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Cubs Notes: Rizzo out for 3rd game; Kyle Schwarber could stick at catcher; false Bryant rumor; thoughts on Jacob Turner

Cubs Notes: Rizzo out for 3rd game; Kyle Schwarber could stick at catcher; false Bryant rumor; thoughts on Jacob Turner
Kyle Schwarber

If you read Mauricio's report on Shelby Miller, you should be fully aware of what to expect.  Let's hope the Cubs do as well and take advantage as they send out Kyle Hendricks to counter as the Cubs take on the small-market Cardinals.

Here are some news and notes to guide us through...

  • Kris Bryant is NOT coming up today as has been rumored on the internet.  I actually talked about him yesterday with someone close to the situation and it never came up.  In fact, much of the conversation centered on the opposite, that is that Bryant understands the situation and is fine with waiting until next season.  Until then, he just plans on shoring up the holes in his game.
  • Unfortunately, Anthony Rizzo won't be in the Cubs lineup either.  He will miss his 3rd straight game with a bad back.
  • Theo Epstein was on The Score 670 and talked about a number of things   One of them was about acquiring an impact pitcher in the next 18-24 months but you knew that already.  The other interesting tidbit was about Kyle Schwarber, whom one scout apparently said was as good and possibly better than Kris Bryant.  Whaaa?  I think that's a nice argument to have.  Schwarber has actually out OBP'd and outslugged Bryant in his first pro season.  Of course, Schwarber has a tall task to try and match Bryant's second season.  Of more practical concern is the increasing likelihood that Schwarber can play catcher.  I've mentioned recently that Schwarber's ability to control runners has improved and that his pop times have been in the 1.85-1.95 range.  That's MLB quality.  You may remember that Kevin Gallo scouted him for the Indians and gave us a fan-friendly version scouting report,  Here is what he said about Schwarber's receiving skills at the time, "He shows good receiving skills and moves well behind the plate.  He doesn't have a huge arm but makes up for it with a quick release.  I think he could stick at catcher at first but would eventually have to move off of it."  If Schwarber sticks at catcher, that can have a big impact on the Cubs future.  They'll be able to squeeze in an extra LH bat and get great production from the catcher's spot.  Schwarber is very much the type of hitter this front office wants in the lineup so they will do whatever they can to get him into the lineup, perhaps as soon as 2016.
  • I also talked to a scout who wasn't quite as discouraged as many of us were with Jacob Turner's first Cubs start. He was impressed with the quality of his stuff, saying he had more movement on his fastball and a better breaking ball than he anticipated, even going so far as to say the Cubs may have another successful Jake Arrieta type reclamation project on their hands.  He didn't say he had the same level of stuff necessarily, but that he saw some similarities and thinks the Cubs and Chris Bosio may have seen something they can fix.

Today's Lineup:

  1. Coghlan LF
  2. Baez 2B
  3. Castro SS
  4. Valbuena 3B
  5. Soler RF
  6. Castillo C
  7. Alcantara CF
  8. Valaika 1B
  9. Hendricks P

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  • Manny Ramirez went back home with blessing of Cubs. Knee issues. Most likely the end of his time with the Iowa Cubs.

    Jed Hoyer on The Game (Kap&Haugh) says that the Cubs will use a Six-Man Rotation in September. Arrietta - Hendricks - Turner - Doubront - Straily - Wada - (Doubront will start Saturday)

    No word on Beeler. Chris Rusin will join the Bullpen with Brian Schlitter, and Blake Parker. Allow them to use Rondon, Ramirez, Strop, and Grimm more sparingly. No word on Arodys Vizcaino who is also on the 40 man.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    So the alleged six-man rotation doesn't include Wood? Is he 'hurt' as well?

  • In reply to giamby:

    That's an oversight on my part, I would guess that Wood will have precedence over Wada/Straily

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    for whatever reason, i'm looking forward to seeing a little bit more of dan straily.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    no travis wood?

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Hoyer said that they want to take an "extended look" at Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner and Dan Straily...so I just added them to the rotation, I would think that Wood will get starts over Wada though.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    "Manny Ramirez went back home with blessing of Cubs. Knee issues. Most likely the end of his time with the Iowa Cubs."

    Plus the prospects he was there to help and inspire were called up.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    word...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I have a thought that Manny will be back in some capacity. The kids seemed to have a great respect for him.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Did that ball land yet? Wow.

  • Tim Cossins, Cubs Minor League Catching Coordinator interview from the Tribune...

    On Kyle Schwarber: "To say he has been better than advertised is fairly accurate," said Tim Cossins, the Cubs' minor league catching coordinator. "He has a desire to catch and has the natural ability to catch. His makeup, which is completely off the charts, has been the separator to his development thus far. He's catching very well."

    There's little doubt Schwarber, who is batting a combined .350 with 18 home runs and 53 RBIs in 70 games in Class A at short-season Boise, Kane County and Daytona. He's on a 15-game hitting streak for Daytona, displaying potential to be a left-handed impact player in the majors.

    But his defense adds to his potential. He has thrown out 34 percent of attempted base stealers. But the Cubs have been careful not to burn out Schwarber, who played in 59 games this spring for Indiana. He is being used in left field and at designated hitter while catching 20 games.

    "He's like any college player who comes out and plays that many games," Cossins said. "He's physically tired at this point. His makeup is keeping him in it. He has learned a lot. I feel he has done very well defensively, and it's a credit to his ability to apply some of the stuff that the coaches have been working with him on.

    "He's a guy who wants to catch, and he wants to prove to people that he can stay behind the plate.''

    The Cubs also have been pleased with Schwarber's ability to call a game, especially because some college catchers look to the dugout for signs, and work pitchers briskly.

    On Victor Caratini: Caratini's transition from third base to catcher has gone smoothly, thanks in part to his physical ability and willingness to succeed behind the plate.

    "When you have those things, that's usually a pretty good recipe down the road," Cossins said of Caratini, who has nailed five attempted base stealers in 11 attempts since joining Kane County. "And he loves to catch.

    "With any young catcher, it's about the process of learning the situations that continue to happen over and over again.

    He's a baseball rat."

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Good stuff GD. Ironically, not only are their offensive stats similar; but the same things were being said about Bryant sticking at 3B this time last year. It keeps coming to 1). He wants it bad enough and 2). he will work his a$$ off to get it... which means he will probably stick.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    So true.

    Interesting note, Bill James, SABR guru and Senior Advisor of Baseball Operations for the BoSox did a phone interview on Bloomberg this morning (very cool interview), and they asked him towards the end, what the most important thing you look for in a prospect for the Red Sox (thinking he was going to say OBP or something like that), and he answered without hesitance that it was definitely makeup.

    He said that baseball is such a hard game which so few can excel in that if a prospect doesn't have great makeup and love the game the odds of him succeeding are slim. He said something like, Makeup is everything, it's the single most important factor because if they don't love this game, then they will be home in 2-3 years because it's such a hard game to play.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It should come as no surprise that Schwarber has "off the charts" makeup, and Jake Stinnett was another along the lines--the team captain for Maryland that "all the players looked up to," according to one broadcaster during the college World Series. Seeding the org at all levels with these types of players is bound to influence other players around them.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Almora seems to be another one cut from the "make up off the chart" cloth.

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Every 1st round pick by Theo and Co. fall under that heading. it isn't a coincidence.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    And yes, we now have our own version of Bill James with Professor Parks.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    if the cubs can stick schwarber behind the plate what a boost that will be for the lineup. With Soler,Bryant,Schwarber, Rizzo and hopefully Alcantera we will have 5 good OBP guys with pop in the lineup. Then add Castro Baez and Russell I am really excited to see what the next 7-10 years looks like.

  • Awesome news on shwarb and caratini. If we get Turner to locate with better consistency.. the sky is the limit

  • I would agree with the scouts assessment of Turner. I was encouraged by his outing. He did miss his spots on a few and got hit hard. But that mesaraco double was a slider at the ankles off the plate. That was actually 1 of 3 "quality" pitches that got hit hard. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team. Plus our defense got sloppy. Not an Ace for sure, but I was encouraged with what I saw from him.

    If Schwarber can stick @ catcher, that is huge! It may mean we dont see him in Wrigley until late 2016 or 2017 vs early 2016 though...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I am definitley fine with seeing schwarber a little later if it is because he is developing more defensively as a catcher. We have so many outfield prospects and have schwarber behind the plate would make our future line up that much more lethal if most prospects pan out.

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    Anyone else notice that invariably when people in the organization talk about Schwarber they praise his makeup? And this is an organization full of plus makeup guys.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Seriously, for an organization that values makeup so highly with regards to prospects and who's selections all have plus makeups, it would seem that Schwarber still stands out among the group. It also confirms what many have been speculating, i.e. Schwarber is running on fumes at this point....which makes this latest hitting barrage to end the season that much more impressive. That's a good sign, when late in the playoffs, everyone is tired from a long year, so it's those that have than inner drive/fire that persevere when it counts the most. It's not clutch, it's focus and heart.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    so, what does everyone think (off topic, sorry) about Soler's makeup? He really looks like a student of the game, and his love of the game is impressive, to the average fan (me)!

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    In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    To go through what he's gone though with only the one incident suggests he is very mentally tough to me. More to makeup than that, obviously, but it's a big piece.

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    It came under question with what appeared to be a lackadaisical attitude at times and his bat-wielding incident early on in Daytona. But those seems to have been more a product of learning how it works in this culture vs. in Cuba. Some questioned his work ethic with his injury history. But that seemed to have been a matter of having unbalanced musculature than him not taking care of himself physically.

    The doubts about his effort have not surfaced this year and seem to be behind him, and Soler laughs about the bat-wielding incident now saying he's not going to make that mistake again. An interview of Soler with Mick Gillispie was posted on this site a while back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwAqVEcmSGs

    After watching this, you can't help but to like the guy. He's humble and his enjoyment of the game is undeniable. Reading between the lines a bit, you can tell his earlier issues were more about learning what was expected of him here in the states than any make-up issues.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I had actually wanted to see that interview again but forgot where it was from, thanks for reposting the link.

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    He seems really happy to be here. Almost in some respects reminds me of having a Satchel Paige/Ernie Banks type of love of the game.

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    Schwarber at catcher would be awesome. Even if he did it for just four or five years.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Agreed.

    Schwarber at catcher would allow the Cubs future line-up to be that much more dominant.

    CF - Alcantara
    RF - Soler
    1B - Rizzo
    LF - Bryant
    C - Schwarber
    2B - Baez
    3B - Russell
    SS - Castro

    Somebody's got to bat 8th!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    This line up is going to be so much fun. I have to ask what others think the order of the 2016 lineup will look like if these guys all work out (which I think is pretty likely considering the front office's ability to pick successful ball players).

    What order do YOU put these guys?

    Schwarber - C
    Rizzo - 1B
    Baez - 2B
    Russell - 3B
    Castro - SS
    Bryant - LF
    Almora - CF
    Soler - RF

    That's a solid 1 thru 8 and it doesn't even include:
    McKinney, Olt, Vogelbach, Hanneman, Villanueva

  • In reply to good4you:

    You forgot about Alcantara. He probably will be our super sub.

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    In reply to good4you:

    I am salivating at this lineup and lets hope most of these guys pan out in the majors. After talking with my bro, and after reading this on Schwarber, does anyone think the Cubs could take a page out of the Athletics' playbook and platoon Schwarber at catcher and the outfield in the bigs (assuming he makes it that far)?

  • In reply to Aalok Shah:

    Having Caratini on the bench would help that become a reality.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    By the time Schwarber comes up, wouldn't Almora be in CF, not Alcantara?

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    Some people are going to get very mad at me but the guy that Schwarber reminds me the most of is AJ Hinch (As I have said a number of times I do comps on skill sets not results). He is a quick twitch catcher which is kind of an oxymoron but I think this time it fits. His arm is average but his reaction time and quick delivery makes up for it.

    The Hulk is a head first player on both sides of the ball and it shows up in his approach at the plate. His walk rate is above 10% (39 total)and his K rate is below 20% (54 total) in 303 PA's. That tells you he is a patient guy that has a mental toughness too him.

    Now if the ranking services start paying a little more attention to his chance at staying at catcher the Cubs may have their next top 30 (maybe even top 20) prospect.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Not mad, you are entitled to your opinion, but I don't agree. Don't see the two catchers as similar at all.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    : - ) at your answer to Richard Hood.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    People keep looking at the individual trees in this forest called Cubs Rebuild. Schwarber is merely a system approach of seeking accomplished talent through his skill sets and his mental makeup and approach to the game. Last year at this time the opinionators kept doing conventional speak repeating what someone thought that Bryant was a corner OF'er and Soler was a mad Cuban who was lazy and Baez was only a wild swinger. What I see is a collection of players that the organization ID's that they can develop into the new Cubs Way, where each is developed in diamond positions that maximize their contribution to the team. Bryant at 3B is critical since it allows the team to field an OF'er who is an OBP guy (watch how McKinney is slated and developed), Alcantara is being groomed as a super utility starter on a team seeking to field a short bench. Soler is a RF'er for certain and has a pro make up. Baez has learned to adjust and throttle his talent (thrice I have seen him successfully situational hit and drive in key runs), and he has done well at 2B. Hendricks,,,and on and on and on.

    Schwarber is a big deal in that if he succeeds at catching he puts another big bat in a lineup in a defensive position. But when you look at baseball history champions among many comps is an offensive catcher. Having one LF is a big plus. Finally when Eppy-Hoy came and started to crunch historical data was a lacking of LH bats. With Rizzo, Alcantara, Schwarber, and a LH bat in LF they then can field four bats from the left side regularly. This is viewing things from a forest view.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Not even a close comp.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    If Schwarber is perceived as certain to stay at catcher and hits anything like he has this year, he is a top 10 prospect...you don't find many lefty hitting catchers with power, great avg and OBP and makeup.

  • Very exciting news about Schwarber and Caratini! Turner did have better velocity than I expected, need to see more of him though.

  • Great article as usual, John. Sure hope Theo means that the Cubs will be obtaining an impact pitcher sometime IN the next "18-24" months. Hopefully, he did not mean he was going to wait for a year and a half to attempt to do so. All "signs" indicate we are no longer in the "wait mode."

  • I was afraid Manny would be Manny but it looks like the FO was right in giving him a specific role. Could there be another role with the big club? Not playing, but continuing the mentor/coach role?

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    I'm hoping they give him a job as an assistant hitting coach in the offseason, or something comparable. I think he could be a great help to the youngsters in figuring out how pitchers are attacking them, and help them make their adjustments. He has always been great at that.

  • So with wood and the other 6 Jackson goes to the pen any talk o wood in the pen as a way to get the young guns out on the mound it seems he's lost the form he had last year and I never felt he had the stuff to be anything other than a back of the rotation starter

  • In reply to MrJonesy:

    Wood is a 4/5 starter. He was pretty good last time out, though. Most of the guys they have now are 4/5 guys and Wood is at least proven.

  • Schwarber may end up being the best draft pick Theo´s made, considering the amount paid and te fact that nobody had him as high as #4. I hope at least 1 of the pitchers selected in rounds 5-7 (with money saved by Schwarber´s pick) end up being starters at MLB level. Theo and Co. keep amazing us on a daily basis.

  • In reply to tirofish:

    Cease might end up as a monster, he was a consensus mid-1st rounder before his injury.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I think Sands will be good too.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Cease, Sands, Stinnett will all be arriving about the same time(if healthy). Right about the time our big league mashers should be scaring the daylights out of major league pitchers. Be nice for the kids if they come up knowing there offense will be giving them runs to work with.

  • All this talk about the importance of "make up" leads me to think that in the final analysis, this is Jackson's problem. He just doesn't seem to care enough.

  • In reply to JayPea:

    I don't know. The things that I have read say that he has good make up and is a leader in the clubhouse. He is not just not very good at this point.

  • With all the outfield prospects we have coming its best if can stay
    at catching. I hope during the season he has lost a few pounds
    and will keep in shape during the winter

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Given the impressive transformation Vogelbach has made, I wouldn't be surprised if Schwarber shows up to spring training at a lower weight.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Why would he need to lose weight? He was a sideline to sideline linebacker, and a good one at that. He's quick, and he's fairly fast...very agile. As athletic and strong as he is, and as many sports he has played over his lifetime, I don't think him working out in the off season is of any concern.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I don't think we have to worry about Schwarber staying in shape over the winter. He is very self motivated and I am sure the Cubs will advise an off season regimen of work and rest that he will follow.

  • "The other interesting tidbit was about Kyle Schwarber, whom one scout apparently said was as good and possibly better than Kris Bryant."

    So, uh, we're going to need to decide, do we go for a ring on the thumb, or start on the other hand?

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I will worry about that when the time comes. Right now I am just going to enjoy our young studs developing and getting better. Oh and maybe the new comish could get the DH ball rolling in the NL. We really do need another spot in the lineup to put our developing stud position players. :)

  • F'n Castro practically tries to run backwards from 2nd to 3rd... I screamed so hard at the TV my wife came running in a panic.

  • If Castro would have hustled that would have been an inside the park HR.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    I have never talked smack about Castro before, in fact I have defended him many times, but that was just brutal base running. He stalled out of the box watching the ball travel instead of hustling down the line, watched the play behind and to the side of him the entire time costing him more speed and time, didn't start going full speed until he passed 2B, and didn't look at the 3rd base coach a single time. That is just terrible, none of that is necessary. Just run as hard as you can, and look IN FRONT OF YOU at the 3rd base coach, and these bonehead plays won't keep happening. Even I am getting tired of his lack of fundamentals when it comes to baserunning.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    That play seemed to me to be an overcompensation for the flack he caught about jake-ing the fly ball the other night.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    I thought the same thing, but if that's the case how about hustling out of the box, running full speed, and looking at the 3b coach.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I have a question, how do you know he was not running full speed ? Castro is not fast,and majority of big league players don't look at the third base coach.

  • In reply to seankl:

    Because I was watching him, and he was not only running slower then he was after he passes 2nd base but fundamentally their is no way you can run full speed while looking over your shoulder behind you trying to determine the play in the OF. It's not rocket science, it's pretty easy to see if someone isn't running full speed when you have seen them run hundreds of times.

  • In reply to seankl:

    RE: "majority of big league players don't look at the third base coach."

    Sorry but that's complete BS. Don't know what games you are watching.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I know what game I'm watching, I watch more than just the cubs. I see ball players look back all the time, I'm not saying its right but it looks more like he did not know if he was going to at second or going for three. He could have stopped at second and no one would say anything.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Absolutely. Picking up the 3rd base coach is so fundamental that not doing it is more worthy of discipline than admiring a shot that yields a base less than it should.
    You really want to see every Cubs player show sound fundamentals in all aspects of the game, but I'm afraid it will take a few years for that to become a reality.

  • Boom goes Soler!!! Woohaaa! This is fun!

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I have a difficult time believing that any prospect in the Cubs org is as good in the batters box as Soler. That's been my gut feeling since he came off the D/L and started mashing at Tennessee.
    Schwarber might have the discipline, but I doubt the power that Soler brings every game.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    As Len and JD said, the Redbirds had better get used to it. Going to be an awful lot of pitchers coming up with sudden "injuries" when the Cubs come to town in the near future.

  • Okay this is probably the excitement talking but does anybody else see Frank Thomas in him?

  • In reply to Bobloblaw:

    I think that is actually a very good comp considering his power and solid approach at the plate. Obviously we are talking about a HOF'er, a 2 time MVP (also a #2, 2-#3's, and 3 more top 10's) , etc, etc....but with that said he does remind me of the Big Hurt.

    Frank Thomas (Minors)
    191 games - .306/.447/.506 - .952 OPS

    Jorge Soler (Minors)
    151 games - .307/.383/.551 - .935 OPS

    They both came up at age 22 at the end of the season as well.

    Frank Thomas - (1990) 60 games - 330/.454/.529 - .983 OPS

    If Soler hits anywhere near that for the rest of the season it would really be something.

  • In reply to Bobloblaw:

    I see Andre Dawson. Somewhat less speed, and a less accurate arm, but I think overall he will be close in many respects.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I'll take a combination of Frank Thomas and Andre Dawson....

    We can call him The Big Hawk. ;-)

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Big Bird

  • The future is bright my friends!

  • Beyond the power, love Soler's approach at the plate. He knows the zone and doesn't begrudge taking a walk.

    On the other hand, just don't understand Renteria taking Hendrick's out after 89 pitches. The rest of this season is about development. Every inning of experience is important for a pitcher like Hendricks. I'd have left him in until he got in trouble, and then pinch hit the next inning. You also want Hendricks to build up inning's on his arm for a longer ML season for next year. Just didn't make sense, especially with the rumors of going permanently to a 6-arm rotation.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    It was a hot day. I think taking him out was prudent. He already is going to pitch more innings this year than he ever has. Don't need to get him injured.

  • OH MY GOD!!!! That was insane! Soler is a BEAST!!!

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...and I thought I was joking yesterday when I said he would improve on his .500/.500/1.000 slash line!

  • I'm thinking the NL Central may be getting a little concerned? Soler!

  • In reply to jaykaysr:

    Concerned now-just wait until Bryant/Almora/Schwarber arrive.

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    WOW... I have an ear-to-ear grin watching a Cubs game for the first time in....a long time! That ball has to have a dent in it.

  • In reply to Nick Johnson:

    What were Lens words-"massacered"?

  • the cubs could one year field all 4 home run derby participants and lend Schwarber to the AL that swing was amazing

  • A nice game by Baez at the plate, only 1K, a very nice double,.... but an even better showing by Soler,.... And Hendricks looked pretty good overall with only that iffy 1st inning.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Hendricks is doing that thing that good pitchers do, i.e. if you don't get to him early then you probably won't get to him.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Agreed,.... If he can continue to generally baffle ML-level hitters into next season (and I see no reason he can't) - then with the offense that appears to be gelling behind him he's going to be a 15+ Game winner.

    Other teams are going to have to beat him - because he does not appear to ever beat himself. So - Doubront tomorrow, followed by Wada ehh? That should be an interesting day.

    I know it's premature,.... but wouldn't it be fun to see the Cubs sweep a 4-game series in StL?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    For my money, he's our best pitcher and certainly the most efficient. Still don't understand why Renteria took him out with a pitch count under 90 pitches, a tied game, and his spot coming up in the order the next inning. For development purposes, sound managerial strategy, not over taxing your bullpen with a doubleheader the next day, you definitely should keep him until he gets in trouble. A baffling choice.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    You think Hendricks is better that Arrieta, huh?

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Because they want to slowly build up his innings, not put stress on his arm by adding a big jump in innings.

    2012 - 24 Starts - 147.2 Innings
    2013 - 27 Starts - 166.1 Innings
    2014 - 25 Starts - 158.4 Innings and a month to go

    With 28 games to go for the Cubs, and a 6 man rotation, Hendricks should get 5 more starts, which would put him at 30 starts and about 189 innings (6 per start) which is right on target for a good but not excessive increase.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Showed a remarkable ability to adjust also GD. Cards were sitting on away pitches in the 1st inning. Hendricks started off almost every hitter with breaking balls from the 2nd inning on.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I find it encouraging that Hendricks was able to shut the Cards down, even though they had seen him before. That suggests some staying power, even if StL is not Murderers Row West (or even South - of Chicago).

  • I just started laughing hysterically when Soler hit the 2nd HR. OMG

  • In reply to Ricardo:

    I did the same thing. Did you see the baseball crying when the fan got to it?

  • The most fun I have had watching a Cubs game in a long time. Soler is amazing.! Wow!

  • The power, the POWER! This is a great time to be a fan who has followed these kids since the beginning. I'm loving it but I need moooore!!!

  • Soler = Beast.... Nice job by Baez also. Len and JD were trying to figure out who Hendricks looks like. I would suggest Jeff Hornacek.

  • And now Alcantara gets into the HR act with a nice shot in the top of the 9th.

  • Mendy whoops out the thunder stick! He is showing some serious pop so far. 20+ HR out of CF next year from AA would be very nice.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    6Hrs in 175 PAS. 1/30 pas. If he gets 500Abs thats 20 HR power. And no one even mentions AA as a power hitter.

  • Hoping this game helps to start shutting up the naysaying Cubs "fans" as well as the plethora of Cardinals fans in my area. Hendricks really settled down after the first inning. And the bats. THE BATS! By the power of Greyskull. We have the power! Soler is ridiculous right now.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    The crowd at Busch Stadium looked like they had been violated tonight, as the realization of what was to come suddenly dawned on them.

    Hendricks with another quality start...Soler, Baez, Soler, Alcantara...and then the Cubs power bullpen throwing mid-90's cheese comes in and shuts the door. Couldn't have written the script any better.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It almost looked unfair. I think as an act of good sportsmanship we should allow them to have an extra draft pick next year or something.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Nice one, MKE. :)

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Ummm....I'm not giving a damned thing to them, the White Sox, or Mets. LOL!

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Nah-when we sucked, they never gave us any advantages. Let em suffer. If Wachas shoulder is hurting right now Id hate to see him after a July start against the 2015 Cubs. A whole lot more than his shoulder likely will be hurting.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Love it, Ghost! Found out that one of my friends who is a die-hard Cards fan was at the game with his family. I've REEAAALLY resisted taunting him with a facebook post asking him what he thought of the Cubs. I think John posted it best on twitter last night. "Weep your future, Cardinals." Heh.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    7 ks in the last 3 innings-as Len said, get used to it, NL Central.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    The POWER! The BATS! It only goes up from here.

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    442 ft blast-Mark McGwirean power. the first one was almost as high as it was deep.

  • Neshek gave up as many runs today as he has all season.

    Awesome performance by the Cubs, and obviously what a day for Soler.

  • Game summary:
    Cubs Win, Despite Castro's Unforgivable Imperfections

  • "who are those guys"

  • In reply to l’villecub:

    I don't know - but they look pretty good in those blue uniforms - we should probably keep them around for a while.

    :D

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    So much fun! Gonna be enjoyable playing the role of spoiler for the rest of the season.

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    OK, 2 things..

    1. With the lineups you guys posted up above. We could have 5 Edwin Jacksons and win a ton of games. Who cares if his era is 5+ when the Cubs are going to score 10? Cubs 162-0 in 2015.

    2. Have we been so spoiled by a taste that we are going to beat our allstar up because he only got a triple?

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    You mean a double and getting thrown out at 3rd base, don't you?

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    yes

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    John, if your readers ask REALLY nicely, will you update your 1-15 list soon after the call ups are made?! I'd love to know what their system looks like without the 5 rookies who contributed today and the one or two others who will be up in a few days.

    Unrelated, I still think Soler is the best overall Cub over the next half decade with only Bryant, Shwarber (if he doesn't become a full time catcher), or that OLD veteran, Rizzo possibly having bigger offensive numbers. Time will tell . . .

  • In reply to CUBS100 in LA:

    Thats the whole point LA. What pitcher isnt going to wake up in a cold sweat with the thought of facing THAT lineup. Even Clayton Kershaw would be nervous.

  • I read the articles and comments on Cubs Den every day, and just wanted to let everyone know how much I enjoy the articles and thoughtful comments. As a matter of fact, I email them to my son in Springfield, IL so he can read them at work. Please, keep it up!

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