I’m not quite finished with Ron Rapoport’s new Ernie Banks bio (Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub; The Life of Ernie Banks), but since today’s an off-day I’ll offer a thumbnail review based on the first 300+ pages.
With just minutes left before the midnight (Eastern) deadline, the Cubs signed two more 2018-19 J-2 IFA, bringing the total number of 2018-19 J-2 IFA signed by the Cubs to 39, including 21 since the Cubs acquired $750K in ISBP space from the Baltimore Orioles this past April in return for allowing the Orioles to keep 2017 Rule 5 draft pick RHRP Pedro Araujo.
Here is what I saw this week from Craig Kimbrel's Spring Training in June at the Cubs Mesa facility:
2019 AZL Opening Day is this coming Monday (6/17).
Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.
Just as the Cubs acclimate to the atmosphere at Coors, they skip off to Cally for a four-game set against the dangerous Dodgers. Having pitched a gem in the stopper role on Wednesday, Hamels will take his place in the cheering section for this one, and the rest of the rotation will get a chance to show their stuff. Good news for them is that the first three of the series will be night games, which may help them keep the ball in the yard. Quintana will have to work his way through the Sunday afternoon game. The bad news for everyone is that the Dodgers feature the most productive offense without a DH (ahead of the Cubs, who are now second in the NL in wRC+). On the other side of the ball, the LA squad may have the best defense in all of baseball, and their pitching is near the top in the NL. With the Dodgers (45-23) leading the NL in wins, any match with them will look like a post-season preview, as long as the other team is contending. The Cubs (38-29) come into the series 0.5 behind Milwaukee.
Matchups after the break.