The Cubs made changes to their bench and bullpen on Tuesday. The Cubs added Kameron Loe and Kevin Gregg to the pen while Cody Ransom was claimed off waivers from the Padres and will take the place of the DFA’d Brent Lillibridge. The front office also designated Hisanori Takahashi for assignment leaving James Russell as the only lefty in the bullpen.
Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs’ poor start to the season before the Cubs dropped their third game in row … and the eighth loss in the last ten games since beginning the year by taking two of three in Pittsburgh.
Jed Hoyer called the results over the first 12 games “frustrating” and the Cubs GM feels that with the production they have received the team should have more wins.
“It’s been frustrating with the results. The wins and losses, they are what they are, and that’s our record, but given some of the production, we should have more wins than we do. “It’s always bad when you can’t close out games. If you want to look for a silver lining, we’ve been in a lot of games and we should’ve won more. If you’re getting blown out night after night and don’t have the talent to compete, I think it would be more frustrating. I think the way we’ve played is probably the most frustrating brand of baseball. There’s nothing worse than winning a game for 2 hours 45 minutes and then losing. I think that starts to wear on a team. As the game goes, the most frustrating brand of baseball is winning for most of the night and losing in the end, and we need to stop that. Obviously, the bullpen needs to tighten up and the defense needs to tighten up, too.”
“We’re off to a slower start than we would’ve liked. [There's been] some sloppy play that we need to eradicate sooner rather than later. The bullpen is off to a slow start which can make for some tough losses. We’re not that talented that we can get away with playing sloppy ball, so we need to fix that.”
Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs payroll on Tuesday. According to the Tribune, the Cubs “payroll declines would reverse” if the Wrigley Field renovation plan is in place. Epstein explained that the payroll itself “won’t be a determining factor” the organization must develop a “stream of young talent” so they will be able “to complement that with some aggressiveness in free agency.” Epstein needs and expects the revenues to increase in order for them to be able to execute their plan. Epstein explained that he knows the business side is working hard to increase revenue.
The payroll is not where Epstein needs it to be right now but he expects it to increase.
Kevin Gregg told the media that he would be interested in returning to his former role with the Cubs. Gregg thinks there will be opportunities for him to close games and that is one of the reasons he signed. Dale Sveum said he would continue to mix and match late in games. Jed Hoyer addressed the additions of Gregg and Kameron Loe. Hoyer said Gregg gives the team more options that Hisanori Takahashi and Loe adds a sinker-baller to the bullpen.
Ian Stewart is expecting to be back with the Cubs within the week or 10 days. Stewart made the announcement on Twitter early Tuesday morning.
Lance Berkman volunteered to push the button if Wrigley Field is ever blown up. The former Astro and Cardinal does not like Wrigley due to the way he’s performed at the old ballyard.
The Cubs have scored three runs in 36 innings against lefties this season according to ESPN Chicago.