Toiling for the P-Cubs
Dear Randy -
You could do a lot worse.
I bet you didn't know that Forbes Magazine ranked Des Moines the #1 city in America for young professionals. And you gotta be the only one around here pulling down $2.7M per annum. You should get out more and explore. That's probably advice you're not used to getting but since you may be here for a while...
There's much more than the Court Avenue entertainment district. Broaden your horizons.
Have you been out to the Des Moines Art Center to see the Jackson Pollock display? Hard to believe his "Mural" is supposedly worth more than a Powerball jackpot but one man's doodling is another man's masterpiece, apparently.
Speaking of art, there's the sculpture garden right downtown that's drawn rave reviews since it was installed a few years ago. The annual Art Festival is the last weekend in June and it too ranks very high nationally. It's a great place for trolling, and so is the Farmer's Market down near the ballpark on Saturday mornings if you're up in time.
Are you into golf at all? We host the stop on the Senior Tour that's voted #1 every year by the players. That's probably not your style. Let's see, what else...
There's RAGBRAI, the Tour de Iowa in July when thousands bike across the state en masse, from the wide Missouri to the mighty Mississippi. It's quite a tourist attraction; lots of church ladies pie, homegrown corn on the cob, lemonade and drunken trysts between strangers who never meet again; that sort of thing. But your work schedule won't allow for that I don't suppose.
Looks like you pitched a solid six last night in Fresno and got that ERA down below seven. Maybe Volstad's oblique will get bent out of shape and you'll get recalled back where you feel you belong. Or Samson, I mean Deep Threat, will get a haircut and lose a few mph/games. There are lots of possible scenarios that put you back at Wrigley where you threw that gem to kick off the Memorial Day weekend in 2010. Remember? That game against the Cardinals when I was halfway to Chicago before I realized I forgot the tickets and, long story short, scrambled into my seat right before the anthem, just in time to see you soil yourself and leave without recording an out.
I just hate to see you suffer while you're stuck here pitching in purgatory.
Ever played cribbage?
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
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.
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.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
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.
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.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.