Tag Archive | "Kosuke Fukodome"

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Ramirez’s 11th Inning Homer Lifts Cubs to 4-2 Win Over Rockies @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Lou

From disappointment to joy — that’s what Aramis Ramirez’s line drive walk-off home run to left field did for the Cubs in the 4-2 11th inning win at Wrigley Field.  It was Ramirez’s 1st home run since April 15th.  Ramirez had 2 hits and 3 RBI’s in the win, but he is still only hitting .175 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI’s.  His .239 on-base percentage is worse than most average hitters batting averages, but at least he came through in the clutch on Monday night.

Starlin Castro batted in the 2nd spot behind Kosuke Fukudome and the combined for 5 hits and 2 runs scored.  Castros is batting .361 with a .439 on-base percentage and Fukudome is batting .315 with a .411 on-base percentage.

Randy Wells was in position for the win, leaving the game in the 7th inning with a 2-1 lead.  Wells worked 1-run ball through 6 2/3 innings giving up just 7 hits and 1 walk with 3 K’s.  John Grabow’s struggles in the 8th inning, however, cost him the win.  Grabow gave up a single and 2 walks to load the bases with just 1 out.  Manager Lou Pinella called on closer Carlos Marmol to pick up his 1st 5-out save in 2010, but the closer messed up right off the bat by walking Miguel Olivo to allow the tyinjg run to score.  Fortunately, Marmol limited the damage by inducing Ian Stewart to hit into an unassisted double play by Castro.  Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning and then Sean Marshall worked 2 perfect innings in the 10th and 11th innings to set up Ramirez’s big home run.  Marshall picked up his 3rd win of the season with his clutch effort.

Carlos Silva looks to help the Cubs sweep the Rockies in the 2-game series at Wrigley.  Let’s hope the Cubs can make it 3-in-a-row.

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Outfield Report Card – Milton Bradley – F

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Lou

Cubs Milton Bradley Risk 1

Let’s take a look at our outfield – I wish we didn’t have to.  The trio of Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukodome and Milton Bradley left a LOT to be desired…

Milton Bradley – Right Field

2009 Report Card Grade – F – seriously.  It is hard for me to give someone an F, but because I don’t think Bradley really even tried, Bradley gets the lone F (see Alfonso Soriano from a few days back with his D+).

2009 stats – 124 games; 393 at-bats; .257 batting average; .378 on-base percentage; 12 HR’s, 40 RBI’s; 61 runs scored; 95 K’s; 66 walks.

2008 stats (with Texas Rangers) – 126 games; 414 at-bats; .321 batting average; .436 on-base percentage; 22 HR’s, 77 RBI’s; 61 runs scored; 112 K’s; 80 walks.

We should have known that the Bradley signing was going to be a mistake when he got injured the 1st week of the season.  Next to the Soriano signing, this will go down as GM Jim Hendry’s 2nd worst move of his career.  The 2008 MLB season was only the 3rd season of his 9-year MLB career where Bradley played over 100 games.  He had a history of injury issues and he never showed that he could play a full year in the outfield.  In 2008, Bradley was the Rangers DH, and even then, he only accumulated 414 at-bats.  Throw in his poor fielding (when he was out there) and his hot temper, and it was a recipe for disaster.

Hendry had already hurt the Cubs payroll with the signings of outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome each of the previous 2 off-seasons, and now he was adding a 3rd 30+ year-old player to the mix with another 3-year deal.  Going into the 2009 season, the Cubs were then stuck in the outfield with long-term deals with Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley for the next 3 seasons.  I’m not sure how Hendry thought this was the right way to go, but somehow he convinced himself that he knew what he was doing.  Further, in order to sign Bradley, he had to dump innings-eater Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for Luis Vizcaino (whom the Cubs released less than a month into the season) and fan and clubhouse- favorite Mark DeRosa for 3 minor league pitching prospects from the Cleveland Indians.  I think Hendry must have been on something when he made these moves last off-season.

In any event, the deal was done, and all that was left to happen was waiting for the shoe to drop.  Bradley’s performance on and off the field made that easy.  Bradley had 4 hits in the month of April – .118 batting average.  By the end of May, Bradley was on fire with his batting average over .224.  After finally reaching the .250 mark on July 29th, Bradley reached his high water mark of .269 on August 30th. Yippee.  12 HR’s & 40 RBI’s?  Jake Fox had 11 HR’s and 44 RBI’s in just 216 at-bats in 82 games.  Even Micah Hoffpauir had 10 HR’s and 35 RBI’s in just 234 at-bats in 105 games.  And like we said about Soriano, Bradley’s fielding was atrocious.  How many balls did he misplay?  How many balls did he lose in the sun?  How many balls hit him in the head?  It was comical out there in right field.

To top it all off, Bradley had the worst attitude.  He took it out on Cubs fans.  He accused people of being racist.  He never took any responsibility for his own actions.  And he always had an excuse for why he was not playing well for the Cubs.  It all reached a head when Bradley went off on the Cubs organization and the Cubs were forced to suspend him for the rest of the baseball season.  Now the Cubs are in a no-win situation.  They cannot bring Bradley back into that Cubs locker room in 2010.  But now, every other MLB team knows that the Cubs have to get rid of him with 2 years and $20 million remaining on his contract.  Any team that takes Bradley will likely make the Cubs eat at least half of the deal in order to take a “chance” on the troubled Bradley.  It goes from bad, to worse, to horrible for Hendry and the Cubs.

So while we’ll still have to live with Soriano and Fukudome struggling in the outfield for the next several years, at least we don’t have to worry about Bradley creating problems both on and off the field.  His 2009 F grade is clearly deserved.

Let’s hope Hendry can get a little creative over the next few seasons, or else Cubs fans will be calling for Hendry’s head louder than they ever did for Bradley’s in 2009…

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Outfield Report Card – Alfonso Soriano – D+

Posted on 07 November 2009 by Lou

Mets Cubs Baseball

Let’s take a look at our outfield – I wish we didn’t have to.  The trio of Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukodome and Milton Bradley left a LOT to be desired…

Alfonso Soriano – Left Field

2009 Report Card Grade – D+ – seriously.  I was tempted to give him an F, but I just don’t think anyone who at least tries a little bit deserves an F (see Milton Bradley in a couple of days).

2009 stats – 117 games; 477 at-bats; .241 batting average; .303 on-base percentage; 20 HR’s, 55 RBI’s; 64 runs scored; 118 K’s; 40 walks.

2008 stats – 109 games; 453 at-bats; .280 batting average; .344 on-base percentage; 29 HR’s, 75 RBI’s; 76 runs scored; 103 K’s; 43 walks.

As bad as we thought 2008 was, 2009 was that much worse.  It’s almost comical.  One of GM Jim Hendry’s best/worst moves in his career.  It was a good move, because Soriano was the most sought-after free agent player at the end of the 2006 MLB schedule. Someone was going to throw a LOT of cash at Soriano and while Hendry made a big splash to get him, he also mortgaged the franchise in one of the worst baseball contracts ever.  Soriano was 31 years old at the start of the 2007 season – to give him an 8-year contract at approximately $17 million per year was a bad business decision.  Did Hendry and the Cubs really think that this guy would be worth $17 million per season at 36, 37, 38, 39?  In just his 3rd year of the contract, Soriano has already started breaking down, and the decline will likely continue.  The guys on-base percentage is barely over .300.  He hit only 20 HR’s.  55 RBI’s?  We could go on and on and we haven’t even started to take about his horrendous fielding.

I just wish Jake Fox was a left-handed hitter – then we could at least platoon Soriano and Fox in the outfield.  Or maybe the Cubs agree to eat half of the $85 million still remaining on Soriano’s contract.  Take that $40 million liability with the $10 million the Cubs will likely have to eat in order to move Bradley, and the Cubs will probably be playing 2 players around $50 million to NOT be on their roster.  That’s more than the team salaries for several major league teams – Pirates, Royals, Padres…

So long story short, Soriano will come back to haunt the Cubs for years to come.  His 2009 D+ grade is deserved.

Let’s hope Hendry can get a little creative over the next few seasons, or else Cubs fans will be forced to watch Soriano patrol left field at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field for 5 more years.  Yippee!

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Kosuke Fukodome Update

Posted on 12 February 2009 by Lou


Let’s the hope we see more of the April 2008 Kosuke Fukodome during the 2009 MLB season than we do the September 2008 Kosuke Fukodome. In Fukodome’s 1st season in the big leagues, Fukodome had a dream month of April. He hit .327 over the course of the month, going 3 for 3 on opening day with a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning off closer Greg Gagne that tied the game at 3. But each month, teams seemed to figure Kosuke out, and as the season wore on, Kosuke had fewer and fewer quality, patient at-bats. The lack of patience showed in the batting average – he finished the season with a .257 batting average, with only 10 home runs and 58 RBI’s.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Kosuke that he would have to compete for a starting outfield spot during Spring Training in 2009. Kosuke was fine with that assessment from all accounts, and has fully committed to the Cubs recommended off-season workout. The workout regimen included exercises that focused on strengthening Fukodome’s core. Cubs video coordinator Nao Masamoto has visited Fukodome in Japan twice this off-season and has been impressed with his improvement in the month between the 2 visits (one in December and one in January). While Masamoto didn’t predict that Fukodome would be able to keep up that April 2008 pace for all 6 months of the 2009 MLB season, he believed that Fukodome would be able to better manage the lows than he did in his first year.

Masamoto also feels that with one year under his belt, Fukodome will be much more at ease in his new major league environment. If he needs more batting practice, he won’t hesitate to ask for the time. Being more familiar with Wrigley Field, the other National League parks and more day games in Chicago should also help.

We don’t need a .327 Fukodome all season long, but if he could really make pitchers work counts like he did at the beginning of the season, that would be a huge improvement. Even if he got back into the high .200’s, that would be a huge step in the right direction, and a good sign that Fukodome could be back in store for an outstanding 2009.

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Fukodome Included on Japan’s Prelim Roster for World Baseball Classic

Posted on 15 December 2008 by Lou


The defending champion Japanese club has released its preliminary roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Several MLB players were included on the initial roster, including Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukodome. After playing 2 great months for the Cubs in 2008, Fukodome struggled from June through September.

Other MLB players include Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki and Kenjii Johjima; L.A. Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda; Tampa Bay’s Akinori Iwamura; Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka; and Takashi Saito, currently a free agent who had played with the Dodgers.

The Classic is slated to be played from March 5, 2009 through March 23, 2009. The event features 16 teams playing in 4 different pools (each on a different continent). The semifinals and finals of the 2009 Classic will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The next Japanese superstar pitcher to potentially play in the U.S., Yu Darvish, is also on the Japanese roster. Darvish is the ace of the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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