Goatriders of the Apocalypse

And now, a word from Cold Hard Reality

If you have not done so, please check out the Blue Kool Aid Party.

Now, please notice I have attached the "bullpen" tag to this post.  For we only have about 3/7th of one right now.  Sweet Lou is only comfortable in using Carlos Marmol, Aaron Heilman, and Kevin Gregg, and he also knows that as long as Gregg's knee is screwed up, Gregg is only good for one inning - in fact, only one warmup.

Anyone watching lately can attest to Lou's growing disgust with Neal Cotts, although in Cotts' defense, he was never a LOOGY, and should not be used like one.  And it is fortunate I am having a bowl of cereal as a post-dinner snack, because I have my milk carton out, and on it is pictures of Angel Guzman, David Patton and Luis Vizcaino.  I'm surprised Kurt isn't batshit crazee right now, because it looks like his mancrush Marmol is gonna pitch even MORE innings than last year!

We're not winning 110 games with a three-man bullpen.  Heck, we're not winning 95 games with a three-man bullpen.  Considering the strength of our starting five, along with the dynamic offense, I think we'd finish above .500 with a three-man bullpen, and we would be DAMN happy to do so,

It is true that our starting staff is stronger than what we started with last year.  It is also true that with a functioning Milton Bradley, a healthy Alfonso Soriano and a maturing Geo Soto, our offense is better than what we started with last year.

But, we can only run out Heilman, Marmol and Gregg three, maybe four days a week and retain their effectiveness.  Maybe Cotts would be able to mop up a couple of innings now and again.  But I have seen absolutely ZIP that suggests to me that Angel Guzman is an effective reliever.  He has been given chance after chance - hell, he's been rehabbing longer than Mary Prior!!  Cut his ass loose already.  As for Vizcaino and Patton - I have no idea what they can do.  Vizcaino pretty much sucked this spring, but he makes $4 million, which is a mere sliver of the current $135 million payroll.  Are we going to piss away the remaining $131 million to save the 4??  Patton has never pitched about Class A - the time is here, now, to throw him out there to see what he can do.  Heilman's arm is going to fall off if he has to pitch every spare inning before we can get to Marmol and Gregg.

Sorry, the glass ain't full of Kool Aid here.  Not yet, not as long as Lou is scared to use his entire pen.

Don't worry ...

Don't worry, Rob. Be happy. Harden will pitch a dozen or so complete games.


ain't that what the kids say?

ROFLCOPTER to the rescue!!!!

L _/ [] \
LOL===_ \
L \_________]

____________________________/ \____________________\O/______________

I guess the comment field

is not ASCII art friendly. Ooops.


It's always pleasing to spread some laughter.
On that note, I'm out....


Are you seriously saying that with the current bullpen they'd be lucky to finish above .500, or are you saying that with a literal three man bullpen they've finish around .500? That is, a staff of 8 people?

Because I can't believe that you would think that this team, with it's current bullpen, is anywhere near a .500 team. They've only improved since last year (when we also had around a three man bullpen) and they won 97 games last year. Am I just misunderstanding your point?

Last year we had Wood, Marmol, Samardzjia and cruft. This year we have Gregg, Marmol, Heilman and some different cruft. How are we any worse off?

You're taking the "daddy

You're taking the "daddy hits mommy because she deserves it" route, which I think is inherently, incredibly wrong.

Is it concerning that the Cubs have a handful of relievers who seem to have the tendency to walk the first guy they face? Sure. But it's more concerning that the Cubs have a manager whose brilliant response is to yank those pitchers immediately without letting them have the chance to bail out or dig deeper!

Well, you are correct. Daddy hits mommy, or in this case Lou yanks the relievers immediately. But I'm not so sure that mommy - or the bullpen - deserves it.

If they DO deserve it - and facing one batter, walking him, and getting yanked in no way proves anything conclusively except that Lou is suffering from Old Man's ADHD - then the Cubs have a problem with their bullpen. But if Lou is WRONG to yank them so quickly, then just maybe the Cubs have the following:

-two excellent setup men in Marmol and Heilman (or Gregg and Heilman once Carlos rightly ascends to the closer's role)
-an unproven commodity in Patton who just might have balls of steel and is already earning man-love from those who've seen him pitch
-a seasoned middle reliever who - despite all opinions to the contrary - had a decent spring and can build on it
-a lefty non-specialist who isn't decisively worse than the league average
-and a long-innings man in Guzman who will either throw with thunder and authority or be out of the league in a month (and a non-factor).

Sorry to burst your bubble of pessimism, but there is no way this bullpen is worse than last year's, and last year's Cubs won 97 games in a division where they had to contend with a healthy Ben Sheets and a work horse CC Sabathia.

Sky's the limit Rob, even if Lou wants to keep most of his relievers buried underground right now.

Yes, but...

I agree with Kurt, except for one point. You have to consider that in some cases, Paps will bring a reliever to face one batter. That call doesn't change whether the reliever issues a walk, gets hit, or gets the guy out. The optimist in me is hoping that accounts for at least some of the cases where Paps yanks a reliever after one walk.
On another note, the team only has to get to the post season. Once there the dynamic changes. Three or four stellar guys in the pen can get the job done.

Check is in the mail; keep

Check is in the mail; keep me posted.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award