Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cubs Notes and What We Are Hearing

Here are some Cubs notes-

- Soto was named Rookie of the Month for April. He hit .341 with 5 homers and 20 RBI in April. It looks like he is off to a strong start in May too. I would not be surprised if he gets it again this month.

- Wood has modified his slider some, or at least the grip. He looked nasty yesterday afternoon with more downward cutting action to that slider. The pitch is also about 3 MPH slower in which I think makes it more devastating with that 93-96 MPH fastball and that 82-85 MPH slider. I would love Wood to break out that overhand curve ball he use to throw. I love that pitch!

- In case you missed it, Eyre was activated yesterday off the 15 day DL and Marshall was sent to AAA Iowa. Marshall is expected to strengthen his arm and increase his pitch count because it sounds like he will get the next shot at being the Cubs starter in the rotation. Lou wants at least 2 leftys in the rotation otherwise they should give Gallagher a shot. I also would not be opposed to trying to catch lighting in a bottle and calling up Donald Veal and trying him as a starter. He is currently in AA Tenn and throwing the ball well. Veal is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA, he 25 SO and 18 BB in just 33 IP. He has a good curve and live fastball. He has ML stuff but the only concern is can he locate his pitches. I think he deserves a chance if Marshall and Gallagher don't do too well.

- For Mother's Day the Cubs will be using pink bats and will be wearing shoes with pink trim specifically made for Sunday. Should be fun!

Here is "What We Are Hearing"-

- The Cubs are looking for a lefthanded bat for CF or RF but preferably Center Field so they do not have to move Fukudome. I am hearing the Cubs have a mild interest in recently released and former Cardinal Jim Edmonds. Edmonds numbers have been declining the past 3 years and is off to a horriable start batting .178 with a .265 OBP and only one HR. A guy once viewed as one of the elite defensive CF in the game is just a 37 year old average outfielder who would be a 4th outfielder on about half the ML teams. I am not a big fan of Jim's because he plays shallow to make routine plays look unbelievable, he is a hot dog, former Cardinal, and Big Z and him do not get along. I would honestly go with what we have until something better comes along like a Matsui, Crisp, Matthews, or a player of that caliber. A player like that would be available around the trading deadline and I think our outfield could survive until then.

One thing that is impressive is he has 17 career homers at Wrigley which is third only to Busch Stadium(111) and Angels Stadium(62). He also posted a .254 avg. with an OBP of .378 and 37 RBI at Wrigley in his career. Just thought you should know.

- The Cubs could be in the market for a number 1 or 2 starter at the deadline if there are any available. Some pitchers they should keep an eye on are Greg Maddux and Randy Wolf from the Padres, Scott Kazmir from the Drays, Jarod Washburn from Seattle, and AJ Burnett from Toronto. All these pitchers are on teams in last place or have contracts that are almost up. The only real exception is Kazmir but he was rumored to be available this off season, as well as next off season.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Could Hideki Matsui be avaliable???

Thanks to MLBTR and Buster Olney for this-

Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. No way, no how. Then again, Phillies fans are probably saying the same about Howard. The Yanks stagnant offense figures to improve once A-Rod returns next week and Jorge Posada gets back behind the dish next month. But Matsui leads the team in average, OBP, and slugging, while Damon is second in OBP. Unless the Yanks fall out of contention, there's no way they're trading these guys. Even so, they're a pair of 34-year-old outfielders making $13 million a season, with 2009 guaranteed. There's no way a team will offer anything close to equal value.

The Cubs are currently in the market for a good left handed bat for RF or CF that can bat 5th. They are growing tired of running Pie and Johnson out there everyday and want an everyday CFer. Yes, I know Matsui is not a guy you put in CF but Fukudome is. Fukudome has good speed, great glove, and a cannon for an arm. There is no reason why he could not handle the everyday CF job. While the idea of Matsui being traded and who the Yanks would want is still up in the air, this should still interest the Cubs. As of right know I do not see the Bronx Bombers trading Matsui but down the road could be a possibility. Either way the Cubs should give NY a call to see about Matsui availability.

Tell me you would not like this lineup!

Soriano LF ( assuming Lou does not move him down)
Fukudome CF
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Matsui RF
Soto C
Derosa 2b
Theriot SS

LOTS OF POWER 1-6.. I would be drooling over that lineup!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lou looking for left-handed hitting outfielder??? Soriano SHOULD NOT LEADOFF!

Thanks to Gammons and MLBTR-

Gammons says Cubs manager Lou Piniella would like to add a left-handed hitting right or center fielder to bat fifth. Milton Bradley and Ken Griffey Jr. seem like long shots though. It's odd that the Rangers wouldn't want to move Bradley.

This is a move that I think the Cubs need to make happen to win the division. Bradley and Griffey would be great additions but they will be very expensive. Griffey will not be traded until he hits his 600 homerun, even then he will not likely go to Chicago considering the Reds are in the same division. His price would likely be Hill, Gallagher, Marshall, among others.

Bradley on the other hand could be had but the Rangers are asking a ton for him. Bradley has done well this season hitting .320 with 3 homers and 12 RBI. Not to mention his great .412 OBP. If they were asking for more than Murton for Marlon Byrd, then who knows who they would want for Bradley.

Some other players that the Cubs should look at are Ryan Church, Gary Matthews Jr., JD Drew, and Mark Teahen. Dare I say the name Barry Bonds??? or Jacque Jones???

Either way I think the Cubs need to make this move for a power hitting RF or CF. They can play Fukudome in either CF or RF, move Reed Johnson to the 4th outfielder roll, and send Pie to AAA. This also can open up to putting Fukudome in the 2 hole and one of the guys listed above in the 5 hole.


I am tired of seeing Soriano leadoff, probably about all of you are. Soriano has a low OBP, low avg., but lots of power. He is a 5th of 6th place hitting ball player. I know Lou is giving him a chance to prove he can hit leadoff and run but my patients is wearing thin. Here are two lineups that I want to see on an everyday basis-

LINEUP #1- My favorite- Lou do this-

1. Johnson CF
2. Theriot SS
3. Lee 1st
4. Aram 3b
5. Fukudome RF
6. Soriano LF
7. Soto C
8. Derosa 2b
9. Pitcher

Lineup#2- This one will work too-

1. Johnson CF
2. Fukudome RF
3. Lee 1st
4. Aram 3b
5. Soriano LF
6. Soto C
7. Derosa 2b
8. Theriot SS
9. Pitcher

The second one is very right handed toward the bottom and the first one is just right having Fukudome in the 5th spot( which he should be unless we get another left handed hitting outfielder). Either way Soriano should not leadoff!