Warm Thoughts from Snowmageddon Central
Happy Groundhog day (again and again). From the heart of Snowmageddon this surgeon gets his first "Snow Day" since the big snow of 1967. So here comes an impromptu odds & ends post.
The first order of business is to remind those digging out from the Thunder-Blizzard (and to warm them up) that the CUBS PITCHERS and CATCHERS report to Mesa in 11 DAYS, officially on February 13th (per Carrie Muskat at mlb.com). Position Players report on Feb 18th and the FIRST SPRING TRAINING GAME is in 25 DAYS as the Cubs play Oakland on Feb 27th at Mesa.
Apparently some debris from the Wrigley Field roof landed on the pavement outside the ballpark in front of the Red Marquee and police have roped off the sidewalks. Fortunately the Ernie Banks statue is unharmed. Some reports said the debris was from the press box. Pat Hughes missing sweater may have just been found. CSN had a video report from in front of the ballpark. I wonder if Tom Ricketts pre-purchase inspection report said he might need a new roof?
Per the SF Chronicle's website, Lou Piniella has been hired by San Francisco GM Brian Sabean to be a consultant for the Giants from his Tampa home.
Piniella, 67, is joining the Giants' front office to consult in a variety of ways, whether it's evaluating or advising on player movement or scouting or . . . well, whatever a baseball lifer of 48 years can provide.
According to a Tribune/Paul Sullivan tweet, the Cubs passed on offering Piniella a similar deal. Sabean and LouPa have been buddies since they were both Yankee employees. Sabean was the Yankees director of scouting in the 1980's. Previous rumors had expected Lou to get signed on in a similar capacity with the Yankees but it looks like they spent their last dollar on bringing Bartolo Colon to spring training camp. The price of their training table buffet must be exorbitant. Sabean is collecting relics of baseball past in a similar role as to what Lou will be expected to be doing, including Ron Perranoski and Felipe Alou and they all get to meet in his Florida trophy room.
Finally, the weekly tuesday Bruce Levine chatfest can be found here. He starts by reminiscing about the blizzard of '67 so maybe Brrruuuce's been nipping at the sherry a bit (but hey, anything goes when you know a Snow Day's a-coming):
Watch for Jeff Jackson out of spring training. He's got a live arm and can start or relieve.
Time to sing along with the Boss: "Sherry Darling."
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.
Now looming VERY large. Game tied.