The Cubs are a season-low 17 games under .500. The injuries have certainly sucked, but they don’t account for all 17 of those games. Somewhat relatedly: everyone is patting Ramon Ortiz on the back for his more than solid debut last night… why is no one criticizing the organization for not starting him over a month ago while we were forced to suffer through the Davis/Russell shit show?

  • Was Marcos Mateo’s elbow injury caused by his unusually long, 57-pitch outing last week? Mike Quade doesn’t think so – or, more accurately, he hopes not. “I would like to think not. I think he’d made 40 pitches with us before. Fifty-seven pitches? It was a long stint for him, but I’d like to think [it didn’t affect him]. He felt great in his side [session] the day before. He wanted to be available [Sunday], but we wouldn’t let him. He had plenty of rest. He’d been a starter in the past.” Blaming the long outing would be very convenient – Mateo could have blown out his elbow at any time – but sometimes convenient explanations are also correct ones. We’ll never really know where the truth lies, but I doubt Mateo has thrown that many pitches in three years (when he was last a starter).
  • Quade says he doesn’t mind being second-guessed or questioned about his decisions. That’s fine. But how about making better decisions?
  • The Cubs are hopeful that Ryan Dempster can start this Saturday in Pittsburgh.
  • Jeff Baker is day-to-day with back spasms, which kicked up on the play in which he threw the ball into left field in the first inning last night.
  • Welington Castillo continues to work on his game at AAA, patiently awaiting his chance to stick in the bigs. “This is a business, and I have to do whatever it takes to earn my spot,” Castillo said. “I simply have to play ball, have fun, and the rest will take care of itself. No one is given a roster spot simply because they are a top prospect. Once I get to the big leagues, I want to stay in the big leagues.”
  • Steven Rosenbloom questions why Cubs pitchers are suffering so many arm injuries. As usual, he asks the questions in the most inflammatory way possible, but the questions are at least interesting. With a new manager and new pitching coach, the questions probably deserve to be asked.
  • 21-year-old pitching prospect Nick Struck has been promoted to AAA Iowa after just six starts in AA.
  • A nice writeup on High A first baseman Justin Bour at the Friendy Blogfines.
  • wax_eagle

    I am more concerned about all of the back injuries. We have several guys on this team with a history of back issues (Reed, Baker and Z are the ones that come to mind) hopefully the trainers are making everyone focus hard on their core work. The glut of back injuries at mid season is screaming to me that something is wrong with the training staff, and possibly the motivation of these guys to stay in shape.

    I hate questioning motivation, because I see it as a copout for poor performance, but at the same time Z has said over and over his back problems are often caused by laziness about core workouts, strong Abs are important to a healty back and Ab workouts are one of the most boring things to do in the weight room….

    • pfk

      Yes they are and that is why I don’t do them. I occasionally throw my back out while lifting a Martini glass or using the shaker.

      • Ian Afterbirth

        Aren’t you in Italy or something?
        Why aren’t you drinking wine, pfk????

  • willis

    Rosenbloom is a pain in the ass but he’s kind of right on this one. When does anyone of authority start to question the handling of this pitching staff? The decisions have been completely awful all year long. And truthfully, Kerry Wood looks about as bad as he has his whole career. The most concerning part though is the injuries. Injuries happen to every team, but the amount of injuries to pitchers on this team is staggering.

    Oh and the worst ERA in the NL. At least the starters.

  • RY34

    Either our trainers suck or we root for a bunch of babies.

    • Zach

      Our trainers don’t suck, they were voted the best trainers in the MLB last year or 2 years ago, and the Cubs still have the same trainers.

  • MichiganGoat

    As hard as it is for me to admit this I think Wrigley is partly to blame. We have sub-standard training/locker facilities, our bullpen is in the hot sun all day, and we play all those wonderful day games. This is all the more reason for the T-bldg to get done and other Wrigley renovations that will modernize the player comfort aspect of the stadium. I am confident Wrigley will get the makeover it needs without destroying what we all love about Wrigley.

    • Jeff

      I’ll give you the point on the training facility. I’ve seen the Cubs facilities and they are tiny and awful. I think the gym at my apartment complex is more modernized than Wrigley.

      There really isn’t a whole lot the Cubs can do about the day games though. The problem with day games, the T-building, the parking garage, and most community problems stem from the neighborhood association and the rooftop owners. They all get a big cut of the pie and don’t want any changes. They petitioned the city over the Cubs wanting to switch to night games, claiming it will disrupt their neighborhood. I can honestly say that there probably aren’t a whole lot of living people in the area that have been around longer than Wrigley, yet the entire neighborhood acts like the Cubs and their fans are eyesores intruding into their privacy, all the while continuing to cash checks for the very things they complain about..

      • Brett

        Yeah, some of the local orgs do seem to want it both ways.

        • Bric

          I think we’re all a little guilty of wanting it both ways. If the Cubs magically managed to win four in a row the Nation would be full of rememberances of the Red Sox horrible start this year, the Rockies and A’s 20 game winning streaks of a couple of years ago and the Marlins and Astros’ crazy mid season turnarounds of the last decade. But the reality is the Cubs have had too much bad mojo for too long to end this 100 year losing streak.
          Somebody at some time has gotta stick out his neck, take the bullet, and push this team in a new direction. This isn’t the 40’s, 60’s or 80’s anymore, when all you had to watch or listen to was the Cubs on WGN (win or lose). Loyalty only gets you so far and these days with satelite, cable, and the internet, the old religion is quickly disappearing.

  • Joe

    Did Nick Struck actually have good stats or are we trying to prove our farm system is worth something?

    • Brett

      Awesome ERA, decent K/9, great BB/9, but he gets hit – like, a hit per inning. As long as he keeps the HR/9 microscopically small as he has, he could be a good one.

      • Joe

        It would be interesting to see his BABIP…

  • Dave

    I blame Dusty for Mateo’s injury

    • Brett

      I blame Dusty for the skinned knee I got last night playing kickball.

      • TWC