Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some Spring Training Notes.

Not to much going on today-

- Harden thinks he could make 30 starts this season.

- Marmol will close for the Dominican Republic in the WBC.

- Soto and Fukudome will join Marmol and play in the WBC. Soriano and Aram will not play.

- Lou is changing his approach by resting his veterans more. Epecially Lee, so we might see Hoffpauir a lot next season.

- Zambrano is sporting a mustache.

- The Cubs are still watching O-dawg since his stock is going down. Hudson was looking for a 4 year 40 million dollar deal in November but now, will the market going down, he may sign for 3 or 4 million a year according to some sources. The Cubs could fit that into the payroll how it is but I think they would still talk to the new owner.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring Training Is Here!

Spring Training is finally here so lets check out some of the notes-

- Samadzija, Guzman, Gregg, Hart, Harden, Soto, Hill, Wells, Fox, and Castillo all got brownie points yesterday by showing up early. Guzman and Soto are in really great shape!

- Carlos Zambrano has put off LASIK eye surgery until after Spring Training it sounds like. He will likely not be the opening day starter either. He recently got an eye infection so that will have to go down until he gets his surgery. He will be out about 2 weeks after the procedure. Z will not pitch in the WBC.

- Guzman will not pitch in the WBC either.

- Cubs games will be on WGN this year for all you worried that it won't be.

- The Cubs will not see Fukudome until 2 weeks left of ST. He will play for Japan in the WBC. The Cubs are monitoring him though.

- Soriano is going to lead off as of right now.

Hot Stove Cubbies Has A New Affiliate!

I want to thank for becoming Hot Stove Cubbies newest and primary affiliate. Please visit their store that is dedicated to supplying the best quality Cubs items to you the dedicated Cub fan you are! Just click the advertisment below!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Starting Pitching Projections.

I am starting my starting pitching projections for the Cubs pitching staff. I will do this throughout Spring Training for the Cubs outfielders, infielders, and bullpen as well. Today we will start on the starters.

1. Carlos Zambrano- Zambrano is the ace of this staff even though he has not shown it the past couple of years. The main question is will he return to the dominate form he was in 2004-2006 seasons? I do think Big Z will return to form, in fact he is in for a break out year.

Projection= 18-7 3.25 ERA and 200 Ks

2. Ryan Dempster- After coming off a year that gives Dempster a 4 year contract he looks to repeat his performance of 2008. Dempster, who looked pretty lost in the playoffs, will look to prove many non-believers wrong by putting up big numbers. I think Demp will have a drop in his numbers but you will see the same Ryan, glove wiggle and all!

Projection= 15-9 3.89 ERA and 150 Ks

3. Ted Lilly- After starting off very bad last year Lilly proved that he should have started a game in the playoffs. If Lilly can avoid giving up the home run ball and throw all his pitches for strikes he should bounce back to the first year he was a Cub. Lilly has done a great job for the Cubs and I feel his solid numbers will continue.

Projection= 14-10 4.18 ERA and 169 Ks

4. Rich Harden= The key to the rotation this season. I expect him to make about 20 starts next season with guys like Marshall and Heilman pitching in his place to give him extra rest. He has the nastiest stuff on the team and for that he will put up great numbers when he pitches.

Projection= 10-3 2.45 ERA and 175 Ks

5. Sean Marshall- Yep he is my 5th starter. Marshall will go into the season as the Cubs 5th starter. Now that does not mean he will end the season there. Marshall will put up good numbers and make about 25 starts next season.

Projection= 9-7 4.56 ERA and 80 Ks

6. Aaron Heilman- He will contribute enough as a starter next season and that is why I put him on here. He will take starts from Harden, Marshall, and if anyone goes down with an injury. He will do a good job in about 15 starts or so.

Projection= 5-3 3.96 ERA and 51 K's - As a starter

There of course will be Guzman and Shark to get some starts but not enough to factor in. The Cubs starting staff will compile 71 wins against 39 loses. The starters will compile 110 decisions so the Cubs bullpen will have to account for 52 decisions. Not bad for the starting staff next season.

Get MLB World Series Tickets at StubHub!

Projections are subject to change.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Peavy Has Spoken!

Thanks to MLBTR-'s Corey Brock passes along comments Jake Peavy made on XX Sports Radio in San Diego. Peavy said he's "dang glad" to be a Padre after an offseason of trade talks. Peavy said he understands that business decisions led to a "crazy winter."

Brock adds that GM Kevin Towers "has not had active discussions with any team regarding Peavy" since the Winter Meetings.

I have a feeling that Towers asked Peavy to make a statement and break his silence. In return Peavy will be dealt as soon as the Cubs ownership situation is settled. That is just my feeling on it. Why else would he say that out of the blue? And why now? Then KT's comment about Peavy discussions, which I felt was not necessary, are bogus. He even said if a deal is talked about or being worked on no one will know about it because he will not make it public.

Too many strange things here!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Live chat Wednesday at the new time of 3:30 CT.

Here's something to Pop up on your wall!

Cubs Projections and Stoney on the Cubs

- PECOTA has updated their projections for the 2009 season. The Cubs are going to go 96-66 with a 13 game lead over the Brewers in the Central according to Baseball Prospects. Another interesting note is the Cubs leading the NL in runs scored (871), team average (.270), and team OBP of .350 in 2009. I would personally pick the Cubs to go 93-69 next season and win the Central.

- Stoney talked Cubs baseball with Kaplan Monday night, here is what he had to say-

**** He thinks the Cubs have a solid team and Jim did a good job this winter.

**** Stone thinks the Cubs should run away with the division if they just take care of business and avoid 3 major player injuries.

**** Stone likes the idea of the Cubs getting Peavy but the Cubs do not need him to win the division.

**** He thinks Peavy would have been added already if the Cubs did not think they could win the division how they are now. He also thinks the Cubs would have made the trade now if they had more concerns with Harden.

**** Stoney feels if a big outfielder goes down for the Cubs then Matt Holliday would be available during the season if the A's have fallen out of contention. He mentioned this because of Soriano's leg issues. He also thinks that if the Cubs do not land Peavy before Opening Day they would use the players rumored to go to the Padres during the deadline period to add a player. But this would be only if a major star like Soriano, Lee, Aram, Z, etc goes down.

**** Stone thinks Miles would be better out of the lead off spot than Soriano and said no team has ever won a WS with Soriano on the roster (WOW). He went onto saying Soriano is not a lead off hitter and I agree. I think Fukudome, Johnson, Theriot, Mile, and Fonty could do a better job in the 1 hole.

More to Come!

Sale of Cubs Nearing Completion Link

A lot of my comment posters are asking me for the link on the completion of the Cubs sale and it is located here. It is under the Jake Peavy section of the article by Gordon Wittenmyer. Here is what the section says according to the Suntimes-

The Cubs are a veteran starter short of their preferred roster, and with the sale of the team to the Ricketts family nearing completion, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner for the San Diego Padres becomes the sequel to the Brian Roberts Trade Watch of last spring training.

Hopefully this clears up any confusion and we hear more on this the coming days.

I will keep you posted.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Players off the Markett and Other Cubs Notes

- Rich Aurilia is going to sign a minor league contract with the Giants. The Cubs and Phillies also offered him a minor league deal. It looks like Nomar is the only one left.

- The Astros are not trying to get Abreu or Dunn, thank goodness for that!

- The Brewers are getting ready to sign Braden Looper to a deal. The Cubs were interested in him at one point in the season but decided Marshall is a better fit and I agree.

- The Suntimes had a good article today from Gordon Wittenmyer saying the Cubs will go into camp looking for another veteran starter or Jake Peavy and a lead off man like Brian Roberts or Chone Figgins. Here is a good quote from Jim Hendry: "Lots of good players are left who haven't signed yet, and we'll continue to keep an eye on that, too.''

-Wittenmyer also says that the sell to Ricketts for the Cubs is nearly complete. This is the first we have heard of this since he was named top bid.

- There is a great interview with Holden Kushner on CCO. I suggest you check it out!

- Check out GROTA for the history on the Cubs jersey. My favorite jersey is the 1982 road blue uniforms. They were so cool!

- Came across this video. I know he did roids but man can he smack the ball!

That is it for now Cub Fans!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cubs in on Hudson, Rich Hill remarks, and other notes

- Nick Cafardo threw some good stuff out there today saying that a few of the Cubs organizational people want to sign Hudson but with impending transfer with the Cubs making it difficult. Hudson has been on and off the Cubs radar all this off season but with veteran players and all stars having to settle for one year deals he could be had for a 1 year 3-6 million bucks or maybe a 2 year deal worth 10 million would work. This would give the Cubs a legitimate leadoff guy with great patients (.346 career OBP), decent power (8-12 homers a year), and a career .282 average to boast, he would be a great addition to any team. He does not have the stolen bases but did Soriano really either?!? The best thing about Hudson is he is a good defensive 2nd baseman (which we have been missing for a while) and he is a switch hitter. The one thing it does by signing him is puts fonty back on the bench or to platoon with Theriot at SS. It also makes Miles come off the bench more and move Hoffpauir to Iowa. But I would do all that to sign Hudson.

- Rich Hill had some nice things to say about Hendry-

"[Cubs general manager] Jim Hendry really took care of me. He wanted to create an opportunity for me that he told me probably didn't exist in Chicago, so I'm grateful. I know Baltimore tried to deal for me last year and it didn't work out, but this time they made it work."

I am glad he is not taking it personal.

- The Giant have offered Rich Aurilia a minor league contract worth a million bucks. Rich would like to stay with the Giants and thinks they can work something out.

- Lou has said he would prefer to have another lefty in the rotation with Lilly, giving an edge to Sean Marshall for the last spot in the rotation.

- Jim Hendry might add a veteran during camp that can backup third base if he does not have a young star emerge as the 25th man. Guys like Nomar and Aurilia are still out there but Hendry could take the route he did with Reed Johnson last season rather than sign one now.

- With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than 5 days here are my top 3 guys to watch in Spring Training-

1. Esmailin Caridad- This guy will not likely make the team but this 25 year old righty will get a lot of Cub fans excited. He went 13-7 record with a 3.73 ERA between single and double A. The guy has a 92 MPH fastball but uses as a set up pitch for his dynamic curve and change up. Watch this guy, he could be in the rotation by next season or at least in the pen.

2. Welington Castillo- A guy linked to Peavy trade talk and it is no wonder the Padres would want him. He is a dynamic defensive player but has shown he can hit as well. He has a long stroke but very quick hands making him a good pull hitter. Watch this guy, he could make Soto expendable if he continues to hit and play good defense over the next couple years. He is compared to Geovany Soto/Ivan Rodriguez.

3. Bobby Scales- Not exactly a prospect at 31 years old but a good hitter and good defender that can play multiple positions. A switch hitter with decent power and setting career numbers last year of .320 avg., 94 runs, and a .415 OBP makes him may wild card to make the team and put Hoffpauir in AAA.

That is it for today, I will keep you updated with the latest Cubs info so stay tuned!