Today, the Chicago Cubs go for their first three-game winning streak of the season. They’ve had nine previous cracks at it this year, and have lost all nine. This is the longest the Cubs have gone into a season without winning three in a row since 1966 (which was just five games longer). Before that, there wasn’t a longer stretch. So this is already, like, historically bad.

  • Randy Wells suggested yesterday something I’ve been speculating about for a month – he hasn’t been totally healthy since coming back from a forearm injury that cost him two months at the start of the year. “It has been a process trying to get back where I want be. I’ve been battling aches and pains and trying to get healthy. I’m just happy to get the ball on the ground a lot more than I have in recent starts and get the team through six or more innings.”
  • Buster Olney says Reed Johnson should be one of the most sought-after pieces at the trade deadline, given his production and dirt-cheap contract. But then he steps on our grapes by noting that teams are unwilling to give up more than a C+ prospect for him (and guys like him), asking “is it worth it?”
  • The Cubs are sticking to their Sean-Marshall-is-not-available story. Shrug.
  • Can someone give me a good reason why the Cubs should not claim lefty Jo-Jo Reyes? Reyes, 26, was DFA’d by the Blue Jays yesterday after putting up a 5.40 ERA over 20 starts this year (which, you’ll note, would be a vast improvement over the Cubs’ back-end of the rotation when you do the normal AL/NL adjustment). Once a prospect with a bright future in the Braves’ organization, Reyes got a shot with the Blue Jays and failed. He still has a mid-90s fastball and is young enough to turn it around. He’s making just $439K this year. Again, why would the Cubs not put in a claim?
  • Watch out, Mike Quade, Carlos Zambrano has your back: “[Quade] makes mistakes like everybody else, you know,” Zambrano said. “At the end of the day, all [he’s doing] is just trying to win. Sometimes it doesn’t go the way he wants, but you know he tries to win. For me he’s the same guy … things haven’t gone the way he expects.”
  • Jon Greenberg shreds the Cubs for the crappy attendance at Wrigley Field and the organization’s weak efforts to lure fans with giveaways. He offers some joke giveaway ideas before concluding on a serious (and somber) note: “Now that we’ve had our fun, here are two last ideas to boost attendance and bolster enthusiasm. These are really wacky, so suspend your disbelief in advance. Lower ticket prices to normal levels, and spend more money to bring in, you know, good baseball players. Guys who can play defense and pitch and look interested half the time.”
  • Attendance problems don’t just hurt the organization. Think about the dude bringing you your (sixth) beer: A Wrigley Beer Man’s Notes. Pro-tip: treat everyone like an actual human being, even if he’s “just” the guy selling you beer. Do so especially this year. Also – read that Tumblr. Dude can write.
  • awesome

    about a month ago Wells said “enough of using the injury excuse, it’s time to produce”. said he was 100% healthy. is there anymore Cubs playing at not 100%, speak up now. one who will use that excuse before long is Soriano, the media is already using that excuse for this guy.

  • Joe Cartwright

    Wow…. Amger management did wonders for Zambrano…

  • willis

    I agree on the Reyes idea, especially looking at the box scores of the minor league games and seeing that the pitching down there is no better than up here.

    • MichiganGoat

      Agreed, this is what successful organization do. They look for cheap/low-risk/high-reward, reclamation projects to bring in. The Phillys have been doing this for year as did the Giants last year. Add to it that he is relatively young it should be a no-brainer, not to mention some people just can’t handle all the “a-boots” and “Kraft Dinners” of the Canadian air. Also I wonder if we do sign him how long before some thinks we traded or JOSE Reyes?

  • philoe beddoe

    I didn’t realize Reyes was that young…if they don’t snatch him up(and there is no other reason he was released…like when the Angels released Bobby Jenks for his alcoholism and penchant for fighting teammates)…then why the hell did we pick up Ramon Ortiz, Dave Bush,Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez? I am going to check on this Reyes guy…

    • RoughRiider

      I agree. If the Cubs can sign or trade for guys like Ramon Ortiz, Dave Bush,Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez they could at least sign Reyes to a minor league deal and give him a try. However, since the Braves gave up on him and in 5 seasons he has never had an ERA below 5.40 and is 5-15 witha 6.40 era and WHIP of 1.67 in the NL I wouldn’t count on him being a reliable starter down the road. If they could sign him to a minor league deal and then try to keep him in the minors next year until he either works out his problems or proves he can’t, they should. He actually looks as if he would be a better reliever than starter. I would’t want him to take up a place on the 40 man roster over the winter.

  • philoe beddoe

    Reyes should be a no-brainer…he had 5 outings vs. NL teams this year..pitched well in 2 of the starts..decent in the other two….had a bad bad outing against the Braves(former team)..pitched against Phils, Cin, Atl, Pitt and Hou…if anything you should bring him in and try him as a lefty reliever…crappy lefter starters sometimes turn into great lefty specialists…do you think he has better stuff than James Russell?….if I were a GM I would NEVER give up on lefties….remember Chuck McElroy?..horrible starter, lasted in the bigs for a long time as a reliever…there are many examples of this…26-27 is way too early to give up on a lefty…

  • philoe beddoe

    I just realized how pathetic it is that as a Cub fan I am trying to make the case to pick up a guy who is 5-8 with a 5 something ERA….

    boy do we suck

  • ry

    it is simple, reyes is not over 35 and doesn’t quite fall under the category of having absolutely nothing left in the tank to give. hendry just loves those type of guys.

  • Toosh

    Reyes is a “speed guy” and speed is the first skill that goes.

  • Toosh

    I wouldn’t mind if Hendry put in a claim for Reyes. I can see him thinking he has better talent in the minors, though.

  • Mike

    Ok, so imagine Aram and Pena have played their way into staying, and somehow we move Soriano. And Fuk’s gone. Next year, the only way this offense is better is if Pena and Aram are the support, not the core. Thus the Cubs only option for a difference bat is trading for a raking corner outfielder, Byrd or no Byrd, with, say, Jackson getting his time. The only way the Cubs would be prepared to do that is by loading up the farm right here and now with guys who have upside. This is why Reyes is a no-brainer. The Cubs need to be actively seeking any available guys with even more upside than him, even without the intent on seeing them on the North Side.

  • Dave

    I’ve been hearing rumors of the Cubs close to signing Maples and Dunston. Brett, have you heard any of these rumors?

    • Brett

      I haven’t, but that would be fantastic. Care to share your source…?

  • Dave

    Just heard it on a message board. Gotta take it with a grain of salt, which is why I wanted to ask what you’ve heard. Also, I found this online:

  • Laura

    Reed plays like he works for actual money, instead of magic beans, which is all I think the Cubs would get in return if he was traded. Forgive me for not being able to find it now, but there was a link on BN a few days back that had Hendry saying he won’t trade anyone that will be an asset to the team in the next few years. He also said he wouldn’t trade anybody with the expectation that they would be back. That puts a nix on any notion that we trade Reed just to have him return next year. He started the year with nothing more than an invite to spring training, and he’s gone on to save his teammates butts a number of times since then. He’s definitely been a huge plus this year on a team with an overwhelming amount of negatives. So, if you happen to read BN Jim Hendry, take note:

    Trade Reed once, shame on you.
    Trade Reed twice, I hope you spend the rest of your time with the Cubs licking toilet seats clean at Wrigley.

    (Maybe that will be what causes the ‘personal issues’ that makes him retire, huh Caleb?)

    Trade Reed once, shame on you.

    • hardtop

      they have toilet seats at Wrigley? I assumed you guys just hung it out there over the trough.

      I’m with you Laura. unlikely you get anything worthwhile in a reed trade. Best you will get is a future utility outfielder. And I doubt said minor league outfielder will be as good as reed in the long run. And if he is, he’s going to want more than 900,000 by the time he’s playing at reeds level.

      But, if someone really wants the steed in their stable and they are willing to give up a high level prospect, someone who’s projected to be a quality big league starter, i think we have to take that deal. Reed’s no spring chicken and ultimately not a 3 to 5 year piece on this team.

  • Laura

    *Also, if any other teams scouts are reading this & thinking about trying to get Reed, just remember how crappy he played for the Dodgers. He’s meant to be a Cub.

    (and sorry for the typo in the previous post)

    • Brett

      Don’t listen to her, Jimbo. She’s deranged.

      (just kidding – on the second part, at least)

      • Laura

        (said the man who plays Starcraft)

        • Brett

          Eh hem. PlayED.

  • Ralph

    Are the Giants still somewhat interested in Geovany Soto? If they plan on moving Buster Posey out from behind the plate given the broken leg, it would make sense for them to have interest. I read the Kaplan article via yesterday’s link suggesting that Wellington Castillo gets a shot at being the #1 catcher in the near future given that Geo will probably cost close to $5 million next year and is a .240 hitter with 27 RBI. Also, Steve Clevenger is batting over .400 (only about 80 at bats I think) for AAA Iowa at this point.. and hardly anyone ever talks about his consistent rise through the system. I know it’s tough to trade away one of your own home-grown players (especially one that was once a rookie of the year), but what do people think about having Castillo/Clevenger combo instead of the Soto/Hill combo? How would this affect the pitching staff?

    • hardtop

      well considering z and demp are the only tenured pitchers i cant imagine it would be that big of a deal to move catchers. z’s contract is almost up and he’ll be gone. garza’s only been with geo one years so im sure he’ll be fine, and demp, well, he gets paid a lot of money, he’ll suck it up. hopefully we’ll have 2 new starters next year and by 2013 garza and demp will be all that’s left of this years rotation. I like geo, but .240 is not acceptable…. unless you have 20 + hr’s and even then .260ish would be better. lets put it this way, if you’re numbers are worse than soriano’s its not acceptable.

  • Cheri

    Reed needs to stay…he is a REAL ball player…what the cubs need more of! He plays a hard game and he plays it good!

    • Brett

      You got your wish. For now.

  • Jeff

    You are so right!! The Cubs absolutely need more 34 year old outfielders who can’t stay healthy and are below average at best defensively. That 10 homeruns and 50 rbi’s he would produce if he played 150 games are absolutely the kind of numbers we need to build around.