Tagged: Carlos Pena

PRINCE FIELDER-ARAMIS RAMIREZ-DAVID WRIGHT

There has been a lot of speculation about where Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder will land this winter.  While I would love to have either of these players on my team, I think it would be best if the Cubs went for Fielder rather than Pujols.  I may sound crazy saying that, but I have several reasons for this decision.

Albert is older than Prince.

Albert will probably “cost” more than Prince.

Prince would be that coveted left handed power bat the Cubs desire.

Those three reasons are enough for me.

If the Cubs were to sign Fielder, I would love to see Aramis Ramirez stay with the team.  I realize that would require a multi-year deal and I’m not too excited about the idea of giving ARAM anything over two years.  I think he wants at least three years…..so, this probably won’t happen.  I think Ramirez is kind of like Robin and Prince would obviously be Batman.  I think this dynamic duo would drive in a lot of runs in the Cubs lineup.   If the Cubs decide to keep Carlos Pena, then I think it would be foolish to bring Aramis back.  He’s not the go to hitter you need in the middle of the lineup.  He is an excellent complimentary hitter though.  He could provide the protection for someone like Fielder.

If we don’t work out a deal for Ramirez, which sounds realistic, I would love Theo and Co. to look into a possible trade with the Mets for David Wright.   I know that would cost the Cubs a lot of talent that we really don’t have, but I would like to “kick” the tires on this idea and see what happens.

Finally, from everything I keep reading it seems that Mike Maddux is the leader for the vacant managing position with the Cubs.  I hope he gets the job!

WHAT A MESS

What a mess that the Cubs have right now.  We aren’t going anywhere this year and probably not next year either.  We had the chance to deal Carlos Pena to the Yankees, but decided to keep the great fielding, power bat and .225 average.  Starlin Castro was railed on by Bobby Valentine on ESPN recently during a game where the young shortstop was lackadaisical on the field.   Veterans Ryan Dempster and Aramis Ramirez have options for 2012 for $14 million and $16 million respectively.  That’s a lot of money for a couple of guys in their mid 30s.  Quade keeps getting ejected from games…6 for season now and it’s obvious that he is frustrated with this team’s performance.  The bottom line is that this team is a mess and it’s going to take a while to clean it up.

Now for the good news!  Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney seem to be a potentially really good double play combo for the next few years.  Andrew Cashner may be be joining the Cubs in September after suffering a rotator cuff injury in April.  Brett Jackson, Cashner, Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt are some of our younger players scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League this year.  Tony Campana has had a positive impact on the Cubs this summer and has a strong chance of making the team in 2012.  Tyler Colvin has been getting regular playing time and has hit the ball hard despite having a terrible average.  Matt Garza is pitching much better than his record would indicate too.

Even with all our troubles we have a lot to look forward to.  It’s just going to take a little time.  I hope the Cubs are patient and make the right moves with our players and future General Manager.

RANDOM RANTS

Well, the Cubs have actually played decent baseball as of late.  We’ve won something like 4 consecutive series.  We are finally playing as I had hoped back in April.  There are still some things that need to be figured out for next season though.

1.  What to do with Carlos Zambrano?  I say he’s gone, but who’s going to take him???

2.  Find out if Tyler Colvin can play everyday?  I think he can.

3.  Find a way to improve our starting rotation.

4.  Are we going to resign Pena again or go after Albert or Prince?

I think our rotation will have Dempster and Garza for certain.  Anything after that is up in the air for next season.  I really doubt the Cubs take Big Z back and it’s probably for the best.  I am hoping that Andrew Cashner will be healthy next season too.  I believe he has a high ceiling and the Cubs could use another good arm in the rotation.  I think Randy Wells will be a back of the rotation guy next season.  I like his competitiveness, but he’s a number 4 starter at best.  We could use another quality starter, but I don’t know who that would be as of today.

I think Tyler Colvin needs to play everyday in order to be effective.  I think this season proved that he is one of those guys that can’t be a successful as a platoon or bench player.  The early season platoon with Fukudome hurt his development.  He was sent down to Iowa and is finally hitting the ball since getting called back up and playing more regularly.

While I like Carlos Pena we need someone that can hit over .225.  His power is undeniable, but how many times have I seen him called out on a third strike with runners on base???  It’s killing me!!!!  Go after Albert or Prince!

Finally, I think Quade should have read my blog back in April.  I wanted the Cubs to bat Ramirez third in the lineup and Byrd fifth.  Well, he kept batting Byrd third and the Cubs struggled to score runs.  Look at the difference now though.  ARAM is hitting third and clubbing the ball like we expect from him.  Should have been hitting there all season!

 

ANOTHER ONE SLIPS AWAY

Well, after taking a 4-3 lead in last night’s game against the Pirates, I really thought we were going to get a win.  Our bullpen has been one of our strengths this year in my opinion.  Some could blame the bullpen for being overworked, but closer Carlos Marmol didn’t make any excuses for last night’s performance.  I like that!

Still the Cubs cannot seem to put it all together.  Carlos Pena has been hitting homers left and right since the start of May.  Aramis Ramirez has been on a tear for about a month now.  Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro have been solid all season.  Our outfield has been plagued by inconsistency and injuries unfortunately and the same thing can be said for our starting rotation as well.  However, like I said earlier, our bullpen has been one of our strengths this year.  Unfortunately, they let one slip away last night.

Going into the All Star break the Cubs will be baseballs only team without a 3 game win streak this season.  That’s pretty sad.  It shows how inconsistent we have been.  Some of that inconsistency can be blamed on the large number of injuries we’ve sustained, but good teams have deep benches that pick up the slack.  However, even our bench players have seen time on the DL this year.  Both Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker have spent time on the DL this summer already and they are 2 of our better bench players when healthy.

When it’s all said and done, we just aren’t winning baseball games.  Our starting pitching is weak mainly due to injuries.  Our defense has also been a weakness, but I feel like it has improved some and we need that to continue.  Our bullpen is usually very good, but even they have bad games.  It’s everything combined together that is causing the Cubs to lose games.  Hopefully, we can turn that around after the All Star break.

TIME OFF

Over the last few weeks I haven’t written one single post.  There are a combination of reasons (excuses?) for doing this.  I felt like I was beginning to get negative and whine about my team’s performance.  My goal is to be positive on this blog.  I have also been busy with my son’s baseball team.  And it’s summer now and I have plenty of other things going on.  One of those things was digging a hole trying to find where my water line enters my basement.   I had to reseal it because there was a small leak and I needed to fix it before it became a bigger problem.  Anyway, those are just a few things that have kept me from writing anything on here as of late.

As for the Cubs, I have been happy of the play of Castro, Ramirez and Pena as of late along with some strong starting pitching.  I feel we can still put together a respectable season.  At least, that’s what I am hoping for.  If not, I look forward to the changes the team will make in the upcoming weeks.

So, I’m back and don’t plan on taking any more breaks anytime soon.

THE DREADED “L” FLAG

This is a picture that Cub fans are getting used to seeing this year.  It’s not one we want to see either.  Until the Cubs start playing better or until I change my mind, this will be my gravatar picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I want the Cubs to win, but it’s hard to do so with so many injuries and overall poor play.

 

Now some good stuff!  The Cubs have three players that I think are worthy of making the All Star game this year.  Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro and Sean Marshall.  Barney and Castro are both hitting over .300 while Marshall boasts a 1.07 ERA as of this post.

On another bright note, both Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez just homered off Bronson Arroyo in Cincinnati!!!!

That’s all for now.  I’m going to finish watching today’s game!  GO CUBS GO!!!

DEFENSE WINS GAMES TOO!

Wow, last night we scored 5 runs and still lost. I didn’t think our pitching was all that bad. However, our defense was miserable! I know that the wet weather didn’t help us any, but the Reds only made one error compared to our four. So, there is no excuse for yesterday’s loss in my eyes.

On a bright note, Carlos Pena is heating up and raised his average to .231 with five homers. Hopefully, that hot hitting continues and spreads to our other power hitters.

We also optioned Tyler Colvin to Iowa. I think this is a good move for Colvin since he’s not getting much playing time. I understand that it’s hard for Quade to find playing time for everyone, but he wasn’t giving Colvin much of a chance this season after Tyler had such a good performance in spring training. To start the season, he was platooning Colvin with Kosuke Fukudome in right field. Kosuke batted played against the right handed pitchers and Tyler batted against the left handers. Considering Colvin is left handed himself, this wasn’t a good idea in my opinion. Then Colvin was regulated to the duties of pinch hitter. He hasn’t gotten consistent at bats and needed to be sent down to get some regular playing time. I hope he does well in Iowa and returns to the Cubs soon.

I am still getting familiar with the switch to word press. I wonder if there is a way to have my comments posted automatically without me having to approve them first? If anyone has an answer for me please let me know. Thanks!