Monday, March 21, 2005


Catching up Can't...fully...recap

Hopefully during these last few, dark days of NCAA madness, people have been heading over to Bleed Cubbie Blue to follow the Cubs' action. For those who have, click away quickly lest you receive redundant news (quickly I said! click faster!). Let me explain what has happened in the last few days - no, there is too much, let me sum up (anyone know the movie? hint). DuBois hit another homer, solidifying his position as poorly used right-handed half of platoon, Zambrano pitched 6 shutout innings, striking out 9, and Angel Guzman had a solid 3 innings of 1 run ball. Also, Nomar hit 3 homers(giving him 5 on the spring), Chad Fox and Leicester have excelled, and most of the runs in relief have been given up by nobodies.

That was the the not-so-good. Rusch has been absolutely rocked has Dempster...and so has Mitre. Other not so good news, the recent Cub scores: 11-9 loss(vs. Sox), 11-4 loss (vs. Oak), 4-2 win (vs. Mill), and 9-5 loss (vs. Padres). This leads one to the conclusion that it would be just great if Wood and Prior decided to, you know, pitch this season. On that note...

Wood getting better, Prior discovers mound

Wood seems to be feeling pretty good recently, having thrown a simulated game, and is planning on pitching a real game any time now. Prior, apparently, successfully threw off the mound. That is the actual headline, although it seems to me that it should not be news that he successfully threw. I mean, I can throw off a mound successfully. I would like to hear that he threw well. But he threw 10-12 pitches off the mound (shouldn't they know the exact number?), including curveballs, and felt "pretty good." It seems the swelling has subsided (in his elbow), and he might be pitching a simulated game at some point. It would be just swell if these two pitch a non-simulated game as soon as possible.

Regarding the poor spring by Mitre and Rusch, finess pitchers tend to have a hard time of it in Spring Training due to the dry air causing the breaking balls not to break so well. Rusch had a terrible spring last year as well, enough to get cut by the Rangers, and we all know how well he pitched last year. So I wouldn't fret too much about that. I would, however, fret if we start the year with Mitre, Rusch, and Dempster carrying the backend of our rotation.

All that being said, I don't understand what is going to keep these injuries from re-ocurring just as soon as they start pitching again. I will remain cautiously optimistic right now, but I am very concerned.

Dempster is going for the Cubs today at 2:05 CT versus Kansas City. KC has had a way of making our pitching staff look good, and hopefully that will continue.

----------**Update (3:54)**-------------------------------------------
If I said something above about Dempster *not* getting completely rocked by the Royals, I take it back. The Royals scored 7 in the second. Gak.

I think the Cubs might come to regret not bringing in a proven #5 guy. Of course, Angel Guzman could probably do the job...
...if he wasn't restricted to 150 innings due to his bum shoulder. I think Rusch will be fine for a #5 starter. Not too many teams even have a decent #5 (last year should have been the golden year, with Maddux/Clement as our #5)
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