5/20 Cubs to begin Interleague play

The Cubs travel to Texas after Thursday’s game in Philadelphia for a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers. Lou Piniella said the games at an American League park which use the designated hitter will allow him to use players who haven’t had many at-bats lately, such as Xavier Nady, Jeff Baker and Tyler Colvin.

“We’ll probably DH Nady one day and I can put Baker in right one day,” Piniella said. “I haven’t looked at the numbers yet — lefty, righty — to see how they can get people out. On Friday, if we wanted to we could DH one of our regulars and give them a breather that way.”

It’s been tough for Nady.

“He hasn’t been able to play on a consistent basis,” Piniella said. “He didn’t really have what you’d classify as a full swing. He’s a much better hitter than what the numbers show. I’m hoping some time in the not too distant future we’ll start getting some production. The problem is getting him out on the field.”

Piniella likes the idea of having an extra bat in the lineup — and that’s not a knock on the three pitchers who start in the series, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells and Carlos Silva.

The American League does lead in Interleague play since it began in 1997. Is the AL better?

“We’ll find out,” Piniella said. “I guess by the middle or end of June we’ll know.”

– Carrie Muskat

14 Comments

Regarding Nady, really Lou? Duh. And this is news to who? Jim Hendry. In Texas, only Soriano should be a DH with Colvin in left field, to hell with Lou’s right/lefty fantasy world and getting Baker in rifht field.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Nady get a shot but we really need to put Soriano as the DH and Colvin in left if we wanted to play the best team to win right now….

1.Fukudome rf
2.Theriot 2b
3.Byrd CF
4.Lee 1b
5.Soriano DH
6.Colvin LF
7.Soto C
8.ARam 3b (orFontenot..we are better off if ARAM starts hitting)
9.Castro SS (not cause he the hitting bad but its a GREAT spot for him to hit Great!!!)

Like I said…
And I agree about Castro at #9, it’s no longer an automatic out with him in there. But it is tempting to get Castro in at the 2 slot with his hot bat and good speed. Wow, what a nice problem to have and it’s all because Hendry had no choice but to bring him up or remain looking like even a bigger fool by leaving him in the minors.

I don’t know if carrie muskat will see this. If anyone knows how to ask carrie a question please comment on this to let me know.
Carrie, I have come to the point of complete frustration! What happened against the Phillies today got to me too much to not say anything anymore. Why does Piniella continue to put Grabow in the game when he screws up EVERYTIME he comes into the game. Tie game, defending NL champs, vs. the best part of there lineup. A 2 year old baby would know not to put him in in this situation. I just can’t take him constantly making decisions that make this team even worst. Please tell me why he does this??? I believe every Cubs fan wants to know why Piniella continues to make the worst possible decisions.

Maybe, juuuuuust maybe Pinella and Hendry try a little too hard to make sure their “big money” guys that were SUPPOSED to be “go to guys” get the extra mile for correcting bad seasons, otherwise all of Hendry’s mistakes would be too glaring if Pinella took the same approach with Grabow, Soriano and Ramirez as he took with Big Z. In fact it’s looking more and more like the Big Z move to the bullpen was all for showing us “lil ol’ fans” that the two headed Pinella/Hendry monster has some stones. They really need to choose a direction such as a youth movement/build from within and COMMIT TO IT instead of piece mealing a team together year after year with overpaid, over evaluated veterans. It looks like protecting Hendry’s job…IS job 1.

OK, mgrace171b, Lou most likely wanted to not use Sean Marshall because the lefty had pitched in four of the last five games of the homestand. Plus, Marshall did throw late Wed (he just didn’t get in). They obviously didn’t want Justin Berg, who hasn’t pitched since May 8. That left Marmol, who threw 28 pitches Wed night, and Zambrano, who finally went back to back Tue-Wed. Who’s left? Grabow. He did pitch better in his first two games back after getting cortisone shot. I’ll follow up Fri and see if there’s anything else wrong.

Our top 3 relievers are Marshall, Marmol and Russell. Jeff Stevens is not the answer, bring up Blake Parker and Jay Jackson send down, Berg and Stevens.

Grabow should be a last resort in any situation he can’t throw strikes and when he does they are right down the middle and he gets hit hard!

Ok, you guys need to back off Lou a little bit. To his credit, he’s been pushing a lot of buttons lately and has been doing everything possible to win. To be honest, the Cubs played a good game today and I never expected them to take both games against Philly IN Philly. Be happy with the split. That being said, not getting the tying run in the 9th was absolutely unnacceptable… the pitch Rammy struck out on was at least a good three feet off the plate.

By the way Carrie, despite some fans loudly expressing their discontent for your writing, I’ve always found it very professional and concise. My hat is off to you.

Being happy with a split in Philly is exactly what the problem is, being satisfied or content is one thing but being happy is as unacceptable as the ninth inning was. The ninth inning alone negates any reasonable argument that it was a well played game. It was not. Maybe Lou is doing the best HE can do to win games with what Hendry GAVE him to work with, maybe LOU’S best isn’t good enough just like Hendry’s best effort has failed. They are both culpable and need to move on. The Phillies were practically conceding the tying run and the veteran Ramirez couldn’t even produce a sac fly…I’m all for giving Ramirez as much a chance to stay in the lineup and work out his problem just like Sroiano gets trotted out to left field and Lee flounders with his offensive woes but is it Lou’s best effort to leave Ramirez in the same RBI slot in the order? Move him down for at least a while if he is continually underperforming just like Zambrano. Even the rookie Colvin managed to get a sac fly as a pinch hitter. Lee and Ramirez should be at least temporarily dropped in the order even though there are no OBVIOUS choices to replace them in the 3 and 4 hole but even going with the “hot hands” would be nice to see and Lee and Ramirez are certainly not the guys right now.

If Lou truly wants to add a bat then bench Ramirez If anyone of the young guys were batting like Ramirez they would be in the minors figuring out their swing. Also, why is the press giving Ramirez a pass. His comment about being his own best hitting coach was so Bradley-esque that I cringed when I read it, but the press said nothing. They keep putting down the bullpen but Ramirez has hurt this team more than anyone including Grabow.

One Bradley-esque comment does not put him anywhere near the same league as Bradley so the press cuts him some slack and rightfully so. Good point about Lou not sitting Ramirez for a length of time, can you imagine if Castro was hitting .200 instead of .360??? He would be back in the minors “needing playing time” faster than Hendry could sign….Bobby Howry. Even if Lou has only one real option right now in Fontenot if he does sit Ramirez for a few days or a week, that option is at least viable since Fontenot is hitting well so why not TRY IT???

yeah I would say try to get Fontenot in there but we are still a better team if ARAM figures it out…. a week in the minors might wake him up!!!!! We should be trying to trade one of our EXTRA bats to get some help in the middle relief/setup man… I love Lou… I think Hendry is the problem!

Thank you Carrie. It was just extremely frustrating!!! I would just rather a White Sox fan pitch for us than Grabow at this point

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