With his 3.1 innings of scoreless work this weekend with the independent Sugarland Skeeters, I assume you’re on board with the Cubs signing 50-year-old Roger Clemens?

  • Yesterday’s big winner, Chris Volstad, said he was happy to finally get the winless monkey off his back, but reiterated what he said throughout the streak: it wasn’t a big deal to him. “There are a lot of things out of my control, out of the pitcher’s control, to get a win or loss,” he said, per Cubs.com. “Maybe it’s been a little bit of bad luck for me over the last year and a month, or whatever it was, but that’s baseball. Sometimes you throw well and don’t get that win and get a loss, and sometimes you don’t [throw well] and you do get a win. I think that’s why the streak, or whatever you want to call it, wasn’t a huge issue. I knew how I finished last year, and a couple games this year, everything just didn’t come together.” Volstad is going to give the Cubs fits when it comes time to make a contract decision if he keeps pitching well to end the year. He’s just 25 (turns 26 in September), and could be in his second year of arbitration in 2013. Even with the crummy overall stats, Volstad would get a raise to more than $3 million next year if the Cubs tender him a contract. Is he going to be worth that commitment? Would he re-sign for less if he was non-tendered? Would it be with the Cubs, though? Volstad’s potential remains the white whale in the discussion.
  • Darwin Barney’s been slumping of late, and has been putting in extra time in the cage, trying to work it out. But Dale Sveum remains confident that, some day, Barney is going to break out offensively. And not just as an end to the slump. “I think he can be [a .300 hitter] and I think he knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the back side to where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat,” Sveum told Doug Padilla. “The hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it should play into a .290 to a .310 hitter some day.” Obviously if Barney *could* become a .300/.340/.420 hitter, with his defense, he would instantly become one of the best second baseman in baseball. But, with all due respect to Sveum’s expertise on the hitting thing, it’s very hard to see.
  • Shawn Camp is on pace for 83 appearances this year, which would come up just short of the Cubs’ record of 84, shared by Ted Abernathy in 1965, Bob Howry in 2006, and … wait for it … Dick Tidrow in 1980. Camp has a 3.63 ERA on the year.
  • From the Message Board: Hawk Harrelson blows up on an umpire again, even after he was reamed by the Commissioner the last time he did it.
  • Arizona Phil over at TCR has a write-up on the Cubs’ most recent AZL game, which includes more on pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at the aftermath of the Red Sox/Dodgers trade, among other things.
  • Flashfire

    If Darwin Barney can be a .300 hitter, there’s no reason I couldn’t be one, too. I need to get me an agent and then that agent needs to call Theo.

    • ReiCow

      You batted .287 / .335 / .376 in the minors, with a .289 / .325 / .369 AAA line?


  • bazfan1234

    I am no hitting expert but from what I can tell, it looks like Barney has tried to pull everything this year. In the past, he would take more of an inside out swing and try to hit the ball to right field.

    • SirCub

      Which has led to a 20 point jump in his slugging, even though his BA has dropped 20 points with it. If his BABIP was at his true-level, this would clearly be his best offensive year.

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        If I remember right, Sandberg took a few years to figure it all out too.(.261/.316/ 351) 2nd year with Cubs) I think Barney (.276/313/353) 2nd year with Cubs age26will be fine.
        IMHO Darwin Barney is one of the best overall players on the team right now. He will work this out. He always has. He has been a winner all the way in his career, starting with a national championship with Oregon State. He works hard and plays the right way.

        • Flashfire

          But Sandberg was 23 the year he put those numbers up. To expect Barney, at 26, to develop into Sandberg is stretching it.

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  • Flashfire

    Love the comment on BCB under Brett’s bullets that this is a great trade for the Dodgers. I think the stunned disbelief on reading that has worn off. Brett, you really are too good for what that place is becoming.

    • JR

      Flash, I don’t think the trade for Dodgers is great by any means, but if they are really wanting to win over the next 3 years and they have the money, I think it makes some sense for them. I think Gonzalez’s contract is actually solid, and a lot better than other elite 1st baseman’s contracts. Beckett has been a turd lately in Boston, but he could easily rebound and pitch very well in the NL West (and is a clutch playoff performer). Now Crawford’s deal is terrible, there is no getting around that, but he’s still a very talented player. With Hamels getting retained by the Phillies, i get why the Dodgers did the deal.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Darwin Barney did great yesterday… Ill take his. 260 average a long with his great Defense!

  • hcs

    Looks like the Cubs have picked up Koyie Hill 2.0 in A’s catcher Anthony Recker

  • terencem

    Brett Jackson is hitting over .200 now. ROTY.

  • NCMoss

    So did anyone else hear Peirzynski yelling ‘brutal’ and ‘thats brutal’ in the video that’s linked in the message board? I think he’s becoming Hawk v2.0.

  • cubs1967

    Aj has always been a crybaby……..which is why no one on opposing teams likes him. He’s an ass; he doesn’t care either; which is fine………be glad when the Sox dump him so no longer have to hear Sox fans defend him………he’s an ass! (and he must be on some type of PED; 35 yr old catchers don’t all of a sudden have career year in HR……..never………most can barely walk by then……….see Johnny Bench and Aj ain’t no JB!)

  • FFP

    “Volstad’s potential remains the white whale.” I see what you did there, Ishmael. Now hoist more canvas and damn the gale. –Ahab