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I’m not saying there’s a causal relationship, but Matt Garza unnecessarily threw 119 pitches last time out. Tonight, he could get an out in the sixth inning, and ended up giving up six earned runs on seven hits and three walks over just five innings. It was ugly.

But not as ugly as the offense, which has now scored a whopping seven runs over the past four games (all losses). At least Marlon Byrd had a hit (and it was a legit, line-drive single!).

  • mark

    Long season. Long, long season.

  • EB

    That game was brutal. Kudos to those of you who made it through the entire game cause I sure didn’t

  • Jeff L

    For all you guys who love Theo Esptien and the direction of this team. Your getting what you been asking for and it’s going to be for at least 3 years. I’m telling you if we didn’t let go of Marshall and Ramerez… If we added a few more pieces to the bullpen and the bat of Prince Fielder… This season would be totally different and it wouldn’t hurt the future because we’re not trading any of our young pieces… It’s just real sad what Ricketts and Epstein is turning this team into which is the laughing stock of the MLB!

    • spearman

      Cespedes is looking pretty good so far.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Lendy Castillo was out of the game before I turned it on.  How did he look?  I see the three hits / one run in his one inning of work, but that could be interpreted a couple of different ways.

    • Cubbie Blues

      “Lendy Castillo was out of the game before I turned it on.”

      That could have been “Lendy Castillo was out of the game before he could turn it on.”

  • Big Joe

    Interpretation: S.U.C.K.

  • Mitch Bruns

    Came in to relieve garza so two of the runs he gave up weren’t charged to him. He didn’t look good, gave up an RBI single to buerhle even.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    OMG CAN IT GET WORSE…. THIS IS A JOKE RIGHT… IF WE KEPT CASHNER AND MARSHALL WITH RAMIREZ BRING UP LAHAIR AND JACKSON SIGN A FEW BP GUYS WE DONT SUCK THIS BAD NOWAY … THE ASTROS ARE BETTER THAN THE CUBS… DOES EPSTEIN OR HOYER HAVE CONSCIOUS? HOW TO RUIN A BASEBALL IRGANIZATION IN LESS THAN 15 GAMES. I AM NOT A FAN OF EPSTEIN OR HOYER. THE CUBS WAY MUST HAVE IN THE PREFACE… GET YOUR ASS KICKED DAILY AND WHENEVER POSSIBLE RESEMBLE A T-BALL TEAM. BEING DIE HARD IS REALLY HARD

    • Steve

      You, my friend, are a wordsmith.

      • Amz

        I’m sorry, I muted that about halfway through cause it was waking the neighbors. Can you recap that, preferably in bullet-pointed Queen’s English?

  • cubsin

    So what’s the early word on the strength of the 2013 draft class?

    • spearman

      We pick sixth( I think) so we should get a good ball player. We also have a couple other good picks, but the problem is going to signing them with the new rules.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I don’t think signing is going to be much of an issue, except for a handful of two-sport guys.  Every other team is operating under the same rules, so players can’t wait until next year and hope a bigger-spending team drafts them.  The rules aren’t changing for the duration of the CBA, so there’s no point in waiting in hopes of getting more money next year.  Unless a player is convinced they can move up into the top few picks of the first round, there is no real incentive not to sign.

        Time will tell, but I don’t think we’re going to see major changes, except in what round certain players are taken.  Dillon Maples, for example, would probably be a supplemental first or a second round pick under the current rules.

      • T Wags

        I’m pretty sure cubsin was asking about next year’s draft since the early returns of this season are telling us we’ll have a pretty high pick in that one. That’s how i interpreted it anyway…

        I hope he’s not right though.

  • Derrick

    Get off the Ledge Cubs Fans we knew this year would suck. Its call rebuilding. Besides Ramirez or Marshall havent done much for there new teams. I doubt if they would make that much of difference with this team. Long season but the future could be bright

    • Njriv

      got some good pieces in place, Rizzo, Jackson, Castro, Stewart, Garza, Samardzija, Campana, Castillo, Clevenger, Russell, Dolis, Barney, Belliveau, If Volstad and T.Wood build up to their potentials and sign some pieces around that when they are more fully developed and you can capture some lighting in a bottle.

      • Kyle

        “Rizzo”

        Solid, but nothing spectacular. A lot of teams have 1b at least as good.

        “Jackson”

        Needs to prove that he can make not-historically-awful contact against advanced pitching before we pencil him in. The bust possibilities are still there.

        “Castro”

        Possible HOFer.

        “Stewart”

        Terrible.

        “Garza, Samardzija”

        Very hopeful that we can extend Garza and this turns into an excellent start to a rotation.

        “:Campana”

        Awful

        “Castillo, Clevenger”

        Possibly useful.

        “Russell, Dolis”

        Dime-a-dozen bullpen arms that everybody has.

        “Barney”

        Awful

        “Belliveau”

        See two above.

        • Njriv

          well someone’s a pessimist

          • Sweetjamesjones

            I think he is being more of a realist.

            • Njriv

              You got to give Stewart time, he’s coming off an injury and had little playing time last year. He’s a good fielder and he’s making good contact. Barney I think will be a valuable back-up/role player. The same thing goes with Campana, he can be a good role player off the bench, if just needs to get on base a little more to utilize his game-changing speed.

    • Richard Nose

      Do these people really want the players back from last year’s 90+ loss team? That shit was going nowhere fast. No human being (or even anything non-human) can turn that same team or mold an updated organization in to a 162-game winner the next year. Psycho bastards.

      • Kyle

        Quick quiz: What was the 2011 Cubs’ record when one of their original five starting pitchers took the mound?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          About .500 if I remember right.

        • Richard Nose

          Looks like 36-37. Are you going somewhere with this?

          • Kyle

            It was 59-54.

            The idea that the 2011 Cubs were so horribly bad that they couldn’t be fixed is lazy, shallow thinking.

            The 2011 Cubs were a decent team with a glaring flaw that got exposed: It had absolutely no pitching depth whatsoever. It was a decent team when one of their original five starters were going, but starters 6-10 were historically awful.

            So if you take the 2011 Cubs, fix the pitching depth, and add a bat, you’ve got a very solid team.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Even using those numbers and extrapolating them out. That is only 84 1/2 wins. That still doesn’t make the playoffs. They wouldn’t have been a “bad ” team but they would have just been mediocre. Not even mentioning that no team goes a whole year with all of their starters.

              • CubFan Paul

                He didn’t say go the whole year with all their starters ..he said fix the depth, you know starters 6-10, like theo&Co did this past winter

              • Kyle

                The 2011 Brewers came pretty close to going all year with just their five starters.

                But mostly, agreed.

                That’s why, in order to become a playoff contender in 2012, the Cubs needed to fix the depth (which Epstein/Hoyer did an excellent job with this offseason) and add a solid bat (they went several steps in the opposite direction).

  • djriz

    how soon do we get the epstein/hoyer/sweum ‘stay the course’ press conference?

    i (we all did) knew they would suck, but to be going through the motions in the second week of april is a sign of poor leadership and unprofessional players.

    • Kyle

      Not soon. They get at least a whole season of honeymoon.

      When they don’t spend any money next season and we’re awful again, the reporters will start to chirp a bit.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I had no expectations for this season. I understand we are a rebuilding team. Where this team is today is not the fault of the current management of course.
    But explain this to me. Why on a team that sure looks like it has the potential to lose 95 to 100 games, do I turn on the game and see an outfield with a 36 year old, a 35 year old, and another 35 year old? All with their best years way behind them. That is a formula for continued and accelerating failure. Get some young players with at least a shred of upside and start playing them. That should be the goal at every position on the team.

    • wax_eagle

      By your logic the team shouldn’t have signed Johnson (the only one of the group of outfielders who isn’t a regular starter), this might be true, but they needed someone reliable to play a 4th outfielder role, sure maybe that should have gone to campana (not a real prospect), or someone else. But that is a roster sport that basically belongs to Jackson when he gets here, why not put a team player like Reed in that spot.

      If you’re complaining about Byrd and Sori starting then you really should get over it. Byrd is going to start so that he has some value come July and might be able to be dealt. Sori is going to start because he is making a crap ton of money and he will be around for several more years, it makes little sense to sit him in favor of someone younger when you still need to get value out of him for seasons when you want to compete.

  • Chris

    Derrick, what makes the future bright? With the exception of Rizzo, Epstein and Hoyer have not added any notable prospects. I don’t recall any major market baseball team slashing major talent under the guise of “rebuilding”. The reason this doesn’t happen is because baseball prospect are so easily missed on. I fail to see why they needed to gut an already poor team to rebuild. Simply an excuse to lower payroll. Sad thing is that us Cubs fans have such low expectations some except this.

  • gratefulled

    How about Soriano’s throw to the infield cut-off instead of second??? Shit is falling apart fast.

    I knew going into the season, and I understand, but………..it just hurts.

  • Travis

    When do we bring up Rizzo. He’s been murdering the ball.

  • Njriv

    Theo and Jed are pretty much building this thing up from the ground, they really didnt have much in the farm that Hendry left. Of course if the Cubs splurged in the FA market they could have been a lot better, but we would have been in the same position a few years down.

    We are at ground zero.

  • Jeff L

    Let’s just be honest. The only thing Epstein did to improve this team is trade for Rizzo. That isn’t even guaranteed. Mostly all the prospects the Cubs have are from the Hendry era. The Cubs could have made a splash in free agency and build this team in the minors. Believe it or not teams do that all the time including the Red Sox. If you have the 2nd highest ticket prices in baseball that better be what you do! Thank God I’m not a season ticket holder!!!

    • AB

      Expanding the front office from one of the smallest in baseball and giving scouts and players the opportunity to actually utilize post-1880s technology is a big step forward.

      What FA would people have wanted to sign???

      Cespedes is the only one that was even remotely reasonable.

    • Rob

      “Mostly all the prospects the Cubs have are from the Hendry era.”

      Yes, because Epstein, Hoyer, et cetera, haven’t been on the job long enough to draft any prospects. Besides, they did net Sappelt, Travis Wood (not a true prospect at this point, but I digress), and Torreyes for Marshall. Then the Rizzo and Volstad deals happened, plus they signed Concepcion. Those are six young players with varying degrees of upside the front office have brought into the fold in a little over five months, despite not having the benefit of an amateur draft in that time. If none of their June draft picks look good this year, it’s still too early to complain, as it takes years for draft picks to develop.

      “The Cubs could have made a splash in free agency and build this team in the minors.”

      In order to build through the minors, a team needs somewhere in the big leagues for those prospects to play. You mention Rizzo as being the only good prospect Epstein’s brought to the organization, but if the Cubs had signed Pujols or Fielder, they’d have been forced to play Rizzo or Vogelbach out of position when their time came. Besides the two big first base free agents, there were Jose Reyes, who plays the same position as the Cubs’ only borderline elite player, C.J. Wilson, a 31-year-old who had only started for two seasons and was searching for a deal that would take him through his mid-to-late thirties, and Mark Buehrle, who got far more money from the Marlins than any other team–Cubs included–would have been willing to pay.

      Sorry for the manifesto; I didn’t mean to pick on you. I just feel like we all knew the Cubs would be bad this year, but once they started actually losing games, people started losing it, blaming the new front office for a mess they didn’t create. Epstein and Hoyer have warned about patience, and that means longer than 12 games.

      • Frank

        You’re right, Rob–everyone knew this team was not going to be good. And many said they were on board with the plan–even glad to see the whole thing blown up so it could be rebuilt. And now that it’s actually happening, and less than 15 games in, everyone’s going crazy. Yes, there are some who thought from the start that the new front office took the wrong track, but that doesn’t explain everyone else.

  • H

    What a joke release Byrd and sori dead wieght there going to get paid anyway let young guys get experience bring up Jackson and rizzo put lahair in left cant be any worse defensively than sori. Trade soto to first offer. Tired of hearing about young guys lets see what they can do.

  • Diesel

    It’s going to take several years for them to gut this farm system and build it to something respectable. That’s why winning teams continue to win. Talent in the farm. That is why when someone gets hurt they don’t miss a beat. Plus we need to not bring up our best prospect to give the team a shot in the arm. It doesn’t do well for long term success.

  • daveyrosello

    You know, Cubs payroll has sunk so low–and will get even lower next year, below 80MM–that there’s no reason the Ricketts can’t just swallow hard and release Soriano. Seriously. Just release him. The money is a sunk cost, the Cubs won’t be contenders during the remainder of his contract (through 2014). So release him already.

    Marlon Byrd, lulz. Eat the $6MM and release him. Please.

  • Spencer

    Garza can’t be a Cy Young candidate every time out. Every pitcher is going to have a rough outing every now and then. The offense has to provide support too, and it’s been atrocious lately. Let’s just try to avoid the sweep tomorrow.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com ichabod

    i wouldn t care about the record, just be competitve. they haventbeen since wash series

  • Jim G

    Hey fellas take it easy. This is the middle of April for God sakes. We all know that they weren’t going anywhere this year or next. Keep those young bloods in the minors let them play everyday.It’s a long season and with another wild card team added to the mix there will be more buyers than sellers and that is when the Byrds, Soriano and Dempster’s become much more valueable. A few injuries with teams that are contending and you’ll find them a more willing to give up some young talent to make the playoffs. Sit back and enjoy and let’s see what happens around the trade deadline.

  • Steve

    Come on folks…I left the CBS Sports forum because of rampant bad attitudes and folks who really didnt know 1 thing about baseball. I thought, that a majority of you here knew baseball…..?
    I was explaining to my wife about Garza, and our dilemma. I was about halfway through and the words” and it looks like we won’t be good for at least 3-4 years” came out. Wow…that kinda hit home. Three years folks, that’s very realistic. So, Byrd, Soriano, and the Lahair experiment will all be afterthoughts by the time we can expect Epstein’s plan to come to fruition.
    So, with that in mind, pass me a Bud, and lets watch Rizzo, Baez, Jackson, and Mcnutt and see what happens!

    Oh, and Maples….forgot Maples.

    • MichiganGoat

      Check out the message board, better vision over there

    • CubFan Paul

      With Dempster’s $14M, Big Z’s $15M, Byrd’s $6.5M, Garza’s $10M if he’s traded, K.Wood’s $3M, Maholm’s $4.75M, Reed Johnson’s $1.2M & Wells’ $2.7M ALL coming off the books this year why would it take 3-4 years?

      Soriano is owed $36M after this year. He can be released & paid in full without the payroll reaching $130M still leaving room for improvements/upgrades. Maybe not “impact/big $$” free agents but quality pieces that can help make the 2013&2014 teams more competitive than now

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’m not trying to be stupidly optimistic, but I agree – the Cubs can make some serious improvements through free agency next year if they want.

        • ibcnu2222 (John)

          Hopefully Cole hamels. Since Cain is unavailable.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I think two years is realistic. I could see them winning 77 to 83 games in 2014, and more if thing develop faster.

  • Dan

    This Cubs team may be the worse Cubs team of all time!!! I don’t even enjoy the games anymore. I just record the games and fast forward through it nowadays…., sad…

    • EQ76

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one doing that.. I DVR’d the game last night and fast forwarded through it in about 20 minutes.. they look terrible so far..

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Tough to beat the 1997 Cubs when they started the season 0-14…

  • RY34

    ah every team in the majors just salivates furiously when the cubs come to play them because they know good things are going to happen: josh johnson pounded in his first two starts looks like cy young against the cubs, mark buehrle 0-2 in his first two starts, looks like cy young against the cubs, some no name from nowhere goes 2-3 with a homer off our best pitcher and the beat goes on and on and on. this is by far the worst team in major leage baseball. everyone looks better against the cubs, such an embarrassment!

    • EQ76

      We are slump-busters!

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    “we all knew the Cubs would be bad this year, but once they started actually losing games, people started losing it, blaming the new front office for a mess they didn’t create. Epstein and Hoyer have warned about patience, and that means longer than 12 games”.

    Bravo!

    Relax people…Give it time…

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    Relax folks.

    After years of management ineptitude, the team finally has a viable strategic plan in place. Obviously, the plan consists of scouting and developing younger players. This management team has re-allocated resources as necessary to implement their plan. Twelve games into the season is not a rationale point to reevaluate a long-term plan.

    Take a breath, relax, and grab a Bud. This franchise will get there.

    • Kyle

      Oh yay, we have a long-term plan. The same long-term plan that we cribbed from half a dozen other very unsuccessful MLB franchises.

      I’m not saying it’s a bad plan. If you draft (and IFA) and develop well, it will go a long way toward making the major-league franchise successful.

      But it wasn’t necessary to abdicate any major-league responsibilities to implement that plan, and it’s going to take a bit more than promises to scout better before I get 100% convinced they can pull it off.

      It’s amazing how short Cubs fans memories are. I’m not that old, but this is already the second time in my lifetime the Cubs hired a highly-regarded, relatively young new president with two World Series titles on his resume, and that executive made heavy promises to rebuild the farm system, and as one of his first actions made a significant increase in resources available to scouting and development.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        If we’re drawing a strict parallel, I’d point out that there is at least one huge difference between when MacPhail took over, and now: the owner. The Trib Co. was all about using the Cubs to make money. It was an investment.

        I believe the Ricketts Family when they say they aren’t interested in making money off the Cubs – they’re going to spend every dollar that comes in right back into the org. The Trib never dreamed of such a thing.

        • Kyle

          That’s definitely a difference, but I’m going to have to see some results before I’m convinced that’s actually an improvement.

          The Tribune wanted to make every last dollar out of the Cubs, sure, but they were *good* at making every last dollar out of the Cubs. And that included investment in the team.

          We’ve already seen total baseball expenditures mysteriously shrink under Ricketts, and I’m not convinced he’s fully planned for the revenue drop the Cubs are going to be seeing this season with this awful team.

          Owners who are fans first and businessmen second have a pretty mixed history in sports. It can be a good thing, but it certainly can be a bad thing as well.

          • Kyle

            And I don’t want to come off as if I completely dislike Epstein and Co. I’m very hopeful about what they can do. But I’m also skeptical, which I think is healthy.

            He’s done a lot of things I’ve liked this offseason, and I see a path to the kind of long-term success we all hope for. But I also see a path to long-term mediocrity, and I think that’s just as plausible.

            • CubFan Paul

              If Theo&Co are still talking about scouting better next winter &not spending the $50M-$60M coming off the books (in a competitive team way unlike this last offseason) then people will see what your talking about. It’s hard for people to understand your point/views Kyle because their boners for Ricketts & Theo are still throbbing so their vision is blurred/they’ll believe anything that is said/done *now*, in my opinion

            • The Dude Abides

              Honestly what has he done but trade every player that someone will take for whatever “prospect” he can get? This team has no minor league depth at the higher levels and it is too soon to judge the lower levels. The MLB has no real talent other than Castro, Dempster and Garza and he will be trading Garza and Dempster as soon as he can get someone to take them. As well as Soto and Byrd. This team is a lonnnnggg way from being good and I will be anxious to see how long fans will put up with it.

              I think it sounded good when you start dumping over priced players but they recieved their contract for a reason because they had been good. IE Big Z, ARAM, Pena, etc. Time will tell and they may win 70 games but contend for the division? Not so much unless they break down and sign players and keep the half way decent ones they have right now. Theo might get lucky and find one maybe two reclamation projects he is fond of but the odds are against him. This is what everyone was screaming for but like I have said before we will resemble the Padres for a while before we remotely look anything like Red Sox. That said I am a life long fan and hope for the best but this looks very bad…

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Maybe I’ve just got Cuban-itis. Ricketts strikes me as that kind of owner (minus the antics) – smart, successful in other arenas, passionate fan who desperately wants to see his team win.

            • Kyle

              Cuban is the good example, sure. But Ricketts could just as easily become the next Wilpon.

              I’m kind of having fun looking at the early portion of Andy MacPhail’s Cubs run now. The strike obviously made his offseason a bit shorter, but in his first year at the helm he was pretty solid.

              The Cubs made two fairly savvy trades, picking up useful parts in Scott Servais, Brian McRae and Luis Gonzalez. MacPhail’s first draft netted 40 MLB WAR, which puts it on par with any year the Epstein-era Red Sox have drafted.

              Heck, it’s not a perfect comparison because there’s a lot of time to go on the later grouping, but the career bWAR of the 1995-1998 Cubs drafts should end up pretty comparable to the 2003-2006 Boston grouping.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                My thinking on the success of that era is tainted by how much I feel like Sammy carried the whole team. And, since Sammy came before MacPhail, I feel like there’s not a lot of credit to be given there. Probably irrational.

                • Kyle

                  That’s reasonable, but there’s a chance that Epstein gets just as much out of Castro as MacPhail did Sosa.

                  Okay, maybe that’s overstating it a little.

                • MichaelD

                  I would not say that is irrational. This is the first time since the early 80s that I can look at the Cubs and see them lacking either a clear superstar Hall of Famer (Sandberg then Sosa) or a talented core (03-09). That is why I’m so pessimistic. When Sandberg and Sosa were around, they could have a MVP-caliber year and then get a few guys having above average years and make the playoffs (’84, ’98) or just miss the playoffs (’01). While the slow process of building the farm system was underway in the late 90s and early 00s, Sosa was around to give some hope. Now we just have to wait.

  • Michael

    Listening to people complain about the future 12 games into the season is hilarious. Personally I have found it to be much more enjoyable to watch games this year than either of the last 2. There r guys to watch and actually root. Can Jeff S. become a good pitcher, can Castro further develop. Is Lahair going to live up to his AAA numbers. With no expectations there are no reasons to yell at the TV during games.
    And everyone can hate on Soriano but why? Who cares? We r stuck with hi
    Because of Hendry, not his fault. The fact remains is he is the only person who has real pop in this lineup. So deal with it and let’s hope he goes on a tear and helps the team. The future isn’t and wasn’t going to be the fielders or the other on free agent market. It’s going to have to b the young guys we have who rnt ready or the ones we draft or sign (Solar)
    Just my opinion but this dick ship will fly. Just not this year

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