Cubs Win Back-to-Back Games, and the State of the Cubs

July 7, 2010

The Cubs won 9-4 Monday, and 6-4 Tuesday, and will go for the sweep of Arizona tonight, before heading into Los Angeles to play the Dodgers.

As for the State of the Cubs, Hendry plans to make trades in a fashion I suggested earlier, selling for this season, but at the same time, buying for next season, by possibly acquiring young players that are more than capable major leaguers, or at least major league-ready players.


Cubs Win! Go For Series Split Tomorrow!

July 3, 2010

The Cubs left 17 on base today, but they still scored 3, which was enough to beat the Reds, as Wells brought a no-hitter into the 7th before allowing three consecutive hits. The Final score was 3-1 as Soriano had a bases loaded bloop and Soto got a ball into the ivy accounting for all 3 Cubs runs. Marmol had a 4 out save relieving Wells after 7 and 2/3. The Cubs now sit 10.5 GB of Cincinnati and are 11 games under .500.

Buyers or Sellers? Not As Simple As it Seems

June 30, 2010

With the July 31st trade deadline a mere month away, the Chicago Cubs are faced with a tough decisions. Should they sell and rebuild? or should they buy to at least attempt to give it a ride throughout the remainder of the 2010 season and next.

I know most fans will be saying “Sell! We are 9.5 GB and 10 games under .500!”, but as most of us know, the Cubs CAN’T rebuild in reality. Of course we can trade a few players, but beyond that, we are stuck with some players past their primes with huge contracts that simply aren’t scoring runs.

I will simulate what can happen if the Cubs choose to rebuild now, starting with deciding who can be traded.

LHP Ted Lilly
LHP Tom Gorzelanny
1B Derrek Lee
2B Ryan Theriot
CF Marlon Byrd
1B/RF Xavier Nady

Lilly and Gorzelanny: The Mets are interested in Lilly. If they fail to land Cliff Lee, Lilly is their second choice. We can throw in Gorzelanny, who they can use out of the bullpen, to get more in return from the Pirates. Not knowing how much the Mets would give, I would ask for the Mets 9th and 10th best prospects 2B/SS Ruben Tejada and LHP Juan Urbina. though it may be too much. Now why would I even want another Middle Infielder to add to a farm system loaded with them? To use him as a trade chip of course. The Cubs could also throw in a low-level middle infield prospect and some money if necessary.

Post-Lilly/Gorzelanny trade Moves:
RHP Andrew Cashner to Starting Rotation.
RHP Jay Jackson recalled from AAA Iowa to Start in Cubs’ Rotation.
RHP Thomas Diamond recalled from AAA Iowa as Relief Pitcher.
RHP Bob Howry to become Right-handed Setup Man.

This trade would give us a chance to see Andrew Cashner as a starter like he should be and see our other top pitching prospect, Jay Jackson, in the MLB as a starter. It could also prevent Cashner from being overworked like he has been lately going two whole innings, resulting in a run, every day or two. Additionally, Diamond would strengthen our bullpen, and we would gain a quality pitching prospect and another middle infielder that could be used as part of a deal to acquire a hitter that can knock in runs. Though technically a rebuilding trade, it (and the post-trade moves) would barely hurt the Cubs major league club, and may even help it, while strengthening the farm system and helping the Mets as well.

Lee: There are many teams that would bite. I don’t really want to see him go though, so I will decide not to trade him in my scenarios, but will admit that we could, if we can’t sign him to a one or two year extension. Alternatively to extending his contract, we could sign Carlos Pena to a four-year deal.

Theriot: Theriot is probably worth a couple mid-level prospects. I don’t care who. We can use Fontenot, Baker, or Scales to replace him (preferably Fontenot to add a left-handed bat to the lienup). However, some possible takers could be: Detroit, Minnesota, Oakland, San Diego, or possibly the New York Mets.

Byrd: I’m just stating that he IS tradeable, though I’d prefer to keep him as we could be back to competition by 2012 when his contract is up, and he could be a solid piece of a future competitive team. He plays solid defense, has solid offense, and is the type of guy you’d like to have around the youngsters, who could have a good role-model in Byrd who hustles even on a home run and will go to all extremes to make a play or reach first base.

Nady: Nady would be a low-risk, high-reward, player for any competitive team. And just about any team could use him, though my bet would go towards an AL West team like Oakland or even the White Sox who could use an upgrade at DH.

Buy: Why would we buy? Because we CAN’T do a full rebuilding process, but only a partial one. We could just keep the players we have and replace Theriot with a good-hitting second baseman. The Orioles are way out of contention and may be willing to part with Miguel Tejada, who could probably convert to 2B with ease as a former shortstop. Florida’s Dan Uggla is another possibility. Another option could be Arizona’s Kelly Johnson.

My Choice: Both. If they do every trade I said, they could get an upgrade at 2B which may be enough they way Lee, Ramirez, Byrd, and Castro were hitting the ball today. Albeit they had almost nothing to show for it as the wind knocked down every ball, but when the wind blows out, ball will be flying. The pitching staff is already strong and would be pretty much unphased, if not improved. We can use the 2B/SS I had us acquiring for Lilly and a few low-to-mid-level prospects to acquire a new 2B. Even if the 2B plans DO FAIL to help the team, they still give us a placeholder to wait for Hak-Ju lee to develop and we still rebuild without becoming worse as a major league team.

What’s your pick? Please comment and share your plans!

Thanks to whoever bothered to read this entire article!

My First Cubs Game

June 30, 2010

I have always wanted to attend a Chicago Cubs game. Today was the day. The Chicago Cubs took on the Pittsburgh Pirates today. Which, of course, meant that they lost.

An Aramis Ramirez error in the 8th led to two unearned runs and Cashner’s third straight loss. Lee gave a ball a ride in the 9th and everyone thought it was a homer, except me, as I usually can tell where the ball is going right off the bat and knew it was going to hang up in Center Field with how hard the wind was blowing in. So the Cubs lost 2-0.

Colvin had a pinch-hit strikeout, and Castro struck out twice but also doubled. Cashner struggled again, and Schlitter went two strong innings.

Chicago 0 vs. Pittsburgh 2 Final
Iowa – Off Day
Tennessee 10 @ West Tenn 3 HR: Chirinos
Daytona 3 @ Brevard County 3 Bottom 7th Inning HR: Brenly
Peoria 3 @ Burlington 4 Top 7th inning
Boise – Off Day
Mesa vs. Angels – Not Started
Cubs1 vs. Padres – Not Started
Cubs2 @ Yankees1 – Not Started

The Future of the Cubs

June 30, 2010

Based on the Cubs farm system and young major leaguers alone, here is what the Cubs could look like in 2015.

SP: Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, Randy Wells,
C: Geovany Soto
1B: Blake Lalli
2B: Starlin Castro
SS: Hak-Ju Lee
3B: Josh Vitters
LF: Ty Wright
CF: Brett Jackson
RF: Tyler Colvin

That could be a pretty good team IMO. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Cubs Prevail And Beat Pirates, Iowa Blown Out,

June 29, 2010

The Chicago Cubs looked to change their fortunes against the Pirates today, and a solid outing by Ted Lilly and two blast by Alfonso Soriano led the Cubs to a 3-1 victory at Wrigley Field. The scoring started in the 2nd inning when Koyie Hill doubled, advancing to 3rd on a Passed Ball by Ryan Doumit. Starlin Castro came through with a Sacrifice Fly to send him home though the play was close due to a strong throw by Tabata. The Cubs would score again in the 4th when Alfonso Soriano hit a Solo Homer, despite a strong wind blowing in, to make it 2-0 Cubs. Ryan Doumit redeemed himself in the 5th, when he homered to make it 2-1, the first and only run the Pirates would score. It wouldn’t stay that way for long, as Soriano hit his second Solo Blast of the game to make it 3-1 Cubs. Lilly picked up the Win and Marmol earned the Save, striking out two in a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Rookie Tracker:
SS Stalin Castro 1-1, 2B, 1 BB (Intentional), Sacrifice Fly
CF/LF Tyler Colvin 0-4

Pittsburgh 1 @ Chicago 3 Final HR: Soriano, Soriano,
Iowa 0 @ New Orleans 7 Final/5
Tennessee 1 @ West Tenn 3 8th Inning
Brevard County 3 @ Daytona 6 Final HR: Ridling
Peoria 3 @ Burlington 5 Final HR: Perez
Boise 0 @ Eugene 2 3rd Inning
Mesa 0 @ Athletics 0 4th Inning
DSL Cubs1 2 @ DSL Orioles1 0 Final
DSL Cubs2 4 @ DSL Orioles2 7 Final

Russell and Stevens Recalled; Zambrano to Restricted List and Grabow to DL

June 29, 2010

The Cubs will recall LHP James Russell and RHP Jeff Stevens from AAA Iowa as they move recently suspended RHP Carlos Zambrano to the Restricted List and LHP John Grabow to the Disabled List.

Russell and Stevens had been with the big-league team earlier in the season.

On another note, former Cubs Mark Prior will be pitching in front of scouts from most MLB teams in hope of a comeback. It is presumed, though not ascertained, that the Cubs are among the parties that will be there.