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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  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?

  • Less stress on the pitching staff?

  • I recall earlier this season when the Cubs played Bryant in center instead of left due to the weirdness that is the PNC outfield.

  • AZ Phil, what is the reason the Cubs are co-oping this team? They seem to have plenty of talent that would fill a roster.

  • RF is actually easier to play than LF in PNC so I'd guess Schwarber is there and that's why he was playing it Friday but yeah I'd say that's hopefully accurate.

  • Guess for Wednesday's lineup: Fowler (CF), Schwarber (LF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo (1B), Castro (2B), Montero (C), Russell (SS), Arrieta (P), Coughlan (RF)