Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cubs Notes and Rumors.

We actually have quite a bit of news and rumors to go through today-

- Lou said they have moved Rich Hill to the pen and will be available to pitch tonight against the Phillies. Lou stresses it is not a permanent move and that Hill will be moved back to the rotation just in time for him next start. I think he should have Lieber in the rotation because of how well he has pitched. Besides Z and Dempster he is the only one pitching well out of the gate.

- Cubs prospect Jeff Samardzija topped Dodgers prospect Clayton Kershaw in his best performance in his professional career. Former number one pick Ryan Harvey collected three hits off Kershaw, a sign that maybe he is coming around. Thanks to MLBRUMORS

- The Tigers continue to struggle and now they have lost D-Train hyper extended right knee. This could force the Tigers to make a move to strengthen there weak rotation. They have looked at Snyder who was DFA'd. They could look at trading for Jason Marquis or Sean Marshall from the Cubs who have a lot of depth in the rotation. It is just a thought.

- Lou will give Fukudome Saturday off against the Phillies. He will likely have Reed Johnson in CF, Derosa in RF, Cedeno at 2b/ss, and Theriot at 2b/ss against the tough lefty Hamels.

- I wonder if moving Fukudome to center could be a thing we see a lot. I really like him in RF but he looked pretty good in CF too. I still like him in the 5th spot though.

- The Cubs may decide to send Pie to AAA if he continues to struggle and bring up Murton or Fuld. Pie has struggled out of the gate and Lou does not seem to patient this year, so he could pull the trigger before May the way Pie is going.

- If the Cubs doe send Pie if AAA the may decide to acquire a CF via trade or free agency to platoon with Reed Johnson. Names that come to mind are Reggie Willits, Gary Matthews Jr., Kenny Lofton, Juan Pierre, CoCo Crisp, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, and Nate McLouth. I would prefer a guy like McLouth, Cabrera, and Matthews because they all have power, speed, and play great defense and all could leadoff. My next tier would be Crisp, Damon, Pierre, Willits, and Lofton. All also could leadoff but hardly any power, besides Crisp the play average defense and are very streaky.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cubs notes.

Rumors and news are really slow right now but here is some tidbits-

- Cubs optioned Carmen Pignatiello to AAA Iowa and called up Sean Marshall. Maybe it has to do with Carmen not able to throw strikes. Lets hope Eyre recovers quickly.

- Reed Johnson may end up the starting Centerfielder. He is off to a great start as a Cub hitting .375 with a .400 OBP and is playing good defense. He is such a hard nosed, old time player that plays the game right. He should start!

- It also seems that Lou will split time at SS with Cedeno and Theriot. Theriot are off to a bad start and Cedeno seems to have the upper hand on hitting. He also has better range. I have no problem with either starting at short but I think further down the road we should explore a trade for a big time shortstop.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Did Someone Say Trades???

Here is the latest addition of "Did Someone Say Trades???". It is early in the year and there is already trade rumors and ideas flying around the Cubs. Lets take a look at Bob Howry this week shall we?? Bob Howry has a tendency to start off really slow both in Spring and at the beginning of the year. One thing Lou has said is that the Cubs need to get out to a good start and I think Bob Howry, among other players, are preventing that. Now I am by no means saying trade all the players that are off to a slow start. What I am saying is Bob Howry situation is really alarming.

Bob Howry has an ERA of 11.57 so far this season in just 2.1 innings pitched. He about gave up the game yesterday and failed to hold the Brewers on Opening Day. Bob has pitched 158 games the past two years for the Cubs and I think the innings are finally starting to ware on the 35 year old relievers arm. The other thing that makes him an ideal trade candidate is that he is in the final year of his 3 year deal and the Cubs could ship him now or later in the year for maybe a middle infielder.

Now who could Bob Howry help-

The Cubs- I am actually putting the Cubs down first because of Bob Howry is a prototypical slow starter and could bounce back and get his ERA around his career 3.52 ERA. The Cubs do not want to do anything drastic yet, they should wait until the deadline because he could be traded as a part of a deal for a #2 starter or leadoff hitter. The downside is having him fail badly and lower his trade value to nothing, but I would take that chance.

The Tigers- The Tigers need relief pitching and have asked for Weurtz but he is not available. They maybe interested in a veteran pitcher like Howry. I would take Raburn straight up for Howry or a top prospect for him.

The White Sox- They could be looking for a veteran presence to go along with Jenks, Linebrink, and Dotel. I would actually see if Cabrera is available for a package of players( since the Cubs are already scouting him) that include Howry.

The Phillies- They did just put Lahey on waivers but still need pen help. Not sure how they would match up in a trade but a top 5 prospect would be about right.

The Blue Jays- They have some injury woes in there pen along with some inconsistency. Bob Howry could fix if he starts turning his season around soon. I like some of the Jays young talent like Justin Jackson and John Tolisano.

There is just to many teams looking for bullpen help to mention. I think Bob Howry is worth a top prospect or a young ML ready player or 2 mid level prospects. I think there are a lot of teams out there who would pay that price for Bob Howry but I think for now the Cubs will hold onto him and see if he turns it around. Lets hope Bob Howry can turn around his season for his sake and the Cubs sake!