Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/03/14

Game Three: Cubs (0-2) vs. Pirates (2-0)

  • Game Time – 11:35am CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
  • Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Jason Hammel (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to leave Pittsburgh this afternoon with their first victory of the season. According to Mark Gonzales, Rick Renteria is going to mix up his right-handed lineup today and hit Starlin Castro in the two-hole. Look for Justin Ruggiano to be in the starting lineup along with Mike Olt at third base. John Baker should make his first start of the season after Welington Castillo caught all 16 innings of Wednesday’s game. Baker will likely hit eighth and be the only lefty in the lineup other than Anthony Rizzo.

Jason Hammel makes his first start regular season start in a Cubs’ uniform today. And his manager will need a long, efficient outing from him in the wake of Wednesday’s marathon. Jose Veras will likely be unavailable after his 38-pitch (19 strikes) inning and it is highly doubtful Hector Rondon and Wesley Wright will be available after both relievers tossed two innings less than 12 hours ago.

The Cubs offense continued to struggle with runners in scoring position Wednesday night. After going 0-for-11 with RISP and leaving eight on base in the opener, the Cubs are 1-for-27 with RISP and have left 27 men on base in the first two games. And until that is cleaned up, the losses will continue to mount regardless of how the pitching staff performs.

Today all begins with Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel makes his Cubs’ debut today after signing a one-year, $8 million contract in the off-season. Hammel spent the last two years in Baltimore and was 7-8 in 26 games, 23 starts, with the O’s a year ago. Hammel surrendered 155 hits in 139 1/3 innings with 48 walks and 96 strikeouts.

Before his time in Baltimore, Jason Hammel spent three seasons in Colorado and is 1-1 in two games, one start, at PNC Park with a 4.70 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. For his career, Hammel is 2-1 in four appearances, three starts, against the Bucs with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Jason Hammel

  • Travis Ishikawa: 2-for-14
  • Russell Martin: 1-for-13 with one walk
  • Andrew McCutchen: 3-for-9 with one home run
  • Gaby Sanchez: 1-for-7 with one home run
  • Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-5 with one home run and one walk
  • Wandy Rodriguez: 1-for-5
  • Neil Walker: 2-for-5
  • Jose Tabata: 1-for-3
  • Clint Barmes: 0-for-2

Wandy Rodriguez dealt with injuries last season and made only 12 starts for the Pirates a year ago. Rodriguez was 6-4 in those 12 starts with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Rodriguez was shutdown in September with tightness in his flexor tendon and reported to Spring Training pain free. With the loss of A.J. Burnett, the Pirates are depending on Rodriguez to stay healthy all season and pick up the slack.

After struggling early in his career against the Cubs, Rodriguez has had the Cubs’ number for the last several seasons. Rodriguez is 9-7 in 24 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … Rodriguez was 2-0 in two starts versus the Cubs last season with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP (three runs on eight hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Wandy Rodriguez

  • Starlin Castro: 4-for-25 with three walks
  • Darwin Barney: 7-for-21 with one walk
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 3-for-12 with two walks
  • Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-10 with one walk
  • Welington Castillo: 3-for-9
  • Jason Hammel: 0-for-7
  • Justin Ruggiano: 1-for-5 with one home run
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-3
  • Luis Valbuena: 1-for-3
  • John Baker: 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Bonifacio CF
    Castro SS
    Ruggiano RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Lake LF
    Olt 3B
    Barney 2B
    Baker C
    Hammel P

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      ONLY RAIN CAN STOP BONIFACIO!!!!

    • JasonPen

      I like the lineup today, moving Castro up, let’s see if it works!

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

        I do too. He’s not a 3 hole.

  • Tony_H

    If Hammel keeps his sinker down, I expect a fairly low scoring quick paced game, you know under 4 hours and only 9 innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Veras, Villanueva, Wright not available for Cubs today. Renteria says: “Everybody else is available for a little bit of work”

  • Pingback: Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/03/14 - Cubs Chronicles

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    There is a report from the Sun-Times that mentions Rusin as a possibility for Sunday’s start against the Phillies. Unless the Cubs place a player on the disabled list, by rule Rusin cannot be recalled. Rusin was optioned Sunday and cannot be recalled that soon, unless he is an injury replacement.

  • BigJonLilJon
    • cubtex

      yep

  • BosephHeyden

    It’s probably a good thing for both teams that this game likely won’t happen due to weather. Because the first team to get to their bullpen is probably going to lose this game, and most likely in regulation this time (I hope, I’m a bit over extra innings right now).

  • texcubnut

    Cubs have not fared all that well against Wandy Rodriguez, but today is a new day and anything can happen. Just don’t think Rizzo, with the trouble he’s had against lefties, should be hitting cleanup!

    • cubtex

      haha. murphy’s law. RBI base hit. Actually Wandy is the kind of lefty that Rizzo should handle better than a guy like Bumgardner,Liriano,Kershaw etc. Wandy isn’t overpowering

      • texcubnut

        Maybe I should continue to make negative predictions. I do a fine job of “looking the fool.”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a RBI single off a lefty

    • cubtex

      went the other way. great!

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

        He’s going to have a good year.

    • JasonPen

      And we have a run!… and it didnt come in extras!!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Is it raining there?

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Headed to boston for client event…will be at redsox home opener. Let me know if Theo has anyone he wants me to say hello to. Thanks!

  • cubtex

    20 pitch 1st inning for Hammel. He needs to try and go 6 today with that bullpen.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt with a HR on a 3-2 pitch to right field

    • cubtex

      ha. I called it.

      • cubtex

        first mlb homerun.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Yes it was

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

          Great for him! Two games, 1 HR. He’s an RBI guy, just needs to get a bit more consistent.

  • Eugene Debs

    Let’s take this one, boys!
    Strange – while the last two games were depressing, the Cubs did look competitive.

    • JasonPen

      and against a good team, at that!

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

        Absolutely. They took a playoff team to extras two nights in a row. Pirates were number in league in runs last year. They win lots of low scoring affairs.

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

    Were going to get a sizable haul for Bonifacio at the break if he keeps anything close to this up. His value to a team with some run producers would be insane. As much as he’s on his WAR has got to be through the roof.

    • JasonPen

      11 for 14 with 4SB… ridiculous!

    • JasonPen

      11 for 14 with 4SB… ridiculous!

    • John_CC

      Why? Why is every single player just “a haul” now? John Arguello wrote an excellent piece the other day on this, please give it a read. Even you despisers of the re-build – because Arguello is a fervent supported of the re-build but this article will surprise you.

      http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/04/hes-good-so-what-can-we-get-for-him/

    • John_CC

      Why? Why is every single player just “a haul” now? John Arguello wrote an excellent piece the other day on this, please give it a read. Even you despisers of the re-build – because Arguello is a fervent supported of the re-build but this article will surprise you.

      http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/04/hes-good-so-what-can-we-get-for-him/

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

        I agree! He could be a Greg bridge player and maybe be on our first playoff or World Series team. Kind of like a Kevin Millar type with Red Sox.

        But at his pace he will be an MVP candidate. And that will cool some. But if he’s batting .340, 40 SB, .415 OBP and not getting picked off every other time ;), he will be an incredible commodity. Like get Archie Bradley for him or maybe two Archie Bradley’s. I we can get that TOR we have to consider it. He could single handed my advance the rebuild a year earlier by given us next year’s #3 & #2 starters. Not that this will happen but if a team is in post season pursuit and can add the league leader in hits and OBP it could happens

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

          What a signing! Nobody else wanted him. Great move.

          • John_CC

            It was a good pickup. But it’s not that no one wanted, the Cubs made him a better offer.

          • cubtex

            what do you mean nobody wanted him?

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

            I thought since he signed a minor league deal it was more of an after brought. But hey, even better. Means they had to compete and go an extra mile to signings. I thought we took a chance on someone nobody else wanted. Even better signing…

          • cubtex

            yea but he had several offers and felt he had a better chance of making the Cubs than some of the other teams. It was all about opportunity for him.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Exactly correct

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

            True. But hey, either way. Kudos to the FO. Great signing.

      • Tony_H

        I actually think Bonifacio is someone who could stick around a few years. His versatilty allows that.

        • J Daniel

          100% agree … plays all over the field, speed, great utility guy that can long term replace an injured guy.

    • John_CC

      Actually if keeps up anything close to this he will be MVP!

    • John_CC

      Actually if keeps up anything close to this he will be MVP!

    • BigJonLilJon

      A little early in the season to start thinking that!!! He’s just on a hot streak right now. We’ll take it of course, but expect him to settle back in soon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Bonifacio leads off the third with a double …

    • Tony_H

      Sell now!!! His value will never be higher :)

      • cubtex

        bryan lahair 2.0

        • Tony_H

          This might be his hottest streak of his life. I like him, and think he is a great fit for almost any team with his speed and versatility, but he is not much more than a 250 hitter with low 300 OBP.

          Ride him while he is hot.

          • cubtex

            agreed. look at his track record but he is just what this team needs. Ride him at leadoff as long as you can.

          • Tony_H

            If they give him days off to keep him healthy and fresh, he can be more productive. But yes, play him everyday when he is this locked in.

            Can you say locked in for a punch and judy hitter?

          • J Daniel

            Absolutely locked and we know it will end. But, he may turn out to be a really good player that plays a significant role for 5 or more years, depending. Some guys get it later than others. Definitely is exciting to see!

          • Ripsnorter1

            I simply cannot believe the sane and sober comments you are making about Bonifacio!

            I get it: you have a new job, and you’ve been laying off the Kool-Aid for awhile. : )

            I agree. He’s a .250 hitter that likes the fastball, with a low OBP.

            He’s just temporary…

          • Tony_H

            My projections for players is not pie in the sky. Just because I believe in what the FO is doing, doesn’t make my predictions off base. I know what these players are and what their floor and ceiling projects for their major league career. You always try to use the kool-aide term, yet I predict less than 70 wins this year.

            Start the new job on Monday. Can’t wait to get to see an Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park in two weeks.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That ought to be a hoot, with Baez in the lineup, and some of the other boys as well.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Bonifacio leads off the third with a double …

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

    I had an interesting thought I wanted to share. About 8 years ago I remember a segment on EsPN about potential 300 game winners. It was right after Clemens and Maddux got there. Thy were discussing Hudson, Zito and Mulder-the A’s big 3 at the time. Asking whih was most likely to get there. Whoever did the analysis predicted Hudson. At the time I thought he was cray. Zito had just one like back to back Cy Youngs, Mulder was built like a freight train. But he said the delivery was most mechanically sound with Hidson and the others would breakdown. Again, I disagreed at te time but sure enough… Hudson is still an all-star. Zito is a bullpen whatever and Mulder is a broken down broadcaster. I wish I knew who it was, it may have been Buck Showalter. But some pretty dead bang analysis. Anyone else remember this discussion?

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

    I had an interesting thought I wanted to share. About 8 years ago I remember a segment on EsPN about potential 300 game winners. It was right after Clemens and Maddux got there. Thy were discussing Hudson, Zito and Mulder-the A’s big 3 at the time. Asking whih was most likely to get there. Whoever did the analysis predicted Hudson. At the time I thought he was cray. Zito had just one like back to back Cy Youngs, Mulder was built like a freight train. But he said the delivery was most mechanically sound with Hidson and the others would breakdown. Again, I disagreed at te time but sure enough… Hudson is still an all-star. Zito is a bullpen whatever and Mulder is a broken down broadcaster. I wish I knew who it was, it may have been Buck Showalter. But some pretty dead bang analysis. Anyone else remember this discussion?

  • BigJonLilJon

    3 run lead …. Let’s get through the 5th quickly before the rain starts!!!!

  • BigJonLilJon

    3 run lead …. Let’s get through the 5th quickly before the rain starts!!!!

  • BillyFinT

    We need to come up with a sign for Bonifacio…

    “Bone Face Hits,”
    “Bong For 200,”
    “Bonno Donna,”
    “Be The Man, Bonifacio.”

    I can come up with a hundred and ninety six more. He’ll hit 100 in July, yea?

    • BillyFinT

      Snider got himself out after he had a 2-0 advantage. Hammel will continue to work the home plate umpire, who gave the pitcher a tight strikezone.

  • cubtex

    Nice to see Castro finally get off the schneid.

    • BigJonLilJon

      And now Barney. He needs to get hot so we can trade him

      • J Daniel

        He can get hot but not really getting anything for him.

        • BigJonLilJon

          One can only hope!!

  • Denver Mike

    Listening to the game on WGN from work for the first time this year, and so far I really like Ron Coomer. He’s got good energy, seems insightful, and fits well with Pat. Not to mention it is always nice to hear Pat Hughes say “What do you think Ron?”, makes me think of Ronnie every time.

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

      Totally agree. He is solid.

      • cubtex

        haven’t listened to him yet but that is encouraging that you and Denver like him. Never have cared for Moreland. And Deshaies is terrible

  • John_CC

    I just watched the replay of the questionable review from last night. I don’t like this at all, in fact I really hate it. I know it isn’t going to go away so they really need to implement some changes before it really hurts the game watching experience.

    Sitting there listening to the guys in the booth blather about the view, watching the manager stand there, players swinging the fungoe to stay loose, guys standing on their heels scratching their crotches and spitting…ugh.

    First, the list of review-able plays is way too long. I think that all of the “judgement calls” should be pulled from the list. Leave the HR, fair/foul, fan interference, and I guess trapped ball and cut the rest.
    If they won’t do that then there should be strict time limit, if the official reviewers cannot make the call within 30 seconds then it is too close to call and just another judgement call! Except this time it is “correct.” BS. 30 seconds or the play stands.
    Go to commercial during the review.

    • Tony_H

      It is not a finished product. They have stated this is a starting point. I feel all reviews should be initiated by headquarters and only on plays that are blatantly called wrong, not NFL style, frame by frame needing to redo definitions of what a catch is.

      • John_CC

        That’s a good idea. Something needs to change, I just hate the “challenge.” They should get one challenge, win or lose, ONE.

        But I am afraid of the term “starting point,” rarely does anything go backward from a starting point. What is ironic is that with PitchFX balls and strikes would be the easiest of all calls to make 100% accurate, if that is the goal of MLB with this replay, to be “right.”

        • Tony_H

          I don’t like the 1 challenge. If a play is blatantly blown it should be fixed. It shouldn’t be fore the bang bang play that needs to be slowed down just to be able to see that it is still really close. Put a couple people on each game and if there is a close play, they look at the different angles and if it was a blown call signal the home plate umpire, show it to him on a smart phone in his back pocket and fix the call.

          And lets face it, everyone of those calls, everyone in the stadium and watching at home already knows was a bad call.

    • BillyFinT

      If speeding up the game while increasing fan enjoyment is what you want, then the priority is to allow as little pitching change as possible.

      • cubtex

        The shrinking strike zone is the real problem with this game. It is amazing to me some of the pitches that are called balls. Get it back to the old days and make the hitters swing the bats.

        • BillyFinT

          Now that you mentioned, true. When pitchers had more edge from the calls back in the 70s, the game was much, much faster.

          • cubtex

            The Bob Gibson and Fergie days. Never had these 3.5 hour games(unless extra innings of course)

          • Tony_H

            Call the actual strikes would be a first step, but start calling strikes around the edge of the zone more too. If the ball barely touches the line with a stitch it should be called a strike.

          • cubtex

            agreed. I am watching all these games around MLB and it is amazing how small the strike zone has gotten.

          • Tony_H

            One of McCutchen’s AB’s against Samardzija was ridiculous, with one pitch almost down the middle.

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

            Totally agree. Letters to knees.

          • Tony_H

            Bottom of the knees :)

        • J Daniel

          Part of why, I think, pitchers pitched more complete games then.

          • cubtex

            yea but they weren’t on these strict pitch counts either.

          • J Daniel

            No and we know why that has changed … $$$

      • John_CC

        Is this formerly known as Dorasaga or a new very confusing Mr. Cub?

        Anyway, I said nothing about speeding the game up. I am opposed to slowing it down though. The nature of the game of baseball, no clock, no timeouts, No Time! is unique and I love it. But 2 and half minutes of standing around so an unseen umpire can try to decide an on field call from 1000 miles away is insane.

        Using the NFL model of “challenges” does not fit a baseball game. But at least they don’t challenge “holds” in the NFL.

        • Tony_H

          LOL! NFL games would never end if they did that.

        • Tony_H

          And yes Billy is the one and only Dorasaga.

          • BillyFinT

            Does it matter? I thought John C is on the CCO ESPN fantasy?

          • John_CC

            Not this JOhn C! There is an impersonator!

          • BillyFinT

            Nobody can steal yours.
            :-)

          • Tony_H

            That is CubsFaninSeatle

  • BigJonLilJon

    Sure seems to be a lot of empty seats!!!!

    • Tony_H

      Cold day in Pittsburgh with an 11:30 AM start and it’s not Opening Day.

      Those use to be the crowds for night games in Pittsburg.

    • BillyFinT

      It’s 13:46, Wednesday, East Standard Time. Folks at Pittsburgh work and go to school, you know.

      • Tony_H

        Wrigley would be pretty full.

        But that is Chicago…

        • BillyFinT

          LOL. Reminds me of that Cubs manager who F**Ked the fans saying in front of the media that Cubs fans don’t work… LOL

          • Tony_H

            Lee Elia if I remember right. He had some good ones.

          • J Daniel

            Correct, and all time classic!

          • Tony_H
          • John_CC

            still the best public tirade in sports history.

  • Tony_H

    What just happened? Bonifacio went back to the dugout after batting.

    • cubtex

      OK Tony. I predicted 2 hits for Castro and Olt with his 1st HR. Need 1 more hit out of Castro today and I will be 2 for 2.

      • Tony_H

        Next time predict a little more.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Now let the rain come down!!! Will take a win any way we can!!!! And getting a win for Hammel on my CCO fantasy team is a welcomed side benefit!

    • Tony_H

      You need more than a Hammel win to catch up to Calicub.

      • BigJonLilJon

        So true!!!!

      • BigJonLilJon

        But in all seriousness…. Hammel does look good. Working quickly, changing speeds well, working the outer corner, low pitch count,keeping the ball down. I like what I’m seeing today. And the bullpen needs the rest today.

        • J Daniel

          All 3 are great starts …

          • cubtex

            Great to be a starting pitcher in April

          • Tony_H

            Tell that to the Rangers pitchers, the healthy ones at least.

          • cubtex

            75 degrees in Dallas. I should have said…great to be a starting pitcher in April in the midwest and northeast.

          • Tony_H

            I knew what you meant, just picking on the Rangers pitching woes.

          • cubtex

            as long as the Phillies keep throwing Papelbon out there to close they got a shot :)

          • J Daniel

            Yes it is but it still counts.

          • Tony_H

            Yes, no one can say the pitching has been poor .

            TEAM ERA – 1.48 going into this game, now down to 1.19. Small sample size or not, that is a good series for the pitching.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Better keep an eye on Grimm. He may be a starter once we flip pitching at the deadline. Am pretty sure he was the 5th starter for the Rangers for a while last year??

        • Tony_H

          I expect Hammel to have a very good 4-6 weeks to start the year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And now the game is official …

    • BillyFinT

      It’s really getting dark at the Steel City, too…

      • Tony_H

        They only have about an hour before the rain will start.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Hoping for sooner!!

      • BigJonLilJon

        They said once it starts it’s not gonna stop either. 90% chance or rain today and tonight there

  • Tony_H

    Very good Cubs debut for Hammel.

    • JasonPen

      Actually for all the pitchers so far (not named Veras or Villanuevea)

      • BigJonLilJon

        Scares me if Veras comes in for the save!!! Haven’t seen anything so far to encourage me

        • Tony_H

          He’s not available today along with Wright and Villanueva.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Forgot that. Thanks

          • Tony_H

            Should make you feel better.

          • BigJonLilJon

            It does. And the fact it’s starting to rain helps!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Agreed … and rain is starting to fall

      • BigJonLilJon

        Knew we needed the rain!!

  • Tony_H

    Here comes the rain!

    • J Daniel

      Anyway they get a win is a good thing.

  • cubtex

    You know how I feel about WAR….but here you go

    Emilio Bonifacio has already tied his 2013 WAR http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4054&position=2B/OF

  • daverj

    I like Bonfiacio better than our other current options too, but …

    I recall that he had a monster start his first year with the Marlins in 2009 and just looked it up …

    For the first 5 games … 14 hits in 24 ABs for a .583 average, 1 HR, 9 Runs, 5 RBI and 4 steals.

    His final numbers that seasons .252, 1 HR and 27 steals.

    Edit for typo: It was 21 steals in 2009, not 27.

    • Tony_H

      Absolutely. He is playing out of his a$$ right now.

      250/320 is about right.

      • daverj

        Agreed. I was just trying to frame things a bit for fans that think he might hit .300 all season or bring back a top prospect in a mid-season deal. Bonifacio is a nice starter for non-contender or quality utility guy for a contender. He won’t bring back any more than C level prospect if traded in July.

  • Tony_H

    Strop not only catches the pop up, but knocks over his catcher who had gear on!

    • BigJonLilJon

      At least he didn’t lead with crown of helmet. 15 yard penalty!!!

  • Tony_H

    Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

    • BigJonLilJon

      Whew!!!! Nail biter at the end

  • Tony_H

    2 hours 45 minutes. Maybe they should tell the teams there is always rain approaching in 2-3 hours.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 3-2 on Thursday afternoon … Jason Hammel: 1R, 2H, 1BB, 5K, 6.2IP (98 pitches, 61 strikes)

    Bonifacio: 2-4, 2B, SB, 2R; Rizzo: 1-4, RBI; Olt: 1-3, HR; Castro: 1-4, Barney: 1-2, BB

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Alberto Cabrera cleared waivers and has been sent to Triple-A Iowa

    • John_CC

      That’s slightly surprising.

      • Tony_H

        I was just seeing that and thinking the same thing. Only part of it is that a team would have to cut their own player who may be out of options to pick up Cabera.

        • John_CC

          Could it be that perhaps Epstein/Hoyer gambled this would occur? Did they really know the odds were actually decent that they would get to keep him? A sneaky good bit of roster managing?

          • Tony_H

            Absolutely. They have always been good at timing guys going through waivers like this, if they knew this is what they were going to do with Cabera a week or two earlier, he would have likely been claimed, as teams could have still used him in ST games themselves.

            I am surprised no one took a chance on him. He is a lot better than a lot of Rule V guys teams take chances on, so the timing has to be a part of it.

    • Tony_H

      Do you think they will have him start of relieve in Iowa?

      Does Iowa need to cut someone to make room for him with their roster already announced?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I would like to see him used as a starter, I am hearing reliever.