Saturday, February 28, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: 5th starter

Today we take a look at the 2008 and career numbers of Sean Marshall, Chad Gaudin, Jeff Samardzija, and Aaron Heilman who are all competing for the final spot in the starting rotation.

Career ERA:
Marshall- 4.62
Heilman- 4.24
Samardzija- 2.28
Gaudin- 4.45
Point Samardzija

2008 ERA:
Marshall- 3.86
Heilman- 5.21
Samardzija- 2.28
Gaudin- 4.18
Point Samardzija

Career W-L
Marshall- 16-22
Heilman- 22-33
Gaudin- 28-25
Samardzija- 1-0
Point Gaudin

Career Starts:
Marshall- 50
Heilman- 25
Gaudin- 50
Samardzija- 0
Remarkable! Marshall and Gaudin both have started exactly 50 games.
No Point.

2008 WHIP:
Marshall- 1.270
Heilman- 1.592
Gaudin- 1.322
Samardzija- 1.410
Point Marshall

career WHIP:
Marshall- 1.413
Heilman- 1.328
Gaudin- 1.322
Samardzija- 1.410
Point Gaudin
Best Spring Training outing so far:
Aaron Heilman +1 Point

K/BB 2008
Marshall: 23 BB 58 Ks
Heilman: 46 BB 80 Ks
Gaudin: 27 BB 71 Ks
Samardzija: 15 BB 25 Ks
Too hard to tell, No point.

Final Score- Samardzija 2, Gaudin 1, Marshall 1, Heilman 1
We'll have to see what happens this Spring, but the numbers don't lie!

Cubs Stay Perfect!

Final Score: Cubs 13, Sox 0

It's great to see the Cubs destroy the Sox and continue to win even though the games are meaningless!

Cubs Starting Line-up Stats:
Soriano: 0-2, BB
Miles: 1-2, BB, Run
Lee: 1-3, Run
Hoffpauir: 2-4, Run, RBI
Ramirez: 0-3, RBI
Fontenot: 1-2, Run, BB
Snyder: 2-5, 2 runs, Grand Slam HR, 4 RBI
Hill: 1-3, 2 RBI
Gathright: 0-3

The Cubs hitters brought their A Game by scoring 13 runs! Miles showed his versatility by playing SS today. Lee, Soriano, and Ramirez all made their second starts of the Spring. Too bad the game was not on TV or Radio at all, it was a great one! Hoffpauir stayed hot with 2 more hits, Micah has started in all 4 games for the Cubs.

Cubs Pitcher:
Heilman: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 K
Gregg: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K
Cotts: Win, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 ER
Patton: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 K
Kadukora: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 1 K
Waddell: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER
Caridad: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER

Heilman looked solid in his first start of the Spring. If he keeps pitching that way, he could be in our rotation. Good to see Kevin Gregg in Cubbie Blue for the first time. David Patton, the Rule 5 Draft pick, tossed 2 shutout innings. Kadukura, Cotts, Waddell, and Caridad were all also sharp each putting a goose egg on the board.

Cub hitters stats off the bench:
Deeds: 1-2, Run, BB
Blanco: 1-2, Run, 2 RBI
Fox: 0-2, Run
Clevenger: 0-1
Rivas: 0-1, Run, BB
Scales: 2-2 with a run and 3 RBIs
Castillo: 0-1, BB, Run
Fuld: 2-2, Run

Game Highlight: Brad Snyder hit a Grand Slam, part of a 9-run 7th inning for the Cubs.

Player of the Game: Snyder who went 2-5 with 2 runs, 4 RBIs, and a Grand Slam.

Up Next: Cubs VS Padres @ 2:05 CT tomorrow.

Later tonight on this blog:
-Numbers Breakdown
-Next Week Preview

The Angels lost to the Brewers, so the Cubs are now the only team in the Cactus League that have yet to lose a game. The Twins are the only undefeated Grapefruit League team.

The Cubs and Sox still have 4 more meetings this Spring!

More posts to come...

Marmol Changes mind about WBC

Carlos Marmol has changed his mind about skipping the World Baseball Classic. Felipe Alou and other coaches for Team Dominican Republic convinced the right hander to change his mind. Marmol is a little nervous about leaving camp because he is competing. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said that it is an honor to have a chance to represent your country. Marmol will pitch for the Cubs on Monday and leave the team on Tuesday.

Check out the preview of today's game and more on the post below on the blog main page!

Some more of the latest:
  • The Cubs will take 18 players to Las Vegas for the 2 games against the White Sox on Wednesday and Thursday including Aramis Ramirez, Mike Fontenot, Alfonso Soriano, and Ryan Theriot.
  • Harden threw today, but didn't end up pitching to hitters. He's about one week away from getting a Spring Training game according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Milton Bradley is still day-to-day with a quad injury. He will not play this weekend.
I'll keep you posted.

Preview: Cubs VS White Sox, Cubs Sign Corey Koskie

Records: Cubs (3-0) VS Sox (2-1)

Pitching Match-up: Aaron Heilman VS Jeff Marquez

Line-ups: No word on who will play today for either team yet.

Location: HoHoKam Park in Mesa

TV/Radio: For some reason, neither of the teams will broadcast the game on TV or Radio!

This is the first Spring Game out of 5 between the Cubs and Sox. The 2 teams will meet is Vegas next week for 2 games.

This just in: The Cubs have signed 3B Corey Koskie to a minor league deal to compete for a back-up job according to Gordon Wittenmyer.
Notes on Koskie:
  • Played with Twins from 1998-2006.
  • Bats: Left, Throws: Right
  • Koskie missed the last 2 seasons because of a concussion.
  • He is scheduled to play in the WBC for team Canada.
  • .275 career hitter.
  • Plays 3B and a little RF.

Other Cubs related Notes:

  • Rich Harden will throw to hitters for the first time today, but is not ready for games.
  • The Cubs and Sox will use a DH today. It could be Ramirez for the Cubbies.
  • Lou is very high on pitcher Andrew Cashner according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Ryan Dempster will face Jake Peavy tomorrow!

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Make it 3-0 in the Cactus League

Final Score: Cubs 10, Rangers 4

Starting Line-up Stats:
Theriot: 2-4, Run
Johnson: 0-3, RBI
Hoffpauir: 2-3, 3-run homer
Dubois: 1-5
Soto: 1-2, Run, BB
Fontenot: 2-4, 3-run homer, 4 RBI
Deeds: 2-5, Run
Rivas: 2-5, Run, RBI
Taguchi: 0-3, Run

Hoffpauir impressed again. It looks like he'll earn a spot on the roster. Taguchi needs to hit if he wants to make the team. Theriot, Soto and Fontenot all looked good in their second Spring game.

Cubs pitching:
Lilly: Win, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 K
Mathes: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K
Berg: 1 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Roquet: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Mateo: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K
Stevens: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

Ted Lilly looked sharp in his first game of the Spring. Now Ted will leave Cub camp to go pitch in the WBC. Jeff Stevens, who the Cubs got in the DeRosa trade, pitched well. He could compete for a bullpen spot for the Cubs. The other guys who pitched are probobally headed back down in the first 2 rounds of cuts.

Cubs hitters off the bench:
Blanco: 0-2
Fuld: 1-1, Solo Homer
Fox: 1-1
M. Johnson: 0-1, BB, Run
Scales: 2-5, Run, RBI
Robnett: 0-2

Fuld, who has a slim chance of winning the job in a crowded outfield, went deep off the bench. Mark Johnson caught for the first time this Spring. Richie Robnett, outfielder who the Cubs got in the Wuertz trade, has played in all 3 games but has not hit very well. Chad Fox played 1B again today.

Game Highlight: Hoffpauir and Fontenot both homer in a 7 run 2nd inning.

My Player(s) of the Game: Ted Lilly for his 2 strong innings, and Hoffpauir for his second home run in 3 days.

Up Next: VS CWS 2:05 CT tomorrow.

Even though they don't count, it's nice to be winning baseball games!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cubs win again!

Final Score: Cubs 7, Brewers 4

Starting Line-up Stats:

Gathright: 3-3 with BB, Run, and RBI,

Miles: 1-4, RBI

Bradley: BB

Ramirez:0-1, BB

Hoffpauir: 1-4, R, BB

Fox: 2-3, Run Score, HR, 3 RBI

Bako: 0-3

Barney: 1-5, Run

So now all of the regulars have played in at least one game. The only guy to start in both game is Micah Hoffpauir who was the DH yesterday and played LF today. Bako, Gathright and Bradley all made their debuts in Cubbie Blue. Bradley was removed after 1 AB with a minor injury. He said that if it was a the regular season he would have stayed in. Bako did not impress in his first game, but Gathright did showing speed and good hitting.


Marshall: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 K

Gaudin: Winning Pitcher, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Marmol: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Stanton: 1 IP, 1 h, 1 ER

Hart: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER

Fox: 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K

Guzman: Save, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K

So the young guys, Guzman and Kevin Hart, looked good. Mike Stanton gave up a long ball. Marmol looked a little rusty in his inning.

Hitters who came off the bench:

Taguchi: 0-1

Fuld: 0-1

Robnett: 1-2, RBI, BB

Scales: 0-2, R, BB, RBI

Snyder: BB

Blanco: 0-1, BB

Barney: 1-5, R

Gaudin: 1-1, 2B

Castillo: 0-2, BB, 2 R

Lou Piniella talked with Ron Santo on Cubs Central Pre-game:

  • Rick Sutcliffe managed the ball club today.

  • Lou was very impressed with Hoffpauir, he believes he'll get 350 ABs this year.

  • The Cubs are going to rest Soriano and Lee even though they want to be in the line-up everyday.

  • The main question is who is going to back-up Ramirez at 3B. Ronny says that either Miles or Fontenot will fill that role.

  • Lou told Ronny that Samardzija looks good and he was impressed with Esmalin Caridad.

  • David Kaplan like the defense of Jeff Samardzija on the double play ball yesterday.

Ron Santo chats with Micah Hoffpauir on the Pre-game show:

  • Micah takes the first couple weeks of the off season to take it easy, and then starts lifting weights. He starts hitting and throwing in December.
  • Hoffpauir says that his game from day 1 has been hitting for average. Now that he is getting older, wiser, and stronger, he has started hitting more home runs.
  • He feels confident playing outfield, as well as 1B.
  • Hoffpauir has been in the minors for 6-7 years.

Other Cubs Related Notes:

  • Milton Bradley is fine after leaving today with mild quad tightness.
  • Lou Piniella denies reports that he had a problem with Mark DeRosa.
  • Rick Sutcliffe will leave the team to go broadcast WBC games for ESPN. He had fun managing the game today, and takes all the credit for the win.
  • Ted Lilly will pitch tomorrow before leaving for the WBC.
  • Aaron Heilman will start Saturday, Dempster Sunday, and Zambrano Monday.
  • David Kaplan says the Cubs are interested in Juan Cruz.

Game Highlight: Jake Fox hit a 3-run homer to give the Cubs the lead in the 3rd.

My Player of the Game: Joey Gathright; hit lead-off, had 3 hits, beat out an infield single, and scored an a shallow fly ball to the outfield, showing off his speed.

Up Next: VS Tex 2:05 CT Tomorrow

Cubs Improve to 2-0!!!

Sorry if You're Having Problems,

On my computer, when I try to go to my blog, an error keeps coming up saying operation aborted. If this is happening to you some of the times you go to my blog, leave a comment on this post to tell me. If you are not having trouble viewing this blog, tell me that as well. Also, if you know how to fix this problem on a blog, please comment!

I'll try to have an update later about today's action.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Game Preview: Cubs VS Brewers

Records: Cubs 1-0, Brewers 0-0-1 (tie)

Pitching Match-up: Sean Marshall VS Yovani Gallardo

Game Time: 2:05 CT

TV/Radio: WGN Radio

Line-ups: Expect to see Milton Bradley for the first time in Cubbie Blue, and Ramirez will make his Cactus League debut.

Other Notes:

  • The Cubs have agreed to terms with 20 players on the 40 man roster before the March 11 deadline. The list includes Ascanio, Atkins, Berg, Guzman, Hart, Marmol, Mateo, Patton, Stevens, Wells, Marshall, Hill, Soto, Fontenot, Hoffpauir, Theriot, Fox, Fuld, Robnett, and Snyder.
  • Carlos Zambrano was listed for the World Baseball Classic on team Venezuela's final roster, but he says that he will not play.
  • That leaves Kosuke, Lilly, and Soto as the only 3 Cubs that will be in the classic. Soto is playing with the Cubs this week and Lilly will make 1 start (Fri.) before leaving Mesa.
  • Check out today's game recap!

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs."

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Final Score; Cubs 5, Dodgers 3

Soriano: 1-1, Run, and BB
Snyder: 0-1, BB, Run
Theriot: 2-3
Barney: 0-1, Run
Lee: 0-1, BB
Fox: 0-2, Run
Hoffpauir: 1-4, Run, 4 RBI, HR
Soto: 1-2
Fuld: 0-2
Fontenot: 0-3
Blanco: 0-1
Johnson: 1-2
Deeds: 0-1
Dubois: BB
Robnett: 0-2
Hill: 0-2
Scales: 1-2
Rivas: 1-2

Samardzija: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Atkins: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K
Kadokura: 1 IP, Win, H, K, ER
Patton: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K, 0 ER
Waddell: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Stevens: 1 IP: 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Ron Santo chats with Larry Rothchild on the Pre-game show:
  • The Cubs will give guy innings early on and make decisions once they get half way through.
  • Larry things fans will enjoy watching Kevin Gregg pitch in the 8th or 9th.
  • Heilman has a real good change-up and is making adjustments with his delivery.
  • Rothchild says that the Cubs will get guys going on the mound early on, and give them more rest later on in the spring.
  • Ron and Larry mentioned the extended Spring Training (39 games!!!).
  • Rothchild says Jeff Samardzija will get a chance to start and work on his 2nd and 3rd pitches. The Cubs know that if he starts he has to use his slider more.
  • Larry says that the Cubs have lots of arm strength in camp.

Game Highlight: Micah Hoffpauir hit a Grand Slam in the bottom of the 5th to give the Cubs the 5-3 lead.

My Player of the Game: Hoffpauir

Up Next: VS Brewers 2:05 CT tomorrow.

It was great to hear Cubs baseball back on the radio!

Preview of Cactus League Opener

Cubs VS The L.A. Dodgers, the same team that ended 2008 for the Cubs will start 2009.

Place: HoHoKam Park, in Mesa.

Game Time: 2:05 CT, most of the games will be at 2:05 until March 8, and then they move to 3:05.

Pitching Match-up: Jeff Samardzija VS Claudio Vargas; both guys are competing for the 5th starter's job on their respective teams.

Line-ups: Soto, Lee, Fontenot, and Theriot will all be in the line-up for the Cubbies. Dodgers expected to make the trip to Mesa include Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre, and Casey Blake. Orlando Hudson is not on the travel list.

TV/Radio: WGN Radio 720 AM

Other Notes going into the first game:
  • Carlos Zambrano will make his Spring debut on Monday.
  • Lou says, "We'll get a chance to see our young pitchers a lot.

  • Nomar Garciapara will not return to the Cubs. He will either play for the Phillies or A's, or retire.

  • Ryan Dempster's neck is fine, he will start next Tuesday. He threw 50 pitches on Monday and Tuesday and all was well according to Carrie Muskat.

I'll have recap of the game later on tonight.

"I don't care who wins as a long as it's the Cubs!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2-24-09 Cubs Chat

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Roster Predictions Going into Spring Training

Live Cubs Chat @ 7:00 PM CT tonight on this blog.

Spring Battles:

Second Base- Aaron Miles VS Mike Fontenot; my pick 'lil Babe Ruth

Back-up Catcher- Paul Bako VS Koyie Hill; my pick Bako

Closer- Kevin Gregg VS Carlos Marmol; my pick Marmol

Opening Day Batting Order

1. Soriano LF

2. Theriot SS

3. Ramirez 3B

4. Bradley RF

5. Soto C

6. Lee 1B

7. Fontenot 2B

8. Johnson CF








Closer- Marmol

RHSU- Gregg

LHSU- Cotts

Middle Relief- Heilman

Middle Relief- Gaudin

Long Relief- Jeff Stevens

Long Relief- Sean Marshall

Other Guys Fighting for Spots in the Pen:

Luis Vizcaino

David Patton

Angel Guzman

Mitch Atkins

Jose Ascaino

Ken Kakokura

Mike Stanton

Jason Waddell

Chad Fox

Andrew Cashner

My Bench:

Paul Bako

Kosuke Fukudome

Joey Gathright

Micah Hoffpauir

Aaron Miles

Other Guys Fighting for Bench Spots:

Luis Rivas

Koyie Hill

Sam Fuld

Richie Robnett

Brad Snyder

Jake Fox

So Taguchi

I'll have a few notes tonight from Cubs Camp. Spring Training Begins tomorrow!

Also, Live Cubs Chat right here on this blog at 7:00 PM CT.

Notes From the Last Day at Fitch Park

  • Jeff Samardzija will start the first game of the Cactus League on Wednesday.

  • Sean Marshall will pitch on Thursday and Ted Lilly on Friday.

  • Each starter will go 2 innings the first time around.

  • Mitch Atkins will pitch the 3rd and 4th inning against the Dodgers on Wednesday.

  • Rich Harden is a week to 10 days behind the other starters.

  • Carlos Marmol has decided to stay out of the WBC.

  • Carlos said he couldn't sleep last night trying to make up his mind.

  • Ryan Dempster has not being throwing to hitters due to a stiff neck.

  • Big Z and Lilly will get tuned up with sessions VS hitters on Monday.

  • The Cubs will take 4-5 regulars to the 2 games series in Las Vegas against the White Sox.

  • Lou has finished one Tony Dungy book and is reading the second one.

  • Today was the final day of practice at Fitch Park. The Cubbies will move down the road to HoHoKam tomorrow to practice before the games start on Wednesday.

  • Samardzija is working on his change-up.

  • There are only 2 Japanese reporters in Cubs camp, both are watching Ken Kadokura.

  • Zambrano's eye will be examined next week.

  • Carlos told Bruce Levine that his shoulder is ready to go.

  • According to Carrie Muskat, AL managers have contacted Lou about using a DH during the Spring games at HoHoKam. Lou said "You'd like to think that you give yourself a competitive balance, you don't want to just go out there and play. Sooner or later, you have to start worrying about winning some baseball games."

  • Derrek Lee looks like he is in even better shape this Spring according to Mike Huang.

  • Lee hit a few dingers in live BP.

  • Soto ripped several line drives off Chad Gaudin.

  • Jake Fox was working out at 3B again today. He smacked a few fast balls in live BP off Marmol.

  • Soriano's bat looked even quicker today according to Huang.

Lou Piniella with Dan Roan on WGN:

  • The first week or 10 days we'll be seeing a lot of the young kids playing.

  • Zambrano will probably pitch the 6th game of the spring.

  • Lilly will join team USA after his start on Friday.

  • Lou stated again that there's going to be a packed camp with no place to send anyone until the minor league camp begins.

  • Sweet Lou said that Samardzija is not in the mix as the closer. Either Gregg on Marmol will pitch the 9th. He said the biggest job in camp is to find out who else can pitch in late relief besides Gregg and Marmol.

  • Lou said that the only thing wrong with Soriano as a lead off man is that he isn't running as much any more.

  • Piniella mentioned looking at Miles, Kosuke, and Fontenot in the lead off spot, but he assumes that on Opening Day it will be Soriano hitting first.

  • He said that the Cubs have a real nice combination of speed, power, and left handed hitting.

  • The key is keeping this team healthy.

Lou's leaning toward this batting order according to

1. Soriano

2. Miles

3. Lee

4. Bradley

5. Ramirez

6. Kosuke

7. Soto

8. Theriot

In my opinion I'd rather see Theriot hitting second and Fontenot in the line-up at 2B.

Bruce Levine joined Waddle and Silvy today:

  • Bruce doesn't think Marmol should be worried about his position on the team, but Carlos wants to work on new pitches.

  • Levine says that 1 or 2 bullpen spots are up for grabs, but the positions of the bullpen pitchers will be interesting to sort out.

  • Samardzija want desperately to be a starting pitcher.

The Cubs will be at HoHoKam tomorrow!

First Spring Training Game Wednesday VS LAD
@ 2:00 CT on WGN Radio.

Cubs Chat on this blog tomorrow @ 7 PM CT!
Be there with all your Cubs questions and comments!

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Roster Thoughts, Day 10 in Mesa

It's Day 10 in Mesa! Spring Training Games start Wednesday! Here's the latest:
  • Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster will sit out the first week of the Cactus League because of the extended Spring Training season. "There's just no hurry," said Lou Piniella.
  • The Cubs will have plenty of games to take a look at guys who are vying for the 5th spot in the rotation like Aaron Heilman, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, Chad Gaudin, and Mitch Atkins.
  • The starters will get about 27-28 innings, which is what Larry Rothschild has done in the past. There's 39 spring games this year, so there's plenty of time.
  • Lou won't be making any cuts early in camp, because there in nowhere for the guys to go until minor league camp begins on March 12 and the games don't start until the 19th.
  • Carlos Marmol still hasn't decided about the WBC.
  • According to Carrie Muskat, Kosuke Fukudome hit a Grand Slam in an exhibition game for team Japan.

GROTA has made their Cubs 25 man roster predictions and I found a few things interesting:

  • They left lots of young arms off the team, including Jeff Stevens, Angel Guzman, and Kevin Hart.
  • They picked Jeff Samardzija as the 5th starter, I like that pick.
  • Luis Rivas and So Taguchi are on their bench. Interesting.
  • I like the idea of Rivas, he could back-up 2B, SS, & 3B along with Miles if the Cubs don't add another players.
  • No Micah Hoffpauir or Joey Gathright on their team.
  • I really think that Hoff should be on the team, and that Taguchi should be left off.

Classic Game Notes:

Vote on our new poll! (located on the right side bar on the main page.

Live Chat Tuesday this week @7 PM CT. Please join us with your Cubs thoughts/questions going into Spring Training.

Scroll down on the blog and see and the latest posts if you haven't read them yet!

I'll keep you posted.

Numbers Breakdown: Center Field

For this numbers breakdown, we'll look only at 2008 numbers, no career numbers. We'll compare Joey Gathright, Kosuke Fukudome, and Reed Johnson to find out who should be starting in CF.

2008 Average:
Kosuke- .257
Reed- .303
Gathright- .254
Point Reed

2008 OBP:
Kosuke- .359
Reed- .358
Gathright- .328
point Kosuke

2008 SLG %:
Kosuke- .379
Reed- .420
Gathright- .304
Point Reed

2008 Fielding %:
Kosuke- .980
Reed- .993
Gathright- .995
Point Gathright

2008 SB:
Kosuke- 12
Reed- 5
Gathright- 21
point Gathright

Kosuke- 104/81
Reed- 68/19
Gathright- 40/20
point Kosuke

Tiebreaker: career Average:
Kosuke: .257
Reed- .284
Gathright- .263
Point Reed

Final Score: Johnson 3, Kosuke 2, Gathright 2
The numbers don't lie!

Check out our new poll!
Live Chat Tuesday this week @7 PM CT. Please join us with your Cubs thoughts/questions going into Spring Training.

Next Week: Numbers Breakdown: 5th starter
More posts to come...

New Poll!

Thanks to everyone who voted on our last poll. Here are the results:
Which Cubs broadcast team do you like best?
Pat & Ron: 18
Len & Bob: 15

Our new Poll:
Who should be the Cubs 5th starter?
A. Sean Marshall
B. Jeff Samardzija
C. Aaron Heilman
D. Chad Gaudin
E. Other

Also feel free to comment on this post with your thoughts.
Everyone is encouraged to vote!

Live Chat Tuesday this week @7 PM CT. Please join us with your Cubs thoughts/questions going into Spring Training.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 9 in Mesa, Live BP, Radio Recaps and more...

Let's start off with some notes from Day 9 in Mesa:

  • According to Gordon Wittenmyer, Jeff Samardzija will start the Spring Training opener on Wednesday against the Dodgers.

  • Wittenmyer also reports that Marmol is still on the fence about the WBC, but it looks like he is going to skip it.

  • Big Z threw 25 pitches to hitters today.

  • Lou plans on having Milton Bradley clean up, as of right now, but there's still lots of camp left.

  • Check these videos from Cubs Camp. Hear from Geovany Soto, Rich Harden, Carlos Marmol, Chad Gaudin, Derrek Lee, and Ryan Dempster.
  • Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry will be away from the team for awhile to tend to his family because his father passed away on Friday.

Some notes from Cubs Live Batting Practice yesterday:

  • All of the pitchers from Group 2 threw Live BP except Jose Ascanio, Marco Mateo, Andrew Cashner, David Patton, and Luis Vizcaino.

  • All of the position players hit in live BP except Aramis Ramirez, Jake Fox, Steve Clevenger, Mark Johnson, and Paul Bako.

  • Field #3 Batting Practice: Pitchers- Jeff Samardzija, Matt Smith, Ken Kadokura, Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, and Vince Perkins. Catcher- Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, and Paul Bako. Hitters- Mike Fontenot, Joey Gathright, Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot, Reed Johnson, Derrek Lee, Aaron Miles, Milton Bradley, Koyie Hill, and Alfonso Soriano.

  • Field #2 Live BP: Pitchers- J.R. Mathes, Edward Campusano, Jeff Stevens, Esmalin Caridad, Rock Roquet, Jason Waddell. Catchers- Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, and Mark Johnson. Hitters- Darwin Barney, Jason Dubois, Doug Deeds, Bobby Scales, Sam Fuld, Richie Robnett, Brad Snyder, So Taguchi, Andres Blanco, Welington Castillo, Micah Hoffpauir, and Luis Rivas.

  • Each pitcher threw 25 pitches.

  • Position players in groups of 3 or 4.

  • Catchers alternating between catching the BP, warming up the next pitcher, and hitting.

Carlos Zambrano joined Waddle & Silvy on Thursday:

  • Big Z's off season was good. He worked hard to keep improving.

  • Zambrano played a little pick-up softball with some Cubs fans one night this off season. He plays 1B and LF.

  • He says that he was trying to let his mustache grow big like "Hitler".

  • Mark asked how long the playoff loss stayed with Carlos last year. Z said that this is a new year and we can't think about that.

  • Carlos said that he made the decision not to pitch in the WBC because of his problem with his vision. One of the reasons is because he doesn't want to be pitching 5-6 innings early in the spring.

  • He says his eyes are getting better, he doesn't know yet about the LASIK surgery.

  • Big Z says that Lou is in trouble if he starts Ted Lilly on Opening Day. He went on to say that he was just kidding, Lou has 4 good starting pitchers and the Opening Day starter is up to Lou.

Milton Bradley was on The Afternoon Saloon on Wednesday:

  • After the first two questions from Carmen were about his temper, Milton said that that was all these guys wanted to talk about and that he has a lot more to offer than that.

  • Bradley is going to continue to be serious about winning.

  • The guys asked if Bradley thought twice about taking Sammy Sosa's old number. He said that he did the same last year with the Rangers. The guys pointed out that his run with the Cubs was more impressive than the one with Texas. Bradley replied with, "He didn't win anything."

  • "I'm just telling it like it is," he said.

  • Bradley said that he worked harder this off season than he ever has before.

  • Milton doesn't think losing a couple times in the playoffs is a bad thing because they got that experience.

  • "Lou is Lou, he's crazy like a fox," said Bradley on his new manager.

  • "I played in Oakland and they have the second most day games behind the Cubs, so it's not that much different," he said on playing day baseball.

  • Bradley has spent time speaking with Fontenot and Theriot and other guys picking their brain and learning about them.

  • He thinks that if A-Rod gets leaked, then the other 103 names should get leaked.

  • Milton thinks Rodrigez came off "very shady" when he spoke about admitting that he used banned substances.

  • He thinks that Bonds and A-Rod should still be in the Hall of Fame.

  • Bradley's favorite thing about Chicago is the people. He says the people are friendly and care about winning.

  • After Bradley got off the phone, Carmen said that he doesn't think there was one attack in any of his questions. Yurko agrees with Carmen but Harry supported Milton.

Lou Piniella was on Talking Baseball today:

  • Lou is looking forward to the first game of the Spring Training season on Wednesday.

  • Piniella understands that the media has a job to do.

  • He says there have been no controversies in their camp, and that's a good thing.

  • Lou says the Cubs just had a bad 3 games in postseason so they made some changes adding some left handed hitting, versatility, and speed.

  • He says the Cubs kept their core intact and added some pieces.

  • Lou's main job in the Spring is to look at the bullpen in backup roles. The Cubbies have Theriot, Ramirez, Lee, Soto, Soriano, and Bradley penciled in. He has to take a look and 2B and CF to see what they do there.

  • The Cubs will take a look at a guy like Atkins, and decide what to do with Samardzija, but the rotation is pretty set.

  • Piniella says he has to do a better job of resting the team. The Cubs have more left handed and switch hitting and that will help.

  • Lou says he's been here 2 years and one of the reasons that the Cubs haven't done that well in October is all the day games all summer long.

  • Lou thinks Jim has done a really nice job to improve the ball club.

  • There's pressure to win anywhere you play, but it's a little more difficult than Piniella thought coming in 2 years ago.

  • Jonathan asked about Kosuke's confidence level. Sweet Lou doesn't really know because Fukudome is in Japan, but he thinks that he got a little tired at the end of last season and ended up trying to do more than he needed to.

  • Lou is happy that fans expect the Cubs to be good each year. Over a 2 year period, the Cubs have gone from a 96 loss team to a 97 win team.

Notes from Bruce this week:

  • Derrek Lee told Bruce that Milton Bradley is not the type to snap at every little thing, and he will be smart when dealing with comments from fans about the color of his skin.

  • Ryan Theriot told Levine that he doesn't really care if he hits first or second, but he would like a shot to lead off.

  • Lou's message to the team is "Don't take for granted that we are going to be in postseason."

Aaron Miles was on Mully and Hanley on Tuesday:

  • Miles had the chance to lead off with the Rockies and he feels confident that he could lead off.

  • Aaron assumes that the guy that plays the best at 2B will get the most playing time.

  • He thinks that the bottom line is getting on base when you lead off.

  • Aaron was just getting to know everyone on the first day in Mesa.

  • His experience as a Cubbie so far has been fantastic, he's ready to get it going.

  • Miles says that his issues with the Cardinals are in the past, but he's ready to be a thorn in their side.

  • He thinks it is a big advantage knowing that your team is expected to be in the postseason.

  • Aaron says that the Cubs want to win bad for the city, for the fans, and for the team. He laughs about the curse.

  • Miles is excited that he has a chance to be apart of the team that will break the curse.

Rich Hill joined Mully & Hanley on Wednesday:

  • Rich says it is hard to leave an organization that you have been with for so many years.

  • Hill says he couldn't get his back right the whole summer, and described last year as "lost to injury".

  • He feels 100% better.

  • Rich says he ran into some shoulder problems in Winterball.

  • It seems like Rich is blaming his control problems on injuries.

  • He says he couldn't really finish his pitches.

  • In a perfect world for Rich, he would have stayed with the Cubs.

  • His favorite memory is just going to the ballpark early, and playing in front of a full house every night.

  • Hill says he doesn't believe in any curses.

  • He expects himself to be consistent day in and day out. He wants to get back in the "one game at a time, one pitch at a time" mindset.

More radio recaps later or tomorrow if I get a chance!

Some notes on this blog:

  • Tomorrow- Spring Training Preview: The Infield, new poll, Numbers Breakdown, radio recaps, and updates from Mesa.
  • Monday- Spring Training Preview: The Outfield, updates
  • Tuesday- Live Chat at 7 PM CT, last official day of off season coverage on our blog.

Then the Spring Training games start. Here's what I will include on this site during Spring Training:

  • I'll still have radio recaps, rumors, and news covered.
  • Recaps/Previews for each Spring Training game.
  • Updates on Kerry Wood and Mark DeRosa with the Indians.
  • Updates on Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno with the O's.
  • My thoughts on what's going on with the Cubs.
  • Numbers Breakdown each weekend.
  • Live Cubs Chats almost every week.
  • Links and more.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring Training Preview: The Non-roster Hitters

Here's some info on each of the non-roster invitees that are position players.

Welington Castillo

  • Catcher

  • B/T: right

  • .298 BA in 57 games with 5 HR at AA in 2008.

  • 1 game at AAA last season.

  • .273 BA in 33 games with 12 RBI.

  • 21 years old.

  • 3 years in the Cubs organization.

  • Has yet to make MLB debut.

Steve Clevenger

  • Catcher

  • Bats: Left Throws: Right

  • Drafted in the 7th round of the 2006 draft by the Cubs.

  • .313 BA in 84 games at Class A Daytona in 2008.

  • .247 BA in 29 games at AA.

  • .302 BA in 17 games with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League last fall.

  • 22 years old.

  • Has yet to make MLB debut.

Mark Johnson

  • Catcher

  • Bats:Left Throws:Right

  • Drafted by the White Sox in the first round of the 1994 draft.

  • 8 major league seasons.

  • .294 BA in 10 games with the Cardinals in 2008.

  • .264 BA, 1 HR, 31 RBI with AAA Memphis in the St. Louis organization.

  • Returns to the Cubs organization after playing with AAA Iowa in 2005.

  • Has played with the White Sox, A's, Brewers, D-backs, and Cubs organizations.

  • 33 years old

Darwin Barney

  • SS

  • B/T: Right

  • Selected by the Cubs in the 4th round of the 2007 draft.

  • 23 years old

  • .302 BA, 11 RBI, 1 HR in 23 games for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.

  • .262 BA, 51 RBI, 3 HR in 123 games with Daytona in 2008.

  • Has yet to make MLB debut.

Andres Blanco

  • SS

  • Bats: Switch Throws: Right

  • Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Royals in 2000.

  • 78 career big league game, all with the Royals. (.252 career average)

  • 2008 was first year in Cubs organization.

  • .285 BA, 36 RBI, 1 HR in 102 games with AAA Iowa last season.

  • 24 years old.

Luis Rivas

  • Infielder, mostly 2B.

  • B/T: Right

  • Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Twins in 1995.

  • 8 major league seasons.

  • Has played with Twins (1996-05), Rays (2006), Indians (2007), and Pirates (2008).

  • .218 BA, 20 RBI, 3 HR in 79 games with the Pirates in 2008.

  • .257 career average.

  • 29 years old

Bobby Scales

  • 2B/3B/OF
  • Bats: Switch Throws: Right
  • Selected in the 14th round of the 1999 draft by the Padres
  • 10 minor league seasons, has yet to make MLB debut
  • Played with Phillies, Red Sox, and Padres organizations before the Cubs.
  • 2008 was his first year in the Cubs organization.
  • 31 years old.
  • .320 BA, 59 RBI, 15 HR in 121 games with Iowa in 2008.

Doug Deeds

  • OF
  • B/T: Left
  • Selected by the Twins in the 9th round of the 2002 draft.
  • 26 years old
  • 2008 was first year in Cubs organization.
  • Played in Twins system for 6 years.
  • .325 BA, 12 HR, 58 RBI in 122 games at AA a year ago.

Jason Dubois

  • OF
  • B/T: Right
  • Selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2000 draft.
  • Played with Cubs organization from 2001-05, then traded to the Indians.
  • Return to the Cubs organization last year on a minor league deal.
  • .233 BA in 86 career big league games.
  • .307 BA, 25 HR, 56 RBI, in 76 games last season at AAA.
  • 29 years old

So Taguchi

  • OF
  • B/T: Right
  • Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cardinals in 2002.
  • 666 career big league games.
  • 39 years old
  • .220 BA, 9 RBI, 0 HR in 88 games for the Phillies last season.

Live Cubs Chat Tues. at 7 PM CT right here on this site.

More posts to come...

Friday News and Notes

A few interesting rumors:

  • Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Mariners and other teams were interested in trading for Kosuke Fukudome this off season. The M's were offering guys like Jarrod Washburn, Erik Bedard, and Kenji Johjima. Link
  • Alfonso Soriano says he'd move back to 2B if the Cubs signed Manny Ramirez. Aramis Ramirez said, "Sori is OK with going to second? Who wouldn't want to have Manny Ramirez in their lineup? We already have a good lineup, but if we added him, it would be awesome, but it's a long shot."
  • LHP Bill White, who had signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, was released today because he failed a physical. The Cubs have added Brian Schlitter to the list of non-roster invitees. Schlitter was acquired in the trade that sent Scott Eyre to the Phillies last season.

It's day 8 in Mesa:

  • Carlos Marmol may not pitch for the Dominican Republic in the WBC. He wants to focus on the upcoming season with the Cubs. He is expected to decide by tomorrow.
  • Rick Sutcliffe was in uniform and on the field at Fitch Park today.
  • Soriano is telling guys that he is going to start stealing a lot of bases again.
  • Pitcher threw to hitters for the first time in BP today.

We move on to my NL Central standings:

1. Cubs- Best rotation in division. Best lineup in the division. Best defense in the division. Best team in the division!

2. Cardinals- Nobody is going to even be close to the Cubbies in my mind, but if someone does have a chance, it's the team with Albert Pujols.

3. Brewers- No CC. No Sheets. No chance.

4. Astros- Another NL Central team with a shallow rotation. They have Roy Oswalt, but you know you're in trouble when your #2 guy is Wandy Rodrigez.

5. Reds- Good young talent, could contend this year, but more likely not yet.

6. Pirates- Re-building mode.

That does it for my standing predictions.

I'll continue my "Spring Training Previews" this weekend.

And of course, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Toast to Harry Caray Tonight!

    I can't believe Harry has been gone for 11 years already! We all love Harry because he was just a fan like you and me.
    Shifting gears, here's some notes from Day 7 in Mesa:
  • Former Cub Rick Sutcliffe will be a guest instructor for Spring Training until the WBC starts. He will be back in uniform starting tomorrow.
  • Lou now says that he is sticking with Alfonso Soriano as the lead off man. In Spring Training, he will move him around so he can get a look at other guys leading off.
  • The Cubs will be working out at Fitch Park until Monday, and then the will move down the road to HoHoKam. The first Cactus League game is Wednesday against LA.
  • Lou hasn't talked with Tom Ricketts, but says he looks forward to meeting him.
  • Kosuke played all 3 outfield positions in a practice game with team Japan on Tuesday.

And it's time for my AL Central standings Predictions:

1. Indians- Adding Kerry Wood and Mark DeRosa will help them return to the postseason. With the solid top of the order, and their strong rotation, they will win the division.

2. Twins- Strong middle of the order but they lack depth with their pitching staff will cause them to finish second.

3. Royals- Will be much better than their 75-87 record from last year. Lots of young talent, they could be in the mix in the years to come.

4. White Sox- They've made some trades that don't make sense, Thome is getting old, Konerko could be hurt, the offense will depend on Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez.

5. Tigers- I predict another disappointing year for Tigers fans.

A few notes-

Live chats will return on this site next Tuesday @ 7 PM CT.

You can listen to coverage from the toast to Harry on this site.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Notes from Day 6 in Mesa

My NL East Predictions:

1. Phillies- The defending champs will at least win the division again.

2. Mets- K-Rod and Putz in the 8th and 9th will help them hold off the Braves for the Wild Card.

3. Braves- Will improve their 72-90 record, but still not make the postseason.

4. Marlins- Solid young team that could be in the race, but I think they will be more of a threat to win the East in 2010 and beyond.

5. Nationals- It could be another long year for Nats fans.

A few photos

Pictures taken when I was in Arizona for Spring Training last year.

Reed's first Spring Training game in Cubbie Blue.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hudson Rumors, Postion Player Reports, and more

It's day 5 already, here's some updates from Spring Training;
  • All of the Cubs have reported to Spring Training, besides Kosuke who is in Japan training for the WBC.
  • Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, and Vizcaino were the final Cubs to report, and they did so today.
  • Derrek Lee says it doesn't matter to him if he bats 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th.
  • Alfonso Sorinano is in great shape according to Bruce Miles.
  • Soriano said that he will hit anywhere that Lou wants him to.
  • Lee says February is no time to get worked up over lineups.
  • Aramis Ramirez is not going to play in the World Baseball Classic.
  • Ted Lilly is expected to play for team USA in the WBC according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Derrek Lee is also going to skip the WBC. He says that he wanted to do it, but they told him that he wouldn't get that much playing time.
  • Jeff Stevens came out throwing curveballs today, and looked good according to Gordan Wittenmyer.
  • The Cubs have invited President Barack O'bama to visit their Spring Training site on Wednesday, even though he is a Sox fan! O'bama will be in the area to speak to students at Mesa High School. Full article on
  • Introducing Wikli Field, "A community project to capture the entire history, culture and atmosphere of the Chicago Cubs." You should check it out, it's a great idea by the writer of the Cubs Reporter.

Orlando Hudson Update:

  • The Dodgers remain interested in the free agent.
  • Jon Heyman reports that White Sox are not a player for Hudson.
  • Heyman says that the Dodgers can afford Hudson and Manny Ramirez.
  • No mention of the Cubs in the Hudson rumors today.
  • Hot Stove Cubbies reports that the D-backs and Cubs could pull of a sign-and-trade for Hudson.
  • Also, Hot Stove Cubbies says that if the Royals do look to release or trade Mark Teahen, the Cubs would be "very interested".

Today it's my AL East Standings:

1. Yankees- Even with all the distractions, the Yankees have tons of talent and that's what wins. They add CC, A.J., and Tex to an already staked team. I think it was a fluke that they finished 3rd last year and they will bounce back and win the division.

2. Rays- It's a toss up for me between the Rays and Red Sox for second. I went with the Rays because they proved themselves last year, and their young talent has more experience this season.

3. Red Sox- Off season didn't come close to matching the Yankees spending spree.

4. Blue Jays- Last year they finished 86-76. I think they will finish below .500 this year. Didn't have a good off season, Marcum and Burnett will be missed.

5. Orioles- Re-building mode.

I'll have NL East predictions tomorrow.

Cubs Chat will return on Tuesday, February 23 @ 7:00 PM CT.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Atkins could start for the Cubs?, Kerry Wood Speaks, Ozzie smack talks, and more

  • Aaron Heilman has an eye on the 5th starter's job. He said, "I'd like to get back to starting, there's a lot to be said for the routine. You know when you're going to pitcher. You're not constantly on call every day. It's always difficult to manage your routine (as a reliever). It's a constant balancing act, how much do I do, how little do I do. You can have a certain routine (as a reliever) but it's never the same everyday."
  • According to Mitch Atkins is in the mix for the rotation along with Heilman, Marshall, Samardzija, and Gaudin.
  • Alfonso Soriano said, "Lou, you can do whatever you want." About the possibility of moving Soriano down in the lineup.
  • Kerry Wood said, "No, 2003 probably, that playoff run we had. First time since '45 we got that close to the World Series. It was a magical season, and I was kind of in the center of that." -Thanks to BCB for that one.
  • Ted Lilly made sarcastic comments about Sox manager Ozzie Guillen yesterday, and Ozzie fired back: "I was a player rep before Ted Lilly. I respect his opinion and I don't know why it sounds like he doesn't respect mine. Tell him to worry about winning games for the Cubs and winning them for Lou, not what Ozzie thinks or says."

I'll Update this post this afternoon with more information from Day 4 of Spring Training.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cubs Broadcast Schedule, Sullivan on Sports Central, My West Division picks

The Cubs have released their broadcast schedule! Check it out.

Paul Sullivan on Sports Central:

  • Sullivan is shocked to hear Lou says that he will consider moving Soriano down in the order.
  • He is assuming Soriano would move to the 3rd, 5th, or 6th spot.
  • Alfonso will hit where ever the Cubs want.
  • Lou will look at Miles, Fontenot, Theriot, Gathright, Johnson, and even Fukudome in the lead off spot in Spring Training.
  • Piniella still says that if Opening Day was tomorrow Sori would be batting first.
  • Sully and Kap think are tired of the Rich Harden topic.
  • Lou said today that he's going to rest his regular guys more than he ever has before.
  • A caller asked about the Cubs signing Pedro Martinez. Paul and Kap don't think the Cubs need another health risk in their rotation.
  • Another caller wanted to know about the bullpen. Sullivan thinks the pen has too many guys who have to rebound from poor seasons. The only guy you can really count on in the pen is Marmol.
  • Kap would like the Cubs to go after Juan Cruz.
  • Paul and David both think Jim will make a move sometime this Spring like he did with Reed Johnson last year.
  • Sully mentioned Frank Thomas signing with the Cubs.
  • Kap thinks the Cubs need to add a backup first baseman.
  • Paul's 1-8 batting order is: Fontenot, Theriot, Soriano, Bradley, Ramirez, Lee, Soto, Kosuke/Reed.
  • There's still 6 more weeks of Spring Training!

Some notes:

  • According to Micah Hoffpauir appears to have a spot on the Cubs bench.
  • "It's his job to lose," Lou said.
  • Carrie Muskat Inbox
  • Q&A with Bobby Scales.
  • Gregg Maddox will be an instructor for the Padres this Spring. (I wish he was going to be in Cubs camp instead of Padres)

Shifting gears, it's prediction time! I'll predict all the divisions in MLB by the end of the week.

My AL and NL West final Standings:

AL West

1. LA Angels- Clearly still the best team in the division despite off season losses.

2. Texas- With Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Hank Blalock, Ian Kinsiler, and Nelson Cruz in their lineup they will manage 2nd even with their pitching staff.

3. Oakland- Not very good team. With Holliday and Giambi they will barely beat out Seattle for 3rd.

4. Seattle- 101 losses a year ago and they didn't improve enough be much better.

NL West

1. LAD- Even if Manny doesn't return, I still think they win the division unless Manny goes to the Giants. Good, young pitching and hitting.

2. Giants- Not good enough hitting, but strong staff. If they do sign Manny Ramirez I think they win the division, if not they could finish 3rd, but I gave them 2nd.

3. D-Backs- I don't think Arizona will be as good as they were a year ago. Even if they post an 82-80 record again, I don't think that's good enough to win the division.

4. Rockies- Lots of injuries last year, even if they stay healthy, I'd say they're a .500 team at best.

5. Padres- Re-building mode.

Will Carrol from Baseball Prospectus joined Kap...

  • "What's not to like about the Cubs," he said.
  • Carrol doesn't think that the lead off man really matters that much.
  • Will thinks whoever is not the best 3-5 hitter should lead off for the Cubs.

I'll update this post if I come across anything tonight. If not, I'll keep you posted all week long.

Hudson Could sign with the Cubs

  • A few notes...
  • Be sure to scroll back and look at all the posts from all weekend if you missed any. We had lots of good posts worth reading.
  • Check out our new post Spring Training Preview: The Bullpen.
  • No Chat this week, but we'll be back on Tuesday, February 24 at 7:00 CT to get ready for the first Spring Training game. Link


Thanks to Hot Stove Cubbies for bring this to my attention:

  • Orlando Hudson could sign with the Cubs!
  • Buster Only reports that he will likely sign a one year deal somewhere by the end of the week.
  • The Cubs, White Sox, and Dodgers are the front runners, the Royals are a long shot.
  • Hudson could be a sign and trade, working around the rule that says the Cubs would lose a first round draft pick for signing a Type A free agent. So the D-backs could resign Hudson, and then flop him to the Cubs. I'd rather see the Cubs just sign him and give up the pick.
  • MLB Trade Rumors reports that Roy Halladay could be a mid-season trade candidate. The Cubs could have interest, especially if Harden or another starter goes down.

Other Updates...

  • Lou will try Soriano in the middle of the order this year but he's still the main lead off guy.
  • Cory Provus from WGN radio has been hired to team up with Bob Uecker on Brewers radio.
  • Cory will do 3 innings of play-by-play with the Brewers.
  • Luis Vizcaino has yet to report.
  • The only position players who haven't reported yet are Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, and Alfonso Soriano.
  • Mike Fontenot, Aaron Miles, and Jake Fox all took grounders at 3rd base today. One of the guys will have to back up 3rd if the Cubs don't add a free agent.

I'll Update this posts or create a new post when I get more info.

Quotes and Updates from Mesa

Here are a few updates...
  • Lou Piniella told the players at a team meeting this weekend, "No predictions, let's just go play on the field."
  • "We don't need predictions what we need is good performances." -Piniella
  • Ryan Dempster still truly believes that the Cubs can win the World Series.
  • Dempster doesn't dwell on his poor performance in Game 1 of the NLDS last year, but he will use it as motivation.
  • Dempster feels he can win 17 games every year and continue to improve.
  • Ryan tries to work hard and have fun when he goes out there.
  • Lou said Dempster has leadership qualities.
  • Ryan doesn't really panic on the mound, he has that closer's mentality.
  • Carlos Zambrano has shaved his mustache.
  • Harden's reports were good after throwing about 20 pitches off the mound yesterday.

Quotes from Milton Bradley yesterday (in the Sun-Times):

  • "You might catch me on a day and I might blow you off, but hopefully that's few and far between," he told reporters.
  • "In the past I haven't tried to be, like, friendly, I just was in there trying to play baseball. That's all I wanted to do."
  • "But I fin that it kind of rubbed people the wrong way, and they'd get the wrong impression. You don't talk a whole lot, then they just assume things. The only way they're going to know you is if you talk to them."
  • "I know what I've done wrong. I'm trying to do something right, so if we can get away from all the negativity and going back 4 or 5 years to stuff that I did then and just focus on what I'm doing now, I think I'm a positive influence. I'm a good guy to be around."
  • "Who wouldn't want to play for the Cubs? They haven't won in 100 years, so you come in and know that you have that, I guess you call it, pressure, media word, pressure. But it's not really like that. It's just having the opportunity to come in here and win it after all this time. That excites me."
  • "I've never met so many nice people in one place, it helps the transition for me when you're dealing with people that are this nice and appreciative and in your corner. It hasn't always been that way."
  • "It's a new beginning, it's a home finally. I've been kind of rent-a-player for the most part over the years. I'd have a good year somewhere, and the next year some younger guys were coming along or they're trying to cut some payroll, and I'm always the guy to go. So to come here and feel I'm where I can get comfortable and relax a little bit, that helps."

Milton Bradley photo's.

Quotes from Rich Harden (from

  • "I want more, 30 (starts) is what I'd like to get. I haven't really gotten that yet, and that's kind of my goal. I definitely want more."
  • "I never had the issues with my shoulder from throwing, how I initially hurt my shoulder and had these problems with it the last year and a half or so its because 2 years ago, I threw a pitch, had a come backer, it was a 1 hopper, and I tried to bare hand it. It was over my head, over my throwing shoulder. That's when I did it. It wasn't really throwing, it was doing that."
  • "My number 1 priority is to the Cubs. They made a big commitment to me, picking up my option this year. My goal is to go out there and pitch as many games as I can win."
  • Read the full article.

Quotes from Reed Johnson:

  • I you lose the 11, 15 pounds and then you put on a 15 pound weight vest, you realize how much tougher it can be on you body."
  • "I feel like I got to the point where I've conditioned my body where I don't have to eat as much any more."
  • "If you take on a bigger workload, whether it's in the middle of Spring Training or halfway through the season, it's harder to lose weight."
  • "Everybody know anything can happen, you're 1 injury away from being an everyday guy. If your not prepared and that opportunity comes up, it'll come and and it'll go just as fast."

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spring Training Preview: The Bullpen

The Cubs have 21 pitchers on their 40 man roster. That means that most likely 9 will not make the team. We know that Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, and Harden will be in the rotation. There's one open spot in the starting 5, but everyone else will be fighting for their spot in the bullpen. Here's a breakdown including stats and info about each guy. Also, I predict whether or not they will make the team and what their role will be.

Carlos Marmol

  • Right handed hard throwing reliever
  • 26 years old
  • Nasty slider
  • 2.68 ERA in 2008
  • 6 years in the Cubs organization
  • My Predictions-
  • Will he make the team? For Sure
  • Role? closer

Kevin Gregg

  • Right handed reliever
  • Drafted by the A's in 15th round of the 1996 draft.
  • Played with Angels and Marlins before being traded to the Cubs this winter.
  • 3.41 ERA and 29 saves in 2008 with Florida.
  • 30 years old
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Easily
  • Role? 8th inning guy

Jeff Samadzija

  • RHP, former Notre Dame football star.
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 5th round in 2006.
  • 2.28 ERA in 26 games with the Cubs in 2008.
  • 24 years old.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he won't be in the pen because he will be starting. I went ahead and put him in the bullpen because they're is a good chance he could end up pitching in the 7th and 8th innings.

Neal Cotts

  • Left handed reliever.
  • Drafted by the A's in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft.
  • 4.29 ERA in 50 games with the Cubs a year ago.
  • 28 years old.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? Left handed set-up guy.

Aaron Heilman

  • Right handed pitcher, traded from Seattle to the Cubs for Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson.
  • Selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2001 draft.
  • 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA with the Mets in 2008.
  • 30 years old.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? Middle relief.

Luis Vizcaino

  • Right handed pitcher, traded to the Cubs from the Rockies for Jason Marquis.
  • Played with Brewers, White Sox, D-backs, Yankees, and Rockies.
  • 31 years old.
  • Signed with the A's as an undrafted free-agent in 1994.
  • 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA with the Rockies in 2008.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the season? He will be traded this spring.

Chad Gaudin

  • RHP
  • 25 years old.
  • Drafted by the Devil Rays in the 34th round of the 2001 draft.
  • Acquired from the A's last June in the Rich Harden trade.
  • 9-5 with a 4.40 ERA with the A's and Cubs last season.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? Middle relief

Sean Marshall

  • Left handed pitcher.
  • 26 years old
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 6th round in 2003.
  • 3-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 34 games (7 starts) with the Cubs a year ago.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? Long man in the pen, spot starter, second left in the pen. He's very valuable.

Kevin Hart

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • 26 years old.
  • Drafted by Baltimore in the 11th round of the 2004 draft.
  • Acquired by the Cubs as the player to be named later in the Freddie Bynum trade in 2006.
  • 2-2 with a 6.51 ERA in 21 games with the Cubs last year.
  • 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 26 games with Iowa in 2008.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the season? AAA

Jose Ascaino

  • Young right handed pitcher.
  • 19 career big league games.
  • Signed as a undrafted free agent by the Braves in 2001.
  • Traded to the Cubs for Will Ohman and Omar Infante in December 2007.
  • 7.94 ERA in 6 games with the Cubs last year.
  • 2-1 with a 5.10 ERA in 40 games at AAA Iowa in 2008.
  • 23 years old
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? AAA

Mitch Atkins

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • Has yet to make his big league debut.
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 7th round in 2004.
  • 8-1 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts at AAA in 2008.
  • 9-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 18 starts at AA last year.
  • 23 years old
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? AAA

Justin Berg

  • Right handed pitcher
  • 24 years old
  • Has yet to make big league debut.
  • Drafted by the Yankees in the 43rd round in 2003.
  • Traded to the Cubs for Matt Lawton in August 2005.
  • 4-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) with AAA Iowa in 2008.
  • 0-3 with a 34.9 ERA in 5 starts at AA last year.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? AAA

Angel Guzman

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Royals in 1999.
  • 8 years in Cubs organization.
  • 27 years old.
  • 5.59 ERA in 6 games with the Cubs a year ago.
  • 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 4 games at AAA last year.
  • Injured for most of the season in 2008.
  • Out of options.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he be to start the year? Traded

David Patton

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • Drafted by the Rockies in the 12th round in 2004.
  • Has yet to make big league debut.
  • Selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft, then traded to the Cubs for cash.
  • Highest level is Class A.
  • 24 years old.
  • 4-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 50 games at High Class A with the Rockies in 2008.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? Because of the Rule 5 draft, the Cubs will lose him if he does not make the roster, so he'll be with another ball club.

Jeff Stevens

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • Has yet to make big league debut.
  • Selected by the Reds in the 6th round in 2005.
  • Traded from the Indians to the Cubs for Mark DeRosa this off season.
  • 25 years old.
  • 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA at AAA in 2008 with the Indians organization.
  • 5-1 with a 2.51 ERA at AA last season.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? Yes
  • Role? Long-man in the pen. (He'll beat out Patton and Guzman for this job.)

Randy Wells

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • 26 years old.
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 38th round of the 2002 draft.
  • 4 big league games.
  • Was a catcher early in career.
  • Sat out 2004 and 2005 seasons then came back as a pitcher in 2006.
  • 10-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 27 games (19 starts) at AAA Iowa last season.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? He will start the year at AAA, but he will get called up some time this season.

Marcos Mateo

  • Right handed pitcher.
  • Has yet to make big league debut.
  • 24 years old.
  • Highest level: Class A
  • 4-3 with a 357 ERA in 25 games (16 starts) with Daytona in 2008.
  • 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 8 games with Peoria a year ago.
  • My predictions-
  • Will he make the team? No
  • Where will he start the year? He will start the year back with Daytona. We won't see him in the big leagues this year, but we will some time down the road.

So to recap my bullpen will be: Marmol, Gregg, Heilman, Cotts, Gaudin, Stevens, and Marshall/Samardzija.

I'll continue the Spring Training Previews throughout the week.

Milton Bradley Reports Early

Notes from Day 3 in Mesa so far...
  • Milton Bradley has arrived in Mesa early! Bradley was eager to get a head start according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Reed Johnson lost 14 pounds this off season!
  • Other Cub position players who have already reported include Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, So Taguchi, Reed Johnson, and Darwin Barney.
  • According to the Sun-Times, Mike Stanton could make the team as the second left hander in the pen if Marhsall is in the rotation.
  • Harden will pick and choice when he needs to rest in 2009.
  • Speaking of Harden, he threw off a mound today for the first time, and had no problems.
  • The only pitcher who has not reported is Luis Vizcaino, who had visa problems.

I'll keep you posted on the happenings in Arizona.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Notes from Day 2 in Mesa

  • Rich Harden said that he is coming off his best off season ever.
  • Harden spent most of the winter in Mesa working with Tim Buss.
  • Bruce Miles reports that the locker rooms in Mesa were packed on Friday with media and players.
  • Harden threw off flat ground today.
  • Lou hopes Rich will start 32 games.
  • The competition for back up catcher is wide open between Paul Bako and Koy Hill.
  • Another facial hair update from Bruce Miles: Chad Gaudin has a massive goatee.
  • Kevin Gregg threw today.
  • Bruce Levine reports that Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez will sit out the WBC. It seems like the only Cubs will be Marmol, Soto, and Kosuke.
  • Speaking of Kosuke, he worked to build his core this winter.
  • Harden is aiming for 25-30 starts.
  • Dempster joked about his "bold prediction" that he made last year. He made a new prediction, "I boldly predict that we're going to have a breakfast spread tomorrow and peanut butter and jelly for lunch, and I'm pretty sure that's going to happen."
  • When asked about Jake Peavy, Dempster said, "I don't want anybody to replace anybody on this team, because they're all great."
  • Lou Pinella has indicated that Sean Marshall is the favorite to win the 5th starter's job.

I'll have more tomorrow.

Number Breakdown: Kevin Gregg VS Carlos Marmol

It seems that Carlos Marmol is the leading candidate to win the Cubs closers job, but he won't be handed it. Let's see what the numbers have to say:

2008 ERA:
Gregg- 3.41
Marmol- 2.68
point Marmol

career ERA:
Gregg- 4.00
Marmol- 3.43
point Marmol

2008 K's/BB ratio
Gregg- 85 K, 37 BB
Marmol- 114 K, 41 BB
point Marmol

2008 Saves:
Gregg- 29
Marmol- 7
point Gregg

2008 WHIP:
Gregg- 1.28
Marmol- 0.93
point Marmol

Career WHIP:
Gregg- 1.32
Marmol- 1.23
point Marmol

So the final score is Marmol 5, Gregg 1.
The numbers don't lie.
The Breakdowns will continue, one every weekend:
-Marshall VS Heilman VS Samarzija
-Kosuke VS Reed VS Gathright
-and more...

Spring Training Preview: Starting 5

Carlos Zambrano
Big Z needs to step up and be the ace of this staff again. A year ago, he was hot and cold. If Zambrano gains more consistency, then he should be a 20 game winner. Yesterday we heard that Big Z might not start on Opening Day, but I think he should.
2008 Numbers: 14-6 with a 3.91 ERA

Rich Harden
The key for Harden is staying healty. The Cubs made the right choice by picking up his option. I've heard that Harden and Sean Marshall could switch off starts. That way Harden will only start half the games to save his arm for late in the season.
2008 Numbers: 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA

Ryan Dempster
One of the key moves of the Cubs off season in my opinion, was actually re-signing Dempster. He shocked all Cubs fans last year with how smoothly he transitioned from the 9th inning, to the rotation. Expect another monster year for Ryan.
2008 Numbers: 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA

Ted Lilly
A very underrated guy in the starting 5. This guy won 17 ball games last year! Signing the lefty was, along with DeRosa, the 2 best deals that Jim has gotten as Cubs GM.
2008 Numbers: 17-9 with a 4.09 ERA

5th Spot
We know that Lilly, Dempster, Harden, and Zambrano will all be in the rotation, but that leaves the 5th starter spot open because of the departure of Jason Marquis. Sean Marshall is the front runner. Jeff Samardzija says he wants to start and will do anything he can to win a job in the rotation. Aaron Heilman, Chad Gaudin, and Angel Guzman are also fighting for that one spot in the rotation.
2008 Numbers: Marshall was 3-5 with a 3.36 ERA. Samardzija had a 2.28 ERA in the bullpen. Heilman was 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA for the Mets. My pick for the 5th starter- Jeff Samardzija!

If you missed any of our NL Central off season recaps you should check them out:

Happy Valentines Day Cubs fans! More posts to come...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Radio Recaps, Brewers off season Recap, and more!

Some updates-
  • Carlos Zambrano will not be in the World Baseball Classic. He said that he has to correct his right eye.
  • Zambrano took BP at Fitch Park with Geovany Soto earlier.
  • Carlos Marmol is expected to close for the Dominican Republic.
  • Zambrano has come to camp with a mustache!
  • Speaking of Zambrano- we'll have to wait and see whether or not Lou chooses him to start on Opening Day, it's not a sure thing.
  • As of right now, Alfonso Soriano is going to be the Cubs leadoff man.
  • Former Cub Billy Petrick has signed with the Windy City Thunderbolts.
  • Link to Paul Sullivan article.
  • Lou Piniella said that he was saddened that Alex Rodrigez, his former player, tested positive for anabolic steriods in 2003.

Reed Johnson joined David Kaplan last night on Sports Central:

  • Johnson is in Vegas. He is headed out to Arizona on Saturday.
  • Reed doesn't think the Cubs are overlooking any of the teams in their division. He said that the Brewers could be pretty competitive.
  • He thinks that the team felt the NLDS was over last year after they lost game 1. He feels that they should realize it is a 7 game set.
  • Johnson says players have an idea of which guys are using banned substances.
  • He thinks baseball has dealt with the era in a good way with their policy.
  • Johnson says that the other 103 names should be kept secret because that was the agreement, but he understands the other side of it too. He used the phrase "Let the leaking begin."
  • Kap asked if Reed had ever heard the play-by-play of his catch in Washington last year. Reed said no, so Kap played Cory Provus's call of the catch.
  • "It's going to be 25 guys bonded for the rest of our lives if we do win this this," Reed said.

Todd Hollandsworth joined Mully & Hanley for a preview of this season.

  • Todd says it makes for a brighter day when you know that next year has arrived and pitchers and catchers have reported.
  • This is a good team, and there is good reasons to be exited about it.
  • Todd doesn't think the rest of the NL Central teams did too much this off season.
  • Hollandsworth thinks that everyone around all of baseball feels that it is the Cubs turn to win one.
  • Todd thinks the Cubs have made improvements to a 97 win season.
  • He said that every season is like a 500 page book, and last year was a great first 450 pages, but it was like someone grabbed the book out of our hands and threw it out the window so we didn't get to read the last 50.
  • Holly says that the balance is what the Cubs were after, and that's what they got.
  • The organizations is hoping that this team will flow better than last years team.
  • Todd thinks adding Bradley and subtracting DeRosa becomes a wash.
  • He seems to think that Kosuke is a very important piece to this team.
  • Kosuke needs to drive the ball back up the middle.
  • Hollandsworth says that fans have to realize that Jake Peavy sounds great right now, but he could take away the Cubs flexibility at the all star break if they take on his contract and give up the prospects. He thinks addressing the issues you have in July is more important than adding Peavy now.
  • Todd's personal opinion is that the strength of the team is the starting rotation. If Dempster stays the same, Big Z goes back to himself, and Harden stays healthy, the Cubs don't need Peavy.

Jeff Samardzija talked with Waddle and Silvy today on ESPN 1000.

  • Jeff has gotten his Spring Training haircut, because it's a little hot in Mesa.
  • Samardzija says that there are a handful of great pitchers battling for the last spot in the rotation and he is grateful to get a chance to win that spot.
  • He says he had the right guys around him to help him get used to the bullpen last year.
  • Jeff has been starting his whole life and that is what he would like to do.
  • Lou was "kind of clean" with Jeff last year. He says he only got chewed out once by Lou.
  • Samardzija joked that he hasn't ever had an easy going coach, even in little league when his dad, Sam Samdzija, coached him.
  • He says Larry Rothchild always gets him "locked in" in camp.
  • Jeff says that the chemistry on the team is "pretty ridiculous" because everyone is so close.
  • Samardzija does have a 4th pitch that he didn't use in the bullpen, his change-up.

Bruce Levine reported from Arizona on ESPN 1000:

  • Lou Piniella thinks Jim did a really, really nice job this off season.
  • Piniella will manage differently this season resting some players more often to "keep his veterans fresh" for the whole season.
  • Carlos Zambrano has eye drops to use from the doctor and he will use them for about 3 weeks.
  • Zambrano has an eye infection and he will have to postpone LASIK surgery.

Let's shift gears and conclude our NL Central off season recaps by taking a look at Brewers off season.

11-12-08: Picked up the option on Salomon Torres.

11-25-08: Signed R.J. Swindle to a one year contract and signed Jason Bourgeois to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

12-1-08: Signed Scott Thorman to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

12-2-08: Salomon Torres retired.

12-4-08: Signed Jorge Julio to a one year deal.

12-9-08: Re-signed Mike Lamb to a one year deal.

12-12-08: Non-tendered Chris Capuano.

12-16-08: Signed Chris Capuano to a minor league deal with invite to Spring Training.

12-18-08: Signed Trot Nixon and Chris Duffy to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training.

1-13-09: Signed Trevor Hoffman to a one year deal.

1-26-09: Re-signed Craig Counsell to a one year deal.

1-29-08: Signed Tim Dillard, Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel, Casey McGehee, Brad Nelson, Angel Salome and Mitch Stetter to one-year deals.

2-3-09: Avoided arbitration with Rickie Weeks.

2-4-09: Acquired Chase Wright from the Yankees for Eric Fryer. Signed Ramiro Mendoza to a minor league deal with and invite to Spring Training.

2-12-09: Signed Braden Looper to a one year deal. Claimed Nick Green off waivers.

The Brewers also lost...

CC Sabathia

Eric Gagne

Jason Kendall

Ben Sheets

Ray Durham

I'll give their off season a 3 out of 10. They lost lots of pitching and made up for the bullpen losses but not the key rotations losses of Sheets and CC.

I'll keep you posted on everything going on in Mesa.

Pitchers and catchers have reported!

We've been counting down since last October, and finally it's hear! Spring Training! Pitchers and catchers have official reported to Mesa, Arizona for the Chicago Cubs and they will have their first official work outs tomorrow. Here's some notes:

  • Ken Kadukura threw about 50 pitchers yesterday.
  • Jeff Samadzija, Kevin Gregg, Kevin Hart, Rich Harden, Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, Randy Wells, Jake Fox, and Wellington Castillo all got a head start by reporting yesterday.
  • "I don't really come into Spring Training looking to do this or that, I just look to come in healthy and ready to get out and go a long do that," said pitcher Chad Gaudin when asked about starting.
  • Carlos Zambrano will have LASIK eye surgery at the end of Spring Training.
  • Angel Guzman will not pitch in the WBC.
  • The Cubs will not see Fukudome until the last 2 weeks of the Spring because he will be playing in the WBC.
  • Ben Sheets is looking to pitch this year, could it be for the Cubs?
  • Carrie Muskat says that Cubs games will be on WGN this year. The question is how many games, according to Muskat.
  • According to, it's 53 degrees right now in Mesa, the high today is 62.

Many more posts to come later tonight, I'll keep you posted on everything going on in Mesa.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Cubs Links

By the way, if your thinking about going to Mesa for Cubs Spring Training, I highly recommend it! Hopefully you already have your tickets and if you do, be sure to check out these restaurants,

Last year I ran into Billy Williams at Don and Charlie's and Jim Hendry at the Pink Pony. Jim was very nice, I got to have a conversation with him. I you like autographs, Spring Training is definitely a good place to get them as well! And it's so nice to get away from the cold weather and see some baseball!

Pitchers and catchers reports tomorrow, I'll keep you posted on everything happening out in the Valley of the Sun!

Cardinals Off Season Recap

We continue our look at what the Cubs NL Central foes have done this off season.

11-4-08: Re-signed Jason LaRue to a one year contract.
11-19-08: Signed Ian Ostlund to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
12-3-08: Signed Trever Miller to a one year deal.
12-4-08: Acquried Khalil Green and a player to be named from the Padres for Mark Worrell.
12-12-08: Non-tendered Tyler Johnson, Randy Flores, and Aaron Miles.
12-17-08: Signed Joe Thurston and Justin Knoedler to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training.
1-5-09: Signed Royce Ring to a one year contract.
2-9-09: Released Adam Kennedy.

That's all the Cardinals have done!
They've also lost Braden Looper, Mark Mulder, and Jason Isringhausen.
I'd give there off season a 3 out of 10 because they could have had a chance to compete next year with a solid off season, but instead they got worse this winter!

Brewers off season Recap tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted.