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The Braves swept the Cubs in three close-ish games, and the Cubs have now lost seven of their last eight.

I’d make a joke about the Cubs being dominated by Aaron Harang, of all people, but he really has pitched well this year. The Cubs had chances throughout the game, but went just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, reminding folks that that’s still a thing.

Edwin Jackson threw a quality start, though it was of the minimally-quality variety, and it was enough to lose. James Russell gave up a two-run homer to Jason Heyward late, just to be sure.

There were a few nice games, but, generally, I’m hoping the Cubs’ players got their mothers very nice flowers for Mother’s Day, rather than leaning on this performance as a “hi, mom!” moment.

may 11 box

Full box score.

  • mjhurdle

    Jackson obviously wasn’t as good as last outing, but he threw a decent game.
    hard to win win there is just so little offense outside of Rizzo and Castro.

  • Kyle

    139-221 (.386)

    The game may have passed our FO by. The ideas that became The Cubs Way were written in a different era of take-and-rake, 90 MPH baseball. They don’t work anymore.

    • Matty Ice

      The “Plan” LOL

      • Cyranojoe

        …And if you are particularly upset by these numbers, you haven’t been paying attention to the details of the Plan, and/or never bought into it in the first place. In either case, your opinion is of little value to me or, I am sure, to the FO. Yawn.

        • renegade4196

          I think that if someone’s not at the very least concerned by what’s happening in the minors, they’re drinking too much blue kool aid.

  • Dustin S

    Not a bad start from Mr. Jackson, and I believe they mentioned he hit 96 mph. But pretty much knew going in that 2 runs weren’t going to cut it today.

  • willis

    When does Russell get let go and they go with Wright and Rosscup? Russell is just awful anymore, regardless of the side of the plate he is facing.

    There just isn’t much to feel good about at this point. I suppose we hope Rizzo and Castro keep playing well and look to the minors for hope.

    • DarthHater
    • Zoolander

      Many of us on this site knew James Russell was going to have a bad season. Russell had appeared in 151 games over the two previous seasons.

      • geo

        Zoo, he’s always sucked. He’s been very lucky to point of end of last year. He throws 87,88 it’s not like he’s had a heavy work load the last 2 years that has caused his velocity to dip from 88 to 84. He still throws 88, & his luck is up & the hitters have adjusted & figured out his repertoire. He’s a 2 pitch pitcher , lay of curve & hammer his miniature golf , 87,88 mph batting cages amusement park fastball ! It was a miracle he had the little success that he had , I seen this coming from the days they used him as a starter & he got torched.

        • geo

          No good, send him down & use him as aaa depth if it isn’t cluttered enough.

  • augiepb

    So every position player who played today struck out at least once…all 11 of them. However you cannot expect to win a game when you start 3 OFs with 0 HRs combined…that’s just pathetic, but hey at least the OFs had 2 walks!!

    • mikeschieve

      ..and the one position (pitcher) you would expect to have a strikeout didn’t. Then the two PH’s used also struck out.

  • Soda Popinski

    Thanks to frequenting this site, and modeled after so many of the frequent posters on here, I’ve found the inspiration for how to live the rest of my life:

    I choose to bitch about the Cubs…. every. single. day.

    • DarthHater

      And. Twice. On. Sundays. :-P

      • Soda Popinski

        You ain’t playing, pal. haha.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

        Three times a day on holidays

    • BlameHendry

      Honestly though, what do you expect? You really think all of us should be all smiling and bubbling with cheerfulness around here when the team is 12-24, with the most anemic offense in the league, and most of our prospects are sucking? You must be delusional.

      Obviously bitching isn’t going to magically fix everything. But when there’s nothing positive to talk about, the comments will either be full of negativity, or there wont be any comments at all.

      • aaronb

        Bitching from fans MIGHT actually cause some action from this team though. The empty seats and bitching of 2006 led us to open the checkbook that following offseason.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          No, the impending sale of the team and Sam Zell trying to boost the team’s value led to opening the checkbook the following offseason.

          • Cyranojoe

            ^ ^ This. What FullCountTommy said.

            I am *not* interested in a similar almost-100% checkbook-based team-building approach.

            • Brocktoon

              Because that’s what teams do. They spend 8 billion on free agents and literally don’t have minor league teams(they sell them and the stadium in order to pay for free agents)

              The underpants gnome strategy is working swimmingly for us though.

            • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

              If that was the case we would be the NL version of the Yankees and the Dodgers already have the buying talent to win idea in full motion

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                For that one offseason they were the NL version of the Yankees

        • DarthHater

          Theo: Hello?
          Jed: Theo? It’s Jed.
          Theo: S’up?
          Jed: I was just doing my daily review of the Bleacher Nation public comment board and what I saw has me worried.
          Theo: Why’s that?
          Jed: Bitching comments are sharply up this season.
          Theo: Hmm. That’s not good.
          Jed: No. And things are even worse.
          Theo: Worse? How so?
          Jed: aaronb is getting fed up with us.
          Theo: What? Shit! That guy’s a trend-setter! We can’t afford to lose his support!
          Jed: I know. I think we’d better make some big changes, pronto.
          Theo: I’ll call Ricketts immediately…

          • cubs2003

            I do think there’s a chance you’ll see some shake up in the FO this offseason if the team is this bad at the end of the season. My guess would be Hoyer is let go and McLeod is promoted.

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

            Theo: Mr. Ricketts.
            Tom: Why so formal?
            Theo: The brand of baseball we are marketing is unnerving the fans over at Bleacher Nation. I smell a revolt on the horizon if forecasting is correct.
            Ricketts: Let them eat..sabermetric cake!

            Theo: But sir, we need to prepare for media fallout once they start wearing bags on their heads.
            Ricketts: they wouldn’t dare do that, would they? You are preparing the feast, are you not?
            Theo: It is years to come… but yes, Jed and I are servants to your court.
            Ricketts: Then we won’t be bullied from this course by these feeble-minded ranting lunatics on the fringe. Just up the prices for the remaining faithful, they like drinking and sunshine more than winning anyways, right?
            Theo: Yes, over the past 16 years more than 10M+ have come despite winning correlating to attendance strongly.
            [img]http://chefbuenviaje.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/aints1.jpg?w=1024[/img]

            • DarthHater

              [img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3760/13271952754_a369ced880_n.jpg[/img]

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

                I still have no idea how…sorry. but the Bag over My head for that.

                • DarthHater

                  [img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2913/14161145042_ce742d4dce_n.jpg[/img]

            • DarthHater

              Sabermetric cake = Driest. Cake. Ever.

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

                Wash down with Old Style.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I like that Theo said s’up.

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/250×250/45189164.jpg[/img]

            • DarthHater

              [img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/13977581590_2bb3ef7797_o.jpg[/img]

          • Diehardthefirst

            I will never get back those 5 sec it took to skim that dribble

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Now you know how we all feel

            • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

              Hoist by your own petard!

            • DarthHater

              Yes, a five seconds that otherwise could have been much better spent pulling attendance figures out of your ass.

    • Kyle

      Welcome. Glad you could join us.

      • Soda Popinski

        Thanks, Kyle.

  • Jon

    You know, chosing not to bitch about a terrible team doesn’t make you a better fan.

    • waittilthisyear

      yes it does

      • Cyranojoe

        Maybe not a better fan. But a much, much, much less annoying one.

        Hey, if you don’t believe in rebuilding and think that the Cubs could viably buy their way into contention… wait, where was I going with that? Aside from into a lunatic asylum?

      • E

        No, it doesn’t. It makes you the type of fan that makes it ok to go over 100 years without a championship.

        • Diehardthefirst

          Theo has got this- chill

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      No but it does make you a happier person when you choose to enjoy life instead of bitching on a comment board full of anonymous voices that the FO does not concern themselves about. When you have a choice in life choose happiness, but what do I know.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Aristotle you are not

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Coherent you are not but you are very good at shaking fists
          [img]http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/he-man-she-ra-christmas/3.gif[/img]

      • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

        +1

  • BlameHendry

    To add a Cherry on top of today’s suckiness, Baez just struck out on 3 pitches (all 3 swinging and missing) with runners on 2nd and 3rd, putting him at 0-4 on the day.

    I know a lot of people will say I’m giving up way too early, but in my mind he’s officially a bust. Throw him in with Brett Jackson.

    • Voice of Reason

      Jesus Christ…he is 21 years old.

      Talk about going over board. Give the kid a chance. He might not be in the big leagues for a couple of years. Maybe he never makes it. But, it’s just silly to say Baez is officially a bust.

      Take a valium or smoke a big joint.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    OPINION: This team as constructed could lose 100 games. After we sell off Shark and Hammel and whoever else we can get something for it seems like a slam dunk to me we will be picking number one next year. If we can’t sign a guy we already have in house that was developed by the organization, then how in the hell are we going to entice any respectable FA that has other options? Theo can only cry wolf so many times and the mantra that we have all of the super prospects in the system is getting old. So far with the exception of Bryant the fab four look to be a long way from Wrigley. The FO has successfully created an environment where only down and out waiver wire players or those coming back fom injuries dwell. Ricketts has blood sucking parasites (Zell, rooftops) attached to (you know where) and dwindling attendance to boot. We have so many positions that need upgrades that it will be impossible to address them all during the off season. Might as well pronounce the 2015 season as dead on arrival too.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Unfortunately for the Cubs Shark isn’t will to take a discount (as is his right) to play for the Cubs (and for the Cubs taking a risk on extending him when they still maintain control of him for some time). It will be hard for the Cubs to build long term success while signing players for premium dollars. Most of your young guys who are doing well are looking to get some long-term security and may sign an extension for a value deal with the team. As we all know Shark’s situation is different…he has already made enough money to spin the wheel and take a chance. I would be less likely to take the chance he has taken, but if he continues to perform like this it will turn out to be a great gamble for him.

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    We suck but do not despair! We will prevail…it’s just gonna take (a lot) longer than we all hoped. I’m staying the course with all this and hopeful for the future ( not near). While watching today, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, the braves have a ton of injuries on their pitching staff and they still trot Alex Wood out there in the 8th, when we would kill for a #2/3 SP like that!” Granted further injuries have forced their hand but if we consider the Braves system a decent blueprint, were in trouble until we get some upside arms in the system. Bryant and Baez will hit only so many bombs to keep us in it. Probably 3 more years till we start to compete (maybe).
    If we lose 100 games this year, I won’t like it, but we’re accruing enough talent to turn things around sooner than later.

    • DarthHater

      [img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3827/13125179524_6833f805ce_n.jpg[/img]

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

      Just remember how the Cubs let Maddux walk to FA in 1992. He made 4.2M with the Cubs in 1992. And didn’t substantially get expensive (over 10M) until 1999.

      Brave decent blueprint: Getting Maddux was a blueprint way to get an in-the-prime FA starter to go with the rest of the Jones boys. Oh, how 1998 could have been (Wood, Maddux, Sosa)…

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Jackson pitched a decent game, but just well enough to lose. The stat heads and sabermatricians don’t have a pitching stat for guys that immediately give the lead back after his team ties the game, but Edwin would lead baseball.

    • Kyle

      Does he? Have you checked?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    They of course rushed Baez. Only 218 at bats in AA. And the warning signs were there. 30% plus k rate. 3.5 k’s to walks. Back to the southern league, and leave Bryant there for the season.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      They didn’t rush Baez, he had nothing left to prove there. Bryant will be up in Iowa by the end of June at the latest as he has shown that he has nothing to prove in AA either.

      • renegade4196

        If it takes until the end of June to put Bryant to Iowa, Theo and Jed should lose their job. And Baez should have just broken camp. Going back down to AAA after tearing up the MLB in Spring Training messes with your head, and now battling back from injury he looks like a bust.

        • TommyK

          Yeah, I’m sure he would have had much better luck against MLB pitching.

        • ari gold

          Pretty much everything you said in this post is wrong. Bryant is striking out 28% of the time and is having problems with change-ups. Leave him there to adjust. Baez can’t hit a ball and you think he should have been in Chicago. He’d be striking out 50% of the time. He hasn’t proven that he should be in the big leagues.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I said at the latest for Bryant, in all likelihood, he’s up there by the beginning of June. Having Baez skip AAA would have been an absolutely horrible idea. The guy is struggling to hit pitchers at this level, Major League pitchers would have absolutely picked Baez apart.

  • BlameHendry

    Iowa’s win today was absolutely insane. Coming back from 11-4 to win it 12-11 is at least some kind of positive today. As long as you ignore Baez’s performance in that game.

    • auggie

      I had given up on Iowa early in the game. In checking out the box score I noticed Valaika played LF today. Has he been playng LF at Iowa long? Maybe the Cubs are looking for an OF who can hit and they are desperate.

      • Brocktoon

        Just his 2nd game there

  • Mike F

    And those same warning signs are there with Bryant who is striking out and struggling with change ups. Too early to give up on Baez, but as with Almora, unlike pitchers hitters are never what you see is what you get.

  • Medicos

    It will be interesting to see how MANNY MACHADO develops after returning to the O’s lineup from being on the DL. Began playing in the MLB age 20;

    2013; .283 BA
    .314 OBP
    .432 SLG
    .746 OPS

    2014: .183 BA
    .231 OBP
    .229 SLG
    .455 OPS

    It will be interesting to watch his progress since his ethnicity and age are very simliar to many of the Cubs prospective minor league prospects.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

      Ethnicity? Seriously? I thought it was 2014 and not 1914. Didit you stop and think “boy his surgery is messing with all aspects of his game.”
      He isn’t fully trusting his knee and it is mentally effecting all areas of his game. It reminds me of the Redskins RG3.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Machado is a different sort of player than those at the top of the Cubs system. Almora may resemble him, but that remains to be seen.

      Machado did not show great power coming through the minors, but instead relied on a lower strikeout rate and a pretty good walk rate to consistently get on base. He didn’t show much speed, either.

      In short, he’s a moderate power, high walk rate, moderate strikeout guy.

      Baez is an elite power, lowish walk, high strikeout guy.
      Bryant is an elite power, high walk rate, highish strikeout guy.
      Soler doesn’t have much data, but looks like a potential high power, moderate walk rate, moderate strike out guy.
      Almora looks like a low power, lowish walk rate, low strikeout guy so far.

      Machado is an interesting guy to follow, but I’m not sure he’ll teach us much about what to expect from the Cubs prospects.

      • Diehardthefirst

        How’s Candelario doing? Like his potential

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Walk rate, strikeout rate, and ISO all look good. His overall slash line is a little weak, but I suspect some of that is lowish BABIP induced.

          • Diehardthefirst

            Thanks

  • TommyK

    Baez now has 100 plate appearances. He’s striking out 37% of the time and showing no sign of adjusting. But I’m just a troll. I’m sure it will be fine.

    • willis

      It’s definitely concerning. We’re all looking for improvement and not getting it. I’m not sure off the top of my head how many games Iowa has between now and the end of the month, but there are 20 days, so let’s say 18ish games, 4 ABs per game…that’s 72 ABs. I’d say if by then he is still windmilling away and looking like crap, then we really start to worry about his progress. Still time to show something, but this hasn’t been a thing of beauty so far.

      • Cyranojoe

        Agreed, willis. It’s ok to be worried. There’s a difference between being concerned and being OMG HE’S A BUST.

        • Brocktoon

          No it’s not ok to be worried. Baez stumbling out of the blocks is part of THE PLAN

    • Mike F

      It is not that you are a troll, it is that all the prospects which are where Ricketts has thrown us are struggling. Take away the hope of a hitter centric strategy and this far in what are you left with? One ugly ugly shameful everyday line-up with a pile of poop bullpen and a sign for a yard sale for the starting pitching. I firmly believe Tom Ricketts owes the fans an apology for imitating an owner who was determined to win.

      I really believe Ricketts ran a bait and switch and pulled the rug out from under the FO. I don’t like Theo’s buddy Boras, but kid ourselves not Boras continual rant about how Ricketts is screwing the fans comes from inside not outside the Cub organization. There’s no self defense by Rickett, he knows he can take advantage of a loyal fan base, squeeze rooftop owners and make money until he is ready to flip the team.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Step out of the bomb shelter and remove the tin foil hat

        • Mike F

          diversity of opinion, only when it coincides with the popular line or apologist huh?

          Look I am in no bomb shelter, thanks for the insult. I just don’t buy all the bull shit the organization, especially the business side throw out. The roof top owners aren’t the bogey man. Neither is Sam Zell, Jim Hendry or the Mayor of Chicago. And unless Ricketts is marginally competent to put his pants on, he signed the deal to buy the Cubs all the time saying they were ready to compete clearly with a hidden agenda to priority one reduce payroll and dismantle this team. That’s fine, just be honest, the losing has been embraced and let’s all quit the crap, there is no winning or emphasis in winning in sight. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and all of us with half a brain know it. What there is a battle to refurb a dump on Ricketts terms and until that plays out some 3-5 years from now ultimately, the losing continues.

          • aaronb

            The worst part is that it’s been FIVE YEARS…..and still not a shovel in the ground.

            Just a new excuse for the apologists to latch onto each and every year.

          • mjhurdle

            the reason people might think you are in a “bomb-shelter” is not that you are unhappy with the losing, it is that you are assuming that a successful businessman is deliberately acting in a way that loses money for himself and his organization.
            I can understand how people can disagree with the way the Cubs are attempting to “rebuild”. I cannot understand why someone would think that the FO is deliberately trying to cut payroll and stall the renovations just “to be cheap.” A renovated Wrigley + a .500 ballclub would make Ricketts and Co much more revenue than a losing team and old park.

            So either you have to believe that the Front Office truly believes that it is building a winning team (though the method and timetable may be debatable to some/most) or you have to believe that Ricketts, his advisers, his Front Office, and everyone associated with the business side is so ignorant and short-sided that they are satisfied with merely the slight revenue generated by reduced payroll and are deliberately ignoring the wealth of revenue that would come with even a moderately competitive team.

            • aaronb

              Or C….

              That Tom Ricketts has almost zero personal wealth aside from the Cubs. The only way he was able to buy this thing was via high leveraging and his Dad Co-signing the deal.

              Now he needs to use the Cubs revenue to not only support himself. But also his siblings that similarly lack personal wealth.

              We just saw this happen with the LA Dodgers. When Frank McCourt did almost exactly what Ricketts has done over his first 5 years.

              Mrs. McCourt spilled the beans that they payroll reduction was always the business plan out there. Papa Ricketts signaled the same thing with his “They sell out every game…Win or lose.” declaration when they first purchased.

              • mjhurdle

                So Tom and the other siblings have no money, but they deliberately choose a path that offers them less money back than others? Even ignoring the documented success of Tom and his siblings that would suggest they are not exactly hurting for money, if they needed money so badly, why are they not doing things to maximize the money they get out of the Cubs right now?
                Why are they allowing attendance to fall? not cutting deals with the rooftops that would allow only some of the advertising they want?

                Again, to me this is a very unlikely scenario.

                • aaronb

                  They would need to spend to in your scenario though. And they figure they can guarantee X amount of profits by going bargain basement.

                  A higher capital approach exposes themselves to financial risk that they obviously haven’t wanted to chance,

                  • mjhurdle

                    I never meant to actually debate a conspiricy theory, because 99% of the time that is a complete waste.

                    I can’t prove to you that they aren’t just ignorant clowns trying to get money out of the Cubs.
                    If someone wants to ignore the business background, success, and models used in order to believe that NOW they are scared to spend money in order to create a larger return (even though they are all apparently desperate for money) all because they believe this model will continue to return the same amount of revenue while watching the attendance drop every year, then there is nothing i can say that can prove that isn’t what is happening.
                    I tend to think that is highly unlikely, which is why most people would look at it as “tin foil” or “bomb shelter’.
                    That was my original point. Not to try to disprove a conspiracy theory, but rather to point out why most people would consider that extreme.

                    • aaronb

                      Obviously we are going to agree to not agree here. And lame back handed name calling aside…This is no conspiracy theory or whatever you want to label it.

                      This is simply calling what we have seen thus far in 5 full years of ownership.

                      Your contention on the other hand is rooted entirely in the hope that everything is on the up and up. Despite the 5 years of evidence to the contrary.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Never mind. I delete what I didn’t post. It is useless to argue against the ignorant that believe they have all the “facts”. Just read this link.

                      http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/03/19/the-chicago-cubs-financial-story-the-payroll-the-debt-and-the-syncing-of-baseball-and-business-plans/

                    • mjhurdle

                      It wasn’t an attempt at a back handed name calling.
                      It is simply calling it like I see it.
                      To believe that Ricketts and Co are bad at running a MLB team is a fair opinion that falls in line with the facts.
                      To believe that Ricketts and Co see more than we do and honestly believe that this is the best path and are working to bring it to fruition is also a fair opinion that falls in line with the facts as we know them.
                      To believe that the Ricketts are greedy and only motivated by money, but not so greedy/motivated by money to choose the path of most return; that they are so intelligent they are fooling analysts, fans, and countless others with their “attempts to make the team better”, but not intelligent enough to do what it takes to make the most money possible; that they have demonstrated a willingness to spend their own capital in risky endeavors in order to gain larger rewards, but are now scared to do so with the Cubs; this to me is a conspiracy theory. So many assumptions have to be made, previous facts ignored, and the most likely explanations discarded in order to believe in this.
                      And that isn’t necessarily an insult. I think most everyone has certain opinions/beliefs that at least border on conspiracy. I know i have a couple, so if my attempt was to insult conspiracy theories, i would be insulting myself as well.

                    • aaronb

                      Not all Ricketts are equal to papa Ricketts. Sure HE has shown great business acumen in the past.

                      The kids simply have not. And at this point it looks like the Cubs are a turn key business that Dad bought for his kids.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Except that he didn’t buy it. You may qualm semantics, but it is the trust that procured the Cubs, not Senior.

            • Mike F

              slow down buster. You apparently aren’t reading correctly. I never said the front office is bent on losing. I said the owner and idiot Crane aren’t giving them the resources to do what is necessary to put a major league team on the field.

              Yes, if you lose enough indefinitely the team will eventually acquire enough young talent to win, we all know this as proven by all the world series rings the Pirates have been brandishing after their 20 year exile.

              The issue is the Cubs have one advantage, they are a big market team. Theo ran the Red Sox as a big market team. I have never said Theo is the problem. But yes I do understand Business just as well as you do and don’t need a lecture from you. Ricketts has created flip value here and that is very important. Similar to what flippers and the old Corporate Raiders did he building market assets. This is more and more looking like an asset play and running the roster down with cost controlled flippable talent is one of the obvious goals. You can pick and choose all you want, but it is obvious they are behaving like a small market club and negating a big advantage they have being a big market club. This not arguable. The other division teams get subsidized and sandwich picks.

              I have no issue whatsoever with making draft and develop important. I have every issue with the obsessive way Ricketts has operated that and that alone and how he has failed to give them, them being the FO the money to add a lot of young talent like Puig and Tanaka. That is all Ricketts. It is on him and Theo signed a 5 year deal. He’ll be over half of that this Sept and we’ll see where it goes, but there is no support whatever in his past to think he came here to sustain losing. Only an ostrich would think there isn’t a problem here.

      • Zoolander

        Ricketts is either the most incompetent owner in baseball or the guy is a genius for pulling the wool over our eyes and gain 5 years of freedom of doing whatever he wants or in this case, whatever he doesn’t want to do…that is spend money on the major league team for it to minimally not be a joke.

    • gocatsgo2003

      He’s still a 21 year old kid who’s 5.7 years younger than league average. Seems like we can give him just a bit more than 100 PAs before we sound the alarm bells.

      Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be all that upset if he spent a full season in AAA for a number of reasons.

      • Brocktoon

        I’m pretty sure he’d have go on a pretty crazy tear starting tomorrowish to get out of AAA this season. Even when his slash numbers inevitably improve, that K rate has a looooooong way to go to become comfortable that he has nothing left to prove. Unfortunately I see him and Bryan as ticketed for May 2015.

        • Kyle

          Fortunately, going on a pretty crazy tear is precisely in his wheelhouse. It’s kind of a thing he does.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Yep. Has anyone forgotten that four homer game yet?

            • renegade4196

              Bryant will for sure come up this season. AA is a joke to that guy. He’s making much more of a mockery of AA than Baez did last year, and Baez tore it up.

            • Brocktoon

              No, but expecting a crazy tear, and knowing he’s capable of them are 2 vastly different things.

            • 1ski

              Hmmm…..sounds like someone else we use to have?

        • Jason P

          And also, if he goes on a 6 week stretch wear he’s mashing and striking out 23-25% of the time, the Cubs aren’t going to care if his season-long K-% still looks like crap.

          If he turns it around, even an early July call-up is not at all out of the question.

          • Brocktoon

            A 25% K rate over a 6 week stretch isn’t going to prove he can handle the bigs.

            • Jason P

              25% is a perfectly fine K-rate for him to have in AAA if he’s tearing the cover off the ball.

              • Kyle

                ehhh, ish. 25% is awfully high for AAA.

                • Brocktoon

                  And that high K rate happens to coincide with his best run in AAA? Sounds like a great reason to keep him down for more cost control.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Though true on its own, I wouldn’t be alarmed by a 25% K-rate if combined with a 13% BB-rate (Bryant’s current clip at AA).

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    Bryant that is.

                  • Kyle

                    I’d still be a little worried. Any amount of swing and miss in the minors is reason for some concern.

                    Brett Jackson had tons of walks and a great OPS too, but the hole in his swing still got exposed in the majors.

                    In the minors, guys just want to work on their pitches. In the majors, they actively work the scouting reports, and the pitchers there have the arsenal to make it work.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Stole my reply.

                      Bryant at age 22 in AA coming into today had a 28.2% K rate, and 13.2% BB rate.

                      Brett Jackson in AA (ages 21, 22, and some awful PAs there last year) had a 25.8 K rate and a 13.0% BB rate

                      You can’t just hand wave away a high K rate because it comes with a high walk rate.

                    • Brocktoon

                      That’s obviously not to say it’s a death knell. Ryan Howard turned out fine with a high minor league K rate, so did Stanton, but it’s still a pretty big concern with both Baez and Bryant.

                    • aaronb

                      High K rates are just part of the plan.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      This “joke” is getting quite old, and it wasn’t particularly clever the first 100 times it was used.

                    • SenorGato

                      Bryant’s power is better than any skill Jackson had on offense. Bryant offers most of the same pluses except speed, the least important. I think that’s a big advantage for Bryant.

                    • Kyle

                      The power won’t play if 28% Ks in AA turns into 38% in the majors.

                      If it doesn’t, then no big deal. But anyone *sure* it won’t be a problem is kidding themselves.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Well yeah, Gato, obviously Bryant is a much better prospect than Jackson. It doesn’t mean they don’t share some of the same concerns.

                • Jason P

                  It was in the upper 20′s during his final month in AA too.

                  You ideally want it lower than 25%, but if he’s starts playing like he did last year, I don’t think that K-rate will be enough to hold him down.

                  • jp3

                    Bryant’s last 10 game slash line of .425/.489/.825 with 5 HRs is quite ridiculous. He does have that 25% K rate too but I think there is something to be said for players getting advanced scouting reports to prep for a pitcher’s stuff as well as having faced some of the same pitchers occasionally and taking notes as a lot of players do as he would do in the bigs. I think the k rate is a little concerning but being there is some swing and miss to his game anyway what else are we looking for before his start of AAA? Another thought is maybe they are just keeping Bryant down because 3rd is going to be a problem at Iowa finding starts for everyone. Maybe they just want him to work on his d and plate discipline before just promoting him to Chicago?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Actually, we might be seeing signs of Baez adjusting. In just over half the games played, he already has more May walks than he had April walks. The final results aren’t there yet (no extra base hits yet in May, for example), but I do see possibly signs that work is in progress.

      I continue to monitor Baez closely, but I’m not panicking yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

    Scott Baker was outrighted by the Rangers. Brett (or Luke), what is the chances he elects free agency and the Cubs try to snag him on a minor league deal? Bosio could probably work that little bit of magic he has with pitchers (Feldman, Hammel…) or do you think his TJ surgery has his pitching on the decline?

    Is it sad I am kind of rooting for somebody like Jackson to hit the DL with some kind of muscle strain so we can give Wada a shot and maybe flip him for a prospect or package him with another guy and ship him out for a better prospect? Just a few thoughts.

    • Brocktoon

      There’s no reason to flip Wada unless you think he’s fools gold. He’s on a minor league deal and should be Cubs property for 6 seasons.

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        I have been intrigued by Wada for a while now, but are we certain that the Cubs have six years of control. Trying to find the answer to this for sure, but didn’t Wada sign a major league deal when he came over? If that is the case and he was then placed on the DL he was accruing major league service time despite not pitching, a situation similar to Vizcaino. Still four years of control is nothing to snuff at if I am correct.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It’s unclear. Yes, he did sign a big league deal with the Orioles, which definitely suggests he was accruing big league service time while on the DL for those two years; I’m just not sure how his roster situation was handled in the interim. It looks like it was pretty standard (15-day to 60-day, then activated at the end of the year, and then back on the DL to start the next year), so that would suggest yeah, he’s already got the service time.

          Best guess is you’re right.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Unless Baker has refound his velocity, I’d probably pass. The Cubs have some crowded minor league rotations right now.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Dog days of August too early– hope the Hawks make the finals or its just wait for Bears to open camp– or become White Sox fan? Depressing

    • renegade4196

      White Sox fan? Didn’t know that was a thing…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      This is probably a bad time to become a White Sox fan. That pitching staff gives up a ton of runs, and I strongly suspect a lot of their hitters are going to start regressing back down to their career numbers at some point. When they do, the Sox are going find it hard to score enough runs to keep up with what that pitching staff is allowing.

      The Sox, to me, look like prime candidates for a fairly epic collapse.

      If you need to borrow a team to back while the Cubs turn it around, and I personally don’t see anything wrong with that (rebuilds aren’t for everyone), how about Baltimore and their efforts to upset the AL East? Or Colorado’s fun to watch offense in the NL West? Or Miami and their “lose on the road, win at home” tendencies?

      • Diehardthefirst

        Baltimore sounds intriguing- thanks

        • renegade4196

          I’ve always had a soft spot for Oakland.

      • YourResidentJag

        A think the word “collapse” here is a bit OVERRATED. Sure, they’re due for regression but collapse. That’s a bit much there, Luke.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          COLLAPSE.

          • YourResidentJag

            REGRESSION.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I think I’ll stay with collapse.

          Viciedo, Ramirez, and Flowers are all playing well above their career norms as measured by OPS+, and when they come down to anything near their career numbers that offense will not score 5.2 runs a game any more.

          They will, however, still be giving up 5.0 runs a game (barring some changes in the pitching staff). To my eye, that’s a recipe for a lot of losses in a hurry.

          But if you prefer “summer slump,” “fade down the stretch”, or “lacked the will to win”, I suspect you’ll be in good company. I figure we’ll hear a lot of that language about the White Sox as the summer wears on and they fall down the standings.

          • YourResidentJag

            And I’ll stay with regression. I’m not big on the entire AL Central other than the Tigers. With Flowers and Viciedo it’s too difficult to say how much regression will occur. And Ramirez could be having a career year in terms of numbers. The SP is a concern, though.

  • Funn Dave

    I haven’t heard any pitch framing updates recently. Has Beef improved, or do people just have other things to talk about now that there are more at-bats to analyze?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haven’t seen a recent data update (which is what would be the trigger for me) – my guess is there hasn’t been marked improvement, but, as the Cubs’ competitiveness wains, shadow problems like that fall into the background. Because there are so many problems that slap you right in the face.

      • Funn Dave

        Haha, good point. I just really want to see some improvement in that area over the course of the season.

  • Blackhawks1963

    This is looking like a 105 loss team. The outfield is so incredibly bad. And surprise, Bonafacio has also significantly cooled off. There is no help coming from Iowa either.

    Baez? A 37% K rate is shockingly bad and indicative of how much development work he still needs. Some experts are right in saying he is a classic boom or bust prospect.

    Bryant appears to be the best and closest great hope, but he’s a year away.

  • Zoolander

    Cubbies are not a fun team to watch or listen to on the radio. The worst record in the National League. I don’t see them having any kind of winning streak with this roster. I guess we just have to wait until Bryant and others get here.

  • Seabee

    Soler with another double tonite, all he does is hit doubles. Bryant 2 for 4 with no strikeouts and Lopez 2 for 2 with a double.

  • SenorGato

    I’m really happy that Soler is doing what he is doing. If he is what he might be then there’s 3 legit shots through the farm system to land the RH power this lineup desperately needs. I’m hoping/expecting one, any more than that would be crazy.

    Turns out Soler might be the most complete player between those three guys. Can’t say I saw that coming, forgot/downplayed how hyped he was when he signed.

    • renegade4196

      2012: Cespedes
      2013: Puig
      2014: Abreu
      Coming to a stadium near you…
      2015: Soler

    • fieldofdreams35

      I have to agree. It’s nice to see Soler come back from quite a layoff (going back to his time on the DL last season) and start off hot at AA (after having not played at the level last year).

      • willis

        If he can stay healthy, watch out. I think he’s health has made plenty of people not necessarily forget him, but just throw their sights on others. Truth is, he’s a sick talent. So far it hasn’t been great but that’s only because of injury. He’s played strong when healthy.

  • willis

    Kris Bryant is having himself a game and is now up to a cool .331 for the year. I’m not there, yet…but I’m close to thinking he’s in Chicago before Baez.

    • renegade4196

      I’d almost guarantee it at this point. Bryant is a much better hitter for average, and strikes out a lot less than Baez (even though he still K’s a lot). Bryant should be off to Iowa tomorrow morning.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Too early to say Bryant strikes out a lot less than Baez, but he does walk a lot more which helps.

        I’d not be surprised if Bryant gets to Chicago before Baez. Bryant is older and is a much more polished hitter already.

        That doesn’t mean Baez will never make it or will have a worse career when all is said and done.

        • renegade4196

          I had always viewed Bryant as more of a low risk, closer to a five tool player than Baez. I do believe Baez has more raw power, but I think what you said earlier about him at least getting more patience at the plate is a sign to adjustment.

          But yes, Bryant already being 22 and more so of a contact hitter than Baez is, there’s a great chance he gets to Chicago first.

          I’d also like to bring up that Bryant had the advantage of college experience, the only one of the “Big Four” to have that. That is probably a big reason why he appears to need the least amount of time developing, and why he looks more polished, whereas Baez, Almora, and Soler clearly need more development (Soler to a lesser extent)

          • Kyle

            More low-risk? Sure.

            But Baez has a better arm, a higher defensive grade by a mile, more power and is faster.

            He’s much more of a “five-tool” player than Bryant. He’s ahead of him in four of the five grades and their hit tools are close.

            • renegade4196

              Bryant can run too. I’d like to think they’re equal defensively, as they both make a lot of errors.

              I think it comes down to this:

              Baez: very high ceiling, very low floor

              Bryant: high ceiling, moderate floor

              • SenorGato

                They’re not equal defensively, Baez is better.

                • Brocktoon

                  Yeah, and it’s not particularly close.

  • Seabee

    8th inning for Tennessee: Bryant and Lopez each with a single and another RBI and Soler with another double.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Aramis Ramirez to DL and Marmol DFA- sure bets every year

  • Diehardthefirst

    Tweaking – Hammel and Barney for Seattles Franklin and insert 2 decent minor league pitcher names — improves 2ND and solves Hammel issue and Barney issue giving him chance to back up Cano

    • gocatsgo2003

      Why in the world would Seattle trade a top 50 or top 100 (depending who you ask) prospect for Hammel and Barney?

    • aaronb

      Seattle should include Zunnino, Hultzen and Walker. Since the rest of MLB is around for the sole purpose of funneling talent for Cubs castoffs.

  • http://BN Sacko

    These unfortunates aren’t necessarily typical but it is The Cubs and it seems forever heartbreaking if you have been a Cubs Fan long enough to know.
    I didn’t expect this poor performance out of Schierholtz and Lake is just a K machine. What a difference they could make.
    We really needed to capitalize when Boni was hitting .800 and when we did I didn’t expect the disaster of Verus and latter Strop.
    We expected the Barney stats but I didn’t think he would be that hard to replace and he really hasn’t been replaced yet, making no real difference if Barney is in there or not.
    But the Emergence of Rizzo and Castro is wonderful, but as you can see if they are having an off day we’re screwed.
    Staring pitching has been excellent with no run support.
    With all the grumbling about the FO regressive tactics They could step up and get Shark signed to show something..something! From them. I feel abandoned by this FO just not doing anything!

  • geo

    Cubs hitters have to be dumbest hitters in both leagues. To much taking of first pitch fastball get ahead strikes, to much chasing bad off speed 2,&3 pitches. Get aggressive for fucksakes jump on that fist pitch get ahead fastball, & if you make pitcher pay by punishing him , adjust to an off speed 1st pitch. Your mlb quality player you should be able to tee of on 90/91 & you should have pitch sequence , recognition smarts that exceed aaa,aa players my god take some fucking zanex relax & hit.

    • geo

      And slow the game down , pitch by pitch with runners in scoring position.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Or, you could use correct grammar and punctuation and use the correct form of to, too, and two. Also, if you are going to over use the comma, you might as well use it correctly.

      • geo

        I’ll take your advise . You must be a very miserable person to jump at the chance to critique my grammar ,& spelling mistakes?Sorry , I hope things brighten up for your miserable ass so that your not so confrontational next time! How’s that correct grammar & punctuation, or better yet summation of your pitiful existence??

        • geo

          If I were to guess, I’d guess your old & miserable . And I’d also guess you were critiqued enough to want to lash out on someone else?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Nope. He was simply offering you good advise that would help you last around here a lot longer than it looks like you’re going to.

  • geo

    Or maybe it’s just that the majority of the hitters( like 90% of them ) aren’t mlb quality hitters?

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