Our Stud's Better Than Your Stud
A betting man would have to like the Omaha Storm Chasers to successfully defend their title in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League this year. The stretch drive of the season may be reminiscent of Secretariat’s in the Belmont Stakes. But just who are those also-rans way up the track behind the young Royals? Why, besides the I-Cubs it’s the young Cardinals and young Brewers! I like the affiliations of not only my hometown team but also their divisional opponents.
Who cares, one might ask, how our prospects stack up against the Royals’? St. Louis and Milwaukee are more immediate battlefronts than Kansas City. So, any clogs in those pipelines?
Whereas the Cubs’ system is lacking in high-end pitching prospects, both the Cardinals and Brewers feature starting pitchers as their crème de la crème and both Shelby Miller (STL) and Wily Peralta (MIL) have had sour seasons thus far.
As pleased and relieved as the Cardinals must be about the emergence of Lance Lynn, who this time a year ago was toiling in Memphis while Chris Carpenter was still going strong in St. Louis, they might be a little chagrined about Miller’s struggles so far in the PCL. In 2011, he was named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Rick Ankiel was the last to accomplish that feat.
But he’s recently been given a no-shake edict, meaning he’s to throw whatever pitch he’s told, and the organization’s pitching coordinator was dispatched to work directly with Miller in hopes of improving on his stat line which includes warts like a 6.00 ERA, 82 hits in 66 IP and a .306 BAA.
In Nashville the touted Peralta has been similarly roughed up. He was originally signed by the Brewers as an outfielder in 2005 before being converted to pitcher. He had his Tommy John circumcision in 2007 so that’s out of the way. But he’s struggling at 2-8 with an ERA and other peripherals almost as stratospheric as Miller’s. Peralta’s built along the lines of Fartolo (typo intended) Colon at 6’2” and 240.
So while the prime prospects of two of their NL Central rivals are scuffling at Triple A the Cubs are rearranging the deck chairs in their lineup to make room for their own. They may be short on topflight arms but they appear to have at least one bat riding to the rescue. Looks like he may arrive any day now.
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.