Tagged: Ryan Theriot

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

The Cubs are finally beginning to invest some real money into player development now that the Ricketts family has taken over as owners.  This is exciting news for me as a Cubs fan.  If you don’t think player development matters take a look at the New York Yankees.  Derek Jeter was a 1st round draft pick in 1992.  Mariano Rivera was signed as an amateur free agent in 1990.  Andy Pettitte was drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 draft.  Bernie Williams was signed as an amateur free agent in 1985.  Jorge Posada was drafted in the 24th round of the 1990 draft.  Those players helped form a dynasty in the mid to late 90s. 
 
The Cincinnati Reds are another example of player development paying off without the luxury of a large payroll for expensive free agents that your big market franchises have.  All Star first basemanJoey Votto, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft.  Jay Bruce was drafted in the 1st round of the 2005 draft.  Drew Stubbs was a 1st round pick in 2006.  Homer Bailey was a 1st round pick in the 2004 draft.  Johnny Cueto was signed as an amateur free agent in 2004 and Aroldis Chapman was singed as an amateur free agent in 2010.  These players were instrumental in helping the Reds to the playoffs in 2010 and should provide the Reds with a bright future.  The Reds also acquired some quality players through trades in Edinson VolquezBrandon Phillips and Scott Rolen
 
The Cubs have done so-so in the last 10 years in the amateur draft.  In 2001, we drafted Mark Prior in the 1st round, Ryan Theriot in the 3rd round, Sergio Mitre in the 7th round and Geovany Soto in the 11th round.  2002 wasn’t as kind though, but we did manage to draft Randy Wells as a catcher in the 38th round.  In 2003 Ryan Harvey was our 1st round pick and unfortunately he never worked out for us.  We also drafted Jake Fox in the 3rd round, Sean Marshall in the 6th round, Casey McGehee in the 10th round and Tim Lincecum in the 48th round but obviously he didn’t sign with us.  In 2004 our draft didn’t work out too well.  We drafted Mark Pawelek in the 1st round in 2005, but he never panned out.  In 2006 we drafted pretty well.  Tyler Colvin in the 1st, Jeff Samardzija in the 5th, Jeremy Papelbon in the 19th (Jonathan’s brother) and a few others that are still in our system working their way up.  2008 and 2009 seem to be decent drafts for us too, but time will tell.  Most importantly we need to draft well, sign amateur free agents like Carlos Marmol (1999) and develop these players better than we have done in the past.  Combine all of that with the ability to spend a lot of money and the Cubs will hopefully start winning on a regular basis and finally bring home a World Series Championship.

THE-RIOT IS A RED BIRD

“You’ve got to be kidding! ”  That’s what I first thought when I read
the headlines, “Cardinals Acquire Theirot”
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/11/cardinals-acquire-ryan-theriot.html

Ryan Theriot is one of my favorite players in the game of baseball today.  He plays the game the right way.  When the Cubs traded him to L.A. this season I was disappointed that he would no longer be a Cub.
Now that he’s going to be playing for our biggest rival in the National League it’s going to be tough for me to see him in Cardinal red.  This is a great move for the Red Birds and I commend them for being aggressive and filling their need at shortstop with a man who plays to
win.  I wish Theriot a great season in 2011 as long as he doesn’t play well against the Cubs

Will the Real Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez Please Show Up!

The Chicago Cubs have had a very roller coaster start to their season in 2010.  It has included the move of Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen.  The success of Carlos Silva in the starting rotation.  The reliability of Carlos Marmol as a starter.   The Cubs have Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd and Ryan Theriot all batting over .300.  They have called up minor league sensation Starlin Castro.  Rookie Tyler Colvin has played extremely well in limited time.  Ryan Dempster and Tom Gorzelanny have performed well in the starting rotation.  If someone would have told me these things in January I would have said the Cubs were looking good.  However, we aren’t looking good.  We are playing poorly in my opinion.  I think the main reason is we aren’t driving in runs when we have the chance to.  Our two big hitters in the lineup are not producing.  Below are the two guys the Cubs need to start hitting like they normally do if the Cubs want to have a chance at playing winning baseball in 2010.

Derrek Lee.jpgYes, the above picture is of Derrek Lee, the Chicago Cubs firstbase man.  He is a really good player…..normally.  Yet, this season, he has yet to start producing with his bat.  Last season, he started off slowly, but started to heat up around mid May.  I am hoping for the same in 2010.  We need his bat badly.  He’s a career .283 hitter and has primarily batted third in the Cubs lineup since his arrival in 2004. 

The picture below is of the Cubs thirdbase man, Aramis Ramirez.  Ramirez is a .283 career hitter, as of today, and has been the Cubs’ cleanup hitter pretty much since his arrival in 2003.  This year, he is playing horribly.  He’s not even hitting Starlin Castro’s weight.  A dismal .159 avergae combined with 31 strikeouts in 126 at-bats is a nightmare for the Cubs. 

Aramis Ramirez 2.jpg

The-Riot

Ryan Theriot.jpgI am fortunate that I am able to get off work at 2PM everyday.  This enables me to watch the Cubs as much as I want to.  Usually, the game is in the 2nd or 3rd inning when I start heading home.  Today, I was at home watching the game and the Cubs fell behind 4 to 1 against the Florida Marlins.  I figured I would try and take a nap since the Cubs weren’t doing that well,  but I was smart enough to keep the tv on just in case something happened.  And sure enough, Ryan Theriot’s Grand Slam was enough to wake me up.  I was excited and very relieved that the Cubs were in the lead.  I haven’t seen much of that lately! 

I became a fan of Theriot instantly probably due to the spelling of his last name, Theriot or The-Riot.  It’s possibly the best name in the game today.  Anyway, I became more of a fan when I watched how he hustled and always seemed to play as hard as he could.  He’s not afraid to get his uniform dirty unlike some players in the big leagues today. 
I know he probably won’t ever win a gold glove, or hit more than 5 homers in a season, but he plays the game the right way.  He plays aggressive, runs out routine groundouts, takes the ball the opposite way, and provides a spark that the Cubs need.

Maybe his Grand Slam will provide the Cubs with the spark they need to start winning more games.   

Last Minute Taxes!

I am one of the world’s biggest procrastinators.  But there is one thing that I never wait til the last minute to do and that is my taxes.  So, as I sit here today with the peace of mind that my taxes are done I know that there are a lot of people out there just getting started.  (That’s for you Dave, my Reds friend) 

Anyway, more important to me than taxes is baseball.  The Cubs have come out of the gate to a respectable 5-2 start.  They have also started the season a little banged up too.  Soto has a sore shoulder, Gregg’s knee isn’t 100%, Bradley has a sore right groin and Aramis’ back isn’t feeling all the great either.  However, Reed Johnson has flashed some leather robbing Prince Fielder of a homer, THE RIOT, Ryan Theriot, has hit in all but 1 game, Fukudome is being more aggressive at the plate, Soriano has crushed the ball and the starting pitching hasn’t been too bad.  So, all in all, the Cubs are playing well and I know they are only going to get better. 

On another note, I just signed up for MLB’s Beat The Streak.  It sounds fun and should occupy very little of my time. 

QUICK THOUGHTS:

The loss of Chris Carpenter will definitely hurt the Cardinals.  However, I would like to see him come back as soon as possible.  Anytime the Cubs and Cards both are near the top of the division it makes for a great season.

I watched A.J. Burnett last night and he looked almost as good as Nick Swisher did the night before.  In case you didn’t notice, Swisher pitched 1 inning with his fastball topping out at 80mph.  But he didn’t allow any runs and he struck out 1.

Red Sox fans should be happy with Jason Bay for a full season.  So far, his number are better than Manny’s. 

 

 

2009—The Year the Cubs Shine?

Ever since the 2003 collapse in the playoffs against the Florida Marlins, I have been waiting for the Cubs to return to the post season and win.  2007 and 2008 were great regular seasons followed by utter disappointment by getting swept out of the playoffs each season.  This year is different for me.  I am not as confident as I was last year.  I look at this current team and still see some holes that need to be filled.  However, I strongly believe that any issues the Cubs have this year will be taken care of once the sale of the team is finalized.  I am putting a lot of faith into Tom Ricketts, Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella and the players and other coaches.   Here’s my quick preview of what I think this year’s team has entering spring training.

The starters should look something like this to start the season:

C-Geovany Soto

1B-Derek Lee

2B-Mike Fontenot

3B-Aramis Ramirez

SS-Ryan Theriot

LF-Milton Bradley

CF-Kosuke Fukudome

RF-Alfonso Soriano

Here’s the bench:

Micah Hoffpauir-1B,LF,RF

Aaron Miles-2B, SS, 3B

Paul Bako-C

Reed Johnson-OF

Joey Gathright-OF

Jake Fox has a chance to make the team as a versatile player capable of playing 1B, 3B, C, LF and RF. 

Koyie Hill has a chance to make the team as a backup Catcher. 

Here’s a quick look at our pitchers:

Starters first.

Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly.

Guys that could start or come out of the bullpen.

Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin, Angel Guzman and Aaron Heilman

Guys out of the pen.

Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, Luis Vizcaino, Neal Cotts, and Kevin Hart. 

I am sure things will look a little different when the season starts, but I imagine the team will come out of spring training with a roster consisting of most of the players listed above.  A few will start the season at Iowa and hopefully get called up when needed.

Things look bright for 2009.  But we can always improve.  Go Cubs Go!