7/14 Cubs Inbox

It’s been tough to sqeeze the Cubs Inbox onto Cubs.com, so I’ll try to keep up here. Send your questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com and please include your name and hometown.

Q: With Bryan LaHair crushing the ball in Triple-A and Carlos Pena struggling with consistency, are the Cubs giving any thought to bringing LaHair up to the big league team? — Nick I., Evansville, IN

A: LaHair could get a look depending on what happens at the trade deadline. Pena has drawn interest from teams in contention (Angels, for example). LaHair will likely be up in September when rosters expand.

Q: I don’t understand why Darwin Barney was moved to the No. 8 spot. He hit .290 in the two-hole. I see the logic in the move when Fukudome is in the lineup but when Reed Johnson is, I don’t get it. Johnson has a career .341 OBP, identical to Castro’s. I realize Johnson is hot right now but what’s going to happen when he cools off? Ryan S., Rochester, MI

A: There’s a couple reasons. One, Barney is coming back from a knee injury. If he’s batting second, he’ll be expected to run more. They’re trying to avoid stress on the knee. Two, Starlin Castro has done better hitting one-two. With Fukudome doing well as the leadoff man, moving Castro up a notch seems to help him. Three, Barney can help turn the lineup over in the bottom of the order. His role changes depending on pinch-hitters behind him. As for Johnson, his starts are primarily against lefties.

Q: I was looking through some of the Cubs’ Minor League rosters and was happy to see Angel Guzman has logged innings at Daytona and Peoria. I also noticed he’s starting each game he appeared in. Are the Cubs grooming him to be a starter again or is this part of his rehab? — Henry F., Batavia, IL

A: Guzman, coming back from shoulder surgery, is starting in the Minor Leagues as part of his rehab. It’s easier to control when he can pitch if he starts the game rather than having him enter a game in relief. This way, he’s guaranteed two innings, or however many pitches they are limiting him to. If he returns, it will be as a reliever.

— Carrie Muskat


  1. Aaron

    Fukudome and Johnson are being used in a platoon right now (both in RF and the leadoff spot). Since both have career OBP’s in the .370’s against opposite-hand pitching, I think that’s a good idea. I also like Barney in the 8th slot, since despite his batting average, he has serious weaknesses as a hitter (no power, few walks). Really, this is the first time this season that I’ve felt pretty good about Quade’s lineups, given what he has to work with.

  2. the truth

    It’s been hard to squeeze it onto cubs.com? With all those articles added on there this week. Right.


    Or are you just the laziest beat journo at any of the MLB teams…? we need a voice asking the relevant questions, not massaging the HEndry/Ricketts egos.

    • JBLACK

      don’t you think if she told the truth about Hendry and PK Ricketts she would just loose her job
      I have been asking about Hendry all year and got no answers

  3. joeydafish

    Whoa…. let’s remember “this” is about our beloved Cubbies and the awful job of the manager, general manager and owner. NOT about Carrie and the way she does her job. It’s a job that I’m sure requires a balancing act between keeping it and losing it. Unlike Hendry’s job which was fool proof (well…he is a fool, right?) for the last 8 or 9 seasons, a pay rate out of this world with no worries about bringing home the bacon. And while I’m at it did any of us hear how deserving and talented Quade was prior to him being HANDED the job by Hendry? We only heard about the “great” Quade from Hendry and a few other company men. We can only wait and see if Quade and Hendry are indeed handed the keys to the Ricketts’ family car for next season. I believe even they will see the light and dismiss both for doing a terrible a job….not Carrie.

  4. the truth

    unfortunately she takes the company line rather than the truth on every occasion.

    Is she a jouro or part of Cubs PR?

  5. Hustlelikereed

    I have to admit I cannot disagree with the last posting. Carrie, we need a hard hitter, not a window dresser.

  6. Carrie Muskat

    Note to the Truth: My editors have asked that we limit our notebooks to three items. Anyone who is a regular reader knows there are at least that many and more on the Cubs site. The Inbox is saved for off days, of which there haven’t been many. If you have a question regarding the team, send it to cubsinbox@gmail.com, and thanks.

  7. joeydafish

    What good would Carrie do by “hard hitting” the Cubs brass? NOTHING would create a mia culpa from Hendry/Quade/Ricketts as they profess to be doing their best “capable” job in order to keep their job. I’m sure Carrie wants to keep her job too. The hard hitters need to be in the form of advertisers and attending fans. When either see less value for their dollar and STOP spending that will be a HARD HIT. But to think a reporter asking what we all already know would be futile. Who’s the “bad guys” here anyway??? How about RICKETTS asking some hard hitting questions to HIS general manager for some accountablility? In fact we are past accountablility as we know who is accountabe for this horrendous season and no longer care for admitted guilt or apologies WE WANT THE CULPRITS GONE.

  8. Pingback: Hire Jim Essian - The Elusive Muskbox Emerges from Its Two-Month Hibernation

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