Some Good News...
Aramis Ramirez should be able to play Friday and the Pittsburgh Pirates are coming to town...and we're on day 10,256,753(est.) of the last apocalyptic asteroid hitting the Earth.
That's all I got...hey, you get what you pay for here at TCR.
Okay fine, more ranting, raving and rumbling after the jump...
- I guess when the team is playing so bad, it's easy to set your sights elsewhere, but the guy turning himself in who threw the beer at Shane Victorino is "breaking news?" Really? Sun-Times had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 articles (cue Feist ) on it last night.
- Justin Berg was perfectly adequate in his 2 inning major league debut last night, throwing 17 strikes on 26 pitches inducing 3 ground-balls outs including a double play with his sinker/change combo.
- The answer to the Cubs second base problem apparently is hoping that Jeff Baker stays hot. Why not?
- Somehow the writer of this "rumor" for Yahoo got "The word is that Cubs executives are not amused." and that "The rumor going around is that the team may be losing patience with Piniella, according to the Chicago Tribune." If you look at the actual Trib article, there's no mention of any Cubs executives and it's just a piece by Paul Sullivan trying to stir the pot that Lou is beginning to receive some heat, but it doesn't specify from whom and most likely he's just trying to compare it how the fans turned on Dusty Baker if you examine the quotes from players. Nothing to see here...move along.
- There was a request to create an open thread and discuss how to fix the team. Here's my take...keep Aramis healthy. The team is 26-17 when he' s played...32-38 without. In somewhat seriosness though, they'll be more time for what the Cubs should do this offseason, but if you're gonna play that game now, just try to keep in the mind the difficulty in trading players and then multiply by 1,000 when you take into account most of these guys contracts. No one is going to touch Alfonso Soriano right now, so if you think the Cubs need to move money, your best trade bets are Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly in the lasy year's of their deal or maybe Kosuke Fukudome if he keeps up the hitting the rest of the year.
- Randy Wells vs. Charlie Morton today, Tom Gorzelanny against his old teammates and Zach Duke on Saturday and Russ Ohlendorf and Rich Harden on Sunday.
Enjoy the weekend....
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.