Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 08/25/12

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs (48-76) vs. Rockies (50-74)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Brooks Raley (1-2, 7.63/1.57) vs. Alex White (2-6, 5.55/1.62)

Updated 9:31am CDTBrooks Raley Recalled from Triple-A IowaChris Rusin Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Can the Cubs make it two in a row over the Rockies? The Cubs have not won two games in a row since they posted three straight victories at the end of July (July 28 July 30) and Sveum’s team is 4-18 since July 30.

Brooks Raley has technically been on an optional assignment for the last 11 days and will be officially recalled today to face the Rockies. The Cubs used a loophole in the new rules that allowed them to option Raley to Triple-A Iowa on August 13 and add a reliever to the mix. Under the new rules for scheduled doubleheaders, the Cubs were able to call-up Brooks Raley for last Saturday’s doubleheader without having to wait the mandatory 10 days a player must remain in the minors on an optional assignment. The Cubs used the rules to their advantage and Raley did not miss a start.

Chris Rusin is likely the odd man out and should be optioned to Triple-A Iowa in order to make room on the active roster for Brooks Raley.

Look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with as many lefties as possible today. Alex White has not had much success against lefties (.310/.385/.448 with 13 doubles, five triples and three home runs) compared to right handers (.252/.344/.385 with eight doubles and six home runs) in 15 starts this season.

This afternoon all starts with Brooks Raley

Brooks Raley is coming off his first Major League win. Raley did his job in the second game of last Saturday’s day-night doubleheader against the Reds. The rookie southpaw held the Reds to four runs, three earned, on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Raley was on the verge of a quality start but ran out of gas and Sveum had to go to his pen.

Raley has shown improvement in each of his three starts and should spend the remainder of the season in the Cubs’ rotation.

Brooks Raley has not faced the Rockies and no one on Colorado’s active roster has faced Raley at the Major League level.

Alex White, another player acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal with the Indians last season, has had an up and down season. White began the year at the Triple-A level and was recalled in early May. White struggled in May (1-3 in five starts with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP) and in June (1-3 in five starts) before he was sent back down in July.

Since being recalled on August 2, Alex White has shown improvement. While he does not have a decision in five starts and has allowed only eight runs on 19 hits in 21 1/3 innings with 13 walks and 15 strikeouts (3.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP)

Alex White has pitched better at Coors Field (1-3 in seven starts with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP) than on the road (1-3 in eight starts with a 6.43 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP) this season and will face the Cubs for the first time this afternoon.

No one on the Cubs’ roster has faced Alex White in a big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Brooks Raley recalled from Triple-A Iowa, Chris Rusin optioned to Triple-A Iowa

    • Aaron

      I know it’s kind of sour grapes to say this over the Dempster ordeal, but I really hope the Dodgers-Red Sox trade comes back to bite Coletti in the worst way.

      He’s a turd in my opinion….a Hendry-esque “good ‘ole boys network” type. Absorbing nearly $300 million in salary when Crawford is worthless, Beckett is aging, and AGON isn’t going to be worth anything close to that later in the deal is just awesome, and I commend Cherington for ridding the BoSox of those albatross deals

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree, the Dodgers have set themselves up to be better short term. Crawford isn’t worthless, if he can stay healthy. Beckett will be very good in LA.

        Five years from now, in 2017 the Dodgers will still have Kemp, AGon, Crawford, and Ethier for 4 of their 8 starters at $82M.

        By then we will have a good idea if new ownership groups are better off coming in spending money all over the place or coming in and building a foundation. This is a contest that is all about counting the World Series trophies….no points for second place.

        • Aaron

          Also, the fact that the Dodgers are picking up all but around $12 million of the contracts is probably why they had to give up less prospects. I would’ve thought it’d take Zach Lee, and all the rest to get something done, but that’s obviously not the case.

          • Tony_Hall

            It was probably very similar to when Kenny claimed Rios…the Blue Jays were more than willing to get out from under that contract and just said you can have him.

            Cherington, probably told them if you want AGon, you need to take Beckett and Crawford as well, and when they came back with an offer, they were so surprised they just said yes.

          • Neil

            Nice at bat from Rizzo, single to center on eighth pitch (3-2 count)

          • daverj

            Yup. The real consideration here is the dollars. Instead of dealing quality prospects for AGon, the Dodgers took on the bad contracts of Crawford and Beckett.

      • J Daniel

        100% Agree with you!

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • SuzyS

    Looks like Cherington is taking a page out of Theo’s playbook….But with much better players to dump. It’s amazing the money the Dodgers are willing to take on…But then Agon is special….I’d much rather have Agon in a down year then Puhols right now.
    As much as we disparaged the Dodgers minor league system earlier this year…it didn’t seem to bother the Red Sox much.
    It’s going to be really interesting to watch how the Red Sox retool. Methinks they have to start with getting rid of Bobby V.

    • cubtex

      Yes! The Red Sox dumped over priced bad contracts to rectify mistakes from the previous GM and aquired prospects to rebuild a depleted minor league system. Wait….who again was the previous Red Sox GM?

      • RMercer69

        @cubtex…exactly!!! However, I think Theo is very smart. He did a good job with their system and then made some bad decisions at the end. So, I feel very good about Theos plans with the Cubs and we will be the beneficiary of his mistakes in Boston, because I’m sure has realized and evaluated what went wrong and will be better bcuz of it.

        • Aaron

          My understanding through reading the reports in the aftermath of Theo leaving is that one of the major reasons he wanted out, was that John Henry and Larry Luchinno were messing with his plans to rebuild from within, and going towards the Yankees model which he despised.

          Theo’s original plan was to build from within when he took over, but he had to start off small, kind of like he did this year with the Cubs, and the Red Sox surprised him, and everyone else by winning the World Series. Once that happened, he got a lot more leeway from the fan base to make the necessary moves for long-term competitiveness, and they won the World Series in 2007 because of it. Then Henry and Luchinno wanted to spend big on free agents, and he completely disagreed with it, and in the process, lost a ton of control

          • RMercer69

            @Aaron….even better!!

          • Neil

            Aaron, thank you for pointing this out again.

      • Tony_Hall

        AGon wasn’t a mistake. He hit 338/410/548 last year and this year, he was struggling going 300/343/469.

        Crawford has been discussed numerous times that is was Lucchino who was the driving force behind going that far on the contract.

        Beckett, overall, has been a good SP for them, and helped them hoist the World Series trophy. He has had some bad years, but also some very good ones.

        All long term contract for top players are over priced and for far too long.

        • Zonk

          Beckett was a very good signing for them, until recently, especially after the beer and fried chicken incident. That ran him out of town as much as the loss of velocity

        • John_CC

          Agreed. Anyone that is going to argue the AGon deal was/is a bad signing isn’t paying attention.

          Compared to the contracts of his peers: Voto $250M, Pujols $240M, Prince $215M – Epstein locked him up in 2011 for 7 years and $154M, looks pretty good now, all things considered. That is, like you said, all long term contracts are over priced.

          What I also like about the AGon contract that Epstein make is the payout is the same every year.

          • cubtex

            If it was such a great contract…… why did they want to get rid of it?

          • John_CC

            I don’t know why I should have to repeat myself except that your reading comprehension is iffy at times.

            I said that compared to the Votto’s 12 years, Pujols’ 10 years (at age 32) and Prince’s 9 years, the contract Epstein offered to the Gonzalez for 7 years at $22M looks pretty good. PRETTY GOOD. Then I followed it up with a qualifying statement in agreement with Tony: “All long term contracts are over priced.”

          • cubtex

            I guess I should ignore the part where you said. ..Anyone who argues that the AGon contract was/is bad is not paying attention. Please explain that part to me since my comprehension of the English language pales in comparison to those who live in Montana. I guess Cherrington isn’t paying attention either since it was/is such a good deal.

          • Tony_Hall

            You might want to read his post again. My Illinois comprehension was that AGon’s contract looks pretty good next to the other elite 1B that he listed. Which it does.

          • cubtex

            So again….if it is a good contract compared to other elite 1st baseman and you have control of him for another 6 years or so…..why deal him? Answer…..not a good contract. He didn’t hit at Fenway like Theo thought he would and Cherrington was smart to get rid of him.

          • Tony_Hall

            This gets soooo old having to explain things over and over and over again.

            Have you ever seen a team trade away players, that they wanted to keep. It was a multi-player deal. They liked the WHOLE deal. Doesn’t mean they wanted to trade every guy they traded, because they didn’t want ALL of those players. Or that they wanted every single player they received in a trade.
            The accepted the whole trade.

          • cubtex

            And it gets so old with you trying to justify and defend everthing Theo. One last question…..Are you saying the Agon deal was not a salary dump? Are you implying that the Allen Webster/James Loney package was just too good for the Red Sox to pass up???? That the only reason he was dealt was the players offered? And by taking Crawford and Beckett who Theo signed……they were willing to part with such an elite talent like AGon who they wanted to keep? Makes perfect sense.

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course it was a salary dump. That was what the whole trade was, a salary dump.

            Someone just took off their hands, Beckett, who needed to be gone, Crawford who is still hurt and owed an awful lot of money, and AGon, who is still an elite 1B.

            If this was to just dump AGon, they would have done a deal for just AGon.

            And what you just don’t get, is I’m not defending all things Theo, as much as understanding what they plan to do (they told us), getting how it is going to work, and accepting the process. Those who have such an issue with it, want to win now. I get it, but JH was doing that year after year, and it got into the mess we have now.

            Would I rather they went out and traded the farm for a whole bunch 26-28 year old studs who will make them the best team in baseball right now? Absolutely, just show what team would actually take our farm players for their prime year players that are studs. We would be trading for 30 year old players, like AGon, and older. No thanks, I would rather go down the path we are going down now.

          • Tony_Hall

            Trade Reactions: Red Sox, Dodgers, Gonzalez
            By Zach Links [August 25 at 2:56pm CST]

            This morning, the Red Sox and Dodgers completed a nine-player blockbuster sending Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to Los Angeles for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jerry Sands, and Rubby De La Rosa.

            For more on the quartet of prospects the Red Sox received, check out Mike Axisa’s rundown from earlier today. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to today’s mega-deal..

            Buster Olney of (Insider sub. req’d) looks at the winners and losers of the deal. The Dodgers of 2012 are unsurprisingly among the winners while the Dodgers of 2017, Olney writes, appear to be losers in the trade. Olney also notes that this is the first time in MLB history in which two players with $100MM remaining on their contracts were involved in a trade.

            The Red Sox will have $260MM to spend, but two best free agents this winter, Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, don’t appear to be fits for Boston, tweets Jon Heyman of (via Twitter).

            One rival executive told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that he didn’t feel that this was the best use of $250MM+ in future spending for the Dodgers.Rival executives are wondering why the Dodgers didn’t simply tell the Red Sox that they would eat their hefty contracts but would not give up notable prospects,

            Olney tweets.A National League executive opined to Peter Gammons of (via Twitter) that “The Dodgers so wanted [Adrian] Gonzalez they took [Carl] Crawford and [Josh] Beckett’s money and traded two great arms to get him.”

            Gammons also opines (Twitter link) that between the limited free agent market and caps on international and draft spending, it won’t be easy for Boston to reinvest all the money that they have saved.

            The trade talk all started with a call from the Dodgers to Red Sox president Larry Lucchino about Gonzalez, Heyman tweets.


          • J Daniel

            Don’t forget the 2 world series.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is the beauty of August waiver’s. The Dodgers claimed AGon (every single player passes through waivers in August). It started a conversation, and led to the Dodgers willing to take on 3 huge contracts. This deal would never have happened for just AGon.

            So, they didn’t want to get rid of AGon and his contract, but as a full package, it was a very good deal for the Red Sox.

          • cubtex

            And you now know what goes on in waiver talks.haha

          • Tony_Hall

            Just thinking it through as a possible way it happened.

            The good cubtex doesn’t come out very often anymore…just the negative one. You need to not take the losses so hard :)

          • cubtex

            Not much positive going on lately. I have been out of town as well. I just wanted to chime in on the Red Sox deal. It is newsworthy because of who their past gm was.

          • Tony_Hall

            Brooks Raley has looked better than expected in his last 3 starts.

            Chris Rusin had a good start.

            Brett Jackson, has hit homeruns on back to back days. He has shown improvements at the plate.

            Wellington Castillo hit a home run on a ball I thought he was jammed on. He will be our starting catcher next year.

            Castro, Barney and Rizzo is looking like 3 of our 4 infielders moving forward.

            I could go on, but not much positive going on is only true if you are looking at wins and losses.

        • cubtex

          It is funny how you rip the Soriano contract as being the work of Hendry….but Theo is absolved of Crawfords. So Theo was handcuffed with Boston and ownership forced his hand to sign Crawford, Agon,etc to large contracts. I get it….Theo was a puppet and ownership was responsible for every mistake and I guess ownership was responsible for the world series as well. You can’t have it both ways!

          • Tony_Hall

            No, actually we all know that Hendry didn’t go that far with Soriano, that is was upper management here to. But JH did go after Soriano, like he did so many other one year wonders. Yes Soriano has had many good years, but JH was willing to pay him an annual salary that was based on one superstar year.

            I am very confident that Theo wanted Crawford, just like all the other teams GM’s wanted Crawford. So if you want to blame Theo for Crawford having 2 bad years since he signed, well you can blame pretty much every GM who would have liked to have him.

            It is not one signing in a vacuum, but the total of all the moves that a GM makes and where it gets them.

          • cubtex

            And many other teams didn’t want Soriano? And so you can blame a dozen other gm’s who also wanted Soriano(that makes zero sense) At the end of the day…that has nothing to do with Theo giving Crawford the money or Theo signing John Lackey to that ridiculous contract when he had absolutely awful career numbers at Fenway Park. Or Dice K or JD Drew or…..well I can go on but you get my point.
            So my real question to you is…..Why did the Red Sox do what they just did? Does Theo’s plan only lasts 7 years? So it takes 4 or 5 years to build a team through the farm system….but only lasts for about 7 years and then you have to do it all over again? Why did the Red Sox just get rid of those prized free agents that Theo signed? Why didn’t they have a minor league system that would add to those players and have a sustained winning ballclub? Where are all those starting pitchers in Boston’s system?

          • Tony_Hall

            Read Aaron’s post that explains…again…..the difference in philosphy.

            Man, you HATE Theo….I just don’t get it.

          • cubtex

            He is totally overrated. He ruined the Red Sox and he should be blamed for what he left that team. Here is Cherrington’s quote
            “I think we recognize that we are not who we want to be right now,” Cherington said. “And it’s been a large enough sample of performance going back to last year that we felt like in order to be the team that we want to be on the field, we needed to make more than cosmetic changes. So as we look forward to this offseason, we felt like the opportunity to build that we need, that the fans deserve, that we want, required more of a bold move to give us an opportunity to really reshape the roster.”

          • Tony_Hall

            I am amazed, the first team to ever come down from the high of being one of the top teams in baseball…as shown by their repeated trips to the postseason and their 2, count’em 2 World Series trophies. We should let the rest of the league know, they should send out a press release, this has never happened before.

            All GM’s, managers, etc are overrated when they win, and over scrutinized when they lose. Comes with the job.

            All I care is that he bring a World Series trophy to Clark and Addison. I like what has said and is doing to rebuild this mess of a team. I am glad he didn’t use the Dodgers style to rebuild this team.

          • cubtex

            We are a big market. I will rather be the Dodgers or Yankees every day of the week and twice on Sunday. You are thinking like a small market team.

          • Tony_Hall

            I then assume you liked what Jim Hendry was doing. Trying to spend more and more to make up for mistakes. That was sooo big market way of doing things.

            I hope you start following the Dodgers or Yankees then, since you like how they do things and all.

          • cubtex

            I like winning. You seem to really enjoy losing! Maybe you are the one who should follow the Rays,A’s and Buccos since you get a kick out of Volstad having 1 or 2 average starts in a row. Bryan LaHair aka Mr. Effortless having 1 great month, Mr. Buy Low David DeJesus as a starting rf. This is the A’s. Go hop on board the small market train! Choo Choo!

          • Tony_Hall

            So how have you enjoyed the last 103 years of losing.

            Doesn’t it get old? Don’t you get tired of the same old jokes?

            Wouldn’t you love to have a team that was build from the ground up with a system in place for player development, that has the big market money to keep the best players and still be able to add overpriced FA’s when the time is right.

            Short term fixes are just that, short term. We have tried that, it only works if you win the World Series. Otherwise you are right back to trying to another short term fix.

            How did those Yankees get this extended period of sustained success? Oh yeah, home grown talent, that came through their system. Maybe a big market team has done this before, before we knew what they were doing. They were able to keep their best young players, spend money on FA’s that filled their holes, and keep competitive year after year. That is what I envision for the Cubs.

            Or Theo could have extended ARam and Pena, extended Soto, Dempster, etc or signed Pujols, go all in and try to win with the core that he inherited….no thanks.

            Or he could have tried to be more competitive this year, and tread around 500 and then added pieces at the trade deadline, by selling off our prospects to try and win this year, then when that failed, signed some more FA’s, and sell off more of the farm next year.

            And as far as the Ray, A’s and Buccos, they are all winning right now. It isn’t all about spending the most money and showing everyone you are a big market team, it’s about player development. The teams that are better at developing the players win more games. Whether they use those players to trade for established players, or to fill their 25 man roster. If you are developing your own players better than other teams, you will produce a winning major league team.

          • Dorasaga

            At least you guys are arguing over something new. Although, I would rather discuss about the future of our fantasy league, to that extra mile of debate if that’s necessary.

          • Tony_Hall

            Does that mean you are willing to void my 1 day of Colon and give me my move back?

            If you want to dive into a discussion on the league, I’m all for it. Let’s start with a rule, this year, that gives a guaranteed playoff spot to the team with the most points :) I’m going to be back to a game out after today and leading in points still, something I didn’t think I could do in my 2nd year, having to build a team from the ground up.

    • Dorasaga

      Valentine has been good with young players, such as giving them chances as much as he can. You keep him for the rebuild.

  • Neil

    Jackson with a double

  • Neil

    Jackson with his second homer in as many games …

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 4-3 to Rockies Saturday afternoon – Brooks Raley:
    2R,5H,3BB,4K,5IP; Brett Jackson: 2-for-3,HR,2B,2RBI,BB; Cubs: 6H,2BB

    • SuzyS

      Neil, I did not have an opportunity to watch….How did Jackson look? Is he starting to figure it out…or was it a case of going against a bad pitcher?

      • Neil

        Jackson looked good today. He is showing improvement. Alex White is not as bad as he’s full season stats indicate. If you have a chance, look at the splits I posted.

        Jackson pulled the ball into right for the double and used the wind to his advantage on the home run. I think it was Brenly that said when he first came up he was trying to pull everything and it is good to see him use the park to his advantage.

        • SuzyS.

          Thanks, Neil.