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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2008 » April

The Chicago Cubs place Alfonso Soriano on the D.L.

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Friday 18 April 2008 at 10:01 pm

The Cubs have placed OF Alfonso Soriano on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf. He was off to a rough start this year for the Cubs. In his first 13 games, Soriano is 10 for 57 (.175 avg, .528 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 2 homers, 5 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Cubs have recalled Eric Patterson to replace Soriano on the roster. He has played in 3 games this season for the Cubs and he is 0 for 6 with 1 RBI and 1 stolen base so far this year. The Cubs need Soriano back and quickly.

The bullpen appears deep for the Chicago Cubs in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 4 April 2008 at 6:12 pm

The Cubs appear to have a really deep bullpen for the 2008 season. 31-year old righty Kerry Wood will be the stopper for the Cubs this season and he should do a really good job in this role. He pitched in 22 games (0 starts) last season for the Cubs and he was 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He also whiffed 24 batters in 24.1 innings last season which shows his stuff if still pretty nasty. Wood has now pitched in 211 games (178 starts) in his major league career and he is 72-57 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He also has whiffed an amazing 1,323 batters in 1,153 career innings in the majors. Wood will do a good job as long as he can remain healthy which is always iffy.

25-year old righty Carlos Marmol will be the top set-up man this season and he has the best pure stuff on the pitching staff. Marmol pitched in 59 games (0 starts) last season for the Cubs and he was 5-1 with 1 save, a 1.43 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He only allowed 41 hits and whiffed an amazing 96 batters in only 69.1 innings which shows how helpless major league batters were against him last season. If Wood gets hurt again this season, Marmol will take over as the closer.

34-year old righty Bobby Howry will also be an important reliever late in games for the Cubs this season. He pitched in 78 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 6-7 with 8 saves, a 3.32 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Howry could also get some saves this season as he is a solid late reliever.

29-year old righty Mike Wuertz is also a fireballer. He pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He also whiffed 79 batters in 72.1 innings which shows that he can dominate any outing.

25-year old lefty Carmen Pignatiello will be the lone lefty in the bullpen for the Cubs when the season starts. He pitched in 4 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He also pitched in 50 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 2-0 with 4 saves, a 2.43 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Pignatiello will have to prove himself quickly before Scott Eyre returns from the D.L. if he wants to keep his job in the Cubs’ pen.

36-year old lefty Scott Eyre will start the season on the D.L. He pitched in 55 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. He walked an amazing 35 batters in only 52.1 innings last season and Lou Piniella won’t tolerate that again this season so Eyre better straighten up when he gets healthy.

28-year old lefty Neal Cotts will begin the season in the minors. He pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He has good stuff but he needs to maintain his focus in outings.

23-year old righty Jose Ascaino will also start the season in the minors but the Cubs will likely call him up at some point in 2008. He pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Braves last season and he was 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He also pitched in 44 games (1 start) in AA ball last season and he was 2-2 with 10 saves, a 2.54 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

The Chicago Cubs’ rotation is good and deep for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 1 April 2008 at 3:06 pm

The Cubs have a deep and talented rotation and it all begins with 27-year old righty Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano started 34 games last season for the Cubs and he is 18-13 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He is exciting to watch pitch because he gets so wound up during games. Over the last two seasons, Zambrano has thrown 430.1 innings and he has allowed 349 hits, walked 216 batters and whiffed 387 batters. Look for Zambrano to have better numbers this season than he had last year.

32-year old lefty Ted Lilly really stepped up last season as he had the best year of his career. He started 34 games for the Cubs last season and he was 15-8 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Look for Lilly to have another good season for the Cubs in 2008.

28-year old lefty Rich Hill probably has the best stuff of any starter on the Cubs staff. He started 32 games for the Cubs last season and he was 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Look for Hill to win more games than he did last season as the Cubs appear to have a better team than they had last season.

31-year old righty Ryan Dempster will be moving into the Cubs’ rotation this season. He pitched in 66 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 2-7 with 28 saves, a 4.73 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He has a career record of 59-75 with 87 saves, a 4.82 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Don’t look for him to hold onto a rotation spot all season long with Sean Marshall and Jon Lieber on the Cubs’ roster.

29-year old righty Jason Marquis will be the #5 starter for the Cubs this season. He pitched in 34 games (33 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 12-9 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Marquis, like Dempster, will have to pitch well to hold onto his rotation spot all season.

38-year old righty Jon Lieber will be the long man in the bullpen at the start of the season but he will be the first pitcher moved into the starting rotation if the Cubs need someone. He pitched in 14 games (12 starts) last season for the Phillies and he is 3-6 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Lieber is a better pitcher than Ryan Dempster so look for them to switch roles at some point in 2008.

25-year old lefty Sean Marshall will start the season in AAA-ball but the Cubs won’t hesitate to call him up if they need a starting pitcher in 2008. He pitched in 21 games (19 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 7-8 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Marshall will also likely be good trade bait if the Cubs want/need something later in the year.

22-year old righty Sean Gallagher is one of the better prospects in the Cubs’ system. He pitched in 8 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 0-0 with a 8.59 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP. He also started 19 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 10-3 with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

25-year old righty Kevin Hart also could get a look in the rotation at some point in 2008 for the Cubs. He pitched in 8 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 0-0 with a 0.82 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He pitched in 27 games (25 starts) in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 12-6 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A-

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