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I’m still not over yesterday’s game. No, not the part where Carlos Marmol almost blew his second-straight 2-0 lead, and not the part where the bats were quietly the real problem. I can’t get over the part where Ryan Dempster was so freaking good. Every pitch was working, and he was making Marlins hitters look foolish. He hasn’t done that in quite some time. It was really nice to see.

  • Carlos Marmol is temporarily out as the Cubs’ closer says Mike Quade. Marmol will take “some time” to work on his mechanics (long overdue; how about working on that burgeoning belly?), and, in the interim, Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood will close out games as necessary. Perhaps this is the time for bold changes?
  • Quade said the “some time” is likely to be at least a couple days, though Marmol was probably going to need a day or two off anyway given how many pitches he’s thrown the last two days. My guess is we don’t see him for a few days, and then he’ll make a seventh or eighth inning appearance.
  • Marmol said that (1) he hopes to get back to his old self soon, (2) he has lost some confidence (yikes), and (3) he hates to be booed.
  • Ken Rosenthal describes Jeff Baker as “not available” because the Cubs plan on having him in the fold in 2012. While I have no doubt that the Cubs would be happy to have Baker back next year (and he’s cheaply under team control), I suspect that, once again, this is a matter of a reporter overstating things. Baker is *unlikely* to be traded because of his perceived value to the Cubs in 2012 (which I’ve said repeatedly), but to say he’s “unavailable” is flat out ridiculous. He’s a 30-year-old utility player. Of course he’s available.
  • Well, there’s one top 15 pick the Chicago Cubs won’t be signing – 8th rounder Taylor Dugas, an outfielder from Alabama, says he’s returning to school for his senior season and will not be signing with the Cubs. Dugas said that “money” was the reason for his return to school. So, it appears that Dugas wanted way more money than the Cubs were willing to give. Dugas will be a senior next year, so he’ll lose virtually all of his leverage in negotiations like this – that means, if money was the real sticking point, either the Cubs were massively lowballing him, or he was massively highballing them. Given the Cubs’ plans to spend on the draft, I suspect it was the latter.
  • A Cubs minor league pitcher, Yomar Morel, has tested positive for steroids and has been banned for 50 games. Morel is a 17 year old who was putting up great numbers in the Dominican Summer League, so it’s sad for two reasons. Morel is the fifth DSL Cub to be suspended for PEDs. I know that the PED culture in the Dominican Republic is different than it is here in the States (in the last five years, anyway), but that seems like an issue.
  • Toosh

    What are your thoughts on slotting?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Clearly, the system is flawed. “Recommendations” with no teeth do very little to deter either the teams or the players from paying/demanding far over slot, particularly in the later rounds. As long as players have leverage (going to school), there simply has to be room for teams to go “over” slot, otherwise they’ll never sign anyone. I still think the biggest problem is teams who are trying to go cheap, rather than teams trying to go expensive (probably biased, as a fan of a big market club).

  • die hard

    ironic…worried about a closer at a time when Cubs are last in the league of having games to close?….is like checking a horse’s toothache by looking up his ass….why dont Cubs mandate that every player in a situation where runner on first or second and less than two outs must bunt the runner to next base?….or mandate that no swings until one strike?….or at least one pitch per batter be inside enough to make batter bail out…..or first pitch to every batter be down the middle to force a swing…etc etc etc

    • RoughRiider

      While you’re at it how about Soriano not swinging at every low and outside pitch he sees.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Carlos Zambrano activated for today’s start, and Chris Carpenter sent back to AAA.

  • Toosh

    Now I read where the Cubs are still under pressure to shed payroll. Is that true?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Link? I think “pressure to shed payroll” is overstating it a bit, but they would definitely like to reduce costs for the rest of the 2011 season. I’ve not read of any intention to reduce payroll in 2012 (note, though, that the 2012 payroll will be at the already-reduced 2011 level (down about $15 million from 2010)).

  • ry

    Soriano sucks. Has he even hit five homers since May 1st??

  • Toosh

    RotoWorld.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Rotoworld has 6,000 news bits on any given day – I can’t seem to find it. Also, Rotoworld doesn’t really report its own stuff, they aggregate. So I’m trying to figure out where the suggestion originates from. If you could paste an actual link to the news bit, I’d be much obliged.

  • Toosh

    Sorry. I was wrong. It was at MLBTR. From Rosenthal and Morosi.

  • Toosh

    Now that I re-read it, it says the Cubs are under no pressure to shed payroll. That makes sense.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Roger that. It was in the Rosenthal article.

  • Toosh

    Does any team have interest in Zambrano? Yikes!

  • Ron

    I can’t ever remember starting pitchers putting up numbers that big, 7-8 runs a start. Didn’t a previous manager apologize to his starter one day for that because his bullpen was wore out? By the way this could be the first BN post from Jordan! at least my first post anyway.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Post from Jordan, like, the country? Or the basketball player?

      Because if it’s the latter, hi Mr. Jordan! I like your shoes!

  • http://jscannell17@gmail.com jim

    The CUBS are “overpaid” “underachievers”!
    I know: The CUBS fans are “loyal” & continue
    to pour in Wrigley Field; but,at the same time,
    this team is going “nowhere”. The fans really
    “should” start not showing up, so a very clear
    message would be sent to the “powers to be”!

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