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With the suicide squeeze clearly on last night, I would have liked to have seen a pitch-out after Wilson Ramos missed a sign on the first attempt, and then pulled the bat back on the second attempt. On the third, the Cubs did nothing different, and the squeeze worked perfectly.

  • Mike Quade – like the rest of us – is at a loss when trying to explain Randy Wells’ slow return to effectiveness after early-season forearm problems. “I don’t know if there is a different time frame for different people, coming back from [injuries],” Quade said. “It’s a few things: coming back successfully, coming back quickly, coming back effectively; there are a whole bunch of roads you can take with that. But when he is down in the zone and he keeps his soft game down he is pretty good.”
  • Wells basically said the same thing; he doesn’t know what the problem is. Yikes.
  • Carlos Zambrano threw a side session yesterday (with Mike Quade’s little brother), and assuming he feels good today (back soreness), the next step is a simulated game. Zambrano is expected back in the first series after the All-Star break.
  • The Cubs hope Ryan Dempster can throw a side session from the mound today, and, if so, he’ll probably get the start on Saturday in Pittsburgh. If not, the Cubs will likely DL him, in which case he’d be eligible to come off, like Zambrano, just after the All-Star break.
  • Kerry Wood doesn’t feel any physical effects from his now-gone blister, but his control/command still isn’t where he wants it to be.
  • Want to make sure your valuables aren’t stolen? Hide them under your Cubs tickets.
  • Michigan Goat

    The problem might just be Riggins. Wells was a surprise- could it be that Rothchild was that good and work that well with preparing and coaching him? I’ve said it before but it time the media really starts to question Riggins ability to manage a MLB staff.

  • Ron

    What’s wrong with these guys…..Mark Riggins.

  • CubFan Paul

    the problem is Wells. If his salary wasn’t under $500,000 he woulda been thrown to the wolves before the season started. Having Wells around was management’s excuse to not sign a vetern pitcher this last offseason. yes, Hendry pulled of the trade for Garza but that didnt cost outta pocket money, just prospects ..Chances are, Wells will be ran out to the bump several more times while Ricketts sits on his hands. Our best bet: Hendry pulls of a couple miracle deadline trades & receives a Top 50 pitching prospect or a nice pitcher like Garza who’s arbitration eligible that we can keep for awhile

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In 2009 and 2010, Wells was one of the top 25 starters by WAR in the NL. Think about that. He’s good. He’s just having serious problems this year.

      • Hogie

        Not to mention he looked dominant in spring and the one game he had before the injury.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That he did.

          Freaking Cubs luck…

      • hardtop

        numbers, numbers, numbers. the numbers say that wells was good in 09, which he was, the numbers say he was better in 2010 than he actually was, in my opinion. Despite the numbers, I disagree, I never really considered him “good”. He filled the role of a number 5 role nicely there for a little while (though he might have been 3 or 4 technically, we really have had a rotation of two or more number 5′s for awhile). Obvioulsy, with the way he is pitching this year, he would be in excatly one starting rotation in the majors, the team with the worst pitching in baseball, ladies and gentleman, your chicago cubs.

        • CubFan Paul

          ha! wells at best in my opinion is a N.L. 5th starter with his weak ‘stuff’. And im glad that he’s pitching himself out of the rotation now. Hopefully his turn is skipped next time around for one of the scrubs (lopez, ortiz, or dare i say it ..Coleman)

          • hardtop

            paul, that was my point as well, i dont know if you are agreeing with me or if my post wasnt clear. the “ha!” part i thin kis what confusing me. either way, you and i are on the same page: i think he might be a 5th starter in the NL when he’s pitching his best, so I never really considered him good. that being said, id rather see him than lopez who will be back on his couch next year, or coleman, whom i wouldnt even let sit on my couch, as he would surely stink it up.

          • EQ

            I still think Wells can be a good pitcher on this staff.. maybe never more than a 4 or 5, but still… if he can get 10-12 wins I’ll take it. He’s been hurt this year and that affects performance far more than any of us seem to want to admit.

            • hardtop

              i hope you’re right…

              • EQ

                me too!

  • Cheryl

    Any word on why draft signings are so slow?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope, and it’s unusual to be this slow. Some of the beat writers are blowing the issue off, saying there’s still more than a month to go, but this is SLOW. The only thing I can come up with is the Cubs have so many overslot types (hard to sign guys) that it’s taking a while, and they want to announce a bunch of them at once.

  • CubFan Paul

    Cheryl i believe the draft signing deadline is August 15th

  • die hard

    Trade Pena and move Ramirez to first…try out several youngsters rest of year at third…

  • Ron

    Bring back the towel drill.

    • MichiganGoat

      Seeing the Yankees success with washed up pitchers really makes me miss Rothchild.

  • http://BleacherNation Bric

    Remember all the debate about who was better before this season- Wells or Garza? Well, we’re almost to the all star break and neither figures to have a winning record this year so what’s the consensus now? My feeling is hang onto Garza because he is a true #1 on more than half the staffs in the NL. Wells is Rich Hill part 2- a lucky product of Hendry’s very deep and very mediocre minor league system.
    Luck usually lasts for about as long as Wells and Hill were effective- maybe 30 starts. After that excuses like too much partying, arm problems, location, jive injuries, etc. basically cover up the fact that scouts have seen them, hitters have figured them out, and they just aint got it to be very good.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t know that anyone was saying Wells is better than Garza – I think folks, myself included, were saying that Wells is a much better starter than he’s given credit for (and it just so happened that WAR said he was better than Garza in 2009 and 2010).

      I’m holding out hope that this year will simply be a lost year for Wells, and, with time to get over his forearm issue, he’ll be back to his usual self next year.

      • CubFan Paul

        next year really?? if Wells is in the starting rotation next April, then Ricketts failed us again & it’l be another 70win season like this year (70 looks like a stretch when u give the Nats 3 times to execute a bunt that u should know thats coming) ..& ur big on the WAR stat Brett, i wouldnt compare wells’s WAR to Garza’s because garza was pitching against alot tougher lineups in the A.L. East!! im not gonna say my mom coulda dominated the Pirates & Astros like Wells back then but i wouldnt compare Wells’s “glory years” to Garza’s better than average american league record

        • EQ

          None of this matters.. They will all equally suck. Cy Young reincarnated would struggle with the Cubs.. The North Side is where good pitchers go to get hurt of stop producing.. I believe it’s the goat’s ass part of the curse.

          • EQ

            I meant “get hurt OR stop producing”

          • Michigan Goat

            Don’t bring my ass into this

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          WAR is normalized across the leagues. It doesn’t matter where or for whom the pitcher is pitching. I guess I have to say it again: I’m *not* saying Wells is better than, or even nearly as good as, Garza.

          I’m simply saying people continue to underrate his performance in 2009 and 2010. He wasn’t just an adequate 4 or 5. He was a very good number 3. If he gets it together, it would be insane to dump him before 2012.

        • Michigan Goat

          I think that’s a bit of an overreaction. Yes Garza is better than Wells but to think he isn’t part ofthe 2011 plans is just unrealistic. Unless a trade happens our staff will be Demp, Z, Garza and if we sign Fielder we won’t have the $$ for two starters so Wells will definately be considered for the 4/5 spot. Wait till the end of the year to see if he rebounds before we panic.

          • CubFan Paul

            ..we absolutely will have the $$ for 2 starters or at least one (cole hamels is my target) & the 5th spot will the organization’s Golden Boy Andrew Cashner who has a much more livelier arm than Wells and much more upside ..& i’m gonna pull the Hope Solo & say this isnt ’09 or ’10, this is 2011 & he shouldnt be out there

            • Michigan Goat

              I’ve been reading that Hamels is still arb eligible through 2011 can someone clear this up? As for Cashner, that’s a big risk with his rotator cuff and the fact he only started one game.

              • CubFan Paul

                this is the last year of a 3yr deal for Hamels that covers his arb years (http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/) ..&im not assuming cashner will be in the rotation next year, im saying the organization has a boner for him &they’ll hand him that spot next year just like they did this year

                • Michigan Goat

                  Check this out http://www.brotherlyglove.com/2011/05/05/extending-cole-hamels/ he has a fourth year due to his super 2 status. He will be a Philly next year.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Thank for tracking that down, MG.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      dammit!

                  • Michigan Goat

                    Sorry Paul I was excited when you dropped his name, but there are some young FA pitchers available next year. I think CJ Wilson would be worth a look.

      • http://Bleachernation.com Bric

        I also hope this year is just another part of the learning experience for Wells and he’ll return to his early form next year. He’s not going anywhere anyway. But I never put him in the the same category of Garza or Z (which is why I thought the debate and the”stats to support it were ridiculous). If he’s so great , why no love from anybody other than Hendry and Cub fans? but I still had high hopes for him this year.

        Yet the reality is when other teams look at the pitching matchups they’ve gotta be salivating when they see his name, much like when I see the matchups against a team like the Astros. No one fears facing Randy Wells. They probably look forward to it. So the end result is he’s a struggling pitcher on a really bad team that has no other options. And right now that’s all he is. It’s not Riggins’ or anybody else’s fault that he sucks right now, except maybe hendry. Let’s hope he figures out.

        • CubFan Paul

          umm ..the Astros swept the Cubs the only time we played them this year

  • http://BleacherNation Bric

    Great point. The Astros’ #2 starter is Wandy Rodriguez. Randy Wells is basically Wandy Rodriguez (at least that’s the way I envision other teams looking at him when they see him listed as the probable starter).

    • CubFan Paul

      Ookay..

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