The Cubs Face Life Without Rammy

Assuming Aramis Ramirez is out of the Cub lineup for exactly 8 weeks from this past Friday night, he'll be back for the July 4th game between the Cubs and Brewers at Wrigley Field, the third game of a four-game series.

In the interim, the Cubs will play 48 games, including all 15 of their interleague games against AL Central teams. Ramirez will also miss 20 games against NL Central opponents and the one and only visit by the Dodgers to Wrigley Field, which, owing to other, non-injury events, will now be completely Ramirez-free.

Here is what the next 8 weeks hold for the Cubs and their two leading division rivals:

  Cardinals  
Brewers 
Cubs  
Games from now through 7/3   50 48 48
   — Home games 27 24 24
   — Away games
23 24 24
   — Games vs. winning teams
37 27 15
   — Games vs. losing teams
13 21 33
   — Games vs. other two

6 v. Milw; 3 v. Cubs   

6 v. StL; 2 v. Cubs   

3 v. StL; 2 v. Milw

 

Not even 20% into the '09 season, the differences between many "winning teams" and losing ones is pretty slight. That said, it's heartening to look at the Cubs' schedule and see the Padres, Astros, Pirates, and White Sox coming up, while the Cards' workload these next eight weeks includes nine games against the Brewers, home-and-home series with the up-and-coming Royals, and a four-game set with the Mets in New York.

None of this is going to make it any easier to see Mike Fontenot, Bobby Scales, and Ryan Freel patrolling Ramirez's rightful place at third base for the next couple months. But it's the best I can come up with right now.

 

Comments

'When we get Zambrano back, now we've got Wells and we've got Marshall to look at, and then we'll have to make a decision,'' said Piniella, also referring to right-hander Randy Wells, who's filling in for Zambrano in the rotation. ''I like the way Wells throws the ball, so he'll be staying. So it's just a matter of where.''

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/15674...

Move Marshall out of the rotation? That's a dumb idea. Keep Wells, dump Patton. It was a "cute" idea, but the kid has no place on a team that has designs on reaching the playoffs. Wells OTOH would be an ideal long/middle reliever.

I'd also trade Jake Fox for a lefty reliever so I could dump Cotts, but that's just me.

Also, how long until Gooz supplants Heilman as the 7th inning guy? Heilman is back to his Mets-level of sucktitude, damn, can he EVER throw strikes? Awful.

Nice to see Lou has finally figured out how to use Gregg correctly, he's looked MUCH better now that he is settled in to that one-inning, fresh-inning pattern.

Marmol's arm is going to fall off.

I wouldn't say that Patton has no place on a playoff calibre team, it's just that our bullpen has been so shitty Lou's felt like he's been forced to use Patton in situations he probably shouldn't have.

The Marshall thing is probably because we don't have a useful lefthander in the bullpen, moreso than how he's pitched.

Marmol's arm is going to fall off.

Oh please. That kind of thing never happens.

I bet Prior will win us a Cy Young this year, narrowly beating out Wood. Chad Fox will give them both a hearty handshake with his pitching arm.

I don't know what Marshall needs to do to stay in the rotation. His L/R splits are not that differentiated so not sure what value he brings as a lefty reliever that Wells just could not provide as a righty reliever.

I am slightly worried by Marmol's work load thus far too. It is not just the innings, but the number of pitches he has thrown.

Big win Sunday though. Much needed going into offday. New we get SD and HOU at home and should be able to feast on them some.

I'm perplexed regarding Lou's continual usage of Howry - there must be better options from the minor leagues at this point. Anyone would probably be a better option, lefty or righty.

Woah, I meant COTTS. Need that second cup of coffee quite badly, apparently. Lou's devotion to Cotts does remind me of his similar feelings towards Howry.

Freudian slip. And a good one, at that.

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 18 hours 20 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 19 hours 2 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 19 hours 13 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 19 hours 20 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 19 hours 23 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 19 hours 34 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 19 hours 40 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 19 hours 56 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 19 hours 56 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 22 hours 48 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 1 day 1 hour ago view