Business Trips

Odd that both the C-Cubs & I-Cubs are idle today.

The locals have punched their playoff ticket and begin a best-of-five series in Round Rock tomorrow night, albeit with a carcass of a roster now that fire marshals have revised MLB dugout capacities upward. Game three and any others required are slated for Des Moines over the weekend.

Strange days indeed at the end of the PCL regular season; lots of comings and goings. Friday night, Robel Garcia was here grand slamming the Iowa magic number down to zero. By Monday, he was in Chicago flailing at big league breaking balls. Same itinerary for AA Jr. who was ripping doubles and his pants on Friday in Triple A and roaming the ivy league pasture he prefers less than 48 hours later. Monday afternoon, Willy Contreras bounced a foul ball right at me in the photo well at Sec Taylor Field. Tuesday night, he smoked a long ball deep into the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Sunday pregame, I saw Duane Underwood arriving at the ballpark by Uber, lugging his equipment into the clubhouse to say goodbyes before heading back to the bigs. He looked the way you’d expect a guy called up from Des Moines to Chicago to look. Monday midgame, I saw Mark Zagunis departing the ballpark by Uber, lugging his equipment and, having said his goodbyes, heading for the airport and DFA limbo. He looked resigned.

It’s a transient racket, baseball. Sometimes winners and losers are teammates that pass in the night.    

Comments

With Wilson Contreras back from the IL and fairly obviously 100% or close to it, the Cubs have optioned C-1B Taylor Davis to AAA Iowa. The Cubs would not have been able to do this if Iowa had not qualified for the PCL playoffs, because a player cannot be optioned to a minor league team whose season has ended. 

This move will save the Cubs about $2,500 per day (the difference between T. Davis's MLB and minor league "split" salary), which helps to offset what the Cubs are paying Mark Zagunis while he is Designated for Assignment (a player who is Designated for Assignment must be recalled from his Optional Assignment -- known as "Recalled - Not to Report" -- and then he accrues MLB Service Time and is paid at the MLB rate while he is a Designated Player). 

Optioning T. Davis to Iowa will also keep him in "game shape" (at least while Iowa is still alive) in the event that Contreras, Caratini, or Lucroy go down with an injury in the comng days or weeks. 

The only problem will be if the Cubs get into a 16 or 18 inning game and Kyle Hendricks or Cole Hamels has to PH in a game situation because the Cubs are out of position players, or if the Cubs somehow manage to run out of catchers in a game due to mismanagement and/or bad luck. Then the Cubs will have some 'splainin' to do. 

There's still The Schwarb out there for an emergency but the odds of him having been used and pulled already are pretty high at that point.  He has donned the Tools of Ignorance at least once this year.

When the Cubs are in the situation they are in right now, where it could come down to a key play in a single game, you should take advantage of every possible edge you can get. If they give you 40 roster slots, take them. Yes, some players and some pitchers may not get a lot of game action, but then you can play an occasional "sim" game prior to BP.

Every player called up from the minors in September costs about $75,000 more in salary than if he would have been left on optional assignment. It adds up. But, if adding as many MLB-ready players as possible to the active list in September can help you win just one game and one game is the difference between getting into the post-season or not getting into the post-season, then the extra salaries in September are well worth it. 

If the Cubs were the 2019 Dodgers (or the 2016 Cubs) where getting into the playoffs is not in doubt, then it wouldn't matter. But at this point anything can happen. 

What's the worst that could happen?  Joe could have a relief pitcher take an at bat, he hits a soft grounder and tries to leg it out and pulls a hammie, but what's the odds of that happening. 

It would definitely be a fluke, a Strop of bad luck even.

I'm more concerned about the lack of a third shortstop on the roster. We've seen how a game can go sideways quickly when middle infield defense is poor. 

Bote and Happ at short and second- Make it stop it’s burning my eyes!

It's stretch time. Who knows what will happen. Enjoy the ride. I can remember days when Sept. was a big nothing. Go Cubs!

If you assume the NLDS regulars are 18, 6, 17, 44, 9, 12, 40, 22 and Caratini,Happ are locks don't you have to keep 27 & 5 for SS/CF defense? And how does Bote not make that roster?

that's NumberWang!

round 2!

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 1 hour 55 min ago (view)

    "Chicago Cubs  @Cubs
    Our Aug. 7-9 series at St. Louis has been rescheduled as three 7-inning doubleheaders at Wrigley Field.

    #Cubs will be home team for Game 1. Cardinals home team for Game 2."

     

  • Eric S 2 hours 6 min ago (view)

    It's been fantastic how little use the pen has had (relatively) thanks to the starters going for six-seven innings. Hopefully Chatwood keeps the line moving tonight. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 50 min ago (view)

    I agree with all of this except maybe Tepera. I'd put him firmly in ??? territory. I feel like he's looked better than his results but it's hard to say given small sample size.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Managerial change making a difference I think. Hopefully the changes to the amateur scouting department also bears fruit

     

  • Cubster 17 hours 35 min ago (view)

    David Ross might be worthy of a little credit, especially sorting out the bullpen issues.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 39 min ago (view)

    this team is amazing.  i want more than 60 games of this.  darvish since mid-season last year has been great stuff.

    also, wick got to close.  kimbrel hasn't worked in quite a while.

     

  • Eric S 18 hours 21 min ago (view)

    39 pitch inning by Burnes.

     

  • crunch 18 hours 56 min ago (view)

    "allegedly"

    ...well, it is true that's the plan...but...umm..."allegedly"

     

  • QuietMan 19 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Cubs to play double headers Monday and Wednesday against the Cardinals.

     

  • Eric S 19 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Ha! Hope Nico goes on a heater!

     

  • Cubster 20 hours 3 min ago (view)

    "Not thrilled"...as if on cue, Nico leads off with a double and a later Schwarbsbomb.

     

  • Eric S 21 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Updated Bullpen tiers:

    Tier 1 (Closer/Firemen)

    Wick and Jeffress (interchangeable)

    Tier 2 (Preferred Setup roles)

    Tepera, Sadler, Rea (!)

    Tier 3 (Face lefties exclusively if possible)

    Ryan (has to get that fastball out of mid-80s or head to South Bend)

    Winkler 

    Tier 4 (Long man innings eater)

    Underwood 

    Tier 10 (reserved for use when either up or down by 10+ runs)

    Kimbrel

    I think that covers it?

     

  • Jackstraw 23 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Wait.  The bullpen can get worse?  That's unpossible.

     

  • Eric S 23 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Well, shoot.

    Here we go again: Nico, Rizzo, Javy, Willson, Schwarber (LF), Happ, Bote, Souza, Caratini

    Not thrilled with Nico leading off when the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history was available but whatever 

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 min ago (view)

    bryant was supposedly gonna be in the lineup but he has left ring finger and wrist hurties.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 17 min ago (view)

    I really think they could play .500 from here and would take the division.

    But leave room for at least a week long slump due to bullpen implosion.