TCR Friday Notes
I'll ease back into TCR with some links...
- Geovany Soto will be back in the lineup tonight just in
time for some Coors Field inflated hitting. Way to pick your spots
- A rather crucial 7-game swing here for the Cubs...4 at Colorado and then 3 at home versus Philly. The Rockies are a game behind the Giants in the wild card and one ahead of the Cubs. Pitching matchups for this weekend are: Zambrano vs U. Jimenez (3.76 ERA), Dempster vs. Marquis (3.49), Wells vs. Hammell (4.62) and Gorzelanny vs. De La Rosa (5.00 ERA, although 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in July, but then got crushed in his first August start against Philly).
- Here's a great Dusty-ism, except it's from Hendry.
"I can't say enough about Hill," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He really saved us."
- Carlos Marmol leads all of baseball with a 8.48 BB/9 rate and at least 50 innings pitched (52 currently). I went back to 1995 and only found 2 other instances of a walk rate above 8 per nine innings and at least 50 innings pitched, John Rocker in 2000 (53 IP) and Stephen Randolph in 2004 (81.2 IP). Not a good career choice for Marmol...
When I think of control-challenged relievers that played for the Cubs, my mind always wanders to Mitch Williams. His career worst (using the 50 IP cut-off) was 7.79 BB/9 in 108.1 IP for the Rangers in 1987. In his 2 years with the Cubs, he walked 5.84 in 1989 (a career best) and 6.78 per nine innings.
- The Cubs signed their 6th round pick, LHP Brooks Raley to a $750K bonus, and inked their first 12 picks to date. The deadline is August 17th.
- Julio Castillo, the Cub farmhand that was indicted for throwing at a fan during a brawl last year, ended up getting 30 days of jail time and three years probation. As far as I know, he's still a member of the Cubs organization, although I'm sure Arizona Phil would know better.
- Kevin Hart made his first start for the Pirates last night, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs, 1 BB, 9 H, and 5 K's.
- Chad Gaudin has been traded from the Padres to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later...he could replace another ex-Cub in Sergio Mitre in the rotation.
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.