Should the Cubs Bring Reed Johnson Back and Other Bullets

The Cubs are now a season-low 23.5 games out of first place in the NL Central, and are quickly approaching their reverse magic number. At this pace, they will be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in a week.

  • Phil Rogers says the Bruce Levine report that Wrigley Field will get the All-Star Game in 2016 is bogus, and the All-Star Game isn’t likely coming Wrigley’s way “this decade.” Both Rogers and Levine have had their share of misses this rumor season, so I’m not quite sure whom to believe – or, more accurately, whom to disbelieve.
  • Andrew Cashner will make one more rehab start (“start” simply means that he’s the first pitcher in the game, by the way – he’s still very much a reliever for the rest of this season) at AA Tennessee today, at which point the Cubs will decide whether he’ll start at AAA Iowa next (which would give him more warm-up time) or come out of the bullpen (which would be more like how it will be when he returns to the Cubs). Either way, Cashner will likely rejoin the Cubs when the team returns from this trip to San Francisco.
  • Patrick Mooney discusses the possibility of the Cubs re-signing Reed Johnson after the season. Though he’s been very productive this year, and is wildly popular, I’m not crazy about Johnson coming back, even as the fifth outfielder, unless one of Marlon Byrd or Alfonso Soriano is gone in 2012. Even then, Johnson’s age (35 next year) and injury history (back problems each of the last three seasons) make me nervous.
  • Cubs’ hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo suspectsthat the constant schedule-flipping of day games and night games is a reason the Cubs’ hitters struggle to be consistent. He’s tinkering with the players’ batting practice schedule, but is clearly frustrated with the lack of production in his two years with the Cubs. “To be honest with you, it really has (been frustrating), because I expect so much more of myself and my players, and I’ve been where we did that,” he said. “I never complain about what talent I have; I go with what I have. But no doubt it is (frustrating) because I expect so much more of myself. This gives me more fire to get it done. I have done it for so many years that I know that I will. But it’s a two-way street. I’ve got to do my job and [the players] have to do theirs.” That sounds like complaining about the talent you have without complaining about the talent you have.
  • Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, and Tony Campana could stand to bone up on their small-ball skills.
  • In case you were worried that, when Jim Hendry was fired, the Cubs’ scouting corps curled up in the fetal position, no longer knowing how to eat or breath, you can relax. They’re still going about the business of the jobs they are paid to do. Who knew?

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

33 responses to “Should the Cubs Bring Reed Johnson Back and Other Bullets”

  1. Fishin Phil

    Dearest Rudy Jaramillo,

    BULLSHIT!

    Sincerely,

    Disgruntled Cub Fan

    1. MichiganGoat

      I sincerely disagree , see below, day games add to fatigue (would you rather stand in the 3pm sun or 8pm stars?) and depending on the day and the time of the day they have to battle sun and shadows. I’m not saying that this exonerates Rudy but it is a valid concern.

      1. Fishin Phil

        MG, I respect your opinion. I am just tired of excuses. How is this schedule any different than a few years ago when the Cubs led the league in runs scored?

        1. CubFan Paul

          lol, the schedule is the same but the TALENT is waaaay different as in the roster is inferior this year ..AAA players because of stagnant spending

  2. MichiganGoat

    Cubs’ hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo suspect sthat the constant schedule-flipping of day games and night games

    I’m certain this is a problem, and as much as I love day games, if the Cubs are going to be on a level playing field they are going to havevto play more home night games. A tradition is great as long as it doesn’t get in the way of winning.

    1. CubFan Paul

      or in the way of the neighborhood

      1. Sandberg

        The Cubs need to start making serious plans to leave Wrigley to scare those fuckers into allowing more night games. It’s bullshit how they hold the team hostage.

        1. EQ

          Like mentioned before, talent will overcome this day/night thing.. and with a top 5 payroll in baseball, we should have the talent to handle the scheduling issues..

        2. bacboris

          Amen to your comment Sandberg.

  3. MichiganGoat

    Reed will wantvto be a starter and get paid a starter salary and should be able to find a team that needs his services. If he will give a good hometown discount for 1-2yrs then he might be worth it as a 4th outfielder, but we have a plethora (and yes El Guapo I know what it means) of outfielder already.

    1. Ian Afterbirth

      Nice 3 Amigos reference!!!!!!

  4. bgcubsfn

    I agree with Sandberg. Wrigleyville needs the Cubs more than the Cubs need Wrigleyville. I love Wrigley, but it is to outdated. Leave it for the yuppies, play high school state games in there, minor league games and other exhibition games. It is just like with O’ Hare Airport. If it was not for them, Rosemont and Elk Grove Village would be nothing, yet they complain about every little thing the city and the Airport do. The Cubs and the Airport make tons of money for these communities, and they try to tell the money makers what to do? Who would want to go into Wrigley Field at night in the 70′s and early 80′s to catch a game?

    1. Ron

      Are you suggesting that Atlas Shrug?

      1. MichiganGoat

        Nice reference

  5. Adam

    Brett,
    Meant to ask this in a previous post you made, but had a question on one of the Cubs’ pitching prospects. Brooks Raley has been quietly putting together a solid season at AA. he started out struggling but has really come along nicely in the second half. He has put up over 130 IP and his ERA has been trending down now towards 4. His numbers aren’t flashy, but where do you see him over the next 2 years? I’d guess it would be a no brainer call up to Iowa next year since there is ZERO starting pitching there now. I watched him pitch at Texas A&M when I was a student there, so I am really pushing for him to give himself a shot at the rotation in the next 2 years.

  6. Serio

    I have small balls……..skills

    1. MichiganGoat

      I almost sprayed coffee all over my phone, dare I call you small ball scrappy

  7. Cedlandrum

    I think Raley will start the year in AA again next year and if he progresses will then move up to Iowa in Late May/ Early June. I like Raley he is a college kid who knows how to pitch. Better pitcher then stuff. He will only be 24 next year, so they might as well let him start in AA and see if he can improve his craft a bit. 1.542 whip not good this year. He has had a decent second half though.

  8. Brian

    Going on with the whole day/night game discussion… I have not looked up stats on this but just from watching the Cubs play night games over the past few seasons I have noticed that they look lethargic, particularly at Wrigley. As a fan I much prefer going to day games because the energy just seems stronger.

    This suggestion probably would not benefit the team as much as it would the general entertainment and stadium atmosphere but I have been saying (to friends and people who are in no position to consider my suggestions for the Cubs) for quite a while now that Wrigley should invest in a new sound-system. I mean there are other obvious things that need to be improved at Wrigley but during this whole renovation I hope that the final product includes a revamped PA system. I believe it would really add some life during those dull moments of a game.

    1. hardtop

      Couldn’t disagree more. It’s not an amusement parl, its a ball game.

  9. rocky8263

    Please no “entertainment” during down time at Wrigley. My one visit to Miller Park reminded me of a Bulls game. Non stop shooting of t-shirts into the stands and blaring music between batters. Do we need to be told when to cheer on a jumbo-tron? One of my favorite things at Wrigley is intelligent baseball conversation during the downtime.

    1. Brian

      Trust me I hate atmospheres like that too. I do not want to see a jumbo-tron, or see t-shirt guns or anything of that nature. It gives me chills when Wrigley gets crazy loud with fans during a pivotal point of a game because it is all fan-lead rather than directed by a screen. I just think a PA system with a cleaner sound is a good investment. No blaring arena rock or “batter intros” (that failed).

  10. rocky8263

    One of saddest/greatest memories of mine from Wrigley and please forgive me if some of the facts are mixed, Ryan Therio at bat vs Dodger in the 2008 playoffs late innings 2 outs bases loaded and the building was swaying. literately swaying. Therio strikes out and 40k plus ready to commit suicide. I’ve never seen an event anywhere that can match Wrigley in crazy atmosphere when things are happening.

    1. Brian

      Yeah happenings like that are what bring me back every year, along with the fact that many of my friends that are sox fans would take large dumps on me if I ever showed interest in another team.

      I was at that game against Milwaukee, the infamous Ramirez walk-off blast game that ideally put the Cubs in the playoffs that season. Wrigley literally was shaking (I wasn’t even drunk) and it was similar to the playoff atmosphere you described. I can totally see why you and Hardtop and probably many others disagree with the whole entertainment thing. The reason I bring up the sound system thing is simply because I am a picky snob when it comes to sound quality.

  11. awesome

    Hey Rudy, if you could drink a 40 oz of shut the F**k up, that’d be great. Thanks

    the Day/Night thing is an excuse.

    it took the Sox about 46 yrs to get to the WS in 2005, playing night games, in Chicago.

    Arguably the two best teams in BB in 1984 and 2008, the Cubs choked, nothing to do with day games.