Well, the Cubs were shut out once again this year, though this one came courtesy of Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman, so you can’t feel too badly about it. Brooks Raley fared much better in this, his second outing, and he was actually perfect through 4.1 innings. After that, he got slapped around a bit, with the primary damage coming on a couple homers. All in all, though, just six base runners over six innings? You’ll take that every time.

And how about this guy …

  • Chief

    Know what’d be great? If Luis Valbuena got released..

    • RY34

      that and if the season ended today!

  • Leroy K.

    good deal with Marmol. I will take a closer who I don’t hear anything about every day….

  • Atfinch

    It’s about time to start openly complaining about this Valbuena starting over Vitters crap. I don’t know what Sveum’s deal is with this but enough is enough. Get the kid some at bats and fielding chances and lets see if he’s cut out to be a big leaguer in 2013.

    • Leroy K.


    • rcleven

      Read some where Vitters will start all three games against the Astros. So you may just get your wish.

      • abe

        on espn.com

      • Dustin S

        That’s good news. I’m hitting the road for a trip to Chicago for Monday night’s game. I’ll be bleacher bumming it. Was hoping I’d get to see Vitters play.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo


    Any idea when MLB will either approve or reject the Juan Carlos Paniagua contract? Seems to me he might be a guy we could see sooner rather than later if the contract is approved.


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No idea. It’s possible it’s already done, and we simply haven’t heard. He’s apparently working out in Arizona, so there’s no issue getting him here.

      Thing is, there’s no way this front office would have committed such a huge chunk of their international signing pool to a guy they had doubts about his contract clearing – because if it gets rejected now, they’ve completely screwed themselves (most of the top prospects for this class have already signed).

      • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo


        Thanks for the reply. Your site and consistent updates are extremely informative and my primary source of Cubs information here in Brazil. Well done.

  • Ben

    It has become quite painful to watch. I will certainly watch every game I can until the season is over but this is just flat out awful. Isn’t that 12 losses in 13 games. I would also like to see Vitters sink or swim the rest of the year. He would have been better off playing in Iowa every day than sitting on the bench in Chicago. Maybe Vitters is not in their plans? I can’t think of any other reason he would be sitting.

  • ssckelley

    No reason to having Vitters up here if all you are going to do is platoon him, he needs to play every day. Valbuena will be nothing more than a bench player, not to many other teams he would even be on the roster.

  • jim

    C8UBS have a chance to lose 100 games this year.
    “Wait till next year” will be heard all around MLB.
    It remains to be seen exactly what the CUBS do
    in the off season to get some very good starting
    pitching. If they don’t then look out below. again!

    P.S. AT least I have an exiting NOTRE DAME
    FOOTBALL season to look forward to!

    GO CUBS!

  • jim

    I think it was francona said this was a horrible thing to be doing to faithful cub fans.

  • Dustin S

    Is it too negative to have a race to #1 standings tracker? Only 7.5 games behind Houston…

    • J R

      The Cubs are really bad, but we ain’t catching Houston. The Stros are extremely good at being really bad. Plus, as bad as our roster is, it looks like a bunch of hall of famers compared to the Astros.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The Rox also have a very inept team that is truly worse than the Cubs. The Cubs will be hard pressed to drop under them. (The Rox schedule is going to work in their favor, too, I think.)

        • J R

          Yeah Doc, the Rockies suck too. They do have Tulo coming back though. You would think the combo of him and Cargo would make them better than the Cubs, but who knows.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            *snort* I wasted my first round pick on Tulo this year in my non-keeper league. I’ll be of the opinion that he’s coming back only after he’s actually back! Even if Tulo does return, the Rox pitching will still be quite capable of giving up a lot more runs than Tulo & Cargo can create.

            (I gambled on Trout in the 10th round, though: and he might get me to the playoffs all by himself!)

            • J R

              The Tulo pick hurts Doc.. But I think Trout has more than made up for it for ya! Trout has been nothing short of amazing, especially from a fantasy perspective..

            • npnovak

              I have Tulo and Trout on my fantasy team too! #twins

  • cubmig

    J R you just made made my day. We have a better team. Better than what, I don’t know, but it’s enough to read your reassurance. [snark]

    • J R

      No, don’t get me wrong Mig. The Cubs are very bad. Like, hard to believe bad… But the Astros are even worse.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The ‘stros have played 0.250 ball since the end of May. That’s ’62 Mets bad!

  • this old cub 2

    Why all the comments on Vitters. FO is doing exactly what they said they would do when they called him up. They were very plain that BJax would play about 90% of the time and Vitters would spot start. You may not like it but that was the game plan.

    • die hard

      then time to change the plan or the planners cause this aint workin and will ruin next season too

      • Carew

        Oh please. Next year is a whole new ballgame…ba dum tss :)

        • Mysterious4th

          That sounds too familiar! That should be the cubs slogan, offically!

    • fortyonenorth

      Agreed. FO is driving the ship and their going exactly where they plan.

  • calicubsfan007

    I am glad that Raley pitched better. @ Doc or Brett: Was the reason for us getting only 4 hits because of good opposing pitchig, or are we playing that badly?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A little from Column A, a little from Column B …

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      You can add column C as well of that very good pitcher getting several inches off the plate thanks to the ump. But mostly Brett’s column A and B.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      We can get a ball park estimate of how often Cueto should have a game like this against the Cubs. In 8 innings, you expect Cueto to give up 7.5 hits. At this point, let’s call that the expectation against league average. Assuming that the Reds fielders today are on par with normal for the Reds, the probability of a 7.5 hit per 8 inning pitcher giving up 3 or fewer hits against league-average offense is at least 0.06: or about one in every 18 games. (It actually is a little higher: this assumes a Poisson distribution where Cueto could give up any number of hits, but he obviously would be yanked after enough hits, so the real distribution needs some “extinction” at high levels; however, the one area in life where I am conservative is probability!)

      So, he should pitch that well by chance a couple of times a year.

      Now, take into account the fact that the Cubs BA is about 95% of league average, at least for numbers of hits. That elevates Cueto’s chances, but not as much as you might think: we now expect 7.1 hits per 8 innings, and there is about a 8% chance of Cueto yielding 3 or fewer hits now. Again, he should do that a couple of times a year.

      What this does not account for is factors such as visibility, etc. Raley also gave up few hits, and that might be evidence that visibility was bad (it did seem overcast) or something like that. It’s really hard to tell with just one game, however.

  • cas-castro

    Jeff Baker, anyone? Its clear they don’t see Vitters as more than a bench piece.

  • cas-castro

    Jonny Cueto is that good.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    all i can say is the home plate umpire brutal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not meant as an excuse just the state of baseball today.

  • Cubsin

    I’m pretty sure it was DeJesus who was called out on strikes after an six-pitch at bat. The only ball he swung at was a foul ball after the count had reached 2-2. According to PitchTrax, the ball he swung at was the ONLY strike in the entire sequence.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    For those of you OK with the idea that the Cubs should not pursue any high priced free agents going in to 2013 let’s just do some simple math on next year’s payroll vs. attendance income. High salaried players currently on the roster making over $ 5 million in 2013 – Garza, Marmol, Soriano, & DeJesus which puts them right about $ 43-45 million. The balance of the team 21 players at somewhere in the neighborhood of a generous sum of
    $ 20 million for a total under $ 65 million.
    The 2012 average Cub ticket is sold at a price of $ 72.00 x average attendance of 35,000 for 81 games = $ 204,120,000 (204 MILLION & CHANGE) This does not include any revenue from concessions or rooftop ticket sales & many other sources of income.
    I’m not a believer in the short term fix but the Ricketts family has to justify those prices if they want my support of this strategy.

    • Eric

      Don’t go. I haven’t been to a Cubs game in years. About the only money they get from me is the rare time I watch part of the game this year. But they did spend $30 mil on Soler $7 mil on Concepcion and they have been hiring alot of scouts and front office guys. I think they are spending the money in the correct places right now. I’d rather have Rizzo than Pujols or Fielder at their outrageous prices, and I’d rather spend the money so the Cubs have the best scouting department in all of baseball. The free agents will come after they build it up a bit more. Now when the draft comes it’s one of the most exciting times because now the Cubs are one of the teams that are gonna draft really well.

    • MIkeL

      My god. It isn’t about us not wanting the cubs to win or not wanting them to spend money on high priced free agents. It is about the fact that the free agent field this year will be fairly weak and we don’t want the cubs to over pay for a mediocre player. Watch the white sox the next couple of years: they have such a weak farm system that they will get into a bid war for players that will not put them over the top and they will handcuff themselves just like the cubs have. People here are preaching the exact same practice that got the cubs where they are today. The cubs WILL NOT spend big money this offseason and probably won’t next offseason…deal with it! If you don’t like it, have fun rooting for someone else…no one is stopping you. I will however, roll my eyes when you come crawling back in two or three years when the cubs are competitive and you mention you have been with the cubs your whole life through thick and thin….

      • Steve

        Mike….WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM MAN??????

        Quit making sense, or I”ll NEVER pay attention to your posts EVER again!!!!!!

        Do we understand each other bub????

      • Flashfire

        Couldn’t agree with this more.

      • notcubbiewubbie

        great take some people still want the jim hendry way. ridiculous.

    • ssckelley

      Yes the Cubs have plenty of money to spend but it does not make any sense to go all out and spend it until the farm system is ready. I for one am tired of the Cubs winning once in a while because they went out and bought a bunch of players, I would like them to win consistently and the only way you do that is with a strong farm system. Even the biggest spenders, the Yankees, have always had a decent farm system. At trade deadlines when the Cubs are buyers you need to have good prospects to get good players in return. Pretend the Cub were in playoff contention this year, what would they have gotten in return for Jackson or Vitters? My guess is very little.

      Have patience it is going to get better.

    • Cubs1967

      basically Ricketts is telling mayor Rahm; we don’t need the 125M; we are saving it by not spending it.
      the A’s have a 60M payroll and a horrid stadium, yet are a widlcard card team today. no reason the Cubs cannot spend to 100M at least and put a decent team on the field. too many youngsters on this site believe you have to suck to rebuild, not true.
      no 4 or 5 yr deals; just common sense on 2-3 yr deals for good players. soler-baez-almora are all 3 yrs away and baez and almora could be 4.
      after 104 yrs of not winning it all; telling fans to deal with it while continuing to raise tix prices is NOT OK and why I don’t attend games anymore under the Ricketts regime. cubs fans deserve better.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        “no 4 or 5 yr deals; just common sense on 2-3 yr deals for good players.”

        If the players are good enough to markedly improve this Cubs team, then they will get (and take) 4-5 year offers from other teams. However, there probably will not be any such players on the market this year: the guys who might have been useful for the Cubs are off the market already.

      • Flashfire

        too many youngsters on this site believe you have to suck to rebuild, not true.

        Name one team that has been successful while rebuilding. Even the Yankees went through a rough patch in the late ’80s early ’90s where they earned high draft picks for several years. One of those was a kid named Derek Jeter.

      • ssckelley

        1967, I do not think you have to suck to rebuild but to have sustained success you need to have a strong farm system. Right now it does not make sense to gamble and spend a ton of money on FA when it will be short term success. I want the Cubs to go after the top FA every year but I also want the minor leagues to be filled with talent as well. The teams that have sustained success are the ones that have a strong farm system and use the FA to fill in the gaps then come deadline time they have prospects to make trades with.

        It would have been a disaster for the Cubs to be in the wild card hunt this year. It would have kept the FO from dealing Dempster, Soto, or Maholm and they would not have gotten these badly needed prospects.

    • Steve

      So, Lou…
      If we keep our payroll low this next year, and put it in the bank, and then in 14 we start to shell out the $$$ for these “high priced” free agents, will that make sense?

      • MikeL

        I am saying you would go after two or three high priced free agents in 2014, and you wouldn’t be dependant on free agency by then because you will have a strong foundation of talent coming from the minor league system. People are saying the Cubs will have $100 million to spend between this year and next year. What I am saying is the Cubs don’t have a lot of talent coming up from the farm system right now, so in order to be competitive next year, the cubs will have to go “hog wild” in free agency. I am saying that mentality is the reason why the Cubs are in such awful shape right now with the awful contracts and little production. We need to get AWAY from that approach.

      • MikeL

        …And to repeat….the free agent pool is not that deep this year, so if we do throw money at a bunch of high priced free agents just so that we can be competitive next year, we’ll end up looking an awful lot like the Miami Marlins. Not to mention we will have a bunch of contracts that we won’t be able to move the contracts in order to give the guys coming up from the minors a chance.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          …, so if we do throw money at a bunch of high priced free agents just so that we can be competitive next year, we’ll end up looking an awful lot like the Miami Marlins.

          The Marlins are not doing poorly because of poor performance by free agents: their free agents have played quite well for them. The Marlins are doing poorly because Johnson stayed injured, Stanton got injured, Morrison has not advanced, Sanchez was a flash-in-the-pan, and HRam continued to scuffle. Take away Reyes and Buerhle, and the Marlins would be drafting higher than the Cubs next year!

    • fortyonenorth

      Not to say that the Ricketts family is losing money on the Cubs but, to be fair, operating any MLB club is a complex business with a lot of revenue and expenses not reflected in your equation. On the revenue side, the big one would be media rights. On the expense side, there’s a laundry list including insurance, taxes, travel & expenses, PDAs with the their minor league affiliates, ballpark operations, FO and administrative costs, and on and on.

  • Wilbur

    One of the impacts of the new labor agreement is that more of a team’s budget will get spent on mlb talent versus over slots in the draft. We all know that.

    However, it also appears that the manner that money will tend to be paid is in contract extensions versus allowing talent to even get to free agency. I don’t say this will happen in all cases, but a some teams do seem to be extending versus letting talent go.

    If this trend is reshaping at least a portion of the free agent market (by marginally reducing it) and is in fact a reality (versus a miss perception on my part) then building from within through over investment in scouting to increase your hit rate on signing true mlb talent is the one area left where you can attempt to outperform your peers.

    Does not address the ticket price versus talent on the field conflict, but it is truly a take or leave proposition for us as fans and I can respect anyone’s position on either side of the argument. Me, not changing horses now … as a fan, I’m all in. I’ll go to my one or two games a year (live far downstate) and pray for a good Bears team …