Browsing posts from July, 2010
Tough first half of the season.
11 games below .500…9.5 back of the division lead.
This isn’t the ‘Way of Life’ Tom Ricketts is talking about, right?
Besdies Zambrano’s fit-throwing, did any Cubs fans anticipated this…
an offense that doesn’t score, and a soon-to-be fire sale in mid-July?
Whoever thought Carlos Silva would be this good, or Aramis this bad?
And what on earth has happened to Derrek Lee and Randy Wells?
Then there’s Marlon Byrd the All Star…Soriano leading the lineup from the six-hole, and the breakout performance of Tyler Colvin.
Weird, weird and weird.
Things, however, will get interesting again following the break.
I’m not talking about a second half resurgence. That’s simply Not.Gonna.Happen.
Rather, the Cubs will embark on a selling spree that will reshape the roster for years to come.
Latest rumors I’m hearing:
D-Lee to the Angles.
Ted Lilly to New York.
Xavier Nady to Texas.
Theriot, Fontenot and Fukudome are all on the block, too.
Never would have thought it, but the second half of the season might be tougher to watch than the first.
If the trades pan out, however, next July could be a real treat!
The Cubs should hold onto Tom Gorzelanny.
Two months ago I wouldn’t have said this, but the kid’s earned his keep, despite bouncing between the rotation and bullpen–thanks to Carlos Zambrano.
With Z’s situation completely unstable, why deal a legit No.3 starter whose future promise is on the rise?
Meanwhile, the Cubs’ staff has the second most quality starts in the majors, which they’ve accomplished in large part without Zambrano–Gorzelanny claiming six of those quality starts in his 12 outings.
Keeping Dempster, Wells and Gorzo together (and possibly Lilly) gives Chicago a terrific chance to rebound in 2011.
Can’t say I’m in love with the Cubs’ idea of trading Ted Lilly then re-signing him this offseason.
The guy’s been the staff ace the past four seasons, and there’s no guarantee he’ll come back to Chicago.
No question Lilly has solid trade value. He could easily bring the Cubs a respectable return–perhaps, a proven middle reliever.
But I’d need more in return to gamble with Lilly’s future as a Cub…and I’m not sold the Cubs can get that from the Mets, who are strongly targeting Lilly, or anyone else.
I’d take the safe route and offer Lilly a new 2-yr deal. He’s earned it…and the Cubs will certainly need him to compete next year.
Chicago has plenty of other trade options–the staff ace shouldn’t be one of them.
Lose Ted Lilly, and you lose a lot!
Cubs are a wash meaning it’s time to take pleasure in the Cardinals’ struggles!
St. Louis was swept 3-0 at Colorado this week…and in historical fashion, too.
Tuesday night the Cards suffered the worst ninth-inning collapse in modern baseball history–the Rockies scoring nine-times to erase a six-run deficit en route to an amazing 12-9 victory.
Wednesday night wasn’t any easier. The Cards leading 5-0 before letting the Rocks mount another late-inning rally.
This time Dexter Fowler’s three-run shot in the eight tied the game 7-all before Chris Iannetta’s dramatic home run in the ninth gave the Rockies an 8-7 win.
No luck for the birds on Thursday, either. Ubaldo Jimenez–arguably the best pitcher in the NL–shut St. Louis down over eight innings allowing a single run.
Meanwhile, the Rockies score four-runs off ace-hurler Chris Carpenter, win 4-2, sweep the series, and send the Redbirds to Houston wondering just how good they really are at (45-40).
At the very least, still better than our Cubs!
Can’t blame Lou for shelving Kosuke Fukudome. Not after ‘The Fuk’ hit .189 in June–a drastic fall from his .344 average in April.
But the only way to increase Fukudome’s low-trade value is to play him…even if it costs Tyler Colvin at-bats, which is the cost of doing business for the time being.
Fukudome, fortunately, is doing the Cubs a huge favor with his recent hot-streak. He’s batting .250 on the road trip with a couple of home runs, RBIs, and runs scored.
Most importantly, however, he’s getting on base having reached safely in 39 of his last 44 starts.
It’s just enough to keep Fukudome’s name in trade talks, which is all the Cubs can ask for from its $48M bench-warmer.
Carlos Silva is a legitimate All Start…the numbers are there (9-2, 2.96 ERA), the votes were not.
But that doesn’t diminish Silva’s trade value, as noted by Steve Stone this morning on 670 The Score, who confirmed Silva as the Cubs’ most valuable trade piece:
- He leads the team with 13 quality starts.
- Is 5-0 with an ERA less than three on the road.
- Has lasted six or more innings in 13 of 16 starts.
- Averages a paltry 1.69 walks per nine innings.
- And holds left-handers to a .169 clip, second best in the majors.
Silva’s stock has never been higher, meaning the Cubs could leverage a sweet deal that would cut roughly $12M off the roster next season by dealing the 31-year-old.
That’s quite the payoff for a guy the Mariners gave away, including $9M, for Milton Bradley!
The seventh inning proves to be the worst for Cubs’ pitchers.
They’ve allowed opponents to score 74 runs in the frame, including the Reds’ 9-run inning Friday and 8-run explosion Sunday.
The next worst inning is the first…opponents scoring 57 runs. Then it’s the eighth inning, having allowed 51 runs.
No surprise the late innings are a problem given the loss of Angel Guzman and the promotion of three rookies to round out a young, thin, and inexperienced bullpen.
Then, of course, there’s Jeff Samardzija’s lack of development…a worn-out Bob Howry…and the forgotten about Esmailin Caridad, leaving no wonder why the Cubs can’t get a lead to Marshall and Marmol.
But middle relief has been a glaring weakness since spring training, only long overshadowed by the ineptitude of the Cubs’ offense.
If I’m Jim Hendry…bullpen arms are at the top of my trade list.
Jeff Shaw was a two-time All Star and one of my favorite players growing up.
The right-hander was a brilliant setup man with Cincinnati, positioning Jeff Brantley for 44 saves and the 1996 Rolaids Relief Man Award.
The following season, however, Brantley got injured and Shaw moved into the closer’s role. He closed out 42 games and also won the league’s saves title.
But less than a year later the Reds traded Shaw on July 4, 1998 to the Dodgers. In return, the Reds acquired left-hander Dennys Reyes and a no-name 22-year-old first baseman.
Jim Hendry’s peers selected him as the “Easiest GM to Make a Deal with” according to Buster Olney’s survey of baseball’s general managers.
Olney notes in his blog that Hendry is known for being direct, decisive, and accountable for returning phone calls.
The Cubs’ GM is certain to test his skill set this month with the Cubs floundering in fourth place in the NL Central.
Lee, Lilly, Fukudome, and perhaps Zambrano, will be sought after pieces…and Hendry’s ability, or inability, to swing the right deals will largely determine his future employment with the Cubs.
Here’s a history of Hendry’s trades with Chicago.
You are the company you keep.
And the Cubs are 34-46 and hanging with the likes of…
- Washington 35-46
- Kansas City 34-45
- Seattle 33-46
- Houston 32-48
- Arizona 31-48
No way these guys are crashing on my couch.