A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Thursday Headlines: Gorzelanny Makes Bid for Bullpen


Tribune Photo by Scott Strazzante


Tom Gorzelanny's pitched well this year, just not last night.

No doubt Wednesday's performance in the Cubs' 8-5 loss didn't help Gorzelanny, who looks ticketed for the bullpen. He lasted 5 innings, giving up 7 hits and 7 runs, 5 of them earned as the Cubs' defense did him few favors.

But Gorzy's going down swinging.

"No, but you read it," he said. "I don't really know what the decision is to be made. It's not my decision. But I don't feel like I deserve the right to go to the pen. I feel like I've pitched well enough overall this year to be in the rotation. I feel that whatever they choose to do hopefully is (for) the right reason. Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do.

"Do I think I deserve to be put in the pen? No, I don't."

Bruce Miles did some interesting stat research on Carlos Marmol.

Through last night's game, Marmol had faced 99 batters, striking out 46 of them. That means he has struck out 46.4 percent of the batters he's faced. For a whole season, that would be a major-league record. The existing mark was set in 2003 by Eric Gagne, who struck out 44.8 percent (137 of 306) of the batters he faced.

For the season, Marmol has pitched 23.2 innings, striking out 46 batters. That's 17.49 per 9 innings. His record is 1-0 with a 1.52 ERA, and he has his WHIP down to a tidy 1.14.

And Ryan Theriot:

On the other side of the stats, Ryan Theriot is in a bad way. For the season, The Riot has a line of .297/.325/.330 for an OPS of .654. It's even worse in May, at .250/.267/.262 for an OPS of .529. Theriot has 1 walk and 9 strikeouts this month, that walk coming on May 1.

His isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average, measuring extra-basehit ability) is only .032. Last year, the ISO was .085 (thanks to his little power surge), and in 2008, it was .052. Theriot's weighted on-base (wOBA) is .300, and his wins above replacement player (WAR) currently sits at 0.1.


Lou hadn't really noticed Theriot's lack of OBP.

"I haven't paid too much attention to it," Piniella said. "Are the numbers down a little bit?"

Piniella seemed stunned to learn of Theriot's lack of walks, calling it "unbelievable."

"Really? How about that?" he said. "He hasn't walked since the first of May? That is surprising. I wasn't aware of that."

Piniella said he was "comfortable" with Theriot batting second behind Kosuke Fukudome, though the Cubs are 7-0 with Starlin Castro in the 2-hole.


On the night the lights went out in Wrigley, the Cub defense reverted to their early-season form.

Even before the lights went out, the Cubs played at times like they were in the dark, committing two early errors, including a throwing error by third baseman Mike Fontenot that led to two runs in the second.

Fontenot also mishandled a hard grounder by Manny Ramirez in the first that contributed to the Dodgers' first run. And rookie shortstop Starlin Castro, who hadn't committed an error since making five in his first five games, made one leading off the third.

The Cubs, who were third from the bottom in the National League in fielding through Tuesday, took over the league lead for unearned runs allowed (27), pending the result of the West Coast games. And their 37 errors trailed only the Florida Marlins' 38.

But entering Wednesday, the Cubs had the third-best fielding percentage in the majors during their previous 11 games.


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54 Comments

FrankS said:

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Sure would be nice if Lou paid enough attention to his team to know how his players are performing. Or maybe he was feigning ignorance of Theriot's performance so it didn't come across as a public put down of the guy who should soon be his utility infielder.

Personally, I think they should start having Theriot work out in the outfield so he can be extra outfielder as well. This guy should not be starting, but he needs to be as versatile as possible so he can get his needed camera time.

jmkobus said:

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I honestly wonder what he is thinking sometimes. Starlin looks real good in the 2 hole with a .940 OPS. Compare that to Theriot's 2 hole OPS at .548. Why not go with what works?

kiwibob said:

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Theriot is going through a phase where he seems to be pulling the ball all the time.
Nothing good ever comes from that... he's ability lies in being able to slap the ball the other way, which is why Lou likes him in the 2-hole I suspect.

jmkobus said:

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Oh yeah, I agree when Theriot is doing what he should(slap singles) he is a great number two hitter. But right now he isnt and Castro is getting on base.

Edelweiss said:

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Theriot does not adjust well to change. He is probably the least versatile player on the team. He figures that if he can play only one position per season, he will always be a starter. Piniella won't even have him as a backup at shortstop.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Continuing our birthday-heavy week, a big LOHO happy birthday to doc_blume today! He's 25!

plamorte said:

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Happy birthday to the DOC!

kiwibob said:

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I third that...
Happy Birthday Doc!

flyball said:

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happy birthday doc!

Umbra said:

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Happy birthday, doc.

gravedigger said:

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I'm older than him? I thought he was like 35.

Doc said:

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Actually, GD is right...this is the 10th anniversary of my 25th birthday. I'm old and ready for the grave now.

baturkey said:

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Happy birthday!

Little Bear said:

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Happy birthday DOC!

JulieDiCaro said:

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I would give anything to get that mutated dog in "more from around the web" off my computer screen.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh hey, it's gone! replaced by nazis! i'll take it!

flyball said:

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those are some of the worst pictures ever that show up

Umbra said:

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Agreed. Exposed bras: in or out?

Out. How is this even a question?

Umbra said:

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Now they've been changed and are far, far worse. Ack!

However, I read the one as, "Are you a bicycle, God?". Like someone was wondering if God is, in fact, a bicycle. I am in a strange, strange mood.

Barack Obama is your new bicycle!

kiwibob said:

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God being a bicycle would a lot more sense than a number of the incarnations that some people believe in...

sloan peterson said:

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Hey1 That's no way to refer to the skinny girls with the bras? Oh, there was a dog picture there?

On another thought, happy birthday doc!

gravedigger said:

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That fucking fat guy in a box picture is the absolute worst. Seriously sometimes makes me consider not ever coming back to this site.

MillsChC said:

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Game's at 1:20 CT... so says Yahoo.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay then--game's at 1:20!

kiwibob said:

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Boo... stupid day games.
Hope you guys manage to get the Cubs a win today so I can wake up to some good news.
And, talking of news.... CJ?

flyball said:

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I love day games, but it couldn't be on WGN today? I'll be home for a change

Umbra said:

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I don't care what Tom Gorzelanny thinks he deserves. It's about what helps this team win the most. There's no crying in baseball. For him to put himself above the team is the cardinal sin. I am shocked- shocked!- to find that this starter doesn't want to be a reliever.

Come, villagers! Grab your pitchforks! Light your torches! MOOOOOOONSTEEEEEEEER!

JulieDiCaro said:

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he doesn't feel like he deserves the right to go to the pen? i'm not even sure what that means.

also, since Z took his demotion with good grace, and Gorzelanny is whining and bitching, shouldn't everyone be calling for his trade?

it's only fair.

jmkobus said:

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I feel like Hendry should be working the phones for a trade since we have an over abundance of starting pitchers.

kiwibob said:

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I wouldn't be surprised to find he has been.
What he comes up with however... that remains to be seen.

Umbra said:

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I think it's an ok problem to have. If someone gets hurt, the Cubs are in good position to replace them.

kiwibob said:

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With Cashner pitching lights out at Iowa and Marshall being unlucky not to be starting this year, do you think they may consider trading a starter for a good bullpen arm?

Umbra said:

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Remember that according to the Cubs Law of Baseball Karma, trading away a starting pitcher guarantees that a different starting pitcher will go on the DL for a month.

But I thought they were talking about putting Cashner in the bullpen, too.

So it doesn't make much sense to trade away a starter and fill the spot with Cashner if you're grooming Cashner to be in the pen, if that's what you're suggesting.

kiwibob said:

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No.
I meant that, given Cashner will eventually be a starter too, the Cubs have an abundance of starters when they are lacking decent bullpen arms.
Should a starter follow CLBK then they aren't left with only 4 left even if they traded one away...

Umbra said:

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"Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do" seems like an ok quote to me. Tom Gorzelanny has pitched well, and if I had my druthers, I would send Carlos Silva to the bullpen instead. He's a righty, and he's not that good.

The rotation will then be:
Zambrano (R)
Lilly (L)
Wells (R)
Gorzellany (L)
Dempster (R)

Plus, the bullpen will have a competent right-hander, which they're short on right now. Platoon advantage on both sides!

But Silva is 6-0, so this will never happen.

kiwibob said:

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I was under the impression they would be sending Wells to the pen because they don't really need a lefty in there.
Could the fact the choice seems kind of up in the air still, mean that Hendry IS working the phones? I'm surprised they announced Big Z will be coming back to the rotation but not who he will be replacing...

cadarnell said:

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seems to me like having a lot of options is a good thing for Lou, but a trade will probably happen ... I just hope Hendry gets it right...

jarowcliffe said:

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Trades I dont worry about with Hendry, he typically comes through pretty good.

Free agents on the other hand...with a few exceptions

jarowcliffe said:

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They cant announce it cause they needed at least one more start from everyone before Z would be ready.

I have to think we will be seeing a move real soon...my only problem with moving Gorz is he is the definition of upside...makes 800,000 and isnt eligible for free agency for a few years yet

JulieDiCaro said:

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We can't touch Silva. Don't touch Silva. Just leave him there. He seems the most likely to fall apart mentally if he gets moved.

jarowcliffe said:

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Plus we win when he is on the mound...he is our ace this year whether we like it or not!

Teebob2000 said:

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You and your "Silva's not that good."

I'm watching games not spreadsheets, and he's performing as pretty much our best pitcher right now, BABIPs, CERAs, GIDPs, ZiPITs, ZaPITs, PFuKITs and WHoZITs notwithstanding.

Umbra said:

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Well gosh if your method of 'watching games not spreadsheets' had better predictive power than my spreadsheets, you'd have a point.

Again, this is our objective: to predict the future. Your chosen method of doing so- watching games and guessing- is just not as accurate as mine.

You'd be surprised how little advanced statistics get you- baseball's an unpredictable game of inches. But you'd also be surprised how much better they are than armchair ruminations and just-so stories.

Cooooome to the liiiiiiiight. Cooooooooome to the liiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Teebob2000 said:

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"our objective" is the key. It's a data geek's objective, not mine. My objective is to watch the games from the infamous armchair (I take mine with full recline and beverage holder) and enjoy.

My career is market research, so I certainly grasp the significance (ha, ha!) of stats and predictive analysis. And I understand the function and reason for geek-like stats to exist in the context of baseball, I just happen to not put a lot of stock into their value personally.

If baseball was played inside a computer analysis, I might be inclined to see things purely in terms of predictive and predictable numbers. But it's played by humans, on real fields, subject to the imperfections and foibles and super-human feats that make it so incredibly interesting. Dallas Braden pitch a freaking perfect game??? You kidding me??? Of all the current rostered pitchers in MLB, he'd have to be number 347 or so down the list of likely candidates. Stats would have been as likely to predict that happening as I would have, which is to say not at all.

If I was relying on predicting, I wouldn't be in first place in my fantasy league in my first year of ever playing fantasy. I've watched Haren and Felix both fall apart in multiple starts and dropped both of them (for statistically mid-to-low-level, 4th/5th-slot rotation men -- hey, like Silva!! -- who are killing for me) before they did any real and lasting damage to my team. The prediction would have been for Felix to have Cy Young numbers (his career number trends clearly pointed in that direction and most experts picked him to do so) and Haren to be sub-3.00 ERA until at least mid-August; that is, after all, how he's historically performed nearly every year of his career to this point and exactly how you'd expect him to stick to form. But I've watched them both get the snot knocked out of them live (thanks, MLB Extra Innings and the miracle that is picture-in-picture!) for nearly every start.

I'm not completely averse to looking at stats, I just don't rely on them by any means. I've solicited advice from "stats guys" at a couple of different websites who have warned me to drop certain players with out-of-whack offensive numbers because they were "due for a serious regression" but I haven't, and they've paid off for me.

I dunno -- I guess if I have a beer in one hand and the clicker in the other, I ain't got no room for spreadsheets.

Umbra said:

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I can't argue with your epistemology- if you reliably do a better job than the stat machine, go ahead and be a modern John Henry.

And if it ruins the mystery and mystique of the game, fine. But should your fantasy baseball team ever start to suck, just know that fangraphs.com is waiting around the corner to embrace you with its arms of 011010010101011100010101.

Teebob2000 said:

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Must... not... look...

gravedigger said:

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You guys just reached the baseball-related discussion quota for the day, please feel free to move on to other topics now.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I have returned from court. What did I miss?

Umbra said:

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We decided they were in Hurley's dream the whole time.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's an ending i can get behind.

Umbra said:

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Did I mention that Hurley was having the dream while he was in purgatory?

JulieDiCaro said:

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boo.

jarowcliffe said:

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This "courting" Lebron stuff is ridiculous...

Doc said:

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Thanks for the birthday greetings, everyone. :)

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