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Cubs Round-Up: Rizzo, Zambrano, Cashner & Kazmir

By bullpenbrian - March 7, 2013 - 10:00 am Leave a comment.

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo should be in the starting lineup for team Italy’s first game in the World Baseball Classic this afternoon (2pm CST) against Mexico at Salt River Fields in Arizona. Italy next plays Canada tomorrow (3:30pm CST).

On Saturday team Italy, as part of Pool D (Italy, Mexico, Canada & United States), moves to Chase Field in Arizona where the Italians square off against the U.S. at 10pm CST.

Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk spoke with Rizzo following Italy’s 4-3 exhibition loss against the A’s on Tuesday and asked him his thoughts on being introduced as “Anthony RIT-tso” by the P.A. announcer.

“I think I’ll enjoy that this week,” said Rizzo.


The man Rizzo was traded for, Andrew Cashner, is listed as the Padres’ bellwether player for 2013 by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation.

“Just about the best-looking pitcher this side of Strasburg. But it’s almost certainly preferable to be the best-pitching pitcher. To do that, you have to pitch. The same caveat applies to a lot of Padres, but none more than Cashner.”


Carlos Zambrano is still searching for a big-league contract this spring while pitching for Venezuela in the WBC according to Hardball Talk. Meanwhile, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports Big Z could pitch in Japan or Taiwan if he doesn’t catch on with an MLB team by the end of spring camp.

Zambrano pitched so poorly for the Marlins through 20 starts last season (5-9, 4.54) he was demoted to the bullpen in late June, finishing the season
(7-10, 4.49) with an 88 ERA+.

Barring injury, however, I think Zambrano lands an MLB offer soon enough– even if he’s so-so in the WBC. With so many teams starved for starting pitching, the 31-year-old should become an attractive arm at an affordable price.


Cubs scouts were on hand to watch left-hander Scott Kazmir throw in a B Game with the Indians this week. As Matt Snyder of CBS Sports points out, Kazmir is only 29-years-old.

“Remember, this is a two-time All-Star who led the American League in strikeouts in 2007 when he was only 23. He appeared to have long-lasting ace potential until he fell apart from 2009-11, culminating with a 17.02 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Salt Lake in 2011. His major issue was control, as Kazmir walked 20 hitters in 15 1/3 innings during that short Triple-A stint. The four spring innings this year are far too small a sample to reach any firm conclusion, but the zero walks so far are a great sign.”

I thought the Cubs would give Kazmir a stronger look last offseason considering they had Randy Wells, Andy Sonnastine and Chris Volstad as rotation possibilities. But if Kazmir shows signs of becoming his old self again, there’s certain to be plenty of competition to land his services.

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Rizzo for Cashner Headlines All-Time Cubs-Padres Trades

By bullpenbrian - August 8, 2012 - 7:30 pm 1 comment.

There’s no question how impactful the Cubs trade for Anthony Rizzo was this offseason.

January 6, 2012: Cubs trade Kyung-Min Na (minors) & Andrew Cashner to Padres for Zach Cates (minors) & Anthony Rizzo.

With just 36 games under his belt, including this evening’s contest at San Diego, it’s evident Theo & Jed knew exactly what kind of super-talented player they were dealing for on January 6, 2012.

Rizzo hasn’t disappointed. In fact, all early indications show the 23-year-old is the long-term fix at first base and the three-hole; and that’s excluding his potential leadership qualities and ability to become the new face of the franchise.

Andrew Cashner, the prized return piece in the deal, is also a very talented player with Rizzo-like potential. But it’s looking more like the soon to be 26-year-old wouldn’t have been of the same value to the Cubs as Rizzo appears to be already.

Injuries, mainly, have held Cashner at bay since the trade. And while all teams are in need of power-arms, there’s something to be said for the Cubs gaining a solid position player to fill an everyday need on both sides of the diamond.

Historically the Cubs and Padres haven’t hooked up on many trades. Rizzo for Cashner is easily the headliner. But here’s a look at some of the other notable trades between the two organizations:

  • June 20, 2007: Cubs trade Michael Barrett & cash to Padres for Kyler Burke (minors) & Rob Bowen.
  • July 31, 2006: Cubs trade Todd Walker to Padres for Jose Ceda.
  • February 12, 1988: Padres trade Rich Gossage & Ray Hayward to Cubs for Mike Brumley & Keith Moreland.
  • April 25, 1969: Padres trade Dick Selma to Cubs for Frankie Libran, Joe Niekro & Gary Ross.
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Former Cubs Spring Stats

By bullpenbrian - March 19, 2012 - 12:29 am Leave a comment.

Pitching

San Diego

A. Cashner

(0-0)

0.00 ERA

(all relief)

 

5 Games

5.0 Innings

4 Hits

 

2 Walks

6 Strikeouts

1 Save

Miami

 

 

 

C. Zambrano

(0-0)

4.82 ERA

(all starts)

 

3 Games

9.1 Innings

9 Hits

 

5 Walks

16 Strikeouts

No Ejections

Hitting

Washington

M. DeRosa

.429 (6-14)

3R, 2B, HR, RBI

8 Walks

Cleveland

F. Pie

.158 (3-19)

2R, 2B, 3B, K

Colorado

T. Colvin

.346 (9-26)

6R, 2B, 3B, HR

7 RBI

D. LeMahieu

.214 (3-14)

2R, 2 RBI

2 Steals

San Francisco

M. Fontenot

.333 (6-18)

5R, 3-2B, 3 BB

 

R. Theriot

.200 (6-30)

5R, 2B, HR

4 RBI

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Cubs Fifth Starter Poll

By bullpenbrian - March 18, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.
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Cubs’ Pen Needs Andrew Cashner

By bullpenbrian - March 3, 2010 - 2:23 am Leave a comment.

Lou says the bullpen is an open competition this spring, which is a bit unusual.

Most clubs reserve bullpen spots for veterans only, but I like the competition.

Not only will spring games be more meaningful, but it appears the Cubs are committed to taking the best arms north for Opening Day–regardless of seniority.

One odds on favorite to make the staff is the Cubs’ first-round pick from 2008, right-hander Andrew Cashner–a Jonathan Papelbon like talent.

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