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Jeff Samardzija Files For Arbitration, Bryan LaHair’s New Teammate & Ryan Theriot Picks Next World Series Winner

By bullpenbrian - January 17, 2013 - 7:00 am Leave a comment.

Bullpen Brian I usually consider the weeks following the Super Bowl to March Madness as the doldrums of television viewing. But evening programming is lacking with the absence of Blackhawks hockey (season begins Sat.).

College basketball barely registers on my radar and the NBA doesn’t do it for me either. So I ended up watching Antiques Road Show on PBS last night. I’ve never been more motivated to clean out my storage closet with the hope of finding some treasure valued at auction for $100,000. Perhaps this baseball tapestry is my ticket to financial freedom in 2013? Or, let’s just say the start of the NHL season can’t come soon enough…


  • Bryan LaHair’s newest teammate on the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks is 35 year old Vicente Padilla. He’s agreed to a 1-year, $3.25M deal after spending last season as a reliever with Boston (4-1, 4.50),
    56-games, 50.0 IP, ERA+97.
  • Why are teams are so enthralled with Kyle Farnsworth? His six seasons with the Cubs (1999-04) were five too many for my liking. However, the soon to be 37 year old is in the mix to join the Rays, where he’s spent the past two seasons. Farnsworth’s lifetime record is (40-62, 4.24) with a career 55-percent save percentage (52/94). You tell me…
  • One of our favorite former Cubs to root against, Ryan Theriot, is rumored to be headed to either Philadelphia or San Francisco according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. So is it safe to assume whichever team he signs with will go on to win the World Series while Theriot toes the Mendoza line as a scrub bench player. Ugh.
  • Jeff Samardzija filed for salary arbitration this week and seemingly has come to a mutual agreement with the Cubs to work on a 1-year deal for 2013. Although he’s under team control through 2015, it appears both sides are committed to inking a long-term contract next offseason. MLBTR.com suggest Shark will earn $2.9M for the coming season. Granted the 28 year old is coming off a breakout campaign (9-13, 3.81), 28 starts, 174.2 IP, I like the move from the Cubs’ perspective. It gives Samardzija another year to prove he’s a top of the rotation starter and a pitcher the Cubs should invest in long-term.

Cubs Need To Quiet The Riot

By bullpenbrian - October 30, 2012 - 2:00 am 11 comments.

I could have done without Ryan Theriot winning one World Series ring, let alone two. And the second ring is only slightly more tolerable because it didn’t happen with the Cardinals.

Theriot does seem to have knack for finding himself on the right side of a rivalry, whether it’s Cubs-Cards or Giants-Dodgers. Maybe it’s because he’s the devil or maybe he’s simply lucky?

Whatever the case, he’ll always remain a whipping boy for Cubs fans after ripping the organization once he was out the door in Chicago.

Hardly a day had passed after Theriot signed with the Cardinals before he felt the need to air his dirty laundry on St. Louis sports radio questioning the Cubs commitment to winning a championship and the team’s loyalty towards him.

“I’m finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.” -Theriot.

Neither was an accurate assessment. Although the Cubs could have spent its money more wisely after a disastrous 2006 season, it’s a stretch to say Jim Hendry wasn’t committed to winning, especially after the Cubs won back-to-back division titles with Theriot on the team in 2007-08.

And as far as loyalty, well, what do you make of the Cubs fostering Theriot for the better part of a decade, grooming him for the majors, giving him his first shot in the bigs and sticking with him while better options at his position were available?

I always speculated Theriot’s arbitration case with the Cubs in the winter of 2010 was the undoing of the relationship. The Cubs had not gone to arbitration with any of its players since 1993 when Mark Grace lost his case. Theriot lost his case as well.

Looking back it appeared when Theriot missed out the raise he was seeking he fingered Jim Hendry as disloyal despite the fact the Cubs had a young, up-and-coming shortstop named Starlin Castro who was a far better version of the weak-armed, light-hitting, bad base-running Theriot. It just took Theriot a few months before saying so.

Anyway it’s no wonder why Hendry didn’t want to overpay to keep Theriot’s services–and why Hendry traded him to the Dodgers later that summer.

The irritating part of course is Theriot has won two championships in his two seasons post-Cubs. And given the slow turnaround we’re seeing on the North Side, Theriot may find himself with a third ring before the Cubs even reach the postseason.

It doesn’t seem fair the Cubs former Southern charmer turned outcast is enjoying so much success while the Cubs are busy muddling around in a lengthy rebuilding process.

But there’s no denying Theriot has a nose for winning. He won in college at LSU and he’s won with the both the Cardinals and Giants in addition to the success he had with the Cubs. That, however, doesn’t make Theriot any more likeable or give credit to his gutless jabs at the Cubs.

Unfortunately we’re stuck watching this joker leech his way to the postseason for the next several seasons while the Cubs climb out of the mud, which won’t be any more fun than it is already.

The good news is Theriot was exposed as a fraud and ousted from Chicago before going down in Cubs lore as a member of the first world championship team in 100-plus seasons.

Of course it came at the coast of allowing Theriot to reach the top for now, but that eventual Cubs championship will be the ultimate elixir for all the heartbreak and what-could-have-been from years past, including Theriot’s rightful place as just another Cub who failed to win a ring.


Former Cubs In The 2012 Postseason

By bullpenbrian - October 16, 2012 - 3:45 pm Leave a comment.

Not much going for former Cubs players in the postseason this year.

Aside from the threesome of Angel Pagan, Ryan Theriot & Xavier Nady in San Francisco, the rest are out of the playoffs.

Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto, deserving or not (depending on your Cubs perspective), couldn’t fend off the A’s in Game 162 for the AL West title. Dempster blew an early 4-run lead and was shelled for 5-ER in 3.0 innings. It forced Texas into the AL play-in game, which they lost 5-1 to Baltimore.

Meanwhile, it’s a shame Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson & Jeff Baker couldn’t advance past Atlanta’s play-in game vs. St. Louis. It would’ve been enjoyable to see Maholm make his first-ever postseason start coming off the best season of his career. And who doesn’t root for Reed Johnson?

The same can be said of Mark DeRosa, whose Nationals fell to those same Cardinals in the division series. DeRosa never appeared in the series, but Chad Tracy appeared in all 5-games, going 0-for-4. And Tom Gorzelanny pitched just 0.1 of an inning, allowing one hit.

Sean Marshall appeared in 3-games for the Reds and shined in his 4.0 innings of no-run, no-hit baseball. But the Reds, of course, squandered it 2-0 series lead to lose 3-straight at home against the Giants.

Pagan is arguably having the best postseason for former Cubs while his Giants have advanced to the NLCS. He’s tied with Buster Posey with a team leading 2 HR & 5 RBI through two rounds, in addition to several defensive gems in the outfield.

Theriot and Nady have each appeared in 4-games: The Riot is 1-for-4 with 2 RBI (coming on a bases loaded single in Game 2 of the NLCS) while Nady is hitless in 4 at-bats.

I’ve never particularly enjoyed rooting for Theriot, especially after his back handed comments about the Cubs, and then his world championship spent with the Cardinals.

Pagan, however, has been a pretty good player since leaving the Cubs and joining the Mets before heading to San Fran this year. Go figure the Cubs never found enough playing time for Pagan during his two seasons spent on the North Side (2006-07).


Former Cubs Spring Stats

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


San Diego

A. Cashner


0.00 ERA

(all relief)


5 Games

5.0 Innings

4 Hits


2 Walks

6 Strikeouts

1 Save





C. Zambrano


4.82 ERA

(all starts)


3 Games

9.1 Innings

9 Hits


5 Walks

16 Strikeouts

No Ejections



M. DeRosa

.429 (6-14)

3R, 2B, HR, RBI

8 Walks


F. Pie

.158 (3-19)

2R, 2B, 3B, K


T. Colvin

.346 (9-26)

6R, 2B, 3B, HR


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



D-Lee, Marquis & Theriot

By bullpenbrian - August 1, 2011 - 2:06 am Leave a comment.

It’s weird enough the Pirates were buyers at the trade deadline. But seeing Derrek Lee suite up for Pittsburgh is simply strange!

The soon to be 36-year-old was dealt on Sunday from Baltimore for Minor Leaguer Aaron Baker.

In another weird twist of fate, Lee’s first game with the Buccos comes against the Cubs, as was the case last August when Lee was dealt from Chicago to Atlanta–switching uniforms and dugouts at Wrigley Field on August 19.

Lee posted modest numbers in 85 games with the Orioles: .246, 12 HR, 41 RBI.

As of late, however, he’s been swinging a hot stick hitting .309 with 19 RBI and 11 extra-base hits since July 8.

I couldn’t be happier for the guy. He’ll be revered in Pittsburgh for his leadership and as one of baseball’s all time ‘Good Guys’. Lee is well deserving of a divisional race, if just on professionalism alone.


More Lee Please

Derrek spent seven seasons on the North Side, 2004-10.
-.298 avg.
- 179 HR
- 239 2B
- 574 RBI
- 924 games


Another former Cub, Jason Marquis, was traded from Washington to Arizona on Saturday for Minor League SS Zach Walters.

He’s scheduled to make his first start Wednesday against San Francisco in a crucial divisional game. Arizona trails the Giants by 2.0 games.

-“This is the best I’ve seen him since Colorado,” one scout says of Marquis, who pitched for the Rockies in 2009. “His mojo is back,” a Nationals official says. “He’s got his movement again. He’s throwing strikes. He’s not the same guy as last year.”

-Marquis is 32-years-old making $7.5 million this season
-Was (8-5) with a 3.95 ERA through 20 starts with Nats.
-He’s pitched in five post seasons, including one World Series in 2004.
-Spent two years in Chicago, 2007-08, going (23-18) with a 4.57 ERA.


Love the fact St. Louis traded for Rafael Furcal, unseating Ryan Theriot from the everyday starting lineup.

I’ve had no qualms rooting against ‘The Riot’ since he dissed the Cubs this past offseason.

His comments were a cheap shot against his former team, especially considering the Cubs supported him to a fault.

So I’ll admit to gaining some pleasure watching Theriot struggle on both sides of the ball in St. Louis this year.

With Theriot near the league lead in errors and mired in a 2-for-38 slump, the Cards elected to go with an aging former All Star instead, even despite the fact Furcal joins St. Louis hitting .197 through 37 games with the Dodgers.

It’s not my nature to throw stones, but it’s gratifying knowing Theriot isn’t getting the confidence from his current team the way he did in Chicago in what’s become a what-goes-around-comes-around sort of thing.


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.


Cubs Poll – Ryan Theriot

By bullpenbrian - December 3, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

*Subscription readers, please click the link below to vote!


Theriot The New Jack Parkman

By bullpenbrian - December 1, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

When I saw the Dodgers traded Ryan Theriot to the Cardinals I immediately thought of Jack Parkman, the superstar catcher for the Cleveland Indians in Major League II.

The strapping Parkman, and his patented butt-wiggle while digging into the batter’s box, was the sensation of Cleveland’s female fans. But the love affair ends after Parkman is dealt to the rival White Sox during the season.

And here now stands Theriot, the once wildly popular sex symbol of the Chicago Cubs, playing for the arch-rival Cards.

Can’t wait for Pat Hughes to channel his inner Harry Doyle and point out that “the women in Chicago can’t stand this guy!”

Theriot is 4-for-4 against the Cubs today--four goddamn hits!


Fontenot & Theriot Update

By bullpenbrian - September 18, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

In 16 games, eight starts, Fontenot has gone 12-for-40 (.300) with one double and three RBI. He’s batting .370 with RISP, .286 vs. right-handers and .300 vs. southpaws. Overall this season he’s batting .287 with 1 HR and 23 RBI.

In 40 games with the Dodgers, Theriot is batting .253.
He’s scored 18 runs, hit five doubles, a home run and driven in eight RBI.
His 18 runs scored in August led the club.

Theriot also has 43 multi-hit games, the most on the Dodgers, and tied for 15th in the National League. In addition, he’s swiped 20 bags in 29 attempts while committing just 10 errors in 136 games between shortstop (29) and second base (105).


Early Returns Theriot For DeWitt Trade

By bullpenbrian - August 28, 2010 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Here’s a comparison of part of the Cubs’ July 31 trade that sent Ryan Theriot to L.A. for Blake Dewitt.

As early returns go, it’s been a respectful draw–their numbers as similar as their mug shots!

Ryan Theriot

24 games with L.A.
Batting .301 (28-for-93)
16 runs scored, 5 RBI, 4 doubles and 1 home run.
Has eight multi-hit efforts, including a current seven-game hitting streak.

Blake DeWitt

25 games with Chicago
Batting .301 (25-for-83)
11 runs scored, 12 RBI, 3 doubles and 3 home runs.
Has hit safely in 18 of 21 starts, including six of his last eight games.


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