Cubs Spring Training Notes

- Quade has named his Opening Day starter and it won't be Zambrano's 7th straight start which would have tied Ferguson Jenkins for the Cubs record. Instead it will be Ryan Dempster, followed by Z and then Matt Garza. Z will get the road opener start against the Brewers. Presumambly the last two spots are still open with Randy Wells and Carlos Silva likely occupying them with James Russell and Andrew Cashner on the outside looking in.

- The Jose Ceda deal is looking good.

- Some bright one in the Cubs office thought it would be wise to compare Starlin Castro to Derek Jeter on an outdoor billboard (eye roll). The Cubs.com article says Castro has been working on making the routine plays and his footwork over the offseason and you do have to like this bit of humility.

"I feel like I have to make the team like I did last year. There's no
pressure. I don't feel like I've made the team. I have to work hard
every day."

Which does offset this bit of information...

Soriano took Castro into his home last year and taught him the importance of being prepared for games.

I imagine that includes things like this:

which might explain why this happens sometimes:

Alright, that was a bit of a low blow, what do you think about that Fonzie?

To all the Dead Presidents...

Comments

Going for "zany" over "crazy" for an opening day starter this year. Bold move.

[edit]
Or maybe it's "krazy" over "crazy."

Carlos Silva has been taking a page out of Castro's workouts, practicing his forkwork on routine pies.

On Castro...

...What does he have to work on?

"Defense, and that's it," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Every aspect of defense. I believe he's going to be a good offensive player. I know what we need from him defensively -- we need to be better up the middle and obviously he's a huge part of that.

I think Quade gets it. I still wish they would have found a veteran SS FA over the off season in case he pulls a Cedeno and decides to be terrible.

(shakes head)

Oh Come on, man! I mean really? Really?

No offense to you, E-Man, but I wonder hoe long this "really" phenomenon will last. I somewhat remove myself from pop culture, so these new fads take me by surprise. I have a feeling that "really" will fall even harder than the once famous "whazzup" campaign by Budweiser.

I dunno, dude. My generation was saying dude, like, dude, 40 years ago, dude, but, like, dude, I'll admit the girls weren't calling each other dude.

Dusty put a twist on "Dude" by spitting every time he said "Dude".

The Dude abides

It is pretty odd and amusing that chicks call each other "dudes" now, as you say, O&B.

I think the Really? phenomenon already ended. The SNL stuff got old a long, long time ago.

Castro? The third rail of Cubdom?

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

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 7 sec 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 8 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 6 hours 41 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 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 17 hours 46 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 18 hours 29 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 18 hours 40 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 18 hours 47 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 18 hours 50 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 19 hours 1 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 7 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 22 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 19 hours 23 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 22 hours 14 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 1 day 47 min 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