We have 3 picks in the top 70 for this weekends draft, how do you see Theo and Co. using them?
The Cubs plan to go with pitching. And not just any pitching but guys with power arms. Some may end up as starters and some as relievers but the belief is that power guys have a better chance over finesse guys. Doesn't mean the No. 1 pick will be a pitcher, but many of them will. Draft starts Monday.
More likely to happen at the trade deadline, Cubs move Garza for prospects or pay the bulk of Soriano's contract to move him?
I'd say they'd move Garza first. Soriano still has nearly $50 million owed to him. But it's more than likely that neither happen.
Did the Cubs turn it around the past few games OR did they run into a team worse than they are? Early prediction on the upcoming 10 game road trip?
Little bit of both. But probably more of a bad Padres team. No shame in that though. What did happen was that some guys on offense got their confidence back. I'll go with a .500 trip. Ah, that's too easy. How about a 6-4 trip?
DP, Better for Anthony Rizzo - Leave him to mash AAA or risk putting him in a weak lineup and start his clock?
At this point it would be a shame to bring him up now for the rest of the year and lose a year of free agency. Bring up for the games at MN and the Cell, send him back down and get him back in July. He wouldn't have too many days on that schedule. It could take some pressure off him if he rotates time with LaHair and Soriano.
Doug, what will the Cubs do with their 6th pick? TheoJed say power pitching would be nice what do you think?
Would be nice to see them get the lefty Max Fried out of Harvard-Westlake HS in California. Saw him throw at Wrigley yesterday and he has a big arm. Warming up he threw one from the well in RF all the way to the foul line behind third base. Lean lanky kid. Kershaw-like.
What is the likelihood the Cubs win more than 60 games this year?
Last week I would have said it will be impossible to abvoid 100 losses. It's still going to be tough but the starting pitching probably saves them from the triple-digit number. The 'pen has to continue to grow. If Russell can grab hold of the closer spot they can set up some roles down there.
Does Bryan Lahair make the all star team?
They probably only get one guy and at this point it would likely be Castro. But if LaHair can get hot his numbers could match up well with other first basemen. Samardzija would seem to have a lot of work left to do to get that honor.
Give us an update on the Cubs clubhouse...how has it been? Any problems?
The clubhouse mood has been fine. They have a good group that has avoided issues. Can't say the same for the clubhouse walls, though. There was a huge hole in the wall made by a bat that was in the vicinity of Dempster's locker. Wasn't there before Wednesday's game. Not saying it was him. I honestly don't know who did it. But a zero victory season would sure weigh on a guy.
What do you think the future holds for Brenley's kid?
Lot of work to do. Still pretty green. And the club is stacked with catchers. It's a plus being a catcher, though, because most of them in the organization get invites to big league camp. Got to have guys there to catch all the pitchers. Watched him hit a mammoth HR this spring so the talent is there. Just needs time to come out.
Which you do think will be greater by year end: Facebook's stock price or the # of games out of first place we are?
What are we talking something in the 30-35 range? Gonna say after al this Facebook business settles down and some trust is restored, it heads near 40. I'll go out on a limb and say Facebook stock will be higher. But I have never been right on a stock yet.
Nice live arm. Had location issues at times last year but when he's around the plate he can be good. He can hit 94. Good kid. Used to own a construction business in Australia. He now works construction in the offseason back home just for kicks.
Don't know much about our recent signing of Shane Lindsay other than he's from Australia, had shoulder surgery a few years back and had a brief stint with the Pale Hose...what type of pitcher is he and how hard does he throw?
Sorry about that. Posted the Lindsay answer before the question.
What are the chances that Clevenger keeps the starting job even after Soto comes back? He obviously won't continue to hit .500, but I like him!
I think the best you'll get is a platoon of sorts. Not a straight platoon because that would leave Soto to face only lefties. But they could split time equally if he continues to hit.
DP - Just heard everyone on the Cubs is available to trade except for Shark. How different will this team look come August, and how much would it take for them to move Castro?
It'll take a ton to move Castro. Theo basically said so this week, without naming Castro specifically. He said if a proven guy goes in a deal it would take multiple slam-dunk prospects in return. A team would have to blow the front office's doors off for a Castro deal to happen.
CAN LAHAIB PLAY RIGHT FIELD?
I don't know about him, but LaHair said he's played there a little bit over the years. They seem to be more comfortable with him in left, though. Doesn't quite have the arm for right.
Do you think Dave Sappelt can be an impact player at the MLB level?
Will probably say that he rates as a fourth OF type right now. Nice player, but not sure "impact" is the right word. Rizzo is an impact player. Not quite in that field.
It's been a tough start of the season for Brett Jackson, but he has bounced back the last few games. Any insight on the cause of his struggles and when we can expect to see him at Wrigley?
Seems to be the same story, a little overanxious at the plate and needs to strike out less. Doesn't mean they think less of him. Not even close. Just means he needs time to work on a few things. Still expect to se him at least by September.
any news on the Wrigley Field talks?
Check out the Greenberg story in the Cubs blog at ESPNChicago.com.
How has josh vitters looked so far this season? I know he's been in the system for a bit. Is there any chance he gets a look up in the majors this year
Vitters seems to be in the same area as Jackson, although Jackosn is a little ahead at this point. Still shows things he needs to work on. Had a great opportunity to impress this spring and showed up and down play, sometimes in very drastic swings.
I don't want to criticize Casto because .315 is still .315, but 5 walks in 200+ plate appearances is pathetic and leads to a lower OBP than he should have. If doesn't hit his way on, he doesn't get on. Is this something that he can work on without hurting his aggressiveness?
The walk thing is clearly him trying to do way to much in the No. 3 hole to drive in runs. It was part of the reason he was moved back to No. 2 last week. He's never going to be a big walk guy, though. But to be on pace for 15 in a season is a shame. The two spot will help him to be more patient.
Tell Sveum to stop playing Mather! Please & Thank You.
Well, if he reads these things, you just told him. (He doesn't read these things.) Look, the team needed somebody who could drive the ball. His slugging percentage is among the tops on the team. Campana fans don't care for this move, but the club his hitting now and this lineup will stick probably until the club slides again. Pretty sure Campana will get a chance again at some point in the next few months.
If we're building for the future, how concerned should we be that the minor league teams are a combined 30 games under .500?
That should tell you about the pitching. It's a reason it will be a major draft focus next week.
Doug an obvious question daily but how do you think the Cubs closer situation works out the next few weeks? Any new updates!
Russell sure looks comfortable in the role, but we were saying the same things when Dolis got the job. It's tough to put your only lefty at the back end, but Russell shouldn't be punished for that. For the next few weeks any, it looks like the job is his. Hope he's still available in your fantasy league.
Why hasn't Campana been playing more!!!
Wrote about it yesterday. Check out the Cubs blog at ESPNChicago.com. News sure travels slow to the UK.
Tony Campana may never be an everyday starter, but once the Cubs are contenders isn't it important to have a game-changing baserunner like him on the roster a la Dave Roberts?
It's exactly why he is still around now. He's a good guy to start on occasion to put a charge in things, but he still has a ton of value off the bench as yesterday's game proved.
If soto gets traded at the deadline, who would be the cubs everyday catcher? Clevenger or Castillo?
Clevenger clearly has the edge at this point. They were neck and neck at the end of spring, but Castillo didn't do much with his chance and had issues on defense. Clevenger has looked unaffected by his opportunities and delivered early despite sporadic playing time.
I don't know why but I'm a big fan of Barney.I feel that another year or two and he could be a really good player for the Cubs.What is your opinion on that and what do you think are his chances of being the Cubs second baseman of the future?
Say what you want about talent, and a lot of people have, but this is the hardest working kid in that locker room. He almost works hard to a fault. Last year he had trouble keeping on weight and struggled in the 2nd half. Is he a top 10 second baseman? Probably not. But he gives you everything he has and more and baseball has shown there is room for those guys.
Can you change the headline about surging cubs? 3 wins in a row is hardly a surge
George, it's a massive surge compared to the 12 games prior to the win streak. Nobody said anything about surging into playoff contention.
Thanks for the questions. And even the remarks from all the critics out there. Can't please everybody. Catch you all from the road. And follow on Twitter: @ESPNChiCubs.