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Dempster Right Choice For Opening Day

By bullpenbrian - March 22, 2012 - 4:00 pm Leave a comment.

Even if Dale Sveum isn’t saying it, the Cubs Opening Day start was Ryan Dempster’s to lose.

That’s the only way to explain Sveum’s ‘open’ competition for the rotation’s No.1 spot between Dempster and Matt Garza.

Otherwise, Sveum has a no-brainer decision selecting Garza, a 28-year-old stud who was the Cubs best starter in 2011, vs. the soon to be 35-year-old Dempster coming off a career-worse 14-loss season.

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Cubs Spring Stats Hot & Cold

By bullpenbrian - March 16, 2012 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

 

Hot Spring Batters:

Average

Extra Base Hits

RBI

A. Soriano

.450

7 (4 HR)

6

J. Mather

.444

3

6

D. Barney

.421

4

7

 

Cold Spring Batters:

Average

Extra Base Hits

RBI

G. Soto

.200

x

x

D. DeJesus

.167

2

x

J. Vitters

.154

2

2

 

Hot Spring Pitchers:

Record

Games

Innings

ERA

R. Lopez

(0-0)

3

7.0

2.57

J. Samardzija

(1-0)

2

6.0

3.00

L. Castillo

(0-0)

4

5.0

1.80

 

Cold Spring Pitchers:

Record

Games

Innings

ERA

M. Garza

(1-1)

2

3.1

16.20

C. Marmol

(1-1)

4

3.2

17.80

T. Wood

(1-1)

2

2.2

20.25

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New Season New No. For Cubs

By bullpenbrian - February 14, 2012 - 2:01 am 2 comments.

Several Cubs changed uniform numbers this winter. Several more are sporting Cubbie Blue for the first time.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers some of our Cubs will be wearing during the 2012 season.

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Garza, Soriano & Pena

By bullpenbrian - January 17, 2012 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

Trade rumors for the Cubs have been relatively quite since early last week.

Not even the Cubs Convention stirred the pot, with the excessive fanfare coming and going with barely a peep about possible trades including Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano or others. But that doesn’t mean I’m without suspicions.

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Why The Cubs Will Trade Matt Garza

By bullpenbrian - January 2, 2012 - 2:01 am 4 comments.

Look at the Cubs current roster and it makes sense why a potential trade of Matt Garza seemingly gains steam everyday.

The Cubs need help, and a lot of it, to eventually compete beyond the 2012 season.

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Cubs Pitching Staff 2012

By bullpenbrian - December 19, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Projected pitching staff with current roster.

STARTERS:
-Matt Garza RHP
-Ryan Dempster RHP
-Carlos Zambrano RHP (updated Thursday January 5th)
-Chris Volstad RHP
-Randy Wells RHP
*Jeff Samardzija RHP

MIDDLE RELIEF:
-Andrew Cashner RHP
-Chris Carpenter RHP
-Marcus Mateo RHP

LEFT HANDED RELIEF:
-James Russell LHP
-Sean Marshall LHP

CLOSER:
-Carlos Marmol RHP

ON THE BUBBLE:
*Casey Coleman RHP
*Rodrigo Lopez RHP
*John Gaub LHP
*Scott Maine LHP

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Cubs Trading Matt Garza?

By bullpenbrian - November 23, 2011 - 2:54 am Leave a comment.

I’m torn on whether or not the Cubs should trade Matt Garza.

On one hand you have a strong starting pitcher who’s entering his prime, is capable of 15 or more wins per year, and is under contract for two more seasons.

On the other hand, Garza, 27, is at the height of his trade value and could easily fetch prime talent in return, such as what Tampa received in the very deal that brought Garza to Chicago, or in one similar to the Zach Greinke trade from K.C. to Milwaukee.

My gut feeling is not to trade your best starting pitcher, even with the Cubs in dire straights to plug holes at numerous positions. Then again, trading the right-hander could set in motion a long-term fix to reaching the postseason.

Theo and Jed, take your pick.

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Cubs 2011 Cy Young Award

By bullpenbrian - October 18, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

Here’s my voting for the Cubs’ 2011 Cy Young Award.

1. Sean Marshall: Set the Cubs’ single-season ‘Holds’ record with 34. Allowed just 19 earned runs in 75.2 IP, arguably the Cubs’ 2011 MVP as well.

2. Matt Garza: His 10 wins are a poor reflection of his overall performance, nearly reached 200 IP (198.0), and 200 strikeouts (197), made 31 starts with a 3.32 ERA. Should easily have 3 to 4 more wins.

3. Ryan Dempster: Led the Cubs in both starts (34) and Quality Starts (21), topped the 200-innings mark (202.1), and registered 191 strikeouts.

4. Jeff Samardzija: Made 75 appearances, all from the bullpen, posting a 2.97 ERA and 8.90 K/9, won 8 games vs. 4 losses, got stronger as the season wore on.

5. Kerry Wood: Posted a 10.06 K/9, had 21 Holds, 1.29 WHIP, and 3.35 ERA in 55 outings.

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Cubs Score Big—For Lopez

By bullpenbrian - September 13, 2011 - 1:05 am Leave a comment.

Victory aside, it must have been a frustrating night for Randy Wells and Matt Garza.

Both tough-luck starters watched from the bench as the Cubs’ offense torched the Reds for 12 runs on 16 hits.

The 12 runs scored Monday night ties the Cubs’ season-high set against the Brewers on June 16 and provided more than enough offense for Rodrigo Lopez (5-6) to pick up the win despite allowing five earned runs and four longballs through 5.1 innings–Not exactly your quality start.

That’s clearly unfair from a pitcher’s standpoint considering Wells and Garza both tossed seven strong innings on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but ended up with a combined five runs of support and two no-decisions.

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The Happiest Man In Baseball

By bullpenbrian - July 20, 2011 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Another tough-luck loss for Matt Garza.

Three of his last four starts have been terrific, well deserving of a win, but the Cubs just don’t score behind him.

-7/2  – Complete game 1-0 loss vs. White Sox
-7/14 – Seven shutout innings in 6-3 loss vs. Marlins (Marmol blew save)
-7/19 – Seven innings of 1-R ball in 4-2 loss vs. Philly (Marshall blew save)

Garza is (4-7) through 18 starts. His adjusted win record is (7-5). The Cubs have blown the lead in four of his starts, including Tuesday night.

+++

How huge was Starlin Castro’s first inning home run?

Cliff Lee entered the game having allowed one run or less in 6 of his last 7 starts. Castro erased that with one swing of the bat!

Lee, however, quickly returned to form looking more like the guy who went (5-0) with a 0.21 ERA in June.

He fanned six Cubs, walked none and left the game after six innings having tossed 89 pitches. Another ho-hum outing for the lefty.

+++

Goevany Soto’s throwing error marked the Cubs’ 85th miscue this season–worst in the majors.

Philly, on the other hand, sports the top fielding percentage in the National League with just 45 errors on the season.

The Philles have committed 2 errors over its last 73.0 innings played.

+++

More Reed Please
Since April 12 Johnson is batting .354 with an OBP of .384.
He continues to smash left-handed pitching at a .320 clip, including two doubles and a
single on Tuesday.
Why isn’t Reed in the starting lineup more often?

+++

Who’s the happiest man in baseball?
Jeff Keppinger, that’s who!
The utility infielder was traded from Houston to San Fran on Tuesday.
In less than 24 hours Keppinger went from the major’s worst team to a divsion leading
one–an improvement of 25 wins!

+++

Trader Jack McKeon on his decision to remove reliever Randy Choate in the ninth inning of Monday’s game against the Mets with a count of 2-0 against Lucas Duda:

-I’m interested in winning,” McKeon said. “I thought that was the right move. It’s nothing personal. I just had the feeling—this is the move I have to make. And it worked.”

-“I’m trying to emphasize how to win, leave your egos at the door. That’s No. 1.”

No surprise the Marlins have played winning baseball since McKeon took over in June (15-10).

+++

Wire Watch

Former Cubs:
-Chad Gaudin, DFA by Washington.
-Aaron Heilman released by Arizona.

-Baltimore transferred Brian Roberts from 15-Day DL to 60-Day DL.
-Mets activated Jose Reyes from the 15-Day DL.

+++

NL Central Watch

First place Pirates blank Reds 1-0.
Mets beat St. Louis 4-2.
Milwaukee tops Arizona 11-3.

Pit – x
Mil – 1.0
StL – 1.5
Cin – 5.0

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