TCR Afternoon Notes
Alright, here's my half-ass plan for the next few weeks...try to get one of those offseason target posts up sometime in the morning and then some type of quick notes/news of the moment update in the afternoon or early evening if there's enough news out there and if Phil doesn't have an update from Arizona. I will inevitably fail at keeping up that pace...
- Naples, Florida is making their run at the Cubs to be their new home for spring training.
The Cubs’ 25-year lease with the city of Mesa expires in 2016. However,
the team has an escape clause, allowing them to pay $4.2 million to the
city next spring in order to leave Mesa in 2012.
That's a pretty well-done and detailed article at the link, so I encourage everyone to check it out. I will say while it's probably better for many Chicago residents, who I know would prefer the shorter trip to Florida, it would likely mean the demise of Arizona Phil here at TCR, so suck it up and write a letter to Ricketts that you want the Cubs to stay in Arizona.
- Things are going well for Jeff Samardzija in Winter Ball....
gave up four runs, five hits, and four walks over five innings in Mexicali's 9-4 win over Navojoa on Sunday
- Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan will be back next year for the Cardinals and LaRussa is dragging Mark McGwire back with him as their new hitting coach. It's the holy coaching trinity of cheaters...
- Speaking of managers, Manny Acta will helm the Cleveland Indians for the next three years, but only because the Astros have some odd policy of not going past two years on a manager contract. Rob Neyer rightfully takes the Astros to task for their odd line in the sand. David Clark, Phil Garner or Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills seem to be the final candidates now.
- Neyer is on fire today, taking on a Mike Celizic article that goes after Joe Giradi for overmanaging...
...For the most part, at this time of the year all a manager
can do is wind up his players and send them off to battle like little
tin soldiers. Maybe Girardi really has been guilty of overmanaging; if
so, he's overmanaged his team to the World Series and lost only two
games along the way. I suspect that a lot of teams would love to be
overmanaged so well.
Similarly, it would make no more sense to move Chone Figgins down this month than for Larry Dierker to have moved Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell down, amid all their October struggles. Or to have moved Willie Mays down, or Joe Morgan. All of these brilliant players struggled in October, and their managers did what you have to do with struggling superstars: leave them alone and hope for the best.
Well not sure about Chone Figgins being a superstar, but you get the point.
- After failing miserably on my NLDS choices, I did better when I re-picked at the LCS games (sorry, can't find the link but I had Phillies in 6 and Yankees in 7) and I did pick the Yankees from the beginning. I know, that's a helluva a limb a climbed out on. Of course, it was a sad evening in the G family household last night as the Angel Fan Wife was visibly distraught after the Angels case of the yips last night in the 8th inning. I'll stick with the Yankees of course for the World Series, I say 6 games.
- Be sure to check out the right sidebar for payroll, minor league free agent and Rule 5 info courtesy of the aforementioned Arizona Phil.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.