And After The Holiday Weekend...
...a whole lot of nothing.
- An article in a Dominican paper says the Cubs (so far) have been the most aggressive at pursuing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
- No real news out of the Cubs convention beyond the Kerry Wood signing ($3M with a $3M option for 2013) and the new patio deck in right field with the LED scoreboard.
- "One change the Cubs have already made was tweaking Tim Wilken's assignments, so that he's now director of amateur scouting and not carrying the additional workload of pro scouting." Word was Randy Bush occasionally had to rinse out the toilets at Wrigley Field to save a few bucks.
- McLeod allegedly said that he was rather surprised by the lack of player preparation amenities at Wrigley and there are plans in place to remedy it.
- Today is the day that teams and players file their arbitration number, the Cubs have yet to agree with any of their players: Jeff Baker($1.4M), Blake DeWitt($1.2M), Geovany Soto($4M), Matt Garza ($8.7M), Randy Wells ($2.2M), Ian Stewart($2M) or Chris Volstad($2.6M). The estimated figures come from Matt Swartz. Add that to the current player committments, auto-renewals (about $5-7M) and $5M owed Pena and the Cubs current payroll for 2012 is around $110M.
- Craig Counsell has decided to retire, but he will stay with the Brewers organization rather than joining Dale Sveum's staff.
- David Schoenfield ran a nice piece examining the best players in any 5-year year period starting from 1969. Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa show up twice each.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.