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Month: March 2009

Spring Training Battlewatch: Lou Spills Some Beans

Today, instead of looking at box scores, let’s just look at some things manager Lou Piniella said yesterday. “There are two jobs open in that bullpen as far as I’m concerned,” Piniella said. “We’ve got probably about six candidates, and we’ll let them compete here the last two weeks and see who wants to grab […]

The Fourth Cut is the Relatively Shallowest

Well the Chicago Cubs won’t be turning Japanese, I think they’re turning Japanese, I really think so. The team sent Ken Kadukura and Esmailin Caridad, both pitchers, to minor league camp. Kadukura is an old, succesful guy from Japan, so it’s hard to see him being ok with toiling away in the Cubs minor league […]

Micah Hoffpauir is in like Flynn; Gathright Out Like, um, Flout?

Well, the roster is really taking shape, and it’s taking the shape of a hulking, 29 year old rookie. Micah Hoffpauir is going to make the Chicago Cubs. “Hoffpauir’s fine,” Piniella said. “We’re going to use him to rest Derrek (Lee) at first base and also we’re going to use him some in the (outfield) […]


Derrek Lee May Join Team USA for WBC

With first baseman Kevin Youkilis going down with an ankle injury, the United States team may need a new first baseman for the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic. Apparently they want Derrek Lee, and the Cubs are ok with that. Hendry said Wednesday night that he would support the first baseman if […]

Obsessive Milton Bradley Not Playingwatch: Still Flu’in

It was only a matter of time before all the times Milton Bradley misses games became an obsessive watch. Bradley was a scratch earlier this week and then again yesterday with those pesky “flu-like symptoms.” At what point do flu-like symptoms just become the flu? And if they simply remain flu-like symptoms, does that mean […]

Vogue Cubs Prospect: Alessando Maestri

Alessandro Maestri was a talked-about prospect a couple of years ago after dominating out of the pen in the lower regions of the Chicago Cubs farm system (for those who want the specifics: he sported a 2.26 ERA and a silly 83:15 K:BB ratio in 83.2 innings). Then Maestri, 23, had a tough year after […]

Jeff Samardzija Might End Up in the Big League Pen – Seriously

Jeff Samardzija’s chance to make the Chicago Cubs rotation blew up in smoke Monday, but apparently his chance to make the big team hasn’t quite yet. Piniella said he would have the starting rotation and many of the bullpen slots figured out “by Thursday or Friday, but if Samrdzija doesn’t win a starting spot, he’ll […]

The Third Cut is the Deepest

This time, it’s actually true. The Chicago Cubs trimmed their roster for the third time this spring, and it’s the first time that anyone who had had a remote chance of making the team was actually cut. The Cubs sent nine players, including their 2008 minor league pitcher of the year, out of major league […]

Spring Training Battlewatch: March 17, 2009

The Chicago Cubs exacted more fake revenge on the Los Angeles Dodgers for last year’s pathetically, embarrassingly, awfully, ridiculously, pathetically, I know I already said pathetically but it was really pathetic, terribly poor playoff effort. Battles! Esteban German and Corey Koskie – making his debut – split time at third. Koskie went 1-2 with a […]

Obsessive Peavywatch: Jake Peavy Is Willing to Go to the Red Sox

So much for the theory that Jake Peavy was only willing to be traded to a National League team: “Boston was a place that I told the Padres I would certainly be interested in playing,” the 28-year-old said. “I don’t know if there were any talks. I gave the Padres a list and Boston was […]

Mike Fontenot Slays Aaron Miles

Figuratively, of course. Mike Fontenot has officially won the second base job, at least against righties. Piniella said Mike Fontenot would be his everyday second baseman, at least againist right-handed pitching, and would bat sixth in the lineup. That would give the Cubs lefties in the second (Kosuke Fukudome), fourth (Milton Bradley) and sixth (Fontenot) […]

Spring Training Battlewatch: March 16, 2009

The Cubs played the dreaded, evil Brewers. And lost. Grrr. I’m so angry. Psyche. Psyche about saying psyche. That sound you hear is the sound of Jeff Samardzija’s last, lingering hope to make the Cubs rotation being sucked out the door. He got thoroughly beaten down by a lineup of most of the Brewers regulars. […]


The Chicago Cubs Financial Incentive to Let Kevin Gregg Close

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has said he’s likely to announce the team’s closer for the upcoming season by the end of this week. Despite popular opinion to the contrary, Piniella has indicated that Kevin Gregg is at least as likely to claim the role as Carlos Marmol. How could this be? Marmol is obviously […]

Spring Training Battlewatch: March 15, 2009

The Chicago Cubs took a trip down to Tucson to play the Diamondbacks and won-dizzled. Which totally makes sense, since the Diamondbacks play their regular season games in Phoenix. Gotta go somewhere for Spring Training, I guess. On to the battles. Joey Gathright got a couple hits, a few steals, and is looking more and […]

Lou Knows Who the Back-up Catcher Will Be

But he’s not telling, apparently. As for the backup catcher, Piniella definitely has some ideas regarding Paul Bako, Koyie Hill and Mark Johnson. Asked if it was a wide open race, he said: “It’s not as wide open as the mouth of the Amazon.” Muskat Ramblings. My old guy folksy witicism detector isn’t as sharp […]

The Cublogoverse Picked Up a News Cubs Player Blog

When Mark DeRosa was dealt to the Cleveland Indians this Winter, it was not only a serious blow to the Chicago Cubs on the field, it was a crotch kick to the Chicago Cubs on the web. DeRosa’s blog, The Pulse, was one of the crown jewels of the Cublogoverse. We wept. But fret not! […]

The 25th Man Likely to be Koskie or German

Lou Piniella all but confirmed yesterday what we’ve openly speculated: the 25th man is probably going to be an infielder, and it’s probably going to be Corey Koskie or recently signed Esteban German. “We’ve been looking for another infielder, so we’ll see how [Koskie and German] do and we’ll give them every opportunity,” manager Lou […]