Saturday, May 19, 2007

Buehrle a cub? Veal next in line?

Thanks to MLB trade rumors-

Every year, writers try to help ignite the Cubs-White Sox rivalry prior to the interleague series. Back in '05, Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle was asked if he'd ever sign with the Cubs:
"It depends. It's one of those things that if no team in baseball wants me and they do, I'll go over there and sign. But I have my places that in the back of my mind -- I'm not saying Wrigley -- there are a couple of cities that if I was a free agent and they offered me, I wouldn't go there. Even if it came down to however much money, I just wouldn't feel comfortable going to those places to play."
He didn't exactly seem open to donning a Cub uniform at that point. It's interesting to note that the article indicates that Buehrle might avoid New York, regardless of money.
Has anything changed, two years later? Not really, but it seems that Buehrle
leaves the door open an extra crack now that he may actually depart the White Sox:
"Anything's possible. Put it that way. I never say never because I said I'd never throw a no-hitter and that happened. Anything's possible. I'm not a big fan of going over to that place. It would be different. Just with the whole Cubs-Sox rivalry, it's just so hectic getting over there, tickets and all that stuff."
Still looks like a long shot for Buehrle to become the Cubs' third southpaw in '08. Interestingly, it could become four if Donald Veal comes along. Realistically, his hometown Cardinals remain the favorite for Buehrle. If he wants to stay in the midwest, maybe the Reds would become an option.

Honestly I don't think Mark would go to the Cubs unless they throw alot of money at them. And to be honest I doubt the Cubs would spend the money to get him. While he is a good pitcher and the ace of the White Sox staff, why would the cubs throw money at him that they should throw at Z. But stranger things have happened. I also like the chances of Veal making an appearance and possibly being in the rotation next year. He is a young lefty which alot of people compare to Willis. He has a way to go tho considering his 2 and 4 5.85 era. He is a very good pitcher and could help the cubs alot next year.


Other Cubs notes-

- Pagan is making a case for being the starting CF for the Cubs the rest of the season. Pagan is batting .455 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in just 8 games played. He has also played good CF and look for him to stay in CF until he starts to cool off.

- Guzman was told to drink alot of water and eat bananas to prevent him from getting cramps. He should be OK.

- Lee( who has been sidelined with neck spasms) will be available to pinch hit Saturday. When Lou asked if he could start he said "I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I'm going to say 'improbable,'" Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.

- Marmol was called up yesterday and this gives the cubs the burner in the pen I think the cubs need. Marmol did well in AAA. The right-hander was 4-1 with a 3.95 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for Iowa, and walked 12 while striking out 48 in 41 innings. He threw 15 pitches in a relief appearance Thursday to tune up.

- Sean Marshall is tearing it up in the minors. Sean Marshall gave up one run on two hits over eight innings in Iowa's 9-2 win over Oklahoma on Thursday. It was Marshall's longest outing of the season. He is now 2-0 with a 1.86 era in 4 games started. He has had 8 bb on 15 so.

-Wade Miller will likely make another injury rehab assignment. He rejoined the Cubs on Tuesday.

-Lou Piniella sent shock waves through the city with his proclamation that big changes were coming in his pitching staff.
OK, maybe not shock waves, but it caused a bit of a ripple on the North Side.
Thing is, it seems more likely that Piniella is trying to shake up GM Jim Hendry and force him into making a trade to bolster the bullpen, or maybe Piniella was just trying to scare the relievers into performing better.
In any case, there isn’t much the Cubs can do with this staff aside from the odd tinkering here or there, so Piniella’s idea of a major shake-up might not be all that major.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Arod to Chicago? Other cubs notes


A-Rod Chicago Speculation
The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers breaks down the factors involved that might result in Alex Rodriguez playing in Chicago in 2008. Let's break it down in a nifty bullet-point format.

The Cubs

Rodriguez played under Lou Piniella in Chicago, and the two are said to have a strong relationship. That's where a lot of this speculation begins. But won't it just come down to money in the end?
Third base is fully blocked by Aramis Ramirez, where shortstop is fairly open. The Cubs won't exercise Cesar Izturis's option, but will have Ryan Theriot around. No matter how much A-Rod's shortstop defense is lacking, I can't picture it beyond worse than Theriot's. Piniella might prefer to use Theriot in a superutility role with a focus on second base.
The Cubs don't seem to despise Scott Boras, dealing smoothly with him for recent signees Greg Maddux and Jeff Samardzija.
While the Cubs showed a willingness to sign a player to a ridiculous contract with the Alfonso Soriano deal, the team will be sold after the season. That seems quite likely to interfere with an A-Rod megadeal, even if Jim Hendry says it's business as usual.

The White Sox

It's well-known that the team's brass likes A-Rod. They flirted with him in 2000 when he first reached free agency.
The Sox could make room at short or third for Rodriguez, as Joe Crede has been mentioned in trade rumors for some time and Josh Fields is no sure thing. The team seems likely to decline its club option on Juan Uribe.
Recent White Sox clubs have not gone crazy bidding on free agents. However, the Sox have shown the ability to pony up major cash. In particular I'm thinking of the five year, $55MM deal given to Albert Belle before the 1997 season. That one made Belle the highest paid player in baseball. Like A-Rod, Belle had a clause to opt out if he wasn't the highest paid player in baseball.
Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox have had beef with Scott Boras in the past. However, Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said that despite their differences, he would sign a reasonably priced Boras client. Not sure A-Rod would qualify, but if you're going to spend big bucks you might as well do it on a superstar.
If the Sox are able to replace Mark Buehrle internally, they'll have some free cash to account for the difference between Jermaine Dye's and Rodriguez's salaries. I would view A-Rod as Dye's replacement in the lineup.
I have to give the edge to the White Sox here, as the Cubs will likely be in a state of flux next winter. The Sox seem to be leaning toward rebuilding, though, and I don't think a $100MM+ contract fits the plan. There should be plenty more speculation over the next several months but I don't expect Rodriguez to land in Chicago.


- Cubs keeping eye on Marmol and Marshall, could move into MLB pen.

-When Lee returns, he'll be inserted back into the No. 3 spot in the Cubs' lineup. However, Theriot may replace Soriano at the leadoff spot. Theriot got on base four times with a single and three walks

- Spasms still bothering Lee, might be out until Friday.

-Fontenot was called up and Cherry was sent down yesterday. Fontenot, 26, was batting .364 with 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 27 RBIs for Iowa. He was named Pacific Coast League's Batter of the Week after collecting 18 hits in seven games and posting a 1.129 slugging percentage. Fontenot had six multihit games, highlighted by a 3-for-4 game May 10 when he hit two triples and drove in five runs against Fresno.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lee day to day with neck spasms

Thanks to

PHILADELPHIA -- Give Derrek Lee points for the power of persuasion. A little kink in the left side of his neck, caused by sliding into second base on Saturday, and a National League-leading .393 average (55-for-141, with two homers and 21 RBIs) weren't about to keep him out of the lineup.
Lee wasn't supposed to start for the Mother's Day Sunday afternoon game against the Phillies, replaced by Daryle Ward on Cubs manager Lou Piniella's lineup card.
Lee did start, taking one at-bat, grounding into an inning-ending double play in the first, but he did not come out for second inning because of neck spasms and is listed as day-to-day.
Lee actually poked his head into Piniella's office before the game to plead his case once he saw the original lineup card posted without his name for the first time this season.
"Mr. Lee wants to play, but he has a kink in his neck from sliding into second base [on Saturday], and the trainer suggested it might be a good idea he take a day off," Piniella said. "I appreciate the fact that Derrek wants to play. We'd like to get Daryle some opportunities to play; it's just that our first baseman is an every, everyday guy."
Lee felt he was OK to play. But he also understood Piniella's original intention.
"I just have a kink in my neck," Lee explained, pointing to the left side of his neck. "I slid into second [Saturday] and got this weird feeling like it went through my whole body. It's a little tough to turn my head. But I don't think I need any days off. I need to play. It's not like I hurt myself [that seriously]. I understand [what Piniella] is doing. He's trying to protect me."
Once Lee took batting practice, Piniella opted to change his mind 70 minutes before game time, replacing Ward with Lee, who is hitting .436 with runners in scoring position (17-for-39, with one homer and 18 RBIs).
Ward had the impression he would start and spoke to Lee about it before Sunday's game.
"I do want an opportunity to play," said Ward, who entered the game hitting .333 (5-for-15). "I'm not perfect. I do have some complaints here and there about getting more playing time. I'm just looking for an opportunity to play. It's why I practice as hard as I can. You never know what's going to happen."

Dont be suprised to see the batting leader in the lineup for tommarrow nights game on ESPN against Glavine and the Mets. If he is not in the lineup I will be suprised becuase lee is such a competor. Lets hope he is in there!