Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Site!

Our blog has moved!

It looks exactly the same, but we changed site because many readers were getting errors when trying to get on this site. So our new url is:

I'll bring you everything that I did right here on this blog. You can even see the past posts and everything at our new site!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marshall Charged with 8 ER in Loss; Vizcaino in, Fox Out

Final Score: Angels 8, Cubs 4

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:

Soriano: 0-3
Fukudome: 2-3, Run
Lee: 3-3, RBI, Run
Hoffpauir: 1-4, 2 RBI, Run
Ramirez: 1-3, RBI
Fontenot: 1-3
Soto: 0-2, BB
Theriot: 1-3
Marshall: 0-1

Pretty close to what we'll see on Opening Day (expect Hoffpauir). Soriano has not been hitting very well lately, his average is down to .286. Good to see Kosuke get a couple of hit today after his homer yesterday.

Cubs Pitchers:
Marshall: 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Patton: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 0 ER
Heilman: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Vizcaino: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
C. Fox: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER
Gregg: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER

Sean Marshall did not look sharp today. His ERA is up to 4.39. It was his first bad outing of the spring. Let's hope it was just one bad game. Amazing job by the Cubs 'pen today. Patton's ERA is now 0.73. Heilman has had a great spring. Kevin Gregg, who struck out the side, has still not allowed a run all spring!

Cubs Bench:
Nelson Perez: 0-2
Miles: 1-1, Run
R. Johnson: 0-1
Cliff Anderson: 0-1
Jonathan Mota
Nate Samson: 1-1
Carlos Perez: 0-1
Russ Canzler: 0-1
Gathright: 1-3

A lot of minor leaguers who you've probably never heard of got into this game. Most of these guys played at Single-A last year.

Game Highlight: Marshall allows 7 runs in the top of the 4th.

My Player of the Game: Kevin Gregg, our closer, for striking out the side in his one inning of work.

Up Next: VS Oak 3:05 CT tomorrow.

Other Cubs Notes:
  • Luis Vizcaino is in the Cubs bullpen according to several sources including
  • Chad Fox will report to AAA after the Cubs series in New York according to Paul Sullivan.
  • That means that it is down to Patton, Gaudin, Guzman, and Samardzija battling for 2 spots in the bullpen.
  • The battle for those final spots will be decided in New York this weekend according to Bruce Miles.
  • The Cubs would like to trade Chad Gaudin, according to Miles.
  • Kerry Wood's locker in the Cubs clubhouse will stay empty this year according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Herman Franks, former Cubs manager, died today at age 95.
  • Paul Bako was asked about the Sammy Sosa boom-box story. "I shouldn't even say this much, but I can tell you it was not me."
  • Mitch Atkins might come to New York with the Cubs for the 2 game series.
  • Ted Lilly may stay in Arizona to get his work in on Friday instead of going to New York because the game in NY might get rained out.
  • Sean Marshall will stay back in Arizona to pitch to minor leaguers on Sunday. He will join the team in Milwaukee for the second series of the year.
  • According to Hot Stove Cubbies, Jim Hendry has called the Angels to discuss trades. The players involved are unknown, I'll update this if I get more info.

Only 2 more games in Arizona...

Monday, March 30, 2009

NL Central Preview on Sport Central with David Kaplan

Doug Melvin, the Brewers GM was up first:
  • Trevor Hoffman is going to start on the DL.
  • The Brewers like their ball club.
  • They think the experience from last year will help the team.
  • The veterans like Hoffman, Kendall, and Suppan will help the younger guys.
  • The expectations are high for the Brewers.
  • Last year was stressful for Melvin.
  • There was a lot of pressure on a lot of people last year.
  • The Brewers want to get back to the postseason.
  • Doug points out that if you put a lot of money into pitching, there is a lot of risk because of the injury factor.
  • The Crew were willing to take that gamble with CC but not for anyone else.
  • Kap thinks that MLB needs a salary cap in the game. Melvin agrees with that and points out that all the other sports have a salary cap and they have half their teams make the playoffs. If there is no salary cap, he thinks more teams should make the playoffs.
  • The Brewers give it their best shot and go with player development and scouting.
  • Doug says that there he likes finding players in your organization.
  • The strength of the Brewers is the fact that they have a player that can go out there and play 150 games at every position.
  • His biggest concern in the bullpen. He would like to be deeper in the pen.
  • He thinks the team has 5 legitimate starting pitchers.

Thom Brennaman talked with Kap about the Reds:

  • Thom says that the players are ready to get the regular season going.
  • The Reds did increase their payroll from last year by about $8 million dollars.
  • The Reds added Willy Taveras from the Rockies, and Ramon Hernandez from Baltimore as a the catcher.
  • Tommy likes the mix the Reds have.
  • The defense is very much improve from last year for them.
  • The pitching has a chance to be very good according to Brennaman.
  • The Cubs were without question the best team in the regular season in the NL last year, and they made lots of moves to try to make that next big steps.
  • Thommy says that on paper the Cubs are the best team in the division.
  • Brennaman like what Duncan and La Russa gave going with the pitchers in St. Louis.
  • Thom doens't think know if the rotation will be a strong as last year for the Cubs.
  • Kap and Thom got a little of topic and started talking about college b-ball for awhile.
  • Brennaman says that the World Series is a very hard thing to get to.
  • There have been 20 years since the Reds went to the World Series.
  • Thom says that the D'backs had a better team in 2002 than the did in '01 but they had lots of injuries down the stretch.
  • He thinks the Cubs have the best team in the league on paper, but it doesn't mean they will go to the World Series.
  • "The Cubs have clearly put themselves in that crowd with the Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox."
  • Thom misses his times with Ron Santo (he worked with him for 4 years on WGN Radio). He said that one word that cannot be over-used when describing Ronny is a warrior.
  • They talked about the time that Ron asked Thom what Harry Caray's grandson's name was and Brennaman lied and said that it was Harold. It was actually Josh and Ron went and said "Hey Harold, how are you?" to Josh.
  • They told some funny stories about Ron's hairpiece.
  • Thom says that his dad got wrapped up in the moment last year and reports that Marty loves Chicago.

Ed Wade, the GM for the Astros was up next on Sports Central:

  • Mike Hampton has been very healthy all spring long and will be in the rotation.
  • The team made a few changes, but not many.
  • Wade is not surprised that many teams did not make a lot of moves this winter because of the economy.
  • The entire game had to keep the economy in mind this offseason.
  • The Astros are hoping that the Opening Day game doesn't get moved to Miller Park.
  • The Stros understand that the Cubs are the team to beat and the Brewers will be strong again.

Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington was the last guest on the show:

  • It has been a long Spring Training, but the Pirates have used it to look at a lot of the prospects.
  • The strength of the Pirates is that they have some young hitters that broke out last year.
  • The need is to continue to get better to catch up to the other teams in the division.
  • Baseball is not immune to the struggles with the economy.
  • The big concern with the economy is the long term impact.
  • If you give a player a long expensive contract, the team is taking the risk that the player could get hurt or play bad and the team is still out the money. The risk is all on the club's side according to Neal.
  • The Pirates don't have unlimited resources.
  • Huntington is not surprised that the Cubs overhauled the roster this off season.
  • The Pirates team has to take a chance on a young players that they get in a trade.
  • They have to develop their talent in their system.
  • Pittsburgh will never be able to go out and get big name free agents because of their market.
  • Neal thinks a salary cap would help the game but it is not a necessity.
  • The Pirates are trying to find ways to get better.

It should be an interesting division! And I don't care who wins it......

as long as it's the Cubs!

A Tie?

Final Score: Cubs 8, Royals 8

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:
Soriano: 0-4
Fukudome: 1-5, 2 RBI, Run
Hoffpauir: 1-6, 2 RBI
Bradley: 4-4, BB, Run
Ramirez: 1-4
Fontenot: 0-3
R. Johnson: 1-5, Run
Hill: 2-4, Run
Miles: 3-5, 2 RBI, 3 Runs

Great game for Braldey today who was on base all 5 times. Kosuke came up with a key 2-run homer in the 9th inning. Aaron Miles hit a 2 run homer in the 6th.

Cubs Pitchers:
Harden: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Heilman: 0.1 IP, 1 K, 0 H, 0 ER
Marmol: 1 IP, 2 K, 0 H, 0 ER
Guzman: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 K
Waddell: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H
Samardzija: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 K
Berg: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K

Great job by Marmol today, the day after he found out that he was not the closer for the Cubs. Harden's outing was not great today, let's hope he does better in his final tune up on Saturday in New York.

Cubs Bench:
Rundle: 0-1, BB
Gathright: Run
Reynolds: 1-1, RBI

Kyle Reyolds, who was called up from minor league camp for the game today, got a key double with 2 outs in the 9th to drive in the tying run.

Game Highlight: Cubs 3 runs in the 9th to tie the game.

My Player of the Game: Aaron Miles for his 3 hits and 2-run homer.

Up Next: VS Oak tomorrow at 3:05 PM CT.

Hill is the Backup Catcher

The Cubs announced today that Koyie Hill has made the Opening Day roster as the Cubs backup catcher. I think this is the right move.

Paul Bako and Mike Stanton have been released by the Cubs. I feel bad for these guys, who might not find a job by Opening Day. Here are the other guys that are free agents looking for a big league job by next week:

Catchers: Gary Bennett, Rob Bowen, Johnny Estrada, Toby Hall, Paul Lo Duca, Javier Valentin
1B: Richie Sexson and Daryle Ward
2B: Ray Durham, Damion Easley, Mark Grudzielanenk
SS: None
3B: None
LF: Moises Alou, Luis Gonzalez, Jay Payton, Dave Roberts, Shannon Stewart
CF: Jim Edmonds
RF: None
DH: Frank Thomas and Jose Vidro
SP: Paul Byrd, Orlando Hernandez, Chuck James, Jon Lieber, Pedro Martinez, Mark Mulder, Odalis Perez, Kenny Rogers, Ben Sheets
RP: Shawn Chacon, Brendan Donnelly, Scott Elarton, Keith Foulke, Jon Lieber, Aquilino Lopez, Will Ohman, Al Reyes, Ricardo Rincon, Rudy Seanez, Mike Timlin, Ron Willone, and Tyler Walker.

So there are a lot of guys out there, including lots of former Cubs. I would like to see the Cubs bring back Grudzielanek as a backup 2B/3B.

Micah Hoffpauir was also told today that he is on the Opening Day roster.

The Cubs are getting "some trade feelers" on Angel Guzman and Chad Gaudin according to Bruce Miles.

There are only 28 guys left in camp so there will be just 3 more cuts, most likely all pitcher. In my mind, the cuts should be Gaudin, Guzman, and Fox but we'll see.

Cubs VS Royals on CSN Chicago right now!

Opening Day is a week from today!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cubs 5, Indians 3, DeRosa 4

Final Score: Indians 7, Cubs 5

The Cubs would have won the game if Mark DeRosa's RBI still counted for them instead of for Cleveland.

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:
Soriano: 0-5
Theriot: 2-2, 2 BB, 2 Runs
Lee: 1-3
Bradley: 1-4, 3 RBI, Run
Ramirez: 2-4
Fontenot: 0-3
Soto: 0-3
Gathright: 3-4
Lilly: 0-1

Joey Gathright picked up 3 hits. Taguchi got sent to minor league camp today so it looks like Gathright is on the team. Not a good day for Soriano today, who went 0-5! Bradley hit a 2-run homer, his second of the spring.

Cubs Pitchers:
Lilly: 5 IP, 7 H, 8 K, 4 ER
Gaudin: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 3 ER
Patton: A 1,2,3 inning with 2 Ks
Cotts: 2 H, 1 K, 0 ER

Ted Lilly wasn't great today allowing 7 hits. David Patton should get a roster spot over Gaudin. There is no doubt Lou will make the right decision and take the guy with the 0.84 ERA over the guy with the 10.54 ERA.

Cubs Bench:
Blanco: 0-1
Hoffpauir: 0-2
German: 0-1, Run
R. Johnson: 1-1, 2 RBI, Run
Miles: 0-2

Reed Johnson had his second pinch hit homer of the spring. It was a 2-run shot in the 8th that brought the Cubs back into the game.

Former Cubs:
  • Kerry Wood pitched a shutout inning for the Indians.
  • Mark DeRosa had a monster day against his former club going 3-4 with 2 homers, a double, a sac fly, and 4 RBIs.

Game Highlight: It has to be DeRosa 2 long balls and double off his friend Ted Lilly.

My Player of the Game: I usually go with a Cub, but I'll count DeRosa as a Cub and give him the player of the game for his big day. David Patton my actual Cubs Player of the Game for today for his 1,2,3 inning. Patton is fighting for the Cubs bullpen.

Our First Look at the Week Ahead:

Starting next week I will have a look at the week ahead each Sunday on the blog. This week we will take a look at the final week of Spring Training in our look at the week ahead.



@: Surprise, AZ

TV: CSN Chicago

Radio: None

Game Time: 3:05 CT

Starting Pitchers: Rich Harden VS Kyle Davis



@: HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ

TV: MLB Network

Radio: None

Game Time: 3:05 CT

Starting Pitchers: I'm guessing we'll see Sean Marshall for the Cubs.


VS: Oakland

@: Phoenix, AZ

TV: None

Radio: A's Webcast

Game Time: 3:05 CT

Starting Pitchers: My guess is Zambrano will make his final tune up in this game.


VS: Indians

@: HoHoKam

TV: None

Radio: Gameday Audio on (Indians Radio Broadcasters).

Game Time: 2:05 CT

Pitchers: This is the day that Ryan Dempster will likely make his final Cactus League start.



@: New York

TV: MLB Network

Radio: None

Game Time: 6:05 CT

Pitchers: Ted Lilly VS Chien-Ming Wang



@: New York

TV: CSN Chicago

Radio: WGN 720

Game Time: 12:00 CT

Pitchers: Rich Harden VS A.J. Burnett

It's the last week of Spring Training!

Cubs Closer, Cuts, and Pregame Recap

Kevin Gregg is the Cubs closer. Scroll down on the blog for a great post with lots of good info.

We will find out who the backup catcher is on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ron Santo chatted with Lou on the Cubs Pregame show On WGN Radio:
  • Lou says "it really has been" a long Spring Training.
  • This camp is about 1/3 of a baseball season.
  • Piniella is ready to get on the plane to go to New York.
  • Lou wasn't feeling too good yesterday, and is glad that he got to miss out on the bus ride to Tuscan.
  • The goal is to have a fresh, ready to go team when the season starts.
  • Lou says for the most part we are ready to start.
  • Piniella is concerned about Soto missing a lot of time in camp.
  • Kosuke also needs some ABs.
  • Dempster's concentration needs to get better.
  • On the positive side, Soriano and Lee are starting to swing the bat and Ramirez is coming along.
  • He is proud of the guys for working hard.
  • Lou had to give Carlos Marmol the bad news that Gregg is going to start the year as the closer.
  • Piniella noted that Gregg has pitched really well this spring.
  • The Cubs feel that they have 2 guys that can pitch the 9th inning.
  • Lou likes Bradley's edge and the Cubs just need to keep him on the field.
  • Milton fits perfectly in the 4 spot in the lineup for the Cubs.
  • Piniella would like to get Hoffpauir lots of ABs.
  • Miles is really coming on.
  • The Cubs have a lot of good things going on.
  • Lilly is pitching today, he is a little bit behind because of the WBC.
  • There is an 80% chance of rain in New York next Friday and the Cubs are concerned that Lilly will miss his last spring start.

Roster Cuts:

  • Kevin Hart
  • Randy Wells
  • So Taguchi
  • Mark Johnson
  • Eseban German
  • Andres Blanco

All these guys headed to minor league camp. The only surprise is So Taguchi because I've heard a lot lately about So making the team instead of Joey Gathright. Taguchi could be called up if there is an injury to a Cub outfielder this year. There are now 30 guys left in camp.

Here is a list of those 30 guys. Locks to make the team are in bold:

  • Neal Cotts
  • Ryan Dempster
  • Chad Gaudin
  • Kevin Gregg
  • Angel Guzman
  • Rich Harden
  • Aaron Heilman
  • Ted Lilly
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Sean Marshall
  • David Patton
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Luis Vizcaino
  • Carlos Zambrano
  • Paul Bako
  • Koyie Hill
  • Geovany Soto
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Micah Hoffpauir
  • Derrek Lee
  • Aaron Miles
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Milton Bradley
  • Kosuke Fukudome
  • Joey Gathright
  • Reed Johnson
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Chad Fox
  • Mike Stanton

So there are 5 more cuts to come, 4 of them will be pitchers and the other one will be either Bako or Hill.