3/8 Cubs Inbox

The rotation, first base and players’ eating habits are among the topics in this week’s Cubs Inbox. Send your questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com, and please include your name and hometown.

Q: Who is going to fill out the rotation this year? Is it Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm? Can Randy Wells be optioned to Triple-A? — Matthew W., St. Peters, MO

A: Dempster, Garza and Maholm are set. That leaves Wood, Volstad, Wells, Rodrigo Lopez, Jeff Samardzija and Casey Coleman among those fighting for the final two spots. As Dale Sveum said Sunday: “I think everybody is in the mix for those last couple spots. … It’s going to be an interesting month.” As far as options, the only players who have less than five years of service time and are out of Minor League options are Samardzija, Marcos Mateo, Geovany Soto and Bryan LaHair. That means they would have to clear waivers before they can be sent to the Minors. Wells does have an option left.

Q: It looks like we’re loaded with first basemen in the farm system with Bryan LaHair, Rebel Ridling, Justin Bour and Richard Jones and trading for Anthony Rizzo adds another great bat. What do you think the Cubs plan to do with all that talent in one position? — Mike M., Mt. Pleasant, SC

A: Hopefully, they’ll find someone in that group who can be a superstar for years to come. There’s a baseball cliche that these things have a way of taking care of themselves.

Q: In the recent compensation agreement with the Red Sox for Theo Epstein, how does the player to be named later provision work? Does the receiving team get to choose? Did they negotiate a list to choose from? Is there a deadline? Is this a way to even up the trade because Chris Carpenter for Epstein is not an even trade? Could this be part of a quiet three-way trade? — Charlie K., Valparaiso, IN

A: First, there is no three-way deal, quiet or noisy. Second, the two teams have agreed on a list of lower level prospects and they’re expected to pick those players by mid April. As far as Carpenter is concerned, he was on the Red Sox’s wish list early in the process.

Q: With Anthony Rizzo being the first baseman of the future for the Cubs, when he eventually comes up, do you think there is any possibility the Cubs move Bryan LaHair to third base? I’d love to get his big left-handed bat at the hot corner. Could he be like a Troy Glaus perhaps? — Eric L., Glen Burnie, MD

A: LaHair is quicker this spring, he’s stronger, he can crush a baseball, but he’s not a third baseman.

Q: There was a report that the Cubs chef does not prepare red meat meals. Without further knowledge of the players’ nutrition guidelines, I think the lack of red meat in a male athlete’s diet is a major mistake. Red meat is a staple to an athletes’ diet. Are all meals prepared by the team chef? Can you please provide more details about the athletes’ diet? — Patrick G., Washington, DC

A: The Cubs have hired a company called “Cookin’ on Wood,” which provides breakfast and lunch each day in Spring Training. They handle about nine Major League teams in the Phoenix area. The players eat chicken, fish, and turkey, and lots of vegetables. Said chef John Droghetti: “Everyone has open minds and open mouths.” The team also has a nutritionist on staff. I don’t know what the players eat for dinner but I’m guessing they can get their red meat at that time if they want.

— Carrie Muskat


Dempster is set? Would that be in the same way Soriano is “set”? Because of an expensive contract? What if somebody out pitches Dempster this spring? They have no hope of supplanting the great Dempster and his mediocrity??? There are already a handful of outfielders that should easily replace Soriano but for his contract. I would think the same can be said about Dempster. Dempster deserves a shot at the rotation as ALL pitchers do but to have him set at this point sends the wrong signal to him and the competition. Same for Maholm. Nobody can beat out Maholm? C’mon now let’s remember there’s a new sheriff in town, right?????

Dempster is set until the trade deadline—- when he and Garza are
replaced by Volstad ( up from minors along with McNutt )


^that has got to be the worst starting pitching lineup ever proposed.

I’d be content with:

with McNutt and Jay Jackson as potential late season inserts if there are injuries or poor performance.

Garza may be the ONLY good player Hendry left us. I say we keep him long term and unload Dempster at the trade deadline and let Samardzja pick up the slack.
Can anybody believe the Cubs are paying Dempster more than Garza? Thank you very much Mr. Hendry for the Dempster and Soriano…your gifts that keep on giving.
Is sure would be nice and a change of pace if a manager goes with the 5 best pitchers and 3 best outfielders regardless of contracts. We are so close sto starting with a clean slate, only Soriano and Dempster remain as albatrosses.

dempster is paid more because of his service time…. where you work do the younger workers with a brighter future make more than the more experienced workers? Im guessing not because that how 90% of the business world works but I am sure you will come back with some lame way to justify yourself AGAIN…. then you will hurry up and log on as Belgium to agree with yourself…. i get it but in the end Garza when he is 34 and has 14 MLB seasons will be making more than Dempster is now… the MLB is business and thats how business pay works…. just like how Castro is only making between 500,000 and 600,000… when he gets more service time he will get more pay… pretty simple

Petrey, I think it’s BELGIAN, not BELGIUM, maybe not so simple. Duh, the more experienced workers make more money, golly gee, really? Some yes, some no. The fact remains Dempster was given a nice little player option for 14 million, THAT did not have to be. But Hendry thought a player option is paying Dempster for his service time…in the past? What? No way Dempster would have received 14 mil in 2012 from another team that would be paying him based on his talent level not service time. And yes, I do pay some younger workers with a brighter future AND more talent more money than some older more experienced employees. Carlos Pena’s new contract verifies this, HE isn’t making more money than he made last year with Hendry’s Cubs, in fact he is making substantially less from another GM that values talent more accuratley than Hendry ever did. I am pointing out the irony of two Hendry acquistions. Hendry came out pretty well with Garza compared to Dempster. Maybe Hendry learned somethinng…before the door hit him in the seat cushion. I don’t need to justify my comments, just knowing you’re NOT ignoring me is good enough petrey. And here I was trying my best to give Hendry a rare compliment, there’s just no winning with you petrey….So, who’s your alter ego again? Right, there hasn’t been anybody echoing your thoughts. Maybe you can make up somebody for support?? Hey Soriano just hit another home!!!

I agree that it’s a bad rotation—but that’s the reality the CUBS have in
saving money… lets face it DEMPs contract is up and GARZA can fetch us some
more prospects (ie) LATOS trade w/ PADRES…


Pingback: Hire Jim Essian - The Muskbox is on a Diet

I’m a big Maholm fan – always believed he was underrated, but any rotation that has him at No.1 needs to be on strong meds… both for the GM who plans it and the paying public who have to endure it…

Well said Hustle. I wouldn’t be as quick as Jo Buxx on trading Garza for prospects. I think Epstein and Hoyer will be able to replenish the system without trading our best (currently) starter and one of the few and rare positive marks left on this team by Hendry. (See? ANOTHER compliment for Hendry, OMG)

theo. read article about Aramis Ramirez in the sun-times, march 9th. and i’m with him 100% . he my not be the best defensive player at 3rd base but in is 8 1/2 years with the Cubs he produced the offensive numbers you or anyone could ask for. by letting go you, jed hoyer and Mr.Ricketts have joined ,the ranks of jim hendry,who picked milten bradley ( yak ), larry hines ,who let Greg Maddix go and whoever the GM. was that traded Lou Brock for a sore arm pitcher. You have short changed the Cub fans. Ron Busch , Huntley,Il.

Wow, to put the “letting go” of Ramirez in the same category as some of the worst decisions made by GM’s is rather harsh. Epstein/Hoyer (How about we just call them both Hoystein since we really can’t be sure who’d making the calls?) decided NOT to sign an aging, defensivley challenged third baseman in the twilight of his career saving millions of dollars which will go a lot further and spent more wisely elsewhere. I would have to think that was a wise decision. I agree Ramirez WAS an offensive stud AND as I have said several times before he (along with D. Lee) were the two crown jewels (the only ones) of Hendry’s reign. However, Ramirez was treated as was Pena….OVERRATED and NOT NEEDED for the 2012 team and the new regime’s mission. Hoystein did not short change the Cubs, on the contrary…hope was given. Ramirez may very well have a few years (2?) left of good or decent OFFENSIVE production but one must note it appears the Brewers signed him out of desperation because they lost Fielder and they have legit shot of capturing the NL Central. The Cubs were in no such desperate positon knowing that keeping Ramirez’s offensive production on THIS team was pointless and they have very little chance of the NL Central flag. It’s all timing, Hoystein understands this, Hendry did not during the last few years of his Cubs employment.

And Another thing “Hoystein” didn’t let him go
He said he did not want to be part of a rebuilding team
he wanted to play for a contender (which loosely applies to the 2012 Brewers)
As far as i heard “Hoystein”had nothing to do with it

Nice call jblack, just another reason NOT to lump Hoystein in with Hendry (gag) and the like.
Ramirez did not want to be part of a rebuilding team OR face the consequences of a legit manager???? Hmmm….. either way, I seriously doubt Hoystein would have signed Aram anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: