Archive | January, 2011

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Cubs Try to Reach Deals with Arbitration-Eligible Players – Wrigley Field 1/4/11

Posted on 04 January 2011 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs will try to reach deals with 5 arbitration-eligible players this month — Closer Carlos Marmol, Top reliever Sean Marshall, lefty starter Tom Gorzelanny, and Catchers Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill.

The Cubs will likely give Marmol a mammoth raise.  2010 was his first season as the Cubs full-time closer right out of the gates, and he certainly delivered.  Marmol racked up 38 saves with only 5 blown saves.  He struck out 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings pitched – good for a 15.99 strikeouts-per-9-innings ration.  That number set a major league record which was previously held by Eric Gagne who had a 14.98 ratio.  Marmol is 28 years old and he made $575,000 in 2009 and $2,125,000 in 2010.  He has 2 years left of arbitration before he can file for free agency, but will the Cubs try to lock him up with a long-term deal now during his prime?

Sean Marshall had his best year as a pro in 2010.  His 80 appearances and 90 strikeouts were both career-highs.  His 7 wins were also tied for his career-best.  Marshall had a sparkling 2.65 ERA, giving up runs in only 14 of his 80 games pitched.  Marshall also has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent and there is always talk that Marshall could return to work as a starter at some point in his career.

Tom Gorzelanny made 23 starts for the Cubs in 2010, going 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA.  He earned $800,000 in 2010 and has 2 years left before he can become a free agent as well.

Geovany Soto is arbitration-eligible for the 1st time in his career.  He had a solid season despite missing the final 2 weeks of the year after undergoing right shoulder surgery.  Soto clubbed 17 HR’s with 53 RBI’s and made $575,000 in 2010 – his 3rd year as a pro.

Finally, Koyie Hill hit .214 in 77 games during the 2010 campaign.  Hill is 31 years old and has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent.

The Cubs went to arbitration with a player for the 1st time in 17 years in February 2010.  They won their case with former shortstop Ryan Theriot paying him just $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million that he requested.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs announce any deals with any of the above mentioned players…

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Wood Will Not Start for Cubs in 2011 — Wrigley Field – 1/3/11

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Lou

Let’s put any such idea to rest – Kerry Wood will not be a starter for the Chicago Cubs in 2011.  Unlike Ryan Dempster who was able to go from being a starter (up until his August 2003 Tommy John surgery) into the bullpen to help out as a set-up man/closer (from 2004-2007) and then back into the rotation in 2008 because he was healthy enough to do so, Kerry Wood does not have that luxury.  Wood has had surgeries on his right shoulder and he still has a tear there that he rehabs each and every off-season to make it as stronjg as possible for the upcoming MLB season.  The only way he can make it as a major league pitcher through the grueling 162 game schedule is if he pitches out of the ‘pen.

FYI – as a starter, Wood has a 71-55 record in 178 starts, with a 3.69 ERA and 1,282 strikeouts.  Wood has appeared in 203 games (203 2/3 innings)as a reliever in his career.  He has a 3.45 ERA with 62 saves and 237 K’s coming out of the bullpen.

As for the Cubs starting rotation, here’s how it will shake out in 2011 — Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner and either Carlos Silva/Tom Gorzelanny.  It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays have decided to hold onto Matt Garza unless a team is willing to pony up some high end prospects in return – and the Cubs won’t do that.  Brandon Webb whom the Cubs briefly considered signed a 1-year deal with the Texas Rangers.  It’s a very mediocre starting rotation, especially in the very difficult NL Central with solid starting rotations in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee.  But if Carlos Zambrano pitches as well as he did at the end of the 2010 MLB season, it could be a much better rotation.  Guess we’ll just have to see how it plays out…

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Happy New Years 2011 – Wrigley Field 1/1/11

Posted on 01 January 2011 by Lou

Happy New Years from your friends at MyCubsToday.com.  We wish you all the best in 2011…

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