Tagged: Brian Bogusevic

Borbon Designated…For Stupidity?

Almost immediately after the game yesterday, Julio Borbon was designated for assignment.  In the ninth inning, Borbon made a Grade A Stupid Play, bringing TOOTBLAN to a whole new level.

If you ask Dale Sveum, he would have you believe the two events are closely related, via Bruce Miles:

“That, obviously, was an unfortunate thing that happened.  It is a point that we just can’t keep having those things go on, and he’s had a few of them himself. So it was time to make an adjustment to the roster and see if somebody else can do the job.  Those are things that are controllable. You don’t have control over swinging at a slider in the dirt. Nobody’s wanting to do that. Those are physical things. Things you have complete control over is knowing the game and thinking ahead, understanding the ramifications. In that situation, you mean absolutely nothing at that point. You can literally stand on second base and not do anything, and everything will be perfectly fine.”

When I read that, I have to admit, my BS detector went nuts.  While Dale is correct when he points out that there have been multiple instances of Borbon running himself off the bases, he would also be correct if he said that about every Cub this season.  If he wanted to send a message about poor play, why does David DeJesus have a job?  He was completely brutal yesterday, and he’s had a number of concentration lapses that have directly led to runs scoring as an outfielder.

The answer is simple…Borbon was the 25th man.  He was probably on his way out the door soon, even if he would have hit a walk-off grand slam yesterday.  At some point in the near future, Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic are going to be coming back.  The Cubs have also been mighty left-handed this season.  At least for the time being, Donnie Murphy, who was added to the roster today, is a right handed hitter who has hit pretty well at AAA Iowa.

My guess is, he’ll be on the first bus back to Des Moines when either Sweeney or Bogusevic return.  And newcomer Cole Gillespie will likely get the boot, also.  Dale and the front office just happened to fall bass-ackwards into an opportune time to send a message to Junior Lake (who’s run into his share of stupid outs in just a couple of weeks), and the other youngsters who are watching the big league club from the minor leagues.  And he was right to do it.  It just doesn’t mean that what he said was the whole truth.

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Alfonso Soriano Traded To Yankees; A Lot of Questions Need Answering In His Absense

The Cubs and Yankees finalized the trade sending Alfonso Soriano to the Bronx today.  It breaks down as follows:

Yankees Get:  OF/DH Alfonso Soriano, Cash

Cubs Get:  RHP Corey Black

Corey Black pitched for the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League.  He throws in the mid to upper 90s, and has touched 100, according to some reports.  He’s had some issues with walks, but has the big fastball to go with an above average change up.  John Arguello from Cubs Den had the following to say about Black:

“Of all the names mentioned, he’s the one that intrigues me the most.  He’s undersized, but has similar athleticism and build as Travis Wood.  He can also bring it, able to pitch last year at 95-98 with sinking movement. Some reports have him touching 100 mph in the instructional league.  His changeup is solid and his secondaries lag behind, though the slider is further along than the curve.  He has struck out 9.58 batters per 9 innings and although he has walked 4.90 per 9 IP, he does have the kind of athleticism to repeat his delivery and develop better command.”

Soriano being moved means the Cubs no longer have a player with a no trade clause, which gives the front office free reign to deal at their heart’s desire.  Ultimately, that’s probably the best thing for the organization.  Theo Epstein

had some comments about the Soriano deal, via Carrie Muskat:

“I don’t look at this as a watershed moment, or a transformative moment at all.  It was simply the right time for Sori to move on and open up some at-bats for Junior Lake and when [Ryan] Sweeney and [Brian] Bogusevic come back from injury, now that [David] DeJesus is back from injury, we have a chance to find out about left-handed bats and some on-base skills and see who might be in the mix for next year. It was just the right time for this particular move.”

Dale Sveum also had some strong words about Alfonso Soriano (via Paul Sullivan and the Tribune)

“It’s emotional for all of us.  You don’t usually gather teams together that often when people get traded to say your goodbyes. That just shows what kind of person he is.”

And from Carrie Muskat

“You say you’re prepared for it, but I don’t think you’re really prepared to lose somebody of that nature.  All the things he brings to a team, the fourth hole, the character, the clubhouse, the leadership and everything. You just don’t replace that.”

And lastly…

With Soriano being traded, Jeff Samardzija is the longest tenured Cub, and the only one remaining from the 2008 season.  It also leaves a gaping hole in the “veteran leader” spot.  David DeJesus is the first, best candidate to fill that role, and with the team getting younger and younger, he really doesn’t have an alternative, as long as he himself is still a Cub.  It also means that the youngster Soriano mentored on being a professional, Starlin Castro, is going to be thrust into the position of being one of the veteran leaders, at just 23 years old.  Such is life when you’re the longest tenured position player on the roster.

The line-up is another issue altogether.  It appears there is some solution to left field and to the clean-up slot…

That is a perfectly good solution for the time being.  Realistically, Junior Lake is going to regress.  He’s a talented player, but his obscene start is going to cool off and his numbers are going to come back to earth.  Nate Schierholtz manning the clean-up spot (as long as he is also still a Cub) isn’t really a good solution, either.  Realistically, the best option in the fourth spot in the line up is Anthony Rizzo.  Ultimately, there will likely be a number of different line-up combinations that we see through the end of the season, as Dale Sveum gets new players and returning players to move in and out of the line up.

The one certainty this trade brings the Cubs for the remainder of the season is uncertainty.  While it will likely not get as ugly as last season dd, it does mean that Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Darwin Barney need to start performing at the level shown on the back of their baseball cards.  With difficulty comes opportunity.  It will be difficult to replace Soriano’s bat in the line-up, and there will be a number of players who get ample opportunity to prove they can do it.

Carlos Marmol Should Be Remembered As An All-Time Great Cub

The roster move we were promised to add a position player today was made…and it was a big one.  Carlos Marmol was designated for assignment.  While the celebration on Twitter was wide spread and the sentiment was overwhelmingly about this being long overdue, most fans are missing something vitally important:  Carlos Marmol was the most dominant reliever for about a four year span in the game.

Jed Hoyer said the move was made because Marmol had become a distraction, and “kind of a side show,” from Gordon Wittenmeyer. That’s very true.  But it is also not Marmol’s fault.  He became a distraction because of us.  He became a side show because of us.  As fans, we made him an event in his last year and a half with the Cubs.  So when he says, “I would say that the lack of support from the fans was part of the reason of the mental block that I suffered recently,” I refuse to blame him.

Between 2007 and 2010, Carlos Marmol was the gold standard.  He pitched in 59, 82, 79, and 77 games, respectively in those seasons, with an ERA of 2.54.  His slider was nasty to the point of untouchable when everyone in the building knew it was coming.  He was a rally stopper as a set-up man.  He would come into games in spots where giving up only one run would be a nice way to limit damage and shut it down.  In 2007, he had an ERA+ of 325!!!!!  That’s ridiculous on every level.  He averaged 12.9 K/9 between 2007 and 2010, with a mark of 16.0 K/9 in 2010, which was his first year as a closer.

Jed Hoyer is absolutely right when he says that we should “look at his Baseball Reference page and remember how good he was when he was at his best.” (From CSN’s Patrick Mooney) He was really, really good.

What is most embarrassing is that we’re going to celebrate Marmol being designated for assignment, and likely released.  We should be celebrating what he gave us.  He was thrilling to watch.  Electric in the 7th and 8th innings on two division champions.

Carlos Marmol is proof of what athletes are.  They are commodities.  They get used and discarded indiscriminately.  Hopefully, Carlos catches on with another team.  And I sincerely hope he never walks back into Wrigley Field.  He deserves better than the cascade of boos that will be showered upon him.

Oh yeah… Brian Bogusevic had his contract selected from Iowa to take his roster spot.