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The rumor mill continues to churn, so we’ll have more to discuss later today, as well as a discussion of Carlos Zambrano’s return to Wrigley Field. Until then, Bullets…

  • Travis Wood obviously bombed last night, but it was his first stumble in a long, long time. Might it have been the 11 day layoff between starts? “I don’t like making excuses so I will say [that wasn’t it],” Wood said. “Every time you get the ball it’s your day to pitch and you have to ready to go and I always am. It was 11 days with the All-Star break and everything but I got my work in, I prepared and everything. It just wasn’t my night tonight.” Wood says he’ll try to get back on the horse in St. Louis.
  • For whatever it’s worth, Geovany Soto thinks Wood was actually throwing the ball well last night. “I felt in the fourth, and going into the fifth, it felt like [Wood’s] command was there, but they were laying off some great pitches, and he normally gets swings on them,” Soto said. “It happens sometimes. I thought he threw the ball real well. … He’s been throwing the ball phenomenally. That’s a good lineup over there.”
  • Reed Johnson offers high praise for Anthony Rizzo. “I don’t know if it’s going to be that tough for him,” Reed Johnson said of Rizzo’s ability to live up to the standard he’s already set, according to Paul Sullivan. “He has that demeanor where he’s really calm. He doesn’t get too high or too low, and obviously we haven’t seen too many lows from him this year. Even when things are going well for him, he doesn’t seem to get too excited. You know that when things going bad, it’s going to be the same way. You see those superstars throughout the league, and they all have that same demeanor. That’s a part of his game that’s going to help him the most — the attitude he brings to the field every day.”
  • Jeff Samardzija, who starts today for the Cubs, says the rotation’s strength of late has been a self-reinforcing kind of thing. “When Paulie and Woody are throwing the way they’re throwing it makes our job easier as righties to come in and have a totally different look than what they showed,” Samardzija said. “Everybody is throwing well. We’re kind of riding each other right now. Nobody wants to be that guy that lets off the gas and lets a team get up on us. We’re having fun and having good competition between each other for sure.” Woody let off the gas last night, so we’ll see if Jeff can step back on it.
  • Dale Sveum was eager to get Rafael Dolis and Jairo Ascencio work last night, so Wood’s early exit had a mild upside. So eager was Sveum, that the two relievers actually pitched in a simulated game before batting practice yesterday. The duo hadn’t appeared in a game since July 3.
  • Bruce Miles looks at the possible rotation fill-ins if Ryan Dempster and/or Matt Garza are traded in the next two weeks. The options are … bleak.
  • Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame induction is coming on Sunday.
  • Anthony Rizzo and Tony Campana do some interviewing with each other, and – if you look to the right – there’s another video of Ron Swanson, Cubs Fan.
  • MLBullets at BCB look at Ozzie Guillen’s return to Chicago, and his hurt feelings at the suggestion that the White Sox are better off without him.
  • https://twitter.com/#!/Shawn_Oetzel Shawn

    Damn, if they start calling Maholm “Paulie” I may have to go on some kind spree…

    • Grant

      Agreed…sounded like Shark had been possessed by Quade.

  • JoeyCollins

    I was worried going into this game if the 11 days off would be a factor. Not sure how much it was but i hope that was issue. I’ll be curious to see his next start now and see how he rebounds.

  • ETS

    So can we say for certain that Chris Bosio is “good” pitching coach?

    • Carew

      Wasnt he the Brewers pitching coach last year? Look at how the year is going for their pitching after he left

  • Myles

    That Rizzo/Campana pitter-patter was great. I love those guys.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    As a former pitcher I can tell you that having that many days off is terrible. It makes you crazy and it you just have entirely too much energy. Only time its good is if your arm is falling off. I think he just had too much juice built up and he may have lost focus. When you have too many days off from game action it’s very hard to put it all together and be effective. I am not the least bit worried about him. He will be much better on his next start. (I am sure he threw some on the side. That doesn’t do much for ya. The game adrenaline is hard to duplicate and until you have that adrenaline going you don’t know or can’t adjust to it properly). Guys like Dempster who are older have a lot more experience dealing with it that’s why he came back easy. They even put him on a 65 pitch limit and then an 85 pitch limit. They should have done that with Wood. Shark may have the same problem tonight I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • King Jeff

    Wood ran into some rough spots, but I kind of agree with Soto that he was pitching well for a while. He was dealing early on and the Marlins were laying off some really close pitches. I don’t see much need for concern unless this happens again next start.

    There has to be some reason the Cubs are always crappy against the Marlins and/or Ozzie Guillen managed teams, right?

  • Other JP

    So Jacob Turner allowed seven runs on six hits over two innings in the 13-0 defeat last night against the Angels.

    Anyone concerned with getting him in a trade?

    He has not done well in his few major league starts.

    Baseball prospects are scary.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If it’s in a Dempster trade, I’m not concerned at all. Totally and completely worth the risk. (I still have a hard time seeing the Cubs getting Turner for Dempster.)

      For Garza, I’ve always been a little leery.

    • AD

      While certainly it is not what you want to see, I wouldn’t be too concerned until he starts getting some consistent starts. He’s a good young arm who just needs some grooming. Once he gets acclimated to the major leagues I think his stuff will improve, he will start to mix his pitches better, and develop more consistency. So, while it’s a bit frightening, all hope is not lost.

    • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

      He´s 21. Personally, I wouldn´t be worried at all.

    • Njriv

      Tigers always rush their young pitchers, I’m sure if the Cubs were to obtain him in a deal, he would receive the same treatment as Rizzo did.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I don’t think Detroit is the landing spot for Dempster or Garza. I think a lot of people are obsessed with Detroit and Toronto. They have been rumored as interested for 2 months or more. Nothing has happened and they could have mad something happen if they truly wanted too. Both Dempster and Garza move west not east. I don’t think Dempster has any interest in Detroit. Neither does Garza even though he doesn’t have any veto rights. He can certainly bitch and go kicking and screaming which is what I would do if I was being sent to Detroit. I just don’t like Detroit the place sucks. I see Garza on the Rangers.

    • Turn Two

      Where do you get this information from?

    • Theo

      Garza to Texas for Olt, Buckel, and Luke Jackson

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

        I believe the Cubs would have to throw in LaHair and Russel or Camp to get that deal done. Olt and Buckel alone would be a haul(both top 50 prospects) but to add another player on(not named Martin Perez) would be a major haul. Buckel is a future #2. Olt is a potential all star third baseman. And anyone else thrown in that deal would just make my smile grow even wider.

  • Whiteflag

    Soto seems has love for the Marlins.

  • Richard Nose

    He said “we’re all riding each other”!!! hahaha That’s disgusting.

    • Sircub

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  • MightyBear

    If you look at that Bruce Miles report, Turner looks like a gem. Boy I hope Theo and the boys get some good pitching for Demp/Garza/Maholm. The cupboard is bare.

  • rcleven

    Wood has to throw strikes to be effective. When he gets behind hitters is when he gets hurt. He was trying to be too fine last night and getting behind in in counts when he was up 1-2 2-2. Need to trust his stuff a little more and go right at em.

  • Dustin S

    Excited to see who we get back for Dempster.

    Not excited for more Casey Coleman and Chris Volstad starts. Any starters with a pulse we get back might be in the rotation soon.

  • Kevin

    Are the Cubs asking for too much or are other teams not offering enough?

    • Leroy K.

      I would ask for the moon—we have the leverage.

    • Edwin

      That probably depends on which team you ask. The Cubs don’t have to deal Dempster or Garza, so if they don’t feel like the offers they are getting are high enough, they migh not trade either player. Also, the teams bidding on Dempster or Garza aren’t obligated to trade for either pitcher, so if they feel the price is too high they might look elsewhere to improve their team, or just leave the market entirely.

      • Turn Two

        I agree we do not have the “leverage” because no team is obligated to trade great young talent for a starting pitcher, however we essentially “have” to trade Dempster as much as any team ever “needs” to make a trade in order to rebuild. Garza is a different case and thats why it is probably unlikely we make a deal unless a team panics and gives us a kings ransom…which very well could happen and of course happens all the time.

        • Edwin

          My point with Dempster is that he’s still valuable to the Cubs because they can offer him Arbitration and potentially get a compensation pick back. So when the Cubs trade him, they will want Dempster’s current value, as well as the value of the compensation pick.

          The problem is that since the team trading for Dempster can’t get the compensation pick, they will only want to pay for current value. This creates a situation in which Dempster may be more valuable to the Cubs than to a different team, and ends up not getting traded.

          • Turn Two

            That compensation pick is not going to be worth near as much as we can get for the pitcher with the lowest era in baseball, who has a personality every contender wants in the clubhouse. This is a pretty cut and dry case of a guy who is going to get traded.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Or Dempster accepts arbitration and now you have a 36 year old instead of a couple prospects.

            • Edwin

              Sure, that is the risk with any arbitration deal. I would think Dempster would rather have a 2 or 3 year deal as opposed to a one year deal, so I would put the risk of him accepting arbitration with the Cubs as pretty low.

              However, lets say he does accept arbitration. The Cubs get him for 12-15 million, a contract that he should be able to live up to. It’s for one season. They’ll need arms in their rotation anyways, so his playing for the Cubs wouldn’t be a complete waste, and that way they wouldn’t have to sign someone else to a longer term deal. They would also still have the option of trading Dempster and eating salary to get a prospect back. It’s not ideal if Dempster accepts arbitration, but it isn’t the end of the world either. It’s probably worth the risk.

            • Edwin

              you’re right though, if the Cubs feel that strongly that Dempster will accept arbitration, they’ll probably lower their asking price to adjust for that.

              • Turn Two

                The Cubs are not even remotely considering the scenario you are discussing, its illogical and counterproductive for a rebuilding team. The offers being reported to this point are far better than a compensation pick or another year of Dempster for a team that is not winning anything next year.

  • LWeb23

    If anyone is interested, Baseball America posted a story today with the spending numbers for teams in the draft. Cubs spent the 2nd most compared to their allocated bonus pool. They spent 104%. 1st was the Blue Jays (also at 104%), who came within $341 dollars of reaching 105%, which would have resulted in them losing their 1st round pick next year.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/07/bonus-pool-spending/

    • Cyranojoe

      Nice! Coming in second there makes me happy, and the Blue Jays’ near-perfect score shows me we can still improve. ;)

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I think if I were the cubs I would hold onto Geo Soto for another year and hope he picks up his game by this time next year and then he would be a valuable commodity. When Geo is right he is a valuable piece because there are not many catchers that have the potential to do what he has. And there is one big huge thing for him that will help him preform, CONTRACT YEAR. He will be completely focused and be in better shape then the bs we hear every year that “GEO is in the best shape of his life coming into spring training.” Dollas signs have away of making people preform better and at the deadline next year I think he could get a decent return for a rent a catcher

    • Drew7

      I still feel strongly that Geo’s problem all year (up until a couple weeks ago) has been bad luck. I know some don’t like to hear it, but all of his other rates are around where they should be aside from his BABIP of .200 (career .294).

    • Toby

      Nationals are looking to address their catching position and Cubs could offer Geo with Dempster if it means that Cubs get a slightly better package.

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