Monday, March 24, 2008

Wood named Closer and Lieber left out of rotation. Reed Johnson could be Cubs soon. Robert talks off!

Lou Piniella named Kerry Wood the closer on Monday, over Bob Howry and Carlos Marmol. Piniella also announced that Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis will fill the two open spots in the rotation, while Jon Lieber has been designated as the long man in the bullpen.

Everyone knew that Wood would be named closer because of how valuable Marmol is in the setup and how Howry struggled this Spring. The thing that surprises me is Lieber left out of the rotation. I think the move is absurd! Everyone had Lieber as a lock and Dempster and Marquis fighting over the other spot. Lieber went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 4 games pitching 15 innings. He also struck out 12. Now Marquis went 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 5 games, pitching 18 innings which is not to bad. Dempster went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 5 games, pitching 16 innings. If you are only looking at stats you would send Dempster to the pen. If you look at attitude and good clubhouse guys, you send Marquis to the pen. The only way you send Lieber to the pen is if he wants to go there.

Lieber did make it easy to send him to the pen by telling Lou he would pitch wherever he needed him. Now that is a guy I want starting and on my team! Instead, Marquis, a guy that said he would NOT go to the pen and would want to be traded if he did not make the rotation gets the spot. It just does not make sense to me unless Lou is thinking by putting Jason in the pen would cause a big up roar and they may be forced to trade him. Which would lower his trade value. Either that or Lou maybe wanting to get Marquis traditional first good half of the season, trade him, and insert Lieber in his spot the 2nd half of the season. That makes some sense, even though I still think Lieber should be our #3!

-The Cubs also announced that Felix Pie will be the Opening Day starter in CF.


The Cubs have contacted Reed Johnson according to League Officials Monday. The Cubs need a versatile right handed bat to fill in the outfield, especially center. Reed Johnson fills that spot. Officials say no deal is eminent but a signing could happen quickly considering Opening Day is 7 days away.

Ken Rosenthal confirms this-

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are unlikely to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts prior to the start of the season. Jim Hendry and Andy MacPhail apparently could not find a match for the players involved. The Cubs have also been scouting the Nationals; Felipe Lopez may be Plan B. Shortstop is the main position where the Cubs are questionable.
It sounds like Hendry's priority
may now be finding outfield help, with Reed Johnson atop his list. The Cubs don't want to enter the season without a backup plan for Felix Pie.

I think getting Reed would be a great fit for the Cubs. Felipe Lopez would be a good fit only if they feel that Cintron, Font, or Cedeno cannot handle the back up middle infield job.



According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and O's have tabled talks until the time being. Thank God!! I am so sick of Roberts to Cubs talks. But I bet we will hear it heat up again in June!


Anonymous said...

Ok. What is the over/under on when Kerry Woods will be on the disabled list this year? Gosh knows I love the guy, but how in the world can they say that he has proven he can come in and do the job on 2-3 consecutive days? The organization is playing with fire and his health! Maybe they don't feel the team will be good enough to really need a pitcher to close out 2 or more days in a row because we won't have a lead??

Nick I Cub Fan said...

I can't remember where i saw it, but it was in one of the chicago papers. The writer said he thought Macphail never was going to trade Roberts to the Cubs cause they fired him. Since this went on for 3 months i believe he's right. And this prevented the cubs from making other trades, he got back at them. Johnson kills left handers, platooning with Pie would be great. He did have surgery so i'm not sure how fast he is.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Scott Eyre have the bone spur in his elbow taken care of in the off-season if he's had it for a couple years? Now we are without his help!