Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:28 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.
When we discuss the Chicago Cubs, no baseball fan is lacking an opinion -- specifically, everyone seems to have some pet theory as to why the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. I've long argued with the people who believe the streak has something to do with a stupid "curse" or somehow now has something to do with playing so many more day games than everyone else. No, the real problem is they've never put a top-to-bottom management system in place that has done the job consistently for more than a small handful of seasons. It's possible current Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has done so with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, et al (in fact, I'd argue it's likely), but that's a different discussion for a different forum.
For now, we're left looking at one of the worst Homegrown Teams in our series.
1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
2. Darwin Barney, 2B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Tyler Colvin, LF
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Eric Hinske, 1B
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Sam Fuld, CF
1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Kyle Lohse
3. Andrew Cashner*
4. Carlos Zambrano
5. Randy Wells
* - if Cashner fell injured like he did in the real 2011 season, the options would be: Jon Garland, Dontrelle Willis and Casey Coleman.
Closer - Kyle Farnsworth
Set up - Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Al Alburquerque, Juan Cruz, Michael Wuertz
Long - Jeff Samardzija, Rich Hill, Sergio Mitre
Notable Bench Players
Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Theriot, Ronny Cedeno, Brandon Guyer, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Tony Campana, Lou Montanez. In fact, feel free to grab any of these guys, plug them in the lineup and play around with it. There's really no wrong answer, because it's one marquee player (and he's only 21) amidst a heap of mediocrity at this point. Maybe Guyer proves a good player, McGehee bounces back and/or Colvin becomes a good everyday player, but we have to go on what we've seen up to this point.
The bullpen is really strong. It's well-rounded with righties and lefties, depth, power pitchers and specialists. Of course, there could be an issue with the lack of a reliable closer when it comes to either Farnsworth or Marmol, but a new-age manager might just abandon that idea and use whoever makes the most sense in the ninth.
The starting rotation doesn't have a true ace (or No. 2, for that matter). The infield defense sorely lacks range and the outfield isn't great either. The team speed is minimal, there isn't a good option at leadoff (or in the two-hole, or cleanup, or fifth ... you get the point) and who is the best power hitter? Colvin? Soto? Basically, everything other than the bullpen and Starlin Castro is lackluster.
Comparison to real 2011
You have to give former general manager Jim Hendry credit for scraping together a team good enough to win three division titles in six years, considering this bunch. Then again, he was in charge as the organization was assembling nothing more than a mediocre foundation (Baseball Prospectus now says the minor-league system is "not bad" but is more "depth than starpower."). Let's leave out the excuses, because there are far more bad picks (Montanez at third overall as a shortstop, for example) than there are instances of bad luck (Mark Prior, for example).
The amazing thing is that the 2011 Cubs were 71-91 and I actually think that team was better than this Homegrown unit. When we do the Homegrown rankings in mid-December, expect to see the Cubs toward the bottom. That probably changes in five years, but we're doing this exercise in the present. And this team would probably win somewhere in the ballpark of 65 games. Maybe fewer.
Up Next: Seattle Mariners
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Al Alburquerque, Andrew Cashner, Brandon Guyer, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Casey Coleman, Casey McGehee, Corey Patterson, Cubs, Darwin Barney, Dontrelle Willis, Eric Hinske, Felix Pie, Geovany Soto, Homegrown, Jeff Samardzija, Jon Garland, Juan Cruz, Kerry Wood, Kosuke Fukudome, Kyle Farnsworth, Kyle Lohse, Lou Montanez, Matt Snyder, Michael Wuertz, NL Central, Randy Wells, Rich Hill, Ricky Nolasco, Robinson Chirinos, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Theriot, Sam Fuld, Sean Marshall, Sergio Mitre, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana, Tyler Colvin
Posted on: August 23, 2011 5:29 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.
Home, sweet home: San Francisco returns to AT&T Park after a 4-6 road trip, but find themselves treading water against a struggling Arizona squad that has lost six games in a row. After losing their last four series, the Giants open a 12-game home stand with San Diego for two games before Houston and Chicago come to town, setting up a big three-game set with division-leading Arizona. The Giants play 21 of their final 34 games at home, where they have the fourth-best winning percentage (.583) among National League teams. San Diego is 11 games under .500, but has won 12 of its last 18 games. The two-game series against San Diego is the start of a run of interdivisional games for the Giants, who play NL West teams 27 times in their final 34 and are done with non-NL West teams after this homestand. Padres at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET
Hanging on: Two second place teams, the White Sox and Angels, start a quick two-game series at Angel Stadium. The series won't make or break either team, but both hope to keep pace in their divisional races. The White Sox are tied for second with Indians, 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, while the Angels are 4 1/2 game behind the Rangers in the AL West. Both pitchers -- Chicago's Mark Buehrle and Los Angeles' Ervin Santana -- had winning streaks snapped in their last outting. Buehrle hadn't lost since June 16 and had a snap of 18 starts of allowing three runs or fewer by giving up four runs in a loss to Cleveland. Santana allowed four runs (three earned) in a loss to the Rangers last Wednesday, pitching into the eighth inning. Still, Santana has gone 6-3 with a 1.87 ERA over his last 12 starts, while Buehrle is 5-2 with a 2.37 ERA over his last 12 starts. White Sox at Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET
Youth movement: In his last start, Braves left-hander Mike Minor didn't give up a run in six innings of work, striking out nine batters and walking one (intentionally), allowing just four hits. Since entering the rotation in the place of Tommy Hanson, Minor's gone 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts, showing why the Braves think so highly of the 23-year-old former first-round pick. Cubs right-hander Casey Coleman has been less successful in replacing Carlos Zambrano in the Chicago rotation. In his first start in place of Zambrano, Coleman allowed 10 hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to Houston. He's 2-5 overall with a 7.43 ERA, but his ERA is lowered a bit to 7.05 as a starter. Braves at Cubs, 8:05 p.m ETFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 13, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 4:25 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry told the Chicago Tribune that he found Zambrano's actions "intolerable." Although Hendry said he hasn't talked to Zambrano, he did talk to his agent who told him Zambrano was "not in the retirement mode."
That means he would rather not give up the more than $20 million owed to him by the club. Zambrano had reportedly told people he was going to retire after he was ejected from Friday's game for throwing at Chipper Jones and then packing his bags and leaving before the end of the game.
Hendry said he apologized to Braves general manager Frank Wren for spoiling the night dedicated to honoring former Braves manager Bobby Cox.
The team could call up Triple-A starter Casey Coleman to take Zambrano's place in the rotation.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 4, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 1:20 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Cubs starter Ryan Dempster was scratched from his team's Monday game against the Nationals with "intestinal issues" and manager Mike Quade seemed just as unsure about what was wrong with Dempster as when the right-hander would be able to make another start.
"It just seems like it's a product of his intestinal issues over the last couple of days," Quade told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not smart enough to know that, but it's his whole [core] region."
Dempster was hospitalized on Saturday night, but released on Sunday. Dempster said he'd like to start again before the All-Star break, but Quade noted he'd like to see him throw off a mound before another start.
Casey Coleman started Monday's game for Dempster.
With Dempster missing Monday's start, all five of the starters in the Cubs' rotation at the beginning of the season have missed at least one start. Carlos Zamrbano (back) and Andrew Cashner (shoulder) are currently on the disabled list. Ramon Ortiz will start in Zambrano's place Tuesday against the Nationals.
The 34-year-old Dempster is 5-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 18 starts.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 10:02 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Remember that awful movie Rookie of the Year where the kid throws the ball in from the Wrigley Field stands and is signed to a contract?
If you don't, here's the trailer (and bonus skinny Barry Bonds sighting):
Have they lined up a sequel?
OK, this guy's throw isn't exactly a throw to home on the fly, but close enough that Adam Dunn still would have swung at it. The fan threw Miguel Tejada's ball back after his homer, and watch as Tejada nearly gets hit by the throw rounding second and then beats him to the plate.
Sign that guy up! I mean, he can't be much worse than Casey Coleman.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:57 pm
By Evan Brunell
Carlos Beltran, Mets -- Well, Beltran certainly announced himself with authority, blasting three home runs including a stifling top-of-the-ninth inning shot to quell any shot the Rockies thought they had of a comeback as they had made noise each of the two innings previous. Beltran ended the day with three runs scored (duh) and six RBI, propelling the Mets to a 9-5 victory. Proving he's over his knee issues, Beltran now has eight homers on the year and a .295/.387/.590 line. Despite a hefty price tag and balky knees, it really does look like New York may be able to not only trade the right fielder, but extract some value in return.
Zach Britton, Orioles -- Man, this guy is just killing it and seems like a lock for the Rookie of the Year award already. Britton drove his ERA down to 2.42 by handcuffing the Mariners through nine, giving up just three hits, walking none and punching out five. Opponent Jason Vargas had a similar line, going nine with seven hits, one walk and four whiffs. Neither gave up a run, and this game went all the way into the 12th before Brandon League choked away a one-run lead by going like this: single-HBP-HBP-line out-single by J.J. Hardy. Despite the 12 innings, the game was played in a tidy 2:52. In other words, the end of the sixth inning of any of the Red Sox-Yankees game this weekend.
Yankees offense -- The end result was a loss, but the Yankees avoided striking out just once but Sean O'Sullivan was able to limit New York to four runs in 6 2/3 innings, adding two walks. You won't see a pitcher or offense lose too many games while avoiding going down by K. O'Sullivan has a respectable 3.79 ERA but it feels like the wheels should fall off anytime. But back to the Yankees -- it's the fourth time this season a team has avoided striking out, and the second time the team in question lost. (And yet, the losing team of the White Sox scored the most runs of all with seven -- go figure.) On a year-to-year basis, this happens roughly 10-20 times, so this won't be the last non-strikeout game we see in 2011.
Ivan Nova, Yankees -- Shows you what I know, right? Earlier Wednesday, the On Deck item suggested that Nova, who had impressed so far in the early going, should easily handle the Royals because Sean O'Sullivan was due for a regression. Uh, not so much. (Well, as detailed in the '3 up' section, O'Sullivan kinda got away with it.) Nova was blasted by the Royals and four Royals had 2 RBI apiece. The right-hander only got through 3 innings and three batters in the fourth before giving way to 31-year-old Cuban Amaury Sanit, who made his big-league debut with 4 2/3 innings of three-run ball and will certainly be farmed out. Nova coughed up an eye-popping 10 hits, giving up just four earned runs but eight total thanks to two errors and slogged through 73 pitches, walking two and whiffing none. K.C. was keyed into Nova right from the start; not much to do but hope the rookie can shake it off and move on.
Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, Nationals -- The Nats held tough for 11 innings before caving into a Brian McCann single to end the game, and it's tough to wonder what might have been if Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, respectively, had even attempted to make contact with the ball. OK, that's not fair -- they each did, once... but also struck out four times apiece. That's over half of the total strikeouts by Braves pitches, by the way. Werth has shown signs of snapping out of his slump recently, but this was a backbreaking slide back for him, while Desmond still hasn't figured things out at the plate.
Casey Coleman, Cubs -- Yuck. Coleman dished out six earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, allowing four free passes and zero swings and misses for a third strike. That spikes his ERA to 7.22 and it's clear Coleman needs plenty more seasoning in the minors. Problem: the Cubs have no one else to pitch. Literally. While Doug Davis is making his debut on Saturday, that only pushed James Russell out of the rotation and sadly, Coleman and his 7.22 ERA are the best option to round out the starting five until Randy Wells comes back. That can't come fast enough.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 23, 2011 1:51 am
By Evan Brunell
Anibal Sanchez, Marlins -- Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning but had to settle for a complete game one-hitter. He's already tossed a no-no, so the former Red Sox farmhand clearly has no-hit stuff -- he just needs to stay healthy. He finally got a full season in last year, and the 27-year-old appears on the verge of stardom. His ERA entering the game was 5.53, but given his 3.57 xFIP, that was bound to go down. It did, all the way to 3.55.
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- Think it's time to take Bautista for real? Plenty were skeptical about the former backup repeating his career year, but the 30-year-old has pretty solidly shown he's here to stay. He went 3 for 3 with two walks, a RBI and four runs and Toronto needed all of them to beat the Rays in 11, 6-4. Bautista is now hitting a cool .339/.480/.661 and pitchers clearly want nothing to do with him. If he does end up walking 136 times this year (what he is pacing), that would be the most bases on balls in a season since Barry Bonds walked a ludicrous 232 times in 2004. Bautista had 100 last year, so it could happen.
Cole Hamels, Phillies -- Hamels was a man among boys, going eight long before graciously allowing Ryan Madson to notch a save. He allowed just four hits and three walks and whiffed eight, blanking the Padres in a 2-0 victory. Every one of San Diego's starter except third baseman Alberto Gonzalez struck out, and even Gonzalez didn't have a full game as he was lifted after two at-bats. The No. 4 starter, Hamels is showing he belongs in the conversation with best pitchers in the game, as his ERA dipped below 3.00 to 2.92.
Rain -- The weather was not kind Friday, wiping out three games. The Yankees/Orioles, Nationals/Pirates and Indians/Twins games will have to be made up at another time. It's not that common you see three games wiped out and although every April people moan about rainouts, it feels especially bad this year, doesn't it?
Casey Coleman, Cubs -- Poor Chicago can't really do much here as it doesn't really have any options to replace Coleman; the Cubs have enough trouble trying to find a fifth starter. Colemans' ERA ballooned to 7.43 after Friday's debacle in which he handed the Dodgers six runs in just three innings. He whiffed four, but he also walked four. Coleman may have a decent career as a swingman for the Cubs, but the 23-year-old just doesn't have it this year.
Adam Dunn, White Sox -- Dunn is still recovering from an appendectomy, so you could excuse him for not getting in the groove just yet. Still, Friday showcased what you usually get from Dunn without any home runs -- an 0-for-4 skid with three strikeouts. Dunn's pacing for 178 strikeouts, which is nothing new for the slugger, but the White Sox will gladly take it if Dunn can swat 40 home runs. He's got two on the season, so has some catching up to do.
Posted on: April 16, 2011 6:25 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Carlos Gonzalez is out of the Rockies' lineup for tonight's game against the Cubs with a stiff lower back.
Gonzalez told Troy Renck of the Denver Post he should be fine tomorrow.
Gonzalez has struggled so far this season, hitting just .241/.288/.333 with one homer. That, he said, has nothing to do with his back.
"I am not swinging at strikes. I need to get back to that, and be more patient," he said. "I am playing good defense, but I am not helping the team offensively at all."
Gonzalez has just one hit in 14 at-bats against left-handers, and is hitting .300/.364/.425 against right-handers. His lone homer was against Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey on Thursday. He'll miss right-hander Casey Coleman tonight, but he'll face right-hander Ryan Dempster if he's able to play tomorrow.