CSI Randy Wells and John Grabow's Magical Mystery Knee
A collective cheer can be heard in that state of mind known as Wrigleyville...
UPDATE: (tweet from Gordon Wittenmeyer) Grabow to DL, Cashner called up.
I wrote this piece before the update. Sometimes things just make sense.
Randy Wells, aka Buzz Lightyear "To Infinity and Beyond" (5 runs and no outs is an ERA of ∞) gets a DO-OVER. After Randy Wells failed on just about all of the 16 pitches (and 5 runs) he threw in the first inning 'bullpen' tryout on friday vs the Cardinals. He gets to show management that he actually can once again go deep into a game with a quick return to the first inning on the holiday-day game against the Pirates. His competition for that bullpen spot, Tom Gorzellany won the battle to the bullpen. Gorz matched Wells with five quick runs vs the Dodgers on Wednesday's game which was so disappointing that Com-Ed pulled the plug on the Wrigley light grid.
Wells also is returning to the scene of the crime from May 6th, his other ugly outing. As we recall, he also gave up 5 first inning runs in the first on two walks, two singles and two doubles. Lou didn't have quite the quick hook that day as Wells stayed in to give up two more runs in the 2nd inning in what was to be an 11-1 blowout to the Buccos.
Oh, oh Domino. Tom Gorzellany will be in the pen, ready to pitch mop up in the first few innings if history should repeat itself. Gorz, the newest long reliever supplants big Z in the bullpen. Zambrano is supposed to start Wednesday in Pittsburgh, although Z never did get stretched out in a game even as the opportunity presented itself in Wells "oopsie" friday.
With all the roster shuffling soon to occur, the questions are who goes away when Andrew Cashner arrives this week and why isn't Cashner coming today? Is it management indecision or can't they get the radiologist who read John Grabow's MRI to review it again to see that there IS something wrong, very wrong.
From today's Sun-Times:
Grabow already has undergone an MRI on his left knee after experiencing discomfort, but no injury was found.
Grabow did get a cortisone injection ito his left knee on May 9th. I'd say it didn't help and based on his stats, he was 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA before the shot and now 8.1 innings later it's higher at 9.45.
Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory and when injected into a joint, it works by calming down the swollen joint lining (synovium) of the knee. If the knee has damage to the articular cartilage (chondromalacia or if more extensive, osteoarthritis) that worn area can lead to inflammation. If he has a meniscus tear (the shock absorbing C-ring of cartilage) that too can lead to inflammation. If there is something structurally torn that can be smoothed off or trimmed arthroscopically it can help, although in the big picture it might just be temporary, if Andre Dawson's knees are used for perspective.
Jeff Russell's kid has pitched well and doesn't deserve to visit Ryno in Iowa. In 19 games his ERA is 2.33 and WHIP 1.03. Even in his lone bad outing against Arizona where he gave up 5 runs, only one was earned and he's had 13 appearances where he didn't allow a run (including the long relief outing vs StL on friday of 4 innings when Wells didn't get an out). Grabow, in 23 appearances HAS been scored on in 13 of them.
Bob Howry spot is secure (for now). You know, it's that veteran presence in the bullpen management seems to crave. On Memorial Day, it's just not right to let a veteran go.
Jeff Stevens (we hardly knew ya) could go back on the Des Moines shuttle but if he does go it makes the bullpen leading to Carlos Marmol lean to the left with 4 leftys (Grabow, Marshall, Gorz and Russell) and 2 rightys (Howry and Cashner). So Stevens should stay.
Grabow sticks out of that pack like a sore thumb...
...sort of like, Aramis Ramirez, he of the donut grip and padded bat, now that's a sad story for another day.
Lou Piniella has promised lineup changes too. Did Tyler Colvin's mom get sharper pins for her voodoo Piniella doll or does that mean (yawn) Xavier Nady in "Louspeak".
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...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.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
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.
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.