Social Navigation

Month: March 2011

Jeff Baker Wants to Be the Full-Time Starter at Second Base

Coming into Spring Training, few things were assumed. But one locked-down assumption was that second base would feature a platoon between Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker. DeWitt, a lefty, would start against right-handed pitchers, and Baker, a righty (who destroys lefty pitching), would start against left-handed pitchers. Done and done. But then DeWitt struggled to […]

Reed Johnson and Darwin Barney Being Schooled by Rudy Jaramillo

Based on Spring performances as well as non-performance-related factors (options remaining, organizational development issues, etc.), Darwin Barney is the current favorite to land the last infield roster spot, and Reed Johnson is the favorite to nab the fifth outfielder spot. And, if you’re looking for additional roster tea leaves to read, you might take note […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 3, Giants 2 – March 20, 2011

Today’s game was light on the roster competitors, but one guy really stood out.┬áRandy Wells was not only excellent today, but he was excellent after some troubles in the first inning. If you’ll recall Wells’ troubles last year, they were almost exclusively early – so this was a good sign. He’s officially (ok, well, not […]

Write a Ridiculous Letter, Get Published in the Chicago Tribune

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know how a newsroom works. I don’t know how story ideas are created, vetted, and assigned. I don’t know the process of writing a news article. I don’t know the pressures of a deadline. And I also don’t know how letters to the editor are […]


Lukewarm Stove: Mike Quade Suggests Cubs Will Pass on Luis Castillo

Former Mets second baseman Luis Castillo, released a couple days ago, is free to sign with another team starting today (for the ML minimum of $414,000). A few reports had the Chicago Cubs as one of many teams that would give Castillo a look, but (thankfully) manager Mike Quade has generally squashed the Cubs’ connection […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, Padres 14 – March 19, 2011

Another day, another run total in the (four)teens. For the opponent. Matt Garza had very little going for him today – he nibbled just off the edge of the plate, and when he came back into the zone he got hit. Hard. For what it’s worth, he says the mound in Peoria (where he pitched […]

Carlos Silva: Rotation or Bust?

Buried among the notes about Carlos Silva’s crappy outing yesterday (and the Cubs’ overall poor performance), Mike Quade let something that may be pretty important slip: “I think, right now, we look at [Silva] as a starter,” Quade said yesterday. “That’s the only way we look at him. I think he could [pitch out ofthe […]

Lukewarm Stove: Cubs Reportedly Interested in Luis Castillo

Today, the New York Mets did what teams like the Chicago Cubs generally lack the balls to do: they released a guy, despite his multimillion dollar contract, because he simply wasn’t worth a roster spot. The guy in question was second baseman Luis Castillo, who is owed $6 million in the final year of his […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 13, Reds 14 – March 18, 2011

It was a pitching optional Friday as two of the Cubs’ three Carloses (Zambrano and Silva) conspired to suck a duck against the Reds. At least the offense scored 13… Carlos Silva’s goose has gotta be cooked, no? After Big Z gave up the first six runs to the Reds, Silva gave up the remaining […]

Darwin Barney and Reed Johnson “Pulling Away” in Bench Competition?

At present, 11 of the 13 positional spots on the Chicago Cubs’ 25-man roster are locked in (assuming the immovable object that is Koyie Hill is the backup catcher), leaving a handful of players competing to be the fifth outfielder and the middle infield backup. Specifically, Reed Johnson and Fernando Perez are fighting to be […]

Back End of the Cubs’ Rotation Shaping Up

Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, and Matt Garza will start the first three games of the Chicago Cubs’ season, but, so far, the Cubs have not announced which two pitchers would follow them in the rotation. Randy Wells has been in the Cubs’ rotation the last two seasons and has done nothing – seriously, nothing – […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 5, A’s 6 – March 17, 2011

The Cubs blew a two-run 9th inning lead to lose to the A’s today, and I’ve got a smile on my face. Why? Because it’s Spring Training, folks. It sucks that it was Sean Marshall who blew it, but he’ll be fine. On to the stuff that matters… John Grabow returned to action after more […]


Carlos Pena is the Most Positive Guy Ever

The Chicago Cubs didn’t quite know what they’d be getting from new first baseman Carlos Pena when they signed him. He’s just two years removed from some dominant seasons, but last year, his OPS dipped substantially, and he hit under .200. But Pena says he was dealing with foot issues last year, and he’s now […]

Spring Numbers Won’t Change the Top of the Order

As we’ve discussed, you always have to take Spring Training numbers with a grain of salt. You never know exactly what veterans are doing with their Spring time – maybe they’re working on particular pitches, focusing on defense, or working on taking pitches at the plate. Sure, when a guy is actively competing for a […]

Opening Day Contest: Want to Win $50?

We don’t have enough fun around these parts. For the most part, you can blame the Cubs’ performance. But, hey. It’s a new season and, at least for Opening Day, we can have some fun trying to figure out what the Cubs’ Opening Day lineup will be, and what the rotation will look like as […]

Why the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers Will Suck

Editor’s Note: Yes, it’s that time of year again – the time for us to settle back into our protective bubble where the Chicago Cubs are destined for greatness, and every other team in the National League Central is bound for spectacular failure. If you’d care to check out last year’s fare: St. Louis Cardinals,┬áCincinnati […]

Rotation and Bullpen Tidbits

There remains an active competition in camp for the fifth starter spot, and at least two bullpen spots. I say only the fifth starter spot because, by most accounts (including my own for months), Randy Wells has locked down the fourth starter spot. But the fifth spot and the complete makeup of the bullpen remain […]