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It’s an off-day for the Cubs, who’ll try to collect themselves after starting the year 3-7, losing all three of their series so far this season. Happy Monday!

  • Paul Maholm was the not-so-tough-luck loser again yesterday, giving up six earned runs in just four innings of work (again). He’s trying to stay positive. “It was kind of the same thing as the first start — you give them base runners and they took advantage of it,” Maholm said. “It’s frustrating but I’m going to bust it this week and make sure I get through it and I get back to where I was.” I expressed some concerns about Maholm last week, and those concerns remain. It’s not as if any of the pitching “depth” is really pushing for Maholm’s job right now – and it is still only two starts – so he’ll have time to turn things around.
  • One of the more active Cubs on Twitter, Maholm was getting both grief and support last night. What an age we live in.
  • The Sun-Times recently ran an article about the lack of African American players on Major League Baseball teams, particularly highlighting that Marlon Byrd is the only black player on either the Cubs or White Sox. For the article, the Sun-Times used a picture of Byrd with the title “Black Hole.” Byrd was upset at the usage, in part because he felt like it was a shot at his poor performance to start the season.
  • Another random waiver claim? How about Rich Thompson, a 27-year-old formerly excellent Angels reliever, who started out the year brutally (and presumably the Angels don’t like what they see beyond the stats), and was just designated for assignment. Taking a chance on a 27-year-old formerly (as in 2010 and 2011) excellent reliever seems like it’s the kind of move the Cubs will strongly be considering. The thing on Thompson, though, is that the Angels are going to try and trade him before placing him on waivers (which a team must do, if at all, within the first seven days of designating a player for assignment – so, he could be waived at any point in the next five days or so). I’m not sure the Cubs would care to trade for Thompson, so they’ll probably just wait to see if he’s waived, and, if he is, whether the Angels are willing to let him go for nothing.
  • Today marks the 40th anniversary of Burt Hooten’s no-hitter with the Cubs. At the time, he looked like a studly young pitcher who was going to tear it up with the Cubs for years – he didn’t just spin the no-hitter, he had a stretch of dominant starts. Naturally, that didn’t happen. He was a Cub, after all.
  • MLBullets over at BCB, featuring Brian Wilson’s arm injury and the difficulty I’m having in not celebrating it.
  • MichiganGoat

    Wow Sun Times is really going for the classy award this year. I guess it made people talk so that’s something- just not a good something.

  • Spencer

    Yeah. I mean, it IS pretty unfair to criticize a guy batting .065. For shame. It’s a tacky headline, but come on. I would think that he should expect some flack.

    Thank goodness today is an off day. These last two games have been brutal. At least in the Nats series and to a certain extent the Brewers series we were in the games. But these last two have been really really shitty.

  • rbreeze

    Baseball is Better Here!!!  Keep saying it.  Baseball is Better Here!!!  Baseball is Better Here!!!

    Baseball will be more interesting here when some of the kids arrive later this year.  I hope!!!

  • gritsngravy

    Good morning please forgive me if this has already been covered but when I was sitting at a local pub yesterday playing darts and get ready for the cubs game I noticed something that disturbed me. For one Blake Dewitt was in the lineup against the cardinals and for another he was hitting in the two hole. I hope that this is not an ongoing issue. Blake Dewitt is like a when you when your buddy says hey will you hang out with my dates friend? She is really nice and has a great personality. Your going into the situation knowing what you are going to get and with Dewitt it’s not much. Ok I feel better now.

  • Myles

    Optimist’s Club: Who wants to join?

    Did you know that the Iowa Cubs are the 2nd youngest offensive team in the PCL (and less than .04 years behind #1)? Well, they are! Our favorite I-Cubs have all ascended the ladder faster than any other franchise. More proof? Here’s the 5 youngest hitters in the PCL…

    1. Mike Trout, age 20 (.435/.491/.652)
    This kid is a mega-prospect, in my opinion the best prospect in baseball. He’s got the talent to be Ken Griffey Jr with slightly less power and a slightly worse arm, so there.

    2. Carlos Triunfel, age 22 (.262/.311/.429)
    Probably has a future as a utility middle infielder (if that) if he doesn’t cut his SO and take some walks. Don’t know much about him, but his BR page tells me he needs to improve on his fielding though he has range.

    3. Josh Vitters, age 22 (.353/.395/.412)
    Vitters strikes out too much and never walks. I’m afraid he’s going to trade power for contact, instead of learning better pitch recognition, because he’s got the ability to hit .280/.340/.440 with 25 HR if he walks like 3% more often is his PA. He’s got a little more time to put it together, though: he’s the 3rd youngest player in the league!

    4. Anthony Rizzo, age 22 (.391/.417/.739(!))
    Clearly ready to play in the majors, he’s got nothing to prove at any level with any part of his game, except maybe drawing a few more walks (which has never been his problem). He’s got to get past his awful MLB stint last year, but he can’t do that in AAA, so it’s purely a financial decision to keep him down (and seeing what you have in LaHair). Rizzo has potential to hit .275/.360/.510 and above. He’s also 22!

    5. Brett Jackson, age 23 (.273/.373/.523)
    Holy crap does Brett Jackson strike out a LOT. He whiffs in 28.55% of his appearances and for that reason alone I don’t love him as a prospect. He does walk a ton and could hit 15-20 from center, and has another half a year to get seasoned.

    That’s 3 of the 5 youngest hitters in the entire league. Even guys like Coleman and Cardenas are 24, which is probably the last year you can still feel reasonably good about being in AAA.

    The Cubs immediate future (hitting-wise) is pretty bright!

    • ETS

      Nice post. I think people forget just how young Vitters is since he has been talked about since he was drafted.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I dug the comment as well.

    • Kyle

      Ding ding ding, winner. Age relative to level is a huge, huge, huge indicator in a prospect’s future.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      I don’t think this is accurate, according to here:
      http://minorleaguecentral.com/youngest.php
      Rizzo 11th youngest, Vitters 12th…

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        eh, nevermind, see you mentioned hitters only…

    • SouthernCub

      Nice research Myles, thanks for the post

    • Brian

      Just to be fair, you’re quite wrong about Vitters striking out too much.

      He has a 7.9 K% this year, and his K% last year was around 10.6%. Those are great K numbers from a 3B with some power potential.

      • Cedlandrum

        Yeah the least of Vitters problems is strikeouts. His biggest problem at times is swinging and making contact on pitches that aren’t great to hit.

  • Serio

    Paul Maholm is Frustrated? Join the club

  • ETS

    In the post game, Holly was a little more forgiving of Maholm. Saying, essentially (and I want to be careful not to speak for the former ROY) that Maholm is a contact pitcher and anytime you extend innings, it’s going to lead to difficulties. For example, the “should have been” double play that wasn’t.

    I think when you hit a guy and walk a guy to lead off an inning, don’t be surprise if Travis Wood and Chris Rusin are in your rear view mirror.

  • randy

    the cubs need to get byrd ,soto out of chicago they are two automatic outs beside the pictures.

    • Spencer

      Yeah and its great that they’re 7-8-9 in the lineup. Idk where else to put them though. Oh wait. On the bench.

  • TSB

    Brett, please be aware that some people that post here (Cubs Dude, Just Swain, Beyond Fukudome, et. al.) do not want any mention of race, so they are probably offended by your link to the Sun-Times where this sensitive subject is being discussed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m not worried about it, as race, itself, is the thing being discussed. As for your earlier comment, I think you could have phrased it a bit better, but I think I understood what you were trying to say.

    • SouthernCub

      If they are offended at the link and article, then those gentleman are going to have a long and angry life ahead of them.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      The comment Brett made was about another article that made headlines. The comment you made was pretty pathetic. Nobody cares about the color or ethnicity of the player. I want the 25 best players. Who those 25 best are can be debated, but race should never play a part in that debate. If the 25 best are white, so be it. If they are black, so be it. If they are Spanish, Japanese or any other nationality, oh well. If Theo is only keeping Byrd because he’s black, that makes him a horrible GM.

      BTW, this comment was more pathetic then the first one.

      • Cubs Dude

        I would be shocked if Theo or Jed cared about the race of a player. They are completely and only motivated to win and bring a championship to this city.
        My complaint about bringing race into the discussion is that it brings a hole other level of discussion to the table, but it’s Brett’s site he can do whatever he wants.
        TSB, you’re just trying to stir the pot…

      • TSB

        Sorry you only skimmed my orginal post. Of course the Cubs should put the best 25 players on their roster, and a Cub fan (or any decent person) would appreciate that. But in my 40+ years of employment in both the private and government sectors, I have heard many times the perceived need for a certain ethnicity in a particular position; no doubt like the Cubs organization, such a opinion would be from the dollar and cents people, not the executives and management persons that are actually in the business of winning baseball games.

      • TSB

        I am sorry that you were offended by my comments, pathetic or not.

        • TSB

          BTW, the above two replies are for Mr.Anderson

    • JustSwain

      Offended? Maybe a little but not enough that I’m going to get particularly worked up about. You were trying to make a point, which I thought you stated clumsily, and since Mr. Anderson stated that HE was offended by it, I thought you should apologize instead of defending yourself. You did apologize so that shows class, and the whole thing can be forgotten. It never got heated enough for Brett to have to step in, you got called a jerk a couple times (not by me I’ll add) and realized you treaded on a landmine you hadn’t seen coming. The reason I removed my diatribe was that I was afraid that it also might tread on landmines, not because it was particularly militant. Good non-call Brett.

  • Korean Goat

    maholm will get better? when on august? i dont think so now. so hoyer has to consider wells or coleman for fith starter. personelly i want coleman.

  • SouthernCub

    Bad thing is, Cubs paid a lot for the services of Maholm

    • Brian

      No, they really didn’t pay very much at all. It was a pretty team friendly contract.

  • rocky8263

    I think Maholm just needs to eat his wheaties.

  • Dingo

    Put me down for Rich Thompson, just because I wanna see a fellow Aussie in Cubbie Blue.

  • nkniacc13

    As long as its a waiver pick up thou Id be interested in who the cubs would bump from 40 man

  • JustSwain

    It would pretty much have to be Shawn Camp who got bumped. Sounds like Thompson is having some velocity issues, but it might just be a early season dead arm situation that he needs to work out of. His first outing went fine, his second outing he got shellacked by the Twins. I’ve never seen him pitch, but a 3.00 ERA in over 50 innings last year sure does sound intriguing.

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