Off-Day Notebook (4/26/2012)
The Chicago Cubs are entering their series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a record of 6 and 13 and the team is currently in last place in the National League Central division. The Cubs are coming off a series against the St Louis Cardinals that saw the north siders take two from the Cardinals in walk-off fashion. The Cubs’ series against the Cardinals has renewed optimism among the Cubs’ fan base. But fans should take the series for what it really is. The series win for the Cubs against the Cardinals, the first of which the Cubs have had this season, should not change the direction of where the Cubs are headed for the 2012 season. The Cubs are going to win games that they probably shouldn’t. But, the team is also going to lose their fair share of games. Though, Cubs’ fans can celebrate one thing, and that is that Cardinals’ fans were pissed after the Cardinals dropped two out of three games to the Cubs.
The Cubs are off today, and with that in mind, lets open up the off-day notebook once again.
- There has been plenty of discussions about the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen so far in the 2012 season. The main subject of those conversations has been closer Carlos Marmol. Marmol has continued his ineffectiveness from the 2011 season as the closer already has two blown saves to go along with an ERA of 5.40 while issuing 6 base on balls. Manager Dale Sveum has yet to stray from Marmol being the team’s closer. But if Marmol’s string of ineffectiveness continues, Sveum may be left with no choice. Kerry Wood is injured, and should not be considered as a replacement to Marmol. The pitcher who I want to see be given an opportunity is Rafael Dolis. Dolis has slid into the eighth inning role while Wood has been injured, and has been relatively impressive. Dolis is a power pitcher and would seem to have the potential to be a successful closer with his arsenal of pitches. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may have the same thought process. I would expect the Cubs to try and trade Marmol at some point this season, with Dolis being given an opportunity to be the team’s closer.
- Gerardo Concepcion made his professional debut on Wednesday night with the Peoria Chiefs. After his start, various reports had headlines such as “Concepcion shelled in his debut”, “Concepcion rocked in first start”, etc. That is partially true. Concepcion gave up five runs on six hits and one base on ball while striking out two batters in five innings of work. Concepcion gave up all five runs in the first inning of the game, before pitching a shutout for the next four innings. So Concepcion was rocked, but at the same time, the prospect showed good poise by coming back pitching four shutout innings after a rough first inning.
- Artist John Hanley is releasing a photo of Ron Santo, that can be viewed and bought by clicking here. Hanley is donating a portion of the proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Santo’s memory. As you remember when Ronnie was with us, he was a big supporter of JDRF. This is an opportunity for Cubs’ fans to have Ron Santo a part of your home decor, in addition to contributing to a great cause.