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The story was largely the same today, as the Cubs lost to the Reds and were swept at home – their 9th straight loss at home to the Reds.

Edwin Jackson was marginally better than his last time out, which isn’t necessarily saying much. The bullpen gave up a handful of insurance runs, which ended up being the difference in the game (Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless inning, though). The Cubs didn’t do much with runners in scoring position, and then teased us with a rally in the 9th (each of Castro, Rizzo and Soriano came up as the possible tying run, and all three popped out to the shallow outfield). This is what the 2013 Chicago Cubs do.

may 5 box

  • willis

    Camp and his 8.03 ERA, Loe with his 7.80…when is enough, enough?

    • Jason P

      Both need to go, and they can take Marmol with them. Camp was great for most of last year but started to fade towards the end. That’s carried into this year, and now he just looks like a washed up 38-year-old.

      Marmol needs to go as well. Good outing today, but you can’t have a guy in your bullpen who walks more than 9 per 9 innings.

      And I don’t know what anybody ever saw in Kameron Loe. He should have never even been claimed, and now he needs to go.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      Willis, Sveum knows his players better than you so he must know why he keeps on trotting out those two to pitch.

      Everyone knows this season is going nowhere so there is no excuse for these two crappy pitchers to be on the team much longer, I much rather see young guys struggling in there than see Camp almost every game…

      • willis

        Because he can’t manage? Because he is way over his head? Because bunt tournaments are more important than teaching fundamentals and going over key in game situations?

        I totally agree with the opinion on young arms getting the chance. Holding on to pieces like Camp are only for the slim hope they become valuable, and at the same time continue to hurt this team’s chances in games.

  • Kyle

    People aren’t going to want to hear it, but Edwin Jackson still has solid peripherals and seems to be pitching in awful luck. 3.55 xFIP after today.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Edwin probably would like to hear it…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That post is being written tonight/tomorrow morning.

      • Kyle

        Unlucky BABIP and very unlucky percentage of baserunners scoring.

        As soon as he gets some baserunners, the ground balls and bloopers all seem to find holes.

    • ssckelley

      I want to hear it, give me anything positive on a player with the 3rd highest salary on the team.

      • ssckelley

        oops, make that the 2nd highest salary.

      • Kyle

        Simple. His peripherals tells us that he’s pitching fine. A few more BBs than you’d like, a few more Ks than normal.

        The reason he’s giving up so many runs is because an uncommonly high number of the balls in play he allows are going for hits, and an uncommonly high percentage of baserunners he is allowing are scoring (mostly because those hits are coming in clusters).

        Historically, both of those things are unsustainable. It’s just bad luck and when it happens to a pitcher, it doesn’t automatically keep happening. It won’t “even out,” but he should be expected to give up an ordinary amount of runs (for him) from here on out.

        • jt

          At the same time, it seems that Jackson is missing his spots. The catcher sets up in one area and the pitch goes to another.
          Perhaps what is not sustained is the pitchers lack of command?

  • CityCub

    I’m not sure but something’s gotta give. No lead is safe with the bullpen. Starting pitching(aside from Jackson) has been good so far. But the elevated era for the bullpen has to change.

  • Oswego Chris

    Now…Camp is toast, probably guys that are better pitching in the independent league…

  • ssckelley

    Scott Hairston with his first single of the season!

  • Chad

    Everyone can complain about the bullpen because it is bad, but look at the production with RISP. Guess what there is none, it’s horrible. 19 LOB is unbelievable. Gotta be hard to pitch for a team you know won’t score runs.

    • George

      Gotta be hard to score runs , when you know that your pitchers can’t hold & it’s not enough. How many leads has the bullpen blown? What would there record be without those blown leads? 16-15?17-14? #1 glaring weakness= horrendous AAA,AA,A bullpen. They have a problem with RISP, but that phuckin bullpen is killing them.

      • Rcleven

        When a team can’t score more than four runs or less a game your asking your bullpen to be perfect. There is no team in baseball with a perfect bullpen. These one and two run games are magnifying the deficiencies in the bullpen. The problem is the Cubs can’t score runs in sufficient quantity to win enough games.
        Kind of smoke and mirrors.

  • Die hard

    Solution- build a Jumbotron — that will fix all

    • DarthHater

      There is no single step that will “fix all.” Therefore, by your logic, the Cubs should not do anything. Thanks for playing.

      • Die hard

        You forgot the picture

  • Jason

    The Cubs will not make the playoffs so really what’s the point of winning? Look I’m a die hard Cubs fan, but I would like to have the 1st pick in the draft next year.

    • ssckelley

      You are right, there really is no point to winning. But I do not think May 5th is the time you start giving up. The Cubs are not getting blown out of these games, a few breaks here and there and they would be a .500 team. But if they get deeper into the season and they are still sit well below .500 and out of the race then sell off whatever to improve the team for the future.

      • Die hard

        Could be more sellers than buyers this year — Cubs may want to start early

      • Kyle

        Eh, I was right there with you in March and April, but might as well start planning for the selloff. This team is better than their win percentage, but not enough better that they can be realistically expected to play 25 games over .500 the rest of the way, which is whati t would take to get into the playoff picture.

      • George

        What are you talking about? Do you really expect them to turn this around, when the FO’s tanking games unpurpose ? No FO is that stupid to sign an abundance off SP with (1 or 2 off them not needed) & nothing on bullpen arms. No instead they picked up the unwanted AAA scraps off other teams . Think about it , is theo & Jed that stupid? The reason they signed 1 too many SP is because SP hold more valid than relievers, so they get more when they flip them + weak relievers assures them off a top pick in 2014.

        • Carew

          It really irks me when someone even suggests a FO tanking a season on purpose. I’m sorry, continue on with your rant.

          • willis

            It may irk you, but I’m afraid that’s what we have seen and will see for a couple more years. It irks the hell out of me too.

    • Tom A.

      Here is a point of winning, the all-time records of the Cubs:

      Wins 8642 and losses 8511 from 1903 to 2013 — 2 World Championships, 10 Pennants and 16 Playoff Appearances

      While the White Sox are 8804 and 8590 from 1901 to 2013 with 3 World Championships, 6 Pennants and 9 Playoff Appearances

      I don’t want to fall further behind the White Sox !!!

  • dvs1313

    This has become a joke. They only care about one thing, stadium upgrade to make money. There will be another reason they have to suck soon. Jackson, Stewart, Conception… Spelles wrong i am sure sorry. But Theo has not made this team better at any level yet.he has got rid of payroll and lined the Ricketts pockets but done nothing for the team, and before you yell Rizzo let us be honest he is a prospect but nothing more right now.

    • Chad

      Haha, wow, I don’t even know how to respond to this it is so absurd.

    • Clay

      “have not made it better at any level”…. Thats the mist obsurd comment I have ever heard. Granted the MLB team is horrible. But the minor league teams are the fifth best farm system in all the minor leagues. Im gonna go ahead abd give you the “Dur Dur” Award!

      • Kyle

        They probably aren’t the fifth-best minor league system. There’s a lot of organizational rankings, and the Cubs finished anywhere from 5th to 14th in those rankings last offseason. I don’t think anyone had them in the top 8 outside of the guy who had them fifth.

        And it’s probably slipped a tiny bit this season so far. Our top 10 is a minefield of injuries, disappointing performances and even a major immigration issue.

        • Chad

          But it’s better than what it was 2 years ago or even last year.

        • Clay

          @kyle id advise you to look at all the farm system rankings! Just about every expert has then ranked in the top 10 as far as talent and upside, after being ranked in the bottom for the last few years. Yes, there are injuries (which are common) and ONE player with a VISA whos never played a single inning for the Cubs doesnt drive down the farm systems value.

          • Kyle

            I have looked at all of them. The majority had us just outside the top 10.

  • Chad

    You have to think there are some options in AAA (Coleman, Rusin) that could at least equal the performance of Camp, Loe, Marmol etc. in the pen. Something has to change.

    • Dynastyin2017

      If we don’t have anyone in the minors who can perform better we’re in REAL trouble.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Willis this comes down to piss poor management!! I think I am going to take a trip down I-70 and see the Royals play!! Theo should step back and take a page from Dayon Moore!! Royals are and exciting young and talented team

    • Chad

      It only took them 20 years to get there. Theo is trying to take a page there sparky. Develop a farm system to supply ML talent and then make a trade or sign a key FA to fill a hole. The cubs are just too far away from that at this moment. I know nobody wants to be patient, but that’s what it will take. The cubs are going to be better next year and once some of the lower level talent matures and advances the cubs will win a lot more games.

      • When the Music’s Over

        “The cubs are going to be better next year and once some of the lower level talent matures and advances the cubs will win a lot more games.”

        Most teams in baseball can make this same exact assertion. Reality is things don’t pan out as expected for most teams, especially on a consistent basis. Only a few teams can be considered drafting and development beasts: Cardinals, Braves, Rays, Rangers (more of a recent entrant), and maybe the Red Sox, though they seem to have really fallen off in recent years.

        • Chad

          I agree with you, I would put the Royals in there as well. But the thing is that it doesn’t happen over night and in reality this was not a major concern for Hendry until his 2011 draft. Now Theo and Co. are doing it and they have had success in this department, but it is not over night. Obviously not all prospects pan out, but that is why you get as many good ones as you can so the really good ones rise to the top and you increase your odds that it will happen. Now, the Cubs are going to work on this and I believe that it will happen. Baez, Soler, and Almora probably all won’t make it big, or for the cubs, but someone you never heard of like Alcantra or Shoulders may end up being a stud.

          • YourResidentJag

            As long as you’re on the 7-10 ten year plan, then you’re right. Problem is….I don’t want to wait that long.

  • Jono

    Over / under for 101 loses this year? Remember, the 2012 team started off with a good rotation, too, with Dempster, garza, samardzija, Maholm.

    • Kyle

      Under. It’s *very* hard to lose 100 games in the majors. They could do it, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

      • Clay

        Very hard?? Unless you’re the 2012 or 2013 chicago Cubs!

    • RY34

      110 losses minimum.

      • Carew

        Well aren’t you Negative Ned

        • RY34

          sorry i have no reason to believe otherwise unless mlb allows us to play the marlins, astros, and padres the rest of the season!

          • mjhurdle

            In order for the Cubs to lose 110 minimum, they need to to hit a low of .276 winning percentage.
            Out of the 24 teams that have recorded a .300 or below season winning percentage, the only one remotely relevant to the modern baseball era is the 2003 Tigers. Prior to the Tigers, you have to go back to 1962 Mets, and before that to the 50s, which i do not consider adequate comparisons.
            On the 2003 Tigers, their rotation consisted of Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Cornejo, and a revolving door of other young “talent”.
            The highest WAR among all Tiger pitchers was Nate Cornejo at 1.3.
            Unfortunately, Jeremy Bonderman’s -1.3 negated that fairly quickly.
            The average ERA for the staff was 5.30 (5.73 for the starters).
            They had a total of 65 quality starts. This resulted in 43 wins, so roughly a 2/3 Wins/Quality Start ratio.
            The Cubs have 18 Quality Starts so far this year. They have 11 wins.
            Right now, even with the bad bullpen, they are on pace to be about 10 games better than those Detroit Tigers.
            Now, the bullpen will not continue to be as bad, and the starting may or may not be here to entire year. But I think that this club is on pace to be much closer to the 62-100 pace they are on now than the somehow make it to 52-110.

            • Carew

              Weren’t Maroth and Bonderman both 20-game losers that year?

    • willis

      Over, 59-103.

      And yet many will praise the FO and Sveum.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    By months’ end: Cubs should have Garza, Fuji, and whomever gets a trip from Iowa to Chi-town to fill Marmol’s shoes. And throw Camp on the wire too. Reshuffle the deck.

    Put Jackson as closer – yep, do it – Gregg 8th, Russell 7th. Maybe Russell in the 8th, to go R,L,R out of the pen. Garza, Wood, Samar, Feldman, and Carlos are the starters.

    Jackson has never been extremely successful as a starter. He’s bounced all over (8 teams) – and you got nothing to lose by giving him the task. He’s 30, mature enough (I assume) and you need a guy – any guy – at this point. Maybe he’ll take to the role better.

    And spot the rest of the BP as needed.

    That’s my two cents. Let’s hear other options.

    • Chad

      Interesting thought, but it won’t happen. He’s valuable as a starter and he’s too expensive to be a closer, but you never know. Also, he isn’t pitching as badly as his numbers suggest.

    • Jono

      No to jackson as closer. That would decrease his trade value, even with his troubles lately. You have to assume he’ll progress to his mean and finish the season around a 4.00 ERA

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        What do you think is his current value – or expected value?

        I’d say his value will increase substantially from taking to and succeeding in a role he has never done before. He’s a .500 pitcher in both the MLB and the Minors.
        And his mean ERA (for what that tells) is more like 4.40 not 4.00, 10% greater than you are suggesting.

        If he fails, its not going to hurt his value – as he has minimal value so far (this season.) I seem to remember a guy name Eckersley the Cubs got rid of due to alkie problems and (a salary switch for acquiring Dawson) turning into a pretty decent closer. When you are 11-20, why not experiment? Are you losing anything?

        When Garza comes back you have 6 starters. One is going to the pen. Feldman? The guy has had more success in his career than Jackson, and seems to be getting it right now. Wood? No. Samardzija? You rescued him from that. Villanueva. Maybe.

        And for the salary – Marmol is paid 10M, so what does it matter if we put Jackson down there for 13M. 2-3M between friends is no big whoop. ; )

  • Josh

    We need to pick up a bat who can also use his glove. We need to get a guy like Mike Olt from the Rangers and for many reasons. 1) He has the potential to be our everyday 3rd baseman 2) yes, he’s off to a rough start this season but I know he’ll turn it around and become one of the more productive pieces in our lineup 3) he gives us the versitality that we’ve been looking for and possible gold glove potential. I understand we have a few guys developing down in the minors but I could see a bright future for Olt and our organization making a move to fill a void that we’ve been looking to fix over there at 3rd. Plus he’s an outstanding fielder!

    • Josh

      Maybe.

    • Rcleven

      Still early but Olt has done nothing in AAA this year.
      So far I am happy Olt didn’t get traded for Garza.
      .125/.235/.236( 20 games) is not exactly setting the world on fire.
      (I could here it now if that trade was completed last year.

  • Josh

    The Rangers have no room for him on the Major league roster. It’s a deal we should take advantage of.

  • 70′scub

    What is Jeb’s job title? Putting together a bullpen, utility infeilders what has he done? The cub fan should expect the GM to step up! Memo to Jeb this is the same Marmol that was here before you became GM. What was your problem this past off season?

    • Die Harder

      Are the Cubs trying to lose so we get a better pick?

      • Eric

        yes

        • Josh

          Maybe.

      • Josh

        Got to love Rizzo. Killing the ball. I think he brought his average up about .075 in a week.

      • When the Music’s Over

        It’s very conceivable losing this year was part of the master plan all along. I know I think it was. You can’t think the front office was serious about winning this year with the offense and bullpen they put together. This isn’t hindsight either. People expected these two facets of the game to be very weak.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      His first name is Jed.

      • Edwin

        Ned?????????

        • Rcleven

          Ted?????????

          • pete

            I just thought we hired W’s bro.

  • FarmerTanColin

    Nothing will probably happen until June and July when the trade markets start to gain steam but I’m tired of this bullpen. The Cubs have so many reliever prospects in AAA and AA that I would rather see out there.

    Why we picked up Loe I have no idea and how long is Gregg going to actually keep pitching well? Good bye Camp please. Iowa has Coleman, Parker, Dolis, Negrin all of whom I would rather see and if they fail then dig a little deeper Zych, Schlitter, Rosscup, Hatley or let them go through growing pains instead of watching these guys.

    Think I’d rather watch Junior Lake on the mound over anyone not named Russell.

  • arta

    how about we leave the SP in till he really gets in trouble. then bring in your best RP, etc. what we have is robot managers.

    • Edwin

      I wish we had robot managers. That would be the coolest!

  • Dynastyin2017

    Good news!
    Luis Liria, of the Daytona Cubs, just walked the bases loaded, then allowed a walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.
    Does this mean he’s ready to be called up?

  • Kubphan82

    I suppose Loe is here to allow others to develop in the minors instead of ruining the development of a young pitcher. I’d suspect he’s cut once Fuji’s back and off the DL. Also, Camp is bein given a chance on a bad team to recoup, once an arm is ready to replace him, they will. Marmol, I suppose they’re trying to salvage something for trade value but they’ll never get what they were looking for, it’ll be interesting to see what they get.

    Sick of BP issues… But I knew we wouldn’t have a solid pen until the FO thought it was time to compete, it’s the last component (IMO) to build for a successful team. I just hope the starters don’t start overthrowing to compensate for a perceived “known” loss.

  • Dustin S

    The bullpen gets a lot of focus, and I’m on-board with Loe and Camp making their way back to the waiver wire. I’m not even mentioning the M word because it will just hurt my head.

    But, 2 more hits in RISP today and the Cubs probably win or at least tie the game. I still think the problem is more with the offense, although the bullpen losses tend to be more visible. A lot of these games shouldn’t have even been close enough for the bullpen to blow.

    The thought of Jebidiah Hoyer was worth a lol though.

  • Mike

    Let’s trade Sveum to the Angels for Scioscia.

    • Voice of Reason

      Not even God himself could turn this team around.

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        Sure He could.

  • davidalanu

    Personally, I’d like to see Watkins brought up to play 2nd. Barney is more of an offensive black hole than ever, and this team could use a guy who understands that his job is to get on base, period.

    • Chad

      I believe this will be the plan when Barney is traded. Right now I believe they want Watkins to get plenty of ABs at Iowa before bringing him up. Barney just needs to start hitting a little bit so his trade value can come up a bit with that defense he plays.

    • Kyle

      I think you’d be disappointed by how much Watkins’ OBP skills translated (or didn’t) to MLB right now. He’s got some contact problems at AAA that don’t bode well.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        21% is a little high for a non-slugger K% in Triple A, but not crushingly so. Particular given that he’s just over 100 career PA at that level. He’s no Castro (but, then, he was never billed as such), but I still think he can outproduce Barney at the plate.

        • davidalanu

          Right, and he’s been at around 17% for his minor league career, and was a 16.5% last year at Tennessee, so I’m not overly worried about his first month in the PCL.

      • jt

        I don’t know the swing vs called 3rd strike rate. The high BB rate indicates that the K’s and the BB’s are related and may not just be a contact issue.
        Watkins has almost always had a high BABIP. I think there is a case to be made that that results from getting better pitches to hit which in turn results from the pitch selection discipline.
        When a player is often batting with 2 strikes, even if he is able to spoil many pitches, he is going to K a lot.
        That said, he ain’t Willy Mays. There is a huge expectation gap twixt MLB and AAA. I’m just sayin’ that he sould not be written off so quickly.

  • 70′scub

    Yes davidalanu, Watkins batting in the two spot! Castro moves to the 5 or 7 spot.

  • 5412

    Hi Guys,

    Good discussion. I agree with two things. One of our biggest problems is two out hits with RISP.

    We have Garza, Baker, Fujikawa and Visciano waiting in the wings. As they get healthy (hopefully) we should see some of the marginal pitchers go by the wayside. In addition, there is a golden opportunity for a relief pitcher than can throw strikes consistently, any kid in AA or higher than can do that is gonna get a shot.

    I honestly don’t see Vitters or Jackson being part of the solution, we are going to have to go well into the minors for our next impact bat.

    regards,
    5412

    • DocPeterWimsey

      2-out hits with RiSP is not a solvable problem: it’s just the way that things pan out. Indeed, way too much is made of 2-out runs: they are dramatic, but good offenses lead the league in 0-out runs-scored, whereas bad offenses score a disproportionate number of runs with 2-outs. After all, it is much harder to score without making an out than it is to score while accumulating 2-outs along the way. Also, the team that scores frequently with 0-outs still can score with 1-out and 2-outs: but once you have 2-outs, then you cannot go back in time to score with 0-out or 1-out.

      • Rcleven

        Either way Doc this Offense is weak. There right there with the Astros and Miami.

        • Bric

          I think what you’re trying to say is this offense is offensive.

      • jt

        nonsense!!!!!
        Most good teams have players who bat with purpose. Most good teams have players who can control the K zone by spoiling many pitchers pitches. Sure, they will still fail 6 or 7 of each 10 RISP. Sure, there will be times they K. But most good teams will have more players who will move the runners along while trying and succeeding more often to get a hit while in RISP.
        In the succinct, Votto is a better hitter than Soriano. Even when Votto fails, which will be fewer times than Soriano, he will more often leave the runners in a better postition to score than Soriano.

  • Rcleven

    And the moves start. Sweeney up. Sapplet down.

  • Bill

    Today’s game proves once again Sveum is one of the worst managers in baseball. Theo and Jed have put together one of the best bullpens in MLB. If Dale would just pitch the right guy in the right situation, they would never lose a game. Ok, maybe it’s the opposite. It doesn’t matter who Dale throws out there, beyond Russell and Gregg this bullpen is awful and Theo should be embarrassed putting together this collection of trash that nobody else in baseball would want. Once again, thanks, Theo.

  • http://deleted bubbleshargrave

    what bothers me about this season isnt the losses. it’s the terrible management. never trying to do new lineups, telling a guy he’s not your closer anymore then using him to close 2 days later, saying that such and so is your number 5 starter a week before spring training. dale is the worst manager and the dumbest i’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing of. he’s probably lost a quarter of the games this year by dumb bullpen managing alone.

  • Die hard

    Cubs needed more consistent power in this and most losses this year … Adding Sweeney may help

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