If you set the over/under on Cubs wins in June at just 8 and you picked the over, you’re screwed…

  • Mike Quade is getting crap everywhere you look this morning for having Jeff Samardzija pitch to Albert Pujols in the bottom of the 12th with two outs yesterday, before Pujols ultimately hit the game-winning homer. As much as I rail on Quade for his questionable decisions, I’m just not sure I can beat him up too badly for this one. Pujols has one of the best hitters in the game going behind him, and the odds that a runner scores from first is slightly higher than the odds Pujols hits a homer. I could, however, also agree with walking him. I suppose what I’m saying is, Quade had a tough decision with two reasonable choices. He chose, and the game ended. I don’t think we can retroactively call the decision questionable simply because Pujols went deep.
  • The only thing I don’t understand is one part of Quade’s rationale for pitching to Pujols: he says that, because the pitcher spot was coming up in two batters, it made sense to let Pujols hit. Guh? With the pitcher spot coming up after Berkman, who was after Pujols, wouldn’t it make more sense to walk Pujols (and Berkman) and take your chances with the pitcher (by my count, the Cards were out of bench players)?
  • Randy Wells threw just 75 pitches yesterday, but was removed early because (a) it was so hot and he’s still getting his arm strength back, and (b) Mike Quade thought the game hung in the balance with Berkman and Rasmus coming up. It turns out his was right, but Sean Marshall couldn’t keep the tying run from scoring.
  • Tyler Colvin is 0 for his last 23, and it’s painfully easy to see why. He has gaping holes in his long, Soriano-esque swing. The league has figured him out, and he hasn’t made any adjustments. Obviously the Cubs haven’t made it easy for him, but right now, he’s not helping.
  • My guess that we’d see Rodrigo Lopez move to the bullpen when Matt Garza comes off the DL tomorrow, leaving Doug Davis in the rotation, was probably right.
  • Speaking of Davis, he is 43 days away from qualifying for a pension. This is the kind of thing that gets discussed when the team is 10 games under .500 in early June.
  • Len Kasper compares Darwin Barney to Ryan Theriot, and rightly calls Theriot an idiot: “Ryan Theriot was a guy who could make flashy plays, was fast and had a couple of really good seasons for the Cubs. I just think the baseball acumen, the IQ for Darwin Barney is a little higher.”
  • The Cubs are going to make one of those “It Gets Better” videos, which is nice. If only I could believe that were true with respect to the Cubs’ performance…
  • Jeff Stevens and Robert Coello remain in the organization after they were DFA’d last week and no one claimed them.
  • Michigan Goat

    I think Colvin time is done, at least for the Cubs I see him as a throw in for a trade. He’s had enough ABs to see that he has major weakness in his swing and has been able to fix them. I know we all hoped he was the future of the outfield, but it’s time to admitt it’s not going to happen. Time to put our hoped in Barney, I’d be happen if he is a better Theriot, got BA and +fielding, hopefully he doesn’t try to become a power hitter and continues being a reliable hitter.

  • Jeff

    I agree about Colvin’s swing. He seems to be trying to pull everything out of the park and it’s making for huge, slow swings. The Cubs are supposed to have one of the best hitting coaches in the game though, and God knows Colvin has had enough off time to work with him. I do think his struggles should limit his playing time, but the double standard for overpaid vets needs to go as well. Soriano, Pena, and Hill have all looked terribly inept at the plate at times this year and all are allowed to play through it with the caveat that “they will get better”, but Colvin struggles and he’s benched, then sent down. Same thing last year with Castro and his lack of hustle on certain plays, so he gets benched. Soriano and Ramirez probably can’t even remember what the word hustle means, but since they are Hendry’s trust fund babies, they are untouchable.

  • Dean

    The lack of development of players once they reach the major league level is my biggest concern. The Cubs seems to have an inordinate number of players who peak in their rookie seasons. Soto, Colvin and Wells all had their best years as rookies. Now, we look at them as players we might need to dump because they are not performing. I worry that Castro and Barney face the same fate.

    I get Rickett’s desire to build the minor league system, but wouldn’t money also be well spent to help the younger guys on the major league roster continue their development. What happens once these guys get to the major leagues? Do they stop working with them? I remember Jim Frey talking about how he worked with Ryne Sandberg to develop his skills as a power hitter. That work eventually led Ryno to the Hall of Fame.

    It’s great that the Cubs have a strong farm system, but if the players aren’t going to improve once they get to Chicago, what’s the point? A coaching staff that teaches is needed in Chicago. I’m not sure that’s in place right now.

  • Roughriider

    I don’t understand. Colvin shouldn’t be having problems hitting. He was such a great draft pick and played well in the minors. They CUBS have the best hitting coach in the world and all that good leadership from the veterans like Soriano, Ramierez and Pena. I just don’t understand.

  • Keith

    roughrider – the sarcasm runs deep in you, my friend

  • TSB

    It’s been said that the jump from triple A ball to the major leagues is much greater than from AA to AAA. I hope that the Cubs don’t have a bunch of players that are too good for AAA, but not good enough for the majors

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    It seems as though that might be the case. Maybe they should just promote their AA “prospects” right to the Majors.

  • jstraw

    Oh man. Is there some great satire just tee’d up with the “It Gets better” video? I mean…what if someone with a video camera and a sense of humor decided it should be for the benefit of say…Cubs fans, rather than Gay teenagers?

    • Ace

      My thoughts exactly. I await the video with bated breath.

      • jstraw

        Interviews with celebrity Red Sox fans…

  • awesome

    I’ve mentioned before that i didn’t feel Colvin was an everyday player. in late 2009 i felt he wasn’t ML material, in ST and 1st part of 2010 he surprised everyone, i wondered if he was that good, 2nd half of 2010 he had me wondering if he was that bad, this ST and 1st part of 2011 i was convinced he was at best a 5th OF’er, now i ask, why is he playing?

    the Cubs will hire another Karate guy to get the players in shape.

    Rudy is not the best hitting coach, never was. another over paid Cub employee by Hendry.

    wasn’t Quade going to think about pitching to Pujols if the situation came up again?

  • Jeff DiDomenico

    It’s time for Quade to go, and Hendry for that matter. They put together a minor league team this year and they make decisions that only hurt the club. If the Rickett’s ever want to put this 100 year losing streak to an end they need to invest in a major league caliber manager, and stop letting Jim Hendry put minor league teams in Cubs’ uniforms!

    • Ace

      It becomes harder and harder to see how anyone could justify Hendry finishing out the season (and once Hendry goes, it’s only a matter of time before Quade gets the boot as well).

  • ME1963

    Agreed…You will always have minor league teams in Cubs uniforms as long as you have a minor league manager and a minor league pitching coach!