Rockies Vs. Cubs: Battle Of Bad Teams Trending In Opposite Directions Commences At Wrigley Field This Weekend

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 8: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs slides but can't make the catch on a double hit by Chris Denorfia #13 of the San Diego Padres as Starlin Castro #13, left, looks on during the eighth inning of of a baseball game at Petco Park on August 8, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs just might have a bright future ahead of them with progressive baseball minds like Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein heading the organization. Cubs fans are accustomed to looking into the future, anyway, and 2012 has been no different; with a record of WUT-LOL, they're now behind (ahead of?) only the Astros (who are currently WTF-HAHAHA in 2012) as baseball's worst team. Things have gone from bad to worse as of late, as the Cubbies are just 4-17 during the month of August. That, of course, is the opposite of what the Rockies have been doing, as they've surged ahead of the Cubs in the Teams That Suck Division by winning 12 of 17 since a disastrous 1-8 homestand in late-July/early-August.

The Cubs feature some pretty decent pieces on offense, but as a whole they're actually pretty terrible; their 84 OPS+ as a team is tied for last in the NL with, guess who, the Astros. Alfonso Soriano is their best offensive player, and he's 206 years old and still swings at everything. He does, however, have 22 homers, and that's more than anyone on the Rockies, so I won't bag on him too much. Bryan LaHair has, rather predictably, regressed over the past couple of months, but he's still above-average with a 114 OPS+. However, in a 31-game stretch between his 14th and 15th HRs, LaHair hit .143/.250/.182 in 88 plate appearances. So, yeah...Anthony Rizzo, huh? I like this kid. The Cubs do, too, and I can see why; at just 22 years of age, he has hit nine homers in 50 games and has a 113 OPS+. He lost some value as a prospect last season by struggling at the MLB level in a fairly significant sample size, but Petco Park. This season, in a more neutral environment, he has improved greatly.

Despite their struggles on offense, the Cubs pitching staff, as it is currently constructed, is their biggest weakness. Consider this: all of their above-average starters (in terms of ERA+) that have made more than one start have either been traded (Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm) or are on the disabled list (Matt Garza). That leaves them with a ragtag bunch of misfits headed by Jeff Samardzija, who is actually pretty decent, despite his 96 ERA+.


Jeff Samardzija

#29 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-5

225

R

R

Jan 23, 1985


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2012 - Jeff Samardzija 8-11 4.17 1.28 146 52


Samardijazz has struck out more than a batter per inning while walking just over three per nine, which is pretty respectable for a guy who can rack up the K's like that. He is kind of creepy looking, yes, but maybe that plays into his strengths. He also knows how to catch footballs. That may or may not help him with his pitching. The other guys in the rotation don't know how to catch footballs, and none of them are very good.

The Cubs don't even really have any good pitchers in their bullpen, either, which sort of compounds the problem with the hastily-thrown-together rotation. Carlos Marmol once walked Alfonso Soriano in a game - while they were on the same team, no less - which shows you just how wild he can be. However, like Samardkaoasdfkjaozliaja, he can also provide fans with the opportunity to hang those "K" signs quite often, so that's fun. Former Rockie Manny Corpas pitches for the Cubs, and he has actually been slightly above-average, even with peripherals that are quite pedestrian.

Probable pitchers and more after the jump.

Friday, Aug. 24 at 12:20 p.m. MT (WGN)

Drew Pomeranz (1-7, 4.87 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.17 ERA)

Saturday, Aug. 25 at 11:05 a.m. MT (Root Sports)

Alex White (2-6, 5.55) vs. Brooks Raley (1-2, 7.63)

Sunday, Aug. 26 at 12:20 p.m. MT (Root Sports)

Jhoulys Chacin (1-3, 6.16) vs. Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.88)


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Chris Rusin 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.500
Casey Coleman 17 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333
Reed Johnson 76 169 23 51 9 3 3 16 10 43 2 1 .302 .355 .444
Anthony Rizzo 50 194 23 56 6 0 9 27 12 31 2 2 .289 .332 .459
Starlin Castro 123 494 59 136 17 9 12 62 23 82 20 10 .275 .307 .419
Welington Castillo 21 77 8 21 5 0 3 11 5 20 0 0 .273 .317 .455
David DeJesus 115 389 58 105 23 7 6 38 48 68 6 6 .270 .360 .411
Jeff Baker 54 134 16 36 10 1 4 20 8 28 4 1 .269 .306 .448
Alfonso Soriano 113 419 47 110 26 1 22 76 30 113 5 2 .263 .319 .487
Darwin Barney 118 413 55 108 24 3 6 35 22 45 6 1 .262 .303 .378
Tony Campana 70 158 21 41 5 0 0 5 9 39 26 3 .259 .299 .291
Bryan LaHair 102 303 39 77 15 0 15 34 39 112 4 2 .254 .338 .452
Randy Wells 12 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .250 .250 .250
Adrian Cardenas 32 47 5 11 6 0 0 2 2 10 0 0 .234 .265 .362
Luis Valbuena 56 168 14 38 14 0 4 21 20 30 0 1 .226 .307 .381
Steve Clevenger 55 161 16 36 10 0 1 15 13 30 0 1 .224 .282 .304
Joe Mather 76 168 11 35 8 0 4 15 10 33 2 1 .208 .256 .327
Travis Wood 19 34 2 7 3 0 0 1 0 13 0 0 .206 .206 .294
Ian Stewart 55 179 16 36 5 2 5 17 21 46 0 3 .201 .292 .335
Geovany Soto 52 176 26 35 6 1 6 14 19 35 0 0 .199 .284 .347
Koyie Hill 11 39 3 7 1 0 0 1 0 7 0 0 .179 .179 .205
Brooks Raley 3 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .167 .167 .167
Brett Jackson 16 55 5 9 2 1 1 2 6 29 0 1 .164 .246 .291
Blake DeWitt 18 29 1 4 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 .138 .133 .172
Blake Lalli 6 15 1 2 0 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 .133 .188 .133
Josh Vitters 13 42 4 5 2 0 1 4 0 16 1 0 .119 .116 .238
Jeff Samardzija 26 42 0 5 0 0 0 3 3 16 0 0 .119 .196 .119
Justin Germano 6 9 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 .111 .200 .111
Ryan Dempster 16 32 1 3 0 1 0 1 0 9 0 0 .094 .094 .156
Paul Maholm 21 39 1 3 0 0 1 3 2 22 0 0 .077 .122 .154
Marlon Byrd 13 43 1 3 0 0 0 2 3 10 0 1 .070 .149 .070
Matt Garza 18 30 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 23 0 0 .067 .067 .100
Chris Volstad 13 16 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 .063 .063 .063
Michael Bowden 14 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Scott Maine 21 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kerry Wood 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Manuel Corpas 33 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
James Russell 60 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Dolis 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Alberto Cabrera 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jeff Beliveau 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Carlos Marmol 45 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Shawn Camp 62 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Blake Parker 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jairo Asencio 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rodrigo Lopez 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Lendy Castillo 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Blake Parker 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4.1 4 3 0 0 3 5 0.00 1.62
Chris Rusin 0-1 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 1 1 1 0 2 4 1.80 .60
Ryan Dempster 5-5 16 16 0 0 0 0 104.0 81 28 26 9 27 83 2.25 1.04
Jairo Asencio 0-0 12 0 0 0 0 0 14.2 12 6 5 1 11 8 3.07 1.57
Jeff Beliveau 0-0 11 0 0 0 0 0 11.1 11 4 4 2 7 10 3.18 1.59
James Russell 5-1 60 0 0 0 2 2 54.2 59 25 22 5 20 41 3.62 1.45
Shawn Camp 3-6 62 0 0 0 1 3 60.2 63 25 25 6 17 44 3.71 1.32
Paul Maholm 9-6 21 20 0 0 0 0 120.1 115 51 50 12 34 81 3.74 1.24
Manuel Corpas 0-0 33 0 0 0 0 1 33.0 29 15 14 4 10 19 3.82 1.18
Matt Garza 5-7 18 18 0 0 0 0 103.2 90 48 45 15 32 96 3.91 1.18
Carlos Marmol 1-2 45 0 0 0 15 2 39.1 32 21 18 3 35 49 4.12 1.70
Jeff Samardzija 8-11 26 24 0 0 0 0 144.2 133 69 67 17 52 146 4.17 1.28
Travis Wood 4-10 19 18 0 0 0 0 107.2 98 60 57 22 38 80 4.76 1.26
Scott Maine 1-1 21 0 0 0 0 1 20.2 17 11 11 2 12 26 4.79 1.40
Michael Bowden 0-0 14 0 0 0 0 1 16.1 18 9 9 3 7 10 4.96 1.53
Randy Wells 1-2 12 4 0 0 0 1 28.2 35 18 17 1 24 14 5.34 2.06
Justin Germano 2-3 6 5 0 0 0 0 30.0 32 20 18 3 6 18 5.40 1.27
Rodrigo Lopez 0-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 6.1 8 6 4 0 5 2 5.68 2.05
Rafael Dolis 2-4 27 0 0 0 4 2 29.1 28 23 21 2 20 14 6.44 1.64
Chris Volstad 0-9 13 13 0 0 0 0 69.1 85 55 53 8 21 41 6.88 1.53
Casey Coleman 0-2 17 1 0 0 0 1 24.1 37 20 20 5 12 16 7.40 2.01
Brooks Raley 1-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 18 14 13 4 6 10 7.63 1.57
Lendy Castillo 0-1 9 0 0 0 0 0 10.1 18 11 9 2 5 10 7.84 2.23
Kerry Wood 0-2 10 0 0 0 0 2 8.2 8 8 8 1 11 6 8.31 2.19
Alberto Cabrera 0-0 10 0 0 0 0 0 8.0 7 8 8 0 8 11 9.00 1.88


Chicago Cubs Injuries

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Matt Garza elbow 07/22/2012
Ian Stewart wrist 06/13/2012
Marcos Mateo elbow 04/05/2012
Blake Parker elbow 06/02/2012
Arodys Vizcaino elbow 03/26/2012

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