Posted on 20 December 2012 by Lou
What — the Cubs are close to signing Edwin Jackson to a 4-year, $52 million deal? This does not make any sense at all. What happened to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer building from within and building for the future. Jackson is 29 years old. He went 10-11 with a 4.03 in a pitcher-friendly Nationals Park pitching against weak NL East opponents like the New York Mets, Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. He has a career 4.40 ERA with a 70-71 record. His best season came 5 years ago when he went 14-11 with the Tampa Rays and a “sparkling” 4.42 ERA? All these stats warrant a $13 million dollar deal from the Cubs. It’s not like the Cubs are going to be doing anything in 2013 and maybe not even 2014. So way waste $26 million a guy for 2 lost seasons. Especially given all the other cost-cutting moves that the Cubs have made since Theo & Co. took over back in November 2011, this move really doesn’t make any sense at all to me.
I guess he has started at least 31 games in every season since 2007, so he is durable. And I guess this gives them some flexibility to move a Matt Garza at the trading deadline next season to bring back some more pitching prospects, but Cubs brass is really going to have to work to convince me that this was the right move for the Cubs to make at this juncture…
Posted on 27 November 2012 by Lou
The Cubs signed Scott Feldman to a 1-year, $6 million deal. Feldman made 21 starts for the Texas Rangers in 2012 and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer expects Feldman to be a starter for the Cubs in 2013. Hoyer stated: “I know he has bounced around a little bit with the Rangers, but in large part that was due to the amount of starting pitchers they had. We clearly see him as a starter, and we are excited to add him to the rotation.” He posted a high 5.09 ERA for the Rangers and only went 6-11. He had a breakout year with the Rangers in 2009, going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts. He hopes a change of scenery knowing that he will be a starter will help him return to form. Feldman stated: “Starting is something I have always wanted to do during my career. When Cubs executives gave me the go ahead on that and let me know I was in their plans from the get-go it was something that made me very interested in coming to the Cubs.
The Cubs are starting to round out the group of starting pitchers expected to be in the mix in 2013. Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood appear to be locks. Feldman is in that mix as well and Scott Baker could compete for a spot as well assuming his continued recovery from surgery stays on track.
We’ll keep you posted as the Cubs make further moves this winter…
Posted on 11 November 2012 by Lou
The Cubs qualifying bid for South Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu was not good enough as the Los Angeles Dodgers won the right to sign Ryu with a $25.75 million posting bid. The Dodgers keep taking on more salary under Magic Johnson’s new ownership team now that the nasty McCourt divorce issue is behind the organization. The Dodgers traded for Josh Beckett Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford this season all of whom have hug contracts down the line.
In Ryu’s 1st professional season back in 2006 the lefty went 18-6 with a 2.23 ERA while racking up 205 strikeouts. Ryu helped South Korea top Cuba in the championship game of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And despite a 9-9 record last season Ryu still had a sparkling 2.66 ERA with 210 strikeouts in 27 starts.
The Cubs are still in the free agent market for 2 starting pitchers. Matt Garza Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood are likely starters back in 2013 for the Cubs.
We’ll keep you posted if anything develops over the next few weeks as baseball meetings heat up pretty quickly this winter…
Posted on 15 July 2012 by Lou
The Cubs swept the Arizona Diamondbacks to kick off the 2nd half of the season with a bang. The Cubs 12 wins since June 25th is tops in the majors. Granted they are still way out of it with a 36-52 record, but at least they seem to be putting things together on a more consistent basis.
Paul Maholm earned the Cubs win in Friday’s 8-1 romp. Maholm worked 7 innings of 1-run ball to pace the club. He scattered 6 hits and struck out 5 to improve to 7-6 on the season. Alfonso Soriano was the hitting star — 2 home runs, 2 doubles and 5 RBI’s! Anthony Rizzo also had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.
Ryan Dempster continued to help his trade value with 6 shutout innings in Saturday’s 4-1 win. He improved to 5-3 scattering 4 hits and 3 walks in the win. He now has a 1.02 WHIP and 1.86 ERA and his 33 consecutive scoreless innings streak . Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Luis Valubuena each had 2 hits in the win. Carlos Marmol notched his 9th save of the season.
Matt Garza worked 7 scoreless innings in Sunday’s 3-1 series finale win to improve to 5-7. He struck out 7 and only allowed 5 hits. Rizzo gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead in the 1st inning with an RBI single. And Darwin Barney added a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0. That would be all that Garza needed in one of his better outings of the season. Marmol recorded the game’s final 2 outs to pick up save #10.
The Cubs open up a 3-game series against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
Posted on 30 June 2012 by Lou
Matt Garza battled for his 4th win and Anthony Rizzo had another game winning hit as the Cubs defeated the Astros 3-2 on Saturday.
Garza did not have his best stuff – 9 hits and 3 walks in just 5 1/3 innings pitched – but he limited the Astros to just 2 ER’s to keep his team in the game.
In the pivotal 5th inning, Starlin Castro’s 2-out RBI single drove home Luis Valbuena to cut the Astros lead to 2-1. Then Rizzo’s bomb to deep right gave the Cubs the lead for good.
The bullpen did the rest – 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Carlos Marmol walked a batter in the 9th, but struck out 2 to pick up his 7th save of the season. Since being re-inserted into the closer’s role, Marmol has 5 saves and he has given up a run only once – in mop-up duty at the end of a 10-5 loss to the D’Backs. Trade bait anyone?!?!
The Cubs go for the series sweep on Sunday when Travis Wood takes the hill.
Posted on 25 June 2012 by Lou
The Arizona D’Backs swept the Cubs in 3 straight ugly games over the weekend. The D’Backs outscored the Cubs 21-7 in the 3-game set. Rookie Wade Miley made it look easy against the struggling Cubs offense – he held the Cubs to just 3 hits in 8 innings, with the Cubs scoring their only run on Alfonso Soriano’s 14th HR of the season. Matt Garza fell to 3-6 despite pitching well – 3ER on 5 hits and 1 walk over 7 solid innings. He struck out 7.
The Cubs continue to have the worst record in baseball – at 24-48. They trail the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds by an incredible 15.5 games – and we haven’t even hit the end of June yet. Travis Wood will square off against Johan Santana in the opener of a 3-game series with the surprising NY Mets. The Mets are 39-34 and they trail the Washington Nationals by only 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the NL East.
But Cubs fans have the future to look forward to – Cubs top prospect Anthony Rizzo will make his season debut in Tuesday night’s game against the Mets. Expect Rizzo to play 1st base, shifting Bryan LaHair to right field and David DeJesus over to center field. That may also free up some off-days for Soriano who has continued to hobble around on a bum knee. Rizzo is stroking it at Triple-A Iowa – .342 batting average; 23 HR’s and 62 RBI’s.
GO CUBS GO!!!
Posted on 19 June 2012 by Lou
It’s also nice to get an easy win – especially for the Cubs who still have the worst record in all of baseball at 23-44. The Cubs belted 5 home runs and cruised to an easy 12-3 win over the White Sox on the south side. It was the 1st time the Cubs beat the White Sox in 4 tries this year. Matt Garza pitched 6 innings on a 90+-degree night and won just his 3rd game of the season. He gave up 3 ER on 2 home runs, but limited the damage while striking out 6. He lowered his WHIP to 1.11, but his ERA is still over 4 at 4.07.
The Cubs clobbered 15 hits and scored 12 runs. Starlin Castro had 3 hits (1 home run), 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored. Bryan LaHair added 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored on his 13th homer of the year. Alfonso Soriano (1 home run) had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. But the real star was Luis Valbuena who added 3 hits including a 3-run homer in the 7th inning. He has raised his batting average to .294 while getting extended playing time while Ian Stewart is injured.
Jake Peavy and Travis Wood get to face the 90+degree elements tonight in what should be another high-scoring affair. Look for lots more long balls – this time probably a few more from the south siders who “only” hit 2 on Monday night.
Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 18 June 2012 by Lou
The Red Sox took the final 2 games against the Cubs during the weekend set at Wrigley Field. Jeff Samardzija’s struggles continued in the heat on Saturday night at the Friendly Confines. He gave up 3 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks in just 5 1/3 innings. He racked up 6 K’s but his high 108-pitch count forced Manager Dale Sveum to pull the big righty early in the game. The Cubs tallied their 3 runs on Luis Valbuena’s 1st career major league home run – a 3-run blast off of Jon Lester that cut the Red Sox lead to 4-3. But the game would end like that.
Franklin Morales started for the injured Josh Beckett on Sunday night and he out-dueled Cubs starter Paul Maholm. Maholm pitched OK – 3 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk, with 6 K’s – but it wasn’t good enough. The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to break open a 3-3 tie. Starlin Castro finally broke out of his slump with 3 hits, including a double and a triple. He drove in 2 of the Cubs 3 runs.
The Cubs fell to 22-44 with the series loss to the Red Sox – they once again have the worst record in baseball. The Cubs “travel” south to take on the White Sox for 3 games at U.S. Cellular Field starting tonight. Matt Garza will square off against Zach Stewart in the series opener.
Posted on 22 May 2012 by Lou
So much for Matt Garza putting an end to the Cubs current 6-game losing streak. Garza endured his worst outing of the season, giving up 7 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks in just 3 innings. He gave up 2 3-run jacks that gave the Astros a comfortable 7-0 lead after just 3 innings of play.
After being swept in 2 straight series, the Cubs hoped that a road trip away from the “Friendly” Confines of Wrigley Field might turn the tides in their favor, especially with one of their best pitchers on the mound. But it wasn’t meant to be. For the 3rd straight game, the Cubs did not score a SINGLE RUN in the game’s 1st 8 innings. That has to be some sort of record. They lost 7-4 on Saturday (4 runs in the 9th); they lost 6-0 on Sunday; and they were losing 8-0 on Monday night before run-scoring singles from Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Blake Lalli in the 9th inning.
The lone bright spot – Randy Wells pitched the game’s final 5 innings allowing just a single ER on 3 hits and 2 walks. Yeah!
The Cubs are 15-26 – 8 games behind the Cards. Ouch!!! Let’s hope Travis Wood can snap the streak. In 3 starts against the Astros as a member of the Reds last season, Wood went 1-0 with a nasty 1.02 ERA against Houston. He still has a 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak against the Astros – let’s hope he keeps that up tonight with the way the Cubs have been scoring runs of late…
Posted on 21 May 2012 by Lou
The 1st half of the 2012 Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and White Sox was simply brutal for the North Siders. In a rare and fun Saturday night contest at Wrigley Field,the White Sox blanked the Cubs for the game’s first 8 innings amassing a comfortable 7-0 lead behind 3 Sox home runs. The Cubs avoided the shutout when Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather hit 2 run home runs in the 9th inning. But it was too little too late. Ryan Dempster suffered the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season, despite strong individual numbers – 1.06 WHIP, 2.28 ERA, 44 K’s against just 14 walks.
On Sunday, needing a win to avoid the sweep, the Cubs curled up under the favorite blankie and laid an egg against Jake Peavy. The White Sox cruised to an easy 6-0 victory behind Peavy and 3 more Sox home runs and a 10-hit barrage against Paul Maholm. On a 90-degree day with the wind blowing straight out of the park in every direction, the Cubs managed just 5 hits and NO runs. How is that even possible?!
It keeps getting uglier and uglier for the Cubs. Now it seems all but a certainty that Theo & Co. will move Matt Garaza and any other chip (Dempster, Maholm) in any attempt to get cheaper and younger.
With the sweep the Cubs fell to 15-25 overall and they trail the Cards and Reds by a full 7 games in the NL Central race.