Friday Notes Edition
''To me the infield is probably more important than the outfield, because you get more balls in the infield,'' Baker said. ''You got to be strong defensively up the middle. But Nomar got hurt, and Walk was always more an offensive player.''Of course the fact that he thinks Walker is more of an offensive player and the only shortcoming of Nomar was that he got hurt, just tells you how much our manager is paying attention. Anyway I highly doubt Walker is back next year. The human thing would be to not pick up his option and let him go find his own deal. The smart thing would be to pick up his option, see what happens in the off-season and if we fill second base with a better player, then look to trade him. If we don't find a better second baseman, then Option B is Todd Walker and that's one helluva of an Option B. And even if we do find a second baseman, keeping Todd Walker on the bench isn't such a bad idea. He might not be thrilled about it, but I'm sure he'd adjust quickly. He doesn't seem like the guy who'd cause a huge ruckus once the season began. And we'd at least have a legit bat coming off the bench and there's no reason that Walker couldn't fill in at third, first or left field in a pinch. - Other than the coaching staff, the only other news to come next week (by Wednesday) will most likely be some 40 man roster additions and subtractions. Thanks to AZ Phil for this list of minor leaguers who are eligible to be six-year minor league free agents, if they're not added to the 40 man roster. Cliff Bartosh Enrique Cruz Nate Frese Talley Haines Mark Johnson David Kelton Casey Kopitzke Kevin McGlinchy Calvin Murray Phil Norton Cody Ransom Brandon Sing Aron Weston There's only one player that needs to be added and that's Brandon Sing, who's now been raking the ball for 2+ years in the minors and has the peripherals to suggest that he won't be the next Jason Dubois. Problem is that his main position is first base and well that's spoken for. He has dabbled in the outfield the last 2 years and it's reported he has a cannon for an arm, but he's a bit lost chasing flyballs. Undoubtedly he'll start the season in AAA next year, but he'd make a great injury replacement for Lee next year if that unfortunate occurence would befall us and given some time, who knows if his outfield defense could improve. The only other players on that list that may get added are Cliff Bartosh and Talley Haines, I would think.
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
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.
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:
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.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
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).