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

Man.
Junior Lake swings hard.

Comments

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?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4

and then there's this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfmM59S_5EE

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.

woo.

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.

https://twitter.com/BruceMiles2112/status/37418352...

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...

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/10/8/3451856...

Recent comments

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  • Heyward getting the night off.

    Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd

    Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist

  • See ya on parrot chat

  • In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST... 
    Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex: 
    4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes) 

    Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)  

  • There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?

  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.

  • Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.

    Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.

  • That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible