Tag:Matt Garza
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:34 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 1:16 pm

Getting to know the Cubs

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Quade

KNOBLER: Cubs Camp Report -- All Smiles


MVP usually stands for Most Valuable Player -- but a player may not be the most valuable for the Cubs this season, instead the most valuable person could be manager Mike Quade. Quade didn't inherit the easiest job in the world -- the fact that it's been more than 100 years since the Cubs won the World Series is proof. Between managing the Psychiatrists' Row Rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva and Matt Garza and juggling a lineup full with the overpriced (Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome), the past-their-prime (Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena) and the unproven (Starlin Castro), Quade's got some interesting parts, but it could just as easily spin out of control as it is to work out.

PLAYER ORACLE : Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown to Carlos Marmol

Mordecai Brown played with Bob O'Farrell for the 1916 Chicago Cubs

Bob O'Farrell played with Phil Cavarretta for the 1934 Chicago Cubs

Phil Cavarretta played with Minnie Minoso for the 1955 Chicago White Sox

Minnie Minoso played with Rich Gossage for the 1976 Chicago White Sox

Rich Gossage played with Greg Maddux for the 1988 Chicago Cubs

Greg Maddux played with Carlos Marmol for the 2006 Chicago Cubs


Whenever the Cubs win at Wrigley Field, they play a song called Go, Cubs, Go and the entire crowd sings along. The song was written in 1984 by Steve Goodman, a Chicago native and Cubs fan.

However, Go, Cubs, Go is just one of three Cubs song written by Goodman, along with A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request and When the Cubs Go Marching In . The former is his masterpiece (and that's saying something when you're talking about the guy who wrote The City of New Orleans and You Never Even Called Me By My Name ) and also the impetus for Go Cubs Go .

When then-Cubs GM Dallas Green called A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request "depressing," Goodman wrote Go, Cubs, Go out of spite. Goodman, was a realistic Cubs fan -- when he sang Take Me Out To the Ballgame he switched the lyrics to, "It's root, root, root, for the home team, if they don't win, what else is new," and A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request is written in that tone. The kicker to the song is:

The dying man's friends told him to cut it out

They said stop it that's an awful shame

He whispered, "Don't Cry, we'll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame

He said, "I've got season's tickets to watch the Angels now,

So its just what I'm going to do

He said, "but you the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs,

So its me that feels sorry for you!"

Goodman debuted the song in 1983, and then he died of leukemia on Sept. 20, 1984. Four days later, the Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title, only to fall to the Padres in the National League Championship Series. 

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:38 pm

Reminder, at this point results mean little

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

You hear so often not to read too much into spring training results, especially early in the season. With established starters, this can be even more important to remember.

This early, many pitchers are working on specific things, not worrying about the results.

Roy HalladayHere's bits from three different established starters saying they only threw fastball and changeups.

Roy Halladay told David Hale of the News Journal that he wouldn't throw anything more than those two pitches until after three starts.

That said, he's working on a couple of other things.

"There's a couple of things I want to try, but for the most part, the biggest thing is just getting back comfortable," Halladay said.

He gave up two hits and a walk, striking out one batter in two innings on Monday.

New Cubs starter Matt Garza didn't have equal results with a similar repertoire, allowing five runs and five hits, including a grand slam by Coco Crisp in two innings.

"It's spring," Garza told Yahoo! Sports' David Brown. "I wasn't throwing any breaking balls today. It was mainly fastball and changeup. My location was off, but like I said, it's spring. At least the ball felt good coming out of my hand. It felt like I was very explosive toward home plate. Everything that needs to be there, is there."

New Brewer Shaun Marcum's results were between the two -- allowing four hits and two runs with three strikeouts -- but his arsenal was the same, just fastballs and changeups.

"I felt pretty good; just missed location with a couple of pitches," Marcum said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel. "I wanted to work on throwing inside to left-handers. I struggled with it in batting practice. Obviously, it needs more work because we didn't get it in there today."

I've had pitchers tell me they'll go into a spring start concentrating on just one pitch, or one location -- and while older batters will sit back and track some pitches just to try to see more pitches early in the spring, while younger players hoping to make the club will pay attention to that and jump on a veteran pitcher. That's why the boxscores don't matter much in Florida and Arizona, this soon. But the time to start paying attention isn't too far around the corner.

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 1:05 pm

Dempster draws Opening Day start for Cubs


It's not yet March, but manager Mike Quade of the Cubs already knows who is starting opening day: Ryan Dempster, as MLB.com reveals.

That's actually rather significant in Chicago, as Carlos Zambrano had started the previous six openers. Zambrano had previously said he wanted the start, but would go along with whatever was decided. Big Z had a complicated 2010 -- to say the least -- but did finish with an overall 3.33 ERA in 20 starts and 16 relief appearances, posting a 1.40 ERA in his final 11 starts.

But Dempster was in the rotation the entire season for the third straight year after converting back to being a starter. His 3.85 ERA in 215 1/3 innings is a high since converting, but Dempster was the clear choice

"There's some instinct here for me," Quade said. "I do pay attention to numbers, but you weigh it out and keep looking and it's him, him, him, and finally I said, 'this is the way we're going.'

"You think about Z's finish and Demp battling all year long and doing a good job," he added. "If there was something I lost sleep over, it was the two guys who have been with us and who gets the shot. I think I just thought we'd change it up a little. Z's done it. Let's see how it plays."

Part of Quade's decision was influenced by the ability to have Zambrano lined up to battle the Brewers during the April 8-10 series. The mercurial right-hander has long had success in Milwaukee's Miller Park, including tossing a no-hitter against the Astros in 2008 when weather conditions forced a move from Minute Maid Park to Miller Park.

The third spot in the rotation will be handled by Matt Garza, while the final two spots will be filled by Randy Wells, James Russell, Carlos Silva or Andrew Cashner. Garza's spot in the rotation will allow him to ease into his new surroundings by scouting the Pirates and Wrigley Field for two games before being asked to take the hill.

With the front three settled, pitching coach Mark Riggins can get moving on lining up the spring training rotation to accede to Quade's wishe.

"They're all going to need to pitch well," Quade said. "It's opening day and a big deal, but I looked at matchups going into Milwaukee, and so on and so forth. Riggs needs to know by [Tuesday], so what am I waiting for?"

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 6:06 pm

Silva confident in rotation spot

Carlos Silva
Well, there's one thing off Mike Quade's plate this spring. Carlos Silva has decided he's in the Cubs rotation.

"Yesterday, someone asked me, 'Are the fourth and fifth spots still open?'" Silva told reporters Tuesday. "For them, it's open. For whoever is competing, it's open. For me, there's only one spot open because I am one of the starters. They think like that, not me."

Silva can be commended for using the power of positive thinking, but it's not quite that simple. Behind the set trio of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Carlos Zambrano, there is a lot that could happen. Silva is in a mix with Randy Wells, Jeff Zamardzija, Casey Coleman and Andrew Cashner.

Silva, brought in last winter from Seattle in an exchange of bad contracts that sent out Milton Bradley, stunned everyone with a big start, going 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA in the first half of the season. The second half was derailed by a heart issue and an elbow problem.

Quade said nobody has earned anything yet, including Silva.

"His experience speaks for itself and his start last year was fantastic," Quade told MLB.com, "but there are a few guarantees in this game and I'm not sure the back end of this rotation has got anybody guaranteed anything. He does have the experience. I expect him to be a prominent consideration. We'll see."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:23 am

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

Theo Epstein The Red Sox had a "town hall" with fans last night on NESN, and there was a whole lot of Sox talk -- but one of the things I found interesting (or at least more interesting than the on-going Red Sox-Yankees banter) was general manager Theo Epstein's opinion on the Rays via the St. Petersburg Times):
"I think the demise of the Rays is greatly exaggerated. Even before those moves we never erased them at all from our radar. I think they’re uniquely positioned to lose some really good players and keep their status as one of the best teams in baseball, given the strength of their farm system and the players they have ready to step in. They lose [Matt] Garza, they have [Jeremy] Hellickson to step in. They lose [Carl] Crawford they have [Desmond] Jennings and [Matt] Joyce to step in. They're going to be real tough.''
I'm not sure the Rays are the class of the American League East, but it would be important to note that they're not going to revert to the Devil Rays just because Crawford is gone.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 11:14 pm

Trout leads MLB.com's prospect list

Mike Trout MLB.com unveiled its Top 50 prospect list in a special on MLB Network with Angels outfielder Mike Trout, pictured, leading the list -- you can see the entire list here , plus video highlights for each player.

It's no surprise Trout led the list and even less of a surprise that the Royals had six prospects in the top 50, more than any other team. Tampa Bay had four, while the Braves, Reds, Rockies, Yankees, Mariners and Blue Jays had three prospects on the lsit.

Four teams -- the Mets, Marlins, Brewers and A's -- weren't represented, while 14 teams had one player on the list.

Jake Odorizzi, the right-hander sent to Kansas City in exchange for Zack Greinke, was No. 37 on the list, while Chris Archer, who was sent from the Cubs to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, was ranked No. 47. Casey Kelly, one of the prospects sent from the Red Sox to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, was ranked No. 22.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Cubs looking to fill rotation from within

James Russell Left-hander James Russell will compete for a spot in the Cubs' starting rotation, manager Mike Quade told the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan .

Russell was 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 57 appearances out of the bullpen for the Cubs as a rookie in 2010. He struck out 42 in 49 innings, while walking 11 and allowing 55 hits. He gave up 11 home runs, two for every nine innings pitched.

"I don't get too worked up early on, because, bang, all of a sudden you blink and things change," Quade said. "All of a sudden you've got two additions [in Matt Garza and Kerry Wood] who have specific roles and have earned them, and now it puts the kids and a lot of the other people in flux. The idea that you can never have enough pitching is huge. We'll see how the back end looks as it shakes out."

Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are already pencilled in for the team's rotation, with Russell, Carlos Silva, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Samardzija battling for the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:04 am

Rangers may not be done yet

Jon Daniels Coming off a World Series appearance, the Rangers have been anything but content this offseason. Few teams have been as active in the free agent market as Texas.

General manager Jon Daniels has reached high -- Cliff Lee -- and missed, but also reacted by signing the likes of Adrian Beltre and Yorvit Torrealba along with reliever Arthur Rhodes and took a risk on former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb. The team was also in on trades for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza.

Under new ownership, the Rangers have been aggressive and shown they aren't content with what they've done. That hasn't stopped even after an offseason spending spree.

"There are still some things we're going to look into," Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . "This may be the club we go to camp with. We're confident if it is.

"But there's a chance we'll try to improve as well."

Wilson notes the team could still be interested in other "risk-reward types" such as Jeff Francis and Bartolo Colon.

There's also the off chance the team could go after the top remaining free agent, Rafael Soriano, and move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. It may be a long-shot, but with the Rangers, it seems anything's possible.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com