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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Cubs roster update - post Winter Meetings

Not surprisingly, the Cubs have been relatively quiet so far this offseason.  After a couple moves, I thought it’d be worth putting the current projected 25 man roster on paper to see where things stand.

C: Contreras, Montero
1b: Rizzo
2b: Zobrist, Baez
SS: Russell
3b: Bryant
OF: Heyward, Schwarber, Almora, Jay

SP: Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Lackey, Montgomery
CL: Davis
RP: Rondon, Strop, Edwards, Grimm, Uehara

I see those 22 as locks.  Maybe Duensing is a lock, but I don’t think $2mil is a ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:09 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starting to think about 2017

I’m not entirely ready to start thinking about next year yet.  I’m still enjoying this year (side note: Friday at 7pm on FS1 is the 2016 Cubs movie that MLB produced).  There hasn’t been a ton of offseason movement or rumors yet, and the Cubs haven’t really done anything of note, unless of course you’re a 40 man roster fanatic.  Seeing that Fangraphs has put out their 2017 projections made me at least put up this post.  If anything major comes up during the winter meetings, I might start a new ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: November 29, 2016 at 01:10 PM | 107 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series champions


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

2016 Season Recap

World Series Champs

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: November 08, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: champions, cubs, world series


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Game 7 Feelings

World Series Champions.  Never a doubt.

For Joel. 

For my grandpa.  For everyone that never saw this.  Cubs were the best team, February through November.  Champions.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: November 03, 2016 at 01:21 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Game 6 Feelings

World Series game 7 Cubs

I really don’t have any words tonight, though there’s plenty to talk about.  Maybe I’ll be able to write some coherent sentences then.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: November 02, 2016 at 12:01 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Game 5 Feelings

Whew.

Seriously.  Whew.  Holy ####, not sure I’ll be able to fall asleep anytime soon.  So, to try and organize some half thought-through thoughts.

Good:
1. Chapman.  This was a tough situation for him; he’s been bad all year with inherited runners and even worse in the playoffs.  Longest outing in his pro career, almost most pitches thrown.  He made it tougher on himself not covering first (though, not sure they get the out), but still came through. 
2. Lester.  I’ll get to the decision to ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 30, 2016 at 11:58 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Game 4 Feelings

Well, hard to like much after that. Kluber was awesome, yet again. The Indians have made almost no mistakes, and have taken advantage of most of the Cubs. The lack of offense is surprising, but the defense falling apart bugs me the most. We can not pick moves here and there, but the Cubs just haven’t been good enough.

Luckily, there’s 3 more games. Once again, on paper, the Cubs have the pitching advantage. They could very easily win each of the next 3 games, or it could end tomorrow. I don’t ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 30, 2016 at 12:05 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Game 3 Feelings

Well, not a lot that can be sugar coated after that one.  It really is amazing that was a 1-0 game, regardless of the winner, considering the weather.  The fact that neither team came anywhere near close to hitting a home run is absolutely unbelievable.  Anyhow..

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Only giving up 1 run in this weather is a good thing, I guess.
2. I really don’t have any complaints with how any of the Cubs pitchers pitched.  It would have been nice for Hendricks to ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 29, 2016 at 12:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Game 2 Feelings

Late night thoughts, as I wait for the NyQuil to kick in.

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Schwarber, Schwarber, Schwarber.  Is this real?  Were I a neutral fan, I might start thinking this storyline is getting pounded into the ground.  But it’s just so damn incredible.  The entire postgame show was about whether or not he should play LF Friday, and how the Cubs are a different team with him.  Yes, they are, but they were still really, really ####### good without him.  ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 26, 2016 at 11:37 PM | 95 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Game 1 Feelings

There’s plenty of analysis and overanalysis out there for everyone to find.  Rather than writing a long post in one of the threads, I figured I’d just throw all my thoughts up here and see what sticks.

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Schwarber, Schwarber, Schwarber.  I kind of forgot how good of an eye he had, so there was something to like from each of his at-bats.  He only swung at 2 pitches out of the zone (I think), and even more impressively he hung in against Miller ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 26, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Monday, October 24, 2016

Bring on the outsourced 5 minute Indians preview

I haven’t had time to write one of these up yet, but Walt posted this in a comment on the last thread.  I’ll just post what he wrote, and give any of my thoughts in the comments.

I’ve paid very little attention to this team all year but here goes:

Offense is better than the overall numbers look—the overall numbers are dragged down by a mostly terrible bench but the starters are pretty good and they cleaned up one weakness getting Guyer to mash LHP. There’s no stud batter but everybody is a ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 24, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, ohmygodistillaminshock, world series


Sunday, October 23, 2016

NL pennant thread

Hell yeah. Whooo.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 23, 2016 at 01:35 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, pennant


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Long Wait

No, not THAT one.  I’m talking about the long wait until 7:08pm tomorrow.  These waits with the offday in between are just so, so long.  I already spend so much overthinking things, now I have another 24 or so hours to question and re-question everything I think I’ve convinced myself to think to feel. 

Anyhow, the Cubs are in position to clinch the pennant at home.  It’s a big moment, and as much as I try, it’s impossible to ignore history.  Luckily, history doesn’t really matter; or it ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, playoffs


Friday, October 14, 2016

Bring on the five minute Dodgers preview

I don’t have a lot of time today to write any sort of detailed preview.  Besides, there’ll be plenty of those everywhere else.  It’s been quite an exciting playoffs so far, but I wouldn’t complain if the Cubs were able to take care of business a little more quietly this series.  So borrowing a format I used earlier…

Reasons for Optimism (all the same, but with thoughts slightly tweaked as applicable):

1. Pitching and defense.  Just like last time, the Cubs have an advantage here.  The Kershaw ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:06 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, dodgers, nlcs, playoffs


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NLDS Winner Thread

Just wanted to get something up. Probably will write more tomorrow.

All I’ll say is have some faith in this team. Don’t get discouraged or give up so easy. They’re good, and it’s never over.

Hell, they’re really ####### good.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 12, 2016 at 12:58 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, nlds, playoffs


Monday, October 10, 2016

Gut check Monday

Rather that doing any sort of write, I thought I’d list out a bunch of things I like, or didn’t like, or felt, after the first 2 games; plus how I feel about tonight’s game.

Things to like:
1. Javy.  It really speaks to how far he’s come all the ways he’s making an impact.  Sure, I’d love for him to run out of the box sprinting every time (more on that late), but he’s been exactly what the Cubs needed at the bottom of the lineup.  He hasn’t even had to do too much defensively yet, but the ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 09:49 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, giants, playoffs


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bring on the Giants

This will be a very unorganized preview, but I wanted to get something up to talk about here.  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of previews to read.  Most will say something along the lines of the Cubs are the better team on paper, but it’s an even year and the Giants and a proven October winner.  Since I don’t believe in that - or curses/jinxes - but realize anything can happen in a short series, I’ll say the Cubs are clearly the better team on paper but the Giants will be a tough match (and a ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 06, 2016 at 11:01 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, giants, playoffs, previews


Monday, October 03, 2016

Five minute non-specific opponent playoff preview

I’ll write a little more after the NL WC game on Wednesday, once we know who the Cubs are playing (quick thought - I don’t have a preference; both the Mets and Giants have obvious strengths and ways they could beat the Cubs, and also plenty of weaknesses and reasons the Cubs can beat them).  In the meantime, here’s some quick thoughts about how things are looking.  First though, 103 wins.  Wow.  I hope we can fully appreciate how great this season way, regardless of how this month turns out.  ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 03, 2016 at 05:14 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fear, Worry, and Overthinking

Since the Cubs actually cliched, and even well before that when it was inevitable, I found it easy to push a bunch of minor concerns out of my mind.  Usually a quick “Yeah, but that won’t matter until October” was enough to mentally move on.  Now that the playoffs are just a (long, long) week away, the doubts have started creeping back in.  So, in the remaining 8 days until the Cubs play their next meaningful game, here are the things that worry me.

1. This:

We interrupt your regularly ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:41 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, playoffs


Monday, September 19, 2016

Projected Playoff Roster

We’ve talked about this off and on in so many different threads and chatters, figured it was time to create a dedicated thread now that the Cubs have clinched.  I’ll put any new predictions in the comments.  But this is what I’m guessing will be the roster, not what I want it to be.

Starters:
Contreras
Rizzo
Baez
Russell
Bryant
Zobrist
Fowler
Heyward

I think we’re going to see Baez start at either 3b (for Lester’s start, with Bryant in LF) or 2b (the other guys, with Zobrist in LF) for the ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: September 19, 2016 at 03:53 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, playoffs, roster battles


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Just Enjoy It

WIth the end of the season fast approaching, there’s going to be plenty of stressful moments and opportunities for second guessing.  Whether the Cubs keep winning in October or not, I’ve found now is really a good time to just sit back and enjoy what we’ve seen over the last few years.  Obviously the title would be the ultimate, but I am at the point where I wouldn’t want to change places with any other fandom. 

Sometimes it’s just fun to step back and consider the numbers.  It’s only ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: September 06, 2016 at 11:10 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Is that good?

Can he move into 2nd by the end of the year?


What the FIP?

The Cubs pitching has been statistically extreme in some interesting ways.

First, let’s look at FIP.  FIP (“fielding independent pitching”) attempts to capture a pitcher’s performance, in a term similar to ERA, that does not depend on the fickle fate of balls hit in play. As a team, the Cubs have greatly outperformed their team FIP, posting a 3.13 team ERA (best in MLB), compared to 3.80 FIP (fourth in MLB).  I believe the last time a team finished the season with a higher difference was 2002, ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: August 24, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: babip, chicago cubs, fip


Friday, August 05, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I haven’t had a lot of specific things to write, and we’ve gotten our fair share of threads lately, but I still thought I’d put up a new open post and people can take it whatever direction they’d like.

Some random assorted thoughts…

- How about Javy Baez?  His defense has been even better than I could have imagined.  He’ll make the occasional error, either on a play he tries to force or where someone isn’t expecting him to make the throw, but I could only imagine what his defensive numbers ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: August 05, 2016 at 10:54 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, javy baez, jorge soler


Thursday, July 21, 2016

4-2, 5QS

After yesterday’s win, the Cubs are 4-2 after the break and saw their starters give them Quality Starts in 5 of those games with the 6th being Lackey’s 8IP, 4ER start.  The last Quality Start before the break was June 30th, meaning we had 10 straight games where the starter failed to qualify for a Quality Start (the Cubs went 2-8 over that stretch).  Whatever the Cubs did to get them back on track seems to be working. 

Bryant and Rizzo are the top two in the NL in WAR among position players.  ...

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Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 21, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Another Direction with Andere Richtingen

This post comes from another long time poster, Andere Richtingen, who can’t seem to locate his keys to the blog.

The Cubs hit a bit of a rough spot the last three weeks, going 6-15.  On June 19th, the team hit its apex so far for the season, completing a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Wrigley. They led the division by 12.5 games, an achievement the team hadn’t made since 1929, and had a record of 47-20.  That sweep completed a 15-6 stretch, after which things fell apart.  Really fell ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: July 13, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Midseason Prospect Check-in

Rather that just look up a bunch of stats for guys that I really haven’t seen at all, I’ll just link to the excellent write-up from Cubs Den on the first half for the Cubs prospects. 

At the same time, we want to give credit to those players who have made a breakthrough early in 2016.  I’ve had the good fortune to see all of these players since February, so I know that the breakthrough seasons of Eloy Jimenez, Bryan Hudson, and Trevor Clifton —or those of sleepers like PJ Higgins, Jesus ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: June 30, 2016 at 02:24 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, prospects


Monday, June 27, 2016

Slumping and Busting

Last week the Cubs went 1-6, and saw both the pitching and the hitting drop.  They gave up 5.29 runs per game but only scored 3 runs per game.  It can be hard to win when nearly everyone slumps at the same time.  As a indicator of how good they had been, they went 1-6 and are still up 9 games.

Random musings:

The depth has continued to be excellent.  While Almora has hit poorly recently, Baez, Szczur, and Ross have all hit well.  Coghlan has hit decently since he was acquired, and Contreras ...

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Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:18 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Finally, part 2

Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney 15s15 seconds ago
#Cubs put Clayton Richard (blister) on DL and option Adam Warren to Iowa with intent to stretch him out to make start before All-Star break.

Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub 3m3 minutes ago
RHP Spencer Patton recalled. LHP Gerardo Concepcion also called up for big-league debut.

The bullpen is all of a sudden very young and inexperienced.  Here’s hoping at least one of these guys (this includes Edwards) really stands out and can stay on the ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: June 21, 2016 at 05:27 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Finally

The Cubs have finally made one of the more obvious and inevitable moves with their roster this season.  No, not that one, the other one.  Tim Federowicz isn’t on the team anymore.  He’s been replaced as the third catcher by Willson Contreras, arguably the Cubs best prospect.  Contreras had absolutely dominated AAA this year, hitting .350/.439/.591, with only 32Ks in 239PAs.  His bat appears the be the real deal.  The only thing that was holding him back was the Cubs’ belief that he needed more ...

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Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: June 16, 2016 at 01:12 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, prospects, willson contreras


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