Hoping for Ryan Dempster Success and Other Bullets – May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to you Mothers out there. Maybe the Cubs can take a series to honor the occasion.

  • And doing so starts with Ryan Dempster. After his first altogether excellent start last time out, Dempster will look to do it again against a very good Reds lineup, that’s probably smarting after being shut down by Casey Coleman.
  • Speaking of which, Mike Quade feels like he made the right move in sending Coleman back out for the seventh inning with a one-run lead, despite the youngster being at 90 pitches and in line for a win. “Ninety pitches, a 3-hit shutout, I’m not that smart,” Quade said. “I looked at a 95-pitch outing the last time and figured he was good enough to get us into the seventh. I had Woody ready. The problem with that, for right or wrong to me, if I’m going to let him pitch the seventh, I’m not pulling the cord. He’s going to get two hitters. Otherwise, he shouldn’t go out.” The last couple sentences are all kinds of confusing, but I think he’s saying that once the first guy reached in the seventh, Quade was going to at least let Coleman pitch to a second batter before pulling him. Makes sense, I suppose.
  • One of yesterday’s heroes, Blake DeWitt, was making his first start in over a month. ‘‘You have to be ready for your ­opportunity,’’ DeWitt said of the performance. ‘‘You stay mentally ready, and when you’re on the field, you have to expect you’ll help the team.’’
  • The guy whose spot DeWitt took yesterday is going through a bit of a rough patch. Starlin Castro is just 7-47 in his last 11 games as pitchers have started playing at the margins a bit more. ‘‘I feel the same,’’ Castro said. ‘‘They’re pitching me different now. They don’t throw too many strikes. I’m staying with my approach and not swinging at bad pitches.’’
  • Mike Quade has fond memories of Dusty Baker. I suspect that Dusty is, indeed, very hard to dislike in that context. It’s just for fans that he was easy to dislike.
  • Hey, remember when Max Ramirez was the answer to the Cubs’ back-up catcher/Koyie Hill problem? Yeah. He’s not. The Cubs released him this weekend after he struggled at AAA Iowa. Particularly with Welington Castillo needing more at bats at AAA, the move was understandable.
  • Bill Bucker will be the color man for the May 20th broadcast when the Cubs take on the Red Sox. Over/under on curse references? 419.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

13 responses to “Hoping for Ryan Dempster Success and Other Bullets – May 8, 2011”

  1. Raymond Robert Koenig

    Barney’s out of the starting lineup today. Baker’s in.

  2. Joe

    Quade: “I’m not that smart”

    Yeah, we are becoming more and more aware of that Mr. Quade…

  3. pfk

    Wow, have the Cubs ever messed up Castro! By moving him to hit 3rd he started trying to hit for power and pull everything. Now, he’s still doing that even though he is no longer hitting 3rd. He was a great spray hitter leading off but because the middle of the order is so bad, they batted him out of position. Any major league hitter will tell you in private that you do indeed hit differently batting 3rd. When asked by the media a player will always say, “I don’t care where I bat, it doesn’t make any difference.” It does. I hope and think the kid is good enough to figure it out but its going to take a while. They ruined Colvin and now they are messing with Castro. What an absolutely pathetic organization. I was hoping this season would be positioning for 2012. As it stands, I’m now worried about 2012.

  4. Joe

    If you look at Castros graphs, you’ll notice a trend dating back to about mid-way through last season. That is, his pounding the ball into the ground – with Ground Ball rates much, much higher then you would like to see from someone you hope to have success. Like, even higher then Pierre levels! At his current 55% (which is about what he was doing by Sept 2010) you are looking at more then half of his contact, and approaching 50% of his plate appearances overall, resulting in grounders to the infielders.

    Since he is a pure contact hitter with absolutely no BB skills, its something to worry about longterm.

  5. Michigan Goat

    How Castro handles the next month will tell us what kind of player he is and what kind of a coach Rudy really is…. But please just pick a spot and keep him there! I don’t care if we don’t contend this year, just get the kids ready to suport Prince or Albert next year.

    1. PFK

      I’m confident he’ll adjust. He likes the low pitch but that’s ok if he is taking it to the opposite field or between the power alleys. Roberto Clemente made the Hall of Fame living off the low pitch. This is why I love basball, it is a game of adjustments for both pitchers and hitters. Once Castro disciplines himself to not go for the pitches off the plate, they’ll have to come in to him. Soriano never learned and the other team’s 1,2 and 3 starters can easily get him out. Soriano feeds off other team’s 4th and 5th starters. Dunston never adjusted either. Watching somebody like a Tony Gwynn is such a treat. He adjusted to everything they tried. Pijuols is that way too. I just LOVE baseball! Let’s get ready for 2012. I sense Ricketts has been with the org long enough to feel confident in making changes and he’s no dummy. All I care about is getting headed in the right direction

      1. Michigan Goat

        I’m with you in having confidence in Castro (and just saying that shows us where we are in terms of geo-political ideology… I can see the t-shirts now “In Castro We Trust”, but I digress). I think he showed us last year he can make adjustments, since it takes about a month for pitchers to get the “book” ala Mr Fuld, and Castro has already proven he can be successful for half a season and continue that to the next season. I was listening to the game yesterday and Keith and Phil commented how he is pressing and trying to pull for power when he hits in RBI situations, do I hope he realizes this and gets back to hitting for contact we saw at the beginning of the year.

        Oh right there with you… I LOVE BASEBALL