Monday, May 31, 2010

If I was the GM and Manager...

To start off with, I can probably do a better job than both. But I will start with "if I was the GM". These are moves I would make in weeks and moves I would be working on all the day.

1) Trade Derrek Lee: He is a free agent after the year and is aging. I think right now the Cubs could get decent prospects for him. Trade him to the Angels, they need a 1B badly and Lee probably will fit that need. Seems not a perfect scenario to me. I know Lee has a NTC but he has said before he will waive his NTC to a west coast team. Because that is where his family lives.

2) Trade Kosuke Fukudome: He still has value but Jim Hendry waited to late to trade him. I would of ask the Yankees if they wanted him as they have always have interest in Kosuke even when the Cubs signed him. This is when the Yanks lost Granderson but now Winn and Thames are doing a pretty good job as replacements. Also Kosuke only has a good April and that is it so why is he still on the team. Hendry should know that but he does not get it. This will also open up a spot for 24 year old rookie Tyler Colvin.

3) Trade Ted Lilly: I know this is not an ideal move but the Cubs need to get younger and Lilly is a free agent after the year. He is a lefty that is above average and has pitched great in his last 2 outings. Teams maybe looking for a rental in pitching should look at the Cubs because he won't cost as much as some pitchers do. He is also a lefty which is hard to come by. Also this will open up a roster spot for top pitching prospect Andrew Cashner who should not be in the bullpen.

4) Trade Ryan Theriot: I know this is probably not the best move but he is still kind of young but getting older as the years past. He does hit a lot of singles and multi hit games but he is a below average infielder with OK speed. I would trade him for average prospects.

5) Call-up Darwin Barnery: In corresponding move to trading Theriot. I would call Barney up who is batting .312 for Triple A Iowa this year. He is 24 years old and plays above average defence. He also has above average speed and I think would do a better job than Theriot. I would not insert Fontenot as the starting 2B because to me he is only good as the utility man.

6) DFA John Grabow: First you will have to see if someone will take him off of your hands by putting him us a DFA and see if a team will claim him. But everybody should know that is not going to happen and try to see if he will go to the minors to get some work in. But if that does not work, release and pay his contract. (But if I was the GM in the offseason, I would of signed him but not for the much because he did do pretty good last year).

7) Release Bob Howry: There is no need for him on the team as the Cubs are getting younger and younger players can go to the pen to get work in. (This is another move, if I was the GM, I would of never made). I would just pay his 410,000 get him off the team.

8) Trade Tom Gorzelanny and either Baker or Fontenot for a relief pitcher: The relief pitcher would have to be young as the Cubs would be more of a younger team. The Cubs have so many infielders so one has to go and with the Cubs adding Gorzelanny who has pitch pretty good this year, I think that can happen if you put your mind to it.

9) Shop Ramirez, Zambrano, Silva and Soriano: This is only to get there contracts off the book. But if a team wants the Cubs to pay majority of the contract, I say no then. And don't trade any of them. I think all these players will be on the team when the season comes to an end.

10) Put Aramis Ramirez on DL: He is not helping the ball club and when you have a 29 year old in Triple A who is hitting over .400, bring him up. That is to simple of an answer. So it would be, Call up Chad Tracy. Who is also a pretty good defender.

11) Call up Jackson and Diamond: This will fit 2 needs in the bullpen as both are pitching lights out in Triple A and should be on the ball club now. Scouts has praised Jackson's breaking ball and Diamond is a former first round pick of the Rangers.

12) Call-up LaHair, Fuld, and Snyder to fill Bench: Brian LaHair would be the backup 1B for Nady who will need one as he recovers from arm surgery and will need days off here and there. Sam Fuld will fill as the defensive replacement for Alfonso Soriano in late innings and occasional starts. And Brad Snyder will fill as the Cubs 4th OF who is doing pretty good for Triple A Iowa this year.

This is what I would leave the manager: Starters first, reserves second.
C: Soto, Hill
1B: Nady, LaHair
2B: Barney, Fontenot or Baker
SS: Casstro, Barney, Fontenot (if not traded with Gorzo)
3B: Tracy, Fontenot or Baker
OF: Soriano, Byrd, Colvin, Snyder, Fuld.
SP: Zambrano, Dempster, Wells, Silva, Cashner
RP: Marmol, Marshall, Russell, Diamond, Jackson, Stevens, the relief pitcher the Cubs get for Gorzo and Baker or Fontenot.

I know all this moves won't happen right away if at all but these are moves I would like to make and I think it will help the ball-club now and for the future.

Now "if I was the manager". There is not a lot to do right here but lineup and etc.

1) Starlin Castro SS
2) Tyler Colvin RF
3) Xavier Nady 1B
4) Malon Byrd CF
5) Chad Tracy 3B
6) Alfonso Soriano LF
7) Geovany Soto C
8) Darwin Barney 2B
9) Pitcher P

* For some reason I love that lineup with speed at top 2, power, power, contact so he can get on base for Soriano, power, power, contact with speed and then pitcher.

Starting rotation:
1) Carlos Zambrano
2) Ryan Dempster
3) Randy Wells
4) Carlos Silva
5) Andrew Cashner (for now but if he pitches good, he will move up)

Relief pitching:
Closer: Carlos Marmol
Lefty set-up: Sean Marshall:
Righty set-up: Pitcher Cubs get for Gorzo or either Baker of Fontenot
LHP: James Russell
RHP: Thomas Diamond
RHP: Jay Jackson
RHP: Jeff Stevens

1) Koyie Hill C
2) Mike Fontenot or Jeff Baker U
3) Brian LaHair 1B
4) Brad Snyder 4th OF
5) Sam Fuld 5th OF

This is how I would shape up the team if this is how the "brilliant" GM left it for me.

(If I was new owner and chairman Tom Ricketts, I would FIRE Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry first then make all these moves.)

I think if the Cubs did look like this, they will win more games and perhaps make the playoffs too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Who Gets Sent Down...

As we all know this by now, the Cubs are going to call-up top pitching prospects Andrew Cashner (top pitching prospect and third best prospect out all Cubs prospects) or Jay Jackson. As of right now, it has to be Andrew Cashner because he was just sent to the bullpen in Triple A Iowa to get ready for this call-up. And Jay Jackson took Cashner's spot in the rotation. So why would you call-up Jackson if he is not in the bullpen and in the starting rotation? They wouldn't, so this is pretty much an obvious choice of who is getting called up on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

According to sources close to the Cubs, Andrew Cashner will be getting the call. As for me, I do not like that move because they wanted Cashner to be a starter and only a stater. But now he is going to the bullpen and I am afraid if they keep switching him from relief to starter it will mess him up. But I hope not. The good thing is, Cashner was the closer for TCU and became a starter and he was good in both roles.

The better question would be, who gets sent down or release-DFA? Right now, if everything goes to plan Tom Gorzelanny will go to the bullpen and then the Cubs will have 4 lefties (Grabow, Marshall, Russell and Gorzelanny) and 3 righties (Marmol, Howry, and Stevens or Cashner). 4 lefties in the pen will be disaster and will not work out. You always need more righties in the pen. That could change plans if they sent Wells to the pen after his crappy outing on Friday (5er, 6 hits and did not even record an out). If that were to happen, no doubt in my mind Stevens will be sent down even when he has pitched pretty good this year so far.

Let's just go with that they send Gorzlennay to the pen. What do they do? I have absolutely no clue and can't wait to see what they do. Gorzelanny and Marshall can't be sent down because they have no options and will have to clear waivers first and that won't happen. Russell has pitched way to good to be send and probably has been the Cubs 3rd best relief pitcher this year. Then it leaves Grabow, I wish the Cubs will just release him or DFA him, he is not helping the Cubs he is and losing way more games than winning. We probably all know, he won't be release he is making to much money (2 years at 7 million) and he is a veteran. But this is the only move that makes sense.

Also could there be a trade on the way? I say no because there is nothing out there.

I can say this, it will be an interesting decision that will be made in the next upcoming days. And only can wait and see.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trade SP for RP...

As we all know, the Cubs bullpen needs help badly as they are almost in last in relief pitching. They need help outside of Marshall, Marmol and sometimes Russell. But guys like Grabow and Howry are just plain awful this year. Then you have guys like Stevens who have rarely pitched since being called up and Gorzelanny who has not pitched out of the bullpen yet. So it could be "still determined".

If you haven't figure it out yet, the title means "trade starting pitching for relief pitching". The name that sticks out is Tom Gorzelanny who was moved to the bullpen according to reports. This will leave a spot open for Carlos Zambrano was is expected to join the rotation in Pittsburgh next week.

Also according to multiple reports the Cubs will eventually shop Gorzlelanny but are not right now. In these same reports, it says the Cubs will shop Gorzo for relief help. And who wouldn't trade an average relief pitcher for a guy who can pitch as a starter and out of the bullpen. And get the job done no matter where he pitches. His stats are also pretty good this year and can help any team out.

So that is why I think Tom Gorzelany will be the starting pitcher to be traded for relief help if any pitcher is traded. I think Gorzelanny can be traded straight up for an average relief pitcher but maybe if the Cubs add another piece they can get a better relief pitcher. But, however there is like no one available because the baseball season is only in May and from now till the deadline teams can crawl back into contention and fall out of contention. So players might be taken off the trade black and might be added depending on the teams life to make the playoffs.

As of right now I have no clue who is available for the Cubs to go after and who will want Gorzelanny right now. So we will just have to wait and see what happens in the upcoming weeks or months. But I do expect there to be interest in Gorzo and also who the Cubs have interest in.

Other pitchers that could be made available come the trade deadline and could be available now. Those players are Lilly because he is a free agent after the year and if the Cubs won't make the playoffs there is not point to hold onto him if they won't re-sign him after the season. The other player is Carlos Zambrano (aka Big Z) but the two things that might handcuffed the Cubs is his NTC and his untractable contract. I mean he is still young at 28 and I think he has lots of potential left in him. If the Cubs payed majority of his contract, they can get something for Big Z if he waives his NTC. That is what I think.

So will Gorzelanny be traded for relief help? I say yes with all the indications from the media but I don't believe Zambrano or Lilly will be traded.

Over the weekend on either Saturday or Sunday, I will have an article on "Send down Colvin". I know that sounds stupid but I will have backing and why I think that. So don't be like WTF or WTH are you talking about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bring up the Youngsters...

To start off with, this probably won't have for 2 years or so because of the veterans and the big contract that no one wants in the MLB. But I thought it would be a good thing to talk about.

Pitchers in the minors that have already been mention to maybe getting the call to the majors are Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson and Casey Coleman. Whom are all starting pitchers and I don't know if the Cubs want to put them in the bullpen to screw them up with the endurance and stretching them out wrong. That is why they think Jeff Samardzija is not pitching that good anymore because he kept switching from starter to reliever. The reason they will go to the bullpen is the Cubs starting rotation is pitching so good right now, there are veterans besides Randy Wells are are making to much to go the bullpen (don't think about the Zambrano case) Lets look at what the Cubs starting rotation is making (this is counting this year too).

1) Carlos Zambrano is going back to the rotation and I am putting him number 1 for now: He has 4 years left on his contract for 73 million.
2) Ryan Dempster: He has 2 years left with a player option on his contract, he will make 26 million guarantee over the next 2 years with a 14 million player option.
3) Ted Lilly is a free agent after the 2010 season and is making 12 million in 2010.
4) Randy Wells: He is making 427,00 until arbitration.
5) Carlos Silva: He has 2 years left with a mutual option worth 12 million and a 2 million buyout. In the 2 years Silva will make 23 million.

As you can see, it will be hard to trade Zambrano with all that money on his contract and no one really has interest in him. But Chris De Luca said today don't be surprise to see teams call for Zambrano. That shock me a little. I think if the Cubs were to become sellers, Dempster and maybe Silva can be trades without paying any of contract but I think Silva you will have to but Dempster, I say no. If that would be the case, I think the Cubs keep Wells because he is only 27 and still young. Also remember this Zambrano is still young at 28 so he can still help for years.

A look at the youngsters that could get the call for pitching:
1) Jay Jackson: He is 22 years and has posted a record of 3-3 with a era of 1.99 for Iowa Cubs.
2) Andrew Cashner: He won Triple A player of the week posting a 3-0 record with a 0.95 era. Cashner is 23 years old and since he has been in Triple A, he has posted the above stats.
3) Casey Coleman: He is 22 years old and has posted a 5-3 record with a 3.36 era for the Iowas Cubs.

So if the Cubs were to put these 3 in the bullpen, there bullpen might actyallu be good and the Cubs will win lots more games. The Cubs can release Grabow and Howry and send down Jeff Stevens. But we all know the Cubs won't release Grabow because of what he is making. Another mistake by Jim Hendry by not giving the youngsters time to shine. Going into the season the Cubs were going to have problems with the bullpen because of age but with theses moves the bullpen gets younger. The ages in the bullpen would be, 28 (Marmol), 27 (Marshall), 27 (Russell), 27 (Gorzelanny), 23 (Cashner), 22 (Coleman) and 22 (Jackson). That is young but if they can throw strikes and get outs, age does not matter. The only question remains, will the Cubs put these pitchers in the bullpen when the are starters? I have to say yes because they won't get a chance at the starting rotation for at least 2 years because of the contracts in the rotation.

Young players that are not pitchers that could make the team is a tear or so:
3B Josh Vitters: He is currently playing for Double A and is making progress after a wrist-hand injury last year. There has been speculation that he could move over to 1B when Derrek Lee leaves whenever that time comes. At this point, the Cubs do not have a 1B prospect close to the majors and lee is in last year of his contract. But I doubt he leaves and the Cubs will be OK for now.
OF Brett Jackson: He has put up OK numbers in the minors but does give you another player who can leadoff with his speed and plays good defence. He also has a good eye and has been improving.
SS Darwin Barney: Can he move over from SS to 3B like what Alex Rodriguez did? I wish he could so the Cubs can move Vitters to 1B and keep Castro at SS. We will just have to wait and see what the Cubs do with all there top prospects as middle infielders.
SS Hak-Ju-Lee: If he does make the major leagues, he will most likely move over to 2B and be Castro's double play partner. But as of right now he is not hitting but still young. He is only in Low Single A, Peoria Chiefs.

I think all these players besides Barney will be a September call-up in the 201ii seasons. I think Barney will be a September call-up this season. Barney is tearing up Triple A pretty much.

Lineup and starting rotation for the 2012 season:
1) SS Starlin Castro
2) OF Brett Jackson
3) 1B Josh Vitters
4) LF Alfonso Soriano-Marlon Byrd platooning
5) RF Tyler Colvin
6) C Geovany Soto
7) 3B Darwin Barney (this is what I would do, try and switch him)
8) 2B Hak-Ju-Lee
9) P Pitcher

Starting Rotation;
1) Carlos Zambrano
2) Andrew Cashner
3) Randy Wells
4) Jay Jackson
5) Casey Coleman

By this time the Cubs will have a new manager (Ryne Sandberg) who I think will be open to playing young players and I think the Cubs will have a new GM (Greg Maddux) that is going to build around younger players and the farm system. We all know, if the Cubs don't make the playoff this year Pinella and Hendry will be gone and is probably best for the organinzation.

Now to get to me, I would love the Cubs to be young and I am probably not the only one to agree with that statement. The Cubs farm system is improving every year and made a big jump going into the 2010 season. If that is the case, this could work and they could be a good team for years to come. And win lots of WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What to do with Grabow...

As everybody knows. relief pitcher John Grabow has look awful so far this season. It seems like he is throwing a beach ball to home plate because he is getting hit so easily and giving up a run in every game he pitches. The run usually comes after he walks a batter which occurs every game also.

John Grabow came over in the trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 30th of last year. He came over with current 5th starter Tom Gorzellany. Last year he was pretty good, better than Gorzelanny but this year Gorzelanny has out match him by a long shot.

Stats with the Cubs:
In 2009: He pitched 72.1 innings giving up 27 earned runs and 40 walks while posting a 3.36era.
In 2010: He pitched 16 innings giving up 15 earned runs and 10 walks while posting a 8.44era.

So looking at the stats from this year to last year he is giving up a run a inning but he still walks a lot of batters.

Going into the season, Grabow was expected be the lefty 8th inning guy along with Angel Guzman and Esmalin Caridad (who are both on the DL). Now lefty Sean Marshall is the 8th inning guy along with Carlos Zambrano (kind of but not for long).

Starting on opening day, Grabow was the only pitcher in his 30's to be in the bullpen and Pinella will have faith in him because he is a veteran but that has not been the case. Pinella has lost faith in him every outing he makes and now will not come into a lot of close games.

Did the Cubs sign Bob Howry to take his spot? I don't think they did, I think they wanted a cheaper upgrade that wouldn't cost much (signed him for 410,000) and another veteran in the bullpen. Will he do better than Grabow? He can't do worse and I say he does and surprise all Cubs fans. That could be hope but who knows.

Will the Cubs DFA or release RP John Grabow? There is no way! The Cubs will not release him because he has 7 million left his contract and he is a veteran. If the Cubs did DFA him, no one will claim him because of his 2 years 7 million contract.

Verdict: Like I said, there is no way he is going to be release so if that is the case I would put him in blowout games for either side and see if he can get back to pitching perfect 1 innings. If he does that, pith him in more important games and go like that. But I do think there is a chance Howry will take over the spot he has pitch all season besides Grabow being a lefty specialist.

I guess we should just wait and see how he pitches in the next upcoming weeks. I hope for the best because the Cubs need him in the weak bullpen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Howry Back to Chicago...

According to David Kaplan, the Cubs have reach an agreement with relief pitcher Bob Howry for the minimum salary. Bob Howry was just released by the Arizona Diamondbacks last week. Kaplan says it is a "done deal" according to people close to Howry.

Howry played for the Cubs 2 seasons and that was 2 years ago. But since leaving Chicago, Howry has pitch horrible and the Cubs will hope that will change. The Cubs need a veteran in the bullpen and he is a cheap option. Will he help? The Cubs organization and Cubs fans will hope. He is expected to be at Wrigley on Friday when the Cubs play the Texas Rangers.

So who gets sent down? I say recent call-up Jeff Stevens. But that can change on how Berg or Russell pitches in the next few days. Also how Stevens pitches too.

Also on that note, the reason Stevens got called-up is because the Cubs put Esmanlin Caridad back on the 15 day DL with inflammation in his throwing arm.

So we just have to wait and see how he produces back in a Chicago uniform.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is D-Lee Being Shoped...

As the Cubs continue to struggle, will they try and unload there all-star 1B Derek Lee. Well according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Cubs are willing to trade Lee. That is according to MLB executives. This is also coming out of Boston where the Red Sox have been looking for a 1B for the last year or so. With trades falling for Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez (Gonzo) and Brewers 1B Price Fielder. Now could they have interest in Cubs 1B Derrek Lee? As of right now, I say no because Lee has been struggling and I highly doubt they want to take on the 13 million left on his contract. When they are pretty much not in contention right now but that can change in the next month. When the deadline gets closer.

If I was GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs organization, I would wait on a trade because he is starting to get out of his hitting funk, he is a good clubhouse guy, a gold glove 1B and right now, the won't get much in return.

Hold ups that could hurt a trade for Derrek Lee is that he has a no trade cause and he said he wants to end his career in Chicago. And may not waiver his cause to another team. Also new owner-chairman Tom Ricketts loves Derrek Lee as a player and as a guy and probably does not want Lee to leave. But sign an extension to end his career in Chicago.

Also if Lee is traded, who plays 1B. It would be Xavier Nady but he is not an upgrade over Lee and a big down grade. They also don't have a good 1B prospect in the minors. Unless the speculation of 3B Josh Vitters will move to 1B. That is it then.

Member this, the Cubs are only 5.5 games back of first place and one win streak can put the Cubs in first or close. And I can see that happening soon.

So do you think the Cubs will trade Lee anytime soon or before the deadline? I say no because of the above reasons. Also I won't be happy because he is my favorite Cub but if he did get traded, I would switch my attention to 20 year old SS Starlin Castro as my favorite Cub.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Really Theriot...

To start off with, I am not a Theriot hater but he is starting to bug me with his at-bats. I know over the past week, I want Castro to become the leadoff man. But people and the Cubs coaching staff thinks he is to young and to much of an aggressive swinger. But what is Theriot doing now that Castro wouldn't do?

During yesterdays game in back-to-back at-bats Ryan Theriot swung at the first pitch on both at-bats and hits a soft grounder to one of the infielders. He really has no speed to beat those outs and there goes 1 out on the scoreboard.

A leadoff man is suppose to take pitches for the batters after you to see what the pitcher is throwing and make contact with the ball. Like today with a man on third base with 1 out, Theriot strikes out and that pretty much put the game away.

So what would Castro do different? To me a lot, he is actually taking pitches and walks. Now with the Cubs not winning, why won't you switch Castro to the leadoff spot and Theriot to the 8th spot? I can say this, I would make that move in a heart beat but I would of done it a week ago.

Since Theriot switch positions from shortstop to second base, he has hit for a low average and has had a hard time getting on base. So could that be why he is not hitting? As I can see it, that would be my guess but who knows. Maybe he will start getting on base way more and this move does not have to happen but right now it does.

Will this move happen soon or ever? Only time will tell!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Lineup, I would like the See...

This is the lineup I would like to see now or maybe down the road. With inexperience players in the places that they may not be ready for. I will have the number in the batting order and why I think they should bat right there. It will go in order, 1-8.

1) SS Startlin Castro: A lot of people may think he is to young and is too much of an aggressive swinger but could this be the shakeup in the Cubs lineup? He gets a piece of the ball almost every time, has speed and can out beat infield singles. Too me, he has everything in a leadoff man and I would like to see him in the one hole. It doesn't hurt to try. Maybe with him being in the one hole, he will take more pitches and more walks with the help of Rudy. I don't see this move happening now but I do see it happening sometime this season.

2) RF Kosuke Fukudome: I think this is the ideal position in the order. He usually gets contact with the ball and if the number 1 hitter can get on base. He can lay down a bunt or get the guy to 2nd. Also he's a good hit in run candidate. As of right now, he is getting on base with a .300 average and takes walks like a 2 hitter should.

3) CF Marlon Byrd: He has hit anywhere from 1st-6th in the order. I think the 3 hole is a good spot for him because he is getting on base regularly and has average power like a 3 hitter does. He also runs good for a big guy and one hell of a baserunner. A way better addition than Bradley, well duh. He is hitting in the 3 hole right now and should just leave it alone for now.

4) 1B Derrek Lee: He is definitely not a clean up hitter because he does not have a lot of power or he is not showing it this year like he did last year. But when Pinella move him the the 4 hole, he started to hit. 2 doubles on Tuesday and 2 singles on Wednesday. If a guy is hitting the ball why change him in the order that is just dumb. But if he starts not to hit, switch him with Byrd.

5) 3B Aramis Ramirez: I know you are probably like NO, not hitting, should be 8th or something but he does have power and on one swing he can hit the ball over the wall in the outfield. Over the last week or so he has hit the ball with more authority and has had better at-bats. Batting 5th could jump start him and get back to his old form.

6) LF Alfonso Soriano: This is the most obvious choice in the lineup. He has been the 6th hitter pretty much all season and has exceed in this spot. When he was move to the 5 hole, he struck out 2 times, swung at those sliders and went 0-4. So he should stay right here and he will be good. He will stay here too.

7) C Geovany Soto: He probably should be higher in the order but the last couple games, he has not look so great like earlier in the season. But I think he will be fine and keep hitting the ball like he is right now. I think he could move up to the 5 hole if Ramirez keeps struggling and Ramirez would move to the 7 hole but that is still weeks away if that would to happen.

8) 2B Ryan Theriot: Too me this is the best spot in the order for him, he is leading the league in singles. He can get a hit and then the pitcher lays down a bunt. Then you have a guy at 2nd for the beginning of the lineup. He also exceeds here better than any other number in the order.

Like I said above, this will not happen right away but I can see this at least one time this season.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Castro Should Be...

Castro should be the Cubs leadoff man. I think a lot of Cubs fans will agree with me but here is why I think this move should happen.

Castro has speed and should be the Cubs leadoff man because he is the only one on the team that has that kind of speed.

He is a contact hitter that usually will get a piece on the ball and does not strike out a lot.

He can beat out infield hits like he did today and yesterday.

If he gets on to the start the game, he can steal and get into scoring position for the heart of the order.

I think this move can jump start the offence and win more games. Then the NL Central will be the Cubs once again. YAY!

Thoughts on if that would be a good move and by what I said as reasons?

Tommorow I will have what I think the Cubs starting lineup should be.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Will Mike Fontenot be Traded...

The question that keeps popping up in every Cubs fan mind is, will Mike Fontenot be traded. Mike Fontenot was recently benched for 20 year old SS Starlin Castro who was called up on Friday to be the Cubs everyday SS. With that move, the Cubs moved Ryan Theriot to 2B to take over Fontenot's job. Now Foentenot will be used in the pinch hitter role and the utility role.

According to multiple reports, Fontenot was not happy with the benching and could of ask his agent to demand a trade but that is not known. I think he didn't but no one will know. Fontenot was not even hitting that bad but they need a change and this was the obvious move in Jim Hendry's eyes.

Also another person who has not been mention yet and lost more playing time than Fontenot is Jeff Baker. Baker was used in the utility before the Castro call-up but now is the backup 3B and the backup utility. There is no need for both on the team and one needs to go so the Cubs can call Tracy up. The Cubs can't send down Baker or Fontenot because they are out of options. If they did want to send one of them down, they will have to pass through waivers and I don't expect either of them to pass waivers. They are both good players to have in the utility role and could be a valuable asset to the bench of pretty much every team.

I can imagine that both are being shop and not just one. I think the Cubs will either get a player to be named later or cash considerations in a trade for either Baker or Fontenot.

Let's break it down: Fontenot or Baker. How they can help in different ways.

Mike Fontenot: He is a lefty off the bench and that is always good to have. And 2 years ago before being named starter, he was good in the utility role and I think this is the best spot for him.

Jeff Baker: He can play 1B, 2B, 3B, RF and LF. And probably SS and CF if he was ask too. He is also younger than Fontenot and brings a better attitude in my opinion.

I think Baker would be the one to be traded because Theriot was Fontenot's LSU Tiger team mate and they wouldn't want to spit them up and Fontenot is a lefty. But If I had to chose one, I pick Baker because he is younger, entering his prime and has more versatility than Fontenot.

Also when one of them are traded, Chad Tracy will be called up to be Ramirez's backup again. And that is the right move in my mind.

MLB Trade Rumors had a post on this: Will Fontenot Become Trade Bait for the Cubs.

So who do you think will be traded? Fontenot or Baker?

We just have to wait and see what Jim Hendry does.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What's with Grabow...

In unexpected moves, relief pitcher John Grabow was sent to Chicago for an MRI in his knee but results were negative.

When Grabow pitch 2 days ago, everything look good besides his pitching which was just awful. Is this a move the Cubs just made up so he can be pushed to go on the DL because he is not pitching great? I think it could be and this is how they are going to do it.

If Grabow does go on the DL, I would like to see Cahner come up and see what he does against major league pitching. But if you look at the stats in Triple A, it will be either Casey Coleman or Thomas Diamond. With my pick going to Diamond. I thought he pitch good enough to make it out of spring training and I think he will be the right choice.

Let's just see what happens with Grabow down the road.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Esmalin Caridad Activated...

Relief pitcher Esmalin Caridad has been activated off the 15 day DL and pitcher Jeff Gray was optioned to Triple A. This was move that was going to come either today and tomorrow and Gray was the obvious choice to get sent down. He has not pitch well.

If Caridad can throw strikes, her can be effective. He has a good fastball. It is weird because he only walk 1 batter all spring training and when the season started he couldn't find the strike zone. Lets hope he goes back to spring training form.

Side Note: More Castro as he os batting 8th again. Well this will happen a lot as he is the Cubs starting SS for the rest of the season.

Lets see what happens with Caridad and Castro down the road.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Starlin Castro to the Show...

Finally! This is probably a delayed move but the Cubs called up 20 year old SS Starlin Castro from Double A. The Cubs will move Ryan Theriot to 2B. In responding move to the call-up, the Cubs sent down Chad Tracy.

The reason I think Tracy was sent down is Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker are out of options. And until they can trade one of them, Tracy will be in the minors. I would rather keep Baker but lets see what Hendry does. I think one of them will be traded shortly.

I love this move, I wanted to see him out of spring training but needed more time in the minors. He is a way better defender than Theriot at SS and will hit arong what Theriot hits or even better. Castro is in today's lineup batting 8th and so is Theriot playing 2B and batting 1st.

In other moves, the Cubs promoted top pitching prospect Andrew Cashner to Triple A and 2nd best prospect Josh Vitters to Double A. Good to see this!

Lets see what happens tonight against the Reds.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to do with Pinella..

After yesterdays lost vs the Pirates in back-to-back days, I started to think of "what to do with Pinella". In the game yesterday, I question some of Pinella moves that could of cost the Cubs the game. Here is what I don't like about Pinella right now and why I think it is time for a change:

1) Why would you move Alfonso Soriano from the 6th spot to the 5th spot when he is red hot. And in today's game, Soriano strikes out 2 times and swung at pitches he has not been swinging at. I did not like the move before or after the game. I think Soriano has to be moved back to the 6th spot.

2) The pinch-hitter for the pitcher. When Pinella used Tracy as the pinch-hitter, I was like "why" when you have Colvin, Nady. Baker, and Soto. I thought it would and should of been Colvin because he can get on base, he has speed and power. My ranking of who to use in that spot was: Colvin, Nady, Baker, Tracy and Soto (just because he was the back-up catcher).

3) Some moves that he makes through out the season and I don't like. He does the lefty-lefty match up and the righty-righty match up. Like what example is, Marshall is pitching great but a righty comes up and he takes him out and the next batter hits the pitcher hard.

Reviewing: If the Cubs keep playing like this, Pinella will be gone eventually. If that happens, I give it around a month. And the Cubs call up Ryne Sandberg to be there new manager.

In my own opinion, I think the Cubs need a new voice in the locker room and a coach with more fire in him. Also a new coach with new moves on they way to set up the team. It looks like to me, that Pinella does not care anymore.

I guess time will only tell.

Could Ramirez Move down to the 6th Hole...

After yesterdays lost vs. the Pirates Lou hinted that with the early struggles with 3B Aramis Ramirez. He could move him down in the batting order.

Pinella wants to keep him in the lineup because he can produce and as his career has shown he always starts off show to the season. Can this be another season? I sure hop so.

I just have 1 question, why would you move Ramirez down to 6th and Soriano to 5th I would imagine? Fonzy is one of the hottest hitters in baseball and from what I know, if a player is hot. Keep everything the same, that counts where he bats in the order.

Since this was yesterday and Pinella had time to sleep over it, lets see what he does for the game tonight.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Esmalin Caridad Rehab's Start Tonight...

As I reported on my blog last week, relief pitcher Esmalin Caridad is expected to have a rehab start tonight for Iowa Cubs and if everything goes well he could be activated from the DL next week sometime.

He was pitching in Arizona for extended spring training but only pitch 1.1 innings giving up just 2 walks. His fastball has been good but can't find the strike zone anymore like he did in spring training.

I think he will be activated next week and Jeff Gray will be sent down.

If he does pitch today and I have time, I will have an update of what and how he did.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Positives and Negatives from April...

As every month, there are good things but there bad things too in a month.

1) Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto got back to there 2008 forms and not 2009. But there is tons of baseball left.
2) Marlon Byrd and Ryan Theriot are tied for the major league with most multi-hit games. This is pretty awesome!
3) The weakest part going into the season was expected to be the starting rotation but they have been top in the league for most of the month and most of the stats.

1) Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez have had a slow months. But in Lee's defence,he is starting to get hits. On the other hand, Ramirez is getting closer but still far away. Maybe a new month will turn him around.
2)The bullpen has had there struggles but with Big Z to the mix, there era has dropbig times. But 3 pitchers can't be all (Marshall, Zambrano and Marmol). Let's see how they do and if they add a piece,
3) Not that great of a month, the Cubs finish at 500 but were improving at the later part of a month. Expect a better month that April and a run for 1st place.

I will have the same thing for May also when the time comes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What to do with ARAM...

As every true Cubs fan should know is that 3B Aramis Ramirez is struggling really bad. Ideas that may help him get out of his funk:

Reasons I think he is struggling right now, he missed over half the season last year and he missed half of spring training. These should not be excuses when you are 20+ games into the regular season. But as I can see, his timing just looks a little off. He also keeps pulling his head and not looking the ball all the way into his bat.

Ideas to maybe start him hitting:

1) You can bench him for 3-4 days and play Tracy during that time. Then Ramirez and Rudy can get to the batting cage or to the field early to starting working on him trying to get back to old Ramirez form.

2) You can put him on the 15 DL and play Tracy and/or during that time. This can help him in 2 reasons; 1) Maybe get his head mentally straight forward, 2) He can go on a rehab outing and try and hit against live pitching. In Triple A where the pitchers there can be close to the majors or got sent down from the majors.

3) My last idea, just keep playing him and hope he starts hitting. There have been signs of him starting to hit the ball hard but he is still striking out an unusual tons of times.

What should Lou and even Hendry do, any of these ideas or will they have something of there own up there sleeve?

Lets see what happens with Ramirez today or after the off day. Maybe the off day on Monday will help. Hopefully!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quick Hits,,,

It has been really slow on the Cubs front and don't know what else to type about but here are some Cub news:

The Cubs are giving pitcher Carlos Silva extra rest because of a sore wrist. After the off say, Dempster will pitch on Tuesday, Lilly on Wednesday, Wells on Thursday, Gorzelanny on Friday and then Silva on Saturday. Not really a big deal.

P Esmalin Caridad will pitch for Iowa on Tuesday and if everything goes well he will come off the DL next week and go back to the pen. Either Russell, Berg or Gray gets sent down. I say Gray.

That is it for now. Tomorrow I will have "What to do with ARAM".