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The Cubs lost today for any combination of reasons – the offense struggled, Starlin Castro made two errors (the first of which set off a chain of runs), Chris Volstad wasn’t overly great, Dale Sveum made some odd bench use choices, and so on and so on. Castro delivered the Cubs their only run of the day, so it’s hard to get too much on his case for the errors (and I keep telling myself: “He’s just 22, he’s just 22, he’s just 22.”).

As for the Cardinals, well, it keeps happening, despite the departure of Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan…

  • Tyler

    Volstad came apart when La Russa was in the broadcasting booth

  • Zogie

    ADVANCED BOX SCORE
    DeJesus had an ok day at the plate. 1-3, BB, K. He only had 1 terrible AB. Barney had a rough day going 0-4, K. He had a couple terrible ABs today. Castro continued to be a hitting machine going 2-4, but he did have 1 terrible AB. Sori had a decent day going 2-4, 2K with only 1 bad AB. Stewart went 0-4, 2K. 2 Bad at-bats, but he still worked the count. LaHair 1-3, BB. He looked good in against Lynn, but had 1 bad AB and 1 terrible AB against cardinal relievers. Soto and Byrd combined to go 0-8. Soto only had 1 terrible AB and was a bit unlucky today. Byrd was hard to watch today at the plate. He played good defense, but he had 2 bad ABs and 2 terrible ABs. DeWitt went 0-1 with another terrible AB. How about we PH Clevenger against righties? Mather is another option rarely used. Not a good day for the Cubbies.

    • Matt M

      If you pinch hit clevenger instead of dewitt you risk playing the rest of the game without a backup catcher. Dale is not the only manager to not do this. Huge gamble to have only one catcher able to play.

  • Njriv

    I just caught the end of the replay of the Castro error and I felt that LaHair didn’t really have to jump, it was a high through but I felt that he still could have stretched keeping one foot on the bag.

    • Still Love the Cubs

      Or at the very least, jump straight up and down and bring your foot down on the bag. He’d have gotten Holliday on the first error if he would have just jumped straight up and down.

      I’ve never played first so maybe its harder than it seems but that doesn’t seem like an impossible play to make.

  • ty

    Thanks Zogie! This is much better info than a box score.

  • MichiganGoat

    I tweeted so often during this game that my twitter account has been reached its limit for the day and I must wait for a couple of hours before I resume. I guess the Cardinals made a voodoo deal with the Redbirds and didn’t like the expletives I laid down today.

  • Stuart Williams

    How long to we keep Barney in #2 slot? Byrd and Soto are dead weight.

    Byrd has not produced since early last year, so I don’t know what they are waiting for. I thought his new diet was supposed to revive his career. Putting in Reed Johnson would at least be respectable until Jackson is brought up.

    Castillo and Clevenger should be catching. Barney is an 8th place hitter on a good team.

    Where am I wrong?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “Where am I wrong?”

      Barney doesn’t start on a good team?

      • Andrew

        That may be the case, but on this team I think he should start. Not saying he should be a starter. I’d be pumped to have him as a utility guy on this team. Love his attitude and I think he’s servicable.

        I don’t even know if Stewart can still play second, but I’d love to see Vitters at 3rd and Stewart at 2nd by the end of the year with Barney as a utility infielder.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “On this team” and “On a good team” are two different conditions!

    • nkniacc13

      Well you don’t give up talent for free. I’d like to see Byrd and Soto not bat back to back but if the Cubs want to trade them which they would you have to play them and hope their slum is almost over. Remember were not 10 games into the season. If they were not producing like this in June it would be a blimp on the season but because us fans have seen glimpses of Castillo and have been waiting for jackson to get here we want it to happen now. The Cubs won’t make any of these move until June at the earliest so they can have the extra year team control.

    • Josh Z

      I agree. I think the Cubs need to trade Byrd and Soto. The Rays may be a team interested in Soto. The NL East has three teams that have supposedly expressed interest in Byrd. That being the Nationals, Phillies, and Braves. They could probably get an average prospect and salary relief in the deal. Jackson won’t be brought up until June at the earliest.

    • art

      Boston just lost their CF’er.

    • Pat

      If you start benching/releasing players based on 25 at bats, no one, and I mean NO ONE is going to sign with you as a free agent.

      • Pat

        That said, there’s no reason not to give Byrd a couple of days off, but then you have to put h back in regardless of how his replacement is doing.

  • JK

    Was not able to see the game today out in California. What were the situations associated with Castro’s 2 throwing errors?

    • Spencer

      Both high throws to first on routine grounders.

  • ty

    Zambrano allowing one run and getting out of a bases loaded situation. Mechanics look screwed and perspiring heavily in 1st inning. -

  • Travis

    My brother played travel ball with Lance Lynn when he was 13-15. I remeber he was hitting a legit 88 mph at 14. He could also hit the crap out of the ball. Even though I’m a Cubs fan, an it’s hard to imagine rooting for the cards, but when he pitches I kind of do. Did Lance look comfortable at the plate? Just curious.

  • Spencer

    Is there something wrong with Jeff Baker? It’d be nice to see him get a PH against lefties and the whole not splitting up LaHair and Stewart cost us a bit today.

  • mark

    “Putting in Reed Johnson would at least be respectable until Jackson is brought up.”

    Johnson currently has 7 Ks in 11 ABs. I looked at that several times before believing my eyes. Byrd has 6 Ks in 28 ABs, but the same number of hits as Johnson: 2. OTOH, Byrd does have 2 BBs. Johnson has none.

    What’s the answer, if not Jackson? Mather? Sveum seems to have gone all Quade after talking a good line in ST. Play the vets. In today’s game you don’t sit people who make the big bucks, or at least not on the N-side of Chicago.

    • Matt3

      Johnson has more rbi in much fewer at bats, has a triple… and who’s to say wouldn’t have more hits if given the same number of at bats as byrd.

  • die hard

    Memo to Theo

    Release Byrd and put Castro in CF
    Move Barney to SS
    bring up or trade for 2B

    • Josh Z

      Torreyes will hopefully be a sound 2B but he wont be ready for a couple years. As for moving Castro, they could possibly shift him to 3B or 2B but not CF since that will be Jackson’s spot. OF is the Cubs strength right now with Jackson, Szcur, and potentially LaHair and maybe even Soler at some point. I would not move Barney to SS. If anything let Castro learn the position and if he continues to struggle, hopefully Baez will be in a positon to join the team.

  • mark

    Lifetime, there’s really nothing much to pick between Johnson and Byrd. Neither are doing well right now.

    Hey, I was thinking about Bill Madlock today–God knows why. I remember being at a Cubs game and seeing him hit two home runs–both line shots, of course. Musta been 1976. What a great hitter. 15 years in the Majors, 605 BBs, 510 Ks. Obviously didn’t fit on the Cubs. Lifetime line: .305 .365 .442 .807

    OK, he wasn’t an RBI machine, but a great hitter nevertheless.

  • Cubs505050

    Soto and Byrd frustrate me everytime

  • brittney

    Atleast LaHair only struck out one time today. Can that be our bright spot of the day?

  • czechxican

    No way *this* Cardinal team can keep this up. the season will play out that they are an above average team. Eventually, they’ll come back to earth and relialize that they too big a void to fill

    • Cardfan

      “above average” wins this division. I’ll take it.

  • ty

    Zambrano about to get a W in Miami tonight.Whooops

  • http://i Cory

    I feel like byrd maybe seriously declining with age so I can live with that but I still think he will snap out of it since he’s such a hard worker. Soto on the other hand I think is just lazy he always acts so nonchalant its not even a issue of him pressing its more like he doesn’t really care or just never wants to put in the work. The hole situation is a downer when you have to watch a guy who’s always had the tools but never wanted to put in the effort. I’d hate to see him go for nothing but at this point I really don’t know how much id care especially with the kids waiting in the wings.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Volstad has 2 or 3 more starts before its time to call up Wells. This staff has done a decent job with retreads Dejesus, Stewart and LaHair, but this experiment is not working. Volstad is a horrible pitcher. The sad part is, he’s pitching about as good as he can.

    • Cubs Dude

      Volstad is a stud compared to Maholm. Wait until we see that turd again…

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Stud compared to Maholm, not exactly. That’s like saying being killed in a car accident is better then dying falling off a cliff. Either way, you’re dead. I say dump Volstad, because you can move Maholm at the deadline. Nobody want Volstad.

    • Kyle

      Wells isn’t really doing any better at Iowa than Volstad is in the majors.

      • nkniacc13

        Exactly

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        He would be better off in the Majors. Tell me exactly how you would feel if you got shitted on. I wouldnt be surprised if he didn’t wanna be traded.

        • Kyle

          Aww, poor little guy got his feelings hurt so he can’t do his job. That’s *totally* who I want on my major-league staff…

          • Jay Anderson Jr

            No, its front office took my job, undeservedly, to prove they got something back for Z, who only gave up one run today. Is be like f*ck Theo and Jed if I were him.

            Also, this is basicly camp for him, since he didn’t get to start in the spring. By the end if the year, when he’s a big league starter, and we’re wondering if Volstad will be non-tendered, I won’t say I told you so.

            • JasonB

              You mean the performance against the worst team in baseball where he walked 6 batters and lucked out because his home ballpark plays bigger than Yellowstone? On a normal field against any other team, he gives up 7 runs in 3 innings.

              • Jay Anderson Jr

                Apparently, he pitched better then the other teams starter, that’s what matters. Volstad can’t seem to do that. Z’s bullpen blew it. That’s something Garza and Demp can claim, but not Volstad.

                • JasonB

                  Thank you for setting baseball back 30 years with that statement.

                  • Jay Anderson Jr

                    Oh, and that worst team in baseball has better record then us and has play about the same schedule, if not a harder one.

  • http://i Cory

    Another thought on the alto situation but I would love to see clevenger catch all of sharks games he caught for him alot in the minors and I think they have shown real chemistry. Who better to keep you calm and locked in then a guy you’ve been with all along?

  • JK

    I still think Castro can be a great shortstop. Unfortunately that won’t happen until someone addresses his flawed throwing mechanics. Brett’s right. Castro is young – just 22. But it is discouraging to see Castro perpetuate bad habits. I winced when Dale Sveum spoke about working on Castro’s footwork. The problem is Castro’s THROWING mechanics! If I see a toddler trip several times and I notice the child’s shoes are untied, I’m going to think it’s whacked if the parent thinks the child is tripping because the child has a few strands of hair over an eye. Similarly, I think it’s whacked that, on this level of play, coaches are working on Castro’s footwork and not recognizing how flawed Castro’s throwing mechanics are. May the “gods of throwing” hurl a discerning ray into some coach’s eye who can guide the young Castro to the “throwing accuracy promised land” this Cubs fan knows he can reach.

  • Matt M

    Amazing…about 10 games…let’s trade all the sob’s and fire theo and company. That’s all I keep hearing! Except for castro and garza I’m sorry

    • Matt M

      Sorry…what I meant was relax. Only 10 games in….calm down everybody!!!

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        We had about 4 years to see that Volstad is hot garbage, its just now you get to see it up close. As far as any others, its pretty clear its time to replace Byrd with Campana. I knew that un the preseason.

  • Dan

    Chris Volstad did ok, not horrible, not good. The offense wasn’t there today. You can’t win many games with 1 run, you just can’t.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Marlon Byrd is done. Give him his money & let him walk. Bring up Campana now & go with this lineup vs. right handed pitchers : 1- Campana CF (Johnson vs Lefty)
    2- DeJesus RF
    3- Castro SS
    4- LaHair 1B ( Baker vs. Lefty)
    5- Soriano LF
    6- Stewart 3B (Mather vs. Lefty)
    7- Clevenger C ( Soto vs. Lefty)
    8- Barney 2B
    Cut DeWitt & bring up Cardenas. Has more power & speed. Do not wait to make a deal on these guys – the slight return in minor leaguers is not worth the loses or the poor message this is sending to the fans.

  • JK

    Lou Brock Lives: Indeed he may be Tony Campana…Brock had a .319 OBP his first full season with the Cubs. .300 OBP his second season…and .300 OBP his last half season with Cubs. .263/.258/.251 Batting AVG. those seasons with the Cubs as well. 16/24/10 stolen bases…I think Campana can do that if given the chance. His speed in the outfield and on the base paths are definite assets. I wish that while Campana plays for Iowa, management would demand he bunt half the time and the other half of his at bats practice fouling off pitches so he understands the strike zone to draw walks. As much as I like Byrd’s work ethic, I think he is not the future/not the present. I’d rather give the shot to Campana for his speed alone. I think the handling of Randy Wells has been a huge mistake. Last year he should have been given the job (He had comparable Quality Starts to Garza in ’09/’10) and he pushed and pushed to impress in spring training and injured his forearm. This spring he pitched well in very limited action and was sent down to Iowa. If not a starter, he should be a long reliever for the major league squad. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of Clevenger and later Brett Jackson and Rizzo.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    So much of this is moot. The Cubs are to the 2012 season what moot court is too….

    I have to think, and this is a big change for me, if they get Turner and B or B+ prospect from Detroit that’s a no brainier. So the question really comes down to how less and how long they want to gamble on that front. As to Soto and Byrd, you have to play them until you play them into a trade where you at least get rid of their salaries. Hopefully they trade Dempster and he continues to pitch like he has.

    As to the moot part I believe it’s two part. First, we have to see what we have sometime in Rizzo and Jackson and I think that is likely to fall sometime in June at the latest. And then the big question is in at least my the biggest, that’s the two in this. Is Starlin Castro going to be a great player and when do you want to really contend. I have to be blunt, you’re almost always better to sell early than late. And if they aren’t going to really be serious before 2015, Casto’s value may exceed has ability. I think he may well develop the ability to turn on the ball and be an incredible hitter, but there’s a real attitude issue there. LaHair is never going to confuse anyone as a gold glove 1B and bluntly Baker is more of a 2B/3B. But we’ve seen him get very lazy and nonchalant often and the error today was clearly that tendency for laziness from Castro. I don’t know the inside of the guy, some of you may, but I see world class talent and more of a Ramirez attitude for the game. I don’t know if it’s something that can be corrected or not, but to me, Castro’s baseball IQ is not where it needs to be, and certainly not where it needs to be for a major league shortstop. And we ca make excuses for him, but we have a large enough book and work experience to expect more given his skill set.

    • JustSwain

      Dempster has 5 and 5 no trade rights. He’d have to waive them, and I’m not sure he would. I think you have to get Clevenger a few more starts before you talk about trading Soto. Certainly based on the level of play we’ve seen from Clevenger so far he would provide an offensive upgrade, but I’d really like to see him increase the sample size before I was sold on him as a permanent replacement. Same with Castillo. Right now we have a major league proven 18 HR catcher who calls a good game, has a decent arm, and hits a good amount of doubles. So far this year he squared up a few pitches that were caught, and I can’t remember a cheap one he got to fall in yet, so his BA might be a bit misleading in our small sample size. He’s only getting around 4.5 mil, and he’s still arb eligible for next year, so his price tag isn’t outrageous. His WAR is so inconsistent that I’d love to see Clevenger break out and have a great year, I just don’t want to trade Soto until Clevenger proves himself over months rather than games. I think the firesale player dump was completed this offseason (with the Soriano project pending), and if they wanted to unload Soto they probably could have at least dumped his contract and gotten like a C prospect. He’s the veteran Catcher in that Cubs clubhouse. He knows the pitchers fairly well, knows the National League lineups pretty well, and can advise Clevenger while filling in as backup if Steve breaks out. You rarely see two rookie catchers in the same clubhouse, and there is a reason for that. Trading Castro seems a bit extreme to me, since he is our best hitter at 22, his sophmore slump consisted of leading the league in hits, and his defense is likely to improve over time. Even if it doesn’t he’ll be this teams Shawon Dunston (but with a better bat). His range is good, and he occasionally looks really good at short, and I think he has a very good shot at being a perennial all-star. Most of the analysts agree with that one. You should hear opposing managers talk about him. In their minds, he’s the Cubs best hitter and has been since he came up. Also, you do realize he’s under team control until 2017 right? Also, you do realize that Ramirez is both a 3 time all-star, and a one time batting champion right? Your not necessarily insulting Castro with that comparison. I agree that his baseball IQ is probably bottom 25% of the league right now, but his age is bottom 10% which indicates this could change with experience.

  • Roughriider

    Anyone comparing Campana to Brock clearly never saw Brock play. I like Campana but he’s no Brock and never will be. Volsted, from all appearances needs another pitch and at best is a major league relief pitcher who can get through a lineup one time and is done. Even considering trading Castro is just mind boggling. He is the rare talent that you shouldn’t let get away if you can help it. Wells is an end of the rotation starter that will probably win more games than he loses but is not an innings eater. With the bullpen the Cubs have an innings eater is what the Cubs need. Rizzo is doing great down in IOWA. I look forward to the day he is at first base.
    One Cubs Fan Opinion

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Yeah, lets trade Castro, he’s clearly the problem, can barely keep that average over .300.
    Marlon got a hit this week and Soto had two, so let’s build the team around them.

  • JK

    Hey ROUGHRIIDER! In total mellowness, I understand why you’d think I never saw Lou Brock play if I compared Tony Campana to him. I saw Brock play a lot. I was referring more to the reality of the beginning of careers. Campana’s speed is potentially game-changing. Brock’s numbers I wrote above are the non-impressive beginning numbers of a Hall of Fame center fielder who struck out 1730 times in his career while walking only 885 times! In his first full season with the Cubs (547 at bats) he had 122 strikeouts – 31walks – 24 stolen bases – 12 caught stealing – .258 AVG. – .300 OBP – 37 RBI’s. The Cubs thought enough of Brock to trade him (and Paul Toth/Jack Spring) to the Cards for Ernie Broglio (and Bobby Shantz/Doug Clemens). Last year, Campana, in 143 At bats had a .259 AVG. with a .303 OBP and 24 Stolen Bases (2 caught stealing) – comparable to Lou Brock’s beginning numbers (but much better than Brock’s early stolen base numbers). Marlon Byrd’s production at the plate has been anemic for quite awhile now. There is talk that Campana can’t play every day. I can guarantee he will not be a successful every day player if he’s never given the chance! Nothing Byrd is doing is sparking the offense. Campana can turn singles into triples with his speed. Pitchers don’t fear Marlon Byrd. Pitchers will fear the nuisance that is Tony Campana. I’m a fan of Campana and would like to see his electricity on the field every day – not just in a pinch running capacity or a couple at bats here…a couple at bats there. I’m NOT of the mindset that he will turn into Lou Brock and compile a resumé that includes + 3,000 hits. I’m just saying – Give the young man a chance.

    • ty

      Every coach and every scout has questioned his ability at every level. Yet there he is at triple a doing his thing. The fans love to watch him and after all baseball is entertainment. I was able to spend several days with Maury Wills in a certain baseball capacity a few yrs ago. He related in great detail and emotion how as a little guy he had to prove himself–in the minors for a long time. He came very close to not having a big league career. What better time than now to let Tony give it another whirl–our prospects have to staydown for awhile and the parent club is going nowhere.

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