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Matt Garza was very good again today – a number of metrics (K/BB, WHIP, K/9) would even say he was dominant. But, once again, he gave up a homer, and a couple other untimely hits, and his shiny day wound up looking merely very good. The offense did virtually nothing, though they did tease us with a rally and it’s another lopsided loss for the Cubs.

At least there was Alfonso Soriano…

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    It’s not going to be long Alfonso…

  • rcleven

    This team is sick and sure needs a boost.
    Theo if Boston can get rid of Youks you can do something.
    Get it done.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hmmm: I’m not sure that is a trade that the Cubs want to emulate.  Youk should have fetched more than he did.

      • rcleven

        Youk was a total dump.We all saw Stewart and what he could do last week. Lillybridge I would take over Baker, Mather or maybe Johnson plus 5.5 mm of 8. Pretty dollar neutral and a trade of need for both sides. So not so bad of a trade.

  • nkniacc13

    you would think so but the fact that Boston had to move him and move him soon is likley why the return wasn’t great. Also why Theo is likely waiting till closer to the deadline before making moves

  • Carew

    Now that Youk has been traded, we’ll be hearing a lot about the Cubs rumors.

    I hope change happens soon…

  • nkniacc13

    I doubt anything happens until after the all star break unless Cubs are blown away with an offer

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    I agree

  • Kyle

    “Wrong” kind is a relative term at this point. 1.5 games clear of San Diego for top draft pick/IFA pool.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    You know it’s bad when the reporters have run out questions…. Reporter: “dale, uhhh that wasn’t good. Anything positive to take away.” dale: “other than Garza… Uhhh no”

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Garza impressed today. Other then 2 pitches and one girly throw to second Garza impressed a lot of scouts today… Hopefully teams see Garza as a 1-2 sp and the Cubs can get top dollar back in a trade.

  • nkniacc13

    I think some see him as a #2 but I just don’t think a couple of good starts can make teasms think if they don’t already that he’s a number 1. I hope he’s viewed at as a 1 that means more in trade but im just not sure that is his view around the league

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015

      I completely agree with you buuuuut everyone knows it takes one team that believes it can go all the way to make a monster deal. If the report about the Yankees going hard at Garza is true that could force a team like the orioles to give up a guy they don’t want.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Its always fun to play fantasy GM isn’t it :D

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    The trade deadline couldn’t come fast enough. I need something to get excited about. This team is garbage, and I just wanted to see us sell off are valuable parts like dempster, garza, soriano, soto, lahair and barney for young good prospects that I can get excited about in hopes they can maybe turn out to be good major leaguers. I am just so sick of the same old same old losing. no excitement. Literally I get more excited about reading Lukes daily minor league update about how prospects are coming along then watching the cubs right now. I mean we got Rizzo coming up so at least theres something to get excited about

  • die hard

    Castro finally in a groove batting 2nd and Sveum the Svengali moves him to 3rd…hoping to rub the magic lamp….Quade was bad but this guy is worse…sorry, trial period is over…fire his butt, now

    • Jzwizard

      Yeah Castro is not a #3 batter. He is the perfect person to place in the #2 spot. I get frustrated when he is not put there. The problem is they have no buddy else to put at the 3 spot, and I don’t think it would be fair to put Rizzo in that position this season unless he is really killing it. I think Rizzo should start hitting 6 or 7th in the lineup until he settles in nicely. Our offense is about as bad as it gets now, imagine how much worse it will be when/if we trade Soriano.

    • Carew

      They are not going to fire a rookie manager during a season that the FO knew was gonna be a losing effort

    • Toby

      and replace him with who and don’t use the cop out of “anyone’s better than Sveum”

    • @cubsfantroy

      Yeah let’s fire him. Anyone would be better than Sveum. I bet anyone else could make all of these guys all stars. /sarcasm

    • baldtaxguy
      • Brady

        This and this.

  • JoeyCollins

    All that mattered going into this game was soriano and Garza and they both performed so ill take that

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Come on guys lets not have a bash fest on Sveum. Seriously if Tony Larussa had this team they’d still suck. There is not much you can do with this roster. Plus he’s a first year manager, cut him some slack. Wait until after his 2nd year to judge to see if he made improvements i n judgement. its called learning from mistakes, you don’t learn over night. You learn over the course of seasons.

    • MichiganGoat

      Sveum was this weeks Soriano, I understand that finds need someone/thing to complain and blame. Right now it’s Sveum. It will pass, then return.

      • Toby

        I not sure what more Sveum can do considering what he has to work with. I still believe Sveum will be alright as mgr.

      • Spoda17

        Its not what Sveum has to work with\, but moreso how he works with what he has… lineup and bullpen decisions are minor league… he has not improved…

        • MichiganGoat

          IDK, I just can’t see that many moves that would equal a win. I understand the need and desire for him to do something different simply for the fact of doing something different. I just don’t think there are any results that can be had, no matter how you mix turds in the punch bowl… the bowl is still shitty.

        • art

          exactly, you learn as the season goes, he’s still making the same moves now that he did April 1st. good or bad roster, a good manager doesn’t continue to make Quade moves.

          • MichiganGoat

            I understand but he is trusting/playing the odds, it just isn’t working out right now. If he didn’t play those odds and we were losing then everyone would attack him for that.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Yep, sometimes you are going to try something drastic to rock the boat. This team needs something, anything. I would be shocked when Rizzo comes up, and Castro isn’t batting 2nd with Lahair 4th. Sveum and the FO wants some protection. That should be decent. Well, as good as it’s going to get for us. Castro will be loving it.

              • MichiganGoat

                Um I guess “rock the boat” is a good reason but just “rocking the boat” because we have not other ideas isn’t exactly a sound, rationale, statistically based that we expect from this new front office.

    • LEO L

      I don’t think they would suck this bad. just nearly as bad but not this bad. But then again Theo would not haved hired larussa because he has a plan. Svem is palying guys per Theo plan. I got to think some of the lineup choices are not entirely on Svem.

      • MichiganGoat

        I’m sure that is part of it, Theo wants certain players to play to maximize their trade value.

        • rcleven

          Show me how by playing Baker it has improved his trade value.
          Show me how by playing Mather it has improved his trade value.
          Show me how by playing Johnson it has improved his trade value
          Show me how by playing Wells it has improved his trade value
          I can go on and on. The trade value argument is a far far reach. .

          • MichiganGoat

            I agree its a far reach but I trust that Theo is smarter with baseball than me, it might also be about protecting the stats of other players by playing these turds. I’m positive there is a very rational, statistical driven reason these moves are being made vs. just throwing out a line up card without thought.

            • LEO L

              well trade value is a big one but also theo will need to see if there is any value in keeping a guy. during spring training many thought Randy Wells had a chance to be a starter. well he has not even been a good fill in. even though he looks bad, the cubs need to know how bad to decide on his future. do they keep him around for next year as thier 6 or 7 pitcher or can he still fill in hte back of the rotation or do we jsuts give up on him.

            • rcleven

              I would rather watch the kids in AAA play than play the lower vets.Mather Baker and and a few others have no business even being on a 40 man roster. If these players were waved today there would be no takers. To put this kind of product on the field and expect the average Cub fan to accept it is just embarrassing.

          • Drew7

            Baker: who the hell else can play 1st against LHP?
            Johnson: 108 OPS+ means he deserves the pt hes gotten as a 4th outfielder.
            Wells: attempting to show teams last year was a fluke after posting back to back good seasons in ’09 & ’10.
            Mather: again, who else? I dont like the guy, but Valbuena isnt the answer, and Sveum wont give Cardenas a look against RHP, let alone a lefty.

            There just arent any other options, guys. We have no idea what orders hes following from the top, so Im inclined to cut the guy a little slack.

  • Jzwizard

    There is only 1 regular hitting over .270 We have 3 gaping holes in the lineup every night at 3B, C, and P. There is really nobody good on the bench, and we have had a less than decent bullpen along with trade rumors day in and out. We all knew they were not going to be good heading into the season. If we can get a few of our prospects such as Jackson and Rizzo to solidify themselves in the major league lineup and get better than expected returns at the trade deadline then this can be considered a good season.

  • Kyle

    Let’s talk about the minors instead.

    Jackson continues to defy all odds and put up decent numbers while striking out in 1/3rd of his plate appearances (nearly 1/2 over the last month or so). It’s crazy.

    I was pretty skeptical of Candelario (a lot of people were in love with him because of his DSL stats, but DSL stats are about as meaningful as high school stats in America), but he’s crushing Boise. Another home run tonight. We’ve talked about our potential top-100 guys in next spring’s list, but he’s a very interesting sleeper candidate. If he’s not top-100, he’s definitely on pace to be top-150 with a shot to break into the top-100 the year after if he keeps developing.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      The cubs aren’t look for improvement in power in Bjax’s game, they are looking for improvement in a approach and walks and contact rate. His power isn’t good enough to make him a good major leaguer, he has above average power but not true huge power that will make up for his high strike out rate like Adam Dunn. When I hear he got another homer that doesn’t excite me. What would excite me is 2 hits and 2 walks as apposed to 1 homer and 3 strike outs. He needs to improve or he will never be a good major league player.

      • Drew7

        His approach is what you wouldnt want to change, and it fits perfectly with what Theo/Jed are trying to bring to the org.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          R u saying Bjax’s free swinging, low contact rate, and aggressive plate approach is a Theo/Jed type of player? Because if thats what your saying you are dead wrong. Theo/jed type players are guys who work counts, take pitches and are low strike out guys. Thats not what Bjax is. Dont get me wong I’m not trying to get down on Bjax but he has strengths as a prospects but his negatives in his game don’t make him the mold of a typical Theo/jed player. Its not like they don’t want Bjax because he’s talented and has value but he doesn’t fit the mold of what they look for in players.

          • Scotti

            Brett Jackson is anything BUT a free-swinger. He has a lot of K’s–and a lot of walks–because he DOES go deep into the count and isn’t afraid to bat with 2 strikes.

            Guys who take pitches, work counts and don’t K are more myth than fact. There are only a handful of those cats in a given year. If you like walks–and walks have been popular since the game’s early days–then you have to accept the K’s that come with walks.

            And Jackson does have natural plus power. The more he taps into that potential the more walks he’ll get.

          • Drew7

            You werent right about anything you just said.

            The selectively – aggressive approach Theo emphasizes requires taking a lot of pitches, going deep into counts, picking your pitch and driving it. K’s are a byproduct of that. A *low k guy* would often be someone like vitters, who is actually close to the opposite type of player that would fit that mold (besides, being *low contact* isnt an approach; swings and misses arent strategic).

            Are you sure you arent confusing Jackson with someone else?

  • notcubbiewubbie

    not bashing sveum but he sure looks like he is learning on the job. castro really struggles with men on base.

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Actually, with runners on Castro has a better avarage and OPS and with RISP average and OPS with .10 of his season average and OPS.

    • Drew7

      Could you clarify that (not being a smartass)?

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        Yep, I wrote that pretty poorly.

        Castro has a .338 avg and .800+ slugging percentage with men on base. His avg this season is .304 and slugging is ~.770. With runners in scoring position his avarage is .295 and slugging is ~.760.

  • MichiganGoat

    btw I’m enjoying the comments tonight things are much improved this evening.

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    Looks like a good bet for the Cubs beating the 62 and 66 teams that were 59-103

  • @cubsfantroy

    I’m just curious as to who the Cubs are going to release/send down when and if Rizzo is called up in the next few days. You think it will be Cardenas? I don’t even know if I spelled his name right. lol

    • Toby

      Cubs will, most likely, DFA Jeff Baker or they could send Campana down. (I’m not sure if Campana has options left without being exposed to waivers)

      • Drew7

        Baker would make the most sense, but it may be Cardenas.

        • MichiganGoat

          I could also see Mather, his value as an OF is gone once LaHair moves to the outfield.

          • Toby

            I would think they would keep Mather for the bench considering he has probably the most pop.

      • Jzwizard

        They would probably be able to trade Baker. I hope they don’t DFA Campana, because he won’t make it through waivers.

      • Spencer

        If the Cubs move Campana before Johnson, Baker, or Mather I will be furious. Campana at least has one tool. Those guys have none.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I think it’s really unfair to draw much, if anything, of managerial performance right now. It’s certainly over the top to compare Sveum to Quade. While I think it’s very fair to give Theo a pass, let’s be clear, what is occurring is far more on Theo and his staff than Sveum. Taking it further, MG is right whether any deal gets done, Theo is having a good deal of say into the line-up right now to maximize trade value.

    Further, although people are understandably over the top on Rizzo right now, it’s highly unlikely he comes up and dominates. I think reasonable expectations would call .275-.280 with OBP of .340 maybe 10 Homers and 35 RBIs success, but he too will have his up downs. Bluntly his relevance consists of establishing himself for the future. Realistically for starters they will trade 2 of their starters just a beginning point in trades. This team will lose over 105 games and is because of the ML talent and what they didn’t do. This is what people wanted and they huge start which they are too in 2011,2012, Concepion, Soler and now all the trades they will be making. They are ahead schedule in my view, but they probably won’t turn the corner to being a team the competes realistically until the tail part of the 2013 season.

    I really think it’s important to realize it’s people all of us that wanted to fix and it’s not fair to judge Sveum now and Theo shortly, because that’s where we headed for a work in progress. Let these trades and the next offseason along with next draft play out, it’s the only way.

    • rcleven

      Your pretty much right on in your assessment of Rizzo. This half season is get him adjusted to MLB pitching.
      I think you are a little agressive on competing at the tail end of 13. Even 14 seems agressive to me. Got to figure Theo/Jeds drafts won’t even begin seeing MLB action till 15.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Call up Rizzo & Jackson at the same time & it will take some pressure off both guys. Then have a lineup like this : DeJesus RF
    Castro SS
    Rizzo 1B
    Soriano LF
    Cardenas 3B
    Soto C
    Jackson CF
    Barney 2B
    If nothing else it is balanced L/R & should produce better OBP – cut or trade Baker & Johnson.

  • D. Sveum

    Hey!!! Don’t you dare compare me to Mike Quade!!!! I’m much better than him. At least I know when to pull out a starting pitcher!! I just have some problems with 1 run games… ;)

    • Spencer

      I’m not so sure you’re adept at pulling pitchers either, Mr. Sveum.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I was watching the game today and Len and Bob were talking about Steve Finley… Brett Jackson reminds me a lot of Finley. Not saying B-Jax could be that good with his current K rate out of this world, but I agree with loubrock up their. Call up Jackson with Rizzo. Takes pressure off of both of the kids and makes us fans some what happy :)

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Absolutely not. Not the Finley party comp but bringing up Jackson would be a disaster for Bjax’s game! Do you want to see him 3-25 with 16 strikeouts and have his confidence destroyed? I don’t think so. If he has an insane strike out rate down there what do you think its going to be up in the bigs? Rizzo is about 5 times more ready then Bjax is for the bigs. I don’t think they should even bring Bjax up this year unless he goes on a streak of maybe a month to a month and a half of consistent contact with a lowered strikeout rate. Do think seeing Bjax struggle in the bigs is really going to help Rizzo?

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    The Finley comparisons were made because of his stat line. 270 career BA, 300+ HR 1k+ RBIs. All in all a solid outfielder and all around ball player. I could see B-Jax with a similar stat line at the end of his career. The calling up discussion on the other hand… I believe Jackson thought he was going to be on the team because of his performance in spring training. I just think it’s a win-win. Bring him up and hide him behind the Rizzo call up. He won’t have any pressure and if he succeeds he stay. If he struggles early he’s still young just like Rizzo last year. All that being said Jackson’s not getting called up any time soon.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Stays*

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    There’s no doubt, people including Dale Svuem no matter what he and Theo says are tiring of the losing. But I think you have to look at what has been accomplished since 2011. First, even before Theo, they started the clean up with the over slot draft. Sure I wish Bush would have traded Ramirez and Perez, but they actually got sandwich picks that Theo got to make. Hopefully some of those come to fruiting, but they got a good start last season. This offseason we can all pick all we want, they added some young players. Then with a revamped scouting department, no reasonable person is really arguing that they didn’t have a big draft. And then add into that they were able to add 2/3rds of the Cubans talented and some think Soler was the best of the lt prospects. Thats a lot added to the Minor League system.

    Now we will see. Sure, Ricketts erred by not letting Bush deal people like Soto, Marmol, even some of these role guys, but watch, some of these people are still going to be packaged in trades. No they aren’t going to bring what they would have last season, but I have zero doubt, at the end of July the Cubs Minor league system at the top will be dramatically better, that is at AA/AAA unless they rush them. So by adding 3 or 4 major pieces they will have accomplished what so many people seemed to call for, namely restocked the farm system and have a base to conduct a tremendous 2013 draft and from which to improve. It’s not good pr, it’s just not easy to see. So who knows how it all plays out, but I see the plan, and I see it working to the point the light at the end of the tunnel could be nearer than most think.

    The 2013/2014 is my thing, and may not be completely correct, but I think Theo is more impatient than most think, and again the losing doesn’t sit well.

    Finally, while I have never bought or drank the Soriano Kool Aid, I still think despite the pr blitz and AS contestation to the contrary, he is not and never has been a winner. His contract is so bad to be a dog if declared a winner at the track would have to be investigated. And Theo seems to be on the verge of the miraculous, namely trading him and getting either a prospect or a some real salary cap relief if you believe the most credible of the chicago sportswriters. And that is an accomplishment. And take a look at the teams that are following Garza and Dempster. They will get into a bidding war, the key will be pulling the trigger not too late and not to early. I don’t know what the time is, but I know there are 7 or 8 teams watching them, and 18 teams in contention for the playoffs. It’s all going to happen swiftly and we probably should quit complaining about Sveum who may end up being an excellent manager, in fact the woeful MLB Roster and focus on the impending deals.

  • mudge

    I’m driving over to Fitzgerald’s, I’m listening, there’s guys on second and third, I thought, “Bunt them home. Both of them. Bunt them home.” Strikeout, line-out, ground-out. Pretty sure nobody’s going to score with this team when there’s two on and none out. “We can’t make contact even,” Sveum said. “That’s our biggest Achilles’ heel, striking out so many times in those situations, especially when there is less than two outs. We’re not even moving nobody.”

  • Zach

    Rizzo: First plate appearance: 2-run homerun into left center field.

    I’m calling it now.

    • hansman1982

      I kinda hope not – Fukudome started his career in much the same way…(just right-center field instead of left)

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