Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/21/13

Game Forty-Four: Cubs (18-25) vs. Pirates (26-18)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
  • Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Matt Garza (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 3.25/1.06)

Weather permitting … After spending Monday’s off-day in Pittsburgh, the Cubs begin a difficult road trip tonight with the first of three against the Mighty Pirates. Dale Sveum’s team plays three in Pittsburgh, then three in Cincinnati over the weekend before wrapping up the trip with two on the South Side against the Sox.

Tonight is a big game for the Cubs. Not only will they try to bounce back from Sunday’s bad loss to the Mets but Matt Garza is set to make his season debut. Garza has not pitched on a big league mound in exactly 10 months (July 21, 2012) and will be limited to 85-90 pitches tonight. Carlos Villanueva figures to be Dale Sveum’s first option out of the pen if Garza runs up his pitch count early in the game.

The Cubs will face a much different Pirates team than the one they took two of three from to begin the season. Clint Hurdle’s team is clicking on all cylinders right now, plus Andrew McCutchen was starting to hit before being a late scratch from Sunday’s game with a sore knee. The Cubs and Pirates scored the same amount of runs in the three-game series back in April (six) and it will take another strong series from the pitching staff in order for Sveum’s bunch to leave the Steel City with another series win under their belt.

After tonight’s match-up of Matt Garza and the unhittable Wandy Rodriguez, Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs will get their first look at lefty Francisco Liriano in a Pirates uniform on Wednesday. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to close out the series against Jeanmar Gomez on Thursday afternoon.

Despite Sunday’s loss, the Cubs are still 13-12 since April 23 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The next stretch of games leading up to the day off on June 3 figures to be very challenging and could erase the good feelings surrounding the Cubs if they are unable to play clean ball and come away with more than a few victories. After this three game series in Pittsburgh and the three games over the weekend in the Queen City, the Cubs play four against the White Sox, two on the South Side and two at Wrigley, then wrap up 13-game stretch with three at Wrigley against Paul Goldschmidt and the scrappy Diamondbacks.

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza makes his first start of the season tonight after spending the last 10 months on the shelf. Garza is coming off an excellent outing with the I-Cubs, his fourth rehab start in the Cubs’ minor league system. Garza tossed six innings of shutout ball last Thursday. Garza gave up just two singles and hit a batter but did not issue a free pass while striking out six on 75 pitches, 53 for strikes. Garza declared himself ready to join the Cubs’ rotation after his outing.

Garza figures to be extremely amped at the start of the game. Not only is tonight his first start of the year but he has not been on a big league mound of any sort since last July 21 in St. Louis. Garza appeared antsy during the Cubs Convention in January to get back out there … he should be a ball of energy right before he throws the first pitch.

Matt Garza made 18 starts for Dale Sveum a year ago before a stress reaction in his right elbow ended his season in July. Garza was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in those 18 starts. Garza had a rough stretch in May but had righted his ship and posted a 3-4 record in his last nine starts with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP that included 47 strikeouts with only 13 walks. But that was then and Garza just needs to see he is okay and can pitch without any limitations.

Tonight will mark the fourth time in Garza’s career he has started a game against the Pirates. Garza is 1-1 in the first three with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at PNC, 1-1 in two starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Pirates beat Garza the only time they faced him a year ago. Garza allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits in five innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

Pirates Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Pedro Alvarez – 5-for-10 with a home run
  • Clint Barmes – 2-for-9 with two home runs
  • Brandon Inge – 5-for-12 with a double, a home run and two walks
  • Garrett Jones – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
  • Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-4
  • Wandy Rodriguez – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Gaby Sanchez – 4-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Travis Snider – 1-for-8
  • Jose Tabata – 5-for-7 with a triple
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-9 with a walk

Let’s get this out of the way, Wandy Rodriguez has owned the Chicago Cubs in recent years and the Cubs make him look just about unhittable when they face they veteran southpaw. Wandy Rodriguez is one of the many reasons the Pirates enter play tonight just two games back of the Cardinals in the central division. Rodriguez is coming off an excellent outing against the Brewers in which he allowed one run on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings.

Wandy Rodriguez has not allowed more than one unearned run in each of his last two outings (13 innings) and is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Wandy Rodriguez has already beaten the Cubs this season. Rodriguez tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Cubs on April 3 while allowing just two hits with a walk and striking out six. For his career, Rodriquez is 8-7 in 23 starts against the Cubs with a 3.56 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Wandy Rodriguez

  • Darwin Barney – 5-for-19 with a walk
  • Julio Borbon – 0-for-1
  • Welington Castillo – 2-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-22 with three walks
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Matt Garza – 0-for-2
  • Scott Hairston – 7-for-22 with three doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Dioner Navarro – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Cody Ransom – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-7 with a walk
  • Nate Schierholtz – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-44 with a home run and three walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Borbon – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Hairston – RF
    Castillo – C
    Ransom – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Garza – P

  • Tony_Hall

    Looking forward to seeing Garza pitch tonight.

    Also, good to see so many people understanding more of the advanced stats in the earlier post today. Now is not a time to stick to the old standby stats and is a time to embrace all of the information that is out there to evaluate not only players, but overall team performance. The goal of all offenses is to not make outs, it leads to more runs.

    • paulcatanese

      So Tony, how does todays lineup equate in the Sabermetric system? Not being smart, just would like to know how this was figured out.
      The post I tried to get on was that I think the old time and the sabermetric system are pretty close as to wins or losses.
      Going to say that its fine to have all the figures on a chart explaining what pitches work best for a hitter and what do not. What I don’t know is how does a hitter take those figures to the plate and put them into play?
      What I also was going to say is that the front office, do they take and look for players that fit the mold or do they try and instill that into the players once they become Cubs?
      I would say that it’s easier for a young player to adjust to that than an older player, and is that one of the priorities that they look for?
      And then their are players that will never adjust, do they keep them or trade them?
      IMO I think the perfect player for me is one who thinks only one way, how to get on base, whether its a walk, hit by pitch, an error, or a hit, just as long as he gets on.
      So what category do I fall into? Not meant to be a smart axx but serious.

      • Tony_Hall

        The FO looks for players that match what they are looking for in a player.

        They also will try and adapt players to their system.

        Yes younger, players just entering the system are better to form.

        Some guys you will never change (Soriano), as they may get it for a short period, but they will, most likely go back to what they know at some point.

        You are exactly right about the perfect player, get on base and don’t make an out. But you can’t see who does this best with the old standby stats of AVG/HR/RBI’s. This is why you need to dig deeper and look at more stats.

        Today’s lineup is just not there yet. Not enough players that are willing to let pitcher’s pitches and balls outside the zone go by, and try to force the pitcher to give in or make a mistake. Who here doesn’t know that Soriano can hit a fastball really well, if the pitcher has to throw him one? But yet he doesn’t make a pitcher do that very often, as he will swing at pitches that he shouldn’t swing at.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Players that–as you say–“are not willing to let pitcher’s pitches and balls outside the zone go by”–are least successful in MLB. This is called “the batter’s eye.”

          Josh Vitters has a very bad “batter’s eye.” I don’t see how he can be our 3B of the future without a change in this category.

          • Tony_Hall

            Soriano has a bad batters eye as well, but he still has had a successful career.

            I do agree on Vitters though, but I think he will be more of a Derosa type that plays multiple positions, and maybe has a few good years.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Soriano has power; Vitters not enough power.

          • Sonate

            I agree with both of you. (How about that for a non value-added comment!)

        • paulcatanese

          Thanks for the information. Underling fact is I don’t think we are that far apart in diagnosing what this is all about.
          I have preached and practiced
          “zone hitting all my life”, find you’re zone and live with it, but be sure what the zone is, and lay off everything else, of course easier said than done, and a hitting coach must constantly remind the hitter what that zone is. A pitch that goes down will continue to go down and out of the zone, and a pitch that is above the letters (fast ball) will not come down, hitters must recognize that or it will not work, I just do not chart it, and that would be an additional help I’m sure, have always relied on video tape, but will start to chart as well.

          • Tony_Hall

            We are basically the same on this topic. Now imagine trying to use all the technology available and create more stats, charts, etc to help you differentiate players. That is sabermetrics in a nutshell.

          • paulcatanese

            Thank you, Paul

      • Ray Ray

        But I will argue Paul that a perfect middle of the order bat wants to drive in a run with the game on the line. If you have 2 outs and the winning run on 2nd….he is the guy you want up there to swing the bat. Do you want him to take 2 hittable strikes looking for that “PERFECT” pitch that many times never comes and walk? So now you have a guy who might be a .250 hitter up next with the same scenario whereas the other hitter was a .300 hitter. Who has a better chance of driving in a run? That was the discussion on mlb radio this morning. Makes perfect sense for most everyone who has ever played the game at a high level.

        • Tony_Hall

          No one is looking for a PERFECT pitch, just a pitch in their zone. When they get it they need to swing at it, not watch it go by.

          Why is the hitter after the 3,4,5 hitter, dropping down to a 250 hitter? Shouldn’t he be the next best hitter who can still drive in runs.

          • Ray Ray

            Because if you have played the game you know this is the case. You know that some hitters on the team perform better than others. You know that you would rather have a guy hit than walk in a RBI situation. You are hilarious!!!! It is an example. Ok make the guy a .265 hitter. If you are in Vegas….2 hitters. One hits .300 and the other 265. If both of those hitters leave a trainstation from Chicago at 5pm. The train travels at 100 MPH. One train is going to Miami the other is going to St Louis….Is the .300 hitter going to Miami or St Louis?

          • Tony_Hall

            One last attempt to find common ground and keep it about baseball, not trains.

            3 hitter zones
            1) Hot zone
            2) Medium (avg) zone
            3) Cold Zones

            3 pitch counts
            1) 0 strikes
            2) 1 strike
            3) 2 strikes

            with 0 strikes
            Hitter should swing in Hot zone

            with 1 strike hitter should swing hot and medium zone

            with 2 strikes hitter should defend the strike zone

            HITTING 101 as you say.

            So with Rizzo batting and let’s just say Barney batting behind him to show a complete difference in hitters.

            Should Rizzo be in 0 strike mode to begin with, 1 strike mode to begin with or 2 strike mode to begin with?

            I say 1 strike mode to begin with until he actually has 2 strikes. If you think the same, then we actually AGREE on this.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            If a hitter goes up to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs, and his strategy is ‘I have to get a hit,” the pitcher has already won. Unless you’re hitting against a guy with control like Greg Maddux you have to wait and get your pitch.

            Look at Manny, Albert or BIg Papi, they don’t swing at pitches that aren’t in their zone. If a pitcher can throw 3 perfect strikes that are on the plate but in a batter’s cold zone then you tip your cap. But 85% of the time that won’t happen. When the pitcher knows this guy will only swing when it’s in his zone he’s psyched out before the hitter steps in.

            In a pressure situation a pitcher loves to see a free swinger step into the box. A guy with patience that isn’t afraid to draw the walk and let the next guy drive in the run is a pitcher’s worst nightmare. If the sabremetrics don’t convince you, think of it from a purely psychological point of view.

          • Tony_Hall

            Also you don’t need to have played major league baseball to understand the game, and many people, GM’s that never played MLB actually know the game better than those that played.

          • Sonate

            Agree. The Cubs got George Bell (OBP=BA) when Brett Butler was available.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Absolutely…

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            We learn from little league to “look for our pitch.”

          • paulcatanese

            That’s a lot of importance to that.
            A hitter can actually see the bat hit the ball (slow the picture down and you can see it) All good hitters do that as its the height of concentration. When the head is on the ball their is good contact.
            I can recall that happening to me on a home run, saw the ball all the way, the contact, oddly no sound, but the ball carried.
            everything just flowed. Wonderful feeling.

        • gary3411

          In the bottom of the ninth and the first hitter is significantly better than the next, you are absolutely correct. They should expand their zone if first base is open. However, how often does that happen? A couple times a year? It’s not really something that needs to be thought about or used to evaluate a player’s production in this current conversation.

          • Ray Ray

            When did this conversation start about expanding your zone? I think Tony started with getting everyone confused about the point and topic.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think guys with good OBP translate to not expanding the zone. Thus the relevance, I guess…

          • Ray Ray

            A .300 hitter will have a good OBP because he is a good hitter. The discussion on mlb radio was that you want him to try and drive the run in(if possible) instead of the 6,7,8 hitters. Simple discussion that got way out of hand because many are so sensitive to saber.

          • gary3411

            Didn’t mean to come across as expanding the strike zone, but swinging at some pitches you may not have leading off an inning I guess I meant expanding ‘your’ zone with a base open, 2 outs, bottom of 9th and better hit than next guy. This situation calls for swinging away and at pitches you might otherwise take.

        • paulcatanese

          I’ll just throw this one in, how about the eight hitter going 4/4
          tonight incl. a double and a triple?
          And the three hitter going 0/5 with two K’s. What does that say about the guys in the slot?

          • Ray Ray

            That is baseball Paul. You know that. It happens. Does that mean you want Barney up with 2 outs in the 9th down one run and a runner on 3rd or your #3 hitter?

          • paulcatanese

            I just threw that one in as it was so ironic with all the conversations that have been going on, wanted to supply a little humor:)

          • Ray Ray

            I know. This was frustrating. Simple logic got turned around to me saying that players should swing at pitches out of strikezone and hack at anything. Never said that. I said you want your 3,4,5 hitters to swing the bat with RISP. That a player in that position shouldn’t be so concerned about OBP that he takes hittable pitches to draw a walk. Does that mean if the pitcher doesn’t throw a strike to swing at pitch over your head? That is what was going on today with the posts on this board. Unbelievable :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Not true, please go back and read the posts again.

          • Ray Ray

            OK. This is the last post on this because it has gotten to the point of you turning everything around. OBP is something that many teams stress. It is great to have the top 2 hitters in the lineup with very high OBP. That means runners are on base for your run producers. My point and Memelo and Hollandsworth were saying that the 3,4,5 hitters need not be so concerned about getting on 1st base like the others. They should be the ones driving in the runs. So….that means for them to be looking to drive the FIRST hittable strike that they can handle and do damamge. If you have a 2-0 count…..don’t necessarily take that pitch like a leadoff hitter would. Before you say that they won’t or don’t……look around baseball and many middle of the order bats have gotten to that point. This is not about just the CUBS for crying out loud. This is for EVERY team. 1-0 look for your pitch to drive. 2-0, 2-1, 3-1. 0-0. This is not just about looking for a pitch to drive in the seats but to drive the run in. You started with the expanding out of your zone. I Never said that! As I said. This has been a problem in my eyes and many other baseball experts. Hitters have gotten so caught up with OBP that they don’t swing the bat. Swing the bat run producers. That is the topic and the only topic that I brought up. I am not against OBP. I am not against working the count for 6 batters in the lineup. I am not against taking a pitch out of the zone. Simple Simple Simple.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe we agree on this 90% of the way. What I don’t get is, I and others on here are saying you should never take a pitch you can drive (in your hot zone) ever, and you seem to think it is ok for everyone to take that pitch unless you bat in the 3,4,5 hole. That doesn’t make sense to me, as that is the whole purpose of the batter is to find that pitch and hit it.

            As far as saying to expand a hitters zone, we were asking you how far outside of the hot and medium (average) zones you would want a middle of the order bat to go in the situation you created. That is it, how far. You never answered leading us to try and state some options to see if you would answer.

            When talking on topics like this I am talking all of baseball.

            But if you actually read all of the many, many people who posted, you would have seen that the best middle of the order bats, have a high OBP due to being a good hitter and knowing what to swing at and what not to swing at. These guys are not taking meatballs they should be swinging at, but some do. But those guys would not be the best of the middle of the order bats.

            Once again, the goal is to take the pitches you can’t drive, and hit the mistakes that end up in your hot zone and by doing this a player can be more productive.

      • John_CC

        Paul, I think the point of sabermetrics is to better evaluate players, no Wins and Losses of a team. For example, there are numbers to show a pitchers value independent of their team. On one hand, that stat can’t tell you anything about W-L and really doesn’t mean much, but when you can compare that number to every other pitcher then you have something. A stat like these (FIP and xFIP) are much more accurate at putting a pitcher on a chart than the old school ERA stat.

        These new stats can put a value on nearly every aspect of a player’s game. This is useful when building an entire team.

        • gary3411

          Correct, they are evaluatoin tools not in-game tools or really even scouting tools for the most part.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Evaluation tools, agreed…

    • Ray Ray

      Obviously you still don’t understand the point of the post. It is not about old standby stats but not getting so wrapped about OBP for middle of the order bats. Sabermetrics are good and should be used but there is sometimes way too much overload. You want your 3,4,5 hitters to swing the bat with runners in scoring position. That is why they are in those spots. This is not a Theo or anti Theo deal. Hitting 101. Thumpers Thump…..Weak hitters get on any way you can.

      • Tony_Hall

        You should go back and read all the posts from earlier today.

        Of course you want your 3,4,5 hitters to swing the bat. But not at pitchers pitches or pitches outside the zone.

        If you agree with that statement, why are you arguing about this, as NO ONE is telling 3,4,5 hitters to take the meatballs the pitcher throws, that they are going up looking to hit and hit hard, all in the name of trying to work a walk to try and improve their OBP….NO ONE!

        • Ray Ray

          Wow! You don’t want ANYONE swinging at a pitchers pitch but if you take 2 strikes and get behind that is what happens a lot in this game. Not all hitters are the same Tony. Can we agree with that statement? Luis Valbuena will never get 200 hits in a season like Starlin Castro. Can we agree on that statement? Who can handle more pitches and get base hits out of these 2 hitters? I think you can answer that question correctly. So….Castro should swing at more pitches than Valbuena since he has a higher probability of getting a base hit than Valbuena….hence driving in more runs and getting in scoring position. You do not want your best hitters to bat the same way as your weaker hitters. Common sense. Hitting 101.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have stated that with 2 strikes you defend the strike zone….do I really need to re type everything on every post for you to remember and not to use that against me in the next post.

            Castro’s zone to swing is bigger than Valbuena’s. Have you ever seen a chart for a player on what their hot zones are versus cold zones. Each hitter has their own zone and size of zone they should swing in. It has to get larger after strike one and then goes to protecting with 2 strikes.

            I would love to re post everything I stated on this and all the others stated on this but go back and READ the posts from earlier today.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is a good article with some charts for you to look at on Castro.

            http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2012/8/19/cubs-commit-to-starlin-castro.html

            Not every player’s chart looks the same. The goal is for each player to learn their strengths, to swing at pitches in those zones and to learn their weaknesses and NOT swing at those pitches.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Ray, you and I disagree a lot, but maybe the calculation of OBP may help here.

            OBP is calculated as follows:

            (Hits + Walks + Hit By Pitch) / (At Bats + Walks + Hit By Pitch + Sacrifice Fly)

            So walks are a big component of OBP, but not the whole story.

            Like Tony stated, players like Miguel Cabrera and Pujols have high OBPs for the walk factor, but also because they are great hitters. They get a lot of hits, which does affect OBP positively. HBP also affects OBP positively.

            Wellington Castillo has a .326 OBP while Castro has a .304 OBP. Castillo only has one BB this season while Castro has 7. However, Castillo has been HBP 6 times to Castro’s one. You can see here how HBP has affected the OBP.

            I think really what the whole OBP argument is trying to get across is selectivity more than anything else. A guy who waits for his pitch and walks a lot is a guy who has a good pitch recognition and knows when to lay off and when to smash the ball. He’s not going to swing at crappy pitches and get himself out.

            I think that’s what the Cub Way is all about. Not making outs and not getting yourself out. Javier Baez is a guy who’s been getting himself out a lot and who the team is trying to teach him how to improve his selectivity so he can be that middle of the order guy they envision.

            I hope that makes some more sense.

      • John_CC

        You guys really need to put it to rest, you are not going to convince each of anything.

        But after reading the previous string and up to here on this one, let me add one thing:

        Ray, try to think of a high OBP as simply an indicator of a hitter’s prowess. Stay with me, I know every guy with a high OBP isn’t a masher, BUT the best middle order hitters have high OBP as a result of being a great hitter. So, it is not that anyone is calling for middle of the order hitters to try to take walks, no one has said that.

        To argue that you’d rather have a guy with 100RBI and a .300OBP than a “_____” is a fool’s errand. I want Rizzo to hit .300 and drive in as many runs as he can (we should be talking about a run production saber stat, one that looks at percentage of baserunners plated, not RBI), if he does this, he will most likely have a good OBP to go along with it.

        Look at Miggy Cabrera, or Braun or Fielder…they all drive in well over 100 runs per season. Miggy and Braun also hit well above .300 AND have excellent OBPs. That isn’t because the stand there wit the bat on their shoulder hoping for a walk just to get on base.

        • Tony_Hall

          He’s never gonna understand what we are saying, but thanks for trying along with everyone else on the earlier thread.

        • Brp921

          Good post John. Your point aboout high OBP being the result of being a good hitter is what I was trying to say earlier, but you said it much better. Adam Dunn wasn’t as much of a great hitter as he was a dangerous power guy and that is why he was a good OBP guy. (Which I realized after Tony and Gary pointed his high OBP out to me) I do see Rays point though and agree with him that the important thing for your power part of the order is to plate the runs in any way they can.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Time for a sweep.

    • Ray Ray

      No. Hopefully they can pull out one game

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        No fair replying after the game’s over.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice D by Borbon!

  • Tony_Hall

    Cubs pitchers have been very productive with the sticks this year!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a two-out RBI single, then Garza with a two-run double

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza with 4 straight ks, good stuff. Needs some quick outs, already at 40 pitches

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Solid 1-2-3 third inning for Garza, just 10 pitches

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice play by Castro

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And a nice play by Ransom to get Martin at first to end the inning …

    • Tony_Hall

      Very nice play. He was a very nice pick-up off of waivers to help solidify 3B and the bench.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I agree Tony. He and Valbuena have been solid defensively at third

  • Tony_Hall

    They should offer Garza a contract this week to keep him for up to 3 years @ $10M per year with escaltors to earn up to $15M. Give him an out clause after 2 years if needed. Win-win for the Cubs and Garza.

    • Ray Ray

      3 years at 10??? Yea he’ll jump on that

      • gary3411

        Hey why you posting with my name? lol funny we just said exactly the same thing though

    • gary3411

      Garza won’t accept that. Not if he’s looking to make the most money at least. He’ll get twice that in 4 months.

      • Tony_Hall

        And this is what is so great about the CCO. You say he won’t accept it, because he will make so much more in 4 months, yet Ray says he will jump on that as it way overpaying.

        Gary – you are right, the point would be to try and get him to say yes now and get the guarantee, without Garza having to risk the summer and another injury. I would say offers this off season will start at 4 years $60M.

        • gary3411

          I think he was being sarcastic

          . But yes is Garza is a cautious type and really enjoys Chicago he just might accept that not out of the realm.

          • gary3411

            if*

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe he was, but I doubt it.

            If the contract had escalators to allow him to still make $15M and even option years that vest based on performance, I think he would say yes. Only have 2 years $20M guaranteed, but could work into a 4 years $60M deal I would think he would like that over testing the market and possibly being given a qualifying offer that will greatly restrict his market.

          • gary3411

            You have a point with the qualifying offer, but at his age and no sign in dropping of velocity with a solid rest of the season he’ll get paid greatly in the open market, especially next years. There is a lot of money out there right now, just not much on the northside of Chicago because of those dbags known as the Tribune.

          • Ray Ray

            Look at the FA market for starting pitching. Of course he would not accept a contract less than Edwin Jackson. That is hilarious. He is twice the pitcher EJax is.

          • Brp921

            I’m going to wait to judge the EJax deal (that I supported) until a couple of years from now. He’s got great stuff when he’s on. I know he has struggled to begin this year,but if he can harness it he will be worth his contract and more. If not, well the Cubs had the money and needed pitching so it’s not the end of the world.
            Garza is a value to the Cubs no matter what happens as Neil reported in a previous article. If he continues pitching like he did tonight then he will command alot in a deadline trade.

          • Ray Ray

            The Cubs do not have any top of the rotation starters except Garza. I would try and extend him but it will be close to what Anibal Sanchez got. He is not some mediocre pitcher who would sign a 3 year 10 mil deal.

          • Tony_Hall

            With an injury history, that Jackson does not have. Just like Rizzo took an extension and left money on the table, so could Garza if he wants to stay (he says he does).

            $20M guaranteed and able to make up to $15M a year, after 1 start after 10 months off rehabbing….not sure he wouldn’t consider it and sign that contract.

            If he gets hurt again this year, he will be lucky to get anything close to that, PLUS the Cubs will give him the qualifying offer at about $13M for 1 season, which will hurt his market as teams don’t like giving up draft pick.

          • Ray Ray

            huge sarcasm. not a little but huge sarcasm.

  • Tony_Hall

    McCutchen is such a good defensive CF. It’s like he is gliding to the ball.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I wish we could snag him to be our CF of the future.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro almost took too much time. Good first outing by Garza

  • DWalker

    I have a hard time saying exactly why, but Castillo just can’t seem to impress me.

    • Tony_Hall

      How about now? He has a cannon for an arm.

      • DWalker

        that was good, I admit.

  • DWalker

    well, here’s camp with bases loaded. its over

    • Brp921

      Sveums a genius.

      • Ray Ray

        Best tactician in the game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Camp gives up a grand slam

  • GaryLeeT

    Now tell me the Cubs are not trying to lose games.

    • DWalker

      would you like me to lie to you?

  • willie smith

    great roster management Jed………….let’s keep Camp!!
    talk about losing on purpose…………
    geez……

    • The real DWalker

      ok, so now I have a copy cat name. I guess I should be impressed?

      • DWalker

        Ok, the post above was posted with my name a few moments ago, but its changed now. Maybe a forum glitch?

        • Tony_Hall

          Disqus does that sometimes if you just let it update on it’s own. You need to refresh the page every so often.

        • gary3411

          Just happened to me also

    • John_CC

      LOL!

  • Brp921

    I wonder if Garza still wants a no trade clause.

  • GaryLeeT

    Is management to cowardly to tell Camp his baseball career is over, and want him to take a beating so horrific that he will just quit?

    • Tony_Hall

      Yeah that’s it, they are too scared to cut a player.

      I still say they should have DL’d him and let him take a break and come back fresh. If he still was awful then cut him, if he came back and pitched like last year, he would return something in a trade.

      • GaryLeeT

        No team in MLB has relief pitcher as bad as Camp on their roster. What’s your theory on why they keep running him out there? Compromising pictures?

        • Tony_Hall

          Not sure about that, as there are a lot of relievers with bad stats out there. They are hoping he starts getting outs and can retain some value to be traded. Plus all teams are not quick to cut a player they are paying more than the minimum. Not that I agree with that concept.

          • Brp921

            So Sveum runs him out there with the game on the bases.

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe he was telling Theo and Jed, you wanted him, let’s see how he does in this situation.

            Don’t assume that Dale, Jed, and Theo agree on all the moves.

          • Brp921

            I hadn’t thought of that, it’s an interesting thought, but I just don’t think that’s the case.

        • gary3411

          Because he has history of getting batters out, that’s why.

          • Ripsnorter1

            If you check out his career stats, he has a history of a decent year, followed by a bad year, getting released or DFA’d, and then a decent year.

            Last year of the Cubs, he really only had a decent first half:

            1st half: 2.80 ERA…1.089 WHIP

            2nd half: 4.68 ERA…1.561 WHIP.

            Not so hot 2nd half….

          • gary3411

            Maybe our definitions of getting batters out are different. I’d consider sub-4.20 ERA for 5 straight years going into this year a pretty solid history. Then again, everyone hits a wall with their age at some point, I’m not sure it’s been long enoughthis year to come to that conclusion with Camp yet though.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree that Camp may turn it around, like Marmol did last year in the 2nd half. But I also would not dump Bowden to save Camp’s hide. Camp had a year in which his ERA for 50 games was 7.20. And he had a job the next year.

          • gary3411

            Yea it stunk to lose Bowden no doubt.

          • Brp921

            A couple decent years out of how many? He was an ok pitcher but now he’s 37 years old and having a bad year and our manager runs him out there with the game on the bases. How smart is that?

    • Tony_Hall

      And keep in mind, they could still DL Camp and bring Bowden back, if they don’t get an offer they like.

      “A club can also return a Designated Player to the 40-man roster and either option the player to the minors or reinstate the player to the 25-man roster, as long as the Designated Player is not replaced on the 40-man roster by another player while the player is on the Designated List. (A club might have to DFA a player to buy time while it attempts to secure Optional Assignment Waivers).”

      • DWalker

        I would say Camp is gone either way now, but that does make sense on how they were thinking. Camp has no value right now.

        • Tony_Hall

          They could go that route as well. Cut Camp and bring Bowden back.

          I think they will get a decent enough offer for Bowden to make a trade.

      • Brp921

        In the mean time we lose again.

        • Tony_Hall

          Then turn the game off if you think it is over. It looks to me like we have 7 outs left.

          • Brp921

            OK let’s see what happens.

          • Tony_Hall

            They may lose, they may win, but watching the game is the entertaining part of following a team.

          • Brp921

            You’ll have to excuse my cynicism, I’ve been a fan since the mid sixties.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have been seen the beginning of the 80’s.

            Now Soriano gets turned around and drops a ball…..maybe you are right tonight.

          • Brp921

            I hope your a prophet Tony!

          • Tony_Hall

            No, just an eternal optimist!

          • Brp921

            As are all of us Cub fans. I say that as the last out is made.:(

  • GaryLeeT

    When was the last time the Cubs came from behind after the 7th?

  • paulcatanese

    If anyone doesn’t think that grand slam didn’t take the heart out of the offense, I don’t know what could have.
    Bad enough the shot, but leaving him in for two more hits and a walk loading them up again makes 0 sense.
    This could be a very bad loss, mentally as well as the morale taking a hit.

    • Ripsnorter1

      After Camp’s performance tonight, Dale Sveum was just nominated for Manager of the Year by the Kool-Aid drinkers.

      They can find a reason to justify it all.

  • Brp921

    Barney is just plain solid in the field. I hope Castro can learn from him.

  • Tony_Hall

    Barney with a 4 hit night!

    Out of the 8 hole.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to Pirates on Tuesday night – Matt Garza: 0R, 1H, 3BB, WP, 5K in 5IP (82 pitches, 49 strikes); 1-2, 2B, 2RBI

    Barney: 4-4, 3B, RBI, 2R; Soriano: 2-4, R; Castro: 1-5, RBI; #Cubs pen (Rondon, Russell, Camp):
    5R, 5H, HR (GS), 3BB, 0K in 6th inning

  • paulcatanese

    By the way, sent in my vote for Rizzo today, his power may get him in the All Star game.

    • Ray Ray

      It wouldn’t have to do that he is Italian is it?? Lol

      • paulcatanese

        Of course, Soriono is too:)

    • DWalker

      Cubs will get at least one in. Rizzo is the top candidate unless he goes into a long slump.

      • paulcatanese

        I want to see Castro also if he can put a decent run in. He is not that far out of it.

        A stretch, but Wood may be able to sneak in.

        Cubs really have some decent players but if they continue to hover around the bottom, a lot will be overlooked.

  • DWalker

    Just saw this: RT @CarrieMuskat Who’s the #Cubs emergency catcher? No one. Sveum has asked but nobody wants it. “I can’t blame them”

    • paulcatanese

      I think I heard last year that Barney could catch in a emergency, but if I were him, I would stay away from that one.