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Browsing posts from February, 2010

Cubs Should Avoid Felipe Lopez

By bullpenbrian - February 12, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Felipe Lopez fired agent Scott Boras in what appears to be a move to sign quickly with a club before Spring Training.

I flushed out the pros and cons for the Cubs to sign Lopez, and as it turns out, it’s a good move on paper, but my gut says the Cubs shouldn’t do it.

There’s just something fishy about a former All Star being unsigned in February, and especially one in his prime as a 29-year-old.

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Jeff Samardzija’s Career In Jeopardy

By bullpenbrian - February 11, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

During his live chat this week on ESPNChicago.com, Bruce Levine confirmed what I’ve been saying for a long time.

-Many in the organization, including Samardzija, feel his progress has been hurt from going from the pen to the rotation.

I dedicated an entire post in August to this very topic. My point being the Cubs were jeopardizing Samardzija’s confidence at the Major League level by bouncing him between Triple-A and Chicago as a reliever.

Disrupting confidence is a career-threatening move for any young pitcher, and Samardzija is no exception.

You can read my post from August here.

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Cubs Starlin Castro A Sure Thing?

By bullpenbrian - February 10, 2010 - 1:16 am 2 comments.

The hype surrounding the Cubs’ sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect, Starlin Castro, reminds me much of Brandon Larson.

Larson was ‘the talk‘ of minor league baseball in 2001–a sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect for the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1997 he won MVP honors during the College World Series for the LSU Tigers, then later became the Reds’ first-round draft pick (14th overall).

He climbed quickly through the minors, reaching Triple-A by 2001. The following two seasons he became an All Star of the International League batting .340 in 2002 and .323 in 2003, a season in which the Reds tabbed Larson as their Minor League Player of the Year.

All this proved little, however, at the big league level with Cincinnati. In parts of four seasons Larson never lived up to the hype. Playing in just 109 games he collectively batted .179 with 8 HR and 37 RBI.

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Carlos Marmol Contract 1-yr $2.125M

By bullpenbrian - February 9, 2010 - 3:00 am Leave a comment.

Glad the Cubs avoided arbitration with Marmol, although I’ve never been sold on Marmol as the Cubs closer.

I think he’s hands-down the best set-up man in the majors, which is why I’d keep him in that role.

But the Cubs and Marmol, of course, agree closing is in the team’s best interest.

And while I realize he went 11-for-11 in saves last year, the frequency at which this guy losses the strike zone  will be frightening come the ninth inning.

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Former-Cub Gregg Now A Jay

By bullpenbrian - February 8, 2010 - 1:00 pm Leave a comment.

Can’t believe the Jays forked over $2.75M for Kevin Gregg.

That’s one sign Toronto’s not going to win the AL East.

Gregg led the league in blown saves with the Marlins, then nearly did the same as a Cub last year, and yet, somehow managed to qualify as a Type-A free agent. Eh?

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Heath Wins Again!

By bullpenbrian - February 8, 2010 - 12:54 pm Leave a comment.

While New Orleans won its first title, Heath won his second!

Thanks for the many emails that poured in, mostly notably Heath’s which came in Sunday at 3:51 EST.

Nonetheless, congrats to everyone who picked the Saints!

Thanks for playing.

Previous Winners:

I:    Big Mike – Baltimore
II:   Brian -    New England
III:  Heath -    Tampa Bay
IV:   Nicole -   New England
V:    Nicole -   New England
VI:   Talitha -  Pittsburgh
VII:  Ed -       Indianapolis
VIII: Ed -       New York
IX:   Talitha -  Pittsburgh
X: Heath – New Orleans

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Super Bowl Prediction

By bullpenbrian - February 4, 2010 - 1:15 am 8 comments.

Once a year I break away from Cubs baseball to talk a little NFL, specifically my Super Bowl prediction.

And would you believe this is the tenth year of my self titled ‘Brian’s Super Bowl Bash?’ Wow!

For the newbies, it’s very simple. I need three things: Super Bowl winner, final score and most importantly the MVP choice for any tiebreakers.

All entries must be submitted before the opening kickoff. No payment required, bragging rights only.

Remember, hundreds have played, but only six have won! I’ll post this year’s winner here on Monday…my pick is below!

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The Mike Fontenot Trade

By bullpenbrian - February 3, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

On February 2, 2005 the Cubs made a trade with Baltimore for Mike Fontenot and the pride of Naperville, Illinois, Jerry Hairston.

Fontenot was the Orioles first round draft pick in 2001 (19th overall) and Hairston a super utility player during his first seven seasons in Baltimore.

But does anyone remember who Chicago sent packing in return?

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Curt Schilling’s Bloody Sock

By bullpenbrian - February 2, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

The suffocating coverage of Dwight Freeney’s injured ankle reminds me of the Curt Schilling ‘Bloody Sock Saga.’

Believe it or not, that was just five short years ago that Schilling mowed down the Yanks in Game 6 of the ALCS on October 19, 2004.

99 pitches, seven innings, one run, four hits, four K’s, no walks.

Thing-of-beauty!

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Brewers Sign Jim Edmonds

By bullpenbrian - February 1, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

It’s easy to get caught up in baseball’s numbers, to forget just how talented major league players are — even those .230 hitters off the bench.

It’s easy to forget the human side of the game, the importance of leadership, the need for team chemistry.

It’s easy to forget that statistics tell us only part of the story, not the whole.

It’s easy to see how sabermetrics, zone ratings and slugging percentages can mislead teams like the Cubs to sign a Milton Bradley vs. a Mark DeRosa.

And, of course, it’s easy to laugh at the notion that a 40-year-old Jim Edmonds can still pick’it in center field or hit home runs better than that 24-year-old prospect can.

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