Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Posts Tagged ‘Lou Piniella’

Pirates 3, Cubs 2; Miles called up to Cards

Posted by dannmckeegan on June 1, 2010

To get it out of the way:  St. Louis called up washed-up grinder Aaron Miles from their minor leagues on Tuesday.  Why, the world may never know.  Perhaps he knows how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.  I bet that’s nagged at Tony and Dunk a long time.

It was interesting to see Lou Piniella run out a lineup on Tuesday that was even more scrub-tastic than a “Sunday lineup.”  While Lou has shown hints of doing so earlier this season, Tuesday night was the first display of a full-on “Eff You” lineup directed at the media.  He sat his starting catcher, first baseman, third baseman, center fielder, and putative second baseman (who started the season as the shortstop).

You think Lee sucks?  Well here’s Xavier Nady (4-4, with a double and a 2-run homer).

You want more Tyler Colvin?  Guess what.  He’s the damn cleanup hitter (0-3, 2 K, 1 BB).

You want Ramirez out of there?  Enjoy Jeff Baker against a right-handed starter (0-3, 1 K, 1 BB).

Castro should move up in the order?  Done; he’s hitting second (0-4, 3 LOB).

Again, Lou probably left his starter in for too many pitches.  Lilly threw a fine ballgame, and a starter can never be blamed for losing a game in giving up 3 runs on 6 hits through 7.2 IP.  Simply put, the offense is to blame.  Against winning pitcher Joel Hanrahan in the 8th inning, Soriano (2), Fontenot (4), and Baker (1) saw a combined 7 pitches.  Seven.  In the 9th against Dotel, pinch hitter Lee (2-0), double-switched Byrd (1-0), and Fukudome (2-0) each had advantageous counts.  The result?  Strikeout.  Strikeout.  Foulout.

This can’t keep going on.  Jeff Baker isn’t really doing much to keep his spot here any more than he previously did with Colorado.  Quick – name something good he’s done this year outside of his two home runs early on.  Koyie Hill actually got a hit in the game; bully for him!  But with Welington Castillo at Triple A (.244 BA, but 6 HR in 24 G; reputedly a defensive +) and Robinson Chirinos at Double A (.347/.406/.628 with 13 doubles, 7 HR, 25 RBI, and 13 BB/11K in just 34 games), at some point shouldn’t the team consider making a few more minor tweaks with the bottom of the roster?  The only Koyie concern is his handling of Silva.  I’d hate to lose that.  But still…


The home run/steroid/current era write-up is taking way longer than expected.  Hopefully I’ll have it by Friday.  As a note, I had to stop trying to read The Baseball Economists.  I respect arguments that disagree with my beliefs.  I respect arguments that oppose conventional wisdom.  But reasoning from false premises is not worth the hours of my life.


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NL Central Injury Report

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 27, 2010

A few injuries and ailments are currently becoming big issues in the National League Central.  St. Louis has two starting pitchers out; Chicago has a trio of impaired third basemen and a pitcher with a mystery ailment; Cincinnati is becoming beleaguered across the field; Milwaukee says, “I’ll show you beleaguered;”  the Pirates have their fair share; and the last-place Astros thankfully are sneaking by with decent health. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cubs Sign Howry, Option Berg, DFA Patton

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 21, 2010

Veteran bad pitcher Bob Howry will be in uniform tonight when the Cubs take on the Rangers at the Ballpark at Arlington.  Unfortunately, it won’t be a Rangers uniform.  Howry’s career numbers look just  fine, but he doesn’t have much left in the tank.  He was so bad, Arizona let him go. In 14.1 IP for the DBacks, Howry K’d 6, walked 6, and served up 6 home runs.  He’s allowed 91 homers in 767 innings in a career that began in 1998 on the South Side.

His .245 batting average against and .287 BABIP against are attractive, but the average against has been around .310 in both 2010 and 2008.  The 2.62 K/BB rate, similarly looks great until we see the year-to-year inconsistencies.

He’s lost about 2-3 mph off of all three of his pitches, a fastball (92.4 to 89.8), a slider (85 to 82.7), and a change (85.1 to 83).  His fastball has always been his bread and butter, a pitch he likes to throw about 75% of the time.  The slider is a 15-20% pitcher, and the change is somewhere near 5%.

People are swinging more, but making just about the same kind of contact.  That generally means he, well, sucks now.

How much he sucks will be the question.  There is a suck spot open on the roster with Esmailin Caridad on the DL and Jeff Stevens having a nice inning against the Phillies.  Justin Berg will be sent toward Iowa, but odds are 10:3 that he misses Des Moines on four straight attempts and ends up walking back from Ames.  To make room for Howry on the 40-man roster, David Patton was DFA’d.

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Demote Tyler Colvin

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 16, 2010

With the team’s early struggles leading to a sub-.500 record, the specter of a losing season in spite of the team’s unwieldy payroll looms.  The reassignment of Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen and the slow starts of both Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee have soured many fans on the team as a whole, especially the tenured veterans who were part of the 2007 and 2008 playoff rosters.

That’s why it is time that the Cubs send Tyler Colvin down to Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

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