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   1. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:53 AM (#5689438)
I guess I could also point out I'm a little worried about Happ's BA, though his OBP is obviously fine. Russell has been in and out, and banged up, but there's good signs there too. Schwarber is Schwarber.
   2. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 11, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5689464)
I guess I could also point out I'm a little worried about Happ's BA, though his OBP is obviously fine.

I'm (more than) a little worried about his K rate, which was already quite high last year (31.1%), and is now at 40%. To put that in perspective, last season Schwarber had a 31% K rate. Pro-rating to 600 PAs, Happ is on track to strike out 200 times -- not that he's likely to get to 600 PAs under those circumstances.

And before somebody says it, I understand that the cost of a K versus other outs is marginal -- high K rates are a sign of a problem, not a symptom. And that problem is the league knows Ian Happ will swing at a forehead-height fastball.

Heyward - // since the DL is real, but it’s just a matter of when it goes back to bad, not if.

This may be true, but his K rate is down -- that may be attributable to adjustments in his swing or something, but he's also hitting the ball in the air more. His BABIP is up but not absurdly so (.292). I am happy for him to be something other than an automatic out.

Chatwood - He’s new to this bottom section, and there’s nothing really more to say about these walks. They’re terrible, and the jump from last year is still inexplicable, but I’ve started expecting it from him.

He's always been like this (lousy command, but his stuff is often good enough to make up for it), and while his current walk rate is ridiculous, it's not shocking based on his overall track record, which is merely bad. The overall result has been okay but it's hard to imagine him walking a man an inning the entire season.

Lester - His FIP is continuing to drop after some initial concerns about his underlying stats. In his last 8 games, he has a 1.63 ERA in 49 2/3 IP, with a 44/17 K/BB and only 4 HRs allowed.

My concern with Lester remains velocity, which has been pretty decent lately. It's still down from 2016, but he knows how to pitch with a 92 mph fastball, but it doesn't really work when his fastball is at 90-91. My real fear is wearing him out as the season progresses. Anyway, so far he's been classic Lester, tricking hitters into making bad contact/striking out.
   3. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5689472)
Heyward - // since the DL is real, but it’s just a matter of when it goes back to bad, not if.

Meant to fill that in before I posted, oops. Didn't realize it until you quoted it.

I'm (more than) a little worried about his K rate, which was already quite high last year (31.1%), and is now at 40%. To put that in perspective, last season Schwarber had a 31% K rate. Pro-rating to 600 PAs, Happ is on track to strike out 200 times -- not that he's likely to get to 600 PAs under those circumstances.

After he lost the full time job, he had a stretch in there where he cut down on them some, but it's gone back up. Slicing and dicing his season*, you've got 25Ks in his first 49 ABs (.202/.264/.367)...actually, it's really hard to find any stretch where he's not consistently striking out. It's just that even when he seems to be going good - like since his great weekend in Cinci - his line is so weird: .213/.448/.511 with 22/20 K/BB ratio in 67PAs. Even if you took away the 6IBBs, that's just hard to do; either he's striking out or he's on base (he also is in a bit of a homerless stretch with his last one coming in the 9th as a PH in a blowout loss to the Indians on 5/22).

*Which there really isn't a reason to do that I can think of, but I do remember reading (and maybe even posting) about his K rate declining somewhere in the middle there even though I can't really find where it is.

while his current walk rate is ridiculous, it's not shocking based on his overall track record, which is merely bad

I dunno; his BB/9 last year was a career high 4.69 and this year he's at 8.64. I would consider that increase shocking. But also nearly impossible.
   4. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 11, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5689512)
Without a doubt it's a personal record for Chatwood to give up 56 walks in 58 IP, but he's had stretches like this. Last year in a stretch of five starts he gave up 22 walks in 21 IP, after which he was DL'd and taken out of the rotation for a couple of weeks. That was when Colorado's season was starting to fall apart. I think what's shocking is that Maddon is giving him an opportunity to stay in these games where he's walking everybody. They're paying him a lot of money and the Cubs are 6-6 in his starts, so they likely have some patience left.

We certainly agree that this is not sustainable.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5689552)
I am happy for him to be something other than an automatic out.
Heyward's OPS+ is up to 98 as of today. I think he's been this close to 100 as a Cub once before, but it's looking like there is a real possibility that he spends at least one day as an average offensive player in a Cubs uniform. That's...something.
   6. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 11, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5689559)
Heyward's OPS+ is up to 98 as of today. I think he's been this close to 100 as a Cub once before, but it's looking like there is a real possibility that he spends at least one day as an average offensive player in a Cubs uniform. That's...something.


It's like trying to pet a terrified rabbit... I'm trying to figure out whether the best answer is to be really quiet, say soothing things, or otherwise not frighten him back down into the rabbit hole of suck.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5689564)
It's like trying to pet a terrified rabbit... I'm trying to figure out whether the best answer is to be really quiet, say soothing things, or otherwise not frighten him back down into the rabbit hole of suck.
This is excellently true.
   8. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5689874)
Alex Cohen 3h3 hours ago

#Cubs fans -- time to keep an eye @IowaCubs RHP Dillon Maples, who struck out the side in order in the 7th inning for his 4th save of the season in Game 1 of today's DH. Last 6 outings for Maples: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 K, 0 BB. Now 36 strikeouts in 20.2 IP this season. #EverybodyIn


He still had 19BBs (and 33Ks) in 19.2IP coming into today. So he was uberChatwoody until this small stretch.
   9. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5689878)
Today's lineup (I enjoy seeing this weeks after the games are over) against a RHP

Almora
Heyward
Bryant
Rizzo
Contreras
Schwarber
Baez
Russell
Quintana
   10. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 11, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5689890)
He still had 19BBs (and 33Ks) in 19.2IP coming into today. So he was uberChatwoody until this small stretch.

13 Ks and 0 BBs is impressive in any stretch.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5689951)
It's like trying to pet a terrified rabbit... I'm trying to figure out whether the best answer is to be really quiet, say soothing things, or otherwise not frighten him back down into the rabbit hole of suck.
Well, he got a hit in his first AB...do we say anything?
   12. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 11, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5689959)
13 Ks and 0 BBs is impressive in any stretch.

The Ks part is. In terms of the walks, it will be awhile before I'm willing to overlook the preceding 259 career innings where he posted a 5.8 BB/9IP.
   13. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 03:19 AM (#5690124)
Site was briefly down here yesterday before I went to sleep (here being Poland), so I couldn't post the Mazzoni for Bass roster swap. Bass was another guy that got talked up a little in ST (only other guy talked about yet to make an appearance is Simmons), but once again I'm a little surprised it wasn't Hancock again. Also, outside of that great game in Queens, Ferrell isn't really seem to be as good as someone like Hancock. Bass wasn't on the 40 man, so Butler moved to the 60 day DL (and there hasn't been a peep about his status or him rehabbing, which is a little odd).

Rosario appears to be something beyond just useful though, even if his K and BB rates aren't quite pretty. Though SSS for both sides.
   14. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 03:26 AM (#5690125)
...oh, and back in first place, with best record in the NL.

And this Heyward thing is still happening, huh?

Daren Willman @darenw 4h4 hours ago

Jason Heyward's hard hit % by season:
2018 42.6%
2017 30.9%
2016 30.9%
2015 36.3%
   15. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 04:35 AM (#5690128)
This is all from an article after Sunday's game (Athletic):

The pitching staff has a 3.21 ERA, second-best in baseball behind the Houston Astros’ 2.93. But Cubs pitchers lead all of baseball with an 11.3 percent walk rate and they’re striking out just 22.9 percent, which is middle of the pack.

The Cubs need Tyler Chatwood to find the strike zone much more often. If you remove his unacceptable 20.7 percent walk rate, the Cubs, as a staff, drop to third in baseball with a 10.1 percent walk rate.


So while there are still other guys walking too many people (Wilson - though he has been better lately, Duensing, Cishek), it's still crazy to see how much Chatwood impacts that ranking.

---

Also, Baez hitting leadoff didn't fix him - and since Bryant* still hasn't homered, it didn't fix him either; time for a new trick, Joe:

Báez is out of sorts. On Sunday, he saw 16 pitches in four plate appearances. Only four of those were in the zone, and only one really over the heart of the plate (which he put in play and reached on an error). Of the 12 pitches he saw out of the zone, he swung at eight of them. He also managed to take two strikes.


So it was good to see (in the boxscore) him get a couple hits and a walk yesterday.

I also see (in the highlights) that Willson just missed a HR, well robbed of one.

Since that week when the Cubs cleaned up against the Miami Marlins and White Sox, they have a .141 ISO, 23rd in baseball. This team was built around offense, a slugging group that was expected to mature this season into a combination of power, patience and a skillset that would allow them to use the whole field and put the ball in play when the situation dictated it. They’re doing nearly all of those things, but in an era where power is at an all-time high, the Cubs are suddenly lacking in it.


The Cubs have been very good in this stretch. If they can add the power to everything else that's working...

*Bryant's BA is now down to .286, Heyward is up to .281. What a crazy world (plus Bryant had his first GIDP of the year). Plus:

For the season, Bryant has a 116 wRC+ against righties. His overall numbers are elevated by the fact that he has an insane 266 wRC+ facing lefties. Those numbers against righties, while not bad, aren’t very Bryant-like. Jason Heyward, who is having a nice bounce-back year, has a 125 wRC+ against righties.


Again, doesn't include yesterday's game.

---

the Cubs’ defense right now, which leads baseball with a .738 defensive efficiency, is keeping the staff’s BABIP to a league-best .262. The defense is getting help from the pitchers, who are allowing a 19.9 percent soft-contact rate, fourth-best in baseball.


FG's defense stats don't really like Rizzo or Baez (or really Heyward) this year, but really likes Almora and Russell (it's higher on Schwarber than Heyward).
   16. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 04:40 AM (#5690129)
FG updated their prospect rankings. Both Ademan and Alzolay were honorable mentions before (they only ranked a 100) and here they're at 104 and 116. Although:

Tommy Birch @TommyBirch 7:37 PM - Jun 11, 2018

#Cubs top prospect Adbert Alzolay not expected to return from the disabled list until after the All-Star break. An update on his progress: http://dmreg.co/2JEVoeb


Bummer. From the link:

Despite the inconsistencies, Madison said Alzolay had been knocking on the door of his first big-league promotion before landing on the disabled list.

“He’s so close to the big leagues and helping if there was a need,” Madison said. “So, definitely disappointing, but he’s going to work his butt off and do everything he can to get back and get back to being 100 percent. Hopefully we can get past this and not have to worry about these types of things anymore."
   17. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 05:11 AM (#5690130)
I feel like I need a little more info/context here, but it does line up with what I think - teams shift too aggressively against the Cubs.
   18. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 06:50 AM (#5690136)
WTF - right now all of my comments are showing up as [ Ignored Comment ], but I am not ignoring myself.

Testing. EDIT: Now they're not. Anyone else that happen to them yet? I emailed Jim about 10 times for the login problem, with nothing changing, so hopefully that was just a weird glitch.
   19. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5690192)
Reading this and now I'm disappointed the Pirates have gone hunting after Rizzo yet. I mean, how'd they not hit him already:

“That’s how the game is played,” Musgrove said of retaliating. “You’re willing to go out and hit somebody, you’ve got to be willing to deal with might come with that, putting the leadoff runner on base, especially late in the game like that. You don’t want to start a rally.”


Dumbasses.
   20. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 12, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5690196)
WTF - right now all of my comments are showing up as [ Ignored Comment ], but I am not ignoring myself.


Your first comment originally showed up as [Ignored Comment] for me when you started the new thread... I thought you were joking - though it shows up now.

I think there's only one answer: Gonfalon Cubs is haunted. Or maybe Heyward's suck has left his body and inhabited it. If the latter, I vote we just bear with it.
   21. Charles S., looking 4 band-aids instead of dreams Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5690261)
I think there's only one answer:
The other possibility is that one of Moses' previous BTF handles has taken over part of his brain and is at war with the current Moses.
   22. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5690286)
I think Heyward's recent success broke BBREF. They still haven't updated from last nights games. Sean must be frantically wrestling with the database algorithm to make it put a 3 digit number under his OPS+ against all logic.
   23. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5690288)
Heh, I noticed that too, Miserlou.
   24. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5690322)
I think Heyward's recent success broke BBREF. They still haven't updated from last nights games. Sean must be frantically wrestling with the database algorithm to make it put a 3 digit number under his OPS+ against all logic.


Fangraphs has updated and Heyward has a wRC+ of 106! The only Cub with more than 69 plate appearances this season and a wRC+ below 100 is Addison Russell at 93 - which is probably above average for a shortstop, certainly for a shortstop who fields as well as Russell - in fact, Fangraphs shows Russell at -1.8 Batting runs but +1.9 baserunning runs, so he's basically average offensively even before the positional adjustment (+2.3). The Cubs' only offensive hole appears to be backup catcher!
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 12, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5690559)
BBREF STILL hasn't updated the Cubs page. it's got to be Heyward related.

edit: or net neutrality related.
   26. Brian C Posted: June 12, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5690678)
It's updated now.

We're exactly 7/18 of the way through the season, so here are some leaders in Cubs counting stats (and next closest follower):

RBI: Baez, Rizzo - 46 (Bryant - 29)
R: Baez - 37 (Bryant, Almora - 36)
PA: Bryant - 270 (Rizzo - 246)
H: Bryant - 65 (Almora - 60)
HR: Baez - 14 (Rizzo, Schwarber - 11)

W: Lester - 7 (Quintana - 6)
L: Hendricks - 6 (Quintana, Chatwood - 4)
G: Cishek - 31 (Duensing - 29)
IP: Hendricks - 77.2 (Lester - 77.0)
K: Quintana - 70 (Lester - 66)

So the question is, who would we predict to be leading at the end of the season? My picks:

RBI: Rizzo
R: Bryant
PA: Bryant
H: Bryant
HR: Rizzo

W: Lester
L: Quintana
G: Cishek
IP: Quintana
K: Quintana

Hendricks has had just brutal luck, by the way, with those losses - he has 4 losses in games when he had a positive WPA.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 12, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5690690)
Psst!

Hey guys...

Guys...
   28. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 13, 2018 at 03:55 AM (#5691005)
Looks like this was a good game for me to not have seen.
   29. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 13, 2018 at 07:02 AM (#5691013)
BB-ref updated on time today, and Heyward back to 100OPS+. Which again, is still a miracle.
   30. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 13, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5691045)
Chicago Cubs @Cubs 5m5 minutes ago

Wishing a happy birthday to #Cubs all-time holds leader, @pstrop46! #EverybodyIn


Cubs. All. Time. Holds. Leader.
   31. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 13, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5691063)
BB-ref updated on time today, and Heyward back to 100OPS+. Which again, is still a miracle.

Not sure about OPS+, but his OPS of .751 is right around high water marks he hit mid-season last year. I think this feels different because he's been pretty clutch, and of course, he's hit .338/.366/.506 in the last four weeks. I don't think he's had a month like this in his time as a Cub, so maybe there's your miracle.
   32. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 13, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5691245)
Getaway day lineup, plus the slumping Bryant gets time to rest his hangover.

Zobrist 2b
Heyward
TLS 3b
Rizzo
Happ CF
Schwarber
Baez SS
Gimenez
Montgomery
   33. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5691789)
Cubs. All. Time. Holds. Leader.

I think I stumbled across this in the offseason when he was still second but clearly on his way to the top.
   34. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 14, 2018 at 04:57 AM (#5691869)
Yikes, seems like the offense usually gives us warning signs that it's about to stall, but the Cubs still squeak out a couple of wins before it totally shuts down. The 5 run 11th the other day may have been a brief hiccup of life before the shut down the last 2 days. They of course had plenty of chances yesterday, but...

From during the game:
Sahadev Sharma @sahadevsharma 13h13 hours ago

Since Kris Bryant's last home run on May 14, the Cubs as a team have a .134 ISO, 26th in baseball. So more of those doubles by Javy and the like would be welcome for this group.


I'm also not completely sure what to make of Montgomery's success as a starter

Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 12h12 hours ago

Montgomery in four starts this season 1.14 ERA. In his last 11 starts 1.99 ERA.


And while I appreciate the idea that Maddon wanted to give Bryant the entire day off, Gimenez hitting in the 9th was just....
   35. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 14, 2018 at 06:59 AM (#5691879)
####, I'm ignoring myself again....

Anyway
Prior to the game, Maddon said he was looking to give the scuffling Bryant two consecutive days off with an off-day looming Thursday.

“I was trying to,” Maddon said of Bryant after the loss. “I was gonna use him the next time through if it got to it. His spot may have come back around, he’d have been the last guy on the bench and I would have used him. I just thought, under the circumstances, let the guys play.”

The fact that Maddon didn’t rule out using Bryant at a later point essentially means he was saving the former MVP for a moment that never arrived. It’s like saving your closer for a save that never materializes. If you don’t get that run, there’s no point in saving the player.

“That’s easy to say,” Maddon said when asked if he was tempted to use Bryant. “He’s been struggling a lot. Theoretically, it sounds wonderful. I thought Gimenez had some good swings today, [Javy] Báez hit the ball hard, Willson [Contreras] had some good hacks also. It’s an easy dialogue to try and conjure up, but I really was trying to give him the day off.”


Dammit, Joe.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 14, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5691905)
If you don’t get that run, there’s no point in saving the player.

“That’s easy to say,” Maddon said when asked if he was tempted to use Bryant.
Things that are true are easy to say, Joe. Please be better than Buck Showalter.

   37. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 14, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5691917)
   38. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 15, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5692637)
Dillon Maples has been good. Real good.


Last 8 games: 8.0 IP | 3H | 2BB | 16K

More game notes>>atmlb.com/2JN01GH pic.twitter.com/Xdc9xDiAUl
   39. Walt Davis Posted: June 15, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5693167)
Hey Moses, Jason Heyward bobblehead day on Monday! Time to brush up on your voodoo.
   40. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 16, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5693391)
He got a day off against a RHP yesterday?!?! I don't understand what Joe's thought processes are this year.

Was nice to see a number of HR droughts end last night. Lester is on quite the role, so much for me claiming he'll be the Cubs 4th best starter this year.

Alzolay has been shut down for the year. That's a real bummer.
   41. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5694273)
3 shutouts last week. Fun.

Bryant is now *7th* on the team in bWAR (Contreras, Lester, Almora, Russell, Baez, Schwarber). He is hitting .281/.357/.368 since May 15th - 27 games - with 34Ks and 13BBs (2 of them are IBBs). Only 8 XBHs in that timeframe (1 HR, 7 doubles). This is one of the longest stretches of mediocrity that I can remember him having - and I also think his defense has been a bit shaky in this timeframe too.

It's a damn shame Quintana got hung with a loss yesterday, and had to get pulled when he did. He looked really good.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5694284)
I wonder what the record is for most times being shut out for an eventual World Series team?
   43. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 18, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5694375)
I wonder what the record is for most times being shut out for an eventual World Series team?

Just taking a quick glance through some likely suspects (not a comprehensive check), the '66 Dodgers were shut out 17 times. The Hitless Wonder White Sox and the '73 Mets both got shut out 16 times, and there are a few other teams at 15.
   44. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 18, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5694436)
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 5m5 minutes ago

From Cubs notes: In last 20 games since May 27, the Cubs 14-0 when scoring at least 2 runs in a game. Cubs 15-7 in 22 games since May 25, tied with Dodgers (15-6) for most wins in N.L. in that span


Guess how many games they've lost in their last 20? Yep, 6. So 3 shutouts, and 3 1 runs games. I mean, I know it's just saying the same thing differently, but this is just a silly "note".
   45. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 18, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5694569)
Bryant (it didn't work the last time, but why not?)
Heyward
Zobrist 2b
Rizzo
Happ CF
Schwarber
Russell
Gimenez
Chatwood

I'm gonna be that guy - Almora should be playing more
   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5694574)
Heyward is back down to 97 OPS+.
   47. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 18, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5694689)
Chicago Cubs @Cubs 16m16 minutes ago

The #Cubs today placed LHP Brian Duensing on the bereavement list and recalled LHP Rob Zastryzny from @IowaCubs.


Also read Javy hasn't had an xray, and they think he's fine (and could play tomorrow).
   48. Walt Davis Posted: June 18, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5694845)
the Cubs 14-0 when scoring at least 2 runs in a game

From here on out, if all we have to do to guarantee a victory is score at least 2 runs, I'll take it. Alas I fear it doesn't work quite that way.

Updating a factoid from a few weeks ago, the Cubs have now scored 8+ in 18 of 68 games which is just once in their last 17 ... but they've added a lot of 7-run games in that span (4). So let's call it 23 of 68 games with 7+ runs, 23-0 record in those games.

6 runs: 3-1
5: 2-2
4: 2-3
3: 6-3 (we should do this more often apparently)
2: 3-3
1: 1-9
0: 0-7

I don't know what a "normal" distribution would look like but it seems intuitively correct that we'd have about as many 7+ as 2- and as many 8+ as 1-.
   49. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 19, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5695108)
Cubs are rolling out the same lineup for G1 of the DH they had planned for last night. Not sure who the 26th man will be today.

We'll see if they get both games in today. There's basically a 50% chance of rain the entire day today.
   50. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 19, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5695144)
Some longer comments from Hoyer from this piece:

Greenberg: When it comes to bullpen management, how big is the gap between what the public knows about a team’s bullpen usage and what you guys know?

Hoyer: I think that’s one area that is probably frustrating for a fan, because what the fans aren’t aware of is who’s available that day, who’s not available, who’s semi-available but we’re trying to stay away from. I think it’s a hard one, so a lot of times when people are frustrated with the bullpen usage in a certain night it might be because two guys are sore. Joe [Maddon]’s not going to say that after the game. “By the way, that guy’s sore.” So I think that’s one area where a lot of times the decision on the field, there’s a reason, and if the reason could be given to the public, it would make a lot more sense. You’re not going to talk about every soreness, every injury, every time you want to rest a guy, both for obvious reasons in your own clubhouse and also for the opponent as well, right? But I do think that’s one area where I understand the frustration, but it’s also they don’t have all the information nor are they going to have it, so it’s a natural area of frustration.

Greenberg: How much research do you guys do, as far as knowing which relievers to pitch in certain circumstances?

Hoyer: A lot. A lot. Every bullpen has a bunch of guys who do different things. You want guys who can elevate, you want guys who can sink the ball. You want curveballs, you want sliders. When you have that, you might be like, “This part of the lineup really struggles with elevated fastballs, so we’re going to throw this guy.” There’s a lot of that goes into how you match up.
   51. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 19, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5695222)
Hoyer: I think that’s one area that is probably frustrating for a fan, because what the fans aren’t aware of is who’s available that day, who’s not available, who’s semi-available but we’re trying to stay away from. I think it’s a hard one, so a lot of times when people are frustrated with the bullpen usage in a certain night it might be because two guys are sore. Joe [Maddon]’s not going to say that after the game. “By the way, that guy’s sore.” So I think that’s one area where a lot of times the decision on the field, there’s a reason, and if the reason could be given to the public, it would make a lot more sense. You’re not going to talk about every soreness, every injury, every time you want to rest a guy, both for obvious reasons in your own clubhouse and also for the opponent as well, right? But I do think that’s one area where I understand the frustration, but it’s also they don’t have all the information nor are they going to have it, so it’s a natural area of frustration.
That's fair. But I'm not sure I'm willing to accept "There must be something Joe knows that we don't know" as a blanket rebuttal to all criticism.
   52. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5695230)
There's also a whole section about lineups and well,

Greenberg: Lineups is one…

Hoyer: You know that’s my biggest pet peeve.

Greenberg: Is it really?

Hoyer: Yeah, because…

Greenberg: Wow, I didn’t even have to say anything.

Hoyer: I’ve said this a few times in the media. One of the first things I learned from Bill James when I was working with him in Boston, he would always say you know don’t obsess about the lineup. It’s the biggest waste of your time. All you want to do is hit your best hitters the most often. If you do that, don’t worry about it. Any other changes, we’re talking about fractions of runs over the course of a season. So for an individual game, it’s just not going to have enough of an impact. Fractions of runs and people obsess. It’s a sports radio lightning rod, both a consistent lineup and the batting order. I just think people spend too much time thinking about something that doesn’t have a significant impact on winning and losing.


I agree - and am totally guilty of this - but then you have Heyward parked in the 2 hole after a hot week and well, I dunno what to say.
   53. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 19, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5695595)
I...really like this lineup for game 2 against Hill:

Bryant
Baez
Almora
Rizzo
Contreras
Russell
Schwarber
Happ RF
Montgomery

Plus, there's all your first rounders again.

Hancock finally back as the 26th man.
   54. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5695963)
Russell is now up to a 100OPS+ after hitting .348/.423/.478 so far this month. Heyward is at 95OPS+, the only regular below 100 (TLS at 83).

---

“We’ll just wait until everybody’s well and then we’ll make our decision,” manager Joe Maddon said. “The other thing about Monty to understand is how many innings has he pitched historically and you got to be careful with that, too. It’s a big-picture thing. You wait, you wait, you wait, then you make your best call. I just want him to continue to take start after start like this. Keep pitching like you want to remain in the rotation. Beautiful thing.”

“It’s also prudent to think about a six-man [rotation] in the second half when you start getting a little bit tired,” Maddon said. “What he’s doing right now is just setting us up for the rest of the year, setting himself up for the rest of the year. But, honestly, I have not even thought about that for a second. First, you got to get Yu well to even be worried about something like that.”


Darvish is throwing a simulated game today. Montgomery got pretty lucky yesterday to only give up 1 run and he put a lot of guys on. He doesn't strike many people out (5.6K/9), but he does strike out a little more as a starter (5.8k/9 vs 5.3k/9); however, his walk and hit rate are way down so far in the rotation (0.843WHIP as a SP, 1.461 as a RP). He's only thrown 25ish innings as a RP and 29ish as a SP, so I'm not sure how much to read into any of that.

If Darvish came back healthy today, I'd find an excuse to get Chatwood on the DL. Then I'd think about a 6 man rotation.
   55. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5696027)
Today vs Stripling

Bryan
Heyward (ugh)
Zobrist (2b)
Rizzo
Almora
Schwarber
Contreras
Baez (SS)
Lester
   56. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5696034)
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman 15m15 minutes ago

Nico Hoerner, No. 24 overall pick of the Cubs, received $2.724M (slot). Stanford SS.


Cubs have also signed a bunch of other picks too.
   57. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5696052)
   58. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5696114)
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 28m28 minutes ago

Morrow on DL, retro to June 17


Hancock stays up.

Those must have been some tight pants.
   59. Spahn Insane Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5696116)
So Morrow's going to the DL with a back injury apparently incurred while removing his pants.

I'm just gonna let y'all take it from here. Jeff Kent's truck-washing adventures have nothing on this.

EDIT: Dammit, Moses.
   60. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5696123)
Since he got hurt, I guess he should probably be demoted to Private Tightpants.
   61. Spahn Insane Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5696135)
Since he got hurt, I guess he should probably be demoted to Private Tightpants.

Subordinate to Kyle Farnsworth? Damn--that's harsh.
   62. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5696137)
Well, they knew Morrow was injury-prone when they signed him. So I guess now, in addition to not warming him up without using him, and not pitching him more than two days in a row, and not letting him throw too many pitches, they're going to have to ensure that he never removes his pants. I'm picturing uniform pants with a button flap in the back, like the old onesies.
   63. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5696138)
Subordinate to Kyle Farnsworth? Damn--that's harsh.
I feel like giving Farney power over subordinates cannot end well.
   64. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5696162)
If you can't wear the tight pants, you can't move up the Tightpants ranks.
   65. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5696164)
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 47s48 seconds ago

Cubs uncertain about Saturday, Sunday starters. Weather in Cincinnati , Chatwood‘s wife expecting among the factors. Farrell, bullpen among considerations


I'm struggling to come up with the right joke here...something about Chatwood's wife's control...but I can't make it work.
   66. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: June 20, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5696188)

Chatwood‘s wife expecting


the ballgame to take 4 hours.
   67. Spahn Insane Posted: June 20, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5696192)
Well, they knew Morrow was injury-prone when they signed him.

Indeed, though color me impressed with the creativity demonstrated by this particular injury.
   68. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5696200)
I'm struggling to come up with the right joke here...something about Chatwood's wife's control...but I can't make it work.
He has to be there to walk her to the hospital.
   69. Spahn Insane Posted: June 20, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5696228)
He has to be there to walk her to the hospital.

Solid B+ at worst.
   70. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5696270)
Patrick Mooney @PJ_Mooney 5m5 minutes ago

#Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says Yu Darvish could have a rehab start in the minors as soon as Monday and a return before the All-Star break is still in play: "If things go smoothly and he doesn’t have a setback, I think that’s a strong possibility."
   71. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5696421)
Posted this in the chatter today, but kept meaning to post it here:

2018 - 17th in ISO, 4th in AVG, T-9th in K-rate
2017 - 10th in ISO, 16th in AVG, 20th in K-rate
2016 - 7th in ISO, 14th in AVG, 16th in K-rate
2015 Season - 10th in ISO, 29th in AVG, 30th in K-rate


That's the Chili Davis stuff they talked about all offseason. I guess we'll see if it's a better approach come playoff time. I also think the ISO will go up as a number of guys will hit more XBHs (at least HRs) as the year goes on.
   72. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 21, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5696833)
If Heyward has another good day at the plate the Cubs could have all 8 starters (by the BBRef organizing principle) over a 100 OPS+ on the year, plus Zobrist and Happ from the bench.

That would be pretty impressive even in mid-late June.
   73. McCoy Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5696854)
There is an article up from SB Nation that is entitled something like: As the Trade Deadlines Nears Will the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

Talk about one of the stupidest titles of all time.
   74. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5696873)
I thought the Cubs sucked? Obviously they'll be sellers.
   75. McCoy Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5696885)
I'm the Great Santini. It motivates them.
   76. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5696905)
“We’re always going to be looking for bullpen pieces,” general manager Jed Hoyer said before Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. “Our bullpen has probably been the strength of the team this year so far, and that’s obviously being challenged right now. We’ve got two of our best guys out, so other guys are going to have to step up. But I think already we’ve seen some guys step up. This stuff happens and we got to get through it.”

Dillon Maples might be the next guy on the Triple-A shuttle to Chicago. Maples started last season at advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach, piled up 100 strikeouts across 63.1 minor-league innings and made his big-league debut in September. The Cubs are now more focused on Maples limiting the walks (22 in 23 1/3 Triple-A innings this year) and checking off all the boxes on his player-development plan, but he has also put up 18 scoreless appearances and 39 strikeouts, flashing his potential as a high-leverage reliever.

“Dillon’s throwing really well the last few weeks,” Hoyer said. “He’s obviously got an electric arm and when he’s commanding, he’s phenomenal. His stuff is really as good as anyone in the big leagues. It’s about throwing strikes. And I think he’s done a really good job of that of late. He’s going to help this team at some point this summer, for sure.”


From Mooney at The Athletic. I think the Cubs did a pretty good job this offseason with the various bullpen options they stocked in AAA. None of those guys have been obvious busts - though I do like some of them more than others - but none of them have really been *that* good to preclude trying to add someone else reliable.

Herrera might have been the best arm traded this year, and he's already gone.
   77. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5696928)
Anyone else here not looking forward to the seemingly inevitable Chatwood-Maples game?
   78. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5696974)
   79. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5696976)
Anyone else here not looking forward to the seemingly inevitable Chatwood-Maples game?

It'll be the first game this year the Cubs don't allow a walk (I just assume it hasn't happened yet).
   80. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 21, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5697047)
He has to be there to walk her to the hospital.

Solid B+ at worst.


Hard to see how one could do better... I was working on something related to lamaze, but couldn't get it right.

It's the tightpants jokes that really feel like they could be better - but I got nothing there, either.
   81. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5697076)
More on Heyward, I guess
   82. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5697080)
It's the tightpants jokes that really feel like they could be better - but I got nothing there, either.
Yeah, that's absolutely true. Come on, guys. We have a pitcher who got hurt taking off his pants. We have to do better with that.
   83. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5697097)
Bryant
Heyward
Baez
Rizzo
Russell
Schwarber
Contreras
Happ CF
Hendricks

If I'm gonna nitpick, I'm going to complain every time Almora doesn't start.
   84. slothinator Posted: June 21, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5697122)
I'm struggling to come up with the right joke here...something about Chatwood's wife's control...but I can't make it work.


If Chatwood had any control his wife wouldn't be pregnant.

   85. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 21, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5697181)
Not bad.

Heh
   86. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5697186)
If Chatwood had any control his wife wouldn't be pregnant.
He was actually having sex with a Hooters waitress at the time.
   87. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 21, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5697236)
So Morrow's going to the DL with a back injury apparently incurred while removing his pants.

I would jump in on the mocking here, but I literally hurt my back last week by turning slightly while sitting in a chair. Backs are finicky sometimes.
   88. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 21, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5697419)
Maybe that's what those $1500 tactical pants are for.

Also, Mr. Heyward is 3-3 at the plate today so my wish may come true if just for a moment in June.
   89. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:42 PM (#5697573)
Steve Trout once went to the DL after falling off a bike ... a stationary bike.

And of course Jose Cardenal and the eyelids but he was obviously joking (I think).

On backs ... I once bent over to cinch a garbage bag and spent the next 2 hours lying on the kitchen floor before being able to crawl to my bed. It was 3 days before I could stand with a straight back.
   90. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5697743)
Also, Mr. Heyward is 3-3 at the plate today so my wish may come true if just for a moment in June.

Heyward up to 105, but Russell down to 99. :(

---

Rizzo: .244/.346/.420
Heyward: .283/.345/.428
Happ: .222/.341/.432
Contreras: .262/.354/.412

There's definitely a glass half empty way of looking at that, which is where I'm stuck right now. Rizzo's June is basically his season numbers, and that's not good enough. Contreras has been scuffling again for a while. Bryant is basically just a leadoff hitter (.272/.355/.471 since the head beaning). It's a good offense overall still, but...
   91. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5697985)
Bryant
Heyward
Zobrist
Rizzo
Baez
Schwarber
Almora
Gimenez
Quintana

No Russell means he can't pull himself above 100, and so Pops dream will have to wait another day.
   92. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5698078)
Sahadev Sharma @sahadevsharma 2m2 minutes ago

Duensing on his way to Cincy & if he gets here in time (which is expected) he'll be activated before tonight's game. Darvish is throwing a pen and if he comes out of that well, Monday is a target date for a rehab start. Edwards throwing off flat ground, could go off mound Sunday.


Cubs have yet to say who is starting tomorrow or Sunday, so a completely game shutout for Quintana tonight would be great for a bunch of reasons.

EDIT: Duensing back, Hancock to AAA
   93. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 24, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5698651)
Bryant out with a sore left shoulder, Mazzoni and Hancock up, Farrell down, Rob Z to DL with lower back issue, Carl Edwards, Jr. has a side session from the mound today.


One bad weekend against the reds and things went to complete ####.

Happ is starting at 3b today with a ground baller on the mound. Oh boy.
   94. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5698737)
June 24 Game Notes
   95. Red Voodooin Posted: June 24, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5698799)
Trying hard not to overreact, but let's just say that series ####### sucked.
   96. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5698892)
It's possible we are not the best team in the NL.
   97. Spahn Insane Posted: June 25, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5699132)
I'm not even convinced we're the best team in the NL Central.
   98. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:18 PM (#5699566)
Congratulations to Tyler Chatwood on the birth of his son earlier today. Genetics being what they are, the boy has already learned to walk.
   99. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5699702)
Cubs suck.
   100. McCoy Posted: July 15, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5710153)
Baez on pace to be a 30/30 player. He would be the first player since Sammy Sosa did it in 1995. He would also be only the second Cub to do it and it would be the third season ever for a Cub.

It's possible with the summer weather that Baez could get up to 40/40. He'd be the 5th player to do it and the first since Alfonso Soriano for Washington in 2006.

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