Can Arrieta win 20?

I think I counted right.
There are 55 games left, which is 11 starts.
If he gets 8 more wins, Jake Arrieta could be the first Cub 20-game winner since Jon Lieber in 2008.
That year, Lieber had 11 wins before the All-Star break, 9 after.
Arrieta had 10 before.
So the odds are, you know, not great.
But not impossible at all.
WHAT'S IMPOSSIBLE IS TO IMAGINE that the Cubs got Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman (currently 4-5 with Houston).
Seriously, how did that even happen, and where would the Cubs be this year without that bit of brilliance from the authors of The Cubs Way?
You could argue that the acquisition of Jake Arrieta sped up the Cubs' rebuild by a year or maybe even two.
And oh yeah, tonight he held the 2nd-Place-in-the-Central Pirates to zeero runs, 2 hits and 3 bbs over 7.
Cubs 5, Pirates nothin'.
What a great start to this particularly serious part of the season.


I'd almost walk into my boss's office and with a completely serious face and call him a dick if they had swept the Pirates in a 3 game series at home. And my boss is a nice guy. Luckily, I didn't make that commitment, and second luckily, there was a rainout. I have a good vibe about Haren's final several games as a major league pitcher. I also finally figured out last night why I like Castro and nobody else does. I hardly ever see the gaffes. Yesterday was one of the few times I was able to see a game for awhile beginning to end, and he was brilliant on the field and at bat. Wow, what an enigma. His picture is in the dictionary next to the word. I DID see the ninth inning boot the other day. And, of course, he was letting the ball play him instead of charging it. I don't get the guy, but I guess this is just who is, although I will say it did look last night that he was up there being a little more aggressive at the plate instead of trying to guess pitches. Which he really, really sucks at (GDIP!)

You can wrap Castro up in mystery and stick him in a riddle and send to some other team to figure out. /and your boss is a dick //:-)

Tim -- you have a typo on the year Lieber won 20. It should say 2001 instead of 2008.

I shoudn't be allowed to have anything to do with numbers, ever. Thanks and sorry for that.

I haven't gotten to watch as many games in the past few weeks but last night Soler looked much better against breaking pitches. Even the AB he struck out on he laid off a couple ones he would have blindly whiffed at the first part of the season. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come because if he can get hot skies the limit.

Sounds like Soler may be getting less reps after Montero returns: Didn't realize Maddon has been luke-warm to the media regarding his (Edit: Soler's) outfield defense. He doesn't normally take that tact.

I don't expect there will be a fixed line up, and it will be interesting to see how Maddon mix and matches.

schwarb - C/LF/1st cog - 2nd/3rd/LF/RF russell - 2nd/SS it'll be even more interesting once baez comes back up...and olt...woo september.

Any chance Baez plays in center?

If Maddon is really worried about outfield defense, then I doubt it. I also doubt Schwarber plays 1B for the same defensive reasons. The main issue now seems to be that Maddon wants to bat Schwarber, and so on days he doesn't catch he puts him in LF. But then he is below average LF and RF. So it may be that on days Montero catches, we have Schwarber-Fowler-Coghlan/Denorfia in the OF. On days Schwarber catches it will continue to be Coghlan/Denorfia-Fowler-Soler. In other words, try to limit it to one weak link out there a game, with using defensive replacements late in the game when prudent. 

It's also become clear that Coghlan has become Maddon's new Zobrist, with games in LF, RF, 1B, 2B, and 3B so far. He can also play CF if needed and has in past seasons. Only positiosn he hasn't played in the big leagues are SS and C (and Maddon has already said he would probably be the emergency catcher if it ever came to it).  

I really think Coghlan has earned it too. i think he's tough as nails and Maddon knows it.

I like Coghlan a lot, but I'm not real big on Coghlan batting 3rd much, nor do I think he's a significant defensive improvement in RF over Soler, especially since Soler is a crucial feature of the Cubs future OF and Coghlan probably isn't. As long is it's only an occasional day off for Soler when the matchups significantly favor lefty hitters, it's not a big deal.

This SF series seems significant. Significant baseball in August. Crazy!


The Cubs have placed 1B Joey Martarano on the "Temporarily Inactive List," as he has returned to Boise State for his junior year (redshirt sophmore), where he will be playing MLB (the "Mike" LB position) and star on special teams for the Broncos in 2015. 

The 6'4 235 Martarano (who just turned 21) is presently the back-up MLB on the depth chart, but he had a really good Fiesta Bowl versus U. of Arizona, and so he might get more playing time than expected. 

Martarano hit 275/301/362 with four doubles, a triple, no HR and 13 RBI, and 1/14 BB/K in 18 games (73 PA) combined between AZL Cubs and Eugene in June-July, after hitting 276/344/276 with no XBH and 1/12 BB/K in eight games (32 PA) at Extended Spring Training. He needs to work on his defense at 1st base (he's well below-average), and he also needs to be more selective at the plate. He shows plus-power in BP, but it has yet to translate to games.