Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Free Jermaine!

I feel like there is some sort of bias going on again poor Jermaine Van Buren. Maybe it's because the name Jermaine doesn't really go with Van Buren? Maybe they fear he's one of the Van Buren boys? Most probably it has something to do with the 40 man roster, but who cares. The important thing is I want him to get a chance against Major League hitting.

So far, VB has clocked in with a 1.75 ERA in 25 relief innings which, it turns out, is very good work. Actually, it is better work than any other reliever in AAA. Roberto Novoa, aka Johnny Jerked-Around, has bounce back and forth between AAA and the majors like a superball in a broom closet while VB is stuck in the minors. This is a sad reality of the politics of the 40 man roster. Of course, once you realize that Jose Macias is filling one of those slots, logic goes out the window. But that's life as a Cub fan.

This isn't the first taste of success that J-VanB has experienced in professional baseball, as most of you probably know. The Burenator posted sub-2 ERAs at both single and double A last year, and had a slightly-higher-than-2 ERA at AAA. And now, of course, he is eating up AAA. Raise your hand if you think he'd enjoy the majors. Me too. So let's start the campaign now. No more Novoa, no more wasting 40 man roster space. He's earned a spot and so he should have one. Free JVB!

The not-Koronka watch

Hopefully Koronka proves me wrong tonight, but I am also looking very closely at anyone who can fill the void created by Koronka being not-so-good. Yes, he has been his own personal void on the mound. He's the void-bringer.

Jerome Williams, brought over in the LaTroy purge, has been pretty good at AAA Iowa, sporting a 2.95 ERA in 3 starts, with 13 strikeouts and only 3 walks. Solid numbers from someone who has proven himself in the past to be a quality major leaguer. If Koronka doesn't put on a solid show at Wirgley tonight, I think we might see the fruits of the LaTroy departure.

Jonathan

There is an obvious explanation for not bring up these two players. The cubs already have a Jeromy, and a Jerry. Adding a Jermaine and a Jerome would be way too confusing.

Another possible explanation is that Bud Selig has implemented a little known J name limit for Major Leauge rosters. In addition to the above names, they have a Jason, a Jose, a John, and a Joe. You could even argue that a Glendon and Greg is too close to the sound of a J.

Dusty Baylor

Thank You!!! JVB has pitched more than solidly, and has been arguably the Iowa Cubs' best reliever. I'll take a guy who has succes over a "potential" or "tools" guy anyday.
And I think that the Koronka clock is ticking....nice guy, but strictly a future LOOGY or AAA annon fodder.

10man

Just one more reason why Koronka was mystifylingly added by Hendry to the 40-man roster in the first place (see Sisco, Andy & Rule V draft). I am optimistic though that as the trade deadline approaches, we will see the Cubs make some moves which will free up a roster spot. If not, we will definitely get a glimpse of Jermaine in September and hopefully he gets a legitimate shot come spring of '06.

Jason R.

I think the not-Koronka watch has hit critical mass. Somehow I think he will get one more start, but I'm not really sure why. What do the Cubs see in this guy?

Bones

10man - Sisco couldn't even make the Royals starting rotation out of spring training. A rotation which is likely one of the worst assembled in recent MLB history. He had a nice April coming out of the bullpen, but turned in a poor May, near 5 ERA with 11BBs in 13IP. He has been characterized as a kid with an attitude problem and a poor work ethic. Sorry this team doesn't need any more players with attitude and/or work ethic problems. Hendry spent the off-season purging the team of just this type of player.

Jason R.

I'm thinking either Bartosh or Borowski have to go. Let JVB have a turn. Unfortunately, I'm going with Borowski as the odd name out. Give him his unconditional release. Sad but true.

CT

Jason,
I agree with you, but would go with the other guy. Cliff Bartosh has done nothing since coming over from Cleveland, and it's obvious that Dusty has no faith in the guy.

Jason R.

Yeah, but doesn't Bartosh have to clear waivers if he is sent down? At least he has some potential, while Borowski appears way done. And believe me, it pains me to say this. I love JoBo.

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