Saturday funnies: an animated study of Junior Lake's swing.

Junior Lake swings hard.


It's kind of like the old saw (no reference to the movie intended) where they try to make a pitcher out of a hard thrower. Can that be done with a hard swing? Can you teach a guy to be a "hitter"?

Junior Lake's counterpart playing cricket?

and then there's this...

Justin Bour can't match Baez's 18 HR in 51 games at Tennessee, but he does have 18 HR in 80 games. Last year Bour hit 17 in 138, also at Tennessee.

Boise lost to Salem-Kaizer last night, while Hillsboro lost to . . . somebody. Second-half standings show S-K in first place by a game over Boise and Hillsboro.

Boise actually has two paths to the playoffs: win 2 of 3 vs. Hillsboro starting tonight; or watch S-K finish ahead of Hillsboro, which would trigger this Boise-favoring playoff procedure:

"If one team wins both the first and second half of the season, then the team with the next best winning percentage for the entire season will get into the playoffs."

Advance Scouting Report
Starlin Castro, SS, Cubs (2013 edition)

Analysis: Don't throw it in the zone, stupid.

Anthony Rizzo with two ugly errors in about 2 minutes time.

TIL - JD loves to randomly throw baseball cards out of the booth for the hell of it while calling the game and pre-game.

it seems he enjoys seeing how far he can make them fly rather than trying to throw cards at specific people.

1st castro HR in a month...d.barney actually has a good day at the plate...k.gregg doesn't blow a 1-run save...and the cubs win.


Javier Baez 1st inning 2 run HR, he's 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 2 rbi. Smokies ahead of the Lookouts 4-1 in the 5th. HR #19 for Tenn.
Struck pitching, only hit is a solo HR by Joc Pederson in the 1st.

m.olt's recent good hitting has gotten him promoted to #4 in the lineup tonight...where he went 0-4 with 4 Ks. sigh.

also, bryant is sitting tonight in daytona.

Javier Baez, you are ridiculous!

per Rotoworld...

Orioles recalled C Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk.
The 27-year-old backstop was acquired from the Cubs in early July as part of the Scott Feldman trade. He has been stinging the ball in 20 games at the Triple-A level with the O’s, hitting .324/.402/.437 with two homers and 11 RBI. He’ll provide catching depth for the O’s, and could also see the occasional start at first base.

I wonder if we can trade Olt for Clevenger?

Boise Hawks were no hit last night by Kyle Schepel, losing 5-0. They only had one walk and another got on by an error.

(Schepel...Pitched a seven-inning no-hitter for Class A South Bend in the first game of a doubleheader on April 14, 2013 at Lansing. ... Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a Minor League free agent on Sept. 23, 2012)

There should be some 40 man roster moves today. If Sweeney comes up (60 day DL), will McDonald or Gillespie be gone? If they want a look at Olt, Cody Ransom is gone. To get another look at Schlitter or a look at Grimm or Rosscup might mean a mysterious injury to Rondon. Stuff like that.

Rondon's eligible to be to sent down now, isn't he?

CHARLIE: Hector Rondon has to spend the entire 2013 MLB regular season on the Cubs MLB Active List (25-man roster) and/or MLB DL(s) with at least 90 days spent on the Active List before Rule 5 restrictions are removed. (If a player does not spent 90 days on an MLB Active List during the season after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, he remains a Rule 5 player going into the next season, but only until he has accrued the required 90 days on an MLB Active List). 

However, because Rondon has been outrighted previously in his career (when he was with Cleveland), he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted.

BTW, Rondon will qualify for a 4th minor league option in 2014 (presuming he is still on the 40-man roster).

So a mysterious injury it would have to be. Gotcha. Guessing he just survives the September rearrangements.

Bruce Miles answers the first wave of roster moves.

Cubs activate Sweeney and Valbuena today and recall pitcher Alberto Cabrera. To make room for Sweeney on 40-man, they DFA Eduardo Sanchez

Sweeney is in the lineup today, Valbuena is not.

Red Sox just DFA's Daniel Bard. Something tells me Theo's antennae are twitching

Theo will be on WSCR's Hit and Run end of season show at 11am cst

bard hasn't been the same since he lost 3-4mph off his fastball last year...and lost control of what he's throwing.

one of those odd cases where taking 3-4mph off his fastball (not by choice) caused him to be even more wild than when he was throwing hard.

Stats Sunday %K vs K/9 to be discussed (see link in the TCR Twitterbox)

here's the link to what they reference...

Recent comments

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  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.