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No illusions about a series win in this one, as the Reds took off mid-game and never looked back.

Carlos Villanueva had some good stuff working the first two times through the order, but, as is so often the case with guys like Villanueva (haven’t quite ever broken through as a regular starter), the third time through really bit him (well, and the bottom third of the second time through, too).

The bats did they’re usual get-guys-on-don’t-get-them-in thing, which would have been more frustrating if the Reds hadn’t scored eight.

april 20 box

Full box score.

  • BlameHendry

    I’m just glad we gave him only a 1-year contract, instead of 3 years or something stupid like that.

    • Funn Dave

      No kidding.

  • renegade4196

    Embarrassing. Vitters and Alcantara should be up to replace Sweeney and Barney respectively. It’s a lost season at this point, might as well let the kids play.

    • Jason P

      Vitters yes, but Alcantara still needs to develop some. Losing at the major league level is not sufficient justification to call up a prospect before he’s ready.

    • Rich H

      I wonder if you realize that Acantara is battting .241 with a .262 OBP in the very hitter friendly PCL? He is not ready yet. Lets not have a Watkins situation where you call up a kid because no one else is there and he has to sit because there is no way he can handle a full time major league job right now.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That means almost nothing given the tiny sample sizes so far. Unless a player has been K’ing up a storm (and much more than expected), nothing done so far this season should affect evaluations of any player.

        (By the same token, a “hot” start means nothing either.)

        • Orval Overall

          OK, so the evaluation to start the season was that Alcantera needed to develop further at AAA. So … if that evaluation is unaffected this early in the year, you’re saying you agree it’s a bad idea to call him up?

  • The Real Wrigley

    Easy. All the “service time” talk will rear it’s ugly head…

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      We’ve already reached the point in the season where the Cubs would gain the extra year of control over non – previously called up prospects.

      But hey…don’t miss an opportunity to allow your ignorance shine through.

      • The Real Wrigley

        Always around to correct…and, insult, when the opportunity arises. Thanks, yet again, for being a dickhead, hansman. Some things never change.

        • willis

          “ignorance”…”dickhead”??? Come on fellas it’s Easter. Now shake hands and tell each other you’re sorry. :)

          • The Real Wrigley

            Ok. No problem. I apologize.

            • 70′s Cub

              Hey “The Real Wrigley” consider the source he is what he is a know every thing az!

              • The Real Wrigley

                I know what you’re saying, thus, my comment. I was, although, way out of line. I owed him an apology, and gave him what he deserved .

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  So just so I understand what is expected:
                  1-One makes a very incorrect statement mainly to butch about something the FO hasn’t, or has, or should do
                  2-another commenter points out the flaw and makes a little playful jab
                  3-first poster gets feels hurts and cries
                  4-no the conversations switches from talking about facts and talking about feelings

                  Correct? Good to know BN needs to stock up on hello kitty bandaids and Kleenex because there’s a lot of tears being shed because someone disagrees with you- especially if you’re wrong.

                  Grow up kids

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    So obviously my words are all messed up, because I’m rocking my son while I type and FUMS.

                  • HislersHero

                    I have Hello Kitty, Monster High, Barbie and Batman band-aids if anyone needs them.

                    Out of Kleenex though.

                    • FFP

                      Goat’s words weren’t all messed up. Just the typo “butch” that calls up the exact opposite class of words, ironically.

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                Well…I don’t think I know everything but if you think so I may have to rethink my self-worth.

          • FFP

            ‘fellas’? ‘tell each other’??
            Although I appreciate a good man’s effort as peacemaker, “fair and balanced” when only one party was wrong is neither.

            • willis

              Oh I don’t know, I thought both were not nice. Both were snarky, they needed an umpire before it went all “Cole-Gomez”…

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          You’re welcome.

      • baldtaxguy

        I’m ignorant to this since I believe Vitters has service time, so I don’t understand this response. So for Alcantara, his service time “clocked” at the beginning of the season? That is, the Cubs “gained” an additional year of control at the beginning of the season? And for Vitters, the other player that the poster mentioned, who has been called up previously, he has another date that is relevant in 2014 to gain/maintain another year of Cub control?

  • drocthekid

    I think Castro needs to be moved back to the 2 Hole and let Olt bat behind Rizzo. Its going to be a long long season fellas.

  • Medicos

    Didn’t see the game. Thank goodness. But 17 base runners and only 2 lousy runs??? Veras sent down to AAA. Villanueva moved back to long relief. Arrieta takes his spot in the rotation when he’s ready.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Veras sent down to AAA.”

      Someone doesn’t know much about baseball

      • CubbieBubba

        Making him the FIRST EVER player sent down to AAA to figure things out, according to those familiar with the game…

        “_____ do____ ____ _uch _____ ___e___”

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          He cannot be sent to Iowa without his permission.

          • Medicos

            Thanks for the reply Brett. Would the Hoystein regime dump him and just eat his contract.? He certainly isn’t doing anything to help the 2014 Cubs.

            • Cyranojoe

              Not anytime soon. See: Marmol. How long did that take? And Marmol had a longer string of failures. This FO understands/believes that baseball has a long season, and quite a lot can change between now and the trade deadline.

              • Medicos

                CyranoJoe: The only difference is that Carlos Marmol had a lot more success working for Cubs than Veras. For a long time he earned his MLB salary.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  You might check his career numbers. On the whole, the numbers suggest he has earned his career MLB salary, and then some.

                  I’m sure the Cubs are working to figure out what is different with Veras now as compared to previous years and what they can do to address it. Rushing to ditch him after so few games doesn’t strike me as a particularly good move.

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  He was great for one amazing season after and before that’ he hadn’t done much.

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    Marmol that is.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Ah, thought you meant Veras. Nevermind.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      No worries I realized two pitchers were being discussed interchangeable there. I agree that Veras as shown sucess and his contract was a good deal based on his previous seasons. Marmol however was a god for one season and then crashed hard every season since then.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      I wonder if Marmol was a little over used that one season, and if that may have played a role.

                      One of these days I’ll check the numbers. Is there an innings number per year after which relievers see a marked decline in performance in succeeding years? It’ll be something interesting to dig into.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      That would be a great research project because it’s so common with relievers and especially closers. Such a short shelf life (unless you are Rivera) but with Marmol I think hitters learn not to swing until he got behind in a count then drive his easy fastball. But damn his breaking stuff was nasty that year.

                    • Chad

                      That would be an interesting project for sure, but you would have to look at more than just innings. Pitch counts and even times when they get up in the pen but don’t get in the game, things like that. It would be a pretty simple analysis actually. If someone got me the data set it could be handle pretty quickly.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    ’08, ’11, and ’12 weren’t bad years either. They weren’t as good as his ’13, but definitely not bad.

                    I’d rather give the Cubs pitching staff some time to work with him.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Thankfully the front office isn’t as reactionary as some fans.

  • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

    I am from Chicago and went to H.S. with the pride of Elk Grove, Dave Otto…I live in NC now and got the Reds broadcast…MAN…do they love to rip on the Cubs, the plan, the lineup, the decisions…

    one point..and they were laughing about it…was why did not Castro take the open second base in the 9th, to avoid the double play? and then when there was 2 outs, then he takes 2nd base? more laughter from the Cinci announcers…

    and are essentially 4 lefties in a row, then the righties ? would you not mix it up???

    I am confused …. help….

    • N8theGr8

      Hey, Dr.Cub, Greensboro, NC here. My boss is a Reds and Duke fan. Treats ChiCubs like we’re Tarheels. Shit-talker supreme, even though he knows zero about baseball. I have to help him pronounce Cingrani and Mesoraco, and understand what RBIs are (even if some consider them useless) and which guy plays what position. Didn’t hear the or see the game, but I can only imagine how annoying it must’ve been.

  • willis

    The Cubs won’t do it, but if it were me, I’d cancel Arrieta’s start tomorrow, have him throw a side in a couple days, make sure he feels good and get his ass into the rotation. Hell he threw 82 pitches last time out, and whatever he could offer can’t be as bad as the shit Villanueva is tossing around right now. It may seem a bit much, but I’d try and get him up as soon as possible.

    • Medicos

      What You Talkin’ about Willis: I agree with u 110% Time to watch the Bulls knock off the Wizards.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Well the fact you are saying 110% says plenty.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      Yeah let’s disrupt his schedule so you are happier.

      • willis

        Really? It doesn’t have to do with my happiness. It’s a baseball idea for someone who is way better than what is on this team in that spot right now, and, it’s not like it’s just out of this world. He threw 82 damn pitches the other day. He’s built up his strength. It’s just a thought, nothing more. I don’t see why a response like that is necessary.

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Disrupting his schedule is a stupid idea, and the reason you want it not a reason anyone would consider. Let the people in charge deal with his schedule and rehab instead if being a bad armchair GM because of what YOU want.

          • willis

            Wow dude, time to take a step back. I was offering an idea. You could just say “probably a bad idea because throwing Arrieta off his schedule may do more harm than good.”

            You know? Or does it really mean that much to you to be an ass hole? Just curious. Because, I’d rather debate with class and hear the other side of an opinion in a cordial conversation, vs. just tearing into people. But now that you’ve started the A-hole shit, I suppose flame away.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Grab a box if tissues and a bandaid because your going to cry a lot in this world. Stupid is STUPID. Seriously next your going to crying “I’m asking questions,” or “These are just my opinions.” Sometimes in life you get slapped for saying stupid things. DEAL WITH IT!

              • willis

                Man, you are one fucked up dude. Call me all the names you want. I don’t need band aids or Kleenex…I just don’t see the point of laying into people. But, if that’s the way you want it…I suppose it’ll be that way.

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  If this is “laying into people” you’ve got a rough life ahead of you. Stupid is stupid.

                  • willis

                    Ignore.

                  • joejoe234

                    Michigan goat is the kind of pussy that would never say anything like that to your face. He’s just an internet tough guy. I bet you anything he’d never meet you at a cubs game and say that to you. MichiganGoat and hansman are both little internet pussies that talk shit online.

                    • willis

                      That’s a little much. I appreciate your intentions but neither of them are pussies at all. Especially Goat (and that’s not a shot at Hansman, just what Goat is going through, he ain’t a pussy). We don’t agree on certain things so sometimes it gets out of hand. Now, getting railroaded for a suggestion? That’s a little much too.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Oh Joe you don’t know me you can find me whenever you wasn’t and I’ll say the same thing. In fact join me on May 17 in Grand Rapids for the MS Walk I’ll be the one with FU MS shaved into my beard. I’m not hiding how about you?

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Joe visit http://www.teamfums.org and you can meet me find me and you will see I don’t hide.

                    • craigp

                      +1

                  • joejoe235

                    No offense but whatever you’re going through has nothing to do with what I said. You would never call someones idea stupid to their face. So if you wouldn’t do it in person then don’t do it online. Good luck with whatever personal issues you have, but don’t think that makes it ok to call someones idea stupid.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Actually I would, do and will say something to peoples face like that. Just this week I went off my wifes family for their stupidty (and my wife was ten times worse). I don’t hide I’m very honest.

                    • joejoe238

                      Sorry you feel that way. I wish you nothing but the best in your battle, but can’t support calling someone stupid over a valid idea. I’m not going to comment anymore, but what you said to him was way wrong and there are no excuses. No one else will say it but it’s true. If every single person in this world with problems took it out on other people we’d all be in trouble. Good luck with everything, and really do hope the best for you.

                    • FFP

                      The man said, “Disrupting his schedule is a stupid idea.”

                      The word “stupid’ here modifies “idea”

                      Insisting there was “calling someone stupid” is, at best, inaccurate. There are at least three less complimentary ways to characterize such foolishness.

                      It is not some word trick. It’s just language. It’s all we’ve got here.

  • diamonddon

    Does anyone know why the Cubs signed Veras? The only possible reason for FO to make this signing was to build up value for the trade deadline. Right now Veras has zero trade value!!

    • willis

      Like every FA signing they’ve had, that is the only reason. To flip. Hoping that he is lights out for a couple months and they can flip him and add more to the “A” level.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        And this is a problem, why? I’m guess because you don’t like it?

        • willis

          Did I say it was a problem? Or are you just wanting to lay into every post I make tonight? I’m stating a fact. The point of signing every FA they have signed not named Edwin Jackson has been to flip them. With the exception of Kotterras, who sucked so bad he couldn’t even make this team.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            Really this is a fact? EVERY FA was signed to flip? Hmmm I wonder who we signed that does match this folkish statement. And sorry here’s another box of Kleenex.

            • willis

              I’m going to ignore this, but I’d probably stop with all the personal shots.

              • 70′s Cub

                Hey Willis after the Arrieta’s comment you think this drunk A-hole w/the “stupid” comments would have some class and shut up. Think not it is not possible!

                • willis

                  It’s just wild. Like let’s blindly throw a dart and whoever it lands on we’ll attack all night, and use shitty grammar while we do it. I don’t get it really. I tried to come and go in peace and discuss the cubs. But, I suppose around these parts that’s not good enough.

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    Sorry when you say something foolish I call the fool, when you cry because your feeling were hurt I’ll call that out. I just don’t like bullshit, I’ll leave you alone with a huge amount of the new population that comment here so frequently. Enjoy your new playground.

                  • Pat

                    I thought you were going to stop posting here.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      You’d be lost without me Patty, but if you’ve noticed I’m slowly becoming less and less present and the bullshit brigade is now in charge.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Yeah, what happened?

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  You no I have serious condition that is slowly crippling me but I’ve never cried this much over words on a message board. Not only is stupidity the new norm now we need a campfire to share our dream journal. Grow a pair.

                  • willis

                    Yes, I know you do. And I hate that for you and wish you the best in that fight. But it doesn’t give you free pass just to rail on and on. If that is “crying” then I suppose that’s your opinion. I made a statement, you disagreed. So what? We all disagree on here all the time. But now you’ve basically called me a pussy in every way possible and it’s stale. Not to mention it is classless. I really wish you well in your fight…but coming after me so aggressively? It’s not the right way to go about it. But hey, you get a pass around here no matter what you say so flame on brother, flame on.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      A little humor will go a long way , I’m partially just bustin you balls. I’ll leave you alone and I’m slowly leaving BN to most peoples cheers. Like I said have fun but I hate how this place has become so complaining and soft.

                  • Jed Jam Band

                    I am so sick and tired of people like you, willis. I will come right out and say that I just am. We had such a nice community here at BN and it is a shame how many people feel the need to destroy that. This is precisely the reason I cannot stand trying to comment here anymore. Too difficult. I stand with Darth Hater and Goat and Doc and Brett and everyone else who has been here for so long and who helped make this the place to be, at least in my eyes. Seriously, can we please stop being stupid, making hurtful personal attacks, and get back to honest and intelligent discussion of baseball and the Cubs? Go to Rant Sports and Bleed Cubbie Blue if you want to participate in that nonsense, but leave us be.

                    • willis

                      Dude, I’m the one being called “stupid” and being told to go grab Kleenex and band aids…I’ve not gone after him at all other than saying stop it with the shots? What the hell have you been reading?

                      As I stated, certain people get away with whatever the hell they want, and anyone who disagrees is labeled as whatever the hell you just called me.

                    • Jon

                      I’m curious you called out Willis there, I didn’t see one personal attack from him….

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      ;) it was a great place once where complaining and making horrible suggestions were called for exactly what they were- foolish and stupid. Now anytime someone gets disagreed with or receive a playful jab the cries of “that’s not fair, you hurt my feelings” starts up. The comments used to be informative, stats supported, and fun. Now it’s “here’s my opinion and if you disagree I’m going to get mad.” I don’t like having to point out bullshit but it feels like BetterNews has returned and cloned itself.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Jon and I quote this from Willis “Man, you are one fucked up dude” I called his ideas stupid, his reaction whimpy, but he also made these personal attacks.

                      But I don’t care and I’m not crying.

                    • willis

                      Well, in all fairness that was after a shit load of name calling and horse shit. But whatever, I don’t care. A lot of us have been here a long time. The ones that are really annoying, are ones that stand up and say “I’ve been here longer than you and it was so much better before you.” That really doesn’t do much productive now does it. Other than make one feel better.

                      Oh well, all I said was I say green light Arrieta now. It’s a wild idea, but I don’t think it was worth all of this. Lord have mercy,

                    • DarthHater

                      “I stand with Darth Hater…”

                      Gotta add that to my dictionary of phrases never before spoken in the history of the English language! :-D

  • Blackhawks1963

    It’s April 20th and to be honest, the majority of Cubs are going to tune out this team for the tea of the season. It’s just too painful to watch in the middle of this building strategy. Three years of very hard pain. The emotions of the fans have been exhausted. The debate of the pro Theo’s versus the detractors has run its course completely. After, how many millions of times can the same debate happen before a person has to walk away and say enough.

    Sure, some of us will nominally tune in for the June draft lead up. And to see if Samardzija is traded. Also, to keep tabs on some of the key prospects.

    Wrigley is going to be a dull dead experience this summer. Apathy has taken over and we simply need to rest on the sidelines.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      You hit the nail right on the head. Apathy is running a muck.

      • FFP

        Naw. Apathy doesn’t give a shit.

    • diamonddon

      Good points Blackhawks 1963! Actually all the blackouts of games might be a blessing in disguise!

  • Jon

    The CBA debt restrictions suck, but it doesn’t help when the trio of Villenueva/Jackson/Veras will make close to 25 million this season

    • Jon

      I mean, that seems awful Jim Hendy like

      • notcubbiewubbie

        no they don’t have no-trade contracts so they can’t screw us .

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I have a hard time arguing that Villanueva was a bad contract. He pitched alright last year (ERA+ of 98, FIP of 3.86), and that contract is pretty reasonable.

      He’s off to bad start this year, but I can’t exactly dismiss an entire contract over a couple disappointing games.

    • Cizzle

      They will make a combined $21.85 million.

      • baldtaxguy

        Maybe I’m looking at the wrong source (baseball_reference), but for 2014, I see Jackson getting $11m, CV getting $5m, and Veras getting $3.85m with a likely team buyout for 2015 of $150k. That’s $20m even, but I must be missing other comp, or pulled wrong numbers?

        If the numbers are right, or close, they certainly appear to be at FA FMV for each position, with maybe Veras “overpaid,” its just that all three are performing below their respective position’s value.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      The quartet of Samardzija/Rizzo/Castro/Hammel are making $19M this year.

      Decidedly unHendry as well.

      Fun with random information!

      • Jon

        They inherited the Szmardzja contract

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Not really.

          They inherited his years of control but they signed this contract with him. Unless you are forgetting the “saga” that was his re-signing.

  • diamonddon

    $25 million between these 3 guys is crazy! Wish they had saved the $25 million and added this to their offer for Tanaka. Might have been enough to get him. Cubs should eat some of Jackson’s contract and flip him at the deadline. He may have value to a contender.

    • 70′s Cub

      diamonddon…. Cubs need to get 200 innings from E-Jax this year and 1/2 next year as well. Next year trade deadline Cubs can move him for what ever his market value is.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      Many teams have a handful of veterns they wish theny didn’t have to pay. The funny thing is fans have bed crying for years to sign the big names to massive contracts. I can’t imagine the outrage if we got Pujols, but FANS were screaming for us to pull that trigger.

      • Jason P

        I think most fans (or at least educated fans, like the ones on this site) recognized Pujols’ age and where we were in the rebuilding process and understood our lack of involvement. Fielder was a slightly different story because of his age (27) when he hit the market. In hindsight, I think I’m glad we didn’t bite, but I could see the other side of the argument (we would, after all, still have Cashner if we had Fielder.

        • Jon

          Nobody wants to mention Pujols 960 OPS so far?

          (Still a terrible contract, but the way people were piling on its like he had lost a limb)

          • Jason P

            When you sign a 32 year old to a 10 yr./254 million contract, and that player posts 1.5 WAR in the second year of that contract, you know you’re in trouble.

      • YourResidentJag

        Actually, Puljos (despite the fact it’s early) appears to be showing lots of power and offense these days. I wouldn’t want the $$ of that contract, though.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Bryant went two for four with three RBI’s today. I wonder how long long he is going to stay in AA?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Likely another few weeks at least, but if he keeps this up I suspect the Cubs will be looking for the best way to bring him to Iowa.

      And part of that will be figuring where he will play in Chicago. If they think he will come up as an outfielder they could track him a little faster than if they think he’ll be up as a third baseman.

      • KHRSS

        What are the chances he sticks at 3rd base?

  • E

    It’s time for the Sweeney’s and Valbuena’s to get on the bench and provide leadership. Let the kids play in order to figure out what we got. I don’t see how Bryant sticks at 3rd or the point in moving Baez to 2nd if we plan on keeping Alcantaras. So move Bryant to the OF and fast-track him. Baez won’t be up until a September cup of coffee.

    • Jon

      Bryant not sticking at third… this is based on ?

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Since the draft it has been talked about, many say his body type will not be good at third as he builds up mass/muscle. Many talked about his MLB future to be the outfield. He will continue to play 3B in the minors so his defense can be evaluated. I think the biggest concern is his height.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        So far as I can tell, the opinion on Bryant is that he could handle third fairly well, but that he’ll get to the majors faster as an outfielder and that his bat is well ahead of his glove.

        There are also questions about how well a third baseman as tall as Bryant would hold up physically over several seasons.

        I don’t think the Cubs are forced to move him because he’s a bad third baseman, but on the whole I tend to think that he’ll wind up in the outfield. He played there a little in college, and I don’t think it would take him long to adjust.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        He said that it would be easier to fast track him as an outfielder. It’s not neccesary to decide that yet. I would think that what Olt does over the next month will influence that. Olt is hitting .189 right now with nearly a 33% strike out rate. He’s going to have to do a lot better than that if he expects to stay at this level.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Alcantara plays into this as well. If Olt falters but Baez and Alcantara both do well, the solution could be to move Baez to third to and slot Alcantara at second.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            And that’s ignoring Villanueva, which is probably a mistake.

  • diamonddon

    Amen E! I think this is what a lot of Cub fans want. If the Cubs are not going to put a good team on the field, then at least put a team out their with a purpose. Play the kids and see what they can do! If holding back players to control their contract for another year is the reason, I don’t think it is a good reason. If the Theo/Jed plan is working their will be younger prospects to follow the current prospects if some leave for free agency.

  • Dustin S

    On the up-side Wright, Russell, and Grimm are really pitching well. The problem is offense and not so much Villanueva or Veras. But I agree it’s a no-brainer to swap Villanueva to the pen when Arrieta taking his spot is ready, probably with Blake Parker going back down. Grimm would be a possibility too, but with him pitching so well in the pen I’d just as soon they not mess with him and leave him there.

    For the position player guys, we’re probably about a week or so away IMO from the first round of a roster move or two to try to shake things up. Kalish for Vitters would seem to be the highest odds for a move. They have to try something in the OF. Vitters isn’t exactly destroying at Iowa early, but he’s in the same boat as Olt where it would be good to figure out what they have with him this year. Ruggiano and Sweeney are safe…frustrating, but safe.

    It also doesn’t look like Brett Jackson’s talk of baseball being fun again after the offseason has much effect at the plate so far. It’s too bad, it would be a perfect call-up time for him if he was hitting.

  • itzscott

    Not a good weekend to be a Chicago sports fan. Cubs lose 2 out of 3, Blackhawks lose a heartbreaker and now the Bulls made it a Trifecta

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    If Castro hadn’t of tried to golf that pitch he would have walked and we would have had the bases loaded with no outs. He should have enough disipline to lay off of pitch like that.

  • Jon

    NFL season could start tomorrow as far as I’m concerned

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    People sure do get silly when the Cubs are shitty.

    • Matty Ice

      So people that are angry that the Cubs suck for the third straight year are being silly? That’s a nice sentiment.

      I must have missed the memo about holding hands and repeating over and over “the plan”, “the plan”, “the plan”….

      • Soda Popinski

        You, sir, have made a silly comment.

      • Drew7

        Right, because, “holding hands and repeating over and over “the plan”” and “MOAR, Cubez sunk!” are the *only* two ways to react.

        Seriously, what exactly did you expect?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Yep.

      The Daytona Cubs have only won three games this year and it’s like we’ve already forgotten they won a championship just last fall. So much angst over a slow start to the season when they have a young lineup that features a couple of very potent bats that just haven’t broken out yet is…

      What? Wrong Cubs?

      Oh.

      • Jon

        But minor league rosters experience extreme turnover on a year to year basis, so that might be who they “are “

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Yes, but that’s not the important question.

          The important question is if that is who we thought they were?

          • Jon

            Let’s ask Dennis Green

      • Jason P

        Who are the MLB Cubs “couple of very potent bats that just haven’t broken out yet”? The Cubs have lost this many games despite their only 2 potent bats playing well.

    • WTM Jr

      People get silly when a certain poster comes out of the woodwork to flame.

  • Jon

    The more and more that this looks like a 65 loss team (maybe even worse) combined with the most expectations from Baez and Bryant whenever they come up still don’t even push this team to .500. It’s a constant daily reminder of this abyss this team appears to be in. I sure as fuck would rather be the Twins now, a 500 record and a top farm on the way

    • Jon

      65 win team haha fantasy vs reality

      • willis

        I believe 65 is being generous. Once Shark is gone, this is more….I’ll say 59-103.

        But I agree, this tailspin is way more than two prospects, who we have no idea if they will actually become good major league players, can help.

        • Jon

          59 wins would be pretty damn devastating

          • willis

            That it would. But when they trade Shark and Hammel I think that’s a good possibility. There’s no one to fill that void in the rotation. Add that to a putrid offense…yikes.

            • FortyFour

              I disagree. I think it is a test of the organization to be able to prepare our young arms to step up. This is not 2012 when the best we could do were guys like Casey Coleman. We have capable guys in AAA that should be able to pitch well for the team come July/August and our offense will hopefully also improve by then as well. Guys like Hendricks are decent clay to work with to mold into the starters we need. So what if none are #1 caliber, we have not had one of those in a while so let’s get solid efforts out of who we have while we stock up on more young arms.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      You have a knack for finding teams that have sucked all the positive variance from the Cubs.

      So is this where the Twins pull a White Sox and go from the “best offense in baseball” to dropping 5 straight?

  • Medicos

    Maybe the Cubs scouts can smuggle a few Cubans (not the cigars) back to the Friendly Confines On 2nd thought, I hope they also bring some of those terrific smokes .

    Seems that Viciedo—Hechavarria—Cespedes–Ramirez—Abreu—Puig are all beginning decent seasons .

    • DarthHater

      They’ve already got coyotes. :-P

      [img]http://videos.usatoday.net/Brightcove2/29906170001/2012/11/29906170001_1995367141001_1128dv-wrigley-coyotes-400×300.jpg[/img]

      • DarthHater

        Ack
        [img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2938/13936810212_70e8c75648_o.jpg[/img]

  • FortyFour

    Still searching for that first series victory of the season after the first 6 series have been lost. I could say that the schedule was not favorable but I have higher expectations even for this Cubs team. I wanted to see the ceiling instead of the floor from guys like Kalish, Olt, & Lake but they are each finding their way with mixed results. Castro & Rizzo look better which is a relief and maybe the other guys will get better. The biggest disappointments have been offseason pick ups Veras and Ruggiano. This season needs to improve regardless of the effort to flip guys. I expect to see a prepared Hendricks joining the rotation and delivering quality starts come August. If the Cardinals can do it with Wacha and a host of other young pitchers, than this organization better do well with our young arms.

    I get that the FO does not want to rush anyone the way San Diego did with Rizzo in 2011. They want to avoid set backs which is understandable and do what is best for the organization. I just hope the organization is able to get guys like Baez and Alcantara ready to help the team at some point this year that is well before the September call up. I will be disappointed if the team backslides and does worse than it did last season. Progress may not be linear but I don’t care. Improvement during year 3, however small, should be made and needs to be made to keep moving forward with the plan.

  • Patrick W.

    I think there is a group of posters here who are happy the Cubs are playing terribly because it gives them a chance to pretend to be really prescient and smarter than everyone else.

    There’s another group who knows what everyone knew, the Cubs would likely play terribly this season and can’t really stomach that first group because they know that first group is NOT smarter or more prescient, they strike a match every day and claim to have invented fire.

    There’s a third group that is trying desperately to figure out a way the Cubs could stop playing terribly and so they throw out suggestion after suggestion hoping they’ll hit on a good idea.

    Real problems in the comments happen when group 2 confuses group 3 for group 1.

    There’s another group of people who use statistical analysis to form hypotheses or support hypotheses. Real problems also occur when group 2 confuses themselves with group 4.

    There’s another group of people who stopped reading 5 sentences ago so they could think of some lame insult about me and what kind of group I’m in.

    Things might go smoother here if some people realized they aren’t geniuses for pointing out the obvious and if some other people decided to only interact with geniuses.

    • E

      The important thing is that you have found a way to feel superior to all of them. Congrats.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        No the important thing is that posters toughen up and quite crying when balls are busted and not complain when thier opinions are called out as foolish and/or disproven with facts.

        • Pat

          Says the queen of the whiners.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Did you have to say “queen”? You know how childish that makes you sound, right?

            • Drew7

              No way. We all know its soooo not cool to be a girl. What a burn!

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                $20 says that Pat has cooties.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            Oh Patty you are so lost without me here

      • Patrick W.

        “The important thing is that you have a way to feel superior to all of them. Congrats”

        That was funny and also totally deserved. Seriously. (I promise I laughed and am not being sarcastic)

        :)

    • Drew7

      Is there a master list so we can see which group we’re in? I need to know which way to tilt my hat.

    • Jon

      Patrick, how is the weather up there?

    • Patrick W.

      I don’t know what I was thinking but this isn’t my best moment.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I thought it was pretty great.

        • Patrick W.

          Thanks. I don’t think it’s inaccurate I just think if I were reading it I would think “who the hell does this guy think he is?” (Which by the way, the Skipper. I think I’m the Skipper)

          • Head and Heart

            I haven’t figured out what the hell you were talking about yet. But in my left hand is coffee number 3 so I think I am close to cracking it. I think I am in group 2 which means I should do well at my next arbitration hearing.

      • TWC

        At least there weren’t any analogies.

  • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

    “prescient” – so great that got to read it twice…

    and I am confused on which group is which
    and which one I belong in..

    • Patrick W.

      What’s wrong with prescient? That’s not a fancy word or anything, is it?

  • Orval Overall

    Can we get a little love for Rizzo’s .440 OBP? He’s 8th in MLB right now.

    • baldtaxguy

      Seconded.

    • Head and Heart

      His BABIP is inflated and I imagine he’s being pitched around at times because Nate is an auto out batting 4th. But it is still nice to see and hopefully as the season continues he can continue to reach base at that rate.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        If he is being pitched around, it’s not because of whom is batting behind him.

        He sees 46% of his pitches in the zone, league average is 48%. (That’s about 50 pitches a year)

        Mike Trout, with all of the bats behind him, sees 43% of his pitches in the zone.

        • Head and Heart

          4 of his 9 walks this season have come with bases open and 2 outs. I imagine teams are being careful with him at times. Good on Rizzo for taking pitches if they aren’t pitching to him.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            Eh, I’m not sure that says much other than the Cubs batters ahead of Rizzo are not good at getting on base.

            In the 3 hole, you’d expect him to get in the most 2-out PA and, outside of when Bonifacio was on his tear, there isn’t a lot of OBP ahead of him.

            Now, this would help explain his high BABIP and lower-than-expected XBH. With no one on base, he has a higher number of shifted PA. He has adjusted and started going the other way more which will decrease power.

            Schierholtz is not a great cleanup hitter, but he isn’t a scrub either.

            • Head and Heart

              Well he has been a scrub so far but I don’t know if there is causation there or not.

              My roommate is a Jays fan so i am stuck watching a lot of their games. Bautista has walked a ton this year and hasn’t seen a lot of pitches to hit. Which would likely change if Encarnacion was hitting behind him. But maybe not. Maybe that’s just an eye-ball/confirmation bias thing at work.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        However, his BABIP is inflated so we should expect his OBP to dip down soon. Given his XBH rate (6%) this year vs. last year (9%) and his K rate decrease (5 percentage points) from last year, it appears he is trading power for contact right now.

    • OlderStyle

      This is nice. That and Castro looks more like his old self. Definite positives. These are the types of things one realistically needed to look for this season. To expect this team to win 76-82 games just wasn’t. The belly-aching should have been done in offseason when the FO could have done something about it. Now I’ve just gone into semi-hibernation for the duration rather than whine, bitch, moan, flame, and re-flame getting ulcers because the Cubs suck and I have an army of new internet frenemies on BN. sheesh.

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