Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 07/17/12

Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (36-52) vs. Marlins (43-46)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (4-3, 3.05/1.13) vs. Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 4.12/1.25)

Dale Sveum’s team gets back to work tonight with the first of three against the Miami Marlins. The Cubs are coming off an impressive three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks and in the process tied a season-high with their fourth straight win. The Cubs have won 12 of 16 … and will have their hands full for the next three days with the underachieving Marlins.

The Marlins took all three from the Cubs in Miami earlier this season (April 17 – April 19) and outscored the Cubs 19-6. The Cubs will face a different Marlins team this time around. Carlos Lee is now manning first base, not Gaby Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton is on the DL after having his right knee scoped earlier this month.

While the Cubs will have to deal with Ozzie Guillen, they will miss Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano pitched the finale of the four-game series against the Nationals on Monday. After tonight’s matchup of Travis Wood and Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Samardzija will face Josh Johnson on Wednesday night with Paul Maholm and Mark Buehrle closing out the series on Thursday afternoon.

Ozzie Guillen returns to Chicago for the first time since stepping down as manager of the White Sox last year. Guillen loves Wrigley Field and will bring the circus that is the Marlins to Wrigley for the next three days.

Tonight it all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood put together an excellent run before the break now he has the tough task of following it up for the remainder of the season. No one expects Wood to keep up the stretch he’s been on (4-2 in last seven starts with 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP) but a strong finish could go a long way in the off-season.

After going 0-1 in his first three big league starts with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, Wood posted a 2-2 record in five starts in June with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. While he was not as good in his final start before the break, Wood still posted his fourth straight win and finished with a 2-0 record in his last two outings with a 1.32 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP.

Travis Wood has been very good in his short time at Wrigley this season. In five starts, Wood is 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP … in his last two starts at Wrigley in the first half, Wood was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.61 WHIP (no runs on eight hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings).

The key to Wood’s success of late has been getting ahead in the count and pounding the strike zone. In his last 45 1/3 innings, Wood has walked 16 while striking out 31.

Travis Wood has faced the Marlins just once in his career … and was shelled. The Marlins put up seven runs, all earned, on eight hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings last April 29 at Great American Ball Park.

Marlins Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 2-for-3 with a double and a triple
  • John Buck – 1-for-2
  • Scott Cousins – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Omar Infante – 0-for-2
  • Austin Kearns – 1-for-2
  • Carlos Lee – 2-for-15 with a walk
  • Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-2 with a double

Anibal Sanchez has been inconsistent again this season. After a solid two months to begin the year (1-0 in four starts in April with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP and 2-3 in six starts in May with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP), Sanchez has struggled in his last seven starts. Sanchez was just 1-3 in five starts in June with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP then posted two no-decisions prior to the break with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. The difference has been his command. In his last 40 1/3 innings, Sanchez has walked 14 batters with only 28 strikeouts … in the previous 40 1/3 innings, Sanchez walked nine and struck out 34.

Sanchez is coming off back-to-back no decisions on the road. Sanchez lasted just five innings in Milwaukee back on July 3 and gave up six runs, five earned, on 11 hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He rebounded nicely in St. Louis just before the break. Sanchez allowed two runs on five hits without a walk and three strikeouts in six innings.

Anibal Sanchez has pitched much better outside of the Marlins’ new stadium than in his home park this year. Sanchez is 2-1 in eight road starts with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

The Cubs missed Sanchez in Miami back in April and he is 1-2 in four career starts against the Cubs with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in two starts with a 6.97 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Anibal Sanchez

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-4 with two walks
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-22 with a double, two home runs and two walks
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-7 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those that missed earlier, here is a list of the rumors from today (most recent to oldest)

    From Jon Heyman: Cubs have begun naming their price for dempster. Talks about other top starters not to that point yet.

    Chiefs Add OF Bijan Rademacher from Boise. OF Yasiel Balaguert sent to Mesa. Also LHP Hunter Cervenka promoted to Daytona.

    From Joel Sherman: Unscientific canvassing of execs on where Dempster goes: Dodgers viewed as faves, Tigers strong contenders, Red Sox longshots

    From George Ofman: Shopping Demspter and Garza isn’t a problem. Adding Lehair to the mix is. Little if no interest.

    • Aaron

      I guess I can understand the lack of interest in LaHair, what with the struggles with lefties and the drop-off after May, but the fact is, he can’t improve or have any semblance of consistency unless he also plays everyday, even when facing lefties, (and not just facing lefty relievers pinch hitting like he is right now) but the Cubs continue to play Baker and Johnson in RF when facing lefties. That has obviously not only hurt his development, but also hurt his consistency.

      • J Daniel

        Agree but the are the first team to even give him regular time as at least 67% of time has to be a righty pitching. Maybe he is a deal next year?

    • cubtex

      That is exactly why I was saying to trade LaHair a month and an half ago.

      • Tony_Hall

        To who?

        No one wanted to trade for him then or now. He is 29 and a rookie. They want to see more than 1 hot month before turning over prospects. No matter how many times you say that was the best timing, doesn’t mean that their were teams willing to trade for him. He needs to have a decent 2nd half and then he will have some teams willing to trade for him next year.

        • cubtex

          I knew this guy would be exposed. I saw this coming. I never thought you could get alot for him…..but now?

          • Tony_Hall

            Now is the same as before…people will want to see him put up some numbers over a whole season before giving up any prospect.

            No one thought he would maintain his April numbers. That is why no one would have trade for him in May.

          • cubtex

            TH. Many on here were thinking LaHair was the next Roy Hobbs. Remember ” As effortless power as anyone in the game” You and I don’t know what kind of interest there would have been in him if Theo made him available much earlier. I got to imagine as long as the Cubs weren’t greedy and with his inexpensive contract…..there are plenty of AL teams needing offense.

          • Tony_Hall

            No one was expecting him to keep up his April stats….stats.

            390/471/780/1.251

            His pace would have been 40 HR’s and 113 RBI’s, that everyone knew he would keep up….especially the other 29 GM’s, regardless how effortless his swing did look on outside pitches that he drove to left center.

            By the way Roy Hobbs only played 1 season…no one would have traded for him either.

          • paulcatanese

            Of course no one wanted Hobbs, he kept destroying baseballs, lights, and clocks, too expensive to keep around:)

          • J Daniel

            Maybe everyone else thought he would be exposed to?

        • J Daniel

          Sometimes we forget that it takes at least 2 to trade and then the return they are offering might not be worth trading.

          • Tony_Hall

            You are absolutely correct. No trade that is made up by one person will ever be a fair trade. Fair trades take true negotiations.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Remember Jim Bowden, spouting off that “he’s the real deal?”

        AAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! And he still wonders why he’s on unemployment compensation! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More … For those that missed earlier, here is a list of the rumors from today (most recent to oldest)

    From Joel Sherman: One exec called Dempster “the 1st domino,” a big plyr who will move 1st and potential stir more dealings

    From Jayson Stark: Exec talking to Cubs‬ said working hard to move Ryan Dempster “by end of the week.”

    According to Ken Rosenthal, add Nationals to list of possibilities for Ryan Dempster http://tinyurl.com/84fncel

    From CBS Sports: There’s a surprise shopper looking for pitching this month: The Royals. Called on Matt Garza,among others. http://cbsprt.co/LwrQ1E

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Dempster’s preferences: 1. Dodgers 2. Braves Explanation in this story: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-Ryan-Dempster-trade-deadline-los-angeles-Dodgers-atlanta-braves-071712 #Cubs

    • BosephHeyden

      If the reason why the Dodgers are the favorite is because that’s the team Dempster would most prefer to go to, and if they’re only going to give up that pitcher package (or anything less than two of their top five prospects, given how bad their system is), this is one of those situations where it’d be better just to not trade Dempster.

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

        Gould is a decent prospect. The package for Dempster as a whole is not great. But if he is not traded, what good does that do. If we offer him arbitration after the season he will almost certainly accept it. So we wont receive a comp pick for him anyways. Something needs to be acquired for him. I just hope its not the worst offer on the board. My guess is Demp may be disappointed if its not the Dodgers but I think in the end he will accept a deal anywhere so long is its to a contender.

        • triple

          I agree. At least get a couple prospects (even if not the best) for him. With new FO and management style throughout the system, maybe the Cubs can develop these guys better than other organizations.
          Afterall, I’m beginning to understand all these changes in the draft, FA, and compensation picks all comes down to decreasing a players trade value and leveling the field through the draft which may actually keep players contracts from rising so much now that every team is finding value in younger players under team control. Guys like Beane and Theo (as well as others) were taking advantage of the system and that has alot to do with why this came about. I’m not saying the system is fixed as Appel/Boris proved that, but it has gotten a little better for most teams, but is unfortunate that Hendry didn’t take advantage and now that we got Theo, he can’t continue to do what he was doing. However I think him and his guys are smart enough to find the cracks and exploit them sooner than most other teams.

          And another note about Dempster. It wouldn’t really surprise me if he’s traded away and would consider coming back to the Cubs, especially for how much he loves Chicago and probably doesn’t want to move his family, and even still be close buddy’s with Kerry Wood. I’d bet Demp would be willing to take a hometown discount, depending on where Theo would meet him on numbers and years, so the Cubs could have a vet in their pitching staff to help raise the kids.

          • triple

            One other thing I forgot to add about the Dodgers prospects, as I’ve mentioned this before. I’m sure the worst of their top 10 pitching prospects is better than the best of our top 10, so regardless, it’s still an upgrade. Like I’ve asked before, how many players around the MLB were originally drafted and developed by the Cubs? How many are perennial all-stars?

          • GaryLeeT

            The Cubs have one, which is more than a lot of teams have. How do most come by their perennial all stars? FA, of course.

          • triple

            I did a little bit of homework and came upon this.

            http://bleacherreport.com/articles/534700-anatomy-of-a-championship-team-a-guide-to-building-a-contender-part-2

            Perhaps not exactly about homegrown perennial all-stars, but homegrown players and amount of all-stars on the World Series teams since ’95. Furthermore, going through the list of winners, it’s pretty easy to figure out who the homegrown all-stars are/were for each team, and many are still on their original teams.

            The point I make is the cubs farm system is crap, and the change will make it better. There are definitely teams that draft and develop players into all-stars. From reading this article I can see the importance of keeping Castro and Rizzo around (as they both may be perennial all-stars), and surrounding them with at least 7 or 8 (out of 25 man roster) more guys that are all homegrown and be able to contribute to a winning team; and maybe a few that are capable of having career years at the same time, thus all making the same all-star team, win alot of games, and contribute to the Cubs being able to go deep into the postseason.

          • J Daniel

            What good do a few of not so good prospects do?

          • triple

            Yes I agree, but the situation sure dictates that Demp isn’t as valuable as he is if the receiving team would get the compensatory draft pick after the first round next year. If every GM plays hard ball because of that, Jed should still get what he can get. And like I said, any prospects from another team certainly look better than what we have here. As long as the bar is being raised, it’s small step in the right direction.

          • Dorasaga

            Can’t put this into better words, I’m just glad that we still have common interest at where the team is right now. Nobody expect Dempster to pitch anywhere near his 2008 form. And you said it well below. Every team can put out a Top-10 prospect list. The Cubs just happened to have a worse one than the Dodgers. What to lose here?

        • BosephHeyden

          He’s got a 4+ ERA in A Ball. He had a decent year last year, but he’s pretty much regressed to where he was the year before. I don’t care how many strikeouts a guy gets, that high of an ERA tells me that bats he doesn’t miss wind up as runs. The other guy who I can’t remember was a bit worse.
          So your options are twofold:
          1) You trade off Dempster for two prospects that will likely be career minor leaguers at worst and, at best, Gould develops into a fourth starter in three years, which isn’t that great.
          2) Keep Dempster, hope someone overpays by the standards of the offers out there now (meaning someone trades for his actual value), and, worst case scenario, we keep Dempster and, since this team isn’t going to be bad enough to get the first pick of the draft, this season ends up not being an embarassment.

          • Aaron

            ….and, like most of us thought on here, Travis Wood turned into a pumpkin at midnight

          • cubtex

            He will have starts like this. He doesn’t have great stuff but he battles and is a good athlete. I like him. I think he can be a decent back end guy.

          • GaryLeeT

            I hope so, because the Cubs are in short supply. Sorry, could not resist.

      • cubtex

        Remember…who cares how weak their system is? All it takes is for the Cubs to pry the 1 or 2 players who have upside and can be good mlb players. Every team has some decent prospects.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Another poor at bat by Soto

        • Ripsnorter1

          I hope we land John Gaub and Jeff Stevens. That’s two top prospects from the Indians.

          • J Daniel

            Exactly! And Bruce LaVine will still defend that trade to this day. That trade sucked then and it sucks even worse now as it was the beginning of the END!

          • cubtex

            It was a bad trade….but cmon. It was Mark DeRosa! What has he done the last 5 years?

          • J Daniel

            I know but it was done to get uncle Milton so it had multiple effects. Delarosa was there as a super sub which is needed his contract was cheap. You knew Aram would miss games at some point. Plus, the return was prospects that turned into suspects. That is why most teams will trade them fringe guy.

          • daverj

            I’ll defend the trade too. It made sense at the time as that was the peak of DeRosa’s value. And we used Archer from the DeRosa deal to get Garza. While none of the propsects has panned out so far (jury still out on Archer), I’d make that deal over again.

          • J Daniel

            That trade made NO sense. Should have resigned Edmunds who had a pretty good year and is a much better person than Milton.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – James Pugliese (0-2, 3.90)
    Daytona – Matt Loosen (7-3, 2.94)
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (10-8, 3.34)
    Iowa – Chris Volstad (2-3, 5.13)

    Peoria has the night off

    To expand on what Neil reported earlier, the glass ceiling seems to be Daytona, as a there was a lot of movement, just not above that level.

    Daytona placed Arismendy Alcantara and Matt Spencer on the 7 day DL. Cervenka and AZL hitting star Tim Saunders replaced them.

    OF Izaac Garsez was called up to Boise from Mesa to replace Rademacher

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: The Dodgers continue to be regarded by
    some officials as the front-runners for a Ryan Dempster deal, but Cubs
    are going through process.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wood got out of the jam … long, 24-pitch first inning

  • Denver Mike

    Wood looked dialed-in in the 3rd

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes he did

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Vitters extended his hitting streak to 16 games tonight.

  • cubtex

    Jacob Turner(prospect linked to the Cubs) got lit up tonight in his start for the Tigers. 2IP 7ER. Ouch!

    • gary3411

      Hopefully that helps them give him up easier!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lee with his first homer as a Marlin … a slam.

  • GaryLeeT

    I think the Marlins Traded for Lee with this series in mind. Man, he’s been quite the Cub killer throughout his career.

  • Aaron

    wow…it’s getting ugly

  • Aaron

    I actually think this game will speed up the trades from this team, believe it or not.

    While I don’t think Theo and company are like Hendry and Quade with their illusions of grandeur, but what I can tell you is that any executive would have second thoughts of blowing up a team 2 weeks from the deadline if the team had just won 11 of 13 or whatever it was.

    I just have a hunch that Dempster gets traded tomorrow or Thursday.

    Again, I don’t necessarily believe Theo and company actually believe they have a chance, but that they might have been hesitant to start the dismantling because it’d send the wrong message to the Cubs…plus, as we all know, in Back to the Future, the Cubs were supposed to win this year….LOL

    • J Daniel

      I agree but it is only 1 game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Clevenger is at third, Valbuena at second

    • triple

      Interesting to note that, as with all the rumers flying, if Barney gets included in a a deal, this may be what we see in the IF, unless of course there is a major league ready 3B prospect coming our way. If that’s the case, I guess Valbuena would become the 2nd baseman for now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 9-5 to Marlins Tuesday night – Wood: 8R, 8H (2HR), 2BB, 6K, 4.2IP; Jeff Baker: 2-for-2, HR, 2RBI, BB; Starlin Castro: 2-for-5; Luis Valbuena: 2-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, R

  • paulcatanese

    Thought I saw on twitter that Dempster was in fact traded to the Dodgers.
    I dont believe that until Neil posts it.