Cubs

Theriot Arrives in Mesa After Arbitration Decision

Theriot Arrives in Mesa After Arbitration Decision

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010
3:19 P.M.

Early Saturday morning shortstop Ryan Theriot lost his arbitration case with the Cubs. He will make 2.6 million this season.

That didn't stop "The Riot" from arriving three days early to Spring Training. Theriot hit the batting cage at Fitch Park saying there were no hard feelings on his part.

"I never felt like I was owed anything, this is a privilege to be able to come in here and do this every day. There are millions of people who would love to do it. From that point of view, whatever you get is great," he said.

Theriot was asking for 3.4 million and will be getting a big raise considering he made 500,000 last year. Three arbitrators made the decision after more then four hours of talk in Florida from both sides on Friday.

It's the Cubs first arbitration case since Mark Grace lost back in 1993 and their first under Jim Hendry, who says it won't effect his relationship with Theriot.

"There wasn't an adversarial attitude to it," Hendry said.

The Cubs are now 4-2 in franchise history when it comes to arbitration cases, Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter and shortstop Shawon Dunston are the only two players to win. Theriot's case was the last of eight in Major League Baseball this season, with the teams winning five of those hearings.

By the way, after four straight days of great weather in Mesa, a storm blew through on Saturday cutting the Cubs workout a little short. The temperature dropped to 50 degrees with rain, but the Cubs still got most of their conditioning work done before the storm hit.

Luke Stuckmeyer covers the Cubs for Comcast SportsNet.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

0720_cubs_lose.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Jon Lester saw a start like this coming

Jon Lester saw a start like this coming

Jon Lester had easily his worst outing of the year, allowing the Cardinals to score eight runs on seven hits, the veteran All-Star only managed three innings before Joe Maddon turned to his bullpen. 

The Cardinals would take game two of the series by the score of 18 to 5, and while none of the Cubs pitchers could silence the Cardinal bats, Lester didn't shy away from his poor outing. 

"You know, I don't want to chalk this up as bad days happen," said Lester. "I think mechanically this has kinda been coming." 

Lester knew he was struggling to hit his spots, and while his ERA was a sparkling 2.58 coming into this start, his peripheral stats had him pegged as a potential regression candidate in the second half of the season.

His 4.35 FIP and 3.30 walks per nine innings show a pitcher who is relying heavily on his defense to get outs, which isn't surprising for a 33-year-old veteran but the walks are a concern. 

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was aware Lester had been working on his mechanics, but even he was surprised that Lester's start went downhill so quickly. 

"I thought he had good stuff to start the game, hitting [92-93 mph] and I'm thinking this might be a good day," said Maddon. "But you could just see from the beginning he was off just a little bit." 

Over Lester's last four starts his ERA has been an uncharacteristic 4.57, issuing 10 walks over those four starts, and only making it past the 6th inning once. At this point of Lester's career, he knows the best way for him to get outs isn't through strikeouts but by inducing soft contact and avoiding walks. 

And while both his hard contact rate and walks have increased this season, Lester's experience and high baseball I.Q. has allowed him to navigate his way through sticky situations. 

"I've been getting outs," Lester said candidly. "I just feel like when I've had that strikeout or I have a guy set up for that pitch I haven't been able to execute it." 

And while this outing was one to forget, it's at least a positive sign that Lester is aware of his issues on the mound. The veteran knows how to get outs and he knows what he needs to do to be successful in the latter part of his career. He just needs to get back to executing those pitches. 

Just don't expect Lester to dive head first into the analytics on how to fix his issues, he'll stick to hard work and baseball common sense. 

"I'm not too concerned with the analytic B.S., I'm worried about my mechanical fix for my next start."