Slowly working my way off the DL here. A big thanks to the docs and nurses (the unsung heroes of the medical profession) at Northwest Community Hospital for their great care during some outpatient surgery the other day. Hope to be back at Wrigley next Wednesday after clearance from the surgeon.
[UPDATE: The Cubs placed pitcher Rich Harden on the DL today to make room for Carlos Zambrano, who comes off the DL to face the Padres tonight. Harden has what the Cubs describe as a mid-back strain. They say he felt it in his last start and during his side session this week in St. Louis. Randy Wells will start Saturday in place of Harden.]
Pretty eventful week for the Cubs, who head to San Diego for a meeting (on the field) with Jake Peavy and the Pads. Even though Peavy turned down the Sox, I can't see him coming to the Cubs until this ownership situation is settled. So relax on this one. And it's high time somebody tells the Padres that it's really unfair to the players involved (on all teams) to have their names floated and "deals" announced before they happen. In the end, Peavy wound up looking like the bad guy in all this. Maybe next time, Padres GM Kevin Towers can go to Peavy beforehand and tell him what he's working on and ask him how he feels about it.
Let's get to the Cubs, everything from Soriano to David Patton to some of the godawful numbers the offense is putting up.
First of all, there's no way Lou is moving Sori to second base. Simply ain't happening. Soriano hasn't played second base in years, and he's a fielding and health risk there. Ostensibly, Lou wants to get Micah Hoffpauir in the lineup more. To do that, he can cut into D-Lee's playing time a little bit or spot Hoffpauir in right for Bradley now and then. Whenever the Cubs stop hitting, Lou goes off on these things where he thinks out loud. It makes for great copy, but most of it never happens, or the ideas last a day or two.
The other day, I blogged that the Cubs had to do something with Rule 5 pick David Patton, the reliever who hasn't relieved since May 9. I maintained, and still do, that it's unfair for Patton to be sitting in the big leagues when he could be working on his craft in the minor leagues, even if it means sending him back to the Rockies organization. I suspect this will come to a head sooner rather than later, from what I'm being told. In an ideal world, the Cubs would either get Patton through waivers or bite the bullet and send him back to the Rockies. From there, they could call up Jake Fox from Iowa and go with 11 pitchers. All by themselves, the Cubs have proven what folly it is to carry 12. They have 12 on the roster, but they're using 11 without benfit of the extra position player.
Let's take a look at some of those offensive numbers.
In order, they are batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS
What jumps out to me are Soto's slugging percentage (.275), everything about Lee, everything about Bradley (although he hit the ball hard last night), Fontenot's free fall and Theriot's OBP. Theriot's OPS of .810 is all well and good, but he hasn't walked since the May 14 game against the Padres at Wrigley. His value is in getting on base.
GM Jim Hendry isn't worried about the Peavy business right now and nor should he be. And he maintains to me that guys like Bradley, Soriano and Lee will hit. I think Bradley will come around, and Soriano will be Soriano. Lee, I'm not so sure. I think it is time to give Hoffpauir some ABs, but it's not going to come with Soriano playing second base.
More tonight as I keep an eye on Cubs-Padres at 9.