Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 08/20/12

Game One Hundred Twenty-One: Cubs (47-73) vs. Brewers (54-66)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Justin Germano (2-2, 3.91/1.16) vs. Mark Rogers (0-1, 4.94/1.23)

The Cubs make their final trip of the season to Milwaukee and open a three-game series against the Brewers tonight. The Cubs are 1-3 on the seven-game road trip after a rough weekend in Cincinnati.

The Brewers have had the Cubs’ number this season. The Cubs are just 3-7 in the first 10 games against Milwaukee this year with seven games remaining on the schedule. The division rivals wrap up their season series with four games at Wrigley Field next week.

After tonight’s match-up of Justin Germano and Mark Rogers, the Cubs have discussed calling up lefty Chris Rusin to face Marco Estrada on Tuesday night. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday afternoon.

The Cubs have not announced their starter for Tuesday. If Chris Rusin is summoned from Triple-A, the Cubs will have to create a spot in order to add him to the 40-man roster.

The recently acquired Alex Hinshaw is expected to join the Cubs today and be activated prior to game time. The Cubs claimed the lefty reliever Sunday off waivers from the Padres. The Cubs have not announced a corresponding roster move but don’t be surprised if James Russell is placed on the DL. Russell does not appear to be hurt but does appear to be out of gas. Russell has pitched in 59 games (54 1/3 innings) and has been less than effective since the break (3-1 in 16 games with two blown saves, a 7.82 ERA and a 2.13 WHIP). Dale Sveum used Jeff Beliveau for Jay Bruce in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game. While Bruce has good numbers against Russell that is not a move that would have happened a few weeks back. Two weeks on the shelf would not be a bad thing for the young lefty, who as averaged 60 appearances over his first three big league seasons. The Cubs could then activate Russell after the roster expands and he can finish the year on a positive note.

In other news … The Cubs are expected to begin the interview process to replace Oneri Fleita this week. According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs will interview Brandon Hyde and Alex Suarez, both currently in the Cubs’ organization and Kurt Kemp. Kemp is currently a scout for the Pirates and was previously the director of player development for the Braves.

Tonight all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano is coming off his second win and first quality start of the season. Germano held the Astros to two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Germano has been solid in his short time with the team and is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

Germano is winless in two games, one start, on the road this season. Germano held the Dodgers to two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings in his only other road start.

Tonight will be Germano’s first appearance of the second against the Brewers. For his career, Justin Germano is 1-1 in three games, two starts, against the Brewers with a 4.61 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … at Miller Park, 0-1 in two games, one start, with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. The last time Justin Germano faced the Brewers was during the 2007 season. Germano made an appearance out of the pen on September 30 and beat the Brewers in a start on May 26.

Brewers Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Ryan Braun – 2-for-4 with a home run
  • Corey Hart – 1-for-1 with a triple
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
  • Rickie Weeks – 1-for-4

Mark Rogers is coming off a rough start in Colorado and will make just his fifth start of the season tonight. Rogers has started only one other game at Miller Park and received a no decision against the Nationals on July 29.

Rogers allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings to the Rockies and has allowed five earned runs in two of his last three outings (0-1 with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP).

Mark Rogers made his first 18 starts of the year with Triple-A Nashville. Rogers was 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP (92 hits, 74 strikeouts and 49 walks in 95 1/3 innings).

Mark Rogers has pitched one scoreless inning in his career against the Cubs (September 10, 2010). Starlin Castro (0-for-1) and Travis Wood (0-for-2) are the only players on the Cubs active roster that have faced Rogers at the big league level. Several of the players on the Cubs roster have seen Mark Rogers over the years in the minors and this season at the Triple-A level.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s starting lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Vitters – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Jackson – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Germano – P

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Ian Dickson (3-3, 5.58)
    Peoria – Joe Zeller (2-3, 3.05)
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (13-10, 3.48)
    Iowa – Ty’Relle Harris (1-2, 5.91)

    Daytona has the night off

    Comments from the weekend:

    After Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson, and Josh Vitters were promoted, Iowa has had a leadership void. However, they appear to be solving that, as Greg Rohan and Dave Sappelt have stepped up their games.

    If your looking for an excuse as to why Justin Bour hasn’t been promoted from Tennessee, you may want to look at his 19 errors. You do also have to take into account that Junior Lake has been his shortstop for most of the season.

    The best thing about Daytona having all these games rained out is that there haven’t been any annoying tweets about Javier Baez.

    Speaking of Baez, there was an article that addressed him and Tim Saunders today
    In it, he says that some scouts feel better about him sticking at short than they did last year. I MUST find out what these guys have been drinking!

    On the subject of Saunders, he’s beginning to look like the real deal. He batted .493 in the rookie league, .310 in 12 games with Daytona, and is now hitting .355 for Peoria. With Castro about to sign a long term deal and a slew of shortstop prospects in the system, look for Saunders to go to the Fall Instructional League as the organization tries to find a place to put him.

    Finally, looking at the AZL Cubs and Boise, it will be interesting to see how all of these guys are doing five years from now. They may not be the fabled Dodgers class of the early 1970’s, but you never can tell.

    • Zonk

      Tom, I didn’t even notice Timothy Saunders until now. Then again, why would you notice a 38th Round Draft Choice from this June’s draft?

      Certainly an impressive debut year for him; let’s see how he does at a higher level next year

      The low-minors is getting crowded with promising bats; Baez, Soler, Vogelbach, Amaya,Candelario,…….I would say we are set for IF’ers, we need PITCHING!

      • Tom U

        Zonk, that’s the one thing I’m trying to point out. Saunders didn’t seem over-matched at Daytona as he was providing a transition from Arismendy Alcantara to Baez.

        There have been rumors of Saunders seeing more time in the outfield, or becoming a jack-of-all-trades type.

        As for pitching, Ryan McNeil seems to be the head of the 2012 class for now, but don’t count out Duane Underwood, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, Anthony Prieto, Michael Heesch, and Justin Amlung. Boise pitchers Jose Arias, Tayler Scott, and Eduardo Orozco have also looked good.

        • Tom U

          And I almost forgot, Dillon Maples is rounding into form.

        • Zonk

          Overall, I would say our farm system has had a terrific 2nd half of the year in terms of player development…….would you agree?

          • Tom U

            From Peoria down, yes. From Daytona to Iowa, no. I would have liked to see the vets in Iowa dumped and prospects moved up. The system has more than enough players to back-fill any holes.

          • Neil

            Vitters with his first home run

    • Tony_Hall

      The FO has done an amazing job of stock piling talent into the minor league system (building the foundation). Of course everyone that follows any part of the minor leagues understands that not all of them will make it to the majors and be successful. But that is why you have to like how much talent is going to be coming up through the system at so many positions. Some will be trade bait to get that pitching that is needed.

      • cubtex

        I think amazing is a little bit of a stretch. I like the Soler signing and Almora. Concepcion looks like a bust. Baez,Vogelbach and Maples were from the previous regime.

        • Tony_Hall

          The amazing was for you…about the same level of being over the top as you guys are at being negative.

          They have brought more talent into the system in one year, than JH ever did. JH missed on 90+% of his high draft picks.

          • Trevor Petersma

            It took time and bad moves to get us into this mess, it will take time and good moves to get us out. On the whole, I think we are taking very positive steps in rebuilding this organization.

      • Todd Meier

        amazing? uhhhhhhh…….you mean overspending on soler for 30M and drafting almora, who by virtue of the 6th pick, hard to not take him. OR concepcion for 8M flushed away. vizcaino coming off TJ surgery so no sure bet. last time i checked scuzur, baez, volegbach, maples, dunston jr, devoss, jackson, vitters, castro, castillo all came from JH/Wilken/Fleita. even chasner helped lead to rizzo.
        amazing……….no, but you can get the theo drool off your face now. we know we know………

        • Tony_Hall

          O where to begin…

          Soler wasn’t overspending, in any way shape or form.

          Almora was a sure thing @ 6th…Mark Appel, many on here wanted him taken 6th, when he was still there. Theo and Co. would have been crucified if they took him and couldn’t sign him.

          Concepcion was 5 years $6M, not $8M, but either way, if it helped sign Soler, you can add this to Soler’s contract and Soler would still have been a great signing.

          TJ surgery, no sure thing, guys almost never make it back anymore…the year is 2012, not 1989 anymore.

          No credit for trading for Rizzo, because they used a player already here to get him. Who would you like them to trade so that they can get credit?

          Hate them all you like now, I know you liked it when they announced Theo was taking over, trust in him to do the job, even if it takes a few years.

          By the way, welcome to the CCO!

          • Neil

            That got ugly quick

        • gary3411

          Developing is half the battle as acquiring. They aren’t major leaguers when drafted/signed.

    • Dorasaga

      It’s another interesting perspective that we want to see how these young men perform NOW at each positions, while knowing what we like about them should stick in five years. BTW, I think that BA writer Callis was simply saying Baez has the bat that’ll keep him at more positions (hot corner, too).

      Looking forward to your further assessment of the Vitters situation, :-)

      • Tom U

        I was thinking about that on break today. Perhaps we have this all wrong on Vitters. Perhaps the team really does think he can handle the position, and is working on his technique rather than embarrassing himself in front of thousands of fans.

        Both Dale Sveum and Dave McKay were known as good defenders when they played ball. Both Iowa manager Dave Bialas and hitting coach Dave Keller were first basemen in their playing days. Perhaps Vitters is getting some coaching he hasn’t gotten before. (as a note, the last coach Vitters had with any practical infield experience was Tennessee hitting coach Mariano Duncan)

        • Dorasaga

          I see. My initial reaction when I saw him (limited sample size) was that he has slower initial reaction to reach balls than what people were talking about. Then I went through more plays, I saw more skill sets. He’s definitely better with linedrives than groundballs, and that’s not an easy feat. Liners are faster, and he had less reaction time to field them.

          I wonder why was he playing outfield at the last Fall League? Perhaps it’s because he got all these tools, the management wanted to see him elsewhere just in case (probably not a Thoyer decision), wouldn’t you think?

      • RMercer69

        Neil…is the Castro deal final and official, yet?

        • Neil

          No it is not. May take a week to make official. I am waiting to post the report until it gets closer. Still quite a bit left to do from the way I understand it. But it should get done.

          • RMercer69


          • Neil

            Vitters is having a rough night

          • RMercer69

            It just got better! :)

          • Neil

            Yes it did

          • Neil

            Jackson with a good catch, took away extras from Braun

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 9-5 to Brewers Monday night – Justin Germano:
    7R,8H,BB,3K,4.2IP; Josh Vitters: 1-for-4,HR; Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-3,2B,RBI,BB; David DeJesus:

  • Neil

    Beliveau, Cardenas heading back to Iowa for Hinshaw, Rusin moves.

  • Neil

    Chris Rusin is with the team in Milwaukee and will start Tuesday night.

    Roster moves have not been announced

  • Zonk

    That’s a good idea in your post on Russell……he’s appeared in alot of games, and with Beliveau doing OK, could probably use a break.

    Shawn Camp leads the majors in appearances, with 61. That’s a ton, and he’s also had a little difficulty lately. He doesn’t have a future with us so pitching him into the ground doesn’t matter too much, but maybe he needs a break. Problem is our right-handed relief has been thin all year.

  • Trevor Petersma

    “The Plan” will take time.

  • paulcatanese

    Gary, you are being kind.

  • Tony_Hall

    So how many players did the minor league system produce when during the Hendry years, we always seemed to have winning teams in the minors.

    Wins and loss’s in the minors is not always a sign of major league talent.

  • GaryLeeT

    I had not tuned into a game for a while, but had some idle time. Wow! The Cubs are shameful excuse for a Major League ball club. I then started scanning the minor league affiliates for some hope, and found that there isn’t a team in the system above 2nd to last place place. Sorry, but “The Plan” looks like crap.

  • paulcatanese

    Ya think?

  • GaryLeeT

    Yes, I know. The 6 year grace period, team Thoyer gets to build a team through “the system”. As a business owner, I could only dream of that amount of latitude.

  • BosephHeyden

    6 years? If Cubs fans are giving them 6 years, then they’re daft. Next season, they should do moderately better than this year, and the year after they should field a competitor. If there plan is anything but that, then they’re incompetent.

  • paulcatanese

    It will take six years and even longer once Selig steps in and chastises the Cubs for making a mockery of the DL. Thats discusting.

  • GaryLeeT

    If I understand correctly, the Cubs (or any other team) will never sign a young FA with impact potential,again. So, with those guide lines in mind, 6 years is a legitimate estimate.

  • Tony_Hall

    Not following this one.

  • GaryLeeT

    How many better than average ML players would a team have to have on it, in order to contend for a World Series? 8 (3 SPs 5 position)? Whose minor league system has ever produced that many in a 3 year period? Especially pitching.

  • Tony_Hall

    Hard to ever use the word NEVER. 6 years is about as pessimistic as one can think, IMO.

  • Tony_Hall

    So you are saying 6 years to win a World Series…I will buy that. I think this team starting in 2014 will start to be competitive. At that point, it could be any year that the team is in the hunt for the playoffs and contending for a World Series. Unfortunately for those needing immediate results, 2013 is going to be a lot like this year.

    The plan is all about rebuilding a system, that has lacked major league talent, that makes it to the majors. We may have had talent, but could never develop them to be productive major league players.

    Now will Theo and Co. make this work…only time will tell, but I am enjoying the journey of watching the entire system, from top to bottom, being rebuilt.

    It’s funny some guys post how the FO, doesn’t like any of the guys who were here before, because they were JH guys. Some give them no credit for any of the guys who are developing this year, because they were JH guys. Some people just look at the negative of every situation. I think they are looking for the best players in the system and trying to stockpile as much talent as possible, so that they can trade away guys (like they did Hanley Ramirez) to get the missing pieces in a few years.

  • Dorasaga

    And I don’t think the Marlins will miss Hanley. >:-)

    There’ll always be young players good enough to be on a team’s top-10 prospect list. Some became consistent, productive major leaguers (Scot Rolen, Ryno), but some will be raved but then never be consistent or have a career full of question marks, whether it’s injury or holes in their way of play (Hanley, Gomez of the Brewers, also a former Twins-er).

    I’m just glad that I’m not the decision maker, and Theo-Hoyer will take the blame or glory if they can do it!

  • paulcatanese

    Tony, hiding players on the DL to maintain control and manipulate the roster, if I am wrong about this, its because I am un-informed. So many players that are not really injured make it to the Cubs DL,only to open up a roster spot.
    To me that violates(in my mind) the purity of the DL, meant for players that are really hurt.
    I am not against anyone, just the method that is being used.
    It’s like using the College red-shirt policy only not as extended.
    I guess I look at baseball as a sport and forget its nothing but a total business, dosent seem to any purity left in the game.

  • Tony_Hall

    I really can’t say that I have seen the Cubs do anything against the rules this year in reality or spirit. Teams put players on the DL all the time that maybe could still keep playing, but need a break. Every player has more than enough bodily issues during the season that could be classified as injured.