Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Caught Up and Off Guard!

Getting caught up-

- The Cubs sent Tyler Colvin and Marcus Mateo to AAA while bring up lefty reliever Scott Maine and speedy outfielder Tony Campana.

- In my last blog post I said the Cubs needed to add someone to spark this lineup and I thought the answer would be Brett Jackson, instead it looks like Campana has brought some energy to this mediocre team.

- The Cubs did have some interest in Kevin Millwood before he signed with the Red Sox.

- The Cubs sent Colvin down to AAA for three reasons 1. Struggling to hit for average and power 2. Did not get any playing time 3. Too many players in the minors provide more to the team than he does.

- Randy Wells is set to pitch in AAA Iowa on Sunday, if he pitches well and feels good the following days he would likely join the Cubs rotation on Friday the 27th or Saturday the 28th.

- Andrew Cashner suffered another set-back and will likely be out another 6-8 weeks.

- Doug Davis will likely anchor the staff for the rest of the season if Cashner continues to suffer set-backs.

Interesting thing hit my email box-

So as I am shifting through the large amounts of comments and email regarding the Cubs one thing peeked my interest that I would love to share with you. A guy named WrigleyVendor3 sent me an interesting thought on a trade and what better time to share it as the BoSox and Cubs get ready to face off. Here is what he said- With the Cubs woes and the Boston Red Sox looking for a long term solution at catcher, why don’t they make a trade? I purpose the Cubs get Kevin Youkilis, Lars Anderson, and Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox get Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd, and a PTBNL. Please let me know what you think.

Well WrigleyVendor3 here I go. First off I think the Cubs would need to give up more for a package centered on Youkilis and Ellsbury. Lars is a good target for the Cubs because he is young up and coming first baseman but is currently blocked by Adrian Gonzales. Plus still having Soto on the DL kills this trade. Having said that I think overall it is still possible if the Cubs add another player or two once Soto gets healthy again.

From the Cubs point of view I like the idea of the Cubs getting a guy with good power and average that can play 1st and 3rd base really well. Plus looking at Kevin’s stats and price tag he is relatively cheap. The Cubs would also get a legitimate leadoff hitter and would automatically make the Cubs better on the base paths. Looking ahead to next year and having Barney, Castro, Ellsbury, and Jackson in the everyday lineup would add speed and great defense! Not to mention if they would sign a guy like Fielder as well (if you acquire Youkilis contract you cannot sign Pujols to his mega contract). Just take a look at his lineup-

Ellsbury CF
Castro SS
Youkilis 3rd
Fielder 1st
Soriano LF
Jackson RF
Barney 2b
Castillo C

From the Cubs prospective this is a steal. They get rid of Marlon Byrd and his contract at the height of his trade value and Aramis Ramirez in basically the last year of his contract unless the BoSox exercise the team option. They do give up their former All-Star catchers and let’s face it, it is hard to trade a catcher like Soto because they are so few and far between.

From the Red Sox prospective I like aspects of this trade but not the end result. I love the idea of getting Geovany Soto for at least 4 more years because of arbitration. I also like the idea of freeing up 25 million over the next two years to possible get an impact bat for OF like Grady Sizemore through free agency. I also am looking down the road and with Youk being 32 years old, his numbers and health declining I may take a chance on this deal. Aramis Ramirez still provides some of the power and defense Youkilis does so losing him would not hurt as bad. I also give up a blocked prospect in Lars Anderson as well which does not hurt me as bad.

Now for the things I hate about this deal if I am a Sox fan. Youkilis has been a big part of my team and has moved all round the diamond to help this team win. I don’t feel like thanking him by shipping him off to another city. I have no clue if his replacement Aramis Ramirez would stay healthy or have his numbers translate to the AL and its pitching staff. I also hate the fact I have to trade Ellsbury in this deal. Guys of his caliber do not come around very often and the fact I trade him at such a young age also hurts. I think trading him straight up for Soto is asking to much despite the issues in regards to the disappointing season Jacoby had last year. The other thing I am worried about is replacing his production something I don’t believe Byrd provides. Overall the cons out weight the pros for the Red Sox so unless the Cubs add a guy like Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, or a young caliber player like that I don’t do this deal.

Seeing it from both sides is sometimes tough to do and this is one of those cases. It would be hard to determine whether Soto, Byrd and Ramirez would matter more to the Red Sox than Ellsbury and Youkilis. It is also hard to determine if the Cubs would even be interested in a possible declining Youkilis with 2 years 25 million left on his deal when they could try to make a splash by landing Pujols. They could also be worried about Jacoby’s work ethic and attitude which baseball saw falter some last season. All these are reasons why it is hard to judge a trade like this. I love the deal for the Cubs and hate it for the Red Sox.

What do you guys think?

Until Next Time…..


IT’S A BOY! ON Monday May 16th at 12:09 PM Parker Jordan was born. He weighs in at 7 lbs 8 oz and is 21 inches long. We are truly happy that God blessed us with another child and hopefully another future Chicago Cubs player.

Watch for a “getting caught up blog update” soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time for a SPARK!!!

NOTE- I do realize that Jackson is on the 7 day DL so calling him up is based on recovery.

It is time for a change! Barring a couple of offensive outburst the Cubs have yet to put a consistent win streak together and even more so put a consistent lineup out there on a daily basis. One of the things the players praised Quade for is letting players when they are playing and where they are batting, but that has not happened this year. Each player except Aramis Ramirez has been shifted up and down the lineup on a regular basis. The solution in my opinion is to shuffle the roster. I think it is time for Tyler Colvin to go to AAA to get consistent at bats and I think it is time to bring up Brett Jackson.

A little over a year ago the Cubs brought up Castro and he provided excitement and a spark to a team that had none. I feel Brett Jackson can do the same and here is why.

- Brett Jackson would automatically fill in as the everyday RF/CF for the Cubs depending on if they move Marlon Byrd or not.

- Trotting Fukudome out there everyday is a mistake because he gets tired by the end of May and we see his number decrease dramatically as the season goes on. Add Jackson as an everyday player allows you to give Fukudome one or two starts a week and a defensive replacement for Soriano late in games. Doing this saves Fukudome and his stats for the entire season.

- Jackson adds a dynamic to this team that is basically non-existent, great speed and base running skills. He is 13 for 15 in stolen bases in 32 games. The Cubs have 7 SB as a team!

- Brett also allows teammate Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney to be set in one or two places in the lineup which would be a dramatic change for both. Young players prove time and time again if you give them consistency they are more likely to succeed.

- Brett Jackson will add more excitement to the ball park and the team thus creating a spark.

- Adding Brett Jackson would fill the need for a leadoff hitter versus righties and lefties, thus making the lineup more set. Here are two lineups I see-

Jackson RF
Barney 2b
Pena 1st/Ramirez 3rd
Ramirez 3rd/ Pena 1st
Castro SS
Byrd CF
Soriano LF
Soto/Castillo C

Jackson RF
Castro SS
Pena 1st /Ramirez 3rd
Ramirez 3rd/ Pena 1st
Byrd CF
Soriano LF
Barney 2b
Soto/Castillo C

I see either Pena or Ramirez batting third or fourth. I can also see Castro or Barney filling the number two spot. If Barney fills it then I think you have to put Castro in the 5 spot other than that the bottom can be shuffled some.

The time to call up Jackson is now! The Cubs are continuing to play mediocre baseball and I rather play it with the future rather than watch past. But that is just me I maybe wrong.