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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  • 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 1 hour 11 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 1 hour 12 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 1 hour 18 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 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 25 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 1 hour 34 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 1 hour 36 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 12 hours 32 min ago view