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I just lost badly at bowling to a good friend of mine who beats me at everything, so I was already sour. To see that the Cubs lost to the Cardinals … well, that’s just downright dumpy.

I’ll focus on the good.

july 12 box

Full box.

  • Tyler

    Strohp looking pretty good

  • Tyler

    Strop*

  • Cubbie Tim

    Had the bullpen held tight. We’d been in extras. My cynical self. I live in stl & drinking beer & playing gituar w/a bunch of card fans. They’re my buddies (they don’t know I’m posting this) but they can go to hell

    • Hansman1982

      Anytime the offense can’t score more than 2 runs, it’s on them not the pitching.

      • Internet Random

        That.

      • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

        Yeah, for our 5th/swing starter and 3 guys not on the roster last month the pitching was good against the #1 offense.

    • Rebuilding

      LOL. It’s tough being a Cub fan in Cardinal land. Even Cap and Hoyer today were marveling at the talent they have in their organization. Can’t complain about the bullpen too much, the Parker, Russell, Strop and Gregg combo has looked good. Jury is still out on Guerrier and let’s hope Bowden translates his AAA numbers to the majors. Hoyer made a real point of talking about the Pirates bullpen today and how they are a “pretty good team” who doesn’t lose games in the pen

    • DarthHater

      Yes, a loss in which we trailed continuously from the top of the first inning on is clearly the bullpen’s fault. smh

    • Stevie B

      Didn’t another Ranger pitcher go down last night??.

  • Cubes

    Castro looks to turn the corner… his front foot looks to be getting down faster… hoping for a big second half… I think he will still end up with a .280/.315/.450 ish line with 15+ homers despite the elongated slump he had this first half.

    • Rebuilding

      Not sure if you saw my post earlier, but Sveum talked about this in the postgame and the front foot is exactly the adjustment Castro is trying to make

    • Drew7

      Even after today, Castro sits at .241/.277/.347 – It would take a monstrous 2nd half for him to even sniff a .765 OPS.

      Zips projects a .727 OPS the rest of the way. I think he could perform better than that, but an .850+ 2nd half just isn’t happening.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Good for you Starling. Hope everyone who ‘hated’ on you gives you credit for sticking with it.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Bubba…..Starling?

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Him too…(sorry Starlin).

  • Josh

    The bullpen was fine today. They had the same ERA as Carlos. You should win most games your staff holds the opponent to 3 runs. Loving the progress Castro is making. I know it’s not huge strides. He seems to be capitalizing on more of the hitters counts than he was earlier in the season.

  • TheMagicMan

    Justin Grimm hammered today. 7 ER in 3 1/3 innings. Rangers are going to have to pony up if they want their World Series, let alone playoffs

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Yes…yes they will…..1-800-cal-theo.

    • Rebuilding

      Harrison done. Darvish on the DL (they say he will be back quickly but maybe the workload is catching up), Ogando out, Tepesch and Grimm are both bad. The only downside is that they really need to hold on to Perez. Swapping one SP for another isn’t going to help…..UNLESS Villanueva also goes

      • hansman1982

        It will be interesting to see Darvish through the next 12 months, generally, the Japanese pitchers tend to break down over this period.

    • Good Captain

      Perhaps more importantly, Grimm was removed after complaint of shoulder soreness. The Rangers have lost the bulk of their staff at various times of the year to the DL.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Well it looks like they had a flat across the road from the tire store! C’mon in for our shiny, fancy Garzayear. Just $999.99 plus tax.

  • todd mccombs

    Not sure what you guys are seeing – Castro swung at a lot of bad pitches (till about 5 days ago)- let a lot of balls in the strike zone go- Now he is seeing the ball better- Outside the strike zone his mechanics looks bad – Inside the strike zone his mechanics looks good. Pretty simple

    He was having problems in the field and at the plate till about 5 days ago – Looks like a gold glove fielder now and a silver slugger. Almost like a kid getting glasses and his grades improves. something clicked

    • In Theo We Trust

      Castro no errors since he took those couple days off….I think that is a little more then 5 days ago…Also batting .280 since then. Hoping he has a great 2nd half of the season and all these chumps who dogged him can’t eat crow.

      • In Theo We Trust

        I mean can eat crow

        • Geo

          I don’t mind eating crow 1 month out of the baseball season, will he make me eat crow the other 5 months?

  • Josh

    He has been seeing more pitches in general this year and for two and a half months he’d just foul off 2-0 3-1 pitches. Lately it seems he’s driving those pitches more.

  • Clark Addison

    I wonder if anyone has told Kris Bryant that he won’t be able to wear his college number when he makes it to the show

    • magilljl

      I think about 6.7 million smackers can smooth that number issue over

  • Rebuilding

    So the Blue Jays couldn’t sign Bickford. Could affect us since they will get the #11 pick next year and we are right in that range

  • Dustin S

    HR Baez woot

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

    Red Sox trade for Matt Thornton + cash. Send out a 22-year old RH OF Brandon Jacobs, 11th rated prospect that has struggled a bit past A+ ball. Rate in the 250 range.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/red-sox-acquire-matt-thornton.html#disqus_thread

    So, is the market rate for a LOOGY free agent in 2014?
    http://www.scoutingbook.com/players/p2928

  • Rebuilding

    I can’t wait for our farm system to be in this kind of shape depth-wise (and I know who built that Boston system). This kid probably had about a 1% shot to ever see the Red Sox 40 man and now he will prob be a Top 5 guy in the White Sox system. Thornton just two years ago was considered to be one of the best, if not the best, lefty set up men in the game

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

      The kid has flaws, but White Sox got something – young project RH OF with power, speed, etc.

  • Dustin S

    I didn’t realize Thornton was as old as he is. He’s 2 months from 37. So his age is probably why the return wasn’t more, especially with declining stats the last 3 years. His contract has an option for 2014, but it’s at $6M which is not great. So he’s really just a rental unless they pick it up.

    It makes you appreciate why Theo doesn’t want to trade Russell at $1M, only 27, 2 more years of team control, and better numbers.

    • Rcleven

      Thorton is a free agent at the ene of the season. So basically hes a rental. Boston gave up a kid they would loose to rule five.

  • Rebuilding

    The White Sox are going to mess with us a little at the trade deadline. They have a lot of pieces to trade and are desperate for anything younger than 23 and cut payroll. Peavy and Rios are the big ones. They’ll take slop to get those contracts off the books

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I really hope Peavy stays on the DL till after the Allstar break. I don’t want him on the trade mark while were still trying to shop Garza

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        till after the Trade Deadline*

  • Crockett

    Boston paying the bulk of the money and CWS still get a top-15 prospect from a pretty good system? Not a bad return at all.

  • chrisfchi

    on top of the fact that im 328th in the bn draftstreet league, this happens. at least castros night and latest run at the plate is something to enjoy. fucking cardnals

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone else see Bryant take some BP swings at Wrigley today? He has some work to do on the swing. He has a really long swing with a huge loft. That swing great getting the balls up in the air and hitting them deep but if he doesn’t make some adjustment then he’s going to strike out ton against more advanced pitching. (I’m highly confident the he and the coaches will make the proper adjustments.

    • Believe in 2015

      Oh come on, I know everyone has a right to their opinions but how can you analyze a guys swing from a batting practice session? Lets see Bryant in a few minor league games before we overhaul his swing that has been incredibly successful

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

        In a CSN Chicago, I just saw him go backwards a bit on his load. But he wasn’t there to show off too much. I wouldn’t touch him. The scouted him plenty to draft him. IF it was a glaring flaw, I think we would have heard about it by now.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Believe in 2015: Seriously look at the lift on Bryant’s swing. Its huge, and its a really long swing, which can cause problems down the road. I definitely think he’ll make the necessary adjustments and still be successful, but that’s just something that really stood out. He still has great bat speed (Not Baez speed: Few have Baez’s bat speed) so its not going be huge deal when he most likely shortens up that swing a little bit.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      FYI: An adjustment to a swing is not an overhaul. Was just analyzing the swing because he has a pretty unique swing. The sing worked for him in college and he plenty of success with it. Not trying to knock the kid. I think he’ll be a stud but just point out that huge lift.

      • another JP

        The reason why Bryant has lift in his swing is because his dad- a hitting coach that learned the art of hitting from Ted Williams while he was with the Red Sox- taught him to swing that way. He was taught to hit home runs at an early age and it has seemed to work well for him. If he continues to get the same results, changing his swing so he can play patty cake like BJax would be foolish. I say let the kid play and ignore the internet swing experts.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Sorry but terrible comparison. Bjax’s new swing was an overhaul. All I’m saying is it pretty naive to suggest he won’t to make an adjustment to his swing at some point in the minors. Let me be very clear, yes I think he will be very good, but I think if you look at his swing currently and by the time he makes it to the majors it will most likely have a couple little adjustments. I think the loft is always going to be there which is good, but I think his hitting couches will shorten up his swing a little bit so it enter the zone quicker. He has good bat speed so thats not an issue at all. He doesn’t need an overhaul but I’m suggesting that he like most every great player who came through the majors will need to make little adjustments to his swing.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Another thing I found interesting is the FO and Sveum comp’d Kris Bryant to Troy Glaus. Which I feel like is the perfect comp. The big time power, the same huge lift in the swing. I even think the the BA will be pretty similar.

    Troy Glaus Career stats:
    BA: .254 (I personally think Bryant won’t be a big average guy after reading and listening to guys like Law, .254 is solid because he makes up for it because the extra base power)
    OBP: .354
    OPS: .847

    Fielding: I think they will also be very comparable because of the big bodies didn’t allow Glaus to move well at Third but was about an average 3rd baseman when he was in his prime.
    Glaus:Height: 6′ 5″, Weight: 220 lb.
    Bryant:Height: 6-5/ Weight: 215 Ib. (I think he’ll get a little bigger)

    I think Bryant might out grow the position and have to move to LF but I think his ceiling a third base is an average fielder. The only thing that might make it difficult for him is if he get bigger and limits his mobility. But from what I’ve read and heard he has a chance to stick there. Has soft hands and a pretty good arm

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

    If we get Troy Glaus, we get 10 productive seasons. (6 since he’ll cost out of the Cubs plans, likely as not.)

    I’ll take “38 WAR for a career, and 3-4 ALL Star seasons starting in 2016″ for 1000, Alex.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Agreed. If Bryant turns out to be player like Glaus I’d be pretty happy. I think Glaus actually could have been a much more productive player in the later part of his career if injuries didn’t slow him down. I think a lot of people forget about how much of a stud he was

  • Kevin

    How is it that the Red Sox are able to turn things around so quickly and the Cubs are taking forever? Maybe Theo left Boston in much better shape than people give him credit.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Because the Red Sox had guys like Elsbury, clay buchholz, pedroia, Ortiz, Napoli, Victorino. They had established players already. Plus Boston already had a great farm system so they didn’t need to completely build from the ground up like us

      • Timmy

        Theo was responsible for very few of the players you just mentioned. He’s in over his head with managing the Cubs, the city, and uncooperative owners who know business but not sports. Lightning probably wont strike twice for him here, and after 5 or so losing seasons straight he’ll be elsewhere.

        • Rebuilding

          Just stop. He started working for the Red Sox in 2002 and Cherington is a disciple of his. Every single player on that team with the exception of Victorino is all Epstein

      • Tim

        Kris Bryant will not need to make any adjustments to his swing or his game. We’re trying to build a core. Why would theo and Jed pick someone who has flaws in their game? Kris Bryant is a stud and will show the Chicago cub fan base this year. He will get the rust off in the minors and be our starting third basemen by August 1st. Almora, Baez, and Bryant will all be contributing shortly. Jorge Soler will then make a remarkable pujols like comeback and hit 50 HRs and 175 RBIs in the second half. This is our year!!!

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          The Greatest players in the game need to make adjustments to their game? You think Kris Bryant just because he’s the #2 pick overall will never need to make an adjustment to his game in his whole career? Have you ever played baseball? Have you ever studied baseball? Even the Miguel Cabrera’s and Mike Trouts of the world need to make adjustments. No one is perfect

    • Rebuilding

      He did. Last year was a complete aberration. There is a ton of talent in that organization and even some of the bad is turning out good. Look at Lackey’s stats this year

    • Tommy K

      The Red Sox had a pretty good team when Theo took over. The Cubs had an awful team full of bad contracts as well as a uninspiring farm system. The Red Sox just needed to get over the hump. The Cubs needed to be completely rebuilt.

      • Rebuilding

        Totally agree. But what you see now in Boston is basically Theo’s creation. 99% of that team was drafted or traded for by his FO

  • another JP

    Baez with a nice day… 4 for 8 in the double header with a BB & HR. Maybe this was a slump-buster for him.

    • ssckelley

      Just like last year when he got bumped up to Daytona he is making adjustments to the next level. Except it appears he is making the adjustments faster than the one he made last year. But I am sure the rainy conditions in Daytona had something to do with it.

      Offensively his numbers look really good. He has had 169 career games in the minors with 641 at bats and has 35 home runs, 34 doubles, 10 triples, 38 stolen bases, and 107 RBI’s. I will take that from a shortstop any season. Another interesting note is he is the youngest player currently at Tennessee. The next youngest is Alcantara who is only 21 and is coming on strong offensively. He has moved over to second base to accommodate Baez and fill the position Torreyes opened up after he got moved.

      Oh yeah and I heard the Cubs drafted some power hitting 3rd baseman. Exciting stuff!

  • Die hard

    Credit BN for Castro turn around… All the negativity and positivity electrified him

  • Dustin S

    Interesting Carrie Muskat tweet this morning…. #Cubs prospect Brett Jackson hasn’t played since 6/21 (calf injury) but is close to returning, and may go to @smokiesbaseball. .223 at Iowa

    At this point I’d have to agree with this move. He needs to get his confidence back, work through whatever mechanical mess he’s in, and get back on track. The FO has done this quite a bit with guys that have struggled, Lendy Castillo for example (although not working great so far in his case). The only catch is I am not sure where Jackson would play at AA. Szczur, Andreoli, and Silva in the AA are all playing pretty well. But the Smokies do only have 3 OF right now so they could use one and could shuffle him in. Plus Szczur has almost 500 ABs at AA between 2012 and 2013 and is probably close to heading to Iowa.

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