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Browsing posts from March, 2011

Glanville, Baker & Bonds

By bullpenbrian - March 31, 2011 - 12:01 am 5 comments.

1.) Former Cub Doug Glanville.
2.) Baker’s Reds NL Central Champs?
3.) Bonds Still In The Clear.

1.) Just recently a friend of mine asked me who Doug Glanville was on my LinkedIn page. In response I said “the former center fielder for the Cubs, remember?” Criketts

“System engineer, New York Times columnist, the guy who went 293 consecutive games without a fielding error…hit the game-winning triple against Florida in the 2003 NLCS for the Cubs.” Nothing.

Well, I haven’t forgotten Glanville. Never will, either. He’s one of my all-time favorite Cubs. But for those who don’t remember Glanville, here’s a terrific article courtesy the Chicago Magazine.

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Polls, Posnanski & Jim Edmonds

By bullpenbrian - March 30, 2011 - 12:53 am 2 comments.

1.) Results of my latest Cubs Polls.
2.) Joe Posnanski agrees–Jeter a HOFamer.
3.) Jim Edmonds: gone but not forgotten.

1.) My last two Cubs polls asked “Who should be the Cubs’ No.5 starter?” and “Who should Quade bat leadoff?”

Cubs fans got at least one wish voting Andrew Cashner (59%) the fifth starter. Meanwhile, Darwin Barney is the majority leader for the top spot in the lineup with (50%) of the votes. Tyler Colvin & Kosuke Fukudome are each tied for second place with 16-percent of the vote.

2.) I love reading Joe Posnanski’s blog. I mean, who doesn’t? Anyway, one of his posts touched on the brilliant career of Derek Jeter, who I mentioned as a lock for the Hall of Fame. Below is an excerpt from Posnanski’s post defending Jeter’s qualifications. I couldn’t agree more:

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Did Cubs Goof Silva’s Release?

By bullpenbrian - March 29, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

1.) Were the Cubs unprofessional in releasing Silva?
2.) Larkin & Griffey turning heads in Florida.
3.) Joe Posnanski Award.

1.) David Brown of Yahoo! sports contends the Cubs erred in the way they informed Carlos Silva that he would not make the big league roster.

-”why didn’t Hendry and Quade be the ones to break the news to Silva? Why did the Cubs use a pitching coach (Mark Riggins) to tell him he was gone?”

I respectfully disagree with Brown and have no problem with Riggins delivering the news to Silva. Silva, after all, is a pitcher, and Riggins is the pitching coach. And as a coach, Riggins is an authority figure, Silva just a player. Players need to respect all coaches, not just the manager. Blaming the messenger is yet another poor excuse in a long line of them this spring for Carlos.

What’s truly disturbing is the way Silva handled the news–lashing back at the team and whining to the media. Silva, not the Cubs, is the one who’s acted poorly and unprofessionally. The guy who wants to be treated like a man isn’t acting as one himself. Go figure.

Although I’ve been in Silva’s corner all spring, pulling for him to make the roster, thinking all he needed was a fresh start, I’ve changed tunes. Instead, the more I’ve read and learned about Silva’s poor attitude, the more I believe the Cubs made the right decision cutting him.

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Cubs Spring Stats Update

By bullpenbrian - March 28, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Overall: (14-17) – Home: (9-8) – Road: (5-9)

-Andrew Cashner retired 11 of his last 12 batters faced against Texas on Saturday.

-Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Marcos Mateo & Jeff Samardzija all recorded saves last week. The Cubs managed just one save through its first 26 spring games.

-John Grabow is showing promise in his return from a left knee injury suffered last season. This past week he recorded four-straight scoreless outings.

-Darwin Barney is batting .414 since March 12.

-Marlon Byrd is riding a seven-game hitting streak.

-Kosuke Fukudome has drawn a walk in 8 of his last 10 games.

-Wellington Castillo has reached base safely in 12 of his last 15 plate appearances.

-Ryan Dempster’s 1.88 ERA leads the Cactus League. Randy Wells’ 2.10 ERA ranks third.

-Sixteen of the Cubs’ last 19 games have been decided by two or fewer runs.

-Chicago leads the Cactus League with 15 one-runs games. They’re (8-7) in those contests.

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Cubs Poll – Batting Leadoff

By bullpenbrian - March 25, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.
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Replacing Ryan Theriot

By bullpenbrian - March 24, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Wednesday’s post had me breaking down the Cubs’ leadoff hitters in 2010. That led me to researching which Cubs led the club in other offensive categories last season. I’ve listed some of the more interesting ones below.

Longest Hitting Streak: 13 games…..Ryan Theriot.
Most Runs Scored: 4………………Ryan Theriot.
Most Hits: 5…………………….Ryan Theriot.
Most Stolen Bases: 2 (3 times)…….Ryan Theriot.

Most Total Bases: 12……………..Aramis Ramirez.
Most Extra Base Hits: 3 (twice)……Alfonso Soriano & Ramirez.
Most Triples: 2………………….Mike Fontenot.

Most RBI: 7……………………..Aramis Ramirez.
Most BB: 3 (11 times) most recently..Bobby Scales.
Most K’s: 4 (4 times) most recently..Micah Hoffpauir.
2-Hit Inning: 1………………….Marlon Byrd.

So what does this tell us about the 2011 Cubs? One, replacing Ryan Theriot could become more challanging than it first appeared. Two, it’s obvious the Cubs need a healthy season from Aramis, and three, it’s apparent runs could come at a premium with the addition of the free-swinging Carlos Pena and the lack of a true leadoff man.

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Cubs’ Best Leadoff Man?

By bullpenbrian - March 23, 2011 - 12:01 am 5 comments.

I noticed something yesterday in my post about Who’s the Cubs’ best option at 2B? None of the three second base candidates—DeWitt, Baker or Barney–are ideal leadoff men.

This made me realize I overlooked the importance of finding a leadoff hitter on Jim Hendry’s offseason to-do list, which, included finding a first baseman, preferably a left-handed bat, signing a No.2 or No. 3 starting pitcher, and landing a quality bullpen arm.

I give Hendry credit for landing Carlos Pena, the left-handed hitting first baseman: Kerry Wood, the quality bullpen arm, and Matt Garza, a solid No.3 starter. But there’s still no sign of a true leadoff hitter on this club.

My likely leadoff candidates, outside the dreaded second base options, are Fukudome and Tyler Colvin. But neither really fit the mold of an ideal table setter.

Moreover, Starlin Castro is too much of a free swinger. Marlon Byrd thrived last season in the five-hole, and DeWitt, Baker & Barney combined for just 24 games leading off.  So are we really back to Soriano in the No.1 hole?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Cubs leadoff hitters in 2010:
-Theroit: 56 games, Cubs record (29-27).
-Fukudome: 47 games, Cubs record (22-25).
-Colvin: 24 games, Cubs record (8-16).
-DeWitt: 13 games, Cubs record (8-5).
-Baker: 7 games, Cubs record (5-2).
-Byrd: 5 games, Cubs record (1-4).
-Barney: 4 games, Cubs record (1-3).
-Fuld: 4 games, Cubs record (2-2).
-Castro: 1 game, Cubs record (0-1).

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Cubs’ Best Option At 2B?

By bullpenbrian - March 22, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

A meeting between Mike Quade and Jim Hendry today will likely determine who will start at second base for the Cubs: Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Darwin Barney or a combination of two of the three. Here’s a snapshot of the three candidates.

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Cubs Spring Stove Report

By bullpenbrian - March 21, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

Overall record: 10-15. Home: 6-7. Away: 4-8

-Randy Wells, unofficially, locked up a spot in the rotation Sunday. Randy lasted 6 innings against the Giants allowing two hits and one run. Dempster, Zambrano, Garza & Wells appear to be the No. 1-2-3 & 4.

-Max Ramirez, who the Cubs claimed off waiver from Boston in January, has put together a decent spring between catching and playing first base. He smacked an eighth-inning grand slam on Saturday and is batting .294 with 9 RBI in 17 at-bats.

-Another Cub catcher, Wellington Castillo, is also having a hot spring: 17 at-bats, 12 hits (.706 avg.), 16 total bags and six RBI. His defense, however, has yet to catch up to his bat, which will keep him off the Opening Day roster.

-Carlos Pena has reached base safely in six of his last seven games. That’s lifted his spring average from .118 to .282. Overall, he’s 9-for-22 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.

-The Cubs defense continues to be an eye sore. They’ve committed at least one error in 13-straight games, including Starlin Castro’s third boot of the spring on Sunday. The Cubs’ 34 miscues ranks second behind San Diego’s 35.

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Cubs Fifth Starter Poll

By bullpenbrian - March 18, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.
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