The Cubs are 0-4 since the Trade Deadline, but that’s more of an artificial cut-of than anything of substance. The Cubs had been hot for a while, but, with a generally weak roster, they were bound to lose some games, unfortunately.
- Matt Garza says he’s rearing to go on Tuesday after a quality bullpen session yesterday. “I’m just chomping at the bit and ready to go,” Garza said. “Not doing anything for three days didn’t set me back but didn’t work out too well. Today I felt great, threw a whole bullpen and we’ll wake up tomorrow.” He offered an even better quote when first asked if he was on track to pitch on Tuesday: “You better f–king believe it, dude.” Oh, we believe it.
- Paul Sullivan discusses the Cubs’ unilateral decision to let Ryan Dempster listen in on trade discussions with the Dodgers at the trade deadline, something Sullivan calls a “serious breach of ethics.” Is it really that serious? Being an outsider, I wasn’t sure how to take the revelation that Dempster was on the calls. There was, at first, a feeling of ickiness. Isn’t there something off – or even wrong – about letting someone else listen in on trade talks? Would the Dodgers have said as many unflattering things about Dempster if they’d known he was listening? Might they have damaged their ability to sign him as a free agent, should they want to after the season? They could say, “Hey, Ryan, that was just part of the trade talks,” but that bell has been rung. Dempster will remember whatever they said.
- …on the other hand, given the fast-moving nature of the Trade Deadline, and ability of Dempster to reject a trade the Cubs might have otherwise been working on for days, I don’t think anyone would have an issue with the Cubs keeping Dempster informed of the intimate details of those discussions. In order to make an informed veto decision, Dempster – or any player with no-trade rights – needs to know where things stand, and the team needs to know whether it is wasting its time. So, on some level, what’s the difference? Either the intimate details are relayed to Dempster, or he listens in on the call. Considering the time crunch, I’m not sure I see a big deal here. And, given that the Cubs openly admitted to the tactic, clearly they don’t see an issue either. Maybe this kind of thing happens all the time in these situations.
- That same link up there from Sullivan has some Ted Lilly defending Ryan Dempster for blocking the Atlanta Braves trade.
- Nobody has offered a great explanation for why Chris Volstad was so effective last night, other than maybe that he did a good job of keeping the ball down. Then again, for a guy who’s 6’8″ with a good sinker, that might be the only thing he needs to do to be effective (easier said than done). He got 9 groundouts last night, to just 4 flyouts. That’s what you want to see from him.
- Patrick Mooney talks about the near-term future for Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson, whom we know could be on their way to the big club soon. The best bet remains September (when the big league roster expands from 25 to 40, essentially allowing a team to bring up anyone on the 40-man roster with ease), especially for Vitters, but with a trade or two in the outfield, Jackson could be up at almost any moment.
- Reason prevails: a couple days after a Cubs/Derek Lowe rumor that I couldn’t figure out, Nick Cafardo tweets that the Cubs aren’t interested in Lowe, according to a Major League source.