Opening Night for the 1st Place Cubs

Tonight is (Home) Opening Night for the 4-1 branch of the organization. If this was theatrical the mantra would be “Break a leg.” But in this particular performing art let’s just say “Play ball!” I’m anxious to see Trent Trombone and “Heeere’s Johnny!” Field (#1 on your scorecard and winner of the Name of the Game award, hands down). Happ, of course, while he’s here. As I recall, his first stop in Des Moines was not a long one. Yes, here it is, 9 homers in 26 games in the spring of 2017 before a call-up that looked to be his one and only until he got a bad case of the whiffs, a la erstwhile wunder-pick Brett Jackson. BJ struck out 393 times in 296 games with the I-Cubs across parts of four seasons and 59 times in his only 44 games with the C-Cubs in 2012. Happ’s fanned 9 times in 5 games so far on this go ‘round, so who knows? In the Hurry UP Department: Nico Hoerner. Will his fast-track reach this high this summer? Mound-wise, hurry back, AA. Before breaking down last year, Adbert Alzolay took a pair of no-nos into the 6th, teases of potential. Maples are my favorite trees and potentially my favorite reliever, too. In Dillon’s first two outings, all five outs he’s recorded have been Ks. The caveat, as usual, is erratic control as he’s also walked 4. When Maples is on the mound, bats are little more than props. Edwards is back, too, and got a win last night. Maybe The Slim Reaper should go back to CJ. Carl Jr.’s been pitching like someone’s old man. Good weather tonight on the 46th anniversary of a snowstorm that buried Des Moines beneath more than a foot of snow. The postponements won’t start until at least tomorrow when t-storms are in store.

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This has the cadence of a letter written to a dear friend while just a bit tipsy. Love it! Looking forward to some reports from Des Moines!

Who will be heading to Chicago to replace Jon Lester?

maples pitched tonight (1ip 0h 3bb 2k, 1r/0er) for iowa...guess he can be marked off the "who's getting called up" list

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  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    j.girardi did a 2nd interview with PHI on Monday and he's supposedly the favorite for the job.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old

     

  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.