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 12 hours 18 min ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 

     

  • Cubster 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM

     

  • Charlie 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.

     

  • crunch 6 days 3 hours ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.

     

  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.