Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Vizcaino reeks - I know it, you know it, and Lou knows it, too

Somewhat socially unacceptable, ethnically-inspired man hugs and perhaps even cheek-kissing for Uncle Lou today, upon reading that he is considering dumping convicted arsonist Luis Vizcaino and his ineffective-since-the-steroid-era throwing arm.

Of course, what Mr. Piniella provides us is cloaked in cliche - "Contracts don't matter.  The best pitchers will pitch."  Everyone from Connie Mack on down has said THAT!  However, there seems to be more sunk costs being eaten this year than ever before, right, Odalis Perez?  You too, Duaner Sanchez.  The fact that we "gave up" the Marquis Du Suck does not matter, because we did not trade La Marquis for Vizcaino's services.  We traded him for Milton Bradley's services.  Vizcaino was always just an afterthought; bonus extra gravy points if he ever started getting guys out again. 

Alas, he is the worst pitcher in camp, and while it is mildly refreshing to hear Uncle Lou grumble about him, I entirely believe that his are not Idle Threats.  Unless Vizcaino can start punchin' fools out right quick, we aren't going to have to suffer through his frequent bouts of suckitude just because his 2009 W-2 will show taxable income in excess of 4 million dollars American. 

So what are we looking at?  Marmol and Gregg.  Heilman (0.00 ERA) and Gaudin (5.14 in two "starts").  Neil Cotts has not given up a run this spring.  The Shark, who I still say would be best served starting the year in Iowa's rotation, may end up in the pen after all.  If not, perhaps Rule V guy David Patton.  Mike Stanton seems to be done to a crisp.  Kevin Hart has been nothing short of combustible this spring.  Angel Guzman had to run off to take a call.  2003 called - it wants its potential back.

Finally, we come to the LOOGY question - and Uncle Lou does all but anoint non-roster invitee Jason Waddell, good old Number 76, as "someone to watch".  Is he distantly related to Hall-of-Fame flake Rube Waddell?  Anyway, New Rube has 7 punchouts in 6 innings, and the skipper is impressed with his control.  Naturally, a dude with a Bicentennial Back flies under the radar.  Not anymore - it will be interesting to see if he can handle the newfound pressure Lou has put on him, by introducing him to the world.

If he starts heaving stink bombs, then maybe they pull off a minor trade, or sign Joe Biemel out of Purgatory. 

Canada is spitting the bit in the WBC - so maybe we'll get to see the Corey Koskie show sooner than we first expected.  Finally, former ManCrush Kosuke Fukudome has reached base 6 times in 11 appearences in the WBC.  Maybe he has it figured out.  Let's hope so.



BLUE! no more!

BLUE! no more!

Very blue

I'll run blue for awhile.

Cubby blue

Everton blue

Goatrider blue

Illini blue (and mostly orange)

I have a blue house with a

I have a blue house with a blue window.

Jose Vizcaino's little brother

I haven't seen this prize Vizcaino pitch yet this spring, but I can't really think that he was someone the team was expecting big things from. Vizcaino was the equivalent of a dozen Crispy Cremes that got traded for a shiny new fungo. Despite the fact that he is getting paid too damn much, I see his line of dead-weight getting cut long before most others on the team's pitching staff. Even if the team cuts Vizcaino they're still ahead at least five million bucks simply for the fact that the wise-guy Rockies are paying the bulk of Marquis' tab. From the spring training games I have watched so far Marshall as a starter and Patton/Guzman out of the pen have all been impressive. Watching Samardzija has also been awesome, as its almost kind of weird to have a legitimate prospect in the system where you get a glimpse of the future. When I see the kid on the mound he's definitely a raw talent that may have more potential than any other pitcher in the entire Cubs' camp. Samardzija's slider could ultimately decide his future, but it would probably be wise to incorporate a cutter and a solid changeup in his arsenal as well. Despite winning 2 games so far this spring Gaudin has looked pretty awful at times, eh most of the time, well pretty much all the time.

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