Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cubs Tidbits....

- Sweet Lou named Sean Marshall as his 5th starter but will not use him the first two times around the rotation because of the off days. So Marshall will be available in the pen.

- Corey Koskie announced his retirement today stating that he can play the game still but is worried about his overall health. Who can blame him.

- In addition to the news Koskie will not be with the Cubs comes the news that the Cubs will in fact go into this season with Fonty and Miles as backups to 3rd base. The Cubs also have Jake Fox and Bobby Scales as guys who could get called up if Aram gets injured for an extended period of time. Jim will also be on the look out for another left or right hand hitting utility guy that can back up third and likely start in AAA Iowa.

- The Brewers might be shopping Bill Hall for some pitching help or salary relief to add a pitcher like Pedro Martinez. The Cubs could have some interest in Hall but would the Brewers really trade Hall to a division rival?? And would he be worth the heavy price tag?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cubs Have Payroll Room for Midseason Deal

Thanks to MLBTR-

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times talked to Cubs chairman Crane Kenney, who anticipates payroll room to make moves around the July trading deadline. The team's revenue sources have remained strong for the most part.

It sounds like the Cubs' new ownership will be in place before the deadline. In another article, Wittenmyer quotes Kenney as saying the Tribune and the Ricketts family are "very close to the terms of their deal," which could be wrapped up in May.

The Cubs are smart to wait until then because teams will have to determine whether they are buyers and sellers and some teams may "need" to cut payroll for next season with the economy how it is. This also provides them with the room to add a player or two if a player like Soriano, Aram, or Harden goes down.

Here are a few names you may hear on the block around July- Roy Halladay, Matt Holliday, Jake Peavy, Brian Roberts, Carlos Lee, Mags Ordonez, Andrian Beltre, Jason Bay, Adam Dunn, Johnny Damon, H. Matsui, Vlad, Chone Figgins, Erik Bedard, Ryan Church, Carlos Beltran, etc.. Just to name a few.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cubs Sale Almost Done??? is reporting that the sale of the Cubs is nearing completion. Because the Tribune is in Bankruptcy court, a court must be involved to approve the transaction to make sure the creditors are taken care of. Major League Baseball also needs to approve Ricketts. Kenney said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has assured him they will do whatever necessary to get the sale completed. There is no time table set according to Kenney.

An Opening Days sale is unlikely, unless everything falls into place perfectly.

There are more notes on the Cubs, Wrigley, dining, tickets, etc at

Radio and News Round Up...

Kind of some boring notes for today-

- Corey Koskie will start every other day for the rest of Spring Training.

- The Cubs are expected to make an announcement that they will retire #31 in honor of Maddux and Fergie Jenkins on May 3rd.

- Lou is not ready to officially announce the 5th starter but Santo believes no doubt that it will be Marshall.

- Lou loves Jose Ascaino velocity. He also really likes David Patton.

- Ron thinks Hoff will be a star this year.


- The Cubs may look to release Paul Bako if they name Koyie Hill their backup catcher. The Cubs will likely go with Johnson and Castillo in AAA Iowa but the Cubs may pursue Josh Bard, who was recently released by the Red Sox. Bard has done a good job this Spring going 6 for 14 with a homer, 5 RBI, and 2 doubles. He is now 30 years old and has been on the decline the past couple of season (mainly due to injury woes.). In 2007 he hit a respectable .285 with a .364 OBP, 5 homers and 51 RBI in 118 games. In 2006 he had a great season, hitting .338 with a .406 OBP, 9 homers, and 40 RBI in 93 games. Josh Bard is switch hitter and a good defensive catcher ( except last season when he just threw out 7.6% of base runners, a season when he was dealing with shoulder woes). He had a 37.1% caught stealing rate with the Indians from 2002 to 2005 and caught 14% of base runners as a Padre (may be due to the air in San Diego).

He has been on the decline but I feel the Cubs should offer him a minor league contract and have him play with Castillo in AAA Iowa and release Mark Johnson, that way if Hill does not handle the job in Chicago the Cubs have Castillo/Bard option rather than Castillo/Johnson.

Just makes sense to me.

More to Come!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Updates From Cubs Camp..

- As expected the Cubs made some cuts today. They optioned Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, and Jeff Stevens to AAA Iowa. They also optioned Marcos Mateo to AA Tenn. The Cubs also sent 5 players to minor league camp, Welington Castillo, Darwin Barney, Luis Rivas, Doug Deeds, and Jason Dubois. No suprises there.

- Corey Koskie is in the lineup today to try to make Lou see him more valuable than the 12th man in the pen. He hit a double in his first AB. Because as of right now Hoffpauir is a lock and Lou said that because Hoff has made the team he will carry another outfielder (Gathright).

- Lou said he may make a decision on the closer and backup catcher position by the end of the week. I will do it for you Lou, Kevin Gregg and Koyie Hill.

- The Cubs may have Shark in the pen but only if they deal a guy like Gaudin, Guzman, and/or Vizcaino. Other guys that could take one of their spots are Waddell and/or Patton.

- Injured Cubs-

Lee- Sore right quad- day to day
Bradley- Flu- day to day
Fuld- Flu- day to day
Gathright- Sore tooth, went to dentist- day to day

Chicago Cubs Infield Projections.

Here is my 2009 Chicago Cubs Infield Projections-

Geovany Soto- There is no Sophmore slump here. Geo will come back with a good solid year both behind the plate and at the dish. I pick Geo to have a very similar year to last season.

Projection- .279 Avg./.359 OBP/27 Homeruns/99 RBI/2 SB

Derrek Lee- Lee will not have a big year like he did in 05 but I expect Lee to put up some better numbers considering Hoffpauir will take his job if Lee does not hit. I do think Lee will play under 150 games this season because of Lou's vow to keep his Cubs healthy. Lee will also be slotted in a lower spot in the batting order this season whether it is to start the season or during the middle of the season. This will alter his numbers some as well.

Projection- .303 Avg./ .372 OBP/ 22 Homeruns/81 RBI/5 SB

Mike Fontenot- He will start the season at 2b and stay there the entire season. He will prove to be one of the best hitting 2nd baseman in the NL and in baseball. I know this is a pretty bold statement but Fonty may be looking like the 2nd coming of Lou Whitaker.

Projection- .295 Avg./ .380 OBP/ 25 Homeruns/87 RBI/12 SB

Ryan Theriot- He will put up his normal numbers and play average at SS.

Projection- .304 Avg./ .374 OBP/ 2 Homeruns/ 34 RBI/ 24 SB

Aramis Ramirez- You are looking at your next NL MVP. The Cubs might finally put him in the 3 spot and gave him more protection in Bradley. He will have a big big MVP year. I also expect him to win a gold glove this season at 3rd.

Projection- .309 Avg./ .385 OBP/ 42 Homeruns/ 132 RBI/ 1 SB

Aaron Miles- He will mainly see time in an utility role. Not a lot of ABs unless someone goes down with an injury.

Projection- .280 Avg./ .340 OBP/ 1 Homerun / 17 RBI/ 2 SB

Micah Hoffpauir- He will really do a good job off the bench filling in for Derrek Lee. He will also get a lot of spot starts, pinch hit opportunities, and play the outfield some which will allow him to get some more ABs and put up some really good numbers.

Projection- .270 Avg./ .370 OBP/ 14 Homeruns/ 40 RBI/ 3 SB

Corey Koskie- I think he will make the team out of Spring but be sent down and up all year long. He will not get that many ABs but will prove he is healthy and a good asset to this team.

Projection- .254 Avg./ .321 OBP/ 3 Homeruns/ 24 RBI/ 6 SB

The Cubs will have a lot of power around the infield and prove the power has not disappeared from Wrigley. The Cubs next season will see 136 Homeruns, 514 RBI, and 55 SB from the infield. They will also see a .286 Avg for the infield overall and a .362 OBP. The Cubs infield will rank one of the best in baseball and I certainly expect them to be the heart and soud of this team, lead by future MVP Aramis Ramirez!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cubs Notes from Today...

-Here is a good read on a trade idea. It involves the Cubs trading Soriano to the BoSox for Jason Bay. I would do that in a second!

- Ron Santo said on today's WGN broadcast that the Cubs could go with 11 pitchers to start the season considering they will be skipping the 5th starter. I think carrying 14 position players would be wise to start the season. Especially since Bradley has not been healthy all Spring.

- It is not even Opening Day and Milton Bradley is out with the flu. This is the second time Bradley has been sidelined this Spring.

- Jeff Samardzija looked awful today giving up 5 runs in 2 innings. Jeff Stevens also got roughed up for 3 runs in one inning of work. Castillo and Aram both homered today.

- There is a rumor making around the message boards that Lou has part of his everyday lineup made out, check it out-

1. Soriano
2. Fukudome
3. To be determined- my pick Aram
4. Bradley
5. To be determined- my pick Soto
6. Fonty
7. To be determined- my pick Lee
8. Theriot
9. Pitcher

More to Come!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Angel Guzman Update..Other Notes...

- Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says that it is very unlikely Guzman makes the team and risk losing him on waivers if they try to send him to the minors. Lou said Guzman has had a "tough spring" and has "no consistency." I think he will traded before Opening Day.

- The Tribune stats that next Monday there will be cuts with 8 players.

- Lou is leaning towards Marshall over Heilman saying he likes Heilman in the 7th inning. He also basically gave the starting job at 2b to Mike Fontenot.

- says Corey Koskie passed his physical and will workout with the Cubs starting yesterday.