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

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  • crunch 25 min 59 sec ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards lose, brews win

    cubs/brews tied (82-69)

     

  • crunch 50 min 1 sec ago (view)

    hoerner is a steady glove, but so far he is not much of a "playmaker" with how quickly he can turn a play.

    the mechanics are solid, but they're not quickly fluid.  watching javy will spoil a fan, though.

     

  • crunch 1 hour 20 min ago (view)

    7ip 6h 1bb 13k, 4r/er

    8Ks in a row a cubs team record

     

  • crunch 2 hours 16 min ago (view)

    ...and darvish strikes out f'n everyone as a followup.

    11Ks through 4ip...63 pitches

     

  • crunch 3 hours 24 min ago (view)

    darvish hates the cubs, and america, and puppies, but mostly the cubs.

    16 pitches, man on 1st, 3 runs in, and a visit from the pitching coach.  that's good stuff.

     

  • George Altman 5 hours 27 min ago (view)

    I like that last paragraph a lot, Phil. Then use whatever cash left over in arbitration to fix the bullpen. 

     

  • crunch 5 hours 34 min ago (view)

    c.kimbrel threw a 16-pitch simulated game, he could return by week's end if he doesn't have a setback

     

  • crunch 6 hours 9 min ago (view)

    4 additional charges (as of now, unnamed) have been filed.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini(1st) / heyward / hoerner / darvish

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Betcha the Dodgers are really glad that they didn't trade Gavin Lux for Vazquez at the trade deadline. 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 25 min ago (view)

    28 year old PIT closer felipe vazquez (one of the best in the game for the last 3 years) nabbed for hooking up with a child for the past couple years (age 13-15).

    anything less than a full exoneration pretty much sinks his career unless he wants to run for office in Georgia.

    he's being charged with "one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minor" (this was all uncovered when the mother of the child discovered text messages)

    later dude.

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 47 min ago (view)

    I strongly believe that there will be some major changes on the Cubs after this season, even if the Cubs somehow win the World Series. There won't be a tear-down/rebuild lke 2012-14, but I can see the Cubs going younger.

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 22 min ago (view)

    I think Jon Lester wil be treated as a much-respected "franchise legend" next season, getting the honor of starting on Opening Day, but then being considered the #3 or #4 starter after that before getting his well-earned $10M "golden parachute" after the season. He won't be disrepected by the club, but his time as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation will be over. (Actually it's already over). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Keep in mind that Yu Darvish does have an opt-out after this season, so if he and/or his agent think he can get at least 4/$81M (which is what he presently is owed 2020-23) as a post-2019 FA he could opt-out.   

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 10 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Colin Rea hasn't pitched in almost two weeks so I doubt that the Cubs will call him up (they probably should have assigned him to the AFL to get him back into SP shape, but they didn't). That said, If the Cubs were to call-up Rea right now (and they would really need to do it ASAP for him to be useful as a SP) they could recall Justin Steele and place him on the 60-day IL to open up a spot on the 40 for Rea, so that part really isn't a problem. 

     

  • Charlie 9 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Regarding last night's 9th: Kyle Ryan unwilling or unable to throw his curveball is a little ugly.