Hi all, welcome to our weekly Friday Cubs/Sox chat...Doug Padilla will be along at 1230 to talk Sox...right now let's talk some Cubs...7-14, Game 2 in Miami tonight..fire away!
With Ian Stewart on the verge of being healthy and the way Valbuena has been playing do you foresee Stewart even making the 25 man roster?
Yeah, probably, assuming he plays well enough at AAA at some point here...they only have one back-up infielder and they wont find enough playing time for all those outfielders so I would think he makes it...but Valbuena has certainly given them something to think about...have a blog on him going up soon but for right now, its Stewart's roster spot to lose...he may have already lost his starting spot
so if marmol seems to function better in a non-closer role, do you stick with him there? hate to spend that money on that role, but it's already spent...now to get production.
Well, yeah, I always say no matter what, you have to pay a guy so why not put him in the best spot to help your team..if he's not closing for that kind of money then you prob have someone that is closing for good value like Gregg if he ends up doing it so it all evens out...Marmol got it done last night but that tightrope will break a bunch more if he keeps trying to walk it..lets see what happens when Fujikawa comes back..Marmol's role seems far from defined at this point
think villaneuva can keep this up? how about quintana?
I'll let Doug answer Quintana..As for Villanueva its a good question..I want to say yes because his game isnt dependent on a strong arm that nmight weaken later in the year and if he keeps the ball down which he has the weather wont affect him as much as the summer months come...basically, if he studies his opponent and pitches to his gameplan as he's done there is no reason he cant..its in his control..there will be days he doesnt have the feel for it and he'll leave some balls up but that hasnt happened yet..long way to go but good start and his confidence is high..dont under estimate that
How do you think Feldman will throw today?
I'll say pretty well because he has been close and he's facing a weak hitting team...he's going to have his ups and downs, I could see this being a good one..these kids on the marlins dont know him at all, that's a plus for him
Cubs: is the lack of production from Rizzo against lefties a concern at this point?
Ill do a blog on this maybe today...I think the bigger concern is against righties..most left handed hitter arent great against lefties..the best are mostly just adequate..he had a great at-bat against chapman the other day...overall, he isnt concerned and neither are the cubs..growing pains..he's one guy I would give a lot of leash to, this is what this year is about for him..just growing and adjustng..lets give it at least another month..can afford the time to learn at ML level cause they arent going anywhere...
Hey Jesse,Do you think the Cubs should give Rondon a slightly more expanded role in the bullpen, he's obviously not closer material but I think he has been solid enough so far this season that he could maybe be trusted as a set up guy? Thanks!
Absolutely. Not sure why he didnt pitch in those extra inning games against Reds or in more prominent situations overall..got nothing to lose at this point with the pen so why not..I dont know if he can get it done in pressure situations but we kind of know who cant or hasnt
Who would you rather see the Cubs go get at some point? Stanton to build around in the outfield or Price to build around in the rotation?
Price for sure..It's about pitching..stock pile good ones, great ones, whatever you can find..
What do you think, Jesse . . . even though PR coming from Cubs brass sounds regularly incoherent, do you think the actual team could be in a position to upward arc like the Reds have in the past few seasons? Also, what do you think Jeff S. will need to see from the Cubs management as far as bullpen support goes to actually keep him around? (Why in the heck would he not go for FA if Cubs management doesn't get him some help to lock down his wins on the back end?)
Sure I think that...IF, and that's a big IF, if this starting staff is actually this good then the Cubs are way ahead of schedule to be honest...you can fix the pen in one offseason or even mid-season if you need to...the offense needs to be found...but if Jeff S., Wood, jackson and even Villanueva are this good..add garza or what you can get for garza then maybe add one more to be sure that's not bad...but its one month..if Villanueva and wood have 5.00 ERA's in sept we'll all forget this month...
With all the bullpen trouble, why didn't the Cubs take a look at Valverde? Or K-Rod? We end up with Kevin Gregg??
Listen, Gregg was lights out in spring..where were valverde and K-rod? anyone could have had them and no one bit..Gregg had interest from other teams as well...if nothing else to go off of why not spring? So I dont have a problem..did we scout those guys? No, they did..sometimes you have to trust cause we have no idea...and hindsight is always 20/20
Who do you think is the first Cub that gets dealt? I'm going with DeJesus!
Not a bad thought considering they have about 19 left handed outfielders waiting in the wings starting with borbon..then go to the minors and there's jackson, bogusevic, sweeney, etc...but its hard to know who will go cause depends on needs from other teams, that's always changing...
Have you heard anything about Arodys Vizcaino and his rehab plan? Any chance he is given a shot to help the Cubs' bullpen issues?
Not sure of immediate plans...Ill ask but he wont be ready this year I dont think
You still hate Marmol, it appears. But the Cubs have had two save opportunities in the last 7 days and Marmol has trotted in to save both of them. That gives all appearances that Marmol is the Closer, even if not in name.And Marmol has 8 straight appearances (covering 8.2 IP) without a run allowed. ... Yes, he allowed 1 inherited runner to score against Cincy. But even then, Marmol got exactly what the Cubs wanted in a ground ball from Votto.Tightrope or no tightrope, that's 8 straight scoreless outings!
Agreed. It's just so iffy every time out..we know for every save or two there will probably be a blown one..thats too many...I mean putting men on base EVERY time is going to come back and haunt but there have been some good pitches...he's just too inconsistent and it seems when he gets out of it it's as much just a wing and a prayer as good ,lockdown pitching if you know what I mean
When is Mt. Fuji due back?
Not for a little bit..not throwing hard off a mound and when he does he'll go on a rehab assignment...maybe another week or 10 days?
When Stewart returns, would you still give Valbuena the majority of the playing time?
Sure..you ride the hot hand..might not be back for a week or longer so lets see how things play out but why not...valbuena might be part of the future more than stewart..as a back-up or platoon player, etc.
When is Garza expected back?
last week of May is my guess now...that could be June with another setback...awful how long this has taken
Hey, Jesse! Do you think the Cubs are moving forward or backward? I'm 43, based on what I'm seeing now, I'm not so sure that I will be able to get watch the Cubs wins the World Series in my life time! Seriously.
Ha, really cant go backward...well I guess they could if Castro and Rizzo arent the real deals..assuming they are then I def think its moving forward...just slowly..very slowly
Ok, Doug will take over for Sox talk now..follow me on twitter @espnchicubs and read the blog every day..new stuff in there all the time...thanks for the questions...talk next week!
Time to begin with some White Sox talk.
If the White Sox decide to trade Konerko, what would be a realistical package the Sox would get? I know it's a big IF, but if you had to answer.
Not sure it would be a big "IF" if the White Sox were playing poorly in July and the deal was to a West Coast team - say Arizona - that had appeal to PK.They'd go with a package of young minor-league players. And it would have to be at least one top pitcher, with another talented arm from a level slightly below that. The system needs some rebuilding. But depending on how much money the White Sox would want that other team to take on, it could affect the young talent they get in return.
Which Sox players could the White Sox trade near the deadline to get some younger assets? Floyd? Rios? Any of the bullpen arms? Thanks.
Floyd is an obvious one. Rios probably requires the White Sox to pick up a huge chunk of the money. Peavy could be under consideration. De Aza could even be added to sweeten a deal. Sale isn't going anywhere and Alexei Ramirez has a pretty team-friendly contract. Not sure they would consider Jones and Reed, but when you think about it, if Reed goes, Jones could take over the closer role. Remember, they did trade Sergio Santos and that didn't seem likely either.
Hi Doug-What do you think about Hawk's TWTW and battle against sabremetrics?
Lots of Hawk questions here. We'll take this one. Hawk is just old school to the bone. I think what is happening is that these guys don't hate the number crunching, it seems as if they hate the fact that it's a new movement that has come on strong and maybe there is a perceived threat. Behind the scenes I have heard Hawk say that it sabremetrics has value, but not as much as people give it credit for. Not saying I believe that, but he knows it does have a purpose.
Could we start seeing Dunn lose some at bats in the future, especially when Beckham comes back? I still think Kepp is going to turn it around and I really like Gillaspie so far. You also have Viciedo who is going to return in a month or so. I just find it hard to get all of these guys at bats while still having Dunn play everyday. Thoughts?
I know the instinct is to put somebody, anybody, in Dunn's spot, just to get a walk or a single or something. A 1-for-4 every night seems so much better. The problem is that this roster is built to have Dunn hit 30 home runs and drive in 90. It doesn't win without that and there isn't a single person on the bench that will give the White Sox that. Right now they are committed to getting him on track. There isn't much they're going to do without hitting his career averages. Let's talk again in late June, though
Dunn...BAD. Which off-season training regimen did he follow? 2 years ago when this happened or B4 last season and his come-back?Did he do anything different this off-season?Thanks
For better or worse, Dunn isn't necessarily technically refined, like, let's say, somebody like Paul Konerko. After seeing Dunn these past three years, his issues are best visible in a game setting. And make that a regular-season game setting because in spring he usually looks fine. It's been tough to watch from a fan perspective, I'm sure. Being on the inside it's sad to see because he's a really good guy who has the respect of his teammates. That doesn't translate into victories, though, and I understand your frustration. Imagine his.
What will be the Hardest Interleague Team that Both the Cubs & the White Sox will Face This Season?
Not sure I will speak for the Cubs here, but for the White Sox they've already gotten past their toughest NL test. The Nationals handled them pretty easily and didn't even use their ace in the series. Gotta say that the cross-town series is shaping up to be a fun one, for offbeat reasons. If both teams limp into that thing with bad records, then those four consecutive days in May will be their World Series.
Is Viciedo projected to be this type of free swinger throughout his career? He seems to be an Adam Dunn like, but without the Walks.
So far Viciedo's biggest issue has been against right-handed pitching. Against lefties his approach is solid and his results are off the chart. Unfortunately he will face mostly right-handers in his career. As far as an overall hitter, Viciedo has more upside. The thought is that he can still match the best power numbers of Dunn's career while also hitting gap-to-gap that will help him get more hits that don't necessarily go over the way. He's getting to that point, though, where teaching him patience will be a major project.
Why did Lockette get called up, and not Jarod Mitchell?
Pretty sure you meant Tekotte. Mitchell had been struggling so much at Charlotte, he was sent back to Double-A Birmingham. He was just getting overmatched in the early going. Since Jordan Danks and Wise were expected to pick up the majority of Viciedo's at-bats, they went with Tekotte as more of a pinch-runner, defensive-replacement type in the late innings.
Here's the frustrating thing about Dunn - watching him take BP before a game, he is a hulk, the largest man out there and he crushes the ball, absolutely crushes it, even with a half-swing. Then the game starts and he becomes something different, something less. It just seems like such a waste.
It's been all pitch selection with Dunn. Obviously in BP there is only one location at a reduced speed. It looks like Dunn's new approach at the plate has him handcuffed. Instead of looking for a particular pitch in a particular location, Dunn was planning on just looking location this year and swinging earlier in the count. The current problem seems to be that he's seeing location just fine but hasn't been so good at pitch recognition.
Thanks for the questions. Looking forward to White Sox-Rays tonight. I'll predict another victory because I'm crazy like that. See you on Twitter (but not if you only want to tell me that I was wrong): @ESPNChiSox.