Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cubs look to Pierre

A couple days ago we heard Juan Pierre might be traded to the Cubs

WSCR 670 in Chicago is reporting that the Cubs are close to acquiring Juan Pierre from the Marlins for three prospects.
One would be left-hander Renyel Pinto. According to the report, center fielder Felix Pie wouldn't be involved. Another expendable reliever probably would be. Roberto Novoa or Jermaine Van Buren could help the Marlin

Another work on Howry. It is offical as he makes slighty more than Eyre got. The pen is pretty set. I also forgot to leave out Scott Williamson in the previous post. There are probably more moves in the bullpen to come.

Now, back to Pierre. I looked at this deal a couple days ago and there has to be some more moves to follow.

Here is the potential lineup with who the Cubs have and with Pierre here:

1. Pierre OF
2. Walker 2B
3. Lee 1B
4. Ramirez 3B
5. Barrett C
6. Murton OF
7. Patterson OF
8. Cedeno SS

On the bench the Cubs would have Neifi and that scares everybody. Also Jerry Hairston would be back and could slide into an OF spot if the Cubs move Patterson and fail to bring in somebody else. There are still some big problems with this lineup, but it is getting better. Patterson will likely be dealt and with good cause, but the Cubs have to have a better OF option than Hairston or somebody else. It would really help if the Cubs got a bat to protect Ramirez and then shift Barrett and company down a little.
Right now, this is the lineup in some part, but I am sure it will change. The Bullpen is pretty much set and that is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Bullpen, We can Rebuild it......Well you get it

Jim Hendry has had no problem adding bullpens arms to this point. If this story is correct Bobby Howry will be the next FA to sign with the Cubs.
According to the Neward Star-Ledger, the Cubs and Bobby Howry are nearing an agreement on a three-year deal.
The Cubs must have very little faith in the pitchers they've been developing over the last few years. Howry will probably get even more than the $11 million that Scott Eyre is set to earn over the next three years.

So if he gets more money than Eyre, how will we actually get FA that really help us. If we go with seven guys the pen will look something like this I guess:

1. R. Dempster
2. B. Howry
3. S. Eyre
4. R. Novoa
5. W. Ohman
6. M. Wuertz
7. J. Williams/G. Rusch?????

We could have actually spent a little more and landed B.J. Ryan, but Hendry looks like he is looking for quantity.
While, on paper this pen looks better, but for how long? Eyre and Howry are both over 30.
Hendry has yet to address the biggest problem. That would be the offense. So far he has signed Neifi Perez and picked up an option for Toddy Walker. Well, still no leadoff hitter. Still no outfield to speak of. Well, we do have one thing....our bullpen's payroll might rival the Florida Marlin's entire payroll this year.

Unless, they can get on before Lee, I don't give a damn at this point.

Wake me when the offense starts to show up.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Running and pitching

So, Scott Eyre is the first domino to drop. All I have to say is he is no B.J. Ryan and the deal is a lot like we have seen in the past. Will he help? I lean towards yes, but now Eyre, Glendon Rusch and Neifi Perez have been inked to deals. How about some real impact players like a SS or a leadoff hitter. Maybe a new centerfielder or a right fielder that hits over .250. So far we are in the same boat and even worse if Neifi is a full time player in 2006.

During the story I read this quote jumped out at me:

"[Rothschild is] not big on making us run 30 laps before you pitch," Eyre said. "He said if you're ready to pitch every day, you can do whatever you want."

Give me a break. "Whatever you want"!!!! Oh lord and we wonder why our pitchers having arm problems. We might be waiting to 2007 if Larry keeps this going on. Here is my Scrubs fantasy moment (if you don't catch the reference, then go buy Scrubs Season 1 and 2 right now)

Fade In on Cubs spring training 2006:

Larry Rothschild is sitting in a chair with a drink and an umbrella over his head.

Larry: Guys this is going to be our year. Carlos keep throwing until you hit your spots.
Zambrano: Coach, my arm is starting to hurt.
Larry: Really, how many pitches have you thrown?
Z: I thought was your job to count.
Larry: They don't pay me by the pitch, but how many guys you strikeout.
Z: That is nice, but my arm?
Larry: Really, Z just keep throwing. Remember I don't make you run. All you have to do is pitch and keep those K's coming.

Carlos thinks to himself that maybe a meeting with Dr. Andrews is coming.

Mark Prior: Larry, so how am I going to avoid arm problems this year.
Larry: Well, I think not running will help. I am sure that it was your legs that hurt you.
Prior: That does not sound right. Doesn't Roger work out a lot to build leg drive and stay healthy?
Larry: We can't all be freaks now. I am sure he is doing something that is unnatural. He is like a Sith Lord.
Prior: Sith Lord? You know Star Wars is fake right?
Larry: You would think so, but there is something about that force thing.

Prior thinks to himself that he might have already won a Cy Young if the Twins would have taken him instead of Joe Mauer.

Kerry Wood: Larry what's going on?
Larry: Nothing much, just going to pick up my check from last year.
Wood: Check from last year, why would you get that now?
Larry: This is for all the strikeouts from a year ago. A little lower because of that Maddux guy.
Wood: He has been saying that there is more to pitching than just striking guys out.
Larry: He is a cancer and does not like the fact he is not thought of as the best pitcher in the game.
Wood: Maybe, but he stays off the DL. I can't stay off of it and I know that there is something I can try.
Larry: Just you keep firing that ball in there and racking up those K's. That is your game.

Wood thinks to himself it might have been good if he never struck out 20 guys in a year.

Larry walks away as he counts his money.
Larry: Damn we were down almost 100 K's from 2004. Have to find a way to patch that Wood kid up for one more year. If we can get 1,400 K's this year then I can buy a ranch before they find out I have no clue what I am doing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The new season starts now

The free agency period has started and there are many Cub rumors out there.
This morning I read that Juan Pierre is close to becoming a Cub for two minor league players. The only thing I worry about is whom we give up in such a deal. Pierre is an upgrade to Corey Patterson, but he is total answer. We still need another quality OF to go with Matt Murton (and that is if the Cubs go in that direction).
If I had to guess right the lineup would look like this heading into 2006:
1. Pierre
2. Walker
3. Lee
4. A. Ramirez
5. FA OF
6. Barrett
7. Murton
8. Cedeno

That is assuming that we don't get another shortstop in FA. I am still not sure we will land Rafael Furcal. If we land Furcal then things chance quite a bit. Probably something like this.

1. Pierre
2. Furcal
3. Lee
4. Ramirez
5. FA OF
6. Barrett
7. Murton
8. Cedeno

In this situation Todd Walker is traded to pick up another OF from somebody. Of course our biggest fear at this point would be Neifi Perez getting to start at SS in either situation. Injuries are one thing, but not at least bringing a starter is out of the question. We also still have Jerry Hairston in the mix, so there are still many things that could happen. After the first domino falls things will start to get clearer.

The pitching situation is really up in the air also. It seems like Jim Hendry is going to stockpile arms. If I had to guess these five pitchers would make up our opening day rotation.

1. Zambrano
2. Prior
3. Wood
4. Maddux
5. Rusch

That leaves Jerome Williams, Rich Hill and host of others guy on the outside. Rusch looks better as a starter, but Williams looked good down the stretch for the most part. I would rather this problem, and then not have enough pitching. The main thing is Kerry Wood going to be healthy? If he is our staff gets a boost right there. Also I am worried every year that Zambrano is heading to arm problems, but maybe he can take the work.

The bullpen is just a cloudy as the FA period begins. The Cubs for the most part have gone with 12 pitchers the last couple of years. So that means we need seven relievers. Right now Ryan Dempster is the only sure thing.

1. Dempster
2. Novoa
3. Ohman
4. Wuertz

Those four guys will be back and that leaves three spots left. Scott Williamson had his option picked up, and hopefully after some rest he will be the Williamson of old. That would be a huge lift to the pen. Before his arm went out in Boston in 2005 he had a 1.26 ERA. He also did not five up an earned run in his last eight chances. Jermaine Van Buren is another option. He only had six innings for a team that was heading nowhere. I would have loved to see him get a couple of more chances. You have to figure that either Rusch or Williams will be in the pen if they are not starting. Todd Wellemeyer's has to get some control after a season with a +6 ERA. The Cubs could really upgrade the pen by adding an arm like B.J. Ryan. That would really allow the Cubs to slide everybody down one spot.

Anything can happen, but I have to say right now we could go either way. Once the first move happens that will give us a much better idea of the rest of the off-season. Until keep the faith and Cubs in 2006!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oh God Make it Stop

The Cubs are bringing back Neifi Perez. Let the gagging start and now we can start complaining. Jim Hendry is out of his freaking mind to give Dusty Baker such a player.
Sure Jim has made some good moves, but these moves are starting to overshadow the good. Bringing back Glendon Rusch and now Perez could really come back to hurt us. This also could mean the end of Todd Walker, who is a much better hitter than Perez.

Please lets start cleaning house.