Cubs Drop 8 More from Spring Roster

Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Christian Villanueva, Arodys Vizcaino, Zack Rossup, Mitch Maier, Armando Rivero and Rafael Lopez are optioned or reassigned...and there were 45 (I think).


Castillo, Kottaras, Rizzo, Castro, Barney, Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Lake, Sweeney

Samardzija, Wood, E. Jackson, Hammel

Veras, Strop, Wright, Russell, Carlos Villanueva


Fukijawa, Arrieta, J. McDonald (NRI)


Valbuena, Murphy, Olt, Roberts(NRI), Bonifacio(NRI), Kalish (NRI), C. Rusin, A. Cabrera, Grimm, Rondon, Parker, J. Sanchez (NRI), Ramirez


Baez (NRI), J. Baker (NRI), E. Whiteside (NRI), D. McDonald(NRI),  Wells(NRI), Coughlan(NRI), Hottovy (NRI), Yong-Lim (NRI), Schlitter (NRI), Wada (NRI), Valaika (NRI)


Soler, Bryant, Almora, Alcantara, Szczur, Watkins, Valdez(NRI), Pimentel(NRI), Jokisch(NRI), A. Cunningham, M. Hatley (NRI), Beeler, Hendricks(NRI), Rosscup, J. Vitters, B. Jackson, Christian Villanueva, A. Vizcaino, A. Rivero(NRI), M. Maier(NRI), R. Lopez(NRI)

Castro may end up on the disabled list when it's all said and done and I might be jumping the gun on McDonald as he said it's just shoulder tendinitis, but seems that it's going towards Chris Rusin getting that 5th starter spot out of camp while they await Arrieta to get healthy and ready. That'll keep Villanueva in the pen and 2 spots left for Cabrera, Grimm, Rondon, Parker, Sanchez or Ramirez.


h/t to Bleacher Nation for the find...

Cray CEO Pete Ungaro recently told The Economist that an unnamed MLB team purchased a Cray supercomputer with the intention of being able to analyze large volumes of information in a very short amount of time.


[The team as] one that "exemplifies an organization that, five years ago, most people would not have dreamed would need, or even want, a supercomputer."

and Tom Tango weighs in on it (he happens to work for the Cubs, so either he's playing dumb, doesn't know about it or the Cubs aren't the team).

i'm more interested in the software behind it rather than the machine crunching the numbers.

creating a custom solution software for a single organization would probably cost nearly as much as the machine, itself. there are metadata-defined data mining solutions that are already somewhat "out of box" able to do this (my former career) once you tell the modules what metadata is being pointed to...but i wonder if they're using an already made data mining solution or creating a custom piece of software.

Couple years ago I was at a Cubs Convention listening to Oneri Fieita tell an entertaining story about how in the Dominican, the Cubs used to have goats "mow" the grass.
Tied up at a small stake, they'd eat the weeds in a circle, then someone would move the stake again and again til the field was mowed.
And that was funny.
It really was.
But it's astonishing what used to be funny.

NCSU owned a piece of "junk land" for decades that they decided to turn into a golf course (a big piece of junk land).

it was overgrown with decades of grass, weeds, and kudzu. they used goats to clear most of it...and heavy equipment to remove the kudzu base roots (they get massive). the goats were put in temporary pens and moved space-to-space until it was clear enough to be machine cleared/graded/etc.

goats are pretty good at land clearing.

They're using goats out at O'Hare these days. Well, summertime.

I think this is an awesome idea and custom software isn't needed for crunching data. We're in the big data era now, and decisions are driven by analysis. Software packages already exist for this- stata, sas... there's a long list of them and in the hands of a skilled analyst, and given enough data, these systems can help make good decisions.

And it would be a mistake to assume a system like this would contribute only to baseball decisions- you could determine the best nights to offer a bobblehead, or which concessions should be added and for how much, or what team colors are most appealing to fans. Human behavior is now being measured, predicted, and manipulated at the micro-level.

The only problem with systems like this is the so-called black swans- those game-changers that we can't predict or see coming: PEDs, some data-defying superstar, _________ fill in the blank- the point is we don't know the next game-changer.

That said, I think the Cubs ought to get on this bandwagon (if they aren't already). As e.e.cummings wrote- "while Gadgets murder squawk and add, the cult of Same is all the chic" ;)

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • 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.