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Yesterday’s off-day was particularly ill-timed, given how the Cubs’ series with the Cardinals played out. Two insane, walk-off, comeback wins, followed by a deflating, “meh” loss. You really don’t want to sit on your hands after that. The Cubs get the Phillies, starting today.

  • For those harboring hopes that the Cubs will soon have both Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo (who is destroying the PCL once again) in the lineup, Paul Sullivan notes that LaHair has yet to take even a moment’s worth of practice in the outfield this year. Clearly, the Cubs have no designs on making a move any time soon (which is what we’ve expected). LaHair’s been dealing with a crotchety back, but when I watch him in the field, I have a hard time seeing a guy who could plausibly handle a corner outfield spot. We didn’t see much of him in the outfield last year, either, so it’s hard to feel confident in his abilities out there right now. When Rizzo is ready, as nice as it would be to have both bats in the lineup, I think it’s more likely that the Cubs look to make a trade.
  • Dale Sveum on facing the Phillies this weekend: “They have one of the best pitching staffs over the last few years, so it’s going to be tough. Hopefully, getting into more of a hitters’ park, we can hit some home runs. You have to do that against those kinds of pitchers because it’s hard to string hits together. They don’t walk anybody either.”
  • The Cubs are monitoring Jeff Samardzija’s innings and pitch counts very closely this year. Although he bulked up and got into great shape in the offseason, he still threw only 88 innings last year, all in relief. He looks strong in the early going, but the Cubs will have to be careful not to overwork him.
  • Steve Rosenbloom wonders why Carlos Marmol is still on the Cubs, and I wonder why I just read something Steve Rosenbloom wrote. Well, except this time, he actually makes some reasonably useful points. But, as always, it takes two teams to tango. Recognizing that this team has no need for Marmol is only half of the equation. The Cubs, for their part, continue to talk up the virtues of Marmol.
  • Bob Brenly, who often jokes during Cubs broadcasts that he was a terrible hitter, actually wasn’t too bad. He was better than average, and may have been in the top 1/3 of offensive catchers all-time.
  • The Bricks and Ivy Ball raised $1.25 million for Chicago Cubs Charities on Wednesday night. I can only assume there are some pictures floating around somewhere of the Cubs’ players decked out in their fancies.
  • Baseball America’s Jim Callis says that the Cubs will take the best available player with their number 6 overall draft pick this year, rather than feeling forced to take a pitcher. I agree. I also agree with Callis that the best available player will probably be a pitcher when the Cubs’ turn comes up.
  • MLBullets at BCB, noting Carl Crawford’s now three-month UCL injury. No, I don’t think the Cubs will be able to pawn another outfielder off on the Red Sox.
  • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

    Kyle,

    I am not saying you annoit him a savior or saying he will keep this up. I am saying that you need to see how he fairs in the outfield if he continues this pace. I will say the trend you speak of is scary but the trade deadline is not until July so in respect to that trend we should know by July if he is legit or not. He already has 54 plate apperances so it is early. All I am saying is we cannot be prepared to trade him not know what he will do in the future but you can prepare for that future to see if he can handle the OF.

  • Cheryl

    Agreed!

  • JustSwain

    I think another thing people aren’t taking into consideration is that trying to insert Lahair as a permanent solution in Left would block one of the very few positions where we are likely to be able to sign a legitimate power bat free agent this off season. There are going to be some good outfielders looking for contracts, but the pickings will be slim for the next couple of years on second basemen, third basemen, and catchers. Personally I hope Sori’s last year with the Cubs is spent spelling Melky Cabrera, but if you want Lahair….

  • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

    Here is the list of free agent OF after this season. Tell me one person on this list that is an impact OFer-
    Left fielders
    Jay Gibbons (36)
    Jonny Gomes (32)
    Scott Hairston (33)
    Josh Hamilton (32)
    Willie Harris (35)
    Brad Hawpe (34)
    Eric Hinske (35)
    Conor Jackson (31)
    Reed Johnson (36)
    Andruw Jones (36)
    Austin Kearns (33)
    Mark Kotsay (37)
    Carlos Lee (37)
    Fred Lewis (32)
    Ryan Ludwick (34) – mutual option for 2013
    Juan Pierre (35)
    Juan Rivera (34) – $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
    Delmon Young (27)

    Center fielders
    Alfredo Amezaga (35)
    Rick Ankiel (33)
    Michael Bourn (30)
    Marlon Byrd (35)
    Melky Cabrera (28)
    Mike Cameron (40)
    Curtis Granderson (32) – $13MM club option with a $2MM buyout
    Scott Hairston (33)
    Angel Pagan (31)
    Corey Patterson (33)
    Cody Ross (32)
    Grady Sizemore (30)
    Ryan Spilborghs (33)
    B.J. Upton (28)
    Shane Victorino (32)

    Right fielders
    Lance Berkman (36)
    Matt Diaz (35)
    Andre Ethier (31)
    Kosuke Fukudome (36) – $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
    Willie Harris (35)
    Torii Hunter (37)
    Andruw Jones (36)
    Mark Kotsay (37)
    Ryan Ludwick (34) – mutual option for 2013
    Xavier Nady (34)
    Carlos Quentin (30)
    Juan Rivera (34) – $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
    Cody Ross (32)
    Ryan Spilborghs (33)
    Ichiro Suzuki (39)
    Nick Swisher (32)

    Honestly you can only say maybe BJ Upton, Nick Swisher, Carlos Quentin, Melky Cabrera, or Shane Victorino could be considered good bats but not “power.” Only one off that list would be an impact and that is Granderson and he will have his option exercised.

    If LaHair suceeds this season then you stick with him for 2013

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Josh Hamilton?

    • hardtop

      we should have got granderson the last time around! dammit!

      you’re right. none of that class is worth overspending on. 3 or 4 of the guys you listed are going to rake in stupid deals because the market is relatively shit-tastic.

      im biased, but id take cody ross for what the bo-sox are paying him. he strikes out a lot, but can hit for power, and obviously plays better defense than fonzie (and he struck out ryan howard a few years ago pitching in extra innings)

    • TWC

      “If LaHair suceeds this season then you stick with him for 2013″

      Totally.  His BABiP is totally gonna be over .500 all season long.

    • JustSwain

      Delmon Young has the potential to be an impact bat, so does Melky Cabrera. Those guys you listed as good bats all play much better defense than we could expect from Lahair, and all of them have made adjustments to Major league pitching. None is likely to suffer from Sophmore slump phenomena. I’d rather have Swisher, Upton, Cabrera, Ethier, Hamilton, geez I can’t keep going with this.

      • Deer

        Delmon Young is insane. Like literally, he’s insane, no thanks

        • JustSwain

          Yeah, he just got arrested in New York, and might be charged with hate crimes. Maybe we should stay away from him…

  • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

    Then if he has a good half next season you can trade him then for top value because either way I think the Cubs should be in the OF market after the 2013 season given the players on the market. Players like Chris Young, Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, and even Nelson Cruz are free agents after the 2013 season. That is a nice crop to pick from and Cruz is the oldest at 33. I would drool at a Ellsbury, BJax, and Szczur outfield.

    • JustSwain

      If the Bosox don’t extend Ellsbury it will be because of an injury, same with Young and Jones. Pence would be a nice option, but oddly enough thats the year Dejesus contract runs out…..

  • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

    Good Point Norm… I looked over Hamilton. He would be an impact bat.

  • ty

    Large test for LaHair and Co. against one of the best staffs ever. Taping game as headed down to Colorado River Run for Ted Nugent, David Allen Coe, and the Doors. Ten thousand bikes here and 300 VegasMet cops. Constant roar of bikes up mountainside and I am 20 min. away. If never been to a rally–gotta do it!

    • MaxM1908

      I walked out of a David Allen Coe concert last year. I enjoy a lot of his music and even appreciate that he’s rough around the edges. But, I lost all respect for him when he launched into a repertoire of some of the most disgustingly racist music I have ever heard. I knew it existed, but I thought he had left that in his past. I never expected him to play it in 2011. I was ashamed to have bought a ticket to his concert.

      • ty

        A radio friend invited me to his press conference Tues at the Casino and he was polite but his really classy wife was at his side. He did relate in rather sorrowful fashion about serving lengthy prison time for bank robbery or some similar crime. Met his wife at a Vegas casino when he approached her and asked, “what slot should I play? She said that one and he hit it stat for 100,000 dollars. Anyhow free tickets so will see!

        • TWC

          I don’t recommend wearing an Obama 2012 t-shirt to that concert, Ty…

  • JustSwain

    Let me also make this clear…If Lahair keeps hitting the way he has been he’ll have a .350 average at the end of the year, with 110 RBIs, 40 doubles and 40 homers. If he does that, I wouldn’t even consider trading him. Thats a pretty big If.

    • TWC

      … and a BABiP over .500.

      • JustSwain

        Whats the highest career BABiP that has been recorded? Anyone know?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          1.500.

          • JustSwain

            Let me guess…Chuck Norris?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Pfft, come on, man. Norris was at a mere 1.375.

              And, no, it wasn’t Dick Tidrow – his was .000. Never hit anything but home runs.

              It was the one and only Sam Fuld.

              • JustSwain

                Oooooooh, that makes so much sense. I assume your only talking about Super Sam, not his mild mannered soft hitting alter ego right?

        • Cubbie Blues

          Highest I could find for a career was Tom Mcreery at .390.

          • TWC

            HA!  In 1896!

          • JustSwain

            Highest with over 5000 PAs excluding the dead ball era is Rod Carew at .359. Jeter is pretty close to that, and so is Ichiro. All those guys were pretty fast right?

  • baseballet

    LaHair fever is running wild! The season is only 12% complete, but fluke or no fluke LaHair has been the best offensive first baseman in all of baseball so far. He leads all first baseman in OPS and slugging percentage, he’s third in OBP, and second in batting average. He has also been patient at the plate, which is quite refreshing for a Cub.
    The cherry on top is that he has four home runs in only 44 at-bats, compared to Fielder who has two home runs in 71 at-bats. Not a great start for Fielder and his annual $24M paycheck. I’m glad we’re not paying that salary for no reason over the next two rebuilding years.

    • ty

      LaHair just looks real comfortable at the plate and he is the proverbial big oak tree. I just do not see pitchers over-whelming him this season–the key is his ability to go the other way.

    • hardtop

      Pujols: 15 brazillion dollars per year, 0 home runs.
      LaHair has been a bargain so far. I dont expect it to last. Id be happy with .260 and 20 bombs by seasons end.

    • die hard

      When Bears cut 1st rd draft choice he can tryout for 1B as his HS stats show he can play!!!!
      “On the baseball diamond, McClellin hit .453 with 21 runs batted in and ten stolen bases as a junior. “…BIO

      • Cubbie Blues

        I have actually missed you DH but I thought Soriano was being moved to 1st.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    WISTAH!

  • JustSwain

    Play freebird! Sorry, placed my comment in the wrong place and didn’t have anything else to say…you can ignore me now.

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