Posted on 21 December 2011 by Lou
Let the questions start rolling. Theo & Co. have traded their most reliable reliever, 29-year old Sean Marshall, to the Reds for lefty starter Travis Wood. Not sure how this makes the Cubs better, but is clear that Theo & Co. value starting pitching above relief pitching and that the Cubs intend to try to acquire younger talent to continue building from the ground up.
Wood is 25 years old. In 2011, Wood made 18 major league starts, going 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA (he also made 10 starts at Triple-A Louisville). His rookie season was much better – in 2010, Wood made 17 starts, going 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA. But the 200+ innings in 2010 may have taken a toll on his body thereby limiting his effectiveness in his sophomore season.
Marshall was one of the best left-handed relievers in all of baseball in 2011. He had a nasty 2.20 ERA and his 34 holds was 2nd best in all of baseball among lefties. The 34 holds was a Cubs record. Marshall was set to make $3 million in 2012 and he was eligible to test the free agent market following season, so the Cubs struck first while the iron was hot.
The bullpen is going to be a wreck next year with this move. Maybe with an improved starting pitching staff, there will be less pressure on the bullpen, but taking Marshall out of the mix leaves a huge void for that lefty set-up man. You can’t tell me that James Russell, Scott Maine or John Gaub are going to be the guys to step right in and become reliable or dependable all of a sudden. I just don’t see it.
But I guess this is the time where we just have to trust the observations, research and decision-making of Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything new.
Posted on 12 March 2011 by Lou
The Cubs optioned Esmailin Caridad and John Gaub to Triple-A Iowa this week. Caridad had pitched in 4 spring games and Gaub had pitched in 2 spring games prior to the demotion. Both saw action at the major league level in 2010 and it would not be surprising to see either pitcher back up in the bullpen in 2011. Manager Mike Quade commented that a lot of pitchers have command issues to work on right now – “There’s a lot of money to be made if you can hit the glove, and it’s not just with them. They’ll get a lot of work down there and an opportunity to make progress and come help us.”
Let’s hope so…
Posted on 22 November 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs finalized their 40-man roster prior to the Friday deadline in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in December. The Cubs added the following players:
Pitcher John Gaub – 2.83 ERA at Double A Tennessee (28 2/3 innings in 26 games) and 1.72 ERA at Triple A Iowa (31 1/3 innings in 26 games). At the Iowa, Gaub struck out 40 and walked just 16.
James Adduci – .300 batting average, 4 HR’s, 51 RBI’s and 35 stolen bases in 131 games at Double A Tennessee. He had the 3rd most hits of any player in the Southern League.
Pitcher Blake Parker – started season at Double A Tennessee (12 1/3 innings) and 3.00 ERA at Triple A Iowa (58 K’s in 51 innings in 45 games).
Pitcher Rafael Dolis – 25 starts with a 3.79 ERA at Class A Daytona.
Catcher Wellington Castillo – .232 batting average, 11 HR’s and 39 RBI’s in 95 games at Double A Tennessee.
We’ll keep you posted if any of these players stand out in Spring Training, but most likely all 5 will continue their development in the Cubs minor league system during the 2010 schedule.
Posted on 02 November 2009 by Lou
I am thrilled with the prospect of having Carlos Marmol as the Cubs’ closer for the entire 2010 MLB schedule. Marmol was a rock in save situations at the end of the 2009 season – racking up 11 straight saves (in saves situations) from August 23rd on. Marmol did have 3 hiccups in non-save situations, suffering 2 losses and giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 5 walks in the process. But if you ignore those situations, Marmol was as reliable as it gets for a closer. Barring any off-season setbacks, Marmol should be good to go to shoulder the load for the Cubs in 2010.
Esmailin Caridad pitched very well for the Cubs at the end of the season, but his experience is a factor (he is only 26 years old). In 14 appearances, Caridad went 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 17 strikeouts and just 3 walks. John Grabow also pitched well – 30 appearances, 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and 12 walks. Grabow is also left-handed, but he is a free agent and the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry still have a little work to do in order to sign him. The Cubs also have Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Justin Berg, John Gaub, David Patton, Jeff Samardzija and Jeff Stevens.
Spring Training 2010 will give each of these players a chance to prove their worth as a reliable and dependable reliever out of the pen. Manager Lou Pinella and his staff will have to be at the top of their game to make sure they select the right combination of players that gives the Cubs the best chance to be successful in 2010.