A Trip Around the Minors...

Iowa
Felix Pie-Pie was the Cubs top prospect, so while he's in Iowa, he's on the list. Pie's BA is up nearly 80 points since last posting, to .130. The good news is that he has drawn 5 walks. But he also has managed two errors in the field.

Kevin Hart-Hart's had two starts this week, the first being the worst since he went to Iowa. On the 24th, he threw 4 innings, gave up 4 runs, and his ballooned from 2.87 ERA to 4.12. Last night, he rebounded, pitching 6 and a third strong innings, 2 earnies, 9 K's. His ERA dropped back down to 3.81.

Rich Hill-On the D.L., but is expected to rejoin the I-Cubs rotation soon

Bonus-Randy Wells was named PCL Pitcher of the Week for last week. In 11 innings over two starts, the former 38th round pick of the Cubs gave up only 2 runs while striking out 11. He continued that this week, giving up only 1 earned run in 6 innings in his one start. His ERA for the season is 2.78.

Tennessee
Tyler Colvin-Colvin's up and down season continues. His BA rose to .239, thanks in large part to a 3 for 4 game with 2 doubles. But he almost logged his second consecutive week with only one strikeout, until last night, when he K'd 3 times. But 2 K's over almost two weeks is impressive, considering he had 45 K's in the first 6 weeks or so of the season.

Donnie Veal-Veal was nearly lights out in his lone start this week. In 7 innings, he yielded only one run, scattering 6 hits and 3 walks. On the year, he is only 2-4, but has a 2.97 ERA. The only worrisome stat is his WHIP, which is 1.46. He seems to have the ability to work himself out of jams, he just needs to work on not getting himself into jams.

Jeff ND-Jeff ND started on Wednesday night and while he took the loss, it was more a matter of lack of hitting. In 6 innings, he gave up 3 runs, 2 of them earned. He only gave up 2 hits and a walk, and he picked off a runner at first. He was essentially working on 8 days rest, although he had pitched. He came in last Saturday and pitched 1/3 of an inning in relief, giving up two hits before being relieved.

Bonus-Gregory Reinhard (acquired in the trade for Jae Kyk Ryu) is leading the team in ERA. In 17 relief appearances, he has thrown 31 innings and given up only 10 runs (2.90 ERA). He has a 1.13 WHIP and a 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. His success was rewarded with a promotion to Iowa, where he came in last night and won the game, pitching a scoreless ninth before a walkoff by Casey McGehee ended the game.


Daytona
Tony Thomas-After given a few nights off to clear his mind, Thomas has responded. He has a modest 5 game hitting streak and has at least 2 hits in his last 3 games. His BA is back up to .269. Add 2 more SB's to the list as well. However, 3 more double plays in the past week, bringing his total to 9, are troubling, especially for a speedster.

Jose Ceda-Ceda pitched into the fifth inning on Wednesday night, having only yielded one run. But he left with one out and two on, and Jonathan Papelbon couldn't keep those runners from scoring. 4 walks in the game plagued Ceda, who had no decision.

Bonus-I mentioned Jim Adduci early in the season as a guy who has impressed. That has continued. Adduci is currently hitting .316 with a .406 OBP. He has 9 stolen bases in 12 attempts and isn't afraid to take one for the team, with three HBP's. Adducci is 3rd on the team in RBI's. In case you were wondering, Adduci was reportedly compensation the Cubs received from Florida for Todd Wellemeyer after Zach McCormack failed his physical, although I haven't found anything official to verify that.

Peoria
Josh Donaldson-Much like Jeff ND and Tony Thomas, Donaldson was given a few days off to clear his head and get his stroke. He returned after 4 days off and went 3/13 this week, including a double and an HR. On the season, he has 10 doubles, tied for 19th in the Midwest League. While being tied for 19th isn't impressive, being tied for 19th while hitting .198 is. And he has 5 stolen bases on the year in 6 attempts, great for a catcher.

Bonus-Sometimes stats, even for statheads like me, are confusing. Dustin Sasser (21st round, 2007) has an impressive 1.27 ERA over 28 and a third innings pitched and has only allowed 1 runner in the 7 he's inherited to score. But he is 1-4 and his WHIP matches his ERA, at 1.27. Bizarre.
Josh Vitters-still at EST, probably headed for Boise when their season opens

Short Hop

  • The Cubs have recalled Neal Cotts from AAA-Iowa, sending Jose Ascanio back down. Ascanio gave up one run in his 4 appearances, which initially begged the question why he was being sent back down. But with the Rockies lineup being dominated by left-handers, the Cubs felt the need to add a second lefty to the 'pen. In addition, Lou has been saying for about a week now that he wanted a second lefty in the 'pen with now 4 right-handed starters. Cotts has been pitching well at Iowa...he has a 2.00 ERA in 19 relief appearances, and he's held left-handers to a .206 BA.

Jumbo's All-Star Voting Update

Following up on our May 1st post, let's update the Cubs All-Star voting. The first round of voting results are out and, if voting concluded today, the Cubs would have 3 All-Star starters: Cubs LFer Alfonso Soriano (lifetime achievement reward I guess), and rookies Geo Soto (actual merit) and Kosuke Fukudome (name recognition/Japanese sensation).

Soto, who holds a sizeable lead among NL catchers, is attempting to become the first rookie backstop to start an All-Star game for the NL. 'Dome is trying to become the first (or 2nd along w/ Soto) rookie to start for either All-Star squad since Ichiro in 2001, and the first rookie OFer to start in the NL since 1948. Impressive.

Lionel's All Star Voting Update


If you were Jumbo, you submitted your All Star picks on May 1st, the first day available. Then again, you were voting on exactly one month's worth of stats. So, now that we are two months into the season, let's see what the early returns are and if Jumbo's urging has paid off.
Catcher-Geo Soto. Well, some fans must be paying attention, either to what Soto has produced on the field or to who Jumbo told them to vote for. Actually, Bengie Molina has comparable, if not better, numbers, but he plays in San Fran. If Soto holds on to his lead, he will be the first N.L. rookie catcher to start the All-Star game. What amazes me is that he is 4th in overall voting.
1 Sack-Lance Berkman. Again, the voters must be getting smarter, because the defacto pick would be Poo-Holes. It's not that Poo-Holes is having a bad year (he is third in BA), it's Berkman is having a better year. D-Lee is third and probably should be third, despite Jumbo's voting for him.
2 Sack-Chase Utley. Utley leads all voter getters and has over 100,000 more votes than #2. Utley's numbers are certainly deserving, as he leads the N.L. in HR's, but the big lead he has is more attributable to the lack of great 2-sacks in the N.L, and probably to Jumbo's pull. The biggest question I have is how Kaz Matsui is #2. Yes, he has 11 stolen bags, but he's hitting .269. Dan Uggla (.307, 16 HR's (one less than Utley)) is fourth.
3 Sack-Chipper Jones. If Jones wasn't leading in the 3 sack votes, then there would be a problem. His OBP is currently .493. Essentially, he's on base 1/2 the time he comes to the plate. Ridiculous. David Wright is 2nd, thanks to playing in NY, instead of Garret Atkins, who is hitting .330 with 8 HR's. ARam is 3rd, where he should be, despite the homer vote (again) from Jumbo.
Short-Hanley Ramirez. He's first among SS's in OPS and HR's, second in stolen bags and runs, so he's probably deserving of the nod and Jumbo agrees. But his slim lead (roughly 12,000 votes) and lowest of any positional leader are telling that this is a close one. The older Tejada is in second, while The Riot is sneaking in at fourth. Don't think I would've said that The Riot is the fourth best SS in the N.L. before this year. Missing from the top 5 list is Jumbo's #2 pick, Rafael Furcal, who may be hitting .366 with 8 steals, but has been on the D.L. for the better part of May.
Outfield-Fukudome. Soriano. Griffey. Fukudome is having a solid year (tied for 3rd among OF's in OBP) and his defense has been spectacular, but no one counts defense when voting for the all star team. It's obvious that he is pulling a lot of support from his hometown Osaki and the rest of his homeland. A month ago, there would've been a revolt if Soriano was the leading voter getter among OF's. He's getting the votes based on two things: one, prior numbers and two, his month of May. Griffey is a lifer, so there's no surprise is he among the leaders. Jumbo called the Fuku and Griff, to go along with Nate McLouth.
But essentially, none of those three should be in the top three. I understand that Griffey will be an All-Star as long as he plays, but I'm talking about stats. Nate McLouth (currently 11th) is hitting .311 with 12 HR's (tied for second among among OF's). His OPS is .994, which is second among OF, only being triumphed by a over 1.000 Pat Burrell. The second guy on the list should be the #1 OPS, Pat Burrell (currently 6th). While he's only hitting .277, he has a .417 OBP and is tied for the lead among OF's in HR's. Finally, Xavier Nady (currently not in the top 15). OK, so Nady is a little more of a stretch, but among OF's, he's third in BA (.319) and second in RBI's (40). His 40 RBI's are fifth among the entire leageu. He's 13th in dingers, and while everyone loves the dingers, that isn't a huge part of his game.
Wait, did I just say that two Pirate OF's deserved to be starting in the All Star game?



Horry Kow, Part Deux

It's back. "The" Kosuke Fukudome t-shirt. As a follow-up to our April 19th post on the t-shirt (shown above) being sold around Wrigleyville, word has come that the seller of the shirt says he's going to sue the Cubs over their attempts to block his selling of the shirt. Sue the Cubs? Really? On what basis?...apparently, based on the First Amendment.

The Cubs originally shut this guy down based on his use of an apparently trademarked image (the basic Cubs bear in the circle). The Cubs, if sued, will likely defend on this basis. And I think they'll prevail. I'm not sure what sort of First Amendment issue this guy things he could bring to overcome the fact that he's using someone else's protected intellectual property for financial gain. You can't exactly claim fair use here when he's altering the Cubs' trademark to an offensive-to-many image and then turning a buck on doing so. Fair use is more like our usage of the above picture (you know, if we weren't abusing someone's copyright rights by using the picture without permission and junk).

If I'm this guy's lawyer-I'm telling him to save his money. He ain't got a shot.

Dear Jim: Die

I'm going to go ahead and call it. Time to put this washed up bum out to pasture. Jimmy...your career is O-V-E-R buddy. And I couldn't be happier to see it. As far as I'm concerned, you never were and never will be a Cub. Go back to St. Louis, open a used car lot and a crappy steakhouse with your name on it, and get the hell off of my baseball team.

After another stellar 0-4 performance last night, Jim Edmonds is now a disgusting 3 for 24 (.125!) with 0 HRs, 0 Ribs, 0 extra base hits, and 1 BB in his all-too-long career posing as a member of the Chicago Cubs. And if that's not enough-he's at least 2 steps slower than Felix Pie in CF and covers far, far, less ground. For some perspective-Corey Freaking Patterson, also a left handed CF and first class bum, is hitting .201 through 144 ABs...why not just sign him?

Look, I get the gamble that Jim Hendry took here. I see what he was trying to do. But, in making this move, Hendry stupidly fell in love with the ghost of a Sportscenter highlight. Edmonds was clearly done when he was with the Cards. So they shipped his broke ass to the Padres just to salvage something out of him. Pads GM Kevin Towers drank the Kool-Aid in making that deal, but it didn't take him long to come to his senses as he cut Edmonds loose a little more than a month into the season. Hendry too fell in love with the diving catches (from like 5 years ago) and the simple fact that Jim Edmonds bats wrong-handed and took a gamble.

But this was a terrible, terrible move by Hendry-one far worse than Kevin Towers' decision to bring him to San Diego. Towers mistake was in moving a young player for the right to cut Edmonds a month into the season. But it's not like Edmonds was really in the way. He was merely a stopgap for a terrible team (near the bottom of MLB right now) waiting for young talent to develop.

Hendry, however, took a semi-bad situation and made it much, much worse. The Cubs aren't a crappy team like the Padres. And the Cubs aren't waiting around on young players to develop. They already had Felix Pie up and ready to go. Sure, Pie wasn't hitting, but he was never given a fair shake. But the kid was getting MLB experience and was playing a solid CF while doing so. The kid has done everything you can do in the minors and simply needs to play every day. Off the top of my head, I think I've read that the only consecutive playing time Pie ever got was a 3 game and a 4 game stretch. Not exactly letting the kid get warmed up is it? Unhappy with Pie's start and, presumably, his inability to hit LHPs, Hendry brings in Reed Johnson to platoon with Pie. Good move and one that has worked out thus far. But Hendry should have just stopped there and let it be.

Here's a quote for you from this article in the Daily Herald:
"We need to see improvement with the bat; let's be perfectly honest," Piniella said. "He needs at-bats. We're going to give him as many as we can."
Know who Pinella is talking about here? Jim Edmonds. Tell me...why the hell wasn't this reasoning applied to the in-house upsided option in Felix Pie? We'll give this kind of leeway to a nearly 38 year old loser but not our 23 year old prospect?

Maybe Hendry got cocky after the Reed Johnson signing worked out so well at the beginning of the year? I don't know. But in bringing in Edmonds you did several things that made this ballclub worse: You instantly get worse defensively in CF, you crush the confidence of a young player who desperately needs this organization to get his back (Pie's hitting .144 in Iowa right now), you show all your other young players that you don't have their backs, you disrupt a team that has really great chemistry in the clubhouse, you force NL ROY Geo Soto down to 7th in the order while batting Edmonds 6th (at least Pie was sucking it up in the 8 hole), and you piss off damn near every Cubs fan out there.

I'm ready. I'm ready for Hendry to nut up here, eat crow, and admit that this move for Edmonds was nothing but a bad nightmare. Cut his ass, and cut it hard. If you don't want to yank Pie back up now that he's struggling having to battle through getting completely screwed here, fine. Give your boy Andres Torres a try until Pie gets going. Or give ReJo the majority of the ABs. Or move Fukudome over and get Hoffpauir's lefty bat in the lineup in RF. But get back on the path of trying to restore this team to where it was before this screwjob of a deal. I'm getting really sick of seeing Edmonds masquerade as a major league talent wearing my Cubbie pinstripes while needlessly hot dogging it in CF and lobbing beer league softball fly balls to the OF every AB.

Beat it a-hole.

How Have Previous Drafts Shaken Out?

With the draft approaching in just 8 short days, I thought I would review some of the past drafts the Cubs have had, focusing on the prospects taken in the top 10 rounds, to see what impact they've had.


2000
1st Rounder-The Cubs picked Luis Montanez with their first pick. He was a SS out of high school who struggled for a number of years in the Cubs farm system. The Cubs attempted to convert him to an OF with some success, but he elected free agency after 6 years.

Made it to Chicago-The Cubs had a couple of guys reach the majors with them, in 2nd rounder Bobby Hill and 5th rounder Todd Wellemeyer. After being dubbed the second baseman of the future, Hill would famously be the centerpiece of the trade that netted the Cubs Aramis Ramirez.

Made it to the Bigs-The other famous name in this draft was the Cubs 9th round selection, Dontrelle Willis. Ironically, the Cubs also sent their 8th round selection Ryan Jorgensen in that trade for Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca.

Weirdest Story-Gary Banks (6th Round) left the organization after three years to play college football.

Overall Grade: B The Cubs only had one guy that played in Chicago for any extended length of time, but being able to move your second rounder for Aramis Ramirez is a victory in my book. And while it seemed like a huge blunder for the Cubs to have traded away Dontrelle a few years ago, he has yet to regain the form that made him a star early on, while the Cubs were able to get to the postseason behind Matt Clement.


2001
1st Rounder-With the 2nd overall pick in the 2001 draft, the Cubs selected a right-handed starting pitcher out of the University of Southern California-Mark Prior. 7 years later and putting aside Geo Soto's success this year, it looks like the Cubs would've been better off with the Twins forking over the money for Prior and Joe Mauer "falling" to the Cubs at #2. But, with the success Prior had early on, it's hard to say this wasn't a good pick.

Made it to Chicago-The Cubs also had success with their 3rd round pick, a guy who finally has been able to put to rest the tired statement "the Cubs farm system hasn't developed a position player in X years." That player is The Riot. Interestingly, The Riot was never considered a serious prospect, in part because he was overshadowed by the likes of Bobby Hill and Brendan Harris, but also because he struggled with the bat. He was a career .252 hitter heading into 2005, with most of that time spent below AA. But he turned the corner in 2005 and made this pick work for the Cubs.

The Cubs had one other player reach the majors for them out of the first ten rounds in 7th rounder Sergio Mitre. Mitre was one of three players the Cubs traded for Juan Pierre.

Made it to the Bigs-While those three all made it to the Bigs with the Cubs, the draft also produced three other MLBer's. Brendan Harris (5th round) was traded to the Expo's in that monster four team trade that brought over Nomar and Matt Murton, Ricky Nolasco (4th round) went along with Mitre for Pierre, and Andy Sisco (2nd) was left unprotected and was picked by the Royals in the Rule 5 draft a few years later.

Weirdest Story-Alan Bomer (9th Round) stayed in school and was a 2nd round pick of the Yankees in 2002.

Overall Grade: A+ It's hard to dispute a draft that resulted in the top 5 picks all being in the Bigs.


2002
1st Rounder-While 2001 was a huge success, the Cubs couldn't repeat that success in 2002, despite a draft that was set up for them to give them huge returns. The Cubs had 4 first round picks (thanks to supplemental 1st round picks for David Weathers, Rondell White, and Todd Van Poppel) and 2 each in the second, third and fourth rounds. The Cubs focused on pitching in the first round, getting Bobby Brownlie, Luke Hagerty, Chadd Blasko, and Matthew Clanton. None of them reached the Bigs and all have been released.

Made it to Chicago-The Cubs biggest success was their second fourth round pick in Rich Hill. Billy Petrick made his MLB debut last year after being selected in the third round. And 9th rounder Adam Greenburg played in one game for the Cubs.

Made it to the Bigs-NONE

Weirdest Story-Greenburg had one AB for the Cubs. He was called up by the organization because they didn't feel Pie was ready (I'll leave out any commentary), got to bat, and was promptly hit in the head. He ended up on the DL, and wasn't the same player after he came back. He was eventually released by the Cubs.

Overall Grade: D- It's hard to imagine that a team with 16 picks in the first ten rounds would end up with 3 guys in the Bigs, including one who only got one AB. The Cubs were able to trade Justin Jones (2nd round) in the Nomar/Murton deal and they still have Matthew Craig (3rd round) in their farm system to go along with Petrick and Hill, but getting absolutely nothing out of 4 first rounders is terrible.


2003
1st Rounder-The Cubs used the 6th pick overall on a 6-5 outfielder who was fast enough and talented enough to play centerfield. And it looked like Ryan Harvey's career was going to take off, as he was an all star in '04, '05, and '06. But since then, things have gone down hill. Harvey opened the season in AA, where he hit .216. He was demoted to Daytona, where he is currently hitting .212. I have a feeling that he may be on his last leg with the Cubs.

Made it to Chicago-The Cubs didn't have a second round pick, so their second overall pick was used in the 3rd round to take Jake Fox. Fox toiled for many years as an average to above average hitter but a poor catcher who had spent most of his time working on his catching. But when the Cubs started moving him around the field, his hitting improved and his versatility allowed him to become a member of the Cubs for a brief time. In the 6th round, the Cubs selected Sean Marshall.

Made it to the Bigs-None

Weirdest Story-Matthew Lincoln, the Cubs 8th round pick, never signed with the Cubs. As far as I can tell, he never was drafted after that.

Overall Grade: B- The Cubs have had some success with Sean Marshall and still have their top five draft picks in the system, but this draft hasn't produced any major contributors.


2004
1st Rounder-The Cubs didn't have a 1st round pick in 2004, thanks to the acquisition of a type A player in LaTroy Hawkins (ouch). The only good news is that the Twins pick was Kyle Waldrop, currently toiling in High A ball without proving much . So let's focus on the 2nd round pick and the Cubs first pick, Grant Johnson. Johnson is a full time relief pitcher who has risen steadily, but not spectacularly. He currently has a 3.38 ERA in the minors this year.

Made it to Chicago-Two guys have had cups of coffee with the Cubs...8th rounder Eric Patterson and 10th rounder Sam Fuld.

Made it to the Bigs-None

Weirdest Story-Adrian Ortiz was drafted by the Cubs in the 5th round out of high school, but never signed. 3 years later, he was drafted out of Pepperdine by the Royals, once again in the 5th round.

Overall Grade: C- It's hard to think of the draft as a good draft when you know you gave up your first round pick for LaTroy Hawkins. But the bigger issue here is that except for two utility players, the top ten rounds didn't produce much and none of the guys picked are considered top prospects.

Before I start 2005, I am going to reformat a little. At this point, there are no guys who have made it to the Bigs and most guys are still in the system, so I am just going to highlight the 1st round pick and some of the other notables.


2005
1st Rounder-For the 4th time in 5 years, the Cubs used their top pick on a pitcher. This time it was Mark Pawelek. Pawelek's career hasn't gotten off to a really great start, as he tripped over his Playstation last June and broke his non-throwing elbow. His ERA was over 8 last year and he is currently at extended spring training, but it's also important to remember that he is still 21.

Other Notables-Mark Holliman is the only guy who has made it as far as AAA, making 5 starts but struggling with an ERA over 5. Donnie Veal is a top 10 prospect who was taken in the 2nd round. In the 5th round, the Cubs took Scott Taylor. 2 rounds later, they took Trey Taylor. Unfortunately, neither Taylor is playing right now, as Trey quit baseball and Scott is currently suspended for failing a drug test.

Overall Grade: D- Their is only one top ten prospect right now and there is no one on the 40 man roster. There doesn't appear to be anyone outside Veal with any potential to play in the Bigs, unless Pawelek starts figuring things out. Veal is the only reason they didn't get an F.


2006
1st Rounder-Tyler Colvin was projected between the second and the fifth rounds by most experts. So it was a bit of a shocker when the Cubs took him in the first round. At the time, he was lighting up the College World Series. That rolled on and got him to AA this year, where things have slowed down. He's still thought of as one of the top 3 prospects in the system. When he'll get the chance to play for the Big Boys is yet to be seen...some predicted last year (before Fuku was signed) that the Cubs were only going to sign a guy to a one-year deal because they felt Colvin would be MLB-ready by 2009.

Other Notables-The Cubs didn't have a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round pick thanks to acquisitions (two good ones in Howry and Erye, the 4th rounder was lost thanks to the acquisition of Jacque Jones), but made a huge splash in the 5th round by drafting Jeff ND. Then, they paid him a boatload of money to skip his shot at the NFL, but I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know. Josh Landsford, Son of former MLBer Carney Lansford, was taken in the 6th.

Overall Grade: B- If Colvin and Jeff ND project out, this will be a solid draft for the Cubs. People still think Josh Lansford has a high ceiling, so he could make it to the Bigs. This draft would be graded a bit higher if there were some picks between the 1st and the 5th.


2007
1st Rounder-Someone was smiling on the Cubs when the rule was implemented that if you had one of the top ten picks in the draft and you were supposed to lose a 1st rounder due to a free agent signing, you would instead lose a second rounder, because that allowed the Cubs to keep the #3 overall pick, while losing their second round pick to the Nats for Alfonso Soriano. Enter Josh Vitters. Considered the top high school hitter, the Cubs have taken things slow with Vitters, who is currently at extended spring training. Vitters, the Cubs top overall pick since Mark Prior, is considered the team's top prospect in most circles.

Other Notables-The Cubs got a supplemental first round pick when Juan Pierre signed with the Dodgers and used that pick on Josh Donaldson. Donaldson, a catcher, is considered a top ten prospect. The Cubs 3rd rounder, Tony Thomas is also considered a top ten prospect, while Darwin Barney, their 4th rounder, is considered to be just outside the top ten.

Overall Grade: B It would be easy to say that this was a great draft because the Cubs got 3 top prospects, but the basis for those ranking are based on projection and the lack of talent in the '05 draft. None of them have lit the world on fire, although Barney and 7th rounder Ty Wright are the two team leaders in RBI's for Daytona.

Minor League Movers

Iowa
Sean Marshall went to the 7 day DL with a sore hamstring over the weekend. To replace him, the Cubs have promoted Chris Shaver (4th Round, 2004).

Tennessee
The Smokies made a few pitching moves in addition to Shaver. They promoted Darin Downs (5th Round, 2003) and Dumas Garcia, while demoting Jesse Estrada and Rocky Roquet. Estrada was promoted back to Tennesse a few days later to replace Shaver's spot.

Daytona
The only move the D-Cubs made, aside from the aforementioned moves, was activating relief pitcher Mike Phelps from the DL after a 3 week stint.

Peoria
No Moves

Boise
21 days until Opening Day

Doug Glanville In



Doug Glanville wins the backup CF of the 90's, thanks to your votes. It's the final week for position players; who was the best at backing up George Bell/Sammy Sosa.

Short Hops

  • It has been a topic of discussion on both the television and radio broadcasts, but the Cubs are the only team in MLB who hasn't lost 3 straight. While I think that says a lot about the quality and depth of this team, that streak will be on the line today.
  • The Cubs record is impressive, but if the Cubs and Pirates hadn't played each other at all this season, the Pirates would have a better record.
  • One problem that seems to be a trend is that The Riot struggles with throws that short hop him. There have been multiple occasions when stolen bases have been completed because of this and Fukudome had thrown out a runner this weekend, save for The Riot's inability to corral the short hop. I know this is a difficult play, but that is one portion of his game I would like to see improve.