SWEEP! Bet you didn’t think you’d hear that just a few days ago.

The Cubs’ battled back today, and capped off their comeback with a game-winning homer by Darwin Barney. It was awesome, and a reminder that the game can still be exciting and fun, even when the Cubs are (probably) terrible.

Ryan Dempster was up in the zone today, and he paid for it. He gave up six earned runs in just over four innings, and would have deserved the loss if the Cubs hadn’t come back. The bullpen was great, and even included a scoreless inning by Carlos Marmol (naturally with two walks and a strikeout).

Joe Mather had a nightmarish day, and I think we can all finally agree that a three hitter he is not, and a full-time player he is almost certainly not. He’s nice in a utility role, but, as a starter, he’s exposed.

  • Cheryl

    With the FO thinking of drafting another shortstop it makes me wonder whether there might be some thoughts of trading Castro. Barney could slide over to short, Cardenas play second and keep Stewart temporarily at third. (I am not advocating trading Castro, but they’ve drafted Baez and there was some talk about taking a shortstop as a supplemental pick. Of course it could just be talk. They’ve said their main concentration is pitching.)

    • Kyle

      It’s 4-6 years between when a draftee is selected and when he breaks into the majors, and only 50% of first-round picks ever get even a single game in the majors. 50% of first-round picks stay in the minors forever.

      You don’t make draft picks based on what you have or plan to have at the major-league level. You simply draft the best players you can and see what happens.

      It’s even less meaningful than normal with shortstops, because the best athletes on an amateur team almost always play SS, regardless of where their future is in the big leagues.

      • Cheryl

        I realize it takes time to develop minor leaguers. Three more years and Castro will be in his prime. He’s still learning. But taking a shortstop as a supplemwntal pick seened strange. To me the concentration should be on pitching, pitching and more pitching. If anything, draft some catchers and third basemen with this year’s draft. But I disagree with you on one point. You say draft the best players you can. I would add draft the best players you can in positions where you are weak. if there isn’t a good player to draft to fill a weakness, then by all means draft the best player yoy can no matter the position.

        • Njriv

          But the thing is you never know, the number 1 pick in the draft could never make it in the bigs and joe shmoe in the 16th round can, or maybe they both do or don’t, you just never know.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          For the sake of example, let us assign hypothetical players numerical values as prospects.

          When the Cubs pick at No 6, suppose the best overall player is Billy Bobson, OF, Value 95 (out of 100).  The best available pitcher is Kerry Prior, RHP, Value 75.  The Cubs could take Kerry Prior and odds are most fans would be content.

          The smart move would be to take Billy Bobson, wait a year, and include him in a trade for Walter Koufax, LHP, Value 93.

          And that’s why the Cubs, and all well run teams, will take the best player on the board early.  Ties will probably be decided on the basis of need (and don’t get me wrong, there are likely to be a lot of ties… this is a sketchy and subjective business), but especially early in the draft smart teams will always take the best available player.

          • Joe

            Luke—I Like you, but when hypothetics are involved, your comments are out the door with the “best available players.” No such thing as nobody has a crystal ball.

          • Cheryl

            Thanks, Luke. That explanation makes a lot of sense. As I said in another response, I’m still learning.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There is absolutely no connection between who the Cubs will take in this draft and what they may plan to do or not do with their current players and prospects.  If… and is a tremendously huge if… if the Cubs ever find themselves with a very good shortstop prospect ready to break into the majors while the that position is still occupied by Castro, then and only then will they consider what to do about it.

      The harsh fact is that most players who are drafted do not become stars.  Most of them do not even reach the majors.  Knowing that, it would make very little sense for the front office to make plans to move Castro today in order to make room for a prospect who may amount to nothing, and who may not be ready for the majors for four or five years, if then.

      In very few cases do major league teams give a quarter second’s thought to the needs of the major league roster when making a draft pick in baseball.  In this sport, that thinking just does not work.

      That’s not to say the front office doesn’t dream.  They do, just like we do.  They dream of having to find room to play both Vogelbach and Rizzo, Castro and Lake and Vitters and Baez, Szczur and Ha and Jackson and Bonne and Burgess, and so on.  They may even talk in vague terms about such possibilities to the press, but it does not in any factor into the decision making.

      • Cheryl

        Okay. I’m still learning about the way the draft is approached. My misconceptions were that it took about three years to move a player up to AAA, not four to six years. My second misconception was that you seek to take players to fulfill needs just like the FO is concentrating on pitching to fulfill a definite need. I thought that would carry over to other positions as well. My mistake. Also, i didn’t realize there was such a disconnect between the draft and the minors. Again, my mistake. Also, in regard to Castro, I don’t believe he’ll be traded, but I hear rumors just like anybody else.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Two to three years is about right for a good college pick.  High school tends to take four to five years.  International free agents can take six or more.

          And it isn’t wrong to say that teams look to address needs in the draft.  They absolutely do.  And this is where the draft can get complicated.  It is entirely correct to say that teams take the best available player, that they take the players they think they can sign, that they take players in systemic areas of weakness, that they take players who feature certain tools over other tools, and about a dozen more statements.  All of them are simultaneously true.

          It’s just that some are more true than others.

          You can think of it as buying a car.  When you go to buy a car you probably have thirty different criteria you are considering, but some of those criteria are more important than others, or have to considered before others, or have more or less important depending on other criteria, and so forth.

          It’s all extremely subjective and mainly helps to ensure that humans stay relevant and that the computers don’t take us over any time soon.

    • Njriv

      I wouldn’t look too much into it, you usually take the best player available, as opposed to drafts in other sports where they draft in ares of need. Obviously draftees don’t go directly into the majors like other sports and have to go into the minor league system, there is chance they may never make it into the bigs, or they might have to make a position change. As for Baez, I hear he might eventually out grow shot stop and move over to third, he has the bat power to do so.

  • LOL


  • BetterNews

    You admit it?

  • ReiCow

    I’d actually like to see Campana leading off and DeJesus in the 3 hole.


    • cincycubfan

      I was thinking the exact same thing! I know DeJesus isn’t much of a power hitter but he does hit his share of doubles and is a very patient hitter. It wouldn’t hurt to try this for a game

  • gratefulled

    WoW! There are some really pathetic people in this world, and one of them has apparently stumbled across Bleacher Nation. I would say get a life but you obviously would have no idea what that means. So instead, I will say go kill yourself and make this world a better place. Please!!!


    I was very fortunate to have attended “THE DARWIN BARNEY GAME”. That was the most fun I’ve had in long time. Barney also had a great game in the field; Castro and he turned a beautiful double play, and Barney threw out a runner at home on another good play. I can’t remember anything to match how they scratched out the tying run in the 8th. If only all games were this much fun to watch!

    • Ogyu

      “The Darwin Barney Game.” I love it. Surely, this is equivalent to the Ryne Sandberg game against St. Louis in 1984 that launched him to an MVP season and a HOF career. … Or … maybe not.

      • LARRY

        Exactly; this is how legends begin. I don’t care about what Ace has said in the past; DB is a winner;

  • Ivy Walls

    CF is now a problem as is the #3 hitting spot. Sveum will have to start looking at playing matchups and situations, possibly do some different things outside the convention. My guess is that cubs are waiting for B Jackson to show them he is ready. As for the three spot I actually think DeJesus might be better there and play a platoon of Campana and Johnson in the leadoff spot.

  • Alex K

    How far away is the price point in Jackson being called up? I remember the offseason discussion that the cubs most likely would wait to bring him up because after a certain date they could do so without spending so much.