Quantcast

Apologies for the delay – I was en route to Chicago so I can take in tomorrow’s version of this madness.

The Cubs got whooped by the White Sox tonight, ensuring that they will lose the Crosstown Cup, and that every writer in Chicago will have something to crow about for a good long while. Travis Wood had a rough go of it thanks to control issues and an erratic strike zone. It was his worst outing in a good long while, and I’m already ready to move on from it.

The bats have really been scuffling, and couldn’t quite muster much of anything against John Danks, who has been eminently beatable by all teams out there not named the Cubs.

At least the cleanup crew in the bullpen did a really nice job.

Among the interesting things from the game …

may 7 box

Full box score.

  • armyflyer25

    Look on the bright side. Rusin had a no hitter, Bryant hit 2 hrs (6 RBI), and Soler is now active again. Good day if you look at it from a wholistic organizational standpoint.

    • Soda Popinski

      Thank you! These comments are getting nasty.

    • OlderStyle

      “Wholistic”? Dude, I don’t need my aura balanced, I just want winning Cubs MLB baseball.

      I do get your point and honestly, I’m not shocked or too saddened by the losing, I fully expected this kind of season so far. I’m just discouraged. I find it hard to even want to turn on a game these days.

  • TSB

    Let’s see, Wood gives up 8 runs, first two hitters strike out 5 out of 8 times, Rizzo and Castro have an off night; how soon before all the commenters start blaming it all on Barney? I can feel it coming…

    • Aaron

      You can pretty much include 2-3 Ks in the spot where Lake is hitting every night.

  • N8theGr8

    Any chance we can get Bill Mueller suited up and playing third for a while to show these kids how it’s done? Better yet, if we’re looking for a way to get Sosa back in the Cubbie fold, let’s just start him in RF.

    • Cizzle

      I’m fairly certain if you plugged Bill at 2nd for Barney he’d at least put up a positive WAR.

  • another JP

    Olt will be a two outcome hitter if his BABIP remains at .171. If that were to be closer to his career norms and he maintains his home run pace he just might work out. .. A 220 ISO isn’t too bad.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    That strike zone was ridiculous. I would have been thrown out earlier than Renteria. Rizzo getting ball four and five called strike 2 and 3 (with a base open?), they were obviously pitching around him…

    • Paddy26

      Agreed, “strike two” was clearly outside, that was total garbage.

      • Ivy Walls

        Again and again, each game I see critical AB’s either a Cub batting or the pitching where the strike zone suddenly goes weird and against the Cubs,

        someone who has the time and ability to go back over the F/X records and eye test will be confirmed with probably more damning data, then the question will be how to publish it that causes the MLB some pain.

        Finally the question that leads to is why?

        Is it normal social bullying that imposes a silent punitive penalty towards an organization that is down but potentially on the rise. Is there something the umps don’t like about the Cubs organization that we don’t know or what.

    • 5412

      Hi,

      Even Sutcliffe said the strike two call on Rizzo was way outside. That would have been ball four and Castro would have been up with the bases loaded. That bad call could easily have been a game changer.

      The strike three call was marginal but that is irrelevant because Rizzo should have already been standing on 1B.

      Danks threw a lot of breaking balls last night and was the beneficiary of a lot of marginal calls. That does not mean he ends up with a lot of K’s, but rather it causes players to swing at a lot of bad pitches because of the inconstancy of the umpire’s strike zone.

      I’m glad Renteria got tossed for arguing, the replay will show he was right.

      regards,
      5412

      • ssckelley

        You can live with those calls as long as your pitcher is getting the same strike zone, which he wasn’t. Wood does not allow all those runs if he gets that same strike, that is what got RR thrown out.

        Here is where we blame Castillo!

        • Chad

          I’m not sure how that 2nd strike got called a strike. You can’t even say it was good framing because the catcher almost had to dive to catch it (exaggeration, but still he moved a lot)

          • CubFan Paul

            “You can’t even say it was good framing because the catcher almost had to dive to catch it”

            This. The catcher himself was expecting ‘ball’

  • JL82

    There’s only one cup that I care about right now and it’s not the unsponsored cup that the cubs and sox play for.

  • willis

    Tough week. But as bad as things are now, just wait until another big sell off happens.

    These games really go to show though, if the pitching isn’t damn near perfect, more times than not with this team, it will be a loss. It’s a poorly constructed roster position wise and that has to be a ton of pressure on the arms. Some nights, it’ll be like this.

    When will any progress be shown by the organization? And when do the powers that be start getting questioned (owner, FO, players)?

    • AreWeThereYet

      “When will any progress be shown by the organization? And when do the powers that be start getting questioned (owner, FO, players)?”

      To your first question, maybe (big maybe) in 2016.

      To your second question, I think it’s already starting. Look at attendance. It seems to me that it’s getting harder and harder for the folks defending the FO to maintain their narrative, and it wont get better if most of the top prospects continue to under perform.

      As for the players, it’s a small sample, but it’s possible most of them are playing to their actual level.

    • benjamin

      Progress IS being shown by the organization. Brett and Luke write articles about exactly how and where literally every day. I seriously do not understand how those of you who bitch and moan about progress come here, presumably read the articles, and still make comments like this.

      No, the major league team is not where we want it to be. But Brett and Luke outline, very clearly, how and why with pretty much every article they write. Whether or not you trust Brett, Luke, Theo, Jed, etc. is another matter. That’s a personal problem.

      • itzscott

        >> I seriously do not understand how those of you who bitch and moan about progress come here, presumably read the articles, and still make comments like this. <<

        Ben –
        How old are you? My guess is that you're still in school and have yet to learn about writer's bias and the concept of spin. Be very wary of what you read and learn to recognize when you're being "sold".

        • Chad

          If you can’t see the progress of the farm system then you have a bias the other way, which we can all see. Being a fan (short for fanatic) is about supporting your team no matter what. yeah you can be frustrated by them but still have to support what they are doing. I agree it is taking longer than we would all like and we know a few of the circumstances as to why, but definitely not all. You don’t know what will happen next year. The cubs could sign a few big FAs and few of the prospects could come up and pull an Abreu. Be optimistic, not giant negative nancies all the time.

          • ssckelley

            Good comment but itzscott’s post did not deserve it. You should have stopped reading after this “How old are you?”.

          • itzscott

            Chad -

            I had accepted that the team would be bad…. real bad. I even predicted 66 wins, and I was being generous. Yet. I still support “The Plan”

            But when I see a manager doing things that make a bad team even worse with posters ignoring this while trying to pound sunshine up my ass to divert my attention somewhere else, that’s not being a true fan…. that’s being a programmed zombie.

            • JB88

              You think posters have been ignoring some of the inexplicable moves that Renteria has made? I think even those who would be considered the most ardent supporters of the FO have been critical of Renteria on a variety of topics (the sacrifice bunting, certain of the platoons, keeping Shark in the game to hit for himself, keeping Shark in the game after he let the first two get on in the 9th, some of his early season bullpen decisions).

              • JB88

                I should clarify; I don’t think the platooning is inexplicable, but most of the remainder are inexplicable (while the bullpen decisions are merely debatable).

                • itzscott

                  JB -

                  You forgot to include Renteria’s lineups that pencil in Baker, Barney and the pitcher at 7-8-9 for an already offensively challenged team!

                  Any wonder why this guy had never been considered for a manager’s gig up until the Cubs came along?

                  • Jon

                    On the Baker thing……He can’t play Castillo every day! The reason Baker is the backup catcher is because they misjudged on Kottaras and then had to scramble for a backup catcher in March. That’s on the FO.

                    • mjhurdle

                      The Indians love him so much that they have played him exactly 1 time all year.

                      This is the problem when you base your opinion of Kotteras of that one highlight you saw watching some random ESPN show.

                      he is a backup catcher. He isn’t great, Baker isn’t great. The Cubs decided a better defensive backup catcher (Baker) was slightly more valuable than the slightly better offensive backup catcher (Kotteras).

                    • Jon

                      OMFG Hurdle! I don’t care or want Kotteras back! Jesus! My point is that they thought he would be an adequate backup and had a big time change of heart. As it was reported by others his defense was really, really really bad!

                      Because of that they had to scramble on the best available backup, Baker. So Baker in the lineup now and isn’t on RR. It’s all he has for now.

                    • BT

                      I’m fairly certain the Indians released Kottaras. So if Theo has been losing sleep about his catastrophic spring mistake, he’s been given a gift from God.

                    • Jon

                      Only on this site could I DEFEND the manager(positivity) and then get railroaded with bullshit strawman.

                      Bad players in the lineup is not Renteria’s fault. Full stop. Now Ricky’s is not without blame, why in the heck did was Wood allowed to face Konerko with the bases loaded last night? He was clearly done!

                    • mjhurdle

                      It’s ok Jon. I get that you didn’t know a lot about Kotteras, or Baker, or even have a strong preference about either.
                      I understand you watched Mike and Mike and saw that Kotteras hit 2 HRs, and thought it would be a great dig at the Front Office for letting that guy go.
                      No harm in that.

                      I was just letting you know that the difference between Baker and Kotteras is tiny (0.13 WAR a year).

                      It isn’t that they had to “settle” for Baker. They just traded in the offensive model for the defensive model.

                    • JB88

                      Well, really the entire roster construction is on the FO, but, at this point, we all know that they weren’t trying to put a competitive team on the field this year.

                      Hopefully this is the last year we can say that though.

                    • Jon

                      You can stop with your passive aggressive little schtick. I don’t even watch ESPN. Continue troll and miss the point, it’s what you do.

                    • Edwin

                      MJ,

                      Jon’s point isn’t that Kottaras is a better backup, it’s that the FO messed up by thinking Kottaras would be a good backup, and then were forced to settle for a player like Baker when they decided Kottaras wouldn’t work out.

                      Baker might be better than Kottaras, but either way the FO did a bad job of providing a decent backup catcher option.

                    • mjhurdle

                      I didn’t miss the point Jon.
                      You spent 10 words saying that Castillo can’t play everyday. I agree with this.
                      Then you spent 29 words saying that Baker being bad was the result of the FO misjudging and “scrambling” for a backup catcher.

                      So, you could say your post had 2 points. 1 that I think most everyone agrees with (Castillo can’t play everyday) and another that is at best debateable (Baker is a bad backup that is the result of the Cubs “scrambling”).
                      I apologize for calling you out on your second point. I should have known you would deflect and not have any backing for it.
                      My bad.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Edwin – My point is that backup catchers are just not good.
                      I think we were spoiled by Navarro last year, but that kind of production out of a backup is incredibly rare.
                      If you have a regular catcher that you want to see most of the starts, what sense does it make to spend money on a backup catcher?
                      I don’t see Baker as a “settling” move. I see it as a recognition of the need for defense and framing oriented catcher to help strengthen Castillo in his weak areas.
                      Maybe I am wrong in that. I just haven’t seen anything that tells me that the FO “settled” for Baker as opposed to intentionally choosing to bring in a catcher that would be more helpful to Castillo.

                  • JB88

                    Well, that too, but, as Jon mentioned Castillo can’t play everyday and, this early in the season, you have to see if Barney can give you some/any value at the plate.

                    Hopefully the day is coming soon where you will see Valbuena semi-permanently at 2B with EB in center. I mean, let’s be serious though, most of these guys are placeholders or lottery tickets. You have to expect Baez will be in Chicago at some point this year. With the numbers Bryant is putting up in AA, you can dream on him also. Those two in the lineup are going to force out guys like Barney permanently and probably give you an awfully power-laden lineup. That could/should make any manager look a lot better in his decision making process.

                    • itzscott

                      >> as Jon mentioned Castillo can’t play everyday <<

                      That's not even the issue!

                      The issue is how a major league manager whose job is to put his team in the best possible position to win OR at the least make it more difficult for the opposition to win can put Baker and Barney in the same lineup let alone bat them 7 & 8 with the pitcher at 9!!

                      How can any manager expect to win when 33% of his lineup is an automatic out? Even if the previous 3 load the bases with nobody out, the odds are pretty favorable that no runs will score.

                    • JB88

                      That’s a fair point. I doubt Renteria is the only one to do it, though. I remember plenty of managers in Cubs’ lore who would play a host of backups on get-away day. I always thought it was a terrible strategy—why concede a ball game in that way?—but I think it is something many managers do.

  • Zoolander

    No body should be surprised to see this team struggle, since it was NOT constructed to win anything this season other than a high draft pick (top 5) in next year’s draft. In fact, things are going well in that department, as the Cubs are set to pick #2. Once the trade some of their major league talent later in the season, we’ll have a shot at the overall #1 pick. Keep up the good work FO!

  • Diehardthefirst

    2 take aways- my 9-2 spread prediction now right 2 games and Sutcliffe says Castro moved when Baez up? Does Castro know?

    • itzscott

      What are the odds that say Baez plays 2nd or 3rd and Castro gets moved when his contract is up and Eloy Jiminez is ready to step in at ss?

      • jason23

        Eloy Jiminez is an OF not a SS i believe so i dont think that will happen

        • Chad

          Ha I’m sure itzscott meant the other defector they signed this year as did I. Funny how you can never remember his name.

          • jason23

            yeah what is his name?

          • jason23

            Gleyber Torres!

            • Chad

              Ah, right. I hope to see the day when he or a Nick Gordon can displace Castro, not because his contract is coming, but because the cubs think he is better for the organization long term.

              • jp3

                So we don’t even have Gordon yet and the other is like 17 years old and not even playing on this continent yet…Castro will be retired by the time they’re ready.

                • Chad

                  That’s the point jp3. Castro has what 5 or 6 years left on his deal? Somebody, and it could be another kid through trade or draft will be ready by then. If not you can always try to extend Castro. The goal is to develop those guys for replacement. I thought Jiminez and Torres were in rookie league?

                  • jp3

                    I’m pretty sure Luke said they’re in either the DSL or VSL but I could be wrong on that

                    • ssckelley

                      Actually Jiminez has been playing in extended spring training in Arizona where he will probably play when rookie ball starts.

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    They’re in extended spring right now, we’ll see where they head once short season starts

          • Aaron

            You’re trying to displace a guy with 730 hits in his first four seasons? I understand that he isn’t Troy Tulowitzki, but no one is.

            These guys you’re mentioning (Gordon, Torres) haven’t even reached everyday, professional baseball and you’re calling for them to take his spot in the majors in 5-6 years? Unreal. I’m pretty sure Brett Jackson was supposed to be our everyday centerfielder by now, too.

            Go ahead, list all of the flaws in Castro’s game. I know they exist. But the fact that everyone is so anxious to get Castro out is unbelievable. If the team had more than him and Rizzo for offensive production, no one would be complaining about a .280 hitter.

            • Chad

              I said that it is the goal of the farm system. Not an absolute. At some point in the future you will have to replace Castro due to FA or performance/age. Hopefully it happens because you have someone good enough to replace him and perform well.

              • Aaron

                I’m with you there. Like you said, you continue to draft and sign players into all positions, regardless of who you have playing there in the majors. I don’t disagree with what you said.

                What I mostly meant by that comment, and not specifically directed at you, is that people are so quick to think that we could automatically do better than Castro. I recognize that he’s never going to be a Mike Trout of the infield; heck, he probably won’t even quite be Hanley Ramirez. Regardless of his flaws, he has proven that he can be an everyday SS. Not every team in the majors has that.

                • Chad

                  Right. I’m in no hurry to displace Castro if he keeps playing well, and have always thought Castro + Baez was better than Baez- Castro. I really hope the cubs can develop someone in the next 5 years that can displace Castro, like Bogaerts did with Drew (better results please). That is the goal and then you can restock your farm with prospects from that trade or get a piece you need. This is for any position, but just using Castro as an example.

      • Chad

        That is a long time off, but that is the whole idea of developing a sustainable farm system. You move guys as they start to age and a young guy is coming behind them. We don’t know if it will be Jiminez or not or someone else, but ideally you have the ability to do what the rays do with pitching. Move a guy that is going to get very expensive and replace him with a guy that is cost controlled and of similar level hopefully. Braves used to do this all the time with catchers and you couldn’t believe they traded a good ML like javy Lopez or Salty, but then they had a better catcher step in. Hopefully that does happen eventually for Castro and just about every other position. It will be great when the cubs can trade a Samardzija because they have a young Kershaw waiting to come up.

  • ssckelley

    To all those trashing on Olt, are you going to be this way when Baez comes up and does the same thing?

    • roz

      What else are we supposed to do but incessantly complain when things don’t go perfectly?

      • Kyle

        “not perfectly” is a bit of an understatement with regards to how things have gone to the Cubs the last four years.

    • David

      Yeah.. but I bet Baez will get a lot more consistent playing time. The platooning of Olt must be a factor of him getting comfortable. Need to play him every day for a month or so to see what we have.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Or you put him in positions to succeed, like last night against a lefty, and he hits a home run. It’s amazing how that works!!

        Then when he starts to build success, you start playing him more against righties. It’s a foreign concept to a lot of you, but having to hit to earn consistent playing time isn’t a bad thing.

    • P.Fronts

      If he is Olt level of awful at age 26, yes, yes I will

      • ssckelley

        So because Olt is older that means he should have been able to adjust to MLB pitching already? But when Baez comes up and does the same thing we just use age as an excuse right? Gotcha!

        I don’t give a crap how old you are adjusting to MLB pitching is hard and we have seen hitters struggle to adjust when they first come up, it does not mean they cannot go on to have productive careers. If the Cubs did not have Bryant and Villanueva at AA and AAA I think they would have sent Olt down already for more seasoning. But because they are there and the MLB team is not winning anyway, plus his age, the Cubs probably figure Olt can keep learning on the job.

    • Kyle

      If Baez is putting up a .238 OBP a few months short of his 26th birthday, I imagine he’ll get trashed pretty hard, yes.

      • ssckelley

        You going to be an echo today? The guy above you said this 15 minutes ago.

        • Kyle

          Does it stop being true if more people say it?

  • jason23

    Man have you ever seen a team that has absolutely no offense like this team… I mean that pitching staff we faced and are facing is awful! all of them seem like allstars against us, and its not just because it was cold.

  • Ivy Walls

    Bryant is batting over 1.000 OPS, 17 of his 36 hits are extra base, 9 dbls and 8 HR’s, 119 AB’s plus 19 BB and 38 SO

    or 138, appearances, he has a .424 OBP, and 47% of the time he gets a hit it is an extra base hit where BABIP is .397

    He gets moved soon to Iowa along with Andreoli, the question for Cubs is where does Bryant play in IA, and do they move Olt down to IA as well? Do they move Villaneuva to 1B or the OF? or do they put Bryant in the OF? Or do they recall Alcantara and move Villanueva to 2B

    I think a trade is in the works, look to Oakland

    • Chad

      Who are they going to move that will help clear up this room? I’m guessing Oakland wants pitching but who are they going to take to clear up the infield glut? My guess it that when Bryant goes to Iowa he moves to the OF. Don’t want to take reps from Villanueva at 3B. I could see Vitters up to Chicago and Coghlan let go perhaps?

      • jp3

        I’d like to see us bring up vitters while he’s hot the last 20 ABs or so, and move Bryant to the OF I guess at Iowa? Maybe he and Villanueva can alternate starts at 3rd but there isn’t a prospect in the cubs system that should be blocking Bryant from a promotion.

        • Chad

          I agree, but by bringing up Bryant someone will have to move out of Iowa. I don’t really care who it is. I would like to see Bryant in the OF, and moving Vitters up to see what he has got would be great as well. But then someone has to go from Chicago. I would be fine with Coghlan or Barney just getting released honestly. Ivy just said look for a trade to Oakland so I was curious who he thought might get traded.

        • ssckelley

          Villanueva is a good prospect in his own right so he will play every day regardless if Bryant gets promoted or not. If Bryant does get promoted I believe Villanueva plays first base since his glove at third is pretty much given.

          • jp3

            Who cares who’s off the Chicago team if Bryant is moved up? The only few you can’t drop are Shark, Rizzo, Castro, maybe wood, and Castillo because we have 0 catching depth in the minors.

    • CubFan Paul

      “the question for Cubs is where does Bryant play in IA”

      It’s time for AAA for Bryant, and even there he’ll only need a month or two to get used to before he dominates and forces a August call-up.

      The OF/RF is where they *should* put him in Iowa, because they already know he wouldn’t be able to hack it defensively at a plus-level in Chicago.

      • PejaO42

        He can take Jackson’s place. I think it may be time to cut the cord on him

      • JeffR

        At this point I’d be fine with moving Bryant to the outfield. That gives the cubs one potential above replacement outfielder next year.

        • CubFan Paul

          *IF* Soler can stay healthy, I think he will naturally hit his way onto the team out of Spring Training next year. Unless there’s an acquisition, he’ll be our 2nd best OF behind Bryant.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Big if, huge if actually haha, but I hope you’re right, although they’d probably pull a Springer and leave him down for 3 weeks to get that extra year of control.

          • JeffR

            If Bryant and Soler can live up to their potential and be on the team next year that makes the team a lot better. Unfortunately it’s probably not likely.

            • CubFan Paul

              “Unfortunately it’s probably not likely.”

              I think it’s more likely than not. I think the Front Office will use their limited 2015 funds on pitching this offseason, because there’s enough young hitters emerging

              2015 lineup positions
              1B Rizzo
              2B Baez/Alcantara/Villanueava/Valbuena
              3B Baez/Olt/Valbuena
              SS Castro
              LF Soler/Bryant
              CF Lake/Sweeney/Alcantara/Baez
              RF Bryant/Soler
              C Welly or Free Agent/Trade

          • ssckelley

            I soooo hope this happens. It would be nice if Soler could stay healthy long enough so he can hit his way through the system.

            • Edwin

              I’m curious to see what type of hitter he turns into, especially regarding his K%. It’d be nice if the Cubs actually had a top prospect who K’d under 20%.

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                Albert Almora, career K% of just over 10

                • Edwin

                  Yes, and he’s doing terrible so far.

              • ssckelley

                Well they do in Almora…but yeah, I get what you mean. The K rate has been high pretty much across the board.

                • Edwin

                  Almora can still be that guy, but he needs to pick it up.

  • jason23

    yeah i think Bryant has done enough damage in Tennessee. Would like for him to bat behind Baez maybe that would take some of the pressure off of him and get him some better pitches to hit!

    • ssckelley

      One has nothing to do with the other. Baez currently has the hottest hitter on the team batting behind him, Chris Valaika.

      • CubFan Paul

        “has the hottest hitter on the team batting behind him, Chris Valaika”

        Valaika ain’t no Bryant.

        • ssckelley

          lmao, no shit! But putting Bryant behind Baez over Valaika is not going to mean Baez is going to get better pitches to hit. If Baez is not getting good pitches to hit now then perhaps he should stop swinging at them.

          • jason23

            All it takes is a few walks from Baez and a few bombs from Bryant and pitchers will have to attack him in the zone… i am not saying inserting him behind Baez instantly makes the pitches better but it has the potential too. And with another power bat and major run producing prospect on the team it could take some pressure off of Baez.

            • ssckelley

              No, you are wrong you could bat Barney behind Baez and it would not make any difference. For one the statheads say the whole protection thing is a myth, even if it isn’t the pitchers are not pitching around Baez to get to Valaika and if they were he would have more walks. Secondly until Baez either starts hitting or laying off the breaking stuff pitchers are going to keep feeding it to him, you could put the greatest hitter of all time behind Baez and it would not make a difference.

              • jason23

                Lol ok Mr. Baseball whatever you think…

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Well, it’s like Steve Stone said about Sammy Sosa in 1997 (when he was a very free-swinger) and why protection wouldn’t help Sosa’s production: pitchers weren’t throwing non-strikes to Sosa because they weren’t afraid of walking him, but instead because they weren’t afraid of walking him! To clarify (because Stoney thoroughly confused the radio-caller), he noted that until Sammy stopped swinging at bad pitches, pitchers were going to mix in a lot of bad pitches.

                (Sammy’s remarkable turn-around happened the next year, when he pulled his swing zone 4 inches closer to himself.)

    • jason23

      yeah i mean the fact that pitchers are going to have to pick between throwing a strike to Baez or facing Bryant… i don’t think Valaika (no offense to him) scares a pitcher as much as Bryant does.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        Point is it doesn’t matter who is behind Baez, so long as Baez is swinging at pitches that a) are out of the strike zone and b) he can’t make contact with.

  • jason23

    anybody know if Soler is actually going to play today? I thought he was supposed to play yesterday?

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I’m guessing he will. Mick Gillespie (Smokies annoucer) tweeted yesterday about 45 minutes before game time that Soler’s plane hadn’t arrived yet, so I’m sure that’s why he didn’t play.

      • Jon

        The plane was delayed when Soler attempted to bring a bat on board.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I’ll admit it, I laughed

        • ssckelley

          Good one Jon!

      • ssckelley

        Yeah I cannot imagine there are very many direct flights going in and out of Knoxville. Plus with him going from Arizona to Tennessee (2 hour time difference) it was probably a good idea to give him a chance to settle in.

  • jason23

    well that makes sense thanks

  • http://BN Sacko

    Our back up catcher should be no surprise compared to what the FO also signed all other postion players on the cheap end and even their averages would look bad as a back up catcher.
    Remembering how bad this team is our back up catcher batted clean up last year. And we took a step down from that this year.
    What ever this Plan is, how can the FO continue to watch this crap and be responsible for what they are putting on the field. Loosing faith guys, this is worse then I thought.
    No sure thing is coming from the Minors.

    • Jon

      This season is easily their worst effort so far

      2012, they just took over, needed to feel things out, and tanking was smart, it got us Kris Bryant

      2013 they actually tried to field a competitive roster it semeed and actually hit the loterry with some platoon magic (Murphy, Shierholtz, Navarro)

      2014, basically they just threw their hands up and said “fck it”. The effort was just awful.

  • Coop

    I am always excited to see at what point I will stop reading the comments for an article. I didn’t even make it through a 1/3 of this one… That rate of evacuation seems to be increasing…

    • Kyle

      Cool story, bro.

      • Coop

        Same for you.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I don’t know what would’ve been wrong in signing a couple position players and a another pitcher to a 2 or 3 year contract as really how close are we to these minor’s coming up and who hasn’t made it yet.. let somebody Somebody!..get a few RBIs while we wait. If we have a sure things coming up those contracts could’ve been flipped also.

    • JB88

      Well, right, wrong, or indifferent, the Cubs hitched their wagon to Tanaka this offseason. In retrospect, it is easy to say that was the wrong strategy, but none of the other FAs who were available really fit the Cubs long-term model, so I don’t have a huge issue with punting one final season in an attempt to grab a TOR starter who is the right age.

      • Jon

        When Nelson Cruz was hanging around and willing to take a 1 year deal, I was begging for the Cubs to take a chance. I think a tough FA market was also a wake up call for Mr Cruz as well.

        (defense be damned)How nice would that .399 wOBA look in LF right now? If you are talking long term plans, what kind of prospect could that bat fetch for an offense starved team at the deadline?

        • JB88

          I like Cruz, but it just didn’t seem likely that the Cubs were going to forfeit that draft pick on Cruz. Too many questions and not enough long-term upside to him.

          • Rebuilding

            I agree that Cruz doesn’t have any upside, but you can pencil him in for a 800-850 OPS. He helps you stay halfway competitive early and if things go south he likely gets you back more than the value of a 2nd round pick. If we had him now, for instance, I’m pretty sure we would get back more than a Rob Zystryzny type

            • Jon

              His bat would be nice to have behind both Castro and Rizzo. I know we don’t believe in protection here, but I do.

      • Rebuilding

        Kazmir at 2/22 and Cruz at 1/8 were the steals of the offseason. That doesn’t count Abreu because I don’t want to get that started again. You also have Stephen Drew hanging around who may have signed a 1 year contract to play 2b with the expectation of being flipped so he’s not tied to compensation (would have cost you a 2nd round pick this year, but would have likely gotten you better value when traded)

        • Jon

          To be fair to them, Kazmir was signed before Tananka, but after that fallout Cruz, Santana were all available on cheap deals. (I’m not going to bring up Ulbado :) )

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            You probably shouldn’t bring up Ubaldo, he’s been TERRIBLE

        • Norm

          Cruz is a DH.
          If Drew was willing to sign a 1 year deal, why hasn’t he? You don’t think someone else, some playoff contender, would have done that by now?

          • Jon

            That’s interesting, checking the box score last night, Cruz played a position called “left field”

          • YourResidentJag

            Corey Hart isn’t though.

            • YourResidentJag

              Oh, neither is the guy they’re paying 14 mil to play elsewhere.

              • JB88

                Do you seriously want Soriano on the roster still?

                • YourResidentJag

                  Well, if I meant have him with Kazmir (instead of Jackson), Hammels, Hart, Bono, and Eaton to go along with Shark, Castro, Castillo, and Rizzo. YES!

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    You know those things aren’t mutually exclusive right?? And did you just want to cut Jackson with 3 years and 33 million left on his contract?? Who did you want to trade for Eaton??

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Who knows as far as Eaton goes? It was never happening anyway. Not on this FO’s watch. No, I never wanted Jackson signed in the 1st place.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      How do you know they didn’t explore an Eaton trade? Are you in the board rooms?

                      Playing armchair GM is easy, but to pretend you have any idea what conversations the front office actually has is beyond laughable.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      So, you’re telling me that it probable that they could get Eaton because “who did I want them to trade” but then you’re questioning me on how I could think that they didn’t explore all possibilities on acquiring him? Passive-aggressive much, there, Tommy?

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      No I’m simply saying that you have no idea whether or not they explored a trade for Eaton, so to call them out for not pursuing one is ignorant.

                      As for what the Cubs could have traded, I don’t know what the Diamondbacks needed, but if it was young power (Trumbo) like they got, even if the Cubs asked, their efforts would not have amounted to much.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Tommy, Eaton’s age alone probably would have given them pause. It’s not ignorant at all.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Yep, because if there’s one thing this FO has proven, it’s that they hate 25 year olds with great on base skills. Where’s Darth with the head up the ass meme??

                    • YourResidentJag

                      With Almora being given the keys to the CF position and wanting to compete in 2017-2018, yes, Tommy, yes. Looks like the aggressive side of the passive-aggressive approach is coming out more today? So, you asked the question? Who POSSIBLY could the FO have given up to acquire Eaton, then???

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      That’s been my point from the beginning. The Diamondbacks got a young, proven power hitter for Eaton, a luxury the Cubs do not have. I don’t think Mike Olt would have done the job here.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Ugh.

                  • JB88

                    I just don’t think many of those things were likely, though. The FO seems to think that, at this point, going through a deep rebuild (including through signing lottery type players or flip candidates) is a better route to take than signing stop gap players.

                    I think/hope that trend starts to shift this offseason to starting to add talent to fill in the roster than trying to build this team organically, only.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Well yeah–that’s the issue at hand.

      • Edwin

        I I have less of a problem with how the recent offseason played out, but I’m more dissapointed in the Cubs being in that position this offseason in the first place.

        • JB88

          Why though? Once they committed to offloading aging players/expiring contracts, is it really a surprise they finished where they did? Couple that with terrible seasons from Castro and a pretty bad season from Rizzo and that team wasn’t going to compete last year.

          I’m really hoping that at least one other piece emerges for this team this year (be it Arrieta or Bonafacio), the bullpen stabilizes to a degree that you are set there for the near-term, and that this is the last season that the Cubs are going to be sellers at the deadline. If that comes out of this season, I will be thrilled.

          • Edwin

            I’m worried that if the Cubs have a slow year of minor league progress and end up trading Samardijza and Hammel, that 2015 will end up too similar to 2014.

            • YourResidentJag

              I’d be very worried. I’d also be worried that as @Rebuilding has stated they’re supplementary players are giving them high enough contact rates in the majors and minors. Why? Because depending on core four-six pieces to make up a majority of the 30-35 wins from the low point that is the season we’re currently in is a daunting task.

            • JB88

              All you really need out of this minor league season is for one of Bryant or Baez to emerge on the ML roster next year. You hope for both, but if one of them does your roster suddenly looks a whole lot better.

              • Edwin

                If only one of the Cubs top 5 prospects turns into an impact player in the next 2 seasons, I don’t think that’s enough to compete in 2016, unless the Cubs spend a ton in FA, which they are relunctant to do.

                • JB88

                  Agree, but I was talking about this season only.

                  One of Bryant or Baez needs to make the team this season. If both do and both perform the way we hope they do, the roster suddenly looks a lot better. Sign or trade for another corner outfielder in the offseason and your team looks pretty good from an offensive-perspective.

                  The Cubs are terrible now, but they probably aren’t as far away as people think. Their bullpen is much better than it was last year, with a lot of high upside bullpen arms coming; Rizzo and Castro look to have bounced back. Castillo is doing many of the things he was doing in the second half last year. Bonafacio may be a leadoff candidate for a couple more years. You don’t really know what you have in Olt yet, but Valbuena looks like he could be a suitable 3B option, if necessary. If Baez and Bryant make the show, you have your RFer and 2B for years meaning that you have young, under-control players at C, 1B, 2B, SS, and RF (assuming that’s where Bryant ends up), plus a 30 year old CFer capable of leading off.

                  That’s a pretty decent foundation.

                  • willis

                    IF Bryant and Baez are as good as we hope they will be, it changes things a ton. Two power plug ins to surround Castro and Rizzo…it really turns over this lineup. The bigger problem (in my eyes at least) is going to be the pitching. Shark and Hammel will be traded, Wood is ok, not great. Jackson is marginal and Arrieta is an unknown (granted with great stuff). There is not one arm as we sit here talking right now, that can be a TOR arm in the system, or anything close. Johnson and Edwards won’t be ready and they come with tons of questions. So then you turn to the FA market for arms, and are the Cubs willing to spend what it will take there?

                    I believe, even with Baez’ struggles, he and Bryant will be very good major league players. I just don’t know about starting pitching.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+