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!!!
Well, I must admit that I am embarrassed by the Cubs performance this season and especially over the last week or so. We’ve lost 7 in a row including being swept at home by the Astros and on the road against our Arch rivals. Two of those losses were extra inning games ended by walk off home runs by Albert Pujols. Anyway, we aren’t playing very good baseball as a whole and it’s obvious.
I still don’t understand Mike Quade and his lineup. I believe that Aramis Ramirez needs to bat third. That gives us our best chance to drive in runs in my opinion. I know he’s not producing all the well this season, but part of that is due to having little protection in the lineup.
Quade baffled me early in the season when he platooned Fukudome and Colvin in right field. Both are left handed batters and he let Fukudome play against right handed pitchers and Colvin against left handed pitchers.
Quade frustrated me when he kept batting Marlon Byrd in the three hole. I think Byrd is better suited to hit 1st, 2nd or 5th in the lineup. He’s never been known to be a great run producer. That’s usually who you want batting third…..a run producer!
Quade has also aggravated me with the handling of our starting rotation early in the season. There was a stretch where he kept leaving starters in too long and not trusting the bullpen setup of Wood, Marshall and Marmol.
I guess I am taking out a bit of my frustrations on our new manager and I know it’s the players who play the games. But he’s setting the lineups, making the pitching changes and is in charge of this team. I know that he’s competitive, but I think he’s going to have a long summer.
I was able to stay up late last night and watch the Cubs actually win a game. It was nice to see. We had good starting pitching and Quade did not leave Zambrano in too long. He trusted his setup of Wood, Marshall and Marmol for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. We played good defense and had three solo homers. Soriano was the hitter of the night blasting two bombs! I liked the fact that Castro batted third again too. Now, if we can repeat last nights performance I would be really happy.
The Chicago Cubs appear to content with the lineup we currently have. I was kind of hoping we would trade Fukudome, but that does not seem like it will happen. I was also a little bit interested in Michael Young to play second over the platoon of Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker, but that is not going to happen either. Another possible “solution” for second would be Luis Castillo if the Mets were willing to part with him. Personally, I don’t like this idea at all. The one move I still think the Cubs could make is acquiring Chris Davis from the Rangers. I think it would take catcher Wellington Castillo and another high minor league player.
Going into Spring Training I am confused by the overload of pitchers the Cubs have to choose from. I know that may sound odd to say, but I do have my own biased reason behind these words. We’ve invited several pitchers as non-roster invitees that we are trying to catch “lightning in a bottle” with, but I would rather see us let our younger pitchers compete for a spot on the team’s pitching staff over these guys. Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer and Scott Rice are three pitchers that I don’t think will make the team nor should they. Looper and Wellemeyer are veterans trying to land with a team and Rice is a career minor leauger trying to do the same. Rice is a lefty and younger than both Looper and Wellemeyer and is the only one of these guys I would like the Cubs to hold on to. Let him start the year at AA or AAA and see what he can do as a lefty reliever.
We also have Carlos Silva, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, Casey Coleman, James Russell and Thomas Diamond that will be competing for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation. Obviously, Dempster, Garza and Zambrano will be the top three starters for us. I expect the competition for those two spots in the rotation to be fierce. And any of these guys that doesn’t make the rotation will be competing for a spot in the bullpen as well.
Arms out of the bullpen will be Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol for certain. However, we have several players trying to land a spot in the pen as well such as, Justin Berg, John Gaub, John Grabow, Scott Maine and Jeff Stevens. I think our bullpen may be really young in 2011.
We also have a few of our minor league pitchers that are non-roster invitees this spring as well. This includes Chris Carpenter, Trey McNutt and Jay Jackson. I think Jay Jackson is the closest to being ready for the big leauges of these three. I imagine he will start the season in Iowa though.
I know there is a handful of pitchers that I have not mentioned. But the bottom line, is that we have a lot of guys competing for a limited amount of spots. I know this happens every year, but I wish the Cubs would let the young guys fight it out and not worry about Silva, Looper or Wellemeyer. I believe the talent is there with some of our minor league pitchers is we would just give them the chance to play in the big leagues.
I am trying to read as many MLBlogs as possible. I’m trying to hit the top 100 from 2010, ones that are currently posting a lot and trying to read up on as many NL Central teams as possible right now. Amazing how many great bloggers there are out there!
I’m also in the process of updating my links list. My goal is to have at least 2-3 MLBlogs listed for each MLB team. It’s going to take a while.
Going through my fantasy baseball mags and highlighting the players I want. I know I’m a nerd, but I have different colored highlighters that help me rank the players at each position. It’s worked for me in the past and I enjoy doing it.
Why haven’t the Cardinals signed Albert yet? He’s the best player in baseball! Give him the money and keep your fans happy and continue to win with him.
I’ve read that a few opinions that the Cubs should move Sean Marshall into the starting rotation. Sounds good after the season he had last year, but I like him as our main lefty in the bullpen.
I’ve also been reading that the Cubs want to add a veteran utility infielder. I’m not sure why we would do this unless someone doesn’t feel Darwin Barney can handle this role. I like DB and think he should be our starter at second base. But that’s just me.
Regarding my post on expansion and a salary cap, I know it’s not the most popular idea. Heck, I don’t know if it would even make a difference. But I believe it’s capable of working. I’m not so much worried about a maximum salary cap as I am a minimum one though. I want more owners to spend money or get out of baseball. Also, I say if a salary cap ever happens, which I really, really, doubt will, that the luxury tax be done away with. I don’t like the LT and think it’s not working as it was intended. As for expansion, I hope that the amount of talent will increase in future years and there will be a need for expansion. Until then, I’m content with the number of teams we currently have.
Finally, congratulations to my friend George for surpassing his basketball’s team win total from last season. Keep up the good work!
That’s all I’ve got for today.