Jeff Beliveau's pitching pause.

That was the first time I'd seen Jeff Beliveau pitch.
Len and Bob made a big deal about this little pause Beliveau employs right when he rears back to throw.
(In the illustration I say "windup", but he was throwing from the set position.)
I didn't think much about it.
But then he proceeded to strike out all 3 Dodgers he faced, and two more the next inning.
With Garza not looking so hot (dry AZ air?) the Cub bats getting just 5 hits and no runs, Beliveau was the most exciting thing about Sunday's zero to five loss.

At the Cubs Convention, Theo Epstein spoke about Beliveau and said something like, "All he does is strike guys out."
Maybe the pause has something to do with it, and maybe the snail made you laugh.
Either way, for the back end of a ST game...a pretty impressive performance by Beliveau.


Comments

I didn't see the game, but I hope it's not just the pause, because it will only take a few turns around the league for batters to adjust. Although, it did take awhile for batters to get used to Dempster's glove eating trick.

Hear ya. The length of pause seemed to vary. At the convention, Theo spoke highly of him while saying he was "pleasantly surprised" about some of the Cub minor leaguers. Maybe tongue in cheek, but maybe not? I'm just trying to get to like some new guys.

I'd like to see it from the behind-the-plate angle. That delivery seems deceptive. From behind the pitcher it looks somewhat unremarkable.

For a one or two inning reliever, the pause could be effective all season long. For a starting pitcher, it probably would be of little value by the second or third time through the order.

It's like having a slingshot pointed right at you at close range. You know the sting is coming but just when?

If he can throw 3 pause pitches as Bossio wishes: dif speeds, dif angle and dif spots, well, we might just have a secret weapon...

Yep, reminds me of some of those Japanese pitchers (sorry about the racial profiling) that have mechanical and strange pauses in their delivery.

Reminded me of starter Rich Hill, who hid the ball well and was sneaky fast. Hill developed a couple of serious problems--first, holding runners and later control--but he retained the ability to get hitters to swing late.

Cubs finish dead last in Fangraphs' org reliever rankings.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/posi...

That is a pretty big supposition there. Mateo may not even make the club, and Samajrdia may end up in the rotation.

Suppose they have to write about something in the off-season.

We have one fantasy keeper league opening remaining.

It is a 12-team points league that costs $30 to play. Payouts are $200, 100, 60 for first, second, and third place. The opening we have is an existing team that already has some players on it, so it's not like starting from scratch.

It's a fun league, so if you are interested or want more information, e-mail me at rynox77 [at] yahoo.com. I will reply to you from my 'real' e-mail address.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

If I don't have money on a fantasy baseball team, I pretty much forget about it after the first week. :)

Suppose they have to write about something in the off-season.
---
Boone Logan, Nick Massett and Carlos Marmol all get 1.0 WAR rankings

I'm just saying'...relievers vary so much year to year (except for Mariano Duncan) that it wasn't worth the electrons wasted on the article.

Okay, so maybe I'm being dense here, but I'm just trying to figure out the MLB internet audio options:

I want to listen to games on my computer.
I want to listen to games on my iPhone.

What subscriptions/apps do I need and how much will it cost me?

I think I need this At Bat app, it's free, but there's some sort of $15 subscription within the app... then there's gameday audio... do I need both?

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.js...

isn't that what you want? Not 100% sure if you have to buy anything extra to have it work on your phone though. I know if you get the MLB.tv premium you get it free on your phone, not sure about just the gameday audio.

I am trying to figure it out myself, but if I understand correctly, first you have to subscribe to the MLB audio, which is about 15 per year. You can then listen on the internet. Also, you can then download the app and listen on the iphone, as long as you have subscribed to the MLB audio.

Does anyone know for certain if this is correct?

it is a little confusing to me as well. I do know that I have had myriad problems with their streaming server in terms of buffering. With streaming audio, and more so with video, you absoletely MUST have a deep server deployment system for the time when lots of folks start pulling the same stream, at the same time. With MLB, in my experience, they are still getting their shit together.

I don't know about audio but I had a video subscription last year, PLUS I had to buy the app if I wanted to see games on my phone. This year, the app is free, and I just log in using the app and I can watch games. This is nice because I can also watch games on any device, my kindle fire, my iphone, my computer, and, this year, my xBox using my xbox live account.

the bad news is that you have to pay that monthly fee, and I didn't watch many games last year because the team was so wretched, and seemed like it was going nowhere, fast. So it was kind of a waste of money, since I didn't watch many other games, either.

This year, I figure I'll be tuning in a lot more, if only to watch Soriano hit 70 home runs.

Ducks

I'm in the UK and I've had MLB.tv for the last 3 seasons, there were some problems in the 09 season with network congestion and perhaps a little in 2010 but nothing since then. Listened to a couple of games this spring, didn't have any buffering.

That's just brilliant. So because my flat is within a 300 mile radius of Chicago, the games are blacked out for me on MLB.TV, but some bloke from Britain can watch any game he or she pleases. No offense, mate, I'm glad you are able to watch the ball games, but doesn't this whole scheme seem odd- that the games are MORE accessible the further away you live?

Nothing puts me in a tizzy quite like the blackout rules. It's so bloody stupid.

It seems a fairly stupid system alright, MLB.tv is great for me.

In the UK, football (soccer) is by far the no1 sport. The traditional kick off time is 3pm on a Saturday, most of the games are played at that time. NONE of those games are televised in the UK in order to preserve ticket sales at the grounds, only earlier or later kick offs selected by Sky Sports or ESPN.

There isn't any way to watch these games online (legally) no matter how much you are willing to pay, the only option is to watch the highlight packages that night. This drives people to installing foreign satellite receivers or illegal streams online. You probably have access to more soccer than myself.

You ready Jeff? I'm ready. You ready Dale? I'm ready Chris, are you?
Oh yeah, breaking ball...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Cubs at #20

The rebuild his begun, but there is still much work to be done. When your team's fans are obsessed with Matt Szczur and Junior Lake, that doesn't speak well of the system.

so far Sickels, Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein have all ranked them #20. Haven't seen the BA ranking yet.

Padres at #1? Ricketts should've gone after whoever built THAT system instead of Theo.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

As for pitchers, the director raved about San Francisco righthander Kyle Zimmer, particularly the athleticism in his delivery—which he likes more than Stanford righty Mark Appel's. Zimmer has been flying up draft boards with his performance this spring, and he could join Appel and Buxton in the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick

Baez mentioned among "youngsters to watch" for Top "Hitting" prospect in relation to 5 tools

1. Jackson, RF
2. Byrd, CF
3. Ian Stewart, 3B
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
5. Bryan LaHair, 1B
6. Geovany Soto, C
7. Darwin Barney, 2B
8. Steve Clevenger, C
9. Junior Lake, SS

Maholm vs. Arroyo

The classic two-catcher defense. Cubs are probably still good for a passed ball, though.

copied and pasted from ESPN article, I presume one of them is DH'ing

for veterans on minor league contracts, aka Trevor Miller and Rodrigo Lopez for the Cubs.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Article XX(B) free agents signing minor league contracts who are not added to the Opening Day roster or unconditionally released 5 days prior to Opening Day shall receive an additional $100,000 retention bonus and the right to opt out on June 1.

Geez - not a bad pay day for 4-5 weeks in AZ!

Phil - you have Maples listed as on limited activity. That is usually reserved for injured players (I think). do you know if Maples is injured, and if so, what the injury is?

Stewart 2B ends up scoring Byrd after an error, followed by Soriano HR. Jackson led off with a single but thrown out at 2B.

Maholm gives up a run in the 2nd on a HR to Todd Frazier.

Barney leadoff double, Clevenger BB, Lake K'd, Jackson BB, Byrd SF

4-1 Cubs.

Dude sure doesn't want to go to Iowa.

what did he do today?

A hit and a walk.

Cool. It would be nice to see an outfield prospect not bust like an overfilled water balloon for once.

Not rushing him to majors might help. I'm looking forward to seeing Jackson's stat line after spending most of the season in Iowa.

BB, 2B, K, HBP, 1B, BB, SF, F7...3 runs

Az Phil might have someone check and see if he has some horse poo-poo on his shoes from all that riding on his ranch.

He might have to bring back that pitch that wasn't working last year.

maybe he just needs to doctor the ball with it.

Joe Mather 3 run HR in 7th; Blake Lalli solo HR in 8th. 8-6 Cubs.

Mather is pushing for the 25th roster spot. Who doesn't make it if he's in? Campana/Sappelt?

Sappelt already doesn't make it with Reed Johnson on the roster. Mather seems redundant to Johnson as well, except that Mather can't play CF.

BP's system rankings, last place...

30. Chicago White Sox
System At a Glance: It really is that bad.

MLBTR: Boston will pursue 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, reports Speier (Alex Speier, WEEI Boston). Soler is still waiting to be declared a free agent by MLB, but Speier says most in the industry (including the Red Sox) expect him to sign with the Cubs.

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-i...

for Mario Williams...please, please, please

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/...

Cutler will still be throwing to Hester next year though. ~sigh~

Plenty of WR talent available this year. Even if not Vincent Jackson, there's at least 8 other guys who become #1 on the Bears.

In the meantime, when you can sign the biggest impact non-QB in the game, you gotta go for it.

are there? didn't most get franchised? I mean, I guess on the Bears they would be, but I think just V. Jackson and Colston are worth going after, and I think Colston is more a product of his system with the added benefit of indoor games.

M. Wallace is restricted and certainly not worth a first round pick.

The rest are a whole lot of "meh" to me...

Garcon, Manningham, Wayne (33 years old), Lloyd

Yet any of those guys is probably the best WR on the Bears. I think Wayne is closer to the top than the bottom of the class, at least for 2012.

33 year old Reggie Wayne? no way and not for the price I'm sure he'll end up getting...let him retire in style with Peyton and everyone else in Miami.

I certainly wouldn't mind some of the others at the right price, but Jackson and Colston are certainly the only 2 worth paying a premium. The rest are more, "wait it out" guys imo.

If you need two $15 million a year DE's you have alot of problems.

Here's what you do, use the money on WR's and O Line.

I would be willing to give a first round pick for Wallace because you can get him cheap, he's young and Bears won't have to develop him, he's ready.

Two things Bears are really, really bad at Qb and WR development.

Get Wallace, Get Colston and a guard.

Use 2nd round pick on LB Burfict at ASU, will learn well under Urlacher and Briggs, use rest of picks on D.

~flips over table, walks away~

Wallace won't be cheap though, will he? Besides the first round pick, Steelers can match his price, right? So you have to pay as well and Steelers will likely match unless you blow them out of the water.

As for the line, Bears defense is modeled on pressure from the front 4 and we already got the good years of Peppers. He may have one or two more left in him, but I don't think getting Williams is necessarily redundant.

That being said, I'd love Jackson or Colston at the right price and I plead ignorance on what $24M in cap space can actually afford.

"So you have to pay as well and Steelers will likely match unless you blow them out of the water."

Steelers over cap I thought

says they have $12-$14M left and that accounts for tender offers. Not a lot of room, but I doubt they'll just let him go for a song, on top of the signing team having to likely give up a 1st round pick.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/3/1...

David Haugh is in your corner.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football...

To be more specific, Emery's first call should be to wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Then guard Carl Nicks. Then safety LaRon Landry. Those players fill more glaring needs and would represent a wiser allocation of funds than Williams, likely the most expensive free agent on the market.

Like having Phil Rogers in your corner

I think Mario and Peppers together would be amazing. Despite how we don't play Cover 2 nearly as much as people like to say, it would help our coverage a lot. I just don't see how we can afford it though considering we need an offensive line and considering we got a bunch of aging players on defense we're gonna have to replace soon.

"Two things Bears are really, really bad at Qb and WR development."

I'm not sure "development" is the right word; but it is the definition of a poor organization that they can't get players at the positions where demand is high.

Historically, the Cubs have had a few stars but not usually starting lefty pitchers, lefty-hitting sluggers, guys who could catch or play third or short or centerfield. It's what has defined them as have-nots.

"lefty-hitting sluggers"

Billly Williams was a wonderful exception to that. I loved watching him hit.

Recent comments

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  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 2 min 23 sec ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • 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?

    QuietMan 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    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.)

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • QuietMan 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 5 hours ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 22 min ago view