A Start and a Stop
Hello again from Des Moines, the soggy branch office of the Chicago Cubs National League ballclub.
A bizarre homestand that began last weekend with a flood-delayed game played behind closed doors as a public safety precaution ended last night with the season's largest crowd witnessing the latest episode in the unraveling of Rich Hill.
One night after Sean Marshall required only 87 pitches to get 24 outs, Hill scatter-gunned 45 before he was taken into custody after a mere two-thirds of the first inning.
He hit batters, batters hit him, he walked #'s 29, 30, 31 and 32 in 28 Iowa innings, threw in a wild pickoff throw that seemed almost gratuitous and generally made a[n] [Steve Bl]ass of himself before being ushered to the showers by tepid applause that was as unwarranted here as it would have been at a gallows.
How appropos that the opponent for the Iowa Floods was the New Orleans Hurricane.
The visitors' operatic lineup sparkled with Gustavos and Casanovas and Rauls and Valentinos and Pascuccis.
Understudies to Marshall on Thursday night, they killed Hill in the first act on Friday before the concessionaires had beaten back the first charge of a crowd in excess of 11k.
Marshall apparently won't be here much longer. He's ripe and ready for the call. As for Hill, he's best-suited right now for casting as Nuke Laloosh in a 'Bull Durham' remake.
The anti-climactic pitching note of the evening was the appearance of a young moose named Estrada for the I-Cubs. Recently promoted from Tennessee where his #'s were ordinary, he's listed at 6'8" and 260#. So far in two stints here he's allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings while walking zero and fanning 10. File him under future reference.
Following the good example of their parent club the I-Cubs now hit the road still in first place - high and, more importantly, dry...MW
Charlie 3 hours 6 min ago (view)
This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.
bradsbeard 8 hours 4 min ago (view)
I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump.
crunch 21 hours 27 min ago (view)
iapoce expected to stay. i'm surprised. i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.
crunch 22 hours 27 min ago (view)
i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 37 min ago (view)
In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 44 min ago (view)
Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!
crunch 22 hours 44 min ago (view)
shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro. 25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.
Charlie 2 days 14 min ago (view)
Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists
bradsbeard 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure.
Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games.
Arizona Phil 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.
He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls.
bradsbeard 2 days 21 hours ago (view)
Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me.
KingKongvsGodzilla 4 days 19 hours ago (view)
AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!
crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)
jim hickey new nats pitching coach.
bradsbeard 5 days 23 hours ago (view)
Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there.