A Split is Like Goosing Your Brother

banana splitThe Cubs and Padres split. The Cardinals and Nationals split. The I-Cubs and Isotopes split. Look, up in the standings - it's a Dairy Queen! It's a gymnastics meet! It's a doubleheader...

The best thing to be said about the April weather in the upper Midwest is that it's good for pitchers. All four starters in yesterday's twinbill in Des Moines recorded quality starts. This in a league where the I-Cubs' 6.57 staff ERA in the first two weeks isn't even the PCL's worst and five entire teams have batting averages north of .300. Albuquerque's John Ely came within one out of throwing that franchise's first no-hitter in game two [note: PCL doubleheaders consist of a pair of seven-inning games].

Tonight's turnstile promo for the I-Cubs is more practical than most. They're passing out stocking caps to the first 1,500 fans. I suspect there will be plenty of leftovers.

Some of these playing conditions are like showing up at an arena for basketball to discover that they left the rink out from last night's hockey game - and then proceeding as scheduled! The only thing worse than crappy weather is indoor baseball.

Come on ivy!

Otherwise, could Project .500 be any more on pace? There is a definite pattern emerging here. But who knew that a share of first place would be part of the deal?! Actually calling the Central a division right now is a misnomer; there's precious little division at all...


I would note that it was Marquez Smith who broke up the no-hitter with a double.

Peoria had two shutout wins yesterdays. Starting (and winning) pitchers were Austin Kirk and Dallas Beeler.

Burgess hit his fifth for Daytona.

Speaking of juggernauts, Tennessee had three home runs (Jackson, LeMahieu and Clevenger) last night, and ten hits in the last four innings.

duly noted...

Braun re-uped $105/5 yr?

from Rotoworld...

Well, this certainly came out of nowhere. Braun was already under contract through 2015, so he is now guaranteed $145.5 million through 2020. He will earn $19 million per season from 2016-18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2010 while the 2021 mutual option is worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. The contract includes a $10 million signing bonus. It's officially the largest financial commitment to a player in franchise history. Braun and Troy Tulowitzki are now the only MLB players locked up through 2020. Prince Fielder was probably already a longshot to stay with the Brewers anyway, but it's now virtually certain that he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

Yearly salary-wise, that's a nice contract for the Brewers if Braun doesn't get hurt and/or decline too much in later years. He's a clutch hitter, fan favorite, and just took a second under-market deal to stay in Milwaukee.

Where's the potential reward for Milwaukee? All I see is risk.

winning games?

takes him through age 37 fwiw....

judging by the offseason and rumors, MLB must be forecasting deals in the $25-$30M range for FA superstars in the nearish future.

It's hard to forecast what wins will cost that far out, but he'll have a declining skill set; he'll anchor an "easy" defensive position which limits potential acquisition of impact hitters; and he probably didn't sign for much less than he would had if he became a free agent after 2015.

Even if he rakes for the 4.5 years, when he would have been a FA, Milwaukee very likely could have brought him back for a guaranteed $95M for his age 32-36 seasons.

High risk, (very) low reward.

So top hitters in the game in 2011 are going to get $22+ million per year, but in 2015 they're going to get $19 million per year? Be right back, I am going to convert my 401K to gold really quick...

Gold bubble. Consider Yuan. :)

I don't think it's that hard to forecast and I'm sure MLB teams have a much better idea of expected incoming revenues, inflation, expected rise in salaries than the casual fan.

He'll be making about the same as Soriano signed for at the same position and age, but with a better skill set and 8 years down the road. It's easy to see that $23-$25M a year is going to be the going rate at that time (or more). Plus I'm sure they really like the guy, realize you don't attract FA's to Milwaukee and he wants to spend his career there.

Nothing wrong with well-earned loyalty...

Unless he goes Jeff Bagwell on you... But that is a discount, and likely a pretty nice one if he continues on his current pace and stays healthy.

You gotta want it to win it. If nothing else, he's a fan favorite and a reason to put cheeks in the seats.

After further speculation, given his overall value to the franchise, it's not a recklessly risky move. They're enjoying an attendance renaissance, and I'm sure they want to maintain this momentum.

Still, I think there's a fair amount of overall risk in this move. His most comparables, using B-R and setting aside Chick Hafey and Manny Ramirez, are Raul Mondesi, Shawn Green, and Jeff Heath. All were essentially toast by age 35 or earlier.


4 wild cards play each other in first round with 6 division winners getting a bye.


formatting and scheduling is gonna be a blast...really need to go back to a 154-game schedule if this is the plan.

so much bullshi...

hopefully this isn't a road to crapfest where 1/2+ the entire block of teams get into the playoffs. nba/nhl might as well not even play 1/2 their schedule with their playoff structure.

Add another round to the playoffs? No thanks.

I'm sure you'll stop watching.

The Cubs won't be in them, so no.


Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks. Suck on that. Told u fantasy people not to pick me up.

that's great

W. Castillo back with Iowa and they will carry 3 catchers for the time being.

I just noticed that Brett Jackson's OPS (1.265) is double that of Marlon Byrd (.632).

Byrd doesn't seem like himself in CF lately. Think he's getting nervous?


We can't trade him soon enough.

Bruce Miles says, "No, the Cubs aren’t seeking to trade Marlon Byrd, from what I’ve been told."


I hear the Nats are searching for a center fielder, better chance of moving Byrd over Fukudome. The defense already sucks this year, maybe they can get Gorzelanny back. :)

from that article...

According to [Kevin] Goldstein: “One front-office official also believes that how the numbers are compiled on a day-to-day basis can be as important as the numbers themselves. ‘The biggest thing we're looking for when thinking about promotions is consistency,’ he said. ‘We want pitchers looking good every five days as opposed to throwing seven shutout innings one start and then not getting out of the fourth the next. We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next.’”

We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next, unless it's Josh Vitters.



fwiw, Goldstein's article is a general baseball story, not Cub specific.

Recent comments

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  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.