Welcome to fun times on the South Side and same old on the North Side. It's incredible when a team loses two of their starting pitchers, their first baseman, second baseman and catcher and their manager and people expect them to win. Trades can still happen for both teams. Welcome ...
Xavier Nady almost went to the Giants at the deadline (according to reports). Do the Giants still have any interest?
They do. They need hitting. The bad part is that Nady doesn't get to play often enough for a team to make a decision on him. Fontenot that was another player who was on his way to the Giants as well. Fontenot and Nady for prospects. The deal lost its legs right near the deadline.
Could you please tell Ozzie to stop putting Kotsay in the line up? Can't we just bring Teahen back to fill the DH role?
Teahen should be back soon and he will have a number of jobs, including DH. Kotsay is part of the chemistry that the other players feel has worked in that clubhouse. i'm all for chemistry but i'd like to see another RBI bat. If Manny ever comes off the DL, the Dodgers can rush him through waivers and the Sox might have a surprise potent hitter going into the last month.
how are some potential Zambrano suitors? Personally I think they should keep him, and try to sign an adam dunn, or another hitter for first base. Your thoughts on both.
All the other 29 teams as well as the Cubs, are waiting for Zambrano to re-establish himself as a premiere pitcher. Over his past 35 starts, Z is a below-.500 pitcher with an ERA over 4.50. He also averages less than 5 2/3 innings over that time going back exactly two years.
Do you think that Freddy Garcia is starting to fall off because he's getting older and hasn't been able to complete a season?
I think the wear and tear of a baseball season gets to a lot of pitchers. The one thing about Garcia is he has been in top condition ever since he returned to the Sox last year. Sometimes his stuff just doesn't work.
After seeing Castro for 3 full months now, what type of player do you project him to be long-term?
I think he is going to be a home run hitter. He makes consistent hard contact. When he grows into his body, he may be a third baseman and a 25-homer, 100-RBI guy. That's probably two or three years down the line.
With such poor DH production, why doesn't Ozzie DH Viciedo more often to keep his bat in the lineup and his glove away from 3rd?
That's not a bad suggestion. There's come right-handed pitchers he probably won't use him against. He definitely is a 1B/DH of the future. He's definitely not a good 3B but it appears he will hit.
Tell me the Sox will go out and get a bat soon, right?
They are trying. They continue to work hard on the waiver wires. Waivers are tricky because if a guy is claimed and pulled back he can't go on waivers again for 30 days. I still think Luke Scott is the best bet although the Orioles are not the easiest team to trade with.
What is the status of Angel Guzman? Is there any chance that he will pitch again?
Haven't heard much about him. It was a career-threatening injury. I'll look into it for you.
Hi Bruce! 1. Odds on Tony LaRussa being Cubs' Manager next year; 2. Odds on Prince Fielder being the White Sox starting 1B on Opening Day, 2011. Thanks!
If you're ready to give up Beckham, Fielder could happen. Milwaukee will make one more pass at trying to sign him. If they can't he might be the biggest trade at next year's winter meetings. I talked to one scout who is very friendly with La Russa and he thinks Tony would consider the Cubs the ultimate challenge which he relishes even at age 65. My guess is he will take a pass on big city media and stay in a small market.
Hi Bruce - What are your thoughts on the Cubs first base situation for next year...obviously, Lee is not coming back. Colvin played some in high school and college or do they go outside the organization and look at trading for guys like A. Gonzalez or Price Fielder. Any free agent options as well?
I think the Cubs woulsd make a statement with Fielder but that would come at the cost of two or three of their top prospects and a five-year, $100-$110 million deal. He would be a great marketing tool for the Cubs, something they might need after this horrendous season. He would be a great marketing tool for the Sox as well.
Tell me that the pitchers we have seen come up this season are not the best that the Cubs have in the minor leagues?Every one of them has performed poorly including top pitching prospect Cashner.
There is a learning curve at the big-league level. I wouldn't say they are all washouts. Keep your eye on Jay Jackson. I was also told by a White Sox official that the Cubs Daytona team (Class A) is loaded with talent but that is two or thre years away. My concern is the same as yours: who will be in the starting rotation next year and who will be in the bullpen with Marmol and Marshall?
Hi Bruce. Looking ahead (since that's all we really can do at this point), what are the Cubs going to do at first base? Is Colvin a legitimate option? Also what about a lead-off hitter? Colvin's not the long-term solution and I don't think Castro's suited for that spot either. If Colvin moves to first does that mean Kosuke gets one more shot or is the 2011 Cubs lead-off hitter not on the roster yet? Thanks!
I don't think the Cubs have a lead-off hitter on their roster. I'm not sure Darwin Barney is either. Lead-off hitters have become quite a premium for teams, not just the Cubs. Hendry has a lot of work to do other than just hire a new manager.
How many holdovers from this year's Cubs bullpen will be in next year's Cubs bullpen? Marmol is a lock, obviously. Everyone else - including Cashner - can go and I won't be too sad about it.
You have to give Cashner a little time to develop. His baseball IQ is high. He just needs to master a good second and third pitch. I would count Cashner, Marmol and Marshall now for 2011. Russell seems liek a good situational lefty only,. I'm not really excited about anything else I've seen so far.
Could the White Sox come calling for Derrek Lee to give them a hitter?
I think Derrek's future in baseball might be on the West Coast. He said he is not ready to retire but his game has dropped off significantly. Still you see the impact of when he is not out there defensively on the team. He's terribly underrated, even though he has won a couple Gold Gloves in his career.
thankx for '05 A J but don't you think Castro makes the sox lineup better on offense and defense
The White Sox will be looking for a new starting catcher. A.J.'s contributions have been many but at age 34 and going through his worst offensive season, it will be time for both sides to part company. A.J. might have a better year next year after he signs a contract and doesn't have to worry about being traded. That really impacted the first three months of his season.
Mr. Levine- You ruined my day yesterday! (Just kidding) In all seriousness, which call-ups for the Cubbies are you expecting? I would love to see Darwin Barney at 2B!
I would too. It seems like the whole organization has a chance to play at the big-league level this year. There's a slight chance, after Marc Silverman's solid fantasy camp, that he might make September call-ups. Hoffpauir said everyone at Triple-A is excited because at any moment anybody could be promoted.
Mr. Levine- I love the way Alan Trammell has carried himself when asked to manage in place of Lou. Do you see him as a top 3 candidate for next year, or do you think they'll go completely new?
Alan is a solid baseball guy. I feel he will be too closely tied to this year's failing team. My guess is he doesn't get a good shot at it.
Is Cooper that much smarter than other pitching coaches? What changes did he see Jackson needing? Edwin Jackson looks like a great pick up right now.
The White Sox have to scout and bring in a player before Coopers gets to work with him so give the Sox some credit for identifying untapped talent, particularly in the cases of Floyd, Danks, Quentin, Santos ... I could go on. The point is, Cooper is an outstanding instructor. He has a combination of being a technical teacher as well as being a positive influence. And most importantly, Guillen allows Cooper to do his job without any interference.
Do the Cubs like Wellington Castillo more than Robinson Chirinos? Chirinos is having a solid year at Double A that should at least warrant a call up to Triple A.
Chirinos is more of a prospect in the Cubs' minds. He just needs a little bit more time defensively. They project him as a starting catcher in the majors. Castillo is more of a backup.
Do you think the White Sox will just eat the rest of Linebrinks contract this winter and move on? His roster spot could be going to a long reliever right now.
Next year is the last year of the $19.4 million, four-year deal. The last two years have been tough on the Sox and Linebrink. He goes through what a lot of middle relievers have had to go through: losing their stuff and still having to make good on their contracts. That's not easy for either side.
Do Larry Rothschild and Rudy Jaramillo stick around after the managerial change?
Rudy for sure because he has two years left at about $1.6 million total. I think the organization is happy with Rothschild. He has been here for almost 10 years now and is considered one of the best. Fixing some of the young bullpen pitchers over the next 50 games will be his greatest challenge.
If Edwin Jackson looks good for the remainder of this year and into the future and Daniel Hudson turns out to be a solid No. 3 starter can this trade be considered win-win. Or does Kenny get lambasted for trading a cheap, young, controllable pitcher?
Kenny has never been afraid to trade young pitching to win now. Once in awhile you are going to get burned. Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Richard, among others besides Hudson, who could come back to haunt them. The Sox never look in the rearview mirror. Winning now is their only objective.
Who is the best player you've ever seen?
Nobody is even close to Willie Mays. Believe it or not, Barry Bonds, before the juice, might have been a close second.
How is bob son michael doing in the cubs minors, do you ever see him being a solid major leaguer
Like Bob, Michael will have to be an overachiever. Michael is a big strong kid, who had a nice long hitting streak at Daytona earlier this season. Catchers always have a chance. With all due respect, look at what Koyie Hill has done with limited offensive ability.
Is the Cubs answer at first base Aramis Rameris? They could put Barney at 2nd and Blake at 3rd.
DeWitt I'm told is a better third baseman than second baseman. So far he has had some shaky days at second base but that could be an adjustment thing. Ramirez has had a very tough defensive year at third base. He was awful for the first two and a half months but if you notice he is playing deeper which is giving him a better chance to react on some balls that were eating him up earlier in the season.
when will chris archer be called up, his numbers are out of control
They feel Archer is the best player they got in the DeRosa deal. The trade included Jeff Stevens and John Gaub. Gaub has had some personal problems this year but he also has a great arm. All three were scouted by area scout Stan Zielinski, who is one of the best scouts in the country. Maybe that DeRosa deal wasn't a total giveaway like Cubs fans thought when it was made.
I think one of the biggest mistakes Ozzie did was decide to let Thome go. I know that he is old but when you look at his numbers this season, they are still better than Kotsay's. Do you think it is vital that the sox pick up a clutch hitter to keep up with the Minnesota offense?
Yes. Again, the people in charge of the White Sox do not want to bring in a marginal offensive player who won't be a vast improvement over Teahen, Viciedo and Kotsay. They have these discussions all the time.
you mentioned that it appears AJ will not be back with the Sox next year. Does that mean Flowers is ready or will they look for a short term fit for one more year until Flowers is either ready or traded
Flowers should be ready for next year. He does swing and miss a lot but he has big-time power and I'm told that his defense has improved. I'm not sure about that because I haven't seen him. He'll get a shot in spring training.
Do you see Joey Cora getting a shot at any of the open jobs this winter like Seattle or the Cubs?
Cora had a strong interview with the Mariners before they hired Wakamatsu. With that group I'd be careful what you wish for. That team may be down for a few years before they can turn it around.
Do you think Manny has a realistic chance of clearing waivers or making it through far enough for the Sox to put a claim in?
I think he will clear waivers. Not too many teams believe in him or his abilities but the Sox might feel he's got a good six weeks left in him. It would be a $6.7 million risk unless the Dodgers are willing to pick some of that up.
If the Sox decide to not bring Konerko back next season, who do you think would be a replacement? Viciedo or a big name free agent?
I think they would consider Viciedo but they do have money coming off the books. Just Konerko and A.J. are close to $20 million. That would be the price of Fielder's contract.
Speaking of Guzman and injured pitchers, have you heard anything on Caridad?
Caridad I doubt will pitch again for the Cubs. He was a major disappointment for them. I think the Cubs would be looking to move him if he does come back.
Why would the cubs go with anyone other than Ryno? This team is going young, so it only makes sense to get a young mgr who knows the young players better than anyone else. Plus, isn't Torre & LaRussa basically the same styles as Lou and Baker, both of whom couldnt' get it done in the big games?
You're not going to get a $6 million manager in Chicago. I think the real challenge to Sandberg is Girardi. He has the credentials to pass Sandberg. I believe both would be very popular Cubs managers, at least until the team started playing in 2011.
Flowers has too many strikeouts in the minors, strikeouts will not improve when he goes up against better pitching in the majors. Do you see him as an everyday catcher or trade bait for something bigger?
Kenny is not afraid to trade but he did fall in love with Flowers. He was instrumental in scouting and making the deal for Flowers and Lillibridge so I believe he will get a chance to fail with the Sox.
The Cubs will continue to struggle against some very good teams. They play 11 in a row against first- and second-place teams. The White Sox sohuld not be worried about this Twins series. If they take the next two the Sox will be fine. The Twins have major starting pitching problems. See you next week?