I’m Ready to Talk About Bryan LaHair and Other Bullets

Who you got in the sausage races this weekend? I just love saying “sausage races.”

  • Matt Garza was dissappointed by his poor outing yesterday, but it sounds like he doesn’t think he pitched all that badly. “You could see of the stuff they were hitting, they didn’t hit me hard. Two hits, the hit to [Dan] Uggla and the home run, that’s it,” Garza said. “Everything else were jam shots or hit off the end of the bat, so it’s not like I missed my spots big time. I made a mistake to… it’s not even a mistake, it was a good pitch to McCann, a change-up down, he just went and got it. Uggla, I knew what he was looking for so I just tried to beat him. He hit a hard single to dead center. So you just tip your cap and say whatever, back in five days.”
  • I’m not saying he’s a future anything, and I’m not saying that numbers in AAA – particularly this year in the PCL, where the league average OPS is over .800 – necessarily translate to MLB, but Bryan LaHair’s numbers are becoming hard to ignore. Going into last night’s game, he had a video game/Barry Bonds-like line of .336/.410/.671 with 36 homers, 37 doubles and 105 RBI in just 122 games. Yeesh. He’ll probably be called up in September when rosters expand to 40, but will he actually play? Mike Quade certainly isn’t going to start him over Carlos Pena, and LaHair has played only a handful of games in the outfield this year. And then, after not playing, the Cubs will probably have to dump him from the 40-man roster to protect some kids from the Rule 5 Draft. Again, I’m not saying LaHair will be the one in a million players who “figure it out” at 28/29, but this is among the many reasons it probably would have been a good idea to trade Carlos Pena.
  • Mike Quade says he doesn’t really understand the waiver system, which is profoundly unsurprising. Here you go, Mike.
  • Kick a man while he’s down, will yah? Park Ridge is trying to have the honorary “Jim Hendry Way” designations removed from Northwest Highway. The residents say it’s not personal and not necessarily because Hendry’s been booted from the Cubs. They never wanted the sign, and now seems like as good a time as any to get rid of them. Do I make the Alfonso Soriano joke now? Nah. Too easy. Too mean.
  • Reader MichiganGoat (making his second appearance in the Bullets) passes along a Yahoo article with 25 “Things You Didn’t Know,” but I’m pretty sure we did all know this: Alfonso Soriano is the worst batter in all of baseball against both the slider and the curveball. What do you want to bet, if Tyler Colvin qualified, he’d be right up there with Alf? Carlos Marmol comes in as the relief pitcher most reliant on the slider, which means that if he and Alfonso Soriano ever faced each other, Soriano wouldn’t have a chance. Perhaps more interestingly, according to the numbers, Aramis Ramirez is the best in baseball against the curveball, and Starlin Castro is the best in baseball against the split-finger.
  • I was going to leave this alone, but now that it’s popped up twice, I can’t. Each of Phil Rogers and Bruce Miles have, in the last month, pointed to a lovely Fangraphs article, (which Rogers refers to as a “RotoGraphs” article, much in the way your grandpa might ask you to turn down the “televisor”) ranking NL starting pitchers. Each used the article to discuss where a particular pitcher is ranked, relative to the rest of the league. What neither recognized is that the rankings are for *fantasy* purposes. A pitcher’s value to a fantasy team can be quite different from his value to his actual team. K thx bye.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

47 responses to “I’m Ready to Talk About Bryan LaHair and Other Bullets”

  1. Fishin Phil

    I seriously doubt Quade will give LaHair any meaningful playing time. He hasn’t “earned” it. Wait ’til you get that batting average down to about .220 and start leaving some of those guys on base instead of trying to knock them all in.

    What a tool!

  2. CubFan Paul

    Colvin’s triple yesterday came against a curveball ..he spanked it ..just sayin’

  3. hansman1982

    Interesting note:

    Last night on local sports talk they had the ICubs Play-by-Play announcer on and he said they have been giving LaHair starts in LF to prepare him for his September call-up, which is going to happen, according to him, as Hendry told LaHair that he would be called up in September a few days after Hendry was fired.

    Also discussed was that in 2009 Von Joshua worked with LaHair to adjust his swing a little bit and LaHair learned to pull the ball after spending his career driving it to the opposite field.

    Maybe he figured something out and he could be out starting LF next year or Plan D in the 1bman scramble.

  4. Fishin Phil

    Anybody hear when Cashner is supposed to pitch another inning?

    1. CubFan Paul

      hear you go Phil, from Carrie Muskat:

      * Andrew Cashner was expected to make his next outing for Double-A Tennessee on Friday. The plan is for Cashner to throw one day, take two days off, then throw the next day. If all goes well, he should be able to rejoin the Cubs in the first week of September.

      ..i think Quade said yesterday that he has to pitch 3 more times in AA before moving up to AAA for some innings

      1. Fishin Phil

        Thanks guys! I thought he was about due to go again.

  5. Toosh

    I’m sure there a quite a few things that Mike Quade doesn’t understand.

  6. Cheryl

    LaHair has “earned” an opportunity to play in September. Quade will do his best to keep him on the bench And if he doesn’t play him, it’s further proof he’s no major league manager. HOPEFULLY Q WILL BE GONE AND THE ROOKIES GET A CHANCE TO SHOW WHAT THEY CAN DO.

    1. auggie1955

      Cheryl, I’m with you. I want to see LaHair called up and get some ABs. I don’t want him becoming another Casey McGehee – driving in 100 runs for another team.

    2. hardtop

      if ricketts is the boss, cant he just dictate to quade what to do? is this unheard of? it boggles my mind that a lame duck manager would be allowed affect the future of the franchise at this point. the cubs are still paying him, he should just do as he’s told.

      Ricketts on phone: “Hi Mike, how’s Tanya? Oh, Good. Hey Mike, I want to see LaHair at First, fucking make it happen!” -click.

  7. jim

    If I were Ricketts & “Q” doesn’t play some Rookies, I would release him earlier than expected. He is not the coach of a youth movement. Can anyone explain how he was chosen to be an allstar coach. We all have our reasons why he was chosen over Ryno.
    I have a hard time watching the Quade – Riggins show & will be happy when they disappear.

    1. MichiganGoat

      I think he’s already been in Q’s ear. These last few games there have been more bunts, steals, aggressive base running than we’ve seen all year.

      1. hardtop

        tru-dat. he sent pena a couple days ago… i dont know whats more crazy, quade sending pena or pena being on first. fonzie got in on it too, and it seems like if starlins at first with less than 2 outs, you can expect him to go. i dont know if this is his college buddy bush or ricketts or just trying to manufacture runs to beef up his resume.

        1. CubFan Paul

          “why wasnt Starlin trying/attempting steals early in the season with his speed?” -is what my girlfriend asked me ..”quade is an idiot & didnt follow thru on his promises when he got the job” fundamentals, defense etc

          Castro should have at least 30-40 stolen bags easy just by showing up by now

    2. Fishin Phil

      “Can anyone explain how he was chosen to be an allstar coach. ”

      Everyone else was busy.

    3. auggie1955

      Recently I had read somewhere that Randy Bush and Quade were college buddies. That explains a lot to me about how Quade got the job over Ryno.

      1. CubFan Paul

        yep. i never bought into quade’s resume & how he “earned it” ..qualified major league managers were tripping over themselves to interview & Hendry picks his buddy ..go figure

  8. Larry

    Cheryl, you are absolutely correct. The Cubs will be in their next World Series only after there is a “culture change”, but also only after they start doing a better job of evaluating minor league players. I don’t trust that they have correctly evaluated Lahair, so I want them to give him as many at bats as possible.

  9. nwicubfan

    I also would like to see if Lahair can hit major league pitching.. If nothing else he could be bench player in the future. Lefty? Power? off the bench? Could have swore I remember some team saying they needed these things.. Hmm, just can’t remember the team..Oh ya CUBBIES

    1. EQ

      Well I for one am getting tired of hearing how this guy isn’t a legit prospect.. who cares what everyone’s opinion is, dude is destroying AAA.. maybe he is ready… maybe he could be the best choice at 1B next year?? who knows? we should have traded Pena and we should have LaHair getting AB’s to see what he’s got.. this is ridiculous..

      Pena has the 2nd worst batting average in the NL for regulars and is dead last with RISP.. that won’t cut it next year and I’m starting to think Pena needs to be our last option. A LOT of guys will hit better than that. Any other organization in baseball would have LaHair called up and in the lineup by now.

      So why not LaHair next year?? Pena hurts us with some of his stats, Pujols and Fielder are gonna cost way too much.. if we can save a ton of money and get decent production out of a minimum salary rookie, why not at least give it a try?

      1. Jebecker

        I’m fully prepared to expect an AAAstro-like season next year, so if we let laHair start, thats fine with me.

  10. willis

    When LaHair comes up, you have to play him. If for anything else to show him off in the case he looks ok. Probably he won’t, but sitting him for a .220 has been just to be stubborn is idiotic. Or Q logic.

  11. Spencer

    Not sure I agree with the logic in the LaHair bullet. If it seems unlikely that he’ll figure it out if he’s 28/29, why trade Pena? Yeah, LaHair gets meaningless ABs in September, but we all know that a team’s or player’s performance in September doesn’t necessarily translate to the next season. LaHair is not the future of the Cubs, and all trading Pena would have done is to leave us with a 28 year old rookie and hope that we can lure Fielder or Pujols to the Cubs next season.

    1. CubFan Paul

      ..you misread the LaHair bullett

    2. EQ

      Yeah, so, maybe LaHair can hit 25+ HR’s next year in the bigs.. maybe post a .250 avg, knock in about 85… umm.. wouldn’t that be better than Pena?? He’d cost a fraction of what Pena costs so payroll would benefit, might have a slightly better batting average, and could give us a nice option for a couple years until Vogelbach is ready… why not??

    3. Lou

      Pretty much on board with this comment. Pena does what most hitters in the Cubs lineup WISH they could do–take a lot of pitches, benefit guys in the lineup by showing them the full compliment of what a pitcher has, draw a lot of walks, and who know, in a pinch the guy could manufacture runs if need because he’s a solid bunter. But we won’t tell the rest of the posters that McGehee is having a down season and LaHair is the second-coming of Hoffpauir. I do agree though that Colvin is nothing more than a 4 or 5 outfielder. Wonder what if would take for us to get Logan Morrison from the Marlins to put in our OF?

  12. Vince

    Nothing the Cubs do is logical so don”t expect Quade to even consider playing LaHair if and when he’s even called up. This has got to be the dumbest franchise in professional sports. You can be assured that Campana will be traded to a team which will use his speed to the max. You can bet on it: Quade has just discovered that Castro has steal ability after nearly a whole season, a real revelation.

  13. dreese

    I have been wanting Bryan LaHair to come up for a while now, its super hard to ignore those numbers! I just hope Qball gives him a shot

  14. MichiganGoat

    I predict the following LaHair will hit decently when he comes up and then all off season we will have the Micah Hoffpauir lovers calling for him to be the full time 1B next year. We may not have the best organization in the world, but he wasn’t even put on the 40 man and that should tell you something. Let’s not get excited over a player having a career AAA season, he must have holes in his swing that the Cubs know MLB pitching will exploit. If he was legit he’d be here by now.

  15. zach

    i heard frank chance is coming back to manage and play first again next year, so we are good

  16. matt lozen

    They haven’t given LaHair a chance. He’s been passed over so many times. It is a repeat of Casey McGehee

    1. TWC

      You mean THE Casey McGehee? The one who is hitting .241 for the Brewers?

  17. matt lozen

    21 games behind and they still don’t play the young players. Does Quade still think he has a chance? Ricketts need to do whatever it takes and get Ryno as manager. Also bring Joshua back with his players. He’s been with these players for years with success. Unforunately Hendry traded most of them to other teams. Didn’t 3 of them play in the World Series last year? He was interim coach and made a huge difference in his short time from Perrys mess… then they get the guru and Keller … they have tanked since Quade, Riggens , Listach. 3rd and 1st base coaches …… Bye Bye Keep Lester Strodes move him up

    1. MichiganGoat

      Sorry but who is Joshua?

      1. TWC

        Von Joshua, the Cubs’ hitting coach before Jaramillo was hired. He was the AA? AAA? coach, called up to take Gerald perry’s place mid-season 2009.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Thanks that’s what I figured but the context was too hard to follow