#Cubs prospect Schwarber hits 2 HRs

Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and drove in three runs to back Tayler Scott and lead Tennessee to a 7-3 in over Mobile Saturday night. It was Schwarber’s second two-homer game, and his 11th and 12th homers of the season. His first homer in the third gave the Smokies a 3-2 lead. After Mobile tied the game, Schwarber smacked a two-run homer in the fifth.


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Put him in Left Field, and we’re playing in October.

We may need him at catcher in September. What happens if Montero or Ross get hurt. Is there anyone at Iowa that can fill that void? Wada has been pitching well. I’m sure he’s on a pitch count.

what is Mike Olt’s status?

There are some tough decisions to be made soon and tough questions that need answered.
How long can you hide Jackson, now Wood in the Bullpen? Can they really ride the bench all year or will the team need 25 guys in the heat of the summer?
Baez and Alcantara are ready. If Alcantara is finally hitting, do the Cubs really need to trade for Zobrist?
Then if you call up Baez and Alcantara, what do you do with LaStella upon his return?
With Castro’s OBP now at 300, how about hitting him 9th?
Not being a negative Nancy, but there are many questions that are coming very soon.

I doubt Schwarber is up this year, however next year where does he play? He will have some fine tutelage at the ML level in Montero and Ross. Ross for 2016.
So is there a chance he is the #2 Catcher behind Montero next year and the #1 LF’er?

Aloha Jasper- you raise some good points there. I want Schwarber to stay down at AA-AAA so he can continue to get the tutelage he needs to be a good backstop. Maybe he comes up for a few games at the most (Posey was drafted in 2008, played 7 games in 2009, then came up for good when Benji Molina was phased out in 2010). I would like for Schwarber to be the main catcher and that may take a season or two once he comes up. Now all the other points you bring up are relevant especially with this next tough road trip coming up, we will see who rises to the occasion and who does not, I think it could be a precursor to some moves made in July if not sooner. Mahalo!

Great game yesterday. A tough June schedule ahead. Leaving Schwarber in the minors is a good idea. I see Ross moving into coaching next year so KS will be number 2. I agree a lot of decisions to be made. In the next several weeks. What about the catcher at Iowa, Davis?

Schwarber won’t be the #2… he will the be #1. Montero has been playing well but if you are going to bring up your best prospect then he has to be a starter… I see Schwarber being the main catcher and DH’ing anytime he can in interleague play. Maybe a spot start here or there in LF and on days off probably the first bat coming off the bench to pinch hit.

You could be correct petrey10, with the prospects playing multiple positions, it makes it very interesting.
Example: Your #2 Catcher playing LF, ( still learning his position ) late innings, Maddon can make a double switch moving Schwarber to catcher. No worries with that 3rd Catcher in Ross still on the bench.
The Cubs were 6 games over 500 with a 3rd Catcher. Maddon stated he liked the idea of three Catchers. I also like the idea.
What I don’t like is hiding two VETS in the BP. It will get hot out very soon, like today. They need a 25 man Roster with all 25 guys contributing.

Aloha Petrey, I have no doubt that when Schwarber is brought up it will be with the intent that he will be the number 1 at some point, still he will need some time to adjust when brought up. As excited as I was last year when they drafted him and want to see him up soon, I just do not want to rush him. Having said that, many here have rightfully pointed out the log jam in the bp and I hope they can get this worked out via trades or DFA, we will see soon. Mahalo!

Yes, Jasper. I believe it`s `inevitable` that the Cubs are going to need to succumb to `buyer`s remorse,` regarding Jackson, and `eat` his contract. I am not quite ready to `write off` Wood just yet, but my confidence in him is waning with each passing week, as he continues to `underwhelm `us with his outings.

jhosk, Wood finished the 9th very easily tonight. Hope that continues.

Aloha jhosk & Jasper, just for fun I will throw something out there that I am sure will get someone’s dander up but it is just an option: say there is an American League team in the hunt-contention and they need a middle infielder, does not have to be a great defender because they overall have pretty good defense but one that can hit. Of course because it is later in the season, pitching is always a priority and as Jasper brings up with the vets like EJax and Woods sitting in the pen, the same team wanting the infielder could see Woods as an asset (dh, ph and an extra arm). What if the right deal came along and Castro-EJax-Woods all went to a team for say a very good prospect or two? The Cubs would have to most certainly eat all of EJax’s contract, not much left on Woods and Castro would be a bargain for a team to pick up. This way, it frees up the log jam in the infield as you can now have Bryant-Russell-LaStella-Rizzo, if Baez is not ready yet. You also free up the bull pen of two arms that are not being used that much these days so it allows for you to add an arm and say a position player (Szczur). Also, I have been a little concerned with Fowler as of late, he may just be going through a spell but again if we have such good players ready to come up and many in AAA as well as in the show can play in the outfield, then if Fowler continues his current ways is he a possible trade candidate? Go with the above scenario and put his name instead of Castro and move Castro to the outfield. Anyway, a lot of options but at some point Maddon and the FO will have to think about which direction to go in and that means who stays and who goes. Kudo’s to Hammel tonight and hope that Hendricks can build on his last 16innings for tomorrow’s game! Mahalo!

I`ve been concerned with Fowler also, k,g, He hasn`t hit much of late and that drop he made in center recently is concerning. The potential trades you suggest are plausible. If Alcantara`s contact issue has been solved, I like him in centerfield. I do believe this team will have a different `look` come July.

Is Carrie ok? Nothing from her on here since Saturday.

I hear you, Jasper, on both counts, Wood and Carrie. Actually I thought Wood made far too many pitches. He did not need to be `fine,` given he had a four run lead. He walked a batter. He should have challenged the hitters and thrown strikes. Even if someone ran into a fastball, Travis had room to spare. Bottom line,you are right since he was unscored on. As for Carrie, I`ve noted she`s been less and less visible on here for the past weeks. Hammel was `dealing` tonight. Even the one run he surrendered must have been unearned due to Montero`s throwing error. One of the Marlins` tv broadcasters observed that Starlin has more errors thus far this season (12) than the entire Marlins` infield.

Been thinking the same thing about Carrie. Hope she is ok.

I have been supporting Castro’s place on the team for a while now due to his hitting prowess, not his defense. Although I have not called for him being replaced at SS, with his muff of an easy groundball in last night’s game I am now resigned to accepting we need a defensive upgrade at SS and Castro may benefit from a defensive position change. Switch him with Russell or Bryant? Nah…I think he needs to get out of the infield and try his hand at LF (on the Cubs) or 1B/DH (via a trade to another team). It is now quite certain his days at SS (for any team) are numbered.
How much harm can it cause to send him down to the minors for a few weeks of LF training, bring him back up and stick him in the black hole that is LF? Coghlan is doing “good enough” but certainly not good enough to keep the Castro experiment from happening. Baez can be brought up for SS (or Russell….Baez at 2B). Well, just some random thoughts but I don’t think Castro will be playing SS for the Cubs by the end of the season. It seems he is just short of some needed concentration to put his game completely together…a shame really…

Did the error hurt us? Why are you not bashing Montero for his error that cost us a run?
Castro can’t be sent to the minors, unless its a rehab assignment…. thats not how this works.
Castro has said he wants no part of the OF… and of our 3 SS he would probably be the worst LF. I would actually like to see what Baez can do in the OF… particularly because we need a CF next year and if Baez could be an average defensively that bat would be amazing there.
Maddon has also said he doesn’t foresee making SS/2B changes during the season so I would expect Castro to be our SS for the rest of the season and Russell at 2B…. with Bryant and Baez be the 3B/LF options here soon.

True, the error did not cost us. I am not bashing Montero because I don’t bash players. I am not bashing Castro either. Nor will I single out Montero’s error as he is not prone to making errors and certainly is not deserving of being bashed for it. Castro is prone to making errors and I think it is something that should be addressed soon as I prefer a SS with better defensive skills. Anyway, I like Castro but do not see him as a very good SS, I see him as a very good hitter in need of a new position to limit his defensive deficiencies at SS. Whether it’s LF for the Cubs, or another postion for another team remains to be seen. How are either of us to know about Castro’s outfield skills? Not much of a track record there. If he stated he wants nothing to do with the outfield, well that is certainly something to consider and may come into play for the FO when it comes to making some trade decisions. I for one did not know his attitude toward playing outfield. But that being the case I wouldn’t mind seeing what Baez can do in the outfield but I would aspire for more than average defense for CF and RF, that is why I entertained Castro in LF. LF defense is not as vital as either CF or RF. Just because I would advocate a Castro LF experiment opening up SS for Baez does not mean I expect Castro to be moved. I too expect to remain at SS as long as he is a Cub. Maddon doesn’t foresee making SS/2B during the season? I wonder what Theo and Jed foresee? They could make that decision for Maddon with a roster move and or a trade. I just don’t see an optimum position on the Cubs remaining for Castro much longer. I would think an AL team may covet him as a middle infielder or first baseman but with the option of moving him to DH should his defensive skill erode further with time. Just some innocent thoughts here, no bashing, nope, none.

Aloha Petrey- No one is bashing Castro. Yes, Montero’s error was not good and as you point out cost a run. I was looking up his stats, seeing that he has started 30 games and played in 39, he has 4 total errors in 282 innings which means he has an error in approximately every 70th inning of play, just for argument sake. Castro has started in 49 games and played in 49, he has 12 total errors in 442 innings which means he has an error every 37th inning of play, again an example. I looked at ss in the division and I see that Peralta of the Cardinals has 3 errors in 428 innings, Kang of the Pirates has 4 errors in 141 innings, Cozart of the Reds has 3 errors in 376 innings and Segura has 8 errors in 326 innings of play. Now this is by no means the best comparison one can make just a look around the division to see what the other ss’s are doing. Are you concerned in any way at the level of play of Castro? Meaning do you think he is alright, does not need to improve or do you think some work needs to be done? It is too bad that he says he wants no part of the outfield, maybe that would have done him some good, made him want to fight for his original position at ss. I do not know but again, not bashing him, rather very concerned because it is not just him but his level of play can affect others, his teammates and this is a team oriented game. Anyhow, I do Castro the best because I do not like to see anyone having such difficulties. Take care now. Mahalo.

k.g. thanks for jumping in with those nice facts and for agreeing that there is no bashing of Castro yet a somewhat difficult “acceptance” by us devoted Cubs fans that our SS is indeed not of high caliber….my comments as well as yours have Castro’s best interest in mind as well as the Cubs. In order to increase our chances of playing with the Cards and challenging for a playoff berth Castro’s defense must improve or be replaced. The same can be said of a few bullpen pitchers performance no? No bashing needed.

Aloha fonzie- you are welcome. I do not think anyone of us was “bashing,” or disparaging any player and that includes Castro. As Jasper reiterated, this is a team sport and the manager has to think for the good of the team. I am glad that petrey is loyal to Castro and advocating for him, we all do for other players too. I just hope petrey understands the difference of being constructively critical as opposed to being disparaging which none of us here are doing. Well, let us hope the can take the second game tonight! Mahalo!

I thought I`d receive more reaction to that comment I made last night. I repeated something the Marlins` broadcaster uttered: Castro has more errors this season than the entire Marlins` infield has. Think about that. It`s a stunning stat! Did y`all see `High Heat` today on the MLB Network? Host Christopher Russo `went off` on Starln on not just his fumbling of the routine grounder last night, but also the way he strutted slowly around the bases after the long ball. The Marlins` broadcasters took note of that last night also. Russo exclaimed today, “He`s not Barry Bonds.” Russo suggested Maddon may want to have a `sit down` with Starlin and explain to him `that is not the way we do things here.` {Aside to k.g.: the Cavaliers are going to be traveling by plane back east today. The Terrapins edged the Bruins 2-1. We Cubs` fans are very familiar with one run games.}

Agree with most said by all, even petrey10’s coming to Castro’s defense. If you are a fan of a player, you are a fan. Hard to change that.
Myself, I am a fan of the team. It would not hurt my feelings if any were traded, as I am sure any trade Theo/Jed make will be for the better of the team.
As far as Castro, it could be a head problem. He has been the man since being brought up. The hope, the future, until this year. With the success of Bryant, Russell and even Hendricks, Castro has to adjust from being the hope of the future, to being the longest tenured veteran on the team. That has to be a tough adjustment for a 25 y/o man.
I wish to see some changes, if not, I am hoping Castro adjusts to being part of the team, instead of trying to be the man.

Well said regarding Theo and Jed bettering the team via a trade, so far they have done nothing but better the team and no reason to doubt their skills regarding a Castro deal or any others dealt.

OK lets look at the Division SS if you really want to start comparing…. UZR putting a value on how many runs a player has saved their team… Cozart 2.5, Mercer -.8, Peralta -1.1, Castro -2.1 and Segura -3.2………. so Castro isn’t even the worst SS in the NL Central…. Also lets look at how many balls Castro has GOT TO in comparison to other SS in the NL Central…. Castro 144, Peralta 136, Segura 92, Cozart 91, Mercer 87……………… isn’t that crazy?!?!! Look at how many more balls Castro is getting to that those others! Granted Castro makes some bone head plays. I can’t deny that AT ALL. Is Castro the best SS, NO! Won’t ever say that. But from looking at the numbers he isn’t the AWFUL fielder you all portray him to be. He needs to work on things and last year it looked like he turned a corner and improved while regressing back this year. I am hoping its just a small sample size at this point in the season and we can see Castro make some adjustments both on the field and at the plate. But I really don’t think we need to be messing with SS/2B yet. This offseason would be a great time to address that.

petrey10, I am sorry you are having difficulty understanding some of the comments relating to Castro’s defense as I see no bashing and no mention of him being AWFUL let alone the worst SS in the NL, your words not mine or others. You should have noted I give him props for his bat and only mention he is not one of the better defensive shortstops around and that the Cubs, with their plethora of middle infielders can stand to improve the defense at SS. Whether or not the FO addresses SS/2B during this season or the offseason as you state would be great you are on record as saying that at some point SS/2B should be addressed? I for one would not be bothered at all should the wise and trustworthy FO decide (against petrey10’s better judgment of course) to address SS/2B during this season as we can safely bet due to the excellent track record of Theo and Jed that the addressing will improve the Cubs and…isn’t that what we can all hope for let alone agree? Maybe we can have a SS that is a little better than not the worst??? Castro is not the single problem the Cubs have, he really is not a problem at all, he is just manning a position that should be improved upon and he may benefit himself from a move to another position.

i think you better reread… I said castro “ISN’T AWFUL” …. but thank you for not comprehending anything I wrote.

Are you kidding me Petrey? You said “he isn’t the awful fielder you all portray him to be”…duh, meaning you think we portray him as an awful fielder, which “we” never said. So…you’re welcome that I did indeed comprehend what you wrote. Wow.

Off subject. Sorry about that, but I’m wondering if Cubs’ Phil Cavaretta (1951-53) was the last player manager in baseball? He did become the last active player to have played against Babe Ruth.

I can`t answer that question at the moment, James, but I do want to mention that one of those guests on Sunday`s `Outside the Lines` on ESPN that I referenced that day, commented that he likes that Anthony Rizzo wears Phil Cavaretta`s uniform number. I think he was emphasizing how that is an example of the modern era being linked with the past.

On second thought, I can tell you for sure Phil was not the last, because I recall both Frank Robinson and Pete Rose as player/managers at points in their careers, and each was active long after Cavarretta.

Whats the lineup tonight? I hear Bryant is in LF, who is at 3B?

Schwarber!!!🙂🙂 ha ha

Petry I was reading some of the comments and the first thing I thought about was the amount of chances Castro had compared to other shortstops,thanks for at least clearing up the local guys with that,he does have his bumps. That being said I think everyone has forgotten this is a long term plan,no World Series this year,be real,one trade or another is not going to make this team a dynasty this year,I am happy the Cubs are becoming competitive,everything else is gravy. Jhosk I did catch High Heat this evening,someone does need to sit down with Castro,remember this guy is a kid,younger than most of us I am sure,probably in a bigger spotlight than any of us may ever see,Jhosk what did you think about the argument about Di maggio and Ted Williams,classic Russo but I loved it. Go Cubs!

Was last nights error Castro’s 12th? If so, he is on track for 40 or more.

Yes, his 12th. We can still pull for the kid to improve but although he is still young his youth is no guarantee he has time to improve. He may be what is apparently a good hitting youngster with difficulty playing SS and concentrating while on defense. But a pace of 40 errors is not good, no way around that one. A hard call but if the FO can decidedly improve the team by trading Castro it may be best for both parties.

Castro will not finish with forty errors,there is plenty of time left in the season and no where near the trade dead line when someone like Castro if thought of being moved would be. Castro will be the everyday shortstop for now,I am for giving him a day off,maybe two,switching him in the lineup maybe,Baez is going to be the trading chip included in a deal,if anything Russell will go to short with Castro possibly going to third where not as much range is needed. Maddon has said how much he likes Alcantara who can play second,Fowler just is not worth the two year contract or one year contract some people have spoke of, he could take over the lead off and second base duties. I am all in for any trade that helps the Cubs but it is way to early in the year to just make a trade. Set your sights on a wildcard maybe even a division title but do not move a young commodity like Castro just to move him. Go Cubs!

Why would we trade Baez? He seems to be figuring things out in AAA and we need his bat on the Cubs. We don’t have that much surplus talent. I think really the only pieces that would be available in a trade would be our 2nd tier prospects which honestly would be other teams first tier.
Alcantara seems to be figuring it out a little in AAA too. He could be our potential CF next year. But for this year I see him as our super sub much like DeRosa was. I could also see Alcantara getting dealt.
Fowler is in a slump… much like castro, montero, coghlan, soler….. they have all seen good streaks and bad streaks. There is a lot of baseball left to play and Fowler should come out of it. I love the signing. Honestly would love to be able to keep him next year on the qualifying offer but I doubt he accepts it. But then we at least get compensation for him in a draft pick so what’s not to like????

Castro has regressed. He was a better player earlier in his career than he is now. He accumulated well over 200 hits in 2011. Do the math. That was four years ago. Does anyone believe Starlin has a realistic chance of achieving a stat anywhere close to that in 2015? Please! And he was a better defensive player earlier in his career than now. Fonzie suggests Starlin is lacking as a ss, but is impressed with his offensive skills, and may work in left field. I do not see him as an above average offensive producer these days. He`s pedestrian. He was that player in 2011. I`ll give you that. {Aside to KenlyCub: I did not see the segment of `High Heat` today which was devoted to the DiMaggio/Williams argument. If the issue was who was the best hitter, I`ll side with Ted Williams. It`s my opinion he was the best `pure hitter` ever.

Aloha jhosk- you probably know that Williams had amazing vision-eyesight! I was once told by a ball-player that a young Mantle was engaged in a conversation with Williams about hitting, Williams explaining that it was a science. The ball-player told me that supposedly this chat with Williams screwed up Mantle for a few weeks and his performance at the and he later joked not to listen to Williams again! Another hitter that I found amazing and up there was Gehrig and one has to wonder if he was not taken out by his health. At age 35 he felt something was not right as he “only” hit 29hrs but more importantly his batting average dropped from .351 to .295. What most younger fans do not realize including ones my age, is that Gehrig was hitting home runs when it was the hardest to do so, especially because of the height of the pitcher’s mound. Not to mention weight of the bats and so forth. He would have cleared 600hrs easily without his form of ALS and kept his lifetime average of .340+ just like Williams did. Those were some amazing hitters and Gehrig was a good fielding first baseman too. Well, the Cubs need to pick up tomorrow’s game. Mahalo!

That anecdote regarding Mantle made me smile, k.g. You make good points about Gehrig. Is a pity he was stricken with that dread disease, as he would have accomplished so much more, as you suggest. Even though you and I are of separate generations, we share an admiration for past `greats.` I like that Junior had a productive game Tuesday. I also like that Joe Maddon praised Junior several days ago.

you say do the math BUT YET YOU DO NONE!!! Castro doesn’t need to hit 200 hits each year to be valuable…. he had the highest OPS of his career just last year… 777. Starlin also had only 15 errors all last year so he can definitely be that player again. He’s had a rough go but can definitely turn it around.

Yes, he may have begun to turn it around last night, as I see he actually `walked` in one of his plate appearances. I call that progress. I`m surprised it is not a `lead headline` on the Cubs` site, as Starlin showing the `patience` to actually work `a base on balls` is that rare.

Hello there jhosk! Although I understand your “Do the math” comment did not mean for us to actually do math…nobody told us math was involved!🙂 I must disagree with your assessment of Castro’s offensive prowess. These days of course he is not an above average run producer but his track record suggests that these days may only be a slump and not a time in Castro’s career. He is still so young and still so much in possession of his hitting skills. My suggestion of moving him to LF is only to find him a new position that may alleviate what appears to be him pressing at his current position, a rather demanding position that he has shown consistent signs of not being up for the task. LF may never be an option for him on the Cubs or any team but certainly in the history of baseball other middle infielders that lacked what it takes to man their original position were moved to LF and had some pretty good careers or even flourished. Even good defending middle infielders found homes in the outfield due to crowding of the infield, something the Cubs may be experiencing with the likes of Castro, Baez, Russell, Alcantara (destined for CF?), LaStella….. I do not advocate giving up on Castro as he has much value as a hitter, or as a trade candidate. Whatever makes the Cubs better is what we can expect from the FO. That we can, or at least should agree upon.

Congratulations to Castro for getting his 900th hit last night, quite an accomplishment for such a young player. Surpassed the great Ron Santo in being the youngest to achieve 900 hits. THAT is some good company! Castro remains the good hitter I always thought him to be, he is just in a slump as happens to a lot of good hitters and I would not think of upgrading at SS just due to a slump or even an off year. His offense is just fine and I am confident he will return to stride. It is only his defensive play and sometimes an apparent lack of concentration that concerns me and allows me to ponder an upgrade at SS. Maddon states he will stick with him at SS and he is young enough to still grow and improve, and he is correct, it may happen but although young, one would think Castro has experienced enough ML playing time to know what kind of defensive player he is.

It`s an honest disagreement you and I have, fonzie. I would be very pleased if the Mets hold Starlin in the same high regard as yourself, as I can`t help ruminating about that brilliant suggestion a columnist on the Cubs` site made roughly 11 days ago, namely a `Starlin for Thor` trade.

It’s honest at that Jhosk. You are ready trade Castro immediately? I would not mind seeing our FO pull off a nice trade involving Castro, having confidence they will get a valued player(s) that will improve the Cubs. But, while we have basically a “keep warm” process in LF why not see what Castro can do out there? Or third base with Bryant in LF? Although 3B requires less range than SS there is still a steady flow of ground balls that Castro may have trouble handling. This is a unique situation for the Cubs, trying to fit home grown talented ball players in the proper position. All due to the nice work of the FO adding to the already talented infielders Castro and Baez from the previous regime. Whatever position Castro anchors himself whether with the Cubs or another team I am still of the belief SS will sooner rather than later not be that position, I certainly think if any team covets Castro it is not for his SS defensive skills. Nice debate jhosk, take care now.

Nothing from or about Carrie yet?
Last year there were many discussions about 3B. Some claiming that Villanueva was the better defensive 3rd baseman over Bryant. Villanueva is not talked about as often anymore, especially after being sent back to AA as Bryant took over 3rd at AAA.
Villanueva has his hitting gloves back on this year, but I noticed he has made 13 errors already.
Last nights ML game Herrera playing 3rd, makes that ill advised throw to first for a 2B throwing error. I cant help but think, does Bryant make that throw? That was the game changer, in my opinion.
Now we see that Baez is taking grounders at 3rd. Bryant has stated he wants to play 3rd and he is a 3rd Baseman.
When Theo/Jed took over the team, there was no 3rd Baseman in sight. The closest was Candelario at Class A and nowhere near ready. That led to huge gamble that did not payoff with the trade for Ian Stewart. I would have made that gamble also, because the ML team had no 3rd Baseman.
Now here we are, 2015. Speaking of a SS, turned 2B, turned back to SS now taking grounders at 3B in Baez. A SS playing 2B in Russell. A pretty good 3B now moving to the OF to possibly make room for the AAA SS/2B/SS taking grounders at 3rd.
Theo/Jed have come along way in a few short years at 3rd. Myself, I like Russell at SS, Baez at 2B, Bryant at 3B and trade the one, who only plays one position for a Starter.

the problem is Baez is unproven and we don’t have a competent LFer… so for this year this is just how its going to be. You all can say you like this person there more and so on and so forth but the easiest transition is Baez at 3B then Bryant to LF. This offseason if we can get a good deal for Castro and Baez shows he can make contact and Russell can be a little better with the bat then I am comfortable trading Castro. But not until we know what we got. That would ruin this rebuild.

Baez officially STARTING AT 3B tonight for AAA. Soak it up people… Baez at 3B not 2B or SS… no moving of Russell or Castro…. just Baez to 3B and Bryant to LF……….. its that easy. Simple.

We have no choice but to soak it up. As I have stated before, I have complete trust in this Management to do what is best.
For conversation purpose, their is nothing wrong with questioning or opinions.

Certainly agree Jasper, the management has shown us nothing but reasons to have trust and confidence. If it’s Baez at 3B and Bryant in left so be it, the FO has earned the benefit of doubt with us fans. Although I lean toward your preference of keeping Bryant at 3B, he’s played well there so far and looks comfortable. I’m glad to see the management putting a thought out plan in motion with the players in house. Who knows right? It could all change when LaStella returns or if and when a good trade is ironed out and we could see some movement again. At this time with all the shuffling of the short stops I must wonder which of Castro, Baez and Russell is now considered by the powers that be, best to play SS? I can’t help but think Russell is the guy who eventually should be at SS. It’s fun to watch however that is for sure. Plus Baez needs his second chance in the majors anyway to hopefully stick this time, regardless of the position, his bat would be most helpful.
Thinking of course he will be called up soon, getting a little ahead of myself.

Aloha petrey- this maybe the case but we do not need to be disparaging towards others. Baez is very athletic, defensively speaking and is hungry to get back to the “show,” I would be too if I had the chance so of course he will go wherever they put him. As we all know, Maddon likes multi-faceted players, of which Castro has shown to be very rigid at this point. Russell playing second, Bryant playing a couple of different outfield positions, Baez open to various positions but not Castro. This saddens me because he had an example in Soriano who made the transition from infield to outfield. The other thing I wanted to bring up is about stats: I love that you bring up stats, when I was in the game I did a lot of stats for our team. I am not sure if you played ball and if you did how far you went with it. I can only speak from my experience and those shared to me by friends and colleagues, including those that made it to the majors and it is this: when it came to defense, no one was thinking about “let me make an error now because it should not cost a run(s),” meaning we were not looking for opportunities to make errors when they would benefit us, the individual. Rather, we viewed our play as how it affected the whole team. If a player is “getting-away (I do not like this term but will use it for this example)” with poor play or favoritism, meaning no discipline by the coach, that sends a negative message to the rest of the team, regardless if that person’s play cost runs, games, etc. I understand that Castro has hit a rough patch but I also expect more from him because he has been in the majors now, going on his 6th year. Also, no one is disparaging Castro in this discussion we are constructively critiquing him if you will. But I remember a lot of folks last year when I started to comment here, saying some very disparaging things about Darwin Barney and I thought that was very tasteless. I had no problem critiquing his play. One thing that my coach-team used to talk a lot about and I give Barney kudo’s towards the end of his time with the Cubs was that even though his bat was not where it was when he first started, his level of play in the field was consistent. Believe you me, when one is struggling at the plate it can affect one’s play in the field so for Barney to still go out there and do well in the field says a lot. I expect, as I believe Maddon does, for Castro to get his head in the game, pay attention and back his team up even if his offense is not there. That is what a leader and veteran does and that would earn him a lot of high marks and support. As you suggest about Baez playing at 3rd in AAA, the sad thing is if that is a temporary situation. Meaning, that Maddon and the FO are not sure if Castro can turn things around, so in the meantime because other players are willing to go where needed, Baez is brought in to play 3rd and Bryant to the outfield. But once a trade is secured and Castro is gone: Russell to SS, Bryant back to 3rd, Baez to 2nd. I could see this happen. So for me, just my opinion, it is Castro’s job to lose as well as to be gone from the team all together. The ball is in his court and I hope he wants to be a part of a team. Take care now. Mahalo.

Kg, sounds like you think a Castro trade is a foregone conclusion then? He is beginning to remind me of a square peg in a round hole. A good player with a good upside and youth on his side yet may be better off on a team with a square hole to accommodate him. Do you get my meaning kg?

Aloha fonzie- I would not say it is a foregone conclusion because as you know anything is possible. One thing that I feel sad for Castro like Alex Smith when he was with the 49ers was having so much in flux, coaches coming in and going out. Stability is important and the organization was going through a lot of changes. Maybe he should have been brought up slower, not pushed. But here we are and now the organization has a coach-manager that is ready to take the team to the next level. Notice I did not say the “individual.” Of course we need individuals to function well, perform their jobs so that the team benefits but it is a lot different when you have a person with vision, who’s job is to think of the whole not just themselves. Castro has a real opportunity here and if he embraces it, I see him staying but I think his window is shrinking, again just my opinion. Remember last year with the Shark, he had an opportunity to embrace an opportunity(sign a contract) and did not, “spoke” when he should have kept quiet. Castro may not be “talking” like Shark did but his play or lack there of says a lot and does not go unnoticed. If we can see certain things on our tv sets, you know the coaches and the FO see them too. I do not want to end on a downer here, Castro has gifts and has shown glimpses of what he could do consistently if he put his mind to it. It would be great if he would come around. Take care now. Mahalo.

we spoke bad of Barney because he was just a bad hitter… plain and simple. I would say the comments were blunt not trying to sugar coat anything. Which is exactly how you should manage a ML roster. He wasn’t cutting it and his defense while GREAT wasn’t even close to enough to justify putting that BAD of a bat in a ML lineup. To all those who disagreed and what not, Barney has PLAYED in 24 games since leaving the Cubs and starting only 7…. 7!!!! So to be blunt, he was/is a very very subpar ML player.
While I read you comments on your experience I couldn’t help but wonder “When?” I just got the drift you weren’t in coaching recently. As to my experience, I played DIV 1 ball and coached for a couple years before getting my real job. That was in the last decade but I don’t really want to get into a peeing match here. I take your opinion but I strongly disagree. Your comments point to Castro letting down his team. Is a guy slumping letting down his team? Don’t you think someone would have brought that up or hinted at it in comments to the media? I see no evidence of the players thinking Castro isn’t doing his job. Because the fact is Montero and Fowler as of right now are doing much worse for this team than Castro. But this blog has a hard time knowing that when they don’t look at the numbers, and even the correct numbers. Baseball is all about stats. If you can’t learn how to use those stats to see the little things then its hard to take your opinions for being worth much. Sorry, again just being blunt.

Aloha petrey- I was also with a d1 team like yourself and stayed with the game even after graduating because I stayed a the same college for a few years for my first job in athletics. I thought I might actually work for one of the teams in the area as I have friends in both organizations but to date that has not happened. So, it is neat that we share a similar background. I only brought up Barney because to use your term, you were very “blunt,” about him. Now, when folks are observing Castro (and not disparaging him) it seems like you are defensive, if you were “blunt” I think your comments about Castro would be different. I guess what I am saying is that one cannot have it both ways, where you say what you said about Barney but am not seeing some of the concerns presented about Castro. Having said that, I am sure because you were on a team like myself, the good ones are like a family. If there is something going on, my coach used to say that you do not want to “air-out,” ones problems-garbage. That goes for a major league team. So, I am pretty sure there is a lot of “stuff” that none of us know about and that the team is not sharing with the media and for good reason. Stats are important but since you played the game you understand the human element of it and that is what I was driving at. I think it was Jasper who mentioned how a pitcher looked at Castro when an inning was over and he said if he could see it then he bet the coaches saw it too. You are still probably trained to see the “Zambrano,” type of outbursts that were embarrassing. Thank goodness there seems to be none of those situations today. In regard to Fowler I sure did bring him up on this blog and said I was very concerned with his play as of late. I also felt with all the great talent-prospects in the system that if Fowler continued to stay on this current path I do not think they need him for next year and to be “blunt,” might even consider a trade of him this year if his contract allows it. Yes Montero needs to step up too, my only reason for giving him a little more “slack,” is that for a backstop to go from one organization to another is a big move, especially if you have been with one organization for many years and now you have to learn how your new employer operates. We have talked about this position in length in the past and it is quite involved but he needs to raise his game too and I agree with you on that. Anyhow, as I have said in the past, bring the stats just do not disparage anyone and treat others as you would want to be treated. Take care now. Mahalo.

Don’t understand why Carrie does not update? She was tweeting.
Another informative site constantly updated: http://chicagocubsonline.com/

Aloha Jasper- Now you have me concerned! I hope she is all right? Will check out the other information you shared as well. Take care now! Mahalo!

Darwin Barney meet David Ross.

fonzie5430, I am not so down on Ross, at least he has had a couple game winning hits. He also brings leadership behind the plate.
I know I am not the manager and don’t understand lots of things going on in offices and clubhouse, but how intimidating is a line up with Lake batting 4th, Ross, Castro and Coghlan? in the 4 through 7 spots and the Pitcher batting 8th?
I do not see this team as a Wild Card or Playoff team. Especially if they cant beat the Marlins or Brewers, even with their 160 million ace.
Management needs to do something sooner than later.
Seattle did a very good job with the trade of Castillo.

Pretty nice comment Jasper. So far I’m not that impressed with Maddon decisions and his leadership with the young players; doesn’t seem they are responding as well as hoped. The off season signings to this point are proving to be average at best; Lester just average seemingly only able to beat below average teams, Ross is a mystery and Fowler well, okay. Several holes in the lineup with the team in the middle or lower in most team MLB stats. It looks very possible the team could be below 500 at mid-season (hard schedule in June) which is not what I expected and think is not acceptable three and half years into the program. This is not a negative point of view, just being realistic and I think maybe a panic point for Theo.

Aloha Jasper- Yes, it has been tough to watch the team play the Brewers and the Marlins. I would not be surprised per what you said if there were not a big trade in the works or multiple trades in the near future. Hopefully they can stop the “bleeding,” and rise to the occasion against the Nationals. Mahalo!

Jasper, I am not so much down on Ross as I know what he adds to the club, mostly veteran leadership and post season experience. Two things that the rest of the team needs to learn about. Only pointing out his anemic offense is hard to justify vs. what he brings to the team (no gold glove on his mantle etc.) so are we down to just his experience? His uncanny ability to get the best out of Lester? (not so evident vs. the Marlins). Ross’s life time ba of .232 is lower than Barney’s .245 and Barney’s defense was great, I mean GREAT. I live with Ross on the team like I live with Jackson and a few other players…knowing that some day they will be replaced and for now they serve a purpose during a pretty good, building season. As you say, Ross can come through with an occasional hit, whether winning hits or not, whether bloopers or not…some value there at least.

lol that we can agree on…. but just to throw this “but” in there. David Ross is the league’s best pitcher framer THUS FAR….. he’s getting a ridiculous 14% of pitches outside the zone called strikes…. the next highest is like 10%…. Could it be that his comfort level with Lester is swaying the results??? Small Sample SIze??? Just have to keep watching

Very nice petrey10, good to see we agree on Ross and appreciate you adding the Framing STATS.
Lets see if you agree on this:
Was Lesters turning point in the game, when Castro failed to throw out Gordon? Did he lose his concentration because the SS taking his time?
You have to wonder, really: Are the starters getting tired of him, do they feel they can depend on him? A SS on pace for over 40 Errors, would you want him behind you if you were Starting? What are they saying to each other? It is getting bad.
It wasn’t so bad in the past on terrible losing clubs, but now? Ray Charles could see it, if he were around.

Not bad petrey10 and as I replied to Jasper I do realize the little value Ross brings is at least some value. I say little because although he is very good at pitch framing…he is only good at it while framing Lester’s pitches…every fourth day. It seems to be a luxury at this time so I see his value as an experienced post season player lending some knowledge to the youngsters and not as the best pitch framer in the game. It must be a double edged sword for Lester, wanting his personal, pitch framing catcher in the game yet realizing with Ross and himself batting…ouch, the offense is handicapped from the onset of the game.

Jasper, you are worried about Castro not throwing out the fastest man in baseball?!?! Come On…. this is the nitpicking that frustrates me. If he didn’t throw out Stanton I would get it but seriously Gordon?!?! Dude is sooo fast. So NO Im not going to pin that on Castro. And whoever called Castro a leader of this team? I don’t think thats needed. Why does he have to be? Some guys just aren’t leaders. There are different ways to lead. The leaders on this team are Rizzo, Maddon, Ross, and Montero. Probably could put Hammel, Arrietta, and maybe Lester in there too. But I am not trying to make Castro something he is not. He is an above value at the SS position locked into a MEGA team friendly deal. To that is why I defend him. He is not a 20hr guy, he is not a gold glove potential SS, but he is an above average value at SS and still very young. Castro doesn’t need to be our stud offensive producer anymore. We got Bryant, Rizzo, Soler, and hopefully soon Baez and then Schwarber. If Castro is our future 9, 6 or 7 hitter that is an amazing batting order. Thats what our expectations should be. Plain and simple….

SIGH….Castro’s play on the super fast Gordon should not have had any negative impact on how an ace, stud, super multi millionaire pitcher overcomes either a physical or mental error by a team mate. The quality ace pitcher will step it up and circumvent the mistake, getting his team mate off the hook. I for one think Castro may be becoming a defensive liability (at SS) but I will not include that particular play as one that concerns me. Gordon may have gotten into Castro’s head like Gordon may get into any infielder’s head, this is not exclusive of Castro. But certainly Lester would not allow Castro to get into his head. If Lester allows such to bother him is he also letting in his head Rizzo’s lack of speed may cost the team a run and possibly the game? Or even better (dare I say), is he thinking his personal catcher Ross more than likely will go hitless again costing the team runs, base runners, advanced base runners with his almost automatic out? No, I think not. I think Lester had a bad game with no blame on Castro. Sometimes infielders have a bad play, sometimes ace stud pitchers have a bad game. Both came at the same time last night. Plenty of blame to go around for that loss. If the FO can upgrade at SS I’m all for it, same goes for the bullpen and LF. Realistically, next year we may see new players at all positions but 1B and RF as Rizzo and Soler seem to be the only two players locked in their defensive spots.

Jasper, hate to beat the point but this is where leadership must play a role; working with Castro to understand there will be a turning point where things will change should he not improve with his mental play and actions speak louder than words…move to second, third, bench, etc. In addition, I will never buy him batting cleanup. As for Lester, guess it’s possible that could have been a turning point but I would expect a high level pro like him be able to move forward with his concentration/performance, certainly at $155. My mind would say he needs to concentrate and pick up his game as well should he come to me as manager with that complaint.

Saw Lake make a fool of himself in yesterday’s game. I wonder if he will play today. If you are lucky enough to play on a major team isn’t it about time to grow up and act with good sportsmanship? Set an example for all the young kids dreaming of being in the bigs!

I didn’t think it was a problem… sure he shouldn’t have done it but honestly our team needs a little competitive attitude. Shouldn’t get out of control but I see no problem with clearing the benches here or there. Much like Maddon getting tossed a couple times. Its part of the game and can be used to fire up a team. This isn’t little league and should not be treated as such. The key is to win and if it helps do that then… so be it.

I don’t think Madden would agree with you. He called Lake’s action a “punk move” and said it does not belong on a Cub’s team. He also stated that he doesn’t plan to see it happen again. There is a difference between firing up a team and making an unsportsmanlike gesture.

See what happens when Carrie don’t update? Here comes the lobtser person with her useless babble. No way to get rid of her or shut her up.

I actually thought it pertinent that White informed us of Maddon’s comment. I was unaware of Maddon’s “punk move” comment until White brought it to light. No different than other’s type of comments. And not useless babble as it will be interesting to now see Maddon handling Lake, hoping he grows from Maddon’s mentorship. Thanks White, by the way where did you hear/see Maddon’s “punk move” comment? I was out of commission for a few days.

Aloha White, it was unfortunate in regard to Lake’s behavior. I know the folks may be frustrated with how things have gone the past 2-3 weeks but that is no excuse to act that way. I know petrey mentioned “firing” up the team. I am all for it, a great example of a ball payer who does this and inspires his team is Hunter Pence. Look at the Giants now, since he has returned. I do hope there is a person on this team that wants to step up, be an ambassador for the game and this team. Take care now. Mahalo.

Hi k.g. Hunter Pence is one of my favorite players! Yes, he is definitely an inspiration to the team. He is even-tempered, have never seen him lose his cool, and his enthusiasm is contagious. He vibrates with excitement when at bat! At this time I don’t see a Cub with that leadership quality.

I think the Anti-Bully Association will be very interested in reading what I have endured for far too long. They will be able to pull up some of the more filthy comments that Carrie has deleted. It might be a good idea for a certain commenter to pull in his fangs.

well that may just be self made… you constantly stray off topic and post about useless NON cubs topics. You want social hour go to bingo. You want to talk Cubs baseball feel free. Also no one is keeping you here, more than welcome to leave.

And another bully shows his fangs.

In reality White’s comment was succinct and relevant to the topic of Lake’s behavior (whether accepted by some or not) and not off topic. (not #Cubs prospect Schwarber hits 2 HRs of course, but this string is so long we are all guilty of it) The fact is Jasper jumped the gun with his rude comment, should have kept his powder dry….but Jasper has a quick trigger.

Fonzie it was in regards to past comments… Not bullying … Just blunt facts … That is all

I personally did not think your comment was bullying Petrey in all honesty, plus you only commented due to Jasper’s un called for rude remark which opened previous wounds so to speak. Whether he bullied White or not is subjective yet no doubt the words he used were certainly questionable as was his timing considering White’s comment was a reasonable one regarding a current Cubs’ player. Your first reply to White was reasonable dialogue between two caring Cubs’ fans, only when Jasper opined with his less than mature and somewhat barbed comments aimed at White did things take a turn for the worse. Completely avoidable when you think of how decently put White’s comment was regarding Lake’s homerun.

Big win last night! Like I said earlier in the year I really like the way Lake is playing. Its going to be tough to keep him out of the lineup when Soler comes back. Can Lake play a solid CF?
Baez seems to gain an extra year of control somewhere around June 11th…. The FO seems to like to bring guys up on the road and June9th is the start of the DET series I believe in DET. I’m guessing the plan is to bring him up the 9th or 11th…. which is awesome cause I’ll be at the game June 12th sitting in the new bleachers.

You are so right petrey, and I give much props to David Ross, like the long gone Darwin Barney, DEFENSE saved the game last night and Ross’s defensive skills shined for sure! He may yet get in the same league as Barney and win that gold glove!! He may not hit worth a lick but just like Barney as long some value comes from a player either defensively or offensively to balance things out any player can be productive. Ross’s arm and leadership skills should be mined while he his a Cub as short a time as that may be considering his age and hopefully Schwarber’s emergence in the next few years. And Lake? Wouldn’t it be great if he puts his game together and grabs hold of the LF spot? Or like you said and option in CF post Fowler? That may still leave us with a leadoff hitter void, but can be worked around by Maddon’s ingenuity.

Defense kept runs off the board but it didn’t win that game…. Ross scored no runs on that throw and please let’s leave barneys name out … I almost vomited

Mission accomplished.

BTW petrey, I said saved the game, not won the game. You don’t agree that Ross’s stellar performance last night nailing a runner on an attempted steal of 2B keeping him from scoring position all the while recording an out plus nailing the runner off 1B to END the game….did not save the game??? A 2-1 win? Sure defense may not win games as if both teams keep runs off the board the game can go on forever 0-0, duh. But in close games, defense surely can save the game and get the victory nailed down. And defense saved that game!! I would have to think there are several players with such gifted defense that they may have saved a game or two during their career, especially Gold Glove winners. Barney comes to mind actually…. who needs to re-read comments?

did he save the game? I guess but am I screaming from the mountain tops and thinking he could possibly win a gold glove or think it was that valuable? Not really…. guy on first and second with 2 outs and 2 strikes on the hitter… odds aren’t in favor of them scoring … especially with Rondon on the mound. But yes it was a great play by Ross and Im happy we won. YEAH defense (sarcasm)

Aloha Petrey- yes, pitching and defense wins games. Please do not,disparage Barney. I used him as an example because even when he was not hitting one was confident of his play in the field. I remember as a kid watching Sandberg and how sometimes he would have a slow start to the season at the plate but what Carey and Stone always remarked was how good his defense was, how he worked hard not to let his offense affect his defense and how pitchers and his teammates appreciated him so much. The choice of person is not important but the topic and concern of certain current players is relevant. Take care now. Mahalo!

Talk about sarcasm petrey10….Ross winning a gold glove? Sarcasm for sure. My goodness you are funny sometimes petrey10. And…good job on that guess as Ross surely did save the game with his throwing prowess, glad you’re aboard on that one.

Aloha Fonzie- to you, Jasper, Petrey, White, Kenly, jhosk and everyone else, I noticed I spelled Harry Caray’s name wrong! Problem with these “dumb” phones when one has a break at work! Sorry about this. The other thing is as many of you have mentioned, Carrie is tweeting but not putting up current topics, lineups. I really only started commenting about a year ago. For those of you that have been on here longer are there periods like this? I hope she is all right and it sounds like she is if tweeting. Hope you all have a great Aloha Friday and that Wada can continue his comeback and pitch another solid game. Take care. Mahalo!

Hi Fonzie, Yes, I think my comment was pertinent to the subject. I saw the “punk” comment on the Bleacher Report. Madden made it very clear that he did not appreciate Lake’s behavior.

Thanks White. I have such confidence in Maddon handling circumstances such as Lake’s behavior. Whether or not any fan thought it was acceptable for any reason i.e building a team’s competitive attitude?? Really? I think there are far better ways to build a team’s competitive attitude, such as the Hunter Spence commentary by k.g. THAT is a player that can help build a team’s competitive attitude. I am glad Lake was not benched as I think he is beginning to hit an offensive stride. Maddon’s decision to play Lake the very next day speaks volumes of how well he manages a team in various ways and need not take such disciplinary actions when all that is needed is a lttle “talkin’ to”. I hope (and think) this was a great lesson for Lake and the he will become a better player for it. Good day White.

Anybody think we are in an endless loop here??? The Twilight Zone meets Muskat Ramblings. I hope Carrie is OK! Time for a new headline by now don’t you guys think? Any word on Carrie anybody?

It is also about time the Cubs get some calls there way,a couple of bad calls were made last night,glad they went the Cubs way. As far as Carrie goes hope everything IS okay,if she is tweeting it may be something contractual,you get use to her keeping us informed on baseball when in all actually there is life beyond. Wishing you the best Carrie either way and obviously you can see everyone misses you. Hurry back and as always Go Cubs!

To answer k.g`s question, I do not recall a time in the past when Carrie was `MIA`as is the case during this period. This is unique; trust me.

Hope Carrie is okay. Whatever is going on one would think someone would inform us as a courtesy. We have certainly posed the question many times and, I think, should get an answer.

That is an excellent point you make, White. Excluding myself, there are many worthy and loyal posters here who are deserving of being informed. Absolutely true.

What KenlyCub suggested there is sounding more and more plausible, and is something, I must confess, I had not considered.

FYI this message was on Carrie’s Facebook page “Folks, I’m going to take a little break and will be back for the Draft on June 8 and Cubs series vs. Tigers June 9-10. Enjoy the games.”

Thank you for the information! The mystery has been solved and we can expect
Carrie back very soon.

I was surprised to see Russell at short stop yesterday. Castro has always said he wants to play every game! Could this be Madden’s way of easing Castro out of SS position and perhaps preparing for a trade?

I think Starlin was just being rested, White. Every player needs a day off from time to time; I was actually very impressed with Starlin`s last at bat, and that was his last plate appearance in Friday`s contest. He worked the pitcher into a deep count in the 9th, and then laced a double to right center, if you recall. I wish he could show that kind of plate discipline on a regular basis. Want to remind everyone today`s Nats` pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann, (and yes, his name ends with two n`s), could very well one day be part of the Cubs` roster.

Strarlin looked PD good last night. I have a comment re. Ernie Banks., He did not break the color line with the Cubs. Wid Mathews was still negotiating his contract and thus signed Gene Baker several days before Banks, but Baker never gets mentioned as even having played for the Cubs, though he was said at the time to be the best shortstop in baseball, even better than Peewee Reese! (moved to second because it was deemed he could better make the change than the younger Banks). I remember the day they arrived with great glee in seeing the end of the double play combo of Miksis to Smalley to the Grandstand. Those were dark days indeed. I lived in Iowa at the time Gene Baker was playing in his home town of Davenport. After retiring as a scout for the Pirates he returned to Davenport and is buried there. PS do you know Dee Fondy’s nickname? Also, what’s the record for the number of schooners of Hamm’s Beer chugged by Harry Creighton during commercial breaks with Jack Brickhouse. To me Harry going glug-glug was every bit as memorable as Jack’s “Hey-Hey!”

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