I am one of those people who, during a game, cannot physically bring myself to actively root against the Cubs. But, in the light of a new day, I’m not convinced that winning right now – especially against the Pirates, which just helps hand the division to one of the Cardinals or Brewers – is the best thing for this organization. Just sayin’…

  • Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry stated plainly that Kosuke Fukudome was traded so that Tyler Colvin could get regular starts in right field. Since the trade, Colvin has started in just two of the team’s five games. Is this another case of the Cubs and the manager having conflicting incentives (Cubs want to see Colvin develop, Quade wants to win games – this was precisely the same problem the organization had last August)? I’m not so sure. In the last two games, Reed Johnson has gotten the start. Recall, Johnson was the subject of a number of trade rumors going into the last week of July when his back gave out, and he had to sit. It seems to me, sitting Colvin is as much about showing teams that Johnson is now healthy (and thus, enticing to trade partners) as it is about trying to win meaningless August games.
  • For what it’s worth, of Colvin sitting, Quade had this to say: “It’s a tentative situation for me just because I have two guys [Johnson and Jeff Baker] that do so well against left-handers, and I’m looking for at-bats for ‘Bake’ and Reed. But there’s a lot of baseball left. He’ll get his at-bats. We’d love to see him excel against right-handers and put him in the best situations I can against right-handed pitching, and pick our spots against left-handers.” The irony? When Colvin was up early this year, Quade started him almost exclusively against left-handers.
  • Andrew Cashner threw a second successful bullpen session yesterday, and it must have gone smoothly. “I saw him on the elevator on the way to the park this morning and I thought maybe he was starting tonight,” manager Mike Quade said. “You talk about a kid that’s going nuts. He’s so anxious to get started. We’re going to have to put the reins on him a little bit. … But if it was up to him, he’d be on my card tonight.” Cashner hopes to be back in two to three weeks, but the Cubs are thinking more like four or five.
  • Notably, Quade said he hopes Cashner is able to remain a starting pitcher when he returns. That’s great news, but it comes with two caveats: (1) there’s almost no chance Cashner is allowed to start any games in September if he comes back (he’ll be working a couple innings at a time – I’ll confess, this is just my guess); and (2) if Quade isn’t the manager next year, it’ll be up to the next guy to decide whether Cashner can be a starter again.
  • Carlos Pena is very happy he wasn’t traded, and that probably explains why he is so effusive in his praise for Jim Hendry. “I’d rather have someone really working towards out common goal, instead of [making trades] just for show,” Pena said. “Our GM is not like that. He’s not trying to ‘look’ like he’s working. He’s working…. He’s doing something that’s going to mean something at the end of it all, something substantial, and we’re going to reap the benefits. I’d rather have that. We put all our heads together, all our energy together, and personally, I’m excited about the possibility of me being part of that team. Even with our record at this point, with our difficulties. I can say the same thing. I’m excited about what’s coming.” Shrug.
  • Derrek Lee, whom the Cubs are now facing as a member of the Pirates, remains ever the classy guy. “I have a lot of great friends over there,” Lee said of the Cubs. “It’s hard to see them struggle. I thought they would have a good year this year because of their rotation but baseball is a crazy game. They had some tough injuries right out of the gate. Two injuries to their rotation, that’s hard to overcome. You hate to see them struggle like that. Hopefully they can finish strong like they did last year.”
  • Various reports say John Grabow is expected to be traded in August. Don’t expect anything in return. Like, anything.
  • Reader Jeff posted this article in the comments earlier, and, since there were no bullets yesterday, I didn’t get it in until today. It’s an article contrasting the Cubs and Cardinals, written by a Cardinals columnist. If you’re a masochist, go ahead and read it.
  • I meant to post this screenshot from Cubs.com over the weekend, but the 24-hour thing jacked up my schedule (and my mind). Adventures in hilarious headline writing and timing:

  • Fishin Phil

    I hope you are right about the reason Colvin is still sitting, but I have a sneaking suspicion that is just Quade being an idiot again.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Always possible. Probable, even.

  • Michigan Goat

    I don’t see how Reed would pass through waivers, he’s cheap. Of course my understanding of how waviers work is fuzzy. Maybe a refesher course for everyone is in order Brett

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He wouldn’t necessarily pass – but the Cubs might be fine with that.

      Basically, the player is offered in reverse order of standings to every team in his own team’s league (so, in Reed’s case, the NL), and then, if not claimed, in reverse order of standings to every team in the other league. If claimed, the Cubs can choose to pull him back and keep him (revocable waivers), or can let him go to the other team (with that team picking up the rest of his salary), or can work out a trade with that team. If no team claims him, the Cubs are free to trade him to whomever (with the knowledge that he’s got to be on another team’s roster by August 31 if that team wants to use him in the playoffs (that’s why August 31 is sometimes called the “waiver trade deadline,” even though it’s not a deadline for trades – they can happen in September, too)).

      Yup, I’m gonna have to turn this into a post.

  • hardtop

    Due to the fact that we made no moves of any importance this year, and because we need much better pitching/will have holes to fill in the pitching staff (bye bye grabow), the team that takes the field next year is going to be largely assembled from the same cast of characters (i.e. the clowns coming out of the clown car will be very familiar). If Jackson is ready to come up, it seems unlikely he’ll start the season. The steed is productive and super-duper-ooper cheap. I think he needs to stay as a sort of bearded nicotine patch, to get us to 2013. You’re not going to get anything for him that will match his production or (yes Brett, brace yourself) hustle… not short term nor long term. Not in august, and not for a team like the cubs, whom everyone believes is desperate (rightly so).
    2012 outfield, barring major offseason movement, has reed in left, Byrd in center, colvin/campana/jackson in right (which ever of these guys that can hit for average should get the starts. I would have liked to see Tyler there as a left handed bat, but he’s not hitting anymore, and .200 and change in the minors is not good enough to start in the majors). I’m not happy about this lineup either! But these are the pieces Hendry has stuck this club with. It’s time to stop playing Fonzie, maybe he gets moved for 90% of his salary, if not, he rides pine and does a little PH. .240 is just stupid, stupid, and stupid. Campana can hit .240 and score double the runs. I believe if the steed had an equal number of at bats, he’d probably have 10 to 12 long balls (to fonzie’s 16?), couple that with the fact the reed can play left blindfolded while taking pulls of a bowl, as well as Fonzie does giving “maximum effort”, means fonzie really has no value over Johnson at that position. He also makes about $18,100,000 more than Reed (that’s fucking criminal right there)

    While we are at it… let’s do that right now! Reed and Soriano play gin in the dugout! Put both campana and Colvin out there to shag some balls. Start them! Sit fonzie, he’s not contributing. Screw Hendry’s ego; if he has one, he hasn’t earned it. I actually like Fonzie (as a 6.5 mil a year guy), but he really hasn’t contributed since we got him, save a couple good seasons. I’d be fine with him being out there if he was our best option, but he’s not. Win some games q-ball, and maybe you’ll salvage enough credibility that someone might allow you to coach a girl’s softball team somewhere.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Reed’s not under contract for 2012, though; and the only deal he got this year was a minor league deal and a Spring Training invite. So, even if the Cubs move him, it’s entirely possible that he could be back again next year (not that I’m necessarily endorsing that path).

  • willis

    Put Colvin in left or right and Johnson in the other spot. Soriano sucks. Colvin and Johnson are plus defenders and Colvin needs his at bats. If it is true that Soriano will be shown the door next year regardless of a trade partner found or not, I don’t see the point in playing him just to witness 0-4s with a couple strikeouts and bad defense. It makes no sense.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cubs are hoping Soriano can keep hitting bombs so that they can unload him (for mega cheap) on an AL team in the winter. I actually agree with them continuing to play Soriano for the rest of this year.

      • willis

        I get that but it’s brutal to watch. I understand the end game though. If there is a sucker who would bite.

  • hardtop

    whatchyoo talkin bout willis…. actually that’s exactly what im talkin bout, willis.

    way to spell it out in about an eighth of the words i used…concise and to the point.
    i must drink my coffee before i post from now on.

    • CubFan Paul

      one problem…

      Reed Johnson isnt an everyday player because of his “back issues” ..the Dodgers tried that in 2010 & the Cubs tried that in 2009 ..i think i read somewhere early this season that Reed has a herniated disc (& its probably in a spot where the vertabrae can’t be fused together or im quite sure that surgery would of been done in 2009 when he was in Chicago & diagnosed with it)

      Reed the Steed is at best a 4th outfielder who needs 2-3 days a week for rest/relaxation for his back meaning he can’t be counted on to be a starter in the outfield this year or next year.

      hopefully he’s brought back as insurance next year in that 4th/5th outfielder role just like this year. Look for the Cubs to sign or trade for an everyday outfielder this offseason to accompany Byrd & a young guy (colvin, jackson, or campana) in the outfield ..im assuming Soriano will get a pink slip or be traded this winter

      • hardtop

        damn paul, you and the facts, you’re such a downer. yeah, i remember him having back issues. i didnt know they were persisting, well, i did know that it had come up this season, but i guess i didnt know it was untreatable/incurable. maybe if they paid him a little more money he could afford a chiropractor 😉 maybe its time to put the steed out to pasture…

        • CubFan Paul

          i love Reed as the 4th outfielder, that’s why he’s been able to maintain his uncanny .322/.365/.541/.906 stat line but i totally expect a new outfielder on the team next year thats not in our system now that can play the corners or all 3 spots.

          maybe brett jackson will show up to camp Colvin this winter & earn the spot & status people want to give him

          we’ll see

          • willis

            When Reed plays, he plays good defense and hits. I understand he has had and currently has back issues, so I would be good with 3-4 starts a week for him. I don’t think that would be too taxing. And when he is in there, he’s crazy effective.

          • hardtop

            another thought: here in CO medicinal marijuana is legal. in reference to my description of Reeds ability to play left… maybe pulling hits off the bowl is exactly what he needs for his back. Reed needs to move to CO. I think Dempster still owns a house here, maybe he can use his address to get his weed license.

            • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC


              • hardtop

                there you go again, calling the kettle black.
                “Whether you suffer from glaucoma, or you just rented The Matrix, medical marijuana can make things fabulous! …medically.”

            • Ol’CharlieBrown

              Cool to know there’s a fellow member of the Bleacher Nation community out here in CO besides myself!

              • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                Isn’t one of the gals ’round here from CO, too? Laura, maybe?

                Where’s MichiganGoat from? Rhode Island?

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Every line is gold today. I’m serious.

                  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                    Wait ’til my wife finds out I’m quitting landscape architecture to monetize my blog comments.

                    BTW, I’ll be needing couch space from one of you guys. Soon.

                    • Toosh

                      I have the couch AND 2 spare bedrooms.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    He’s much funnier when the banana hammock isn’t riding up too much.

                • Laura

                  Yep, I’m up in the mountains.

                  • http://www.bobbyfunzone.com bobbyd

                    Ski much?

                    • Laura

                      Not really

  • Spencer

    There’s no reason to even have Cashner pitch again this year. Don’t even risk having something happen this year while he’s pitching an inning out of the pen in a meaningless game in a meaningless season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I can see that thought; but I could also understand wanting him to face ML batters before the season ends. Otherwise, he won’t have faced real action against big league hitters in a year come next Spring. That can’t be good.

  • Hogie

    What ever happened to letting the kids play? I love Reed and really enjoy watching him play, but if he is in the Cubs’ future it is as a veteran 4th outfielder. Give Colvin and Campana most of those at bats. I am fine with Soriano playing out this year in the field (easy now). It’s not going to do our ability to trade him any good if he sits on the bench for the rest of the year.

    • Jeff

      You can’t have Campana and Soriano as two of your starting outfielder, I can only imagine the number of extra runs that would be given up combining Soriano’s aloof fielding style with Campana’s little league arm strength in center.

      I would love to see Cashner come back and pitch lights out in September, I’d rather have to wait until spring training to see him start though. No use risking the arm on a lost season, give it the extra recovery time and let him come back when he can help the team.

      I am baffled still by the Colvin situation. There have been excuses why he hasn’t been getting starts since Piniella was “managing”, and none of them really add up. It’s been almost a full season of bad baseball and lots of losing, there is no reason not to let him start 5 times a week against lefties or righties, and figure out if he can hit himself straight. I can tell you that it’s probably not happening starting 2 times a week and pinch hitting for Soriano in the 7th every other game. This is the same crap we went through last year.

  • awesome

    Quade said the same thing last year, it doesn’t wash with me. Baker is not an everyday player, Johnson is not the future.

    don’t get me wrong, I’m not sold on Colvin, but Hendry said he was here to start, Colvin is supposed to be part of the future. Hendry has said he’d like to see Colvin, Jackson, and Sczcur in the same OF. it will never happen under Quade.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Just read that article.

    Yup. Depressing.

    You know how hard it’s going to be to move to St. Louis in a couple of weeks? I can sense their smugness already.

    • Joe Cartwright

      Just imagine if they win the NL central.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You’re moving to St. Louis? Hopefully one of the nice parts…

      • hardtop

        well its been 4 minutes and no one’s said it so…

        “there are nice parts of st. louis?”

        a cubs fans duty to bash the city of st. louis whenver possible,and ,really, the entire state of misery.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thank you. Geez… you set up a joke and then it’s just CRicketts…

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          You know, I had something half typed out, and then thought, aw, fuckit… St Louis isn’t even worth cracking jokes about.

          Truly one of the most unpleasant days I’ve ever spent in my life was the day that I went down to STL to see the Cubs play the Cards. July temps over 90°, full Mississippi River humidity… walked through the zoo on the way to the game, so many enormously obese people, all smoking cigs, all wearing red shirts — I felt like a enraged bull, wanting to gore people with my horns. Of course, they’re all too ginormous for my skinny ass, so I just seethed in the dank St Louis air. And the game? Cubs lost, of course. ::shock::

  • JB

    I hate the Cardinals…hate hate hate them growing up in Central Illinois…but I would rather have that organization to root for than this clown college.

  • Toosh

    I feel that way about the White Sox. I’ll never root for them, but I thought when they won the World Series that that would’ve helped pressure the Cubs to put their house in order. No such luck.