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Try to win and suit your needs Speak out sometimes but try to win. Reds 4 Cubs 1.

Try to win and suit your needs Speak out sometimes but try to win. Reds 4 Cubs 1.

Raise your hand if you checked to make sure you were watching a live baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. Wasn't Monday's game on DVR or a game from May or 2013….. No one would forgive you if you thought you were watching a rerun of Cincinnati's domination over the Cubs the past few years. A day after the Cubs offense erupted for 7 innings, it was back to scratching out a single run against Mat Latos. Meanwhile Edwin jackson resisted the urge, but eventually Edwin Jacksoned enough runs to the Reds to sink the series 4-1. The Reds got to Edwin Jackson in the first. Jay Bruce's double scored Todd Frazier. The Reds might have had a bigger inning but Joey Votto got thrown out trying to score after Frazier. The Cubs would tie it up in the 4th when Starlin Castro singled through a drawn in infield to score Anthony Rizzo, who led off the inning with a double. That would be it for the Cubs offense for the night.  So when Votto and bruce Doubled their fun in the sixth, and wonder kid Devan Mesoraco continued his hitting fortune in the 6th, the game was effectively over, sending hundreds of Reds fans back home…... SHUT UP KIDS, I"M TRYING TO LISTEN TO SIRI. SHE KNOWS HOW TO GET BACK HOME TO CINCY!. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO GET HOME TO CINCY? ALL RIGHT THEN, WELL LISTEN TO SIRI, SHE'S YOUR NEW MOTHER NOW…….

UMM…BRING BACK JAKE!

Was only a matter of time till the dark cloud above Edwin Jackson burst open and started raining. At least that's how it feels. Dude hasn't had a quality start since May 17th. Tonight was no different. 5.1 IP, 6 Hits, 4 earned runs, 4 BB while striking out a pair of Reds. Pitch count seems to start at 30 with this guy.  The stats say 53 of his 95 pitches were strikes. Felt like half that. Anyway, the best thing I can say is he doesn't pitch for another 4 games. Everyday Jimmy, followed by Everyday Grimmy, and an inning of good relief work by Carlos Villanueva finished it for the Cubs. Villanueva got his ERA under 6.00……so there's that.

UMMM ABOUT THAT NEW APPROACH

It was fairly evident that the Cubs weren't hitting Mat Latos tonight. But when Rudy Jaramillo was fired- remember back then?….and there was going to be this new approach to hitting, and more hitters were going to take pitches and Cubs lineups were gonna knock starters like Latos out of the game early and blah, blah, blah. Well Latos threw 106 stress free pitches through 7 innings and barely broke a sweat. I don't know if the Cubs were gonna do anything with the ever grown Jonathan Broxton and Alroidis Chapman anyway, but this approach to hitting is suppose to be across all levels of the organization, that includes the major league level too right?

So the Reds's series ends not with a bang, but with a Yak. Yak!!!!!!! Reds have seemingly won 40 out of the last 45 games against the Cubs and no it's not better that Dusty's not there. Anyway, no rest for the wicked as the Washington Nationals come in for 5 including a doubleheader on Saturday which will feature the pro debut of Dallas Beeler. That's something. Cubs have played the East fairly well this year,here's hoping that continues. Onwards.

Boxscore

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  • Rather a dull game but... I love watching Chapman pitch. Sorry.

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    How hard can it be to get Olt back in the minors? Trade Brett Jackson in a minor league trade for a minor leaguer to be named later. Give his 40 man roster spot to Chris Varilka (however you spell his last name). Promote Varilka to the major league and demote Olt. It's that simple. Or am I missing out on a transaction rule?

  • In reply to Cubsforlife:

    yes please

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    In reply to Cubsforlife:

    What you're missing in that scenario, is that no one else would want to create a spot o their 40 man for BJax either. Simply give him/Barney/Vitters etc their walking papers if you need to open a spot.
    Anyway, I agree. Send Olt to AAA. He can play DH, 1B and the OF as well as spell Bryant at 3B. meanwhile, it wouldn't kill Bryant to play a game or two in the OF or 1B either.

  • I don't think it would be that hard. But what are you trying to accomplish? Valaika has a role in Iowa. Are we simply just trying to bury OLT, because they could have done that weeks ago. But the feeling is the best way to work with Olt is with Meuller in Chicago….

    I understand the frustration. it clearly looks like Olt is overmatched. But is having him ride the pine in Iowa gonna be worse than what he's doing now?

  • In reply to felzz:

    Why would he ride the bench in Iowa?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    There is some guy named Bryant playing third currently at Iowa

  • In reply to Dave S:

    First base, DH, outfield, they could find Olt some at bats. If he hits, maybe someone else will take a flyer on him. I'm ready for Valaika & Alcantara. & this outfield is just pathetic. Lake should be the worst of them, and he's been the best.

  • In reply to Dave S:

    I got that but other ways to get him at bats.

  • Is there anything we can do with Jackson? I can't really think of a more disappointing Cub in the last couple of years. (Key word being "disappointing" -- there were at least some expectations here.)

  • Rizzo and Castro were the only offense? Weird.

  • We have at hand several lessons from several prospects in the minors that it can take time to adjust to a new level, but we are all ready to give up on Olt who is adjusting to a new level.

    It makes sense to me that Olt needs more consistent at bats if he is going to make the necessary adjustments. He has not played in 11 out of 23 games this month. I would like to see him play more.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I agree. It is to early to give up somebody that has legitimate power and has not turned 26 yet. Olt has also hit 5 home runs against left handed pitching in 43 at bats. He could possible be an expensive platoon player down the road.

  • I am sick and tired of the White Flag Rebuild. Pathetic. Infuriating. Insufferable.

    I. Just. Can't. Take. It. Any. More.
    Please. Make. It. Stop.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Just hang in there. It takes time to build a winner. Theo Epstein and company inherited a pitiful mlb roster and a poor farm system. In a short period of time they have rebuilt the farm system and locked Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo into long term contracts. The future looks really bright if Epstein and company can just stay the course and keep making sound decisions.

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    In reply to KevinCubsfan23:

    You know Kevin I am getting a little tired of the narrative that there was nothing here when Theo arrived. Lets just look at our major league team and high minors to see how accurate that is.

    majors that were BTT (before Team Theo):

    Castillo,Castro,Lake, Samardzija, Barney, Russell, Rosscup, Parker, and Schlitter.

    Now the guys on AAA BTT :

    Baez, Jackson, Vitters, Alcantara, Beeler, Anitgua, Cabrera, Figueroa, Jokisch, Negrin, Rusin, Szczur, and Watkins (I am sure I missing a few but this gets the idea).

    The year that Hendry got fired I remember the conversations going into spring training that the Cubs even though they had a 20 something farm system had as much major league average talent as anyone. It was a question of development and not having that true stud that you could look at and go WOW he will be a top player in this league.

    Theo and the boys have done a wonderful job of fixing the development side of the equation so far and have added a TON of talent but to keep this cupboard was barren storyline going is kind of getting old.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    I would articulate it this way...

    The Cubs were bad when the current regime was hired to turn the franchise around and the gutting and rebuild has taken longer to bear fruit then some of us have patience for, which I get and to some extent agree with.

    However, there is not a long term asset that is currently on the ML roster that the new regime drafted and groomed as a piece of the long term solution.

    It is clear to me that we are close to seeing the first piece, Kris Bryant, make a potential splash at the ML level.

    For me, once the team is populated with the new regimes recruits, then the clock starts ticking, unless, of course, lots of these guys never make the big club (and that would call into question their ability to evalute talent).

    I am still willing to give the new regime a long leash as the damage that Hendry inflicted was deep and systemic.

    As a I said before (admittely I am not a frequent contributor), is that I choose to withhold judgement until we see if the recruits make the team better or prove to be busts.

    One final thought - I still think signing a LT piece, simialr to what the Nationals did with Werth would signal to players (in and outside the organization) that the Cubs are willing to spend money where needed in an effort to win.

    That piece may still be coming, but it is clear that the new regime (other than the befuddling signing of Jackson) has chosen to be frugal for the the time being.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    I kind of like the idea of adding a long-term piece. Who did you have in mind?

    If I could add a free agent position player it would probably be Nick Markakis. While he is 31 years old, he is a great defender and a consistent OBP guy. I was hoping that last year we would have added Michael Bourn.

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    You're kind of damning him with faint praise here. Castro is definitely a win for the old regime. Samardzija was a middle reliever -- with no opportunity to start -- before Theo arrived. Castillo made huge strides only after Theo got here and Barney -- yeah. The others are bullpen arms but, notably, none of them are the top arms in our rejuvenated bullpen. Add in Cashner because he was a Cub at the time -- though his injury problems really do make his impact questionable.

    Looking at the minors, you have two starters for the Cubs in that list: Baez and Alcantara. Alcantara was a guy with all tools and no polish before Theo got here Baez was so raw after half a season working with Hendry's people that he started in Arizona. He would have long since been a bust without Theo.

    So that's really 5 impact players, tops, in Castro, Castillo, Cashner, Baez, and Alcantara. In a decade. That is so insignificant as to be laughable.

    Since Theo got here: Rizzo, Rondon, Ramirez, Arrieta, Samardzija (as a starter), Bryant, Hendricks, Johnson, Tseng, and Edwards. In three years. In addition, I would argue Alcantara's and Baez's development are on Theo. You'll notice I didn't even include guys who could be impact talent but are further away from the team like Almora, Soler, Schwarber, Hannemann, Underwood, Zastryzny, Torres, and Jimenez.

  • In reply to KevinCubsfan23:

    Nicely done, Richard. And, Kevin, I am hang ing in there as best I can. I see light at the end of the tunnel. But we can't go to war with Castro and Rizzo only -- and that's what its become.

    I would be happy just to see some effort by the front office to help this team this year. Let's get Alcantara up here NOW. He's ready. Let's get Valaika up NOW. Let's see if he can do better than the sub-.200 hitters we're playing. I'm not expecting they go whole hog, but please just give us a sign that that won't put up with below replacement level player performances.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Here's a top 20 list from 2011 and my comments:
    1) Brett Jackson, OF, - BUST
    2) Trey McNutt, RHP, - Unfortunate BUST
    3) Chris Carpenter, RHP, -- Scuffling in Minors
    4) Jay Jackson, RHP, - Still in Minors
    5) Hayden Simpson, RHP, -- Not pitching this year – last seen in independent league
    6) Reggie Golden, OF, -- Not playing
    7) Josh Vitters, 3B, -- BUST
    8) Robinson Lopez, RHP, -- Didn’t pan out
    9) Austin Reed, RHP, --- Hasn’t made it past high A
    10) Alberto Cabrera, RHP – If he makes it and stays, good player.
    11) Marquez Smith, 3B, -- Double A with Cincinnatti
    12) D.J. LeMahieu, INF, Grade C+: -- Replacement level player, did make majors
    13) Rafael Dolis, RHP, -- made the show, fizzled out
    14) Brett Wallach, RHP, -- Hasn’t made it past high A
    15) Brooks Raley, LHP, -- Made MLB roster last year, back in minors, scuffling with Twins
    16) Su-Min Jung, RHP, -- Done after 2012
    17) Austin Kirk, LHP, -- Toiling in high A
    18) Jin-Yeong Kim, RHP, -- Done
    19) Ben Wells, RHP, -- Injuries, speed down,
    20) Welington Castillo, C, -- Majors, best out of the bunch

    To say the cupboard hasn't been replenished and then some is just not true. We had nothing, and management decided a complete rebuild was in order. I am frustrated just the same as everyone when I spend my time watching bad baseball. But as KevinCubsfan23 mentions below, Hendry was given a directive of win now at all costs, and make the team worth more money before we sell. Hendry played the cards he was dealt, and probably could have done it a better way. Having Alcantara on the same team as Baez and Bryant is, IMO, much better in the short run. Plus he'll get that playoff experience, as John has mentioned. I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve staring at a bunch of presents. I want all of them now! But it's not going to happen. If we bring them up when they are ready, the adjustments will be less and our MLB team will be that much better for it. I hate the waiting as much as anyone, but it is the best way.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Hendry draft Baez, Vogelbomb, Zych, and DeVoss in 2011? And sign Alcontara (2008 or 2009, IIRC)? So they were there. Plus, Cashner (Theo cashed that in for an upgrade with Rizzo, but Cashner was a very valuable piece, nonetheless).

    I completely agree that Theo/Hoyer have upgraded talent and added very valuable assets, but by no means was the cupboard "bare".

  • In reply to 104YearsofGlory:

    Also, I think folks here forget just what magnificent teams Hendry put together in 2003 and 2004. The failures of those teams to get to the World Series was in no way the fault of Hendry.

    I think he was in the unfortunate position of being given an ever changing mandate from the Tribune and did the best anyone could.

    Related, I have a feeling (based on subtle comments about spending limits) that Theo/Hoyer were under the impression there would be more to spend at the MLB level when they came over. Due to the lack of payroll, they see the only way to rebuild is through consecutive high draft picks and mid-season fire sales. Otherwise, I think we would have an MLB roster with more mid level FA talent(signings that required no long contracts or draft compensation).

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    In reply to 104YearsofGlory:

    No one is denying his ability to scout major league talent and his acquisitions of Lee and Ramirez were two of the greatest in Cubs history. Where his track record is not as good is in drafting and developing talent from within the organization.

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    In reply to 104YearsofGlory:

    The very fact that you need to point to Zych and DeVoss shows exactly how bad Hendry's prospect development was. Even Vogelbach is a borderline top 100 guy. I don't have to point to Masek, Hannemann, and Villanueva to build up Epstein's acquisitions.

  • In reply to 104YearsofGlory:

    I think bare is a pretty descriptive term. Baez is the gem of the Hendry regime. However, there could be a popular argument that it is Epstein and Hoyer's ability to implement teaching into the farm system that allows prospects to actually succeed. We had too many great looking prospects fizzle out during the Hendry regime. So even though we can give him great credit for drafting some guys, there doesn't really seem to be much likelihood that these guys would be as successful as they are without Epstein and Hoyer actually implementing a "Cubs Way." Hendry always had an eye for talent, but he was more successful in trading for already developed talent.

    I don't think bare is used in a fully literal sense, but in the sense that there really wasn't much talent to work with. When you notice how one season under Epstein and Hoyer knock out so many of Hendry's top prospects, you get a picture of what "bare" means....

    BA's Top 10 Prospects, 2012-2014 (Hendry's last draft class-Present):
    2012 2013 2014
    1) Brett Jackson 1) Javier Baez 1) Javier Baez
    2) Javier Baez 2) Albert Almora 2) Kris Bryant
    3) Matt Szczur 3) Jorge Soler 3) C.J. Edwards
    4) Trey McNutt 4) Arodys Vizcaino 4) Albert Almora
    5) Dillon Maples 5) Brett Jackson 5) Jorge Soler
    6) Wellington Castillo 6) Pierce Johnson 6) Pierce Johnson
    7) Rafael Dolis 7) Dan Vogelbach 7) Arismendy Alcantara
    8) Junior Lake 8) Jeimer Candelario 8) Jeimer Candelario
    9) Josh Vitters 9) Kyuji Fujikawa 9) Dan Vogelbach
    10) Dan Vogelbach 10) Arismendy Alcantara 10) Arodys Vizcaino

    One could argue that a player like AA became a prospect and made these lists because of development he received from the post-Hendry regime. Anyway, two from his list are currently in the majors, two are still on the top 10 list, with Baez being at the top, though struggling, and probably passed by Bryant right now. And though I'm not an expert by any means, I'd wager that if 2014's list was updated right now, Schwarber would already be on the top 10.

    I've always been a fairly big fan of Hendry. But whether he actually left the cupboard bare or he just didn't develop the talent, the fact remains that the ownership of the minor league system's fruitfulness--I'd include Baez here--belongs to Theo, Jed and Jason.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    So, we are in a position to judge how Theo/Hoyer's prospects have panned out in the majors in comparison to Hendry's? Has a single Theo/Hoyer prospect they drafted played in the majors yet? Are you comparing the speed of development of a polished college player to a prep-aged one?

    Theo/Hoyer have been pre-judged a "success" by some folks here before any fruits (ie major league wins) have been realized. I personally believe they have done great things and have the ability to continue doing that. What I (and i think others) object to is the belief that every move they have made has "worked" and they deserve credit for all the good while all the bad is the fault of Hendry. Also, the seeming belief that their moves are "the perfect moves" and there are no other ways to create a competitive ball club.

    Case and point - You credit their development of guys. Ok, what about castro? He was a .285 - .300 hitter when they arrived, they hired a coach that made him a .240 hitter, fired that coach, hired a new coach under which he is back to hitting ~.290. Does that seem like a success to anyone else? Seems like they undid their own screw-up. I think they are good, I do not think they are a step up in human baseball genius-ness over the rest of the GM's.

    I think getting a top 5 pick every year and extra money to spend gives you an advantage over not having that. Therefore, you are supposed to have a better farm system after 3 years of that. When they can do that and have a ball club that doesn't lose 90+ games, I'll start to drink the kool-aid.

    I also want to clarify that me thinking some of you are incredibly biased in the positive towards Theo/Hoyer does not mean that I think Theo/Jed stink or deserve harsh criticism for what they have done. I like em, I think they are very good. I also think being truly awful and cheap for 4-5 years is not a necessity to creating a competitive ballclub when you are a top 5 revenue/market team.

  • The guys that you list on the BTT list for the majors are all good. It is the guys that were left off the list I have a problem with. When Theo Epstein arrived the Cubs also had players like Marlon Bryd, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, and Alfonso Soriano, who were signed to bad contracts and were on the down side of the careers. The BTT roster did have Matt Garza and Dempster, which were able to net them some prospects, but overall, they were a team that needed to be rebuilt.

    As for the BTT minor league talent, I admit, maybe, it was a little harsh to say poor, but you must admit that the Cubs farm system is really strong now and only getting stronger with the addition of this years draft picks.

  • I hear you Felzz, on the Cubs approach at the plate.

    Starling was frustrating to watch last night (even though he got two hits).

    His approach drives me crazy sometimes. He will take the first pitch (usually a fastball) right down the middle for strike one, then he gets crazy and has that look of "I gotta swing at this next pitch no matter what" and sure enough, he swings at some stupid unhittable pitch way off the plate and outside. Now he's 0 and 2 and fighting of this life the rest of the at-bat. Very frustrating to watch.

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