Don't blame me I'm just the messenger. I can't solve all the Sox and Cubs problems but maybe I can keep you out of therapy. Welcome to the chat room.
With the recent news of Tyler Flowers hitting in Triple A, is it time to bring him up to see what he can do?
What would you do with A.J.? Flowers' defense and skill at calling games is still developing. Pierzynski's record tells you he is at least going to hit between .270 and .300.
Considering that Castro is hitting .350 in Double A and Theriot is struggling to hit .225 for the Cubs, how long before Castro is in the bigs?
Let's give the kid 50 games in the minors. How about June 1 if everything is status quo? I agree that the Cubs' infield defense lacks range, not just Theriot, but the whole group has trouble moving.
Why would Lou place one of the only hitters who is coming up with clutch hits in Marlon Byrd in the leadoff spot? Aramis is colder than ice, along with the rest of the team especially with RISP.
Who would you suggest to lead off at this point? Theriot is 0 for 14 vs. lefties and the Cubs face two more in their series with the Mets. I agree that Byrd should be further down, but temporarily until he doesn't get on base enough, Byrd will stay at the top.
If the Cubs were going to trade for Heath Bell, what type of package would it take? Vitters, Watkins, and a couple other low level prospects?
I think you're on the right track. Definitely a player the caliber of Vitters. It's difficult to project when the Padres will be able to make a move. They are hoping to find more teams desperate like the Cubs. Time is on the Padres' side.
Any chance the Cubs bring up Cashner soon to be a late inning guy since the Cubs can't seem to find anyone else in that role?
Desperation is not the way you win pennants. They already have four young guys struggling in the pen. Let Cashner get a mont or two in before we start talking about converting him back to the bullpen. That is an option. He has a special arm.
Bruce, the white sox got swept by a very beatable indians team, their pitching struggled and their hitting wasn't timely, and i think it is okay to worry a bit cause tampa bay is coming to town, so do you think the hole might be dug even further over the course of the week, or can they turn it around?
You're starting with John Danks tonight. I believe he is ready to have a breakout year. Let's hope that he continues his good pitching from the last outing against Toronto. It's still to early to panic although everyone does have concern.
is there any way that the cubs could trade gorzalany for some bullpen help once lilly comes back?
Tom Gorzelanny is a nice bottom of the rotation pitcher but what do you really expect to get for him? He really hasn't proved much in his career yet, and he was pitching at Triple A last year when the Cubs traded for him. I think you could trade him, but I don't think you could get a lot back.
Please tell me Hendry isn't dumb enough to panic and trade a top cubs prospect for relief help, whether it bell or not. It would be a mistake in my book. I dont think this cubs team is worth salvaging, I think the cubs should look into their farm system for the future and not try to keep this veteran group competitive.
Interesting comment. Thanks for your thought. The Cubs will look into anything that will help the team right now and still consider the future at the same time.
With Alexei not hitting at all, should Vizquel see more time at short?
Vizquel will get some time at short and third. He's certainly not a long-term answer to Ramirez's hitting. Ramirez has never really hit early in the season so at this point let's take a look and see how he does on this week-long homestand.
Is there any way the Sox can overcome this deficit to beat out the Twins? They seem to have our number this year!
If the White Sox take care of their own business and win 90 games they should be in position to compete for the division the last week to 10 days of the season. The Twins will go through their own struggles. I guarantee the bullpen at the end with Jon Rauch as the closer will have some difficult days.
When will Kenny and Ozzie decide to bring up Daniel Hudson to take over Freddy Garcia's starting job?
Not yet. Hudson could use a few starts in Triple A. The plan all along has been to get what they can out of Freddy and then go to Plan B which is Hudson. I'd say Freddy stays in the rotation at least another month.
Do you think Ozzie will tinker with the line-up? Have someone else lead off?
If Pierre continues to struggle, Ozzie won't watch it for a long period of time. He has a few other options like Vizquel but the speed element is something they are concerned with. They don't have a long-range replacement for Pierre right now.
What happened to what Lou said about Colvin getting 2-3 starts per week? It's obvious that he is feeling the pressure from upstairs to keep Soriano on the field but he costs his team daily with his lack of hustle and little league defense.
Why the focus on Soriano? He is hitting close to .300. There's a lot of other guys besides Soriano not getting the job done. Yuor question should be, should Ramirez sit out a day or two. His swing and approach is totally out of whack.
I know it's still earlier in the season but do you in anyway see a possible trade with Konerko going to the Brewers and Fielder coming to the Sox?
Konerko has a complete no-trade in his contract and has shown no interest to be moved anywhere but a West Coast team. Fielder is one of the very best young power hitters in the game. Why would the Brewers want to trade him?
Bruce, how long before Ozzie is on the hot seat? Another Peavy brutal start? Another game of the Sox scoring 1 or 2 runs and giving up 6 or 7? Same with Kenny?
Neither one of these guys are on the hot seat for this season. If the team has a bad year and finishes under .500 for a second straight season, then somebody may have to answer for the failure. The Sox are an organization that doesn't blame individuals even though everybody is accountable.
Andruw Jones is one of the bright spots in the offense, will he be made the full time DH?
His defense is really too good to keep him as the DH. Most likely scenario is that he continues to float between DH and all three OF positions. As I said from the first week of spring training, he was the most impressive player in Sox camp.
People are tossing around the notion of moving Zambrano to the Cubs' bullpen when Lilly returns. How is this in any way a good idea?
I don't know. Don't believe everything you read or hear. If he is ineffective as a starter what makes anybosdy believe he will be effective as a reliever. I don't get the sense of that other than we know the Cubs have a need for a right-handed set-up man. Do you think Gorzelanny is going to pitch better than Z all year? I hope he does but I don't think the Cubs feel that way.
What can we expect from Peavy the rest of the way? His velocity seems to be normal, but he now has to face better lineups and deal with the Cell?
That's a very good analysis. Kepp in mind that he is also a fly-ball pitcher in a home run happy ballpark. Peavy is a great competitor but he may not be the same pitcher he was going back to 2007.
It seems that year after year the sox get off to a very slow start hitting wise, do you think its just a weather/mental thing or possibly hitting coach walker just doesnt have them prepared for the season?
It'a always different hitters so you can draw whatever conclusion you want to. I can tell you some players do not respond well to change of climate from spring training to Midwest baseball in April. I'm one of the few people who think the Sox are going to hit. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't.
Colvin has 18 AB's through 13 games. Is that enough AB's to justify keeping him on the roster? Are they hampering or helping his development?
I think that is a fair question. I just don't see where he is going to get the at-bats that he needs at this point. The team is not ready to sit Soriano for any period of time, and Nady and Fukudome need their at-bats. Outside of an injury, I don't see how Colvin gets his at-bats.
Can any of the team's lack of hitting be attributed to Jaramillo's new influence? By that, I mean are they not comfortable yet?
I think to a man, including Jaramillo who I talked to on my show this weekend, they feel that his teachings continue to be a work in progress. Still if you look at Fukudome's balance in the box and Soto's approach to RF and Soriano standing more straight up with better balance, you're slowly seeing some of the impact that Jaramillo will have on the team.
On a scale of 1-10, how worried should White Sox fans be?
About the hot dogs at the Cell? Obviously, you're talking about the record. I still think they are a good team. What's being missed here is the concentration on the offense while some of the starting pitching hasn't been good. If that doesn't get more consistent then I would worry.
When Castro takes over at shortstop either at mid year or next year, what happens to Theriot? I think the Cubs would prefer Fontenot at 2nd given that he is cheaper and swings from the left side. Does Theriot become trade bait?
I think Theriot would be more ideal at 2B than Fontenot or Baker. He has proven over three seasons that he is going to hit. His range is more suited for 2B. I think he would do well there. I know the team's pitchers would be happy about more range at any of these positions.
Is it true that Soriano switched to a lighter bat but Jaramillo is now recommending that Alfonso go back to his heavier one?
I don't know if he switched to a lighter bat but Jaramillo wants him to use a heavier bat which guarantees that the bat stays in the zone longer. And with a heavier bat you're going to have the ability to drive the ball with more authority. There's nothing wrong with Soriano's bat speed. Jaramillo just hopes to slow it down a bit and create harder contact.
Bruce, if the Cubbies keep up this level of play is there any chance they become sellers at the trade deadline and build around a young core moving forward?
Anything is possible. You still have your core players under no-trade contracts so it would take their cooperation to move them in the case of Soriano, Ramirez, Lee, Zambrano and Dempster.
If the Sox continue to struggle, who is most likely to be traded? I feel Pierzynski may be the most logical option (assuming he can break the Mendoza line)
I don't know why you would want to trade a commodity that is difficult to find: a catcher who can call a quality ballgame and is a left-handed hitter. A slow start is no reason to trade your top catcher.
I was a big advocate of moving Soriano out of the leadoff spot. But after watching him struggle to hit curve balls and watching us struggle to score runs, I want him back at leadoff. He'll see more fastballs and hopefully get us up 1-0.
That used to be the theory why he did lead off. However he doesn't run as well as he used to, the conventional wisdom is for him to bat down in the order. I'm not saying your theory isn't right. The entire Cubs management group is looking for answers right now.
Is this the real Carlos Silva or has he just been lucky thus far?
He has pitched well. He's kept the ball down and he's changed speeds well. I'm not ready to hand him the Cy Young Award yet. But give him and Larry Rothschild some credit for his success so far.
With D-Lee's contract up at the end of the season and him being 35 years old, what do you think the Cubs do with him?
Certainly it depends on the season he has this year. Part of the equation is what Lee wants to do with the rest of his career. In his comments to me during spring training, he made no commitments to the future. Maybe at some point he won't want to play any longer. Even though I feel I have a good relationship with Lee, you would not want to play poker with him. He keeps his cards pretty close to the vest.
Bruce had to take a call. He'll be back shortly.
What will the Cubs do at lead off if Theriot continues to struggle? Byrd doesn't seem like the prototypical choice threre.
It's been an ongoing problem for the Cubs. There's no obvious answer right now.
Do you think "the sky is falling" approach by certain fans and certain members of the media wears on the players. It seems to have gotten to Lou. We're 13 games into the season and panic has set in for some people! I know that this team has weaknesses, but c'mon, 13 games!
I think if you look at the start of every season Lou has been a Cubs manager he has done some out of the ordinary things. If you remember in '07 he changed his SS, C and brought up Marmol all within a week of each other. Lou has a fan's mentality when it comes to fixing things. He does believe in being proactive. And he does believe in shaking things up.
What are the chances of Aramis Ramirez opting out? Is it all based on the season he puts up this year?
It could be more complicated than that. Ramirez might want to see the direction of the Cubs and weigh his decision on whether or not the Cubs are in a rebuilding mode. Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly also are free agents at the end of the season.
Hey Bruce, if the Sox bats don't wake up soon, who is the first to be called up? Little Danks, Flowers, Viciedo?
I think Danks is the most ready to help the White Sox at this point. Replacing A.J. at catcher would be a panic move. I just don't see that happening. Viciedo needs a year in Triple A. Danks also brings the element of a left-handed hitter who can drive in some runs.
I think the Cubs and Sox's offense will be better. For the Sox a little home cooking might help. For the Cubs, the middle of the order has to start driving in some runs. It's not just the bullpen. The team needs to score some runs before the bullpen gets in there and take some pressure off. Stay off the ledge. I'll see you next week.