A League of Her Own

Wednesday Cubs Headlines: 14 Painful Days

Tribune Company Reaches Deal To Sell Chicago Cubs And Wrigley Field



If you're stupid enough to wonder why I'm calling the 14 days till pitchers and catchers report painful, I'd like to refer you to the only Cubs news to report today.

The Cubs are among a number of teams monitoring the progress of free-agent pitcher Kris Benson. Other teams in the mix include the Diamondbacks, Reds and Nationals, according to a major-league source.

Last week, Benson's agent said he expected the oft-injured right-hander -- who has made only eight major-league appearances since 2006 -- to join a new team within the next few weeks. He pitched briefly for Texas last season.

Yes, that's it. We might get to see Kris Benson get hurt in a Cub uniform in Spring Training.
Oh, and one other thing, involving a now former Cub:

Former Cubs closer Kevin Gregg has signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.

I read somewhere that the deal has two options and could be worth as much as $12 million.  There must be a good save percentage conversion rate with Canada right now.

And while there's no more breaking news, Carrie Muskat has been working hard to let us know who we should expect to see in the hunt for the bullpen this year.

Jeff Gray: The right-hander was acquired from Oakland along with outfielder Matthew Spencer and pitcher Eduardo Morlan for Jake Fox and Aaron Miles. Gray appeared in 24 games for the Athletics, all but three after Aug. 6, and posted a 3.76 ERA over 26 1/3 innings. Right-handers batted .259 against him. His fastball has been clocked at 97 mph and Piniella said he's received good reports.

Angel Guzman: If he can stay healthy, Guzman may be the one best suited to handle the setup duties. The right-hander held hitters to a .192 average in 55 games last season, and struck out 47 over 61 innings. Guzman, whose career has been slowed because of elbow and shoulder injuries, had to be shutdown at the end of the year because of inflammation in his right side.

Michael Parisi: In December 2008, the Cubs acquired Rule 5 Draft pick David Patton, who had not pitched above the Class A level. This past December, the Cubs picked Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft. He's pitched in a ballpark with an upper deck, appearing in 12 games for the Cardinals in '08. Patton most likely will start the 2010 season in the Minor Leagues unless he wows Piniella and staff this spring.

Justin Berg: One pitcher who left a good impression in 2009 was Berg, 25, who appeared in 11 games. The right-hander gave up one earned run in 12 innings. He was 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 27 games at Triple-A Iowa, including 16 starts. He gave up two home runs over 55 2/3 innings in the Minors.

John Gaub: Acquired from the Cleveland Indians on New Year's Eve 2008 along with Jeff Stevens and Chris Archer for Mark DeRosa, Gaub is another pitcher Piniella wants to see more of this spring. The lefty began last season at Double-A Tennessee and compiled a 2.83 ERA in 26 games, then posted an even more impressive 1.72 ERA in 26 games at Iowa. Gaub's numbers in the Arizona Fall League weren't as impressive as he gave up 10 earned runs over 9 2/3 innings in 10 games. He did strike out 15. For the season, Gaub totaled 69 2/3 innings and fanned 95. In 2008, he struck out 100 for Class A Lake County.

Andrew Cashner: The No. 1 Draft pick in 2008, Cashner is another pitcher who could get a good look this spring. The right-hander began the '09 season at Class A Daytona, compiling a 1.50 ERA in 12 games. Cashner didn't pitch past the fifth inning in his 12 starts. He was promoted to Tennessee in July, and went 3-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 games there. His longest outing was his last on Sept. 5 when he threw seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits. The Cubs kept a close eye on Cashner's pitch counts, which is why his outings were so short. He threw 91 over five innings on July 29. At that rate, he won't get very deep in games. He's expected to open in the Minors this year.

Esmailin Caridad: The hard-throwing right-hander was a starter at Iowa, compiling a 4.17 ERA in 25 games. He shined when called up to the big league team and used in relief, striking out 17 over 19 1/3 innings. Caridad has traveled a long way to get to Wrigley Field. He actually began his pro career in 2007 with a Japanese team.


Sometimes two weeks seems like nothing. I think for us, these next two week will be dreadful and painful. Please pray that something exciting happens between now and then, so we'll have something to talk about.

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40 Comments

plamorte said:

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I must really praise the Blue Jays, what an organization, allowing the blind to be scouts.

"Gregg? Oh yea he looked good to me!"

JulieDiCaro said:

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This is the price they pay for being an MLB outpost in Canada. They probably don't get American TV. Or newspapers. Or internet.

gravedigger said:

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It occurred to me yesterday that Ted Lilly was a member of both the Expos and Blue Jays. Apropos of nothing, and not even that interesting, but jesus shit there's nothing else to discuss.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This makes me imagine Ted running up snowcapped mountains and lifting ox carts full of rocks like Rocky getting ready for Ivan Drago.

Teebob2000 said:

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...and beating up pitbulls. Don't forget that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This town is so not ready for Anna Benson. Look how everyone freaked out over the Blackhawks' limo photos.

Edelweiss said:

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The trouble with the Blackhawk photos is that those young 20ish athletes look soft and un-athletic without their shirts. When you bare your body, especially if you are a public figure, look in the mirror first. I'll bet you don't put any of those guys on Designated Hotter.

JulieDiCaro said:

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During election results yesterday, I noticed there is some candidate going by Jerry 'Iceman' Butler. Are we putting our frat names on the ballots these days? Mike "Schmitty" Schmidt? Brandon "Jonesy" Jones?

Good God, I wouldn't vote for the guy just based on that.

FrankS said:

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Jerry Butler has been in office for 25 years. And the "Ice Man" isn't his frat name, but the nickname he has as a singing artist. The man is even an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Butler_%28singer%29

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay--i still think it's a weird thing to have on your ballot. He sounds like a mob hit man.

Teebob2000 said:

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No, baby, the Ice Man is coooooool.

berselius said:

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It could be worse, Julie. Just remember the time when pitchers and catchers report ----------> endless updates on towel drills.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I might welcome some towel news right about now.

Just sayin. . .

flyball said:

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don't let the endless offseason lull you into wanting towel drills, you must fight these thoughts, how is it that when Valentine's Day approaches everyone forgets the heartache and wonders why they aren't with their ex, just let them be happy in the new relationship

JulieDiCaro said:

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it's just that the towel drills at least had some variety: were they done on flat ground? were they done on a mound? did the towel snap? what color was the towel? would there be a bullpen session with the towel soon?

this off-season, all we get is "hey, here's another crappy pitcher we're thinking about signing for no apparent reason."

blah.

flyball said:

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I think the towel drill updates were waaaaaay more painful, mostly because I didn't care, its rehab, isn't that kinda like saying "today the temperature in teh whirlpool was 80 degrees, this is an improvement over yesterday's 79"

Teebob2000 said:

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Let's go back to this towel-snapping aspect...

Doc said:

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I'm going to enjoy seeing Kevin Gregg lose his closer role in the middle of the season for the 3rd straight year. Good luck, Groggles.

gravedigger said:

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someone do something

gravedigger said:

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The page didn't load, but judging by the URL, I'm glad for that.

plamorte said:

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it was geocities-ish homepage of fart noises.

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, gathered that...

plamorte said:

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better than a...Kevin Gregg highlights video?

JulieDiCaro said:

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here you go: my latest bit of journalistic excellence. the ernie pyle school of journalism must be so proud.

http://www.lemondrop.com/2010/02/03/10-best-butts-in-the-nfl/

JulieDiCaro said:

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This just in: drugs are awesome.

I can't stay awake, but I feel no pain in my shoulder.

Hooray for modern medicine.

plamorte said:

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Can I borrow some of that around early September when the Cubs are officially eliminated from playoff contention?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm sorry, I can't spare any. There's not enough to spare.

gravedigger said:

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I just got some new antibiotics from the doc. Let's all hope and pray, because if this pain doesn't go away, I'm gonna start to lose it.

Doc said:

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Lose what?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ryan Theriot's arbitration will take place between February 8 and February 20. If the Cubs are smart, they'll let Wrigleyville23 present the Cubs' case.

flyball said:

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is Jim Hendry's streak going to end with Theriot? good for you Jim, don't cave!

Doc said:

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ACB did analysis of Theriot, and statistically he's worth, I believe, $2.1 million.

That's not good news for Theriot.

With Castro waiting, I thought it wise for the Cubs to move Theriot to second. Now I think they should try to trade him.

Edelweiss said:

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All those Cub fans that think Castro is the Second Coming may be a bit premature. He has never played above double A, and looks puny. He may not be an everyday player until he fills out. He weighs as much as Mike Fontenot, but is about 8 inches taller. If there were questions about a short guy weighing 160 being durable, then what about a tall guy weighing the same? Lots of good prospects find someone else already at their position when they are ready for the majors, and end up on other teams.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Theriot is setting himself up to be traded to our Divisional Farm System...The Pittsburgh Pirates. Is it possible to develop a statistic (such as TOOTBLANS) for mistakes in contract negotiations?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I think this is a fine idea.

cub legend said:

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Surprised at all the bad talk about Theriot. I hope this Castro is as good as everybody thinks he his and not the next Ronny Cedanio.
I can see Theriot wanting more money. With people like Sorieno, Fuk, and even Bradley getting major money, I would think a starting SS should get at least half what they get.

FrankS said:

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Could Theriot be getting less because 1) until now he had no leverage to get a higher salary and 2) because he is mediocre? Just because Soriano or Fukudome or Bradley were overpaid would that in any way justify overpaying the frigging Ragin' Cajun Musketeer. Or is that Mousketeer?

Doc said:

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The thing is, all those players are free agents...Theriot has to wait before he can get the free agent dollars. When you are arbitration eligible, you still have to play within a certain rule set.

Soriano, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez...they all had to wait their 6 years before getting paid big bucks. Theriot needs to do the same.

And the truth is, if he plays ball here and doesn't piss off the Cubs organization, they will move him over to 2nd base and likely give him a long, oversized contract to stay.

But if he doesn't play ball, he'll get traded somewhere else, and he isn't going to get nearly as big of a payday. Sure, he'll get paid well when he hits free agency, but I don't think any of the big market teams with a lot of money are going to pay an arm and a leg for a slap hitting, low OBP utility infielder.

Edelweiss said:

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I agree that Theriot is asking too much. Up until then, he was positioning himself to be a long term player, because he is the type of player who sticks with a team, despite what some fans say about his abilities. A middle infielder who hits around .300 is just what teams need. I think he is trying to test just how committed the Cubs are to him, but this could backfire.

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