’s 4 3B’s 7 HR’s 47 RBI 68K’s 24BB .529 SLG
    Vitters number in AAA
    310 AB’s 23 2B’s 1 3B 13HR’s 47 RBI 51K’s 23BB .506 SLG
    Pretty similar numbers with the difference being that Vitters is doing it in AAA.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      in all fairness Castellanos just turned 20 and Vitters will soon be 23. Given 3 more years of progression Castellanos should be well above Vitters production. And i believe he handles the glove a bit better too.

      • cubtex

        Yes. I pointed out their ages.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

          yeah in an attempt to make them closer in age then they actually are. The love for cubs prospects here is crazy, Vitters is not the 3b of the future, even if he comes up and mans it for a year Baez and Candalerio will be beatin down the door to take it from him. Vitters is also barely hitting 300 which is good in teh bigs but for a top prospect is mediocre. Castellanos is hitting 336. Seems like we have had an issue with overvaluing all these prospects that have only been ok, Lemahieu, Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez and so on. Castellanos is a clearly better player than Vitters is.
          That being said, id rather move Garza to toronto in an attempt to get d’Arnaud since catcher is a more pressing postion of need given the fact we do have Baez and Candalerio to challenge Vitters fairly soon. And the fact that toronto has much better pitching prospects with Nicolino and Syndergaard. Plus Toronto places high value on obtaining the sandwich picks that Garza would provide if he doesnt re-sign with them after next season. They have had some good success the past few seasons in the draft with those picks.

          • cubtex

            In an attempt to make them closer in age than they are? Castellanos turned 20 on March 4th and Vitters turns 23 the end of November. 8 1/2 months apart. Not quite 2 years…..but pretty damn close. I am not saying Vitters is going to be a better pro…..but like I said……it is not written in stone!

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            vitters birthday is the end of August per Baseball Reference.com. And yes nothing is written in stone, but Vitters has only hit above 300 in the minors in A ball while Castellanos has done it at every level and not just barely. And Vitters has shown it takes him a long time at each level to adjust as well. Would he even be given that chance to adjust in the pros if hes stuggling badly to start or would they send him back to AAA ala Rizzo in hopes not to ruin him.

          • cubtex

            Like I said….Castellanos could turn out better but lets not assume he will put up better numbers than Vitters at AAA. He only has around 200 AB’s in AA and the rest has been in A ball. Vitters has crushed the ball the past 2 months and is still 22. I agree with you that I would rather get D’Anaud from Toronto. I am not sold on Clevenger or Castillo.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            Yeah im not sold on either of them either though clevenger could be a good guy to have on a teams bench with some position versatility and a decent bat. But my hope is that Jays think d’Arnaud is another year off after his injury this year and put him on the block. The Jays good pitching is in the lower levels of their system with Nicolino and Syndergaard but could prob move up very quickly in our pitching poor system. I think it might be asking alot to get those 3 for Garza alone but if we did include a Castillo or Junior Lake back i think it would be more likely to get done. Lake is a bat without a position he plays well, seems like that works up in Toronto.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Vitters born 27 August 1989. He will be 23 on 27 August 2012.

            Nick Castellanos born March 4, 1992. He will be 21 on 4 March 2013.

            Age difference: 2 years, 6 months, 6 days.

          • cubtex

            I thought I read it was 11/23/90. Thanks for the correction. It would be nice to be either of those ages again :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yup. And to know what I know now, too.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            per MLBTR just now ”
            The Blue Jays are showing the most interest in pitchers under control beyond this season, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Matt Garza and Wandy Rodriguez are among those high on their list, according to sources.”

          • scottm

            In respect Mike shouldn’t the love for Cubs prospects be hi here? This is a Cubbie fan site. Not a knock just pointing out,
            Scott

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            Not if they arent deserving of the love. When is the last time our farm produced a player that has sustained success in their career. Kerry Wood? Most here flipped out about the shipping out of prospects that Theo and Co. did in the winter, that i mentioned above. I am as big a fan of the Cubs as anyone, but im also a realist and our farm is lacking. As a Cubs fan I have learned unconditional love, but refuse to have blind love for a minor league system that historically hasnt panned out. We were taught to fall in love with Josh Vitters when we drafted him, and I will admit he has a very nice swing and was supposed to be one of the best pure hitters we would see. The thing is his numbers in the minors are less than impressive for the type of hitter he was always supposed to be.

            Trust me id love nothing more than to have a farm system that I was proud of as a Cubs fan. I do have some excitement from what im seeing in the lower levels with Candelario Baez Szczur and a few others, but the farm is thin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

    If Samardzija would just not have those lapses and give up long balls he might not be too bad! This year so far it seems like all but 1 hes given up have been at Wrigley, aside from the 2 today. May be time for some creative work with the pitching schedule to set him up to pitch more on the road. Or maybe thats something to consider for next year instead.

    • BosephHeyden

      This was a game the Cubs should have been competitive in. I mean, there’s a reason they call it a quality start for anything three runs on down. I get the feeling being stretched for a for season for the first time in a long time isn’t doing him any favors, either.

      This was a decent game pitched and a better offensive team wins it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        oh yeah i agree it was a quality start and a winnable game. Just seems like he gives up homeruns, in close games, or while the game is tied, just a bit often this season. Seems to be his Achilles heel, the untimely homerun. I didnt get to see the game today or the shift on Rizzo and thought he was a guy who sprayed the field. Maybe Tom U would be able to let us know if he is strictly a pull hitter or not.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I’m not Tom, but Rizzo is not strictly a pull hitter. He can hit to all fields, did so in the minors.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            Thanks, thought so, seems odd theyd be putting a shift on him defensively then.

      • triple

        I agree Boseph. Soriano missed a hanging curveball w/ 2 runners on that could’ve made a difference if he got a HR there like he’s paid to do. My other gripe about their offense today was no walks for the Cubs. It’s refreshing to see Rizzo battle every at bat and get his money’s worth. Hopefully this rubs off on some of the other players.

        Sharks big problem IMO is how he pitches to players once he’s got 2 strikes on them. He had 2 strikes on Davis and threw one right down the middle of the plate. That pitch shoulda been on corner and low. I like Samardzjia a bunch, but he’s got to execute w/ 2 strikes. The funny thing is he’s our most reliable pitcher this year, and already at 100 innings. I don’t think he should be stretched out much more than 160/70. The last thing we need is for him to have a great 2nd half, get leaned on heavily, and end up on the DL. However, I can only think of a couple games where he’s really had to labor so maybe he’s not so bad to get close to 200 IP.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to Mets Saturday afternoon – Jeff Samardzija: 3R,7H(2 HR),2BB,4K,7IP; Luis Valbuena: 2-for-3,2B,R; David DeJesus: 1-for-4,RBI; Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-4,2B

    • Dorasaga

      That was some impressive performance by Parnell: sharp curve at 84 mph, 100+mile fastball command at corner–either fastball could have been called a K against Clevenger at 1-2 or 2-2 count. Rizzo got a good piece off Parnell, leading off the inning, and equally as impressive.

  • BosephHeyden

    Did anyone else notice they played a shift on Rizzo today with their infield? It worked out for them once, and almost twice on that first hit he got. That’s a bit worrisome that a team caught on to something that, in all honesty, very few of us actually saw. Hopefully someone notices that shift and works on whatever needs to be hammered out with him, if there was, in fact, a reason for the shift.

    • scottm

      Why worrisome? They should be ahead of us. They have scouts that track this stuff.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Sveum on interim hit coach Rowson’s
    chances to get permannt gig: “It’s labeled interim, but he’s definitly
    going to be highly considered.”