Marlins Hammer Wood – Cubs 5, Marlins 9

Game Eighty-Nine – Cubs 5, Marlins 9
WP – Anibal Sanchez (5-6) LP – Travis Wood (4-4) Save – None

The Cubs four-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday night in a game that was not as close as the final score. The Marlins beat Dale Sveum’s team for the fourth time in four tries this season behind Carlos Lee (2-for-4, home run, four RBI and two runs scored) and a solid seven-inning outing from Anibal Sanchez.

Travis Wood struggled with his command and pitched from behind in the count throughout his outing (93 pitches, 58 strikes). Even with his early struggles, he did not allow a hit until the fourth inning … then they came in bunches. Wood lasted just 1 2/3 innings after surrendering his first hit to Carlos Lee leading off the fourth. The Marlins scored three in the fourth and five in the fifth with all eight runs charged to Travis Wood.

After allowing just three runs in his previous 26 2/3 innings (four starts), Travis Wood gave up eight runs, all earned, on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Six of the eight runs came on two swings of the bat … a two-run homer by Omar Infante in the fourth and a grand slam by Carlos Lee (17th grand slam of his career and 39th big fly of his career off Cubs’ pitching) in the fifth. Tuesday’s start was Wood’s shortest at the big league level this season.

Rafael Dolis allowed an inherited runner to score in his 1 1/3 innings of work and Jairo Asencio served up a solo shot to Hanley Ramirez in the seventh. Ramirez hit the Marlins’ third dinger of the night and gave the Fish a commanding 9-2 lead.

The Cubs tried to make a game of it in the eighth. The Cubs scored three of their five runs off Chad Gaudin with Luis Valbuena and Jeff Baker delivering run scoring hits but Anthony Rizzo grounded into his second double play of the game to end the inning.

The Cubs offense could not take advantage of opportunities in the first, third and fourth innings. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left four on base when the game was still in question. The Cubs actually outhit the Marlins 13-12 on Tuesday night but were 4-for-11 with RISP and left eight on base.

Jeff Baker (2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) came in as part of a double-switch in the fifth and broke up the shutout with his fourth longball of the season in the bottom of the inning. Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored) started the game at third, finished at second and doubled in a pair of runs in the Cubs’ three-run eighth inning.

David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a double and a walk), Starlin Castro (2-for-5) and Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5) collected multi-hit games but Alfonso Soriano (0-for-5 with a strikeout) and Bryan LaHair (1-for-5 with three strikeouts) could not deliver with runners in scoring position.

The Cubs lost for the first time in six games at Wrigley Field and with Tuesday’s defeat, the Cubs dropped to 36-53 on the season …

Travis Wood pitched his way in and out of a jam in the first inning. After Jose Reyes grounded out to Starlin Castro (1-2 pitch) to start the game, Wood caught Emilio Bonifacio looking for the second out. Wood appeared to pitch around Carlos Lee and walked him on five pitches. Wood did not get the call on a 1-2 pitch to Justin Ruggiano and ended up walking him (3-2 pitch). With runners on first and second with two down, Hanley Ramirez struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Wood threw 24 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.

David DeJesus and Starlin Castro started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles off Anibal Sanchez. The Cubs appeared to be in business but Anthony Rizzo rolled into a 4-6-3 double play and Alfonso Soriano chased a high fastball (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

No score after one complete.

Travis Wood made quick work of the Marlins in the second … 1-2-3 on 13 pitches, eight for strikes (for the game, 37 pitches with 22 strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the second.

Travis Wood retired all three batters he faced in the third. Wood struck out Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio looking … 47 pitches for Wood after three, 30 for strikes.

Luis Valbuena fouled out to Hanley Ramirez to begin the third. After Travis Wood struck out swinging, David DeJesus ripped Sanchez’s first pitch into right center. DeJesus was thinking two out of the box and slid into second with a hustle double. Starlin Castro worked a full count before grounding out to Reyes to end the inning. Sanchez threw only 42 pitches over the first three innings, 30 for strikes.

Carlos Lee led off the fourth with the Marlins first hit of the game … a sharp single to left on a 1-1 pitch. Justin Ruggiano hit a 1-0 pitch to deep right. LaHair turned every which way but ended up catching the ball going away. Lee saw LaHair struggling and went back and tagged from first. Hanley Ramirez flied out to center (2-0 pitch) for the second out. Wood continued falling behind and it cost him three runs.

Austin Kearns ripped a 2-1 pitch back up the middle and into center. Lee rumbled around third and scored the first run of the game. Wood then fell behind Omar Infante 2-0 … the former Cub for a minute lined Wood’s next pitch into the first row of the bleachers in left and just like that the Marlins took a 3-0 lead. John Buck struck out swinging to end the inning. It took Wood 65 pitches, 40 for strikes, to get through four innings on Tuesday night.

Anthony Rizzo started the fourth with a single to center (0-2 pitch). Alfonso Soriano flied out to left center for the first out. Bryan LaHair singled to center and Rizzo advanced to third on the play. Geovany Soto could not get the job done with a runner on third and less than two outs. Soto popped out to shallow right (0-2 pitch). Darwin Barney flied out to left to end the inning. After four, the Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position with four left on base.

The game got out of hand quickly in the fifth … and Wood ended up leaving before he could record three outs. The Marlins batted around and scored five times on seven hits with the big blast coming off one of the biggest Cubs’ killers of them all.

Anibal Sanchez singled to left (1-1 pitch) to start the inning. Jose Reyes then hit a rocket toward third on a 3-2 pitch. Valbuena could not field the ball, it went off his glove and Reyes ended up with an infield single. Emilio Bonifacio bunted Wood’s first pitch to the third base side of the mound. Wood fielded the ball and flipped it, late, to Valbuena. Bonifacio was given a single and the bases were loaded with no outs.

Carlos Lee launched Wood’s first pitch into the bleachers in left. Lee’s first home run as a Marlin, a grand slam, put Miami up 7-0. After Ruggiano flied out to deep left center, Hanley Ramirez pulled a 2-1 pitch into the left field corner. With Ramirez at second following a double, Austin Kearns flied out to left (3-2 pitch) for the second out.

Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Rafael Dolis. Jeff Baker took over at second for Darwin Barney in a double switch. Omar Infante ripped a 1-2 pitch from Dolis back up the middle and into center. Ramirez scored and closed the book on Travis Wood. John Buck drove a single into right. Bryan LaHair booted the ball and runners ended up at second and third on the error. Sanchez struck out swinging to finally end the inning.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the fifth. Luis Valbuena flied out to center to start the inning. Jeff Baker then lined a 1-0 pitch into the bleachers in left. Baker’s fourth home run of the season broke up the shutout. David DeJesus followed with a walk but Starlin Castro flied out to center and Anthony Rizzo flied out to left to end the inning.

At the end of five, the Marlins had a commanding 8-1 lead.

Rafael Dolis set the side down in order in the sixth.

Anibal Sanchez made quick work of Alfonso Soriano and Bryan LaHair to start the sixth. Geovany Soto drove the first pitch into the gap in right center. Soto ended up at second with a double. Joe Mather hit for Dolis and pulled a 2-1 pitch past Ramirez and into left field. Soto scored on Ramirez’s error. Luis Valbuena followed with a single and Jeff Baker worked a walk to load the bases with two down. David DeJesus popped up Sanchez’s first pitch to John Buck behind the plate to end the inning.

After seven, the Cubs trailed 8-2.

Jairo Asencio made his first appearance since July 3 in the seventh. Asencio retired Ruggiano on a grounder to short but Hanley Ramirez hit a rocket to the bleachers in left center … and the Marlins took a 9-2 lead. Austin Kearns (groundout to short) and Omar Infante (blooper to second) made two quick outs to end the seventh.

Other than a one-out single by Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs did nothing against Anibal Sanchez in the seventh.

Jairo Asencio issued a pair of one-outs walks in the eighth but did not allow the Marlins to tack on.

Chad Gaudin made his in from the pen to start the eighth … and the Cubs tried to make a game of it. Gaudin walked Geovany Soto to start the inning. Steve Clevenger hit for Asencio and singled to center (2-1 pitch). Luis Valbuena crushed a 0-1 pitch into the gap in right center. The ball rolled all the way to the vines and the two catchers scored on Valbuena’s double. Gaudin uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering to Baker. Valbuena advanced to third then scored the Cubs’ fifth run when Baker ripped a 2-0 pitch from Gaudin into center. Ozzie Guillen decided he’d seen enough of the former Cub at Wrigley and went to his pen of lefty Randy Choate. Choate caught David DeJesus looking for the first out. Starlin Castro pulled a 1-1 pitch into left for his second hit of the game.

With runners on first and second with one out, Anthony Rizzo stepped in and pulled a 3-1 pitch to Carlos Lee … 3-6-1 double play, inning over on the second double play Rizzo grounded into on Tuesday night.

Scott Maine took over on the hill in the ninth … with Steve Clevenger staying in the game at third and Luis Valbuena moving over to second.

The Marlins put two on in the ninth but Maine was able to get John Buck to pop out to Castro to end the inning.

Heath Bell set down the Cubs in order in the ninth to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Josh Johnson in game two on Wednesday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Gotta love that title, Neil.

    Next highline: Team So and So Nails Wood to Wall.

    I’m figuring that should the Cubs trade Barney, Valbuena is your new 2B, and Vitters comes up.

    • Mike Simala

      I think they really need to give Cardenas a shot. All that kid has done in the minors is hit. If he got the every day chance up here he probably would too. And hes patient at the plate totaling nearly as many walks as he does strikeouts each year.. I know his defense leaves much to be desired. Hes been moved around a bit but in 34 games of playin second between the cubs and iowa he only has 3 errors.

      • J Daniel

        It is more than just errors. Range And the ability to turn the double play are important as well. Plus it is not like Barney can’t hit. Barney is turning into a pretty decent player that you can win with.

        • Theboardrider

          I totally agree on Barney. In another few years he could be an All-Star. 2nd baseman rarely carry a team. They need to be solid defensively, get on base and be “glue,” guys that set an example with their effort, hustle and game IQ. Basically the definition of Darwin Barney.
          As Cubs fans we have a different standard at 2nd base due to Ryno. He’s one of the greatest ever…certainly the exception not the rule.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree on Barney, although his first year he had a lot of problems turning the double play.
            He has worked hard to improve that part of his game, not an All Star but solid for his abilities.
            He and Castro have improved their game with the glove this year, and I had predicted when they both started out that they would lead the Central in double plays, well they havent acomplished that yet but are pretty solid.
            They are progressing as a double play combo,
            and hopefully will continue in that direction.
            Castro is combining his agressive play with the finishing touches, weras before he was just plai aggresive. They compliment each other, but still have a way to go.

          • cubtex

            Agreed Barney has improved at 2B. Alot of it has also been the improvement of Castro at SS. He is getting the ball to Barney much sooner on double plays which is making it much easier for Barney to turn 2. Castro has taken the biggest step forward defensively. It also helps having a better glove in Rizzo at 1st.

          • paulcatanese

            No doubt about it, agree, and Rizzo has made a big difference.

      • cc002600

        not impressed at all with Cardenas
        I thought he looked terrible in the field.
        Barney’s glove is too good to just get rid of

        • Mike Simala

          Cardenas has played a total of 6 games at 2b for the cubs. I honestly think with his bat, if Barney moves we have to try him out there for an extended period.

          • cc002600

            He looked slow to me in the field

            he didn’t have those quick hands and feet needed for middle infield, IMO

            It reminds me of Dewitt a little bit. I only needed about 2 games to know he was a terrible fielder….slow hands, slow feet. Cardenas looks the same to me.

            Unless the guy is a monster at the plate, I don’t want below average gloves that are up the middle. (CF, SS, 2B, C)

          • Theboardrider

            If Barney moves Cardenas has to get a shot…

    • Dnuge44

      I would hate to see the Cubs trade Barney as him and Castro make a better than average DP combo & they are both still learing & Barney is having a excellent defensive year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just checking the stats on Soriano vs the Marlins….

    In his last seven games vs. the Dead Fish, Soriano is 1 for 24….
    If you want to talk Soriano vs Johnson, then it improves to a lifetime .125 BA……

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tigers racked by the Angels last night 13-0.

    Tigers starter last 2 innings and gave up 7 earned….

    Do you think they might need a starting pitcher? Perhaps some bullpen help as well? Where’s all the Shawn Camp talk, anyway? Maybe they don’t trust him in the American League anymore…..Nobody–and I mean, NOBODY–is dumb enough to trust Marmol anymore. He’s like Soriano: untradeable. “It’s the contract, Stupid.”

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brewers demote closer Axford…..K-Rod is the man now.

    K-Rod looks awful. I’ll tell you who he looks like: Carlos Marmol.
    1.43 WHIP for K-Rod….Marmol=1.90 WHIP

    • cubtex

      Axford has been absolutely brutal this year! They have more blown saves than the Cubs.

  • Neil

    According to Gordon Wittenmyer, the talks between the Cubs
    and Dodgers for Dempster have cooled. He did not rule out a deal still being done but other interest from other teams has increased Dempster’s value and the Dodgers might not be the best fit for what the Cubs want.

    Please keep in mind, Dempster has the right to veto a trade.

    • Mike Simala

      Thank God!

      • Mike Simala

        Hopefully this means Detroit for Dempster. Leaving Toronto, Texas, Washington, and others with strong Farms in play for Garza. Unfortunately it also will probably mean that Barney will be included in a deal with Dempster to increase our return.

        • Aaron

          Mike, see my post below regarding Garza to the Jays….that would be the best possible scenario, with the Rangers and Nationals tied for 2nd best destination.

          I would much rather trade Dempster to the Tigers first (mostly to eliminate them as a suitor for Garza, who should command more than the Tigers would want to offer…because I believe it’d take at least Turner, Castellanos, and either Smyly or Crosby to make sense for the Cubs, and the Tigers would never do that, so the Cubs would have to settle for a lesser package). That’s why a lot of people have said they should trade Dempster first to not only somewhat set the market, but so it makes teams more desperate for Garza.

          • Mike Simala

            Syndergaard and Nicolino would be one hell of a 1 2 punch for our rotation come 2014, Ive always liked Toronto as the place to send Garza. Great farm with very high end prospects. And a good haul from Dempster would definitely make a return like that from Toronto more feasible. That would indicate Detroit and not LAD being the place he goes. Theo and Co would be lowering the possible return on Garza if they sent Demp to the Dodgers. Would be a major tactical error on their part.

  • Aaron

    There is a lot of interesting chatter out there right now.

    From the main stream sports media, the Dodgers are the clear front-runner while Wittenmyer says otherwise. The Dodgers have the least amount to offer the Cubs in any trade, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that they are included in talks right now. But then, according to MLBTR, Nightengale is saying Cubs execs told him the Dodgers are in the lead, after he’d just stated that they weren’t. Confusing, isn’t it?

    I believe that the Cubs should do all they can to either trade him to the Tigers (combination or one of the following should be in play:Turner, Castellanos, Smyly, and Crosby), Braves (Teheran, Delgado, and Minor should be in play), Rangers (Olt and perhaps Profar should be in play in a Beltran-esque deal, but assuming they’re not, then they SHOULD be in play for a Garza trade for sure), Nationals (Meyer, Rendon, Skole should be in play), and perhaps even the Red Sox (if they include Barnes or Ranaudo).

    If I’m Team Theo, I’m staying the hell away from the Dodgers, who, in recent memory have never given the Cubs decent talent in trades, mostly because nearly all of their prospects have been over-hyped in the past. There’s really no telling what will happen. I have hope that the Cubs get a Beltran-esque return, as after all, Dempster is the best pitcher in the game right now (relative to ERA), and if he hadn’t been injured, and the Cubs actually had a respectable offense, he’d be the leader in Cy Young voting this year. In fact, you could make the case that Dempster’s value to his new team would surpass that of Garza, even though Dempster is a FA after this year and compensation rules have changed.

    The Cubs really need to find a way to include the likes of Barney, Soto, Soriano, Baker, Johnson, Marmol, etc. in ANY trade in order to maximize return. If you look at deadline deals in the past, historically other veterans have been included to expand those deals.

    In light of that, I am beginning to think after Dempster is dealt (maybe along with Barney), the most logical next step would be to trade Soriano, Garza, and Maholm to the Blue Jays for the injured D’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Sanchez, and perhaps someone like Travis Snider who has fallen out of favor with the team, and if the Cubs need to include Soto, then so be it.

    The Jays still have an outside shot at the Wild Card, being only 2 games out. With nearly all of their rotation on the shelf right now, and Bautista injuring his wrist, they need to make a move quickly, and Garza, Maholm, and Soriano would give them an immediate boost, especially with Soriano going to DH where he has been at his best this year (and during his career). They would have Soriano and Garza beyond this year, and could look to extend Maholm if he finishes the year strong.

    • J Daniel

      Very well stated. I agree to stay away from LA but Cubtex correctly stated that just because bad trades were made with them before doesn’t mean bad trades will be made with them now.

      With that said I think they have to deal with the Tigers, rangers, and Toronto as you suggest. I ALS agree that they should expand the deals as much as possible to unload.

      • Aaron

        The problem with the Dodgers is that the names being bantered about are:
        Fife (from Sullivan’s tweet today)

        NONE of those guys would inspire. Gould might be the only one of those guys with decent potential, but again, just like with the Wallach, DeWitt, and the other guy who I can’t even remember, it was all POTENTIAL versus ACTUAL PRODUCTION.

        Epstein and Hoyer have always said that the true indicator of a future MLB player is production and consistency in the minors. Sure, they could take a chance on a guy, hoping they could fix them (as they did with Volstad, T. Wood, Stewart, and Weathers this offseason), but given the lackluster results, I would hope they’ve learned their lesson by now

        • J Daniel

          Your assessment is correct but they all think they can fix guys. It is amazing. I agree to move Dempster to Tigers first and then move forward with Garza.

        • Brp921

          @AaronCCO:disqus What are your thoughts if the Dodgers were willing to part with Lee or Webster and a couple of other prospects for Dempster?

    • BosephHeyden

      I honestly can’t remember the last time Nightengale was right about anything. Like, literally every time an “executive” for a team talks to him, he goes back on it within 24 hours. Though I suppose when the executive you talk to is the guy who cleans up the bathrooms after the game, some of your info is bound to be wrong.

    • Mike Simala

      Love the Garza to Toronto scenario, I suggested something very similar a few weeks back right after d’Arnaud got hurt. I think mine was sending Junior Lake their way as well along with Maholm Garza and Soto, but Soriano would be a nice add for them with Bautista out. d’Arnaud Nicolino Syndergaard and Adeiny Hechavarria would be the package id go for. Sanchez is nice but he might be a little much on top of the other 2 pitchers. Though I wouldnt complain either way.

    • gary3411

      Makes no sense IMO for the Blue Jays to really trade fro anyone fr the reasons you stated. They are in line to compete for a while I don’t see them giving up any top prospects with so many injuries on the big league team for an outside chance at a one-game playoff. Come the offseason, they’ll be back in play but there’s just no way they give up 2 top prospects for Garza when they have about a 10% chance of getting a wild card spot and then a 50% chance of winning that wild card game. Antho-watever isn’t that dumb.

      I think it’s Dempster to the Tigers for Smyly and either of Crosby/Paulino and maybe one other 18-19 YO interesting high ceiling position player. No way we get Turner IMO and Castellanos is a long shot.

      Garza I believe is going to go to the Rangers, Yankees, or Red Sox. Dempster could go to any of these teams as well if the Cubs don’t partulcarly like Smyly or Crosby.

      The thiing with the Nationals is they are just about set with their top 4 pitchers and I think the chances of the Braves catching them is a long shot. They would be adding Garza or Dempster as basically the 5th man and that will not help them in the playoffs whatsoever (maybe one start from Dempster/Garza in the divisional series).

      • Mike Simala

        well but think about how they are only 2 out of the Wild Card and have had a horrible 3, 4, 5 in their rotation all year, if they add Maholm and Garza to that, It could mean winning the Division and no wild card playin. Soriano would be a great fit there the next 2.5 years with it being HR heaven and his low cost as most of his salary would be covered. I think its a perfect storm of events to lead to a nice big trade between the 2 sides.

        • gary3411

          You think they can make up 11 games with 4 teams ahead of them because they add Garza? Oh not to mention that would be without one of the best players in the game in Bautista. 0% chance. 0.

          Even the wildcard, they aren’t chasing 1 team 2 games ahead of them, it’s a bunch of teams in the mix for 1 spot. Not to mention if you win that spot you face, oh, the Rangers.

          • gary3411

            I meant the Angels, (could be the Rangers), but that’s even worse I think.

          • Mike Simala

            by adding Garza and Maholm and another big bat to that lineup they most certainly could. I mean theyve been in the race with the likes of henderson alvarez Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek, none who have been as affective as garza or maholm this year. I think Soriano would have a feast hitting in the Rodgers Centre.

          • Aaron

            I think you underestimate Soriano’s capabilities at DH. While he is NOT the player the Cubs brass or the fans thought he’d turn out to be…it was simply a matter of him losing his legs. If you’ll recall, his first year with the Cubs, he missed a good amount of time with leg injuries (27 games to be exact), yet he still had the following line: .299/.337/.560, 33 hr, 70 RBI.

            The following year, he missed even more time with leg injures (53 games to be exact), yet was even MORE productive than his first year with the Cubs: .280/.344/.532, 29 hr, 75 RBI. After that, his stats suffered as aches and pains mounted. What has been proven with him, however, is that the less he plays, the more productive he is, and not only that, but as a DH, where he can rest his legs, he’s historically been VERY good: 22 games, 75 plate appearances, .357/.392/.743, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 7 hr, 19 RBI and 4 walks vs 10 K’s. If that doesn’t have DH written all over him, I don’t know what does.

            Look, I think he’s dragging the team down, even though I like his energy, and the fact he’s always smiling, and seems to be a good teammate….but playing LF, he’s a liability, even with his improved defense this year, if only because he’s a DL stint waiting to happen.

            If the Jays got Soriano to replace Bautista, Garza to replace Drabek (their defacto ace), and Maholm to further stabilize their rotation….in light of the fact that Soriano and Garza BOTH have AL East experience, Soriano is a phenomenal DH, and Garza is under control for another year….don’t you think they’d go for the sure thing versus risk having their prospects get injured or not pan out (or both)?

          • gary3411

            No I don’t think they’d go for the sure thing, because the reality is it’s not a sure thing they even make the 1 game playoff. Any big bat with respect to Bautista is a little bat. Garza would help them of course, just not enough. Come the offseason, if we still have Garza, I think they are back in the picture with Bautista and Morrow back and they’re younger guys all getting better.

            I just think the Jays are out of the discussion for either. I could be wrong I just wouldn’t understand the move from their perspective unless they’re giving up prospects with their positions already filled at the major league level, which isn’t what we’re looking for, we’re looking for pitching.

          • Mike Simala

            their best pitching is 2 years off, they are playing for now and still have capable pitching in AAA for the future. They are certainly a good match. They are deep deep deep in good prospects. Sending us guys like Nicolino and Syndergaard wouldnt hardly put a dent in what they have available.

  • cubtex

    Dan Vogelbach has been hitting for average and power so far. One note on Brett Jackson………despite all his K’s he still has a. 339 OBP. If he can shorten that swing and make more contact he still could be a decent everyday player.

    • Mike Simala

      Im really shocked they didnt impress upon him the same things they did with Rizzo in shortening his swing. Or, maybe they did and he hasnt listened. But either way he needs to look at the success and maintained power Rizzo has had with the shortened swing and make the same ones himself.

      • gary3411

        Just because he strikes out doesn’t mean he has a long swing. I never thought it too long. I’m not sure what the problem is (obviously the K’s, but what is causing that besides getting deep into counts).

        I think Jackson makes some adjustments, has a better second half finishing with a higher OPS than Vitters and he is our starting CF next year (hopefully opening day but maybe not until June because of super 2). You can’t look past his speed, range, and overall solid defense. Those are assets. You don’t get 11 triples and 22 SB with only 4 CS in half a season with only marginal speed.

        • Aaron

          The problem I’ve heard with Jackson is the fact that he works the count a little too much. While that can be a good thing for some, it is disastrous for Jackson. Why? Because he doesn’t have the bat speed to compensate with 2 strikes. For instance, he might work the count 3-2 more than any other player you’ll find at that level. He might even foul off a few pitches after that. However, if he gets caught looking breaking ball, and a pitcher throws a fastball, he can’t foul it off like a lot of guys do in that scenario. Does that make sense?…I know I didn’t explain it the best, but in the video I’ve seen of him at AAA, that’s what I see happening.

          What he needs to learn to do is be more aggressive, almost like Bryan LaHair is, where he’s aggressive, yet patient at the same time. He needs to learn it’s okay to go up there hacking if the pitcher has been around the plate all day long. Why be patient, taking pitches, getting yourself into 1-2, 0-2 holes all the time if the guy is throwing strikes, all in the name of “patience”?!?

          • paulcatanese

            You are correct, and the same holds true for Campana and Castro, Campana because he cannot pick up the curve and Castro because
            he dosent want to walk, swings at bad pitches.
            I would like both to be more aggresive early in the count as neither can afford to take strikes.

          • Anthony

            ONE PLANE SWING players are susceptible to many K’s

          • paulcatanese

            Absolutely, and if you have noticed (as I am sure you have), pitchers are starting both Campana and Castro with fastballs 90% of the time right down the pipe, and they ususally taking them, putting themselves in the hole right off .

          • J Daniel

            Bring back Rudy.

          • paulcatanese

            Could be, but one thing for sure, something is missing.

          • Mike Simala

            Ok then in turn shouldnt he shorten his swing, maybe choke up on the bat, when he gets to that 3-2 count since he doesnt have the bat speed to catch up. I mean that sounds so simple to me. I just dont get it. I think his concentration has been jacked up all season cause i think he thought he was gonna make the team outta ST.

          • gary3411

            You explained it perfectly. If it’s bat speed that is the true problem, he won’t make it, you can’t really improve that too much at this point.

            The more aggressive approach could work, but I think he has been trying it somewhat as his OBP has dropped relative to his BA in recent month or 2 compared to the 100+ points higher it has been in the past and at the beginning of the season. Point being, I’m not so sure either way is working.

          • triple

            You basically described myself as a freshman in highschool! All these different pitches coming all I could do was foul off pitches. I was fighting so hard and getting high pitch count at bats, but the best I usually did was draw a walk after 10 pitches. Very frustrating! And I didn’t have the power or speed to compensate. Needless to say, that was my last year of playing baseball in a league.

        • cubtex

          I have seen him twice this year and he does not shorten his swing with 2 strikes. With his speed and athleticism he just needs to put bat on ball more.

  • Mike Simala

    On another note, per MLBTR

    Baseball’s first Competitive Balance Lottery takes place today, when small-market and low-revenue teams will have the chance to win extra selections in next year’s amateur draft. The ten smallest-market teams and ten lowest-revenue teams will have the chance to win extra selections in 2013, Jonathan Mayo of reports.
    There’s overlap between small-market teams and low-revenue teams, so there are 13 clubs involved in the first-round lottery: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals. The first six selections will be made between the first and second rounds of next year’s draft. A second group of six picks will be available to the teams from the first group that didn’t get an early pick, plus the Tigers. The second group of selections will be made after the second round of the draft.
    MLB teams can trade the draft picks they obtain in the Competitive Balance Lottery. The picks, which can only be traded once, cannot be sold or traded during the offseason. In theory, the draft picks could be involved in some of this summer’s deadline deals.
    The lottery takes place today at 12:30pm CDT/1:30pm EDT in New York and the winners will be announced 75 minutes later. A team’s chances of winning depend on its winning percentage from the previous season.

    • gary3411

      Holy cow I heard of this, but completely forgot. I think there’s no doubt this is going to play a role in some trades. The Tigers, Cardinals and Reds have a new weapon to offer us now. I like this, obviously it sucks for the Cubs because we will never get one of these picks, but it’s cool that you can trade them.

      • Mike Simala

        could be what the FO is waiting for on a Dempster deal. Note that the Tigers are included as well in the second group.

        The tigers won the 6th pick between round 2 and 3. Could be coming our way as these picks are tradeable.

      • John_CC

        Yes, another wrinkle. I just read that also that this could be a significant chip for the Tigers. While Epstein and Hoyer obviously covet draft picks, it is not necessarily the pick itself (supplemental after second round) but the extra money that goes into their signing pot to work with.

  • roseyc

    The Tigers are primed to win the whole thing and their backend rotation is nothing but prospects. Dempster and Garza put them ready for primetime. They aren’t going to have a better opportunity.

  • paulcatanese

    The apparent showcasing of LaHair up to this point does not seem to be working as he is not producing power numbers that would need to be there for him to be attractive to other teams.
    If the trade deadline comes and goes without him being picked up, what will the future with the Cubs hold?
    His defense really hurts the Cubs and not hitting on top of it, he ends up blocking people that need the spot.

    • BosephHeyden

      I wouldn’t call this a showcase so much as the Cubs have just happened to face a number of right handed pitchers consecutively.

    • cubtex

      Thats correct Paul. He has no range in the outfield…..we have Rizzo at 1st. I can’t believe they even considered moving him to the outfield. They should have traded him way before now. He will be a liability to this team as an outfielder and if they try to hold onto him next year….he will probably be DFA’d and we will get zip for him. Huge error on his handling.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not true. No team would have traded for him…why do you keep thinking this was even a possibility.

        • cubtex

          How do you know that? A player who was performing as well as LaHair was could have been moved as long as they were realistic in what his return would be. I am not talking top prospect for him!

          • Tony_Hall

            How do you know they didn’t shop him?

            You don’t.

            Give me one example in the history of baseball, where a team was able to trade a older rookie, after 1 good month.

  • Mike Simala

    According to Jim Bowden Tigers are interested in Barney and would offer a midlevel prospect. The Tigers also won the 6th pick between rounds 2 and 3 in the Lottery that was held today.

    As part of a Dempster deal and with much more chatter of Turner being available in the deal, i see something like this. Turner, one of either Smiley or Crosby, Rob Brantly and Eugenio Suarez( ) and maybe that sandwich pick for Dempster Barney and a Reed Johnson or Jeff Baker type and possibly a prospect or so back from us.

    • DWalker

      I don’t think its worth trading barney for a midlevel prospect alone. As part of a package, maybe so; but alone, i’d much rather have barney for another year or two with as many potential 2nd bases as we have in the lowest levels but nothing in the upper levels.

      • Mike Simala

        oh I completely agree, but i think as a package with Dempster it helps to get more quality back. And I think Suarez at 2nd would be a much better option with the bat and maybe with the glove as well over Barney, granted it would probably be 2014, which appears to be the year things get goin for us anyways.