For discussion of the move of Ryan Dempster to the DL, go to this post.
While many of you are otherwise interested in discussing the upcoming change in ownership, the reality is that there are likely going to be many months going by before the handshakes happen in public and the keys are figuratively (or literally) handed over. For now, it's business as usual, and with 24 days till the non-waiver trading deadline, things may be pretty quiet:
General manager Jim Hendry hinted on Monday the Cubs may not do much at the trading deadline, whether the Ricketts family is officially in control of the team or not.
"I've always said I'll wait until the owner is in place to talk about what he may or may not want to do," Hendry said. "At the same time, look at our roster today -- we have a pretty good team. If our guys all play like we're capable of, most of them, you don't have to do a whole lot of things. There aren't a whole lot of places to fit somebody in if we perform the way we're supposed to."
Obviously, Hendry's stretching it a bit -- this team could use some bullpen help and another bat, but it is also clear that several Cubs (Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley, Mike Fontenot and Geovany Soto) are well below their norms. The other complicating factor is the number of teams still considering themselves in playoff contention. As of the start of play tonight there are 22 teams within six games of a playoff spot. More than half of those are legitimate contenders, and the rest are one hot streak away from contention. How many of those teams are selling right now? None. I wouldn't expect anything major to happen before the All-Star break, and maybe not until a couple of days before the deadline of July 31. This isn't a year like last, when CC Sabathia and Rich Harden were dealt into the NL Central within a couple of days of each other in early July.
In the meantime there are games to be won, beginning tonight.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Carlos Zambrano||4-3||20||14||0||0||0||0||90.0||80||38||35||7||38||69||3.50||1.31|
|2009 - Javier Vazquez||5-7||18||17||1||0||0||0||112.0||97||41||38||10||23||130||3.05||1.07|
The Braves have won only two of Javier Vazquez's last eight starts; the primary reason for that is that they have scored a total of 16 runs in those starts. Two of those runs were scored for him in the rainout makeup game vs. the Cubs in Atlanta on June 22, resulting in a 2-0 Braves win during the Cubs' non-run-scoring period last month. The on-fire Derrek Lee loves to hit vs. Vazquez (23-for-51, .396, seven doubles, three HR).
Z last faced the Braves on June 12, 2008 at Wrigley Field. Even one year later there has been significant turnover on the Atlanta roster; check out the boxscore (that was the game the Cubs won when Reed Johnson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 11th inning). Lifetime Z is 2-2, 4.62 in 10 career starts against the Braves. Jeff Francoeur, who has been benched recently, might get the start as he has homered twice off Z in 14 career AB. (Note: Z's total of 20 games appeared in includes his six PH appearances.)
Today's game will be available nationally on WGN; the EI feed likely gets SportSouth. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.