Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Colvin to not Start at 1B...

The 1B situation for next year is wide open again, after new manager Mike Quade said Tyler Colvin will not start at 1B any time soon. It was reported that Tyler Colvin will get a shot at 1B during the Nats series, but that was when Lou Piniella was manager. Many thought Colvin would be the leader for 1B next year but this changes many views. Along with me.

Tyler Colvin started taking grounders at 1B when long time 1B Derrek Lee was traded to Atlanta. That's when Colvin started taking grounders, during the Atlanta Braves series. Before Piniella stepped, due to ailing family members, he said Colvin would play 1B in the Nats series. But, that changed fast as interim Mike Quade said Colvin would not start at 1B any time soon. However, Quade did mention Colvin could move over to 1B late in the game.

Colvin has played 1B before...but when he was a sophomore in college. That was his last time, he also played 1B in high school.

Right now, Xavier Nady and Micah Hoffpauir will be playing 1B to finish out the season. But, that can change fast. Hoffpauir? Ugh, he can't hit in the majors and plays 1B so bad. Nady? OK, that's is fine. He has played 1B pretty good and has hit as of late with playing time.

This is how I see it, the Cubs are out and why not give Colvin a shot...maybe they will find out that he can play pretty good. But, that's unlikely. I just would like to see a new face over there and not Hoffpauir. But, for some reason the Cubs love him and I don't get it.

Here's the link to the article.

We'll just have to wait and see if Colvin plays 1B before the season ends. Quade just said "he won't play 1B any time soon", but he doesn't say he won't play 1B all season. Their is still hope Colvin will play 1B.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DLEE to the Braves...

Today is a sad day for Cub fans, as first baseman Derrek Lee was traded to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for 3 pitching prospects. Derrek Lee's 7 year tenure is over after a shaky 2010 season. Lee came over after the 2003 season where he won the world Series with the Florida Marlins. He came over via trade.

Derrek Lee was traded for pitching prospects Robinson Lopez, Tyrelle Harris, and Jeffrey Lorick. The Cubs will also pay some of the 3.4M left on Lee's contract. The amount is unknown.
The Cubs actually got a good return for Lee because he has back problems, older and is a free agent after the 2010 season. I think all 3 pitchers can make the team as a bullpen pitcher. Maybe, that's a little sarcasm but the pen needs new pitchers and who can get outs. It doesn't hurt to try new pitchers out at this point of the season. I think Lopez will be sent to Daytona, Harris to the Smokies and Lorick to Daytona or the Smokies.

This is a move that caught everybody by surprise, but in some ways it didn't. Lee will not be offer arbitration and there's a good chance he won't be back for the 2011 season. Lee has not played since Sunday after he left after 2 at-bats with back pain. Also, Lee rejected a trade to LAA before the deadline and that's another reason why this caught everybody by surprise. Lee said "He has a better chance to win in ATL and LAA probably won't even make the playoffs".

The Cubs will call-up 1B Micah Hoffpauir to take his spot on the roster and could get the start tomorrow in place of Nady. We have seen Hoffpauir this year and he was pathetic. I think it's time for another 1B to get called and I would like to see Brian LaHair get the call to the majors. He has put up pretty good stats for Triple A this season.

Me, like many other Cub fans are sadden with the departure of Lee, but like I said, this is a move that had to be done. I hope for the best for Lee in ATL and hope he wins a world series with ATL. It's funny because Lee will be back at Wrigley when ATL play the Cubs this weekend at Wrigley. I expect Lee to get a standing ovation when he takes hist 1st at-bat at Wrigley on Friday. Too bad I will miss it because of work.

I expect at least 1 more trade before the Aug 31st deadline. 2 players that could be gone are IF Jeff Baker and 1B/OF Xavier Nady. I'll keep you posted as more moves could be on the way soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Koyie Hill Should be Non-Tender...

With the season starting to get worse and worse by the day, I thought I would look at a move that needs to be done in the offseason. The Cubs should non-tender catcher Koyie Hill.

I think this move will help the Cubs now and in the future. The backup catcher, then, will be 23 year old Welington Castillo. I think Castillo is a backup and not a starting catcher for his career. He was called up when Geovany Soto was placed on the DL, but has only started one game because Piniella is playing the veteran. Koyie Hill is on the team because of his defense and throwing out baserunners, but both have been so bad lately and he's useless now. Like I said, Castillo has only played one game, but from what I've saw, he has a cannon of an arm and plays pretty good defense. Also, he has some pop and will hit for a mid 200 average. Unlike Hill who really has none of that.

If the Cubs did in fact release Hill, they will save money, not a lot, but some. Also, the Cubs are trying to get younger and this will be a move in the right direction. I think their is a good chance Castillo could get 2 starts a week and maybe a late substitution for Soto. Castillo can also learn information from Soto behind the plate.

I think there is a 60% chance Koyie Hill will be non-tendered and with that percentage increasing by the day.

Castillo should be in the lineup today, but as we all know Piniella, Hill will be in there again and that is the wrong move. Definitely after how bad Hill played yesterday. The good news is, Castillo will play tomorrow because Casey Coleman is pitching and they pitch together for Triple A this year. Castillo was Coleman's battery mate.

So, do you think Koyie Hill will be non-tendered?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mike Fontenot Traded to the Gaints...

Jim Hendry worked out a trade with the Giants today. The Cubs traded IF Mike Fontenot to the Giants for OF Evan Crawford.

This is not a surprise move and I knew Mike Fontenot would be traded before September 1st. Fontenot has been good in limited action, but this is a move that had to be done. Fontenot lost his starting job, when Castro was called up to play SS. The Cubs will save some money, not much in this deal. They also will save money for next season.

The Cubs have one more spot open on their 40 man-roster and I expect SS Darwin Barney to be called up. The Cubs now, have no back-up SS for Castro and Barney is a SS. I think he will play against lefties at 2B and to give a day off for Starlin Castro. Unlike Fontenot, Barney is a true SS.

I'm not a fan of Crawford and his stats show why. He's not hitting for average and does not walk much. But, he has speed. If he ever makes the majors, I see him as a Joey Gathright type player. A bench player and a pinch runner. And, that's IF he makes the majors. I can see him not making the majors.

I think the Cubs could of got more for Fontenot. Maybe, just a better spect. I just don't like the spect. I guess the only positive is, we will see another rookie and that's what I like. Lets just see how Barney plays when and if he gets the call to the majors.

A Look at Possible September Call-Ups...

With all major league rosters expanding in about 3 weeks or so. I thought, I would look at players that might get the call to the majors. The Cubs have 39 players active on the 40 man-roster. Angel Guzman is on the 40 man-roster, but since he's on the 60 day DL, he does not take up a spot. These are players who have not seen the majors this year.

SS Darwin Barney: I expect him to be called up and he will platoon with Blake DeWITT at 2B. DeWITT plays against righties and Barney plays against lefties. Also, he could give a day off to SS Starlin Castro. He's a true SS unlike Mike Fontenot who's the backup SS. Barney has put up a nice average this year. He's batting .300 in 474 at-bats, but he does not take a lot of walks and his OBP is not too great. GM Jim Hendry said Barney has a future with the Cubs and a report said Barney is expected to be the next Cub to be called up. He's currently not on the 40 man-roster.

1B Brain LaHair: He's another one I expect to be called up. He has posted nice numbers for Triple A this year. In my own opinion, I would of liked to see him called up over 1B Micah Hoffpauir. Hoffpauir was called up when 1B Derrek Lee was placed on the bereavement list. Hoffpaur is good at Triple A, but sucks in the majors. LaHair has posted a nice season and I think it would of been fair to see him up over Hoffpauir. He's currently not on the 40 man-roster.

2B Matt Camp: He probably won't get called up, but I would like to see him in the majors. I've been a fan of him because he will post average stats and can play 3B. He made the transition from 3B to 2nd this year. Just like DeWITT who has done the same thing this year. So, I highly doubt he gets called up because he's just average and the Cubs really don't need another IF like that. I can see Ryan Theriot in him. He's currently not on the 40 man-roster.

P Jeff Samardzija: I know he started this season in the majors, but has not been re-called since being sent down. I'm positive he will be called up. He has posted nasty stats before yesterdays game. H was 9-1 with a low 3's era and that's not bad. He's starting for Triple A, but he's a RP for the Cubs. He finally got a 2nd pitch and that's a cutter. When he has been in the majors, he only had a fastball. Scouts have said, the cutter has been a good pitch and Jeff is getting a lot of strikeouts on that pitch. That's a good sign and it would be nice, if he can keep that up in the majors. He's currently on the 40 man-roster .

OF Sam Fuld: I'm 50-50 on him getting called up. He has not been good in Triple A, but his glove is stellar and I like that. He hustles on every play and has no fear for his body. It depends what happens with other roster moves. Then, it will be known if Fuld will or not be called up. He's currently on the 40 man-roster.

C Welington Castillo: I know he's on the Cubs roster now, but he could be sent down before September comes. He was called up, when Soto was placed on the 15 day DL. Soto is expected to be on the DL, for only the 15 days. Castillo has put up OK stats in the minors. I think, if Castillo puts up the same numbers as Hill or better numbers, he will be the backup catcher next year. Then, the Cubs will non-tender Hill and that will make him a free agent. The Cubs will save money on that move too. Castillo is expected to be in the Cubs lineup tonight vs. lefty Barry Zito. I'm looking forward to that. He's currently on the 40 man-roster.

1B Micah Hoffpauir: I know he's on the Cubs roster right now but he could be sent back down when Lee is activated from the bereavement list. Lee could come off the list as early as Friday. Even if Hoffpauir is sent down before September, he will be called up again. I have no doubt in my mind. At least, the Cubs can see if he can ever hit in the majors. He destroys Triple A but does no damage in the majors. And, I don't get why and how. He's currently on the 40 man roster.

P Rafael Dolis: He has been pretty good this year, but is still in Double A. So, I don't know if the Cubs would be willing to call him up. Also, he's a starter and there are no openings in the starting rotation. I am pretty sure, the Cubs won't put him as a RP because he could have a pretty good career ahead of him as a starter. I don't expect any starters from the minors to be called up. He's currently on the 40 man roster.

Players that might get the call back to the majors. These players have seen the majors, sometime this year. We will probably see most, if not all the players be re-called.

1) P Mitch Atkins
2) P Brain Schlitter
3) P Jef Stevens
4) P Jeff Gray (I don't see him being re-called)

Players that could be the "Tyler Colvin" this year. However, I don't expect their to be a "Tyler Colvin" call-up.

OF Tony Campana: He's putting up a nice season for the Smokies this year and could make the majors soon. But, he's getting up their in age. At the age of 24. This can be the true "Tyler Colvin". He's an OF, average defender, 24 and a lefty. However, I think their are other OF in front of him to be called up. Like, Sam Fuld and James Adduci. He's currently not on the 40 man-roster.

P Ryan Buchter: He has put up OK stats in the minors, but is a relief pitcher and the Cubs need to try new faces in the bullpen. Because, what they have now in the pen is not working out. It would be nice for the Cubs to call another pitcher up, to make his major league debut. But like I said, it's very unlikely. He's currently not on the 40 man-roster.

Like I said on top, the Cubs would have to clear spots on the 40 man-roster to call up some players. Right now, they have 1 spot open to call-up 1 player. Here are some scenarios to make room on the 40 man-roster.

1) If the Cubs know, John Grabow and/or Esmalin Caridad will not come back this season, they could move them to the 60 day DL from the 15 day DL. That will open 2 more spots on the 40 man-roster.
2) Mike Fontenot, Jeff Baker and Xavier Nady could be claimed and traded. I think that all 3 will be traded, time September 1st comes. Then, that will open 3 more spots on the 40 man-roster.

But, here are moves the Cubs could make; that will not help make room on the 40 man-roster.

1) The Cubs could activate P John Grabow, P Esmalin Caridad, P Carlos Silva and C Geovany Soto from the 15 day DL. Nothing will happen with the 40 man-roster, but spots will be taken up. That means, we will see less players from the minors. Also, the Cubs will activate Derrek Lee from the bereavement list in the next week or so.

Here's the Cubs 40 man-roster.

I know all these moves won't happen, but they could. We just have to wait and see what happens, come September. With activations off the DL, waiver trades and call-ups.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Could we see Dunn in Cubbie Blue Next Year...

With the 2010 season in shame for the Cubs. I thought I would go ahead and look at a move that could happen for the offseason. Could we see Adam Dunn in Cubbie Blue next year?

With no news swirling the Cubs right now, and the Cubs have no first baseman under contract for the 2011 season. I will look at that situation right now, with the possible signing of Adam Dunn.

Adam Dunn is currently the Nationals 1B and is a free agent after this year. The Nats can still try and sign him as Dunn wants to stay in Washington and they would like the same thing. They have the rest of the season, counting playoffs and 2 weeks after the World Series ends to try and re-sign him. After that, it's fair play and all teams can start talking with him about a deal. Like I said, the Nats would like to re-sign him, but they haven't already because they can't reach a deal. So, from what I've seen, Dunn will not be a National next season. The Nats are offering him less years and money for him to come back in 2011.

I have an unconfirmed source, that says the Cubs will be aggressive in pursuing a big left-handed bat for 1B. He names Adam Dunn and Carlos Pena. Out of those two, I pick Dunn because he's one year younger, hits for a better average and has more power. Dunn's home run total, will double at Wrigley and that's what I would like to see. He always kills the Cubs at Wrigley, but on the opposite team. It would be nice to see him kill the ball at Wrigley, for the good team.

In the first four months of the season, Dunn has posted a .277avg, 28hr and 71rbi. I think his stats will improve at Wrigley and as a Cub because it's a smaller park, he will have a good power bat behind him in Ramirez and he's playing for the Nats this year. Playing for the Nats, will never help.

I think Dunn will be looking for a 3 year contract, worth anywhere from 30-40M and I think that's too much for an offensive guy with no defense. But, as you know teams will pay him that because it's the MLB. GM's in the MLB always overpay players, even if they're not worth it. I just hope Jim Hendry is not that GM to offer him a contract like that.

The Nationals have been shopping Dunn for about 3 weeks now, but could not pull off a trade before the July 31st non waiver trade deadline. However, the Nats placed Adam Dunn on waivers about 3 days ago and was claimed by an unknown team. The unknown team will have 48 hours (well, it's less now) to try and work out a trade for him. The team is most likely an NL team and my guess it's the Giants, The Giants were interested in Dunn before the trade deadline and are in need of a 1B badly. And, they will need a 1B next year too. So, I think there is a chance they can re-sign Dunn before he hits the free agent market. But, that's just speculation on my part.

If the Cubs do sign Dunn, that means Lee's years with the Cubs will be numbered. Even though Lee will not be a Cub, he will always be remembered. I'm not going to lie, but I will miss Derrek Lee at 1B a lot. Lee will come way cheaper than Dunn and even Pena for that matter. Lee has said he would like to finish his career as a Cub and Cubs owner-chairman Tom Ricketts would like the same. But, in all fairness, that's looking unlikely as every day passes. The one thing I will miss and all Cubs fans too, is his glove. Lee saves so many errors from the Cubs infield and that would be dearly missed. Because, having Dunn at 1B will make the Cubs error total rise. GM Jim Hendry can offer Derrek Lee compensation, but I do not expect him to do so, in fear of him accepting it. I also think he will accept it because he's not about the money and is a family guy. His family would love to stay in Chicago. In the latest Elias Rankings, Derrek Lee is registered as a Type B free agent. But, that can change on a daily basis. He would also get a nice 1 year contract. If Lee does hit the open market, I think he will get a contract of 2 years, worth anywhere from 15-17M. Derrek Lee has posted a .252avg, 12hr and 51rbi so far this season. He has been improving in recent weeks.

There has also been speculation that 3B Aramis Ramirez or OF Tyler Colvin will move to 1B or the Cubs will sign free agent 1B Carlos Pena. I say no to all 3 options. Ramirez is not an 1B and will struggle at 1B, Colvin is an average+ defender in the OF and Pena is not better then Lee in my opinion, but he's (Pena) younger.

I think there's a 50-50 chance the Cubs sign Dunn in the offseason. If the Cubs do not sign Dunn, I see Lee returning to the Cubs for the 2011 season. So, I think these two are the only options for 1B next year. I would be fine with either one. Dunn will provide the offense, while Lee would provide the defense.

Remember this, the offseason is still long ways away and a lot can change in that time. There's still like four more months left until the offseason starts.

Who do you think the Cubs 1B will be next year? Also, do you see Dunn in Cubbie Blue next year?

Monday, August 2, 2010

A look at Roster Moves...

Update 4:35: Carlos Silva will be placed on the DL for precautionary reasons and will keep being evaluated. Casey Coleman will take his spot in the rotation. So no player will be sent down, like I have wrote.

Acting manager Alan Trammell said "Silva was never in life threatening condition."

The Cubs roster is currently at 24, with the trade of Theriot and Lilly to the Dodgers. A roster consists of 25 and with the bullpen being overused yesterday; when Carlos Silva left the game early in the 1st. Roster moves are on the way. Cubs beat writer, Carrie Muskat has the latest (2 tweets).

Casey Coleman has been called up from Triple A Iowa and will fill the 25th spot on the roster. No pitcher will be sent down today in a corresponding move. But, tomorrow Thomas Diamond will be called up from Triple A, to take Ted Lilly's spot in the rotation and a pitcher then would have to be sent down. Would it be Coleman or another pitcher being sent down? I have a feeling it could be another pitcher like Russell or Schlitter. I don't think it will be Russell because he's a lefty and I expect Brian Schlitter to be sent down, when Thomas Diamond is officially called up.

Also, there's a possibility SP Carlos Silva will be placed on the 15 day DL with the heart condition. Paul Sullivan chimes in with that possibility. And, Casey Coleman will take his spot in the rotation, not Carlos Zambrano. There's still no word on Silva yet.

Coleman was called up to give a fresh arm in the bullpen. That's the main reason. If Coleman is going to take Silva's spot in the rotation, I would rather see Jay Jackson get the the call to the majors. I want to see what the kid has to offer in the major level.

I guess we will see what happens, with the pitching situation in the next few days.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Carlos Silva Hospitalized...

Cubs starting pitcher, Carlos Silva has been hospitalized with an heart problem. Silva started today's game in Colorado, but was not able to get out of the first inning. He only made one out (0.1 innings) and LHP James Russell came in for him. Silva said, he was having trouble breathing and his heart was racing fast, while he was on the mound.

After he was taken out, the Cubs ruled out he was injured and called it an "illness". The Cubs hooked him up to heart monitors, and discovered he was suffering from PSVT, or an abnormally high heart rhythm.

After the Cubs figure that out, they sent him to the nearest hospital by Coors Field. The good news is, Silva will just be fine. But, he will stay overnight for more observations.

Acting manager Alan Trammell said, "He's staying overnight for observation and we'll go from there". He also said the heart problem caught us "off-guard".

I feel sorry for Silva, as he wants to compete and be out their on his 5th day to pitch. I hope that trend can continue but...if he can't or has to be sent on the DL. I see current relief pitcher Carlos Zambrano, taking his spot in the rotation.

My best wishes goes out to Carlos Silva and hope he will be able to pitch again soon. Only time will tell us and maybe more information will come out tomorrow.

Here's where I got the info: It was brought to us by Paul Sullivan.