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.

Recent comments

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  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 28 min 51 sec ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 43 min 41 sec ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 5 hours 41 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 5 hours 45 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 9 hours 27 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 10 hours 2 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 10 hours 15 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 40 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 46 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 11 hours 50 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 12 hours 2 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 4 min ago view