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May 17, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine, Doug Padilla

Doug Padilla
  (1:03 PM)

Talking White Sox now. Save your Cubs questions for Bruce at 12:30

Ken (Madison)

The Sox shouldn't feel that bad for losing to the Rangers right?These guys did win the pennant a year ago....

Doug Padilla
  (1:05 PM)

This is sarcasm, correct? I'll answer anyway. The White Sox are trying to not only stay on a winning run, they need to start winning at home. They are now 1-10 in their last 11 at the Cell. And it was also the way they lost last night. Lewis was good, but they didn't have much energy at the plate. Konerko said so afterward.

Scott (Rockford, IL)

What are the chances that Carlos Quentin will be back with the White Sox next year? I'm in the market for a new jersey and don't like buying one every year.

Doug Padilla
  (1:09 PM)

He is arbitration eligible so all the White Sox have to do is say they want him back and the arbitrator can decide his salary. They declined on Jenks this offseason. Gonna depend on if they think they can aford him. More than likely they sign him for at least one more season. 75-25 chance he's back at this point. Check back later.

Cheese (Washington, D.C.)

Ok, so a nice road trip aside, what do the Sox need to do to snap out of this early season funk they've been in? Or is this just all we can really expect from them this year?

Doug Padilla
  (1:11 PM)

They are better than this on offense. A big issue is Pierre struggling at the leadoff spot and nobody taking ownership of that No. 2 spot. Alexei is there now because he has the best OBP of all the candidates. People need to get on base for the big boys to drive them in. Need to see more from Beckham too at the bottom of the order. Pitching has been good and bullpen is much improved.

Chris (Kansas City)

Are we on pace to see Viciedo sometime soon? And if so where at? Outfield?

Doug Padilla
  (1:12 PM)

Could see Viciedo getting recalled as early as today if Teahen goes on the DL. He's red hot at Charlotte as you probably know. But they have to have a plan for him to play. They don't want him rotting on the bench. He is only playing in the outfield now, so RF and DH are the spots where he will be used if recalled.

austin (belfry ky)

do you think yankes will win it all

Doug Padilla
  (1:14 PM)

Not with the mess they have going on right now: poor play, Posada, etc. Buy they always seem to find a way to get back on track. I'd be surprised if they didn't make the postseason.

T-DUB (CHI-CITY)

Doug, Even the utmost optimist can clearly see the Sox can't right the ship this year. Can Kenny at least try to unload some useless contracts before he and the Blizzard of Oz are kicked to the curb?(i.e. Rios, Pierre, Dunn and the whole starting pitching staff!)

Doug Padilla
  (1:17 PM)

This isn't a real question is it? The starters are the best thing going on the team. And unloading guys that aren't playing well doesn't just happen because you want it too. The White Sox aren't going to pay Pierre's salary to play for another team. If somebody wants to take the money off the White Sox's hands they will move those guys in a hurry if the team is still struggling in July. Otherwise this looks like this is your team for 2011.

skip (aurora)

How does MLB manage to work the schedule so that the Sox are the only team that faces tough pitchers and no other team has to face tough pitchers? Kidding aside - what would you guess is Kenny's date for whether he starts moving pieces on this team?

Doug Padilla
  (1:21 PM)

I know what you're saying Skip. Has been a run of nasty opposing pitchers. But good teams find a way to beat some of these guys. So far they only got to Cahill then turned in a bad showing a day later. Not acceptable. Pieces won't move until late July if it happens at all. Depends on how much money other teams want to take on in a trade for White Sox players. Otherwise they better get supreme young talent in return.

Lyle (Lisle)

Can we agree that JP should be the full time DH and platoon Konerko and Dunn at 1B?

Doug Padilla
  (1:23 PM)

This is a joke too, right? Getting Pierre out of left doesn't solve the defense issue if Dunn is now playing in the field. And Konerko getting half the at bats he's getting now now? He's the best hitter/run producer on this team. Horrible idea.

Gary (Antioch)

If we don't get hitting from Dunn and Rios, I believe the season is over and the fire sale might begin soon. Thoughts?

Doug Padilla
  (1:24 PM)

See previous.

Jason (bmore) [via mobile]

Hi, Doug. Glad u are chatting first. Mb u can get more questions in now! I keeeed. Anyways, do u see a dl stint in Teahan's future, and if so, will Omar man 3rd consistently?

Doug Padilla
  (1:26 PM)

DL decision on Teahen will come today. Still 50-50 on that one. Did hear that Viciedo is itching to come back to Chicago, obviously. Don't look for Vizquel to be an everyday guy. They don't want to overuse a 44-yaer old who also has to back up at SS and 2B.

Kaufmak (Rogers PArk)

Will Ozzie ever give up on Juan Pierre?

Doug Padilla
  (1:28 PM)

First move is to drop him in the lineup. Oz talked about that yesterday saying he has chewed on the idea of moving Pierre to ninth. Next would be a platoon with Lillibridge posibly. But there is nobody to take over the leadoff spot. Remember, Pierre was till trying to find himself at this point last year.

Sergio Santos (Fan Club)

Santos is cleary the closer. How much leash does he get from here on it to keep it?

Doug Padilla
  (1:30 PM)

Yes, the job is clearly his. He's still putting runners on, though and making things a little too intersting. A couple of solid 1-2-3 saves would get him some leeway to maybe blow one here or there and not have to worry about it.

Doug Padilla
  (1:30 PM)

OK folks, I enjoyed it. Bruce is up now.

Bruce Levine
  (1:31 PM)

Quite an eventful few days for the Cubs. Ridiculous weather followed by poor play on the field. Welcome to chat ...

brandon (nm)

Bruce i think we should leave castro at leadoff- stop fluctuating him around i believe. But whats up with Ramirez? Should we think about putting pena or sori in the 4 hole?

Bruce Levine
  (1:32 PM)

Right now the Cubs are looking at a situation where they are just getting out-hit by teams. It's not pretty. Their 3-4 hitters have to drive in runs. That's it. Pretty simple and it's not happening.

Chris (Highland Park)

I've written this season off already, it's time to look forward. I like what Hendry said about needing to send Colvin down "We're in the production business...", with that logic, can we expect to see additional changes with the Cubs before the trade deadline?

Bruce Levine
  (1:34 PM)

It depends how far out of the lead they fall. The Cubs owe their fans and their ownership at least another small window to compete this year. If they fall double digit games out of first then I think Hendry starts looking in another direction.

Sean (Highland Park)

What's the deal with Soriano? Are we to believe he will hit .260 with 35+HR's this year?

Bruce Levine
  (1:35 PM)

When he has been healthy he averages between 25-30 home runs. I think he has led this team in homers three of the past four years so it would be no shock for him to hit 35.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What do you think of the Chicago Cubs going to Fenway Park this weekend for the first time in 93 years?

Bruce Levine
  (1:36 PM)

I think it's a nice side story. I don't know if people will be all that excited if the Cubs don't start playing better soon. They have three games left before they get there. They need to show they can play better.

Tim (my couch)

He is soto's progress? Any hope he picks up his Offence when he gets back?

Bruce Levine
  (1:37 PM)

Soto is just beginning his rehab in Arizona. He just went there yesterday. He had to take at least a few days to let his injury recover. It's unknown when he will be back.

Ashley (Salem IL)

I am really upset with Quade and the Cubs for sending Colvin down. How soon do you see them bringing him back up?

Bruce Levine
  (1:38 PM)

Why would you be upset? He has not shown the ability to hit this year and has also been timid in the field. He needs to regain his confidence by playing everyday. I think it's a good idea for him and the Cubs. The length of his stay depends on how he progresses and how the players on the major league level play. If he does well I'm sure he will be back.

Danny (Chicago)

How much of Colvin's demotion was his fault, how much do you think Q's handling of him contributed to his slump?

Bruce Levine
  (1:40 PM)

Initially Quade wanted to lead off with Fukudome. That meant there was no spot for Colvin. Then he started doing some different things likeusing Colvin against left-handed starters. That didn't work out Is it partially Quade's fault? Maybe, but as Hendry sais yesterday, baseball is about producing and he just hasn't done that.

Zachary (Chicago)

The NL central is somewhat weak this year, yet it seems like management and the Cubs have already given up and are already looking towards next year. Do you agree with that and do you see the Cubs getting rid of Kosuke for Michael Young down the road?

Bruce Levine
  (1:42 PM)

I don't see anybody giving up. I just see a lack of winning baseball. I'm in there everyday and these guys are playing hard. They work extra hard as well. But at some point it might be just a general lack of excellent talent. They have good talent but it might not be good enough. I don't see any trade of Fukudome for Young. The Cubs aren't taking on any big contracts with 33-year-old players at this point.

Dave (Bucktown)

Quade said last year that everyone would be held accountable. I'm happy to hear he let loose re professionalism and fundamentals in the team meeting last night, but when is he going to start benching guys who are not bringing it every day for an entire 9 innings?

Bruce Levine
  (1:45 PM)

Who would you suggest he benches? Quade pretty much plays his 25-man roster. Baker and Johnson have been important parts of what little offense they have thrown out there. The big dogs have to hunt. You have to get production from Pena, Ramirez and Byrd. Pena is the only one starting to drive the ball. Even though Byrd has a long hitting streak he is just not driving in runs.

James (Evanston)

Hey Bruce, there are a lot of rumors floating around that the Cubs are going to make a run for Pujols next year. Do the Cubs have that much money to throw around for players next year? and if so how is that possible since they have been on a tight budget since about 09?

Bruce Levine
  (1:48 PM)

They could have $40 million coming off the books. Those contracts would include Pena, Ramirez and Fukudome. So it just depends what Ricketts wants to do. You have a mutual option for Ramirez. Unless he ends up with 25 homers and 100 RBIs, it's doubftul they will pick it up. You have to spend money to replace run production unless you think your farm system is ready to produce. Right now the closest player to the majors might be Brett Jackson.

Brandon (Manchester)

What is outfielder Tony Campana role going to be for the cubs? Will he get some starts or just be a bench player?

Bruce Levine
  (1:49 PM)

Hard to say. He has speed. I'm sure Quade will take a look at him but I don't think he has been called up to replace any of the starters. At some point I think Quade is going to have to start catching Castillo. Hill is very limited as far as offense. They just need another bat in the lineup.

Roger (Fishers)

What are the chances that the Cubs unload Ramirez before the trade deadline? Baker has proved he can hit and adequately cover third base.

Bruce Levine
  (1:50 PM)

That's up to the team and Ramirez. He has a full no-trade.

Sage (Chicago)

How do you explain the mental mistakes by Castro and Barney this year? I don't care if they're young, they've been playing the same game their whole life.

Bruce Levine
  (1:51 PM)

My only explanation is that the game speeds up at the major league level. The importance of the game and the level of competition creates a certain anxiety even among talented players like Barney and Castro. That's why it's the major leagues.

Mac (Philly)

In the offseason, you were all like "Colvin this, and Colvin that!" Are you willing to admit you were wrong about Colvin? And that the people who said his high K% and HR/FB would doom him were right?

Bruce Levine
  (1:53 PM)

I was never on that bandwagon. I was always concerned with his strikeout ratio. Do I think he can still be a decent player? Yes. He has way above average power from the left side. As Darrin Jackson always said, "He has some work to do."

Peter (Quincy)

How much longer can we tolerate Soriano's wretched defense? He's contributed to two losses vs. St L and last nite by falling and then misjudging a hard-hit ball. will they have to lift him after 5 inns. if take the lead? He's a clown out there, even tho they say he tries hard he's gotta sit.

Bruce Levine
  (1:56 PM)

All you have left is three years and about 120 games. I'm not minimizing his defense. It is bad, but that is not a guy you can just put on the bench, not at this point. He also happens to be your home run and RBI leader. It appears there are not too many guys on this team that Cubs fans like at this point.

Nizzi (Des Moines)

Bruce, I think Pujols is a very bad idea. With all the day games and the cramped facility I think the Cubs need to go young if they are going to bring a championship to the North side. No more old veterans. Thoughts?

Bruce Levine
  (1:58 PM)

Could not agree more. Giants OF Aaron Rowand said it well on ESPN 1000's Talking Baseball Saturday. He said ML teams pay for what you have done in the past rather than what they expect you to do. He was making a statement of fact about his own contract, that he had earned that money by having three outstanding years. But the presumption that 31, 32, 33-year-old player is going to give you the same production he has in the past is naive.

Ted (Wilmington)

Bruce,It's obvious the Cubs aren't going anywhere this season. Can you envision a scenario in which the Cubs deal Garza at the deadline?

Bruce Levine
  (1:59 PM)

Doubftul. A 27-year-old high quality rotation pitcher is hard to find. Garza should be a part of any re-tooling process the Cubs have. They have him under contract for this year and two more before he can become a free agent.

Bruce Levine
  (2:00 PM)

It seems like it's all doom and gloom but then again the Bulls play again Wednesday night. Someone is going to have to start hitting doubles and home runs for this team or else it's going to be a long season. Talk to you from Miami and Boston over the next six days.