Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cubs get Gorzelanny and Grabow from Pirates

Another good trade in a series of good trades lately for the Pirates (grabbing Jeff Clement, and Tim Alderson among others for two good, but not great middle infielders yesterday) as the Pirates trade the Cubs Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow for Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison (who?).

Gorzelanny is garbage. Now if I were to transport in time back to 2007 when he was cruising along for my fantasy team with a 3.10 era and 1.24 whip in the first half I might be singing a different tune. In the second half of that year he had a 5.01 era with a 1.62 whip (I had traded him at this point, boo ya) and then proceeded to post a 6.66 era with a 1.80 whip in 105 innings last year (including getting shalacked by the Cubs more than a couple times).

Maybe Gorzelanny can find some of that first half 07 magic, but I doubt it. On the other hand, I'm watching Kevin Hart's start before today's with my pal Nate, and commenting on how in the hell is Kevin Hart throwing 95 mph all of a sudden? He developed a nice cutter in 2007 and had incorporated a sinker into the mix recently, looking like a much more capable pitcher than Mr. "I top out at 86" Tom Gorzelanny.

Oh, but wait the Cubs also landed John Grabow, he of the career 1.45 whip and sporting a 1.50 whip currently. Oh but he's left handed! Marshall has been doing the job just fine as the lefty out of the pen. This trade stinks of, "oh we want to make a trade too!!"

Now Jose Ascanio is a dime-a-dozen young relief pitcher but this Josh Harrsion (not going to lie, I'd never heard of him until today) looks pretty good. His line at Single-A Perioa before being promoted, .337/.377/.479/.856 with 4 hr and 18 sb in 303 at bats.

Nice, trade away a developing, and now hard throwing Kevin Hart and a budding power/speed talent you just drafted for Pittsburgh's garbage. This may not be "The Revenge of Bobby Hill for Aramis Ramirez" but it sure doesn't look like a good trade.

Len Strikes Again on July 28

Let me preface this by saying, I like Len Kasper, play-by-play man for the Cubs, he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He also makes some of the most irritatingly inane comments you've ever heard (yes, I had to look up the definition of inane before writing that, straight from the Merriam, "lacking significance, meaning or point," I also found from the free dictionary, "devoid of inteligence"). I’ll often mute the TV and just play music, it gets that bad. Most of the times Len thinks he’s just being funny, however, this was not one of those times.

Here's the scene: Jeff Fulchino is a 29-year-old rookie pitcher for the Houston Astros who comes to the plate and gets his first Major League hit. I'm not sure what kind of joke Len thought this was, but after about 10 seconds of dead air, seemingly scrambling to find something to say, here is the transcript:

Len: I usually get to Fulchino and I go, shopping for, khakis........uhhhhh (yes, he said "uhhhh," lucky for Len a ball was put in play, allowing him to actually do his job and call the game) foul ball to the first base coach, Dave Kingman.

Bob: (refering to Fulchino) Sounds like something you'd get at your local coffee shop.

Len: Ha, yeah

Classic. What is Len even trying to say here with this, shopping for khakis? Is this a regularly accept leisure activity that one would take part in to pass the time while a pitcher takes his at bat? I can only imagine Len at, trying to type in the security code on the back of his credit card before Ryan Dempster's next at bat is over.

Now Kasper calls a good game, if he would only stick to that it'd be a delightful little broadcast. When he and Brenly first joined the booth in 2005 I was skeptical in the beginning, but they quickly won me over. After the initial shock that Len and Bob worked so well together though, it's clear now that Bob shines while Len is left trying to play catch up with, um, jokes.

About this blog...

A converted catcher, Carlos Marmol's career took an unexpectedly delicious turn when he burst onto the Major League scene in 2006 with—ok “burst” may not be the right word for a 6.08 era in 77 innings—however, that only made his ability to make major league hitters look silly in 2007 all the more satisfying. With an insane 12.5 K/9 and 1.43 era in 2007, a Cubs system known for never producing had all of a sudden produced one of the most dominating relievers in the NL. Like finding a twenty in your coat pocket after months of not wearing it, Marmol's ascension from failed hitter to strikeout machine epitomizes one of the glories of life, the completely unexpected.