Hi all, welcome to our weekly baseball chat...Doug Padilla will be along at 1230 for Sox talk..Im headed to Mil as soon as we're done talking Cubs...Good to go indoors after this homestand...brutal..really think the Cubs will start hitting more with better condiitons..yesterday was a good example...first semi-warmish day and boom they go off..Even Soriano goes deep so you know its warm.Fire away with questions!
Hey Jesse! Do you believe that Gregg will eventually get into the mix as closer? What do you see as his role in the bullpen for now? Thanks
I think anyone that shows any ability to close out a game will get a chance so yes I think Gregg could end up there based on his experience..not sure if his first appearance will be holding onto a one run lead in the ninth but if he proves he can get people out I think he could be back there at least until Fuji comes back...his numbers in spring were off the charts but still got cut so we'll see but to answer your question, yes.
Looks like it will probably be Feldman that gets to the bullpen when Garza comes back. What kind of reliever role would he play?
The long man that Villanueva was...lets see how things play out...can change on a dime in this game..what if he gives 2-3 great starts before Garza is ready? But yeah, it looks like that would be the case...he has done the long role before and since hes stretched already, it shouldnt be a hard transition
Do you think we will draft a pitcher or position play with the number two overall pick in the upcoming draft? And who will it be?
The more I think about it the more I think it will be a pitcher..they are so desperate to fill out their staff as they move into hopefully contending years..all depends on Hou but if Appel is there they should take him...I think
All Rizzo does is either strikeout or hit a HR this year (I know it's still early, but alarming nonetheless). Can we expect more growth from Rizzo, or is this more of the type of hitter he's going to be as pitchers figure him out more?
Its not enough if thats the type of hitter hes going to be...let this play out..he reminds me of konerko..always thinking and self-analyzing..this is the adjustment stage of his career..pitches are making them on him and he's trying to counter...so we dont know just yet what he'll be but at least the power is there...now has to do more
Sorry for delay..some internet probs
For the past few years, the Cubs have lacked either power or speed, sometimes both. Which does management see as the most pressing need between those two?
Def power..if they were concerned about speed would not have dumped Campana
Do you think they will keep the same line up vs left handed pitchers?
That's my pet peeve right now....Sveum has been adamant about putting that righty lineup out there but next time a southpaw is on the mound he's got to make some changes..at least let Schierholtz start...at least that...so I say he does make a change or two or esle he's really being stubborn
"What if" Rizzo doesn't pan out. Can he play third and Vogelbach play first?
If he doesnt pan out why would they put him at 3rd? And the answer is no
Safe to say that Marmol has sneakily returned to the Closer's role?
No. I like how Sveum has handled him..let him keep having succes in the role he's in...I think it would be dumb not to see once he was removed from the most pressure filled moments of the game he's had succes...leave him there until he REALLY proves he's back and maybe not even then...lets see how Gregg or closer by committe performs..
Hey Jesse, should we be worried about some of the pitching decisions that have been made this year? For instance, when T. Wood was pitching, he was at 90 pitches and only had given up a single when Camp was brought in, who holds a 12+ ERA. Seriously, why wasn't Russell brought in instead? Terrible decisions!
Yeah Im not in love with all those decisions but nothing will make a manager look worse than an in-effective bullpen..nothing. However, that just means he has to be that much more in tune with what is going on...I think a couple of those guys like Wood and Villanueva would have liked to have gone another inning in some of these starts...maybe that wouldnt be good for them in the long run..impossible to know...but Sveum def has to have the pulse of that pen cause its touchy down there
It sure would be nice to take 2 of 3 from the Crew this weekend! Schierholtz and Castillo are two of the few bright spots thus far, any chance one or both could be long term solutions?
I doubt it on Schierholtz..nice player but long term? Nah...Castillo is really showing me something..his at-bats have been good..he'll hit for power and take what the pitcher throws plus he has a gun for an arm..so maybe on him...would be nice to have a long term answer there...4-5 years type thing
Are theo and the ricketts on the same page?
I think so. I mean Ricketts has given him full authority and frankly wouldnt you do that? I think Theo knows what he's doing..now its just about scouting for the most part..
What do you think of making Schierholtz the permanent everyday starter until he cools off? (I think this notion of left-righty matchups is SO way overblown . . . if a guy's killing it, let him stay in!)
Yes yes yes...right now he's an unknown against lefties..lets find out..
So it's obvious that Castro, Rizzo, and more than likely Samardzija are going to be around come contention time. Do you see anyone else on this roster making a case to be there when October baseball returns to the north side? Villanueva and Castillo have been lights out in the early going!
Like I just said and wrote in mu blog Castillo is def making a case for it...hard to know about a guy like Villanueva..at the very least he could be an excellent bullpen guy if hes not starting in a yr or two..fans should like him..its all about hard work for him..he studies, he prepares, he jsut doesnt have lights out stuff so i think here will be times when he's off mentally hes going to get hit hard but sure as a piece to the puzzle Villanueva could stilll be here WTC (When they contend)
sorry for some spelling there...writing in between computer freezing!
Is russell not being handed the closer job because he is the only matchup lefty out of the pen or is there something more to it?
No that's it. He'll close when there's a lefty ninth inning..Sveum said he would have pitche the ninth if lefties were coming up yesterday
Do you think that Camp is the right choice for the set up man?
Jury is out...middle guys are unreliable from one year to next..I documented in the blog about his use last year and how history shows guys with that many appearances (80) can have their troubles the next year...heck ,marmol has been better lately
Hey Jesse, something doesn't smell right at Wrigley. Are Cubs brass now saying they can't win without new funding deals? (Hello, Steve Loria.) Or is old man Ricketts turning the screws on his kids, and limiting payroll budgets? Would love to hear a report on not only who's running the show there, but also a cohesive PR message . . . what's your take?
I said it right to Theo the other day "The Cubs HAVE won with an un-renovated Wrigley Field". Granted they havent won it all but that has nothing to do with the facility..but the bottom line is they need to stress its FALLING APART..thats why they need to renovate..not to win..I think that's bull. No free agent has ever turned down the cubs cause of the small clubhouse...they might complain about it but I dont recall sori saying no to the millions cause of it...or anyone else...so just say it needs a facelift like any 100 year old structure..and in the process it will upgrade the whole experience for everyone..boom. done
I know Sveum doesn't like to start DeJesus vs LHP's. Do you think further in the season DeJesus will start? vs LHP's?
Like that earlier question, at some point he's going to have to unless Sappelt gets locked in here..he's like 1-18 so a change has to come soon..
What do you see the Cubs doing to fill the glaring hole offensively at 3B for the long run?
Good question..I still thik if Baez is long term for this team, its at SS and Castro moves to third..but nothing for sure says thats going to happen...one or more of those prospects will get moved when the cubs are ready to make that big trade for a pitcher..Im pretty convinced of it..maybe for David Price..but if all stay i think it should be Castro that moves
This isn't really a question, it's more of a follow-up. I think Sveum and the players in the clubhouse (and especially the guys in the front office) will give Marmol chances to close games a lot sooner than you will. They need him to succeed in that role in order to win more games, increase Marmol's trade value and allow everyone else in the bullpen to end up in roles that they're better suited for.
I can understand that..but the key there is they NEED him to succeed, doesnt mean he will...I think he will def get another chance cause they arent going anywhere, there doesnt seem to be a lock down closer in waiting and its worth a shot..maybe not yet though..I for one dont think he can do it anymore
That's it for me. Doug Padilla is taking over for Sox talk..follow me on twitter @espnchicubs and check out the blog of course...headed to mil now...will have pregame video/audio, etc. Samardzija on the mound...thanks again...good questions everyone..
Thought that guy wasn't going to stop. OK, here we go with some White Sox talk.
Doug, this offense has looked familiar at times. Poor execution w/ RISP, relying on homers, inconsistency. (Can we forgive Greg Walker now?) What are some specific things you can tell us Jeff Manto has been working with some of the guys?
Nobody around the team had an issue with Walker's message, it just wasn't being taken to heart by the players. Manto's approach on mechanics doesn't vary too much from Walker, or most hitting coaches. The major difference is that Manto gives a high priority to the mental side of hitting. They also have Baines and Ventura trying to get the message across as well. The right things are being said but aren't being applied with enough consistency right now.
Whats with Sale? He seems really bad lately!
Hold on now. He looked good in Toronto, giving up three runs. His biggest issue was controlling the running game, not with pitch execution. Dickey just got the better of him. Sure he stunk up the joint in Cleveland. He will tell you that. Sale just isn't somebody to worry about right now.
What's the solution to Adam Dunn's problems?
He is trying to be less picky with pitch selection, but it appears as if he can do even more with hitting early in counts. He still sees a lot of pitches which, in turn, gets him into a lot of two-strike situations and then he's on his heels. He's saying he feels decent at the plate, so his confidence isn't completely shot like it was a few years ago. It'd be nice to see him offer at more first pitches just to break up his current rhythm.
Any news on Viciedo's injury?
Just did a quick check and there is no update of yet. Without getting a chance to talk to the staff today because of the PPD, we are at the mercy of when the White Sox might want to say something. Oblique injuries are never good and the recovery time is long because it's an easy thing to injure again. With the pain he was in last night a DL stint is certainly expected. Keep checking back at ESPNChicago.com for an update.
Should we be concerned with Chris Sale's struggle with his slider, his best pitch?
Not yet. (See the previous Sale answer.) Because the slider is a feel pitch and his worst game came in Cleveland in less-than-ideal conditions, there is no need to panic yet. But if he's having issues with that pitch as the season moves on, then it's worth picking apart. But he was good Thursday at Toronto, just not as good as Dickey and that freaky flutterball.
Any idea when tonight's postponed game will be made up?
No word yet. For those who haven't heard, the White Sox called off tonight's game because of expected cold and windy conditions. The Twins return two more times, once in Aug. and once in Sept. Would expect to see a day-night doubleheader scheduled then. Warmer temps at that time would also help with attendance, assuming the White Sox aren't completely out of it by then.
Will Beckham start again when he gets back?
Absolutely. He was off to a pretty good start at the plate, all the more reason his injury was a crushing blow. His improved defense gives him even more added value to the club. Don't think Ventura is the type of guy who would yank a guy's starting spot because of injury. Now if Gillaspie and Keppinger are crushing the ball at that time, he'd have a delicate situation on his hands.
What is the White Sox plan going forward? This team has won 1 playoff game since 05, most owners probably fire their GM for such a performance and ours promotes him. We have the 27th ranked farm system, which sadly is an improvement. If this team isn't competing at the break is there any chance that they finally blow this up?
You call it a promotion, while some might look at it as the White Sox got somebody with a slightly different vision in the GM spot. As for the farm system, while the prospects don't look eye-popping at first glance, the club does graduate guys to the major leagues, but probably not enough of them. Considering the lofty payroll, though, if this team is stumbling along with no direction in July, then selling off the pieces makes sense. But if the pieces are struggling, how much value are they going to have?
If the Sox had played tonight, would Don Cooper have been in the dugout to resume his pitching coach duties?
Yes Fred (Can I call you Freddy?), The word is that Cooper is due back for the homestand. We'll have a chat with him tomorrow.
Thanks for all the questions. We'll be back at it from the Cell tomorrow. The best way to interact until next Friday is on Twitter: @ESPNChiSox. Talk to you all there.