The Cubs are 3-25 with runners in scoring position over the last two games. The stats say the only Cubs regulars who don’t crap their pants this year with runners in scoring position are Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, and Aramis Ramirez. Couple that with the Cubs’ inability to see some pitches and take a walk, and you’ve got a recipe for the next person to enter the will-he-go discussion: hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
- Ok, last thing about the Starlin Castro inattentiveness episode. Aramis Ramirez offers an unintentional summary of why the incident has frustrated us all so much. “[Castro]’s going to make mistakes. We forget how young he is, and like any other 21-year-old you’re going to do some things that eventually you’ll have to learn from,” Ramirez said. “But because it was ESPN and they made a big deal about it, the story got bigger. You have to be ready, though, every pitch. But if it wasn’t a nationally televised game, nobody would have known about it.” (emphasis added.) That’s what we’re afraid of, Aramis. We’re afraid none of you or Mike Quade would have known about it, either.
- On the one-year anniversary of Mike Quade’s tenure as Cubs’ manager, Paul Sullivan put together a timeline of important Quade events. I tend to think it’s rather impartial, and, after reading it, I’m more convinced than ever that Quade should not (and will not) return to manage the team next year. I’d forgotten just how many “incidents” there have been this year, stretching all the way back to Spring Training, when Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva got into a dugout fight. (That picture, which is one of the best photoshops ever, comes from poster GBTS at Obstructed View.)
- Still think Scouting Director Tim Wilken might pack up his stuff and go home just because Jim Hendry was let go? Let Tim emphatically disabuse you of that notion. “Hell yeah,” Wilken said when asked if he wants to stay with the Cubs and see his farm construction process through. “Without a doubt. That was my goal when I came here. Jim hired me, but I work for the Chicago Cubs.”
- A defense of Cubs President Crane Kenney! Given how uniformly Kenney is apparently reviled by the Chicago media (for reasons that remain something of a mystery), I was surprised to see David Haugh taking up Kenney’s cause and explaining that Kenney has successfully run the “business” side of the Cubs’ operations for some time now, and, since the Ricketts’ took over, has had no involvement in the organization’s baseball decisions. Haugh says a source told him that will remain true with respect to the GM hiring process.
- For some reason we’re supposed to care what John Danks thinks about the Starlin Castro episode.
- Farm Director Oneri Fleita talking up 18-year-old Venezuelan prospect, Gioskar Amaya: “We signed him last year as one of our bigger signings internationally, he and Marco Hernandez, out of Venezuela. He’s a switch hitter, a really good baseball player. They did a really nice job when they signed this kid. He can play short, second or third. He just knows how to play the game of baseball. He does a lot of things right. He can really catch a ball. He always throws to the right base and understands the bunt situations and really handles the bat.” Amaya currently sports a .359/.401/.495 line in rookie ball. At the same age and level, Starlin Castro went .311/.364/.464.