The flow of rumors is down to a drip as we near the Christmas break. Yet the Cubs are without a first basemen or much of a starting staff and still employ Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. There is still work to be done JedStein.
- Early in the day yesterday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported that "there were signs today (I can't say precisely what) to indicate the Cubs are stepping up their pursuit of Prince Fielder." Four hours later Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, claimed the "Cubs are not major players for Prince Fielder. Not ready to spend big." I hate when my baseless rumors contradict. WHO AM I TO BELIEVE?!?!?!?!
If there's any truth to Cafardo's report, hard to see the Cubs being in on Yu Darvish either. One recent rumor regarding Pince Fielder was that he was seeking a 10-year deal, which after seeing Albert Pujols get one and being younger makes sense to ask. Whether anyone will give it to him is the real story, but it wouldn't be the worst idea for an A.L. team. For the Cubs or any other N.L. team, that would be a hard one to justify unless there's something we don't know about the DH coming to both leagues, but unlikely that could even happen before the newest CBA ends in 5 years. Otherwise, you would think the Cubs would want some sort of guarantees for the later years (maybe vesting options) or to front-load the contract so to make Fielder easier to move on the back-end of the deal if they decide to take that plunge.
- Speaking of Darvish, we do know the Cubs submitted a bid and that the Rangers, Blue Jays and Yankees did as well and there may be a few more teams involved. One rumor was that one of the bids was north of $50M and another rumor was that the Blue Jays offer was "sky high". It appears we won't know the winner until Tuesday and then it's still 30 days for the a contract to be negotiated with Darvish. I have to say I'm a bit skeptical about throwing $100M at Darvish (posting fee and 6 year contract). Hopefully I'm overestimating the cost, but paying nearly $17M a year on average doesn't sound like it's really building from the ground up and you always have to worry about a pitcher's arm blowing out. On top of that, I don't know how sure you can be that Darvish will be as good as advertised. I think after a decade and a half of Japanese players coming over the majors, it's pretty clear there's a big difference in the level of competition. Maybe Darvish bucks that trend and can make as much as an impact as Ichiro, but I'd sure worry he ends up more like Dice-K. That wouldn't be terrible, but it would be disappointing.
Enjoy the weekend!
(Thanks to Tim for the illustration, click on the image for the full size)
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.