#Cubs Wood to start Sat vs Phillies

Saturday is now “staff day” for the Cubs and Travis Wood will start in place of Dan Haren, weather permitting, against the Phillies. Because of rain in the forecast, the Cubs decided to go with a bullpen day and move Haren to Sunday’s series finale. The right-hander is fine; he just gets an extra day. This will be Wood’s first start since May 14; he started seven games this season. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Coghlan RF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Baez SS

T. Wood P

La Stella 2B


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Ho-Hum. Another day in the dugout. This rain is way too depressing. Send it to CA and OR where it would be greatly appreciated.

Aloha White! yes, rain would be nice. We have a 10% chance of rain in the forecast. Am glad Haren is all good just being moved to tomorrow. Take care now. Mahalo!

Un baseball related, because, I guess its ok? White you have told me I am insensitive and uncaring. Yesterday my neighbor asked me to watch her cat or kitty as you say. Normally I would never do this, as I don’t really care about cats. But I thought of you and what would White do?
So I said ok. How long? She said two days. Now being a 26 year Army vet, I am really not that sensitive to peoples feelings or their cats, I took the cat, she left. I put it in a cardboard box, folded up the top and put the cat in the garage.
Two days later I seen her pull into her driveway, so I quickly went to the garage and let the cat out of the box. About that time, the door bell rang. I opened the door as the cat went crazy, running all over the place, climbed my drapes
Yolanda, the neighbor started yelling at her cat. I am trying to talk as she is yelling, the cat jumps up on my mantle, above the fireplace. Knocked over the urn with my great grandmother ashes in it.
I finally caught her cat, told her to get it out of my house and don’t bring it back. She was apologetic, but that don’t help.
The only good thing about the ordeal is, Yolanda is a nice looking young lady and she owes me big time.
See what happens when I try to be like White?

BIG MISTAKE! Don’t ever put a cat in a box! πŸ˜œπŸ˜€

Aloha White- LOL! Jasper you know “cats” have a mind of their own! Let’s hope Haren can give the team 7+ innings so the bp does not have to come in early. Mahalo!

I tried to put Great Grandma back in her dented up urn, the best I could. The thing is, I am not a great housekeeper, living in the desert, there is allot of sand on the floor. So I guess, she will be resting, on what may feel like a beach. Hope she’s ok with it, I haven’t heard any complaints yet.

Aloha Jasper- hope you were able to get some rest and peace about your great grandmother, your home and neighbor. I had to turn away the past couple of days from our beloved Cubs; as you know we had a vintage car show that took a lot of out me and the wife. It was probably a good thing. I am so happy where they are with that 82 wins they have a secured a winning season. I hope they can come together against the Pirates. I have to say it is pretty amazing how far they have come this year (1yr turnaround). It is hard to do with so many rookies not only on the roster but also starting. What I am about to say I do not want for it to be construed as “mean,” but rather it is amazing. I was looking at bullpen strengths around the league and percentages of converting a possible save to a save. The Cardinals are at the top with Pirates at number three. Those two teams convert between 78-80% of their opportunities. The Cubs like #13 and convert on about 68% of their opportunities. The Cubs also have 6 more blown saves then both the Cardinals and Pirates. I did not look at bullpen strength in terms of holding a lead but just what I saw in relation above, it really is amazing how they have done this year because their “achilles’ heel” is their bullpen. There is a lot of pressure right now on the starting staff to go long because the confidence is not there in the folks coming to hold the line. I heard one sports person speak about Rondon how he seems to focus on the first two batters of the inning then has a habit of falling apart and we saw that today. I hope Maddon is able to have a heart-felt conversation with the whole bullpen because a lot can still happen between now and the end of the season, for better or for worst. I want them to know they can do better. Hope you and all the Cub fans out there can sleep well tonight, Tuesday starts a huge series! Mahalo!

Why joey, whatever do you mean? I’m your huckleberry!πŸ™‚

White, Congrats to Darwin with being traded to the Blue Jays. Good to see that a first place team sees some value in the defensively gifted former Cub Gold Glove Winner. DISCLAIMER: The above mentioned congratulations to a respectful poster claiming to be related to Darwin Barney does not translate to me thinking that Darwin Barney is the greatest player to have ever graced a baseball field. It is simply a congratulations, not representative of others’ views or opinions expressed or implied, whether from Barney haters or Barney backers. Pretty simple, justified and above all American made.πŸ˜‰

joey, that defensive skill also gives him a chance for a WS ring.
Maybe he Cubs might see him there.

Hi fonzie. Surprise, surprise.πŸ˜€ Toronto is a beautiful city! Parlez vous francais? Hope he can play some good ball for a few games. Not eligible for playoffs as not acquired by 8/31.

Aloha fonzie- I was thinking about White when I saw this the other day. Thought it was good that he could be with a team in contention but White mentioned that Barney is not eligible to be in the post-season because he was not acquired by the 8/31 deadline. Anyhow, I wish him well. Mahalo!

Aloha k.g. You make some insightful observations. The Phillies indeed have the `sorriest` record on the planet, but our Cubs have found them `a challenge` all season. I do know the Phils have had a far better `closer` all season than our Cubs, and it has not been the same individual for Philadelphia. First it was Papelbon, and when he was traded to the Nats , his replacement became Giles. Did I mention both are far better than ours? There is something wrong with that picture. {Aside: Marcus Mariota had a very impressive debut today. It was much better than Winston`s. I know you are partial to Mariota. You know both qb`s are going to be closely compared their entire careers, and I`m wanting Mariota to eclipse anything Winston does, and think he just might.}

Aloha jhosk- will you make insightful observations too! Giles has stepped up even more since Papelbon’s departure. Too bad the Cubs’ FO was not able to make a trade with Amaro for a Giles before he was let go. I bet the Phillies would want a lot for him! We all know come the off-season leading into next season there is going to be a lot of work in regard to the bullpen. There could be a lot of “new” faces come ST2016. This is going to be Maddon’s big challenge the rest of the way, not to take away all the other challenges he has dealt with but one I am sure the FO thought would not be as big for him at the beginning of this season. In regard to Mariota, we are blessed that he had such a good first game. He is a very humble man and I am glad to see someone like himself be given a chance. I hope he can stay healthy and have a successful career. I also hope the best for Winston. You look at quarterbacks in the past and a Staubach would say he appreciated a Bradshaw and vice versa, Starr & Unitas, Kelly & Marino, Brady & Manning. It is called respect and so I hope the best for both of them. You take care now! Mahalo!

jhosk & K.g., It would be nice to have traded for Papelbon, but I think we all know that Amaro was probably asking way to much for him. Would he have been worth the asking cost? That’s something we wont know now.
I think Maddon and the Team have exceeded even Managements expectations this year. I believe the goal is and was next year.
Think of the pieces in place gong into next year and beyond. The money they can use for FA’s. Most of all for the fist time, this Management also has trade pieces going into the off season. The last 3 years, the Cubs have had nobody to trade of value.
This year they do, Castro, Wood, Szczur, Hammel, La Stella as well as some guys in the Minors that may never make this team like, Villanueva, Vogelbach, Alcantara, Silva, Jokich, Beeler and Black, maybe even Almora, who knows?

Aloha Jasper- That would have been an interesting trade that you mentioned, Papelbon from the Phillies. The person/reliever I like with the Phillies is Giles and what I was “thinking out aloud” was what if the FO was able to work with Amaro at the time for Giles, what would they have had to give up? But that is “water under the bridge” since the trading deadline passed. I am with you 100% in regard to what this team has accomplished and that the objective is 2016. Having said that, going into this year one of the areas of supposed strength was the bullpen. I was reading articles back in March of this year and they had at the time, the Cubs bullpen ranked as high as 6/7th. But it has not worked out that way, so as you say, there will be money to go out and get some FA’s on the off season for 2016. I think the area of the team that will change the most, personnel will be the bullpen. Having said that, my father brought up an interesting possible pickup, Brandon League. He like myself is mixed ethnically, his great- grandparents were from Southern Japan. He now lives in the Islands. Well, the Dodgers released him. He throws in the high 90’s and has a mean sinker. Things did not pan out for him in LA but with all the Cubs bullpen woes they could pick him up cheap just for the remainder of the season. Who knows, he could catch a “second wind” and provide some strength. Again, my father said it was just a thought. Today is a much needed day off for the team so they can ramp up for tomorrow. Take care now! Mahalo!

K.g. and jhosk, you guys know relievers, especially closers, they are a rare and weird breed. You have a few guys that can do it day in and day out, year after year, but they are few. I think of Gossage, Fingers, Lee Smith and many from the past, but who is really like that today?
Papelbon has been perfect this year, but will he be next year? Kimbrel has been awesome year in and year out, but he has 3 blown saves this year. Compare that to Rondons 4 blown Saves. Then compare their ERA.
Nice to hear your fathers point of view, League may be worth the gamble?
Look at the Cubs bullpen last year, how effective Strope, Grimm, Ramirez and Rondon were the last 55 games. There was no reason to think they couldn’t do it again, unless you factor in, the year to year inconsistency of most relievers.
I am sure the Cubs have enough money to sign two FA starters, if they do, that may put Lester as the 4th starter.
Do they have what it would take to trade for Kimbrel? I am sure they do.
Management depended on Rondon only 4 blown saves, Mott injury, Ramirez Injury, Grimm very good until recently, Strope don’t know his problem?, They have tried others to shore up the pen, sent Wood to the BP, signed Coke, Soriano, Rodney, traded for Medina, tried Jackson in the BP, then others, German, Russell, Hunter, Richard, Rosscup, Schlitter and even Cahill.
So we cant say they have not tried to find someone this year.

Aloha Jasper & jhosk- well, pitching is important as they say. And yes Jasper, when you look at how the bp responded at the end of last year, it was incredible. I was sad the season ended last year because you could see what was coming on the horizon. I am with you, this FO, the ownership have done a tremendous job in reworking this organization and its thinking. Players want to come to Chicago now and the ones on the team do not want to leave. So, I said early on before the season started that it will take a while for the team to “gel,” young players to get used to working with new personnel, making adjustments and such. The offense will take a while to heat up and hopefully the defense will fall into place. But I felt the starting pitching was pretty good and I thought the bp was strong. So, I am not sure what has happened but if you remember early in this season when Ramirez went down, it was like a chain reaction. I was surprised before the July deadline that San Diego did not do more trades. I was with jhosk on this that it would have been great to have gotten Kimbrel but it did not happen. He was the pitcher I wish the FO could have gotten before the deadline. I like Giles too from the Phillies but with how stubborn Amaro was with Hamels, I could not see them trading Giles unless they got something big in return. I am also with jhosk, I did not want the FO to get Papelbon. He is talented but hard to deal with. So, going back to the beginning of what I brought up, it is this: that what this team has accomplished is amazing and the fact that they are in 3rd place in the best division in baseball and in the #2 W.C. is awesome, in spite of their youth and bullpen meltdown. I think Maddon is just going to have to work with what he has but it would sure be great to see someone step up, Grimm or Rondon? I know 2016 is supposed to be the big push but I would love for them to make it to the Wild Card and possibly further so they get a taste of it and some experience in the postseason. In the off season I am sure there will be a lot of work done with the bullpen. It will be interesting to see how they prioritize, meaning maybe they go out and get one strong starter like a Price, then they go after a closer and setup folks. Or as you say they get two starters and a closer. They have options. I have to give the Giants and Cardinals credit as to how they worked/built their bullpens. The Giants have had reliable folks to work with now for years: Affeldt-Lopez-Romo, they have been on the 3 W.S. teams 2010-2012-2014. Sure it does not always last but gosh it would be great if the FO can build a bp around 3 stable folks like the Giants have. Well, tomorrow is a huge game series, Hammel needs to be calm and get his pitches over and the offense needs to be patient in their approach with Cole. Let’s hope for the best. Take care now. Mahalo!

I did not make myself clear, jasper. I was not suggesting we should have pursued Papelbon. I believe he`s a self-absorbed head case, and a potential disruptive influence for any clubhouse. I would not want him with the Cubs. My point was, if the Phillies, who have the very worst record in all of major league baseball, can find two closers in the same season who are excellent, why can`t our Cubs, who have the fourth best record in all the majors, find one? But the truth is we need help in every pitching aspect: starters, middle relief, and closer. It is truly remarkable this team has achieved to the degree it has, given the pitching weaknesses. You are correct, jasper, in looking at next year as realistic. I`m afraid my impatience has reared its ugly head once again.

impatience is only natural for us jhosk. I understand it and fight it off everyday. My only defense in that fight, is this Management. I keep thinking of the complete rebuild in three short years, competing in their forth.
I look at the Farm system, 5 acre complex in the DR, new ST facility in Mesa, the new scoreboards, more renovations coming and I know this Management is doing it all.
Sign Epstein bumper stickers should be on every Cubs fan cars.

Speak of the devil, Jonathon Papelbon is in the baseball news today as a result of some controversial comments he made last night in Philadelphia. Keep in mind, he was returning for the first time to the city and club which traded him away to the Nationals earlier this season. The following are the remarks he made to reporters before last night`s game, and are more evidence supporting the `selfish` accusations attributed to the relief pitcher: “I was far from the bad guy on this Phillies` team. I was one of the few that actually wanted to win, and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day.” Current Phillies` outfielder, Jeff (Frenchy) Francoeur, defended his teammates. Jeff said, “I`m sure he (Papelbon) is frustrated with where they`re at. He got traded from here, and we`ve had more `save` opportunities for Kenny {Giles}, now, you know? I`m sure he`s frustrated he got traded over there, and they`re not going to probably go to the playoffs.” {Also, in the game played last night, Papelbon `blew` his first `save` of the season when Freddie Galvis took him deep late in the contest to tie the game at that point.}

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