Many readers may be under the impression that I’m a glass half full kind of Cubs fan – and I suppose that I am, about half the time. The other half, I’m a sky-is-falling-there-is-no-way-out-from-under-the-crushing-weight-of-failure-why-didn’t-my-mom-breast-feed-me pessimist. In other words, I’m a Cubs fan. For us, the glass is neither half full nor half empty. There is no glass. The general manager forgot to buy one.
- Could Ryan Dempster pitch in the 5th starter’s spot on Monday, since he threw only 40 pitches last night? Yes, he could, but Mike Quade isn’t going to do it. “Given the number of pitches he threw tonight , that’s an option … but I’d rather not. It’s one thing if a guy’s been pitching well and had an outing like this. You chalk it up to experience and bring him back quick. But it’s more important now that we get Demp straightened out, so I’d rather not do that. I never say never, but that’s not on my radar right now.” With how truly awful the fifth spot has been for the Cubs, did you ever think you’d be relieved to hear that the Cubs aren’t planning to use Ryan Dempster in that spot?
- Speaking of Ryan Dempster’s struggles, where the hell is pitching coach Mark Riggins? Assuming Dempster is not injured – and, outside of the crappy performances, there’s no reason to believe he is – this is precisely where pitching coaches are supposed to help. They are supposed to identify mechanical flaws in a struggling pitcher’s delivery, and then work with the pitcher to correct it. How has that not already happened? Or worse, did that happen before this start, and the “correction” actually made things worse?
- To be clear: I have no knowledge of what Riggins and Dempster have actually discussed. But when I read quotes from Mike Quade like this one - “I always look at it as a veteran guy, but he’s got to figure some stuff out. He and [pitching coach Mark Riggins] have to get together.”- it tells me the two have not been working together yet. Day late and a dollar short, fellas.
- More depressing Dempster quotes; this time, from Dempster himself: “Just look forward to my next start and do what I have to do to execute pitches and get people out. Lack of execution today. I put us in a huge hole and was unable to make pitches when I needed to make them.” I know you can’t dwell on it, and you’ve got to move on… but damn, dude. Give me something. Give me some reason to believe you’re *actually* going to fix whatever the problem is. Tell me that you figured out you were tipping your pitches, or you ate too many giant burritos the afternoon before the game. Anything.
- Koyie Hill has more home runs than Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena combined.
- Ryan Dempster has the worst ERA in all of baseball among qualifying starters. His ERA is more than a run higher than James Russell.
- Marcos Mateo and John Grabow have thrown 50% more innings than Kerry Wood.
- Fluff about Mike Quade not tweeting like Ozzie Guillen (who may be in trouble for tweeting several times, during the game, following a Wednesday ejection) here. Why is that depressing? It’s the only not brutally-depressing article I read this morning.
- Ok, that’s not true. Here’s a positive Bruce Miles article about rapidly-rising Cubs pitching prospect Robert Whitenack. A mediocreish prospect last year, after being drafted in the 8th round in 2009, Whitenack absolutely destroyed High A in his first few starts, and then dominated in his first AA start this week. Every year there seems to be a pitcher whose performance outclasses his pedigree, and, usually, we never hear from the kid again. But there may be a reason to be optimistic on Whitenack. Team minor league director Oneri Fleita explains: “He’s got command, with a good sinker, and he’s throwing 91-94 (mph). It looks to me that he grew two inches over the off-season and that he’s filled out some. He was throwing 89-91 tops last year. Now, he’s 91-94. You don’t see that a whole lot.”