Get Excited for Your 70 Win Cubs
to the tune of low to mid 70's win totals.
Baseball Prospectus and their PECOTA projections came up with something in the vicinity of 74-76 wins I believe and 4th place as well. We can probably argue over a win or two here, but at least heading into the season, it's clear the NL Central is the haves (Cardinals, Reds, Brewers) and the have-nots (Cubs, Pirates and Astros) with varying degrees of luck and injuries to determine the final order.
As much as I support Jedstein and what I think their plan is, it will make following the team in 2012 just about as fun as 2010 and 2011 were, which was just slightly above "not at all" for me.
Not much else to report in the land of Cubsville, players are slowly filtering into camp and you can catch some photos at "Boys of Spring". Jorge Soler to the Cubs report seemed to jump the gun considerably as now just about everyone but the Marlins seems interested. It'll just come down to how much is someone willing to pay and it very well may turn out that the $27.5M the Cubs reportedly are willing to offer will do the trick.
Finally, Hall of Fame catcher and Cubs killer Gary Carter(112 OPS+ for his career against Cubs and 41 HR's, second only to 45 HR's he hit against Phillies) passed away today from brain cancer. Here's a clip of the final hit of his career that just happened to be off the Cubs and Mike Morgan. Harry Caray and Steve Stone with the call.
Enjoy the holiday weekend....
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 likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
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.