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Archive for the 'The Sucky Cubs Roster' Category
MESA, Ariz.–Spring Training is a time for pitchers to experiment with pitches they have never thrown before, and for the Cubs pitching staff, it is no different. Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been working with the entire Cubs pitching staff in developing a new pitch which he likes to call a “strike.”
“I just figured it was about time some of these guys learned a new pitch,” Rothschild said sleepily. “I know that Zambrano has that nasty slider and Hill has that big curveball, but it’s good to keep the batters on their toes,” he continued, smoothing out his creased pajama top.
“Imagine how much filthier Hill’s breaking ball in the dirt will be if the batter has, in the back of his mind: ‘Hey. It’s possible on this 3-0 pitch that this kid might actually throw a strike,'” Rothschild mused as he wiped crust from the corner of his eye.
Jason Marquis experiments with a “strike” moments before a ball is lined back at his face.
Successfully throwing the new pitch might not be easy.
“It’s a learning process,” Rothschild said, stifling a yawn. “These guys aren’t used to throwing a strike, so there are going to be some problems with it initially. Take Prior, for instance. Every strike he threw the other day got drilled,” Rothschild said as he eased back into a reclined position.
“But don’t worry. He’ll figure it out. And if he doesn’t, he can always go back to throwing balls.”
CHICAGO–Cubs right handed fireballer Ryu was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tuesday for two minor leaguers, outfielder Andrew Lopez and right-hander Gregor Reinhard.
Ryu: Traded to the Devil Rays
Talks are still swirling around other Cubs prospects, including Chun-Li, Blanka, E. Honda, and Dhalsim.
MLB.com’s Alex Cushing suggests that Cubs left-hander Rich Hill is one of several young pitchers who may emerge in 2007. The Cubs expect Hill, who put up excellent numbers in the second half of the 2006 season, to emerge at the beginning of Spring Training. If Hill sees his shadow, he is expected to disappear until 2008.
“Rich really had a breakout year,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “I really hope when he emerges that he doesn’t see his shadow. We’re counting on having him in the rotation this year, not having him hibernating.”
At the beginning of Spring Training, Hill will greet the crowd that has gathered in front of his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob to determine whether he will emerge and be a dominant pitcher or whether he will retreat to his home for the 2007 season.
Rich Hill emerges on Gobbler’s Knob.
“The other guys are already calling him ‘Punxsutawney Hill’,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “If he’s honestly scared of his own shadow, I’m going to take to calling him p#$$y.”
MIAMI–Minutes after the Chicago Bears fell to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, Rex Grossman signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, seeking to improve their outfield defense, signed the erratic Bears quarterback to throw simulated pop-ups to outfielders Alfonso Soriano, Matt Murton, and Jacque Jones. Grossman will gather the outfielders together next weekend for a game of 500.
“Three hundred points!”
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was excited about the addition. “Rex was throwing some towering pop-ups during the Super Bowl, and I thought he’d be put to his best use as a pop-up simulator,” Hendry said. “I’m also going to have him work with [Jacque] Jones. I figure if they can find a happy medium between Jones firing the ball into the ground five feet in front of him and Grossman lofting the ball 600 feet in the air, we might find ourselves a serviceable right fielder. Or a serviceable quarterback. Or maybe both. Or possibly neither. Christ, I don’t know. I’m hammered.”
CHICAGO–The Cubs have thankfully reached an agreement with right-handed towel-thrower Mark Prior. The announcement comes just weeks before Prior’s inevitable season-ending injury. The Cubs have not yet released the terms of the agreement, but sources close to Jim Hendry expect that the deal will include a lifetime supply of Always and a DVD copy of The Bridges of Madison County.
Mark Prior: Snapping into a hot tub near you. Summer, 2007.