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Browsing posts from June, 2012

Are Trade Rumors To Blame For Starlin Castro’s Slump?

By bullpenbrian - June 16, 2012 - 2:00 am 3 comments.

Starlin Castro is 1-for-17 on the homestand.

It’s not a frightening stretch by slump standards, but still very unusual for Castro.

Since making his MLB debut in 2010, Castro’s 423 hits are the most in the National League, including his NL leading 207 hits last season.

Castro also has the most multi-hit games (82) in the NL since the beginning of 2011, including (25) multi-hit efforts this season.

So it’s strange to see a guys who just hits, and then hits some more, struggle offensively.

But since the start of June Castro is hitting a paltry .203/.230/.339. He’s driven in but 2 runs and has 16 strikeouts vs. one walk. What gives?

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Dale Sveum Nearly A Bean Eater

By bullpenbrian - June 15, 2012 - 1:15 pm Leave a comment.

I wonder what Dale Sveum’s thinking with the Red Sox in town this weekend?

It was only six short months ago Sveum appeared in position to become the next manager of the Red Sox–not the Cubs.

Boston, of course, eventually tabbed Bobby Valentine as its skipper citing his experience and heavy-hand outweighed Sveum’s.

But Boston has fared only slightly better than Chicago in the following six months. The Red Sox are one-game under .500 and tied for last place in the very competitive AL East.

It’s not Cubs bad, but it might as well be by Bean Town’s standards.

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Friday Ryan Dempster’s Last Start For Cubs?

By bullpenbrian - June 15, 2012 - 2:45 am Leave a comment.

Ryan Dempster has pitched the seventh-most games (369) in Cubs franchise history.

He makes his 12th start of the season and the 150th start of his Cubs career this afternoon against Boston.

This is a player Cubs faithful has grown to love, but are now faced with the distinct possibility today’s outing could be Dempster’s last wearing Cubbie blue–ending the nine-year love affair on the North Side.

Yet the sadness that permeated the air in anticipation of Kerry Wood’s departure won’t carry the same buzz as it did a few short weeks ago at Wrigley Field.

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Cubs No Better Off With DeJesus Batting Third

By bullpenbrian - June 14, 2012 - 1:01 pm Leave a comment.

David DeJesus has the tools to justify his move to the three-hole.

He’s arguably the Cubs most professional hitter. He works the count, has extra base power and understands the importance of being a situational hitter.

But that doesn’t mean DeJesus (or De-hay-zeus as Dick Stockton would say) benefits the club more from the third spot than his usual leadoff position.

If we’re judging strictly by wins and losses, the Cubs are no better off with DeJesus (3-5) batting third than Joe Mather (3-4).

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Cubs On Wrong End of Ian Stewart For Tyler Colvin Trade

By bullpenbrian - June 14, 2012 - 3:30 am 1 comment.

Ian Stewart’s bat seems to have been on the disabled list all season.

A sore left wrist, however, is what officially landed Stewart on the 15-day DL on Wednesday.

Give the guy credit for playing through the season-long pain. He’s managed to start 49 of the team’s first 61 games, but the results offensively have steadily declined.

Stewart hit .225 in April, then .169 in May. All totaled it’s a discouraging .201 average, 5 HR & 17 RBI.

It’s far from what the Cubs hoped for when they traded Tyler Colvin & DJ LeMahieu to Colorado for Casey Weathers & Stewart in early December.

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It’s Matt Garza’s Time To Shine

By bullpenbrian - June 13, 2012 - 7:07 pm Leave a comment.

Matt Garza | Photo Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Garza (2-4) 3.99 ERA is due for a big outing.

He’s winless over his last six starts posting an (0-3) record and 5.40 ERA.

His last victory was April 29 at Philadelphia. It’s also the last time Garza lasted more than six innings. We know the Cubs workhorse is capable of better.

He is, as baseball folk like to say–due.

It’s to Garza’s advantage he makes tonight’s start at home where he’s pitched particularly well going (1-0) 1.91 ERA in four outings.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are simply not hitting well as a team outside Fielder & Cabrera.

Whether Garza is positioning himself for a contract extension or a valuable trade option, it seems there’s no better time than now to make his case either way.

I’m looking forward to watching.

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Respecting Rudy Jaramillo

By bullpenbrian - June 13, 2012 - 2:00 am 4 comments.

Rudy Jaramillo must be wondering what took the Cubs so long to fire him?

He’s not a Theo guy. He doesn’t teach the ‘grind it out’ plate mentality the Cubs are looking for, and he gets paid a ton of money to fix the unfixable Cubs lineup.

Besides, who wouldn’t want out of this mess trying to make respectable hitters out of Tony Campana, Joe Mather, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Marlon Byrd and a gimpy Alfonso Soriano?

After two and half seasons spent with three different managers and the highest paycheck of any big league batting coach, what more could Jaramillo want than to be given his release and the opportunity to coach elsewhere?

His 18-years of highly acclaimed big league hitting instruction wasn’t about to fool him into believing he could help this pathetic Cubs offense any more than he already has.

Some team, some where, with true major league talent could use a guy like Jaramillo, and now he’s free to join them. What a relief that must be.

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Dealing Dempster | When & Where

By bullpenbrian - June 12, 2012 - 1:00 am 2 comments.

Ryan Dempster

Was Sunday’s outing against Minnesota the last time Ryan Dempster toes the rubber for the Cubs?

Now that Cuban prospect Jorge Soler is signed, trading Dempster appears the next move for the Cubs front office, which should begin the first of many trades for Chicago in the coming weeks. 

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Cubs | Ohio Bobcats | Graduation

By bullpenbrian - June 11, 2012 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

I spent this weekend watching the Cubs from a distance while attending my younger brother’s college graduation.

We both went to Ohio University (no, not the Buckeyes…we’re Bobcats) and this was my first visit to the campus in six years.

We bar hopped in the morning before the afternoon ceremony. Better said, he did the pub crawling, I bowed out early–Kerry Wood style–stepping away on my own terms and with my head held high–and not in the toilet.

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Mr. Cubs Race!

By bullpenbrian - June 10, 2012 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

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