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Cubs Newsbeat

Monday, July 25, 2016

Yankees deep in trade talks: Aroldis Chapman for Cubs stud | New York Post

Torres would be a good get, although there is a question whether he’ll outgrow shortstop.

Update:

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, cubs, gleyber torres, trade rumors, yankees

Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman could be traded | MLB.com

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Sunday night that the Cubs’ top prospect, shortstop Gleyber Torres, would be a part of a deal between Chicago and the Yankees involving Chapman. Torres was scratched from the lineup before his game Sunday at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 159 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, cubs, trade rumors, yankees

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pokemon Go craze hits Chicago Cubs clubhouse—sort of - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

You don’t really have to catch them all.

Has the Pokemon Go craze found its way into the Chicago Cubs clubhouse? That was the question put to players this week, as their ability to travel the country and catch Pokemon make them prime candidates for the addicting and popular game.

“I’ve caught two so far,” pitcher Jason Hammel said. “The first one might be a gimme so they can hook you. I’m going to show it to my son, and he will love that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Cubs get Mike Montgomery in 4-player trade | MLB.com

The Cubs added what they hope will be a key piece to the bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery from the Mariners for Minor League prospects Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mariners, trade

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dave Cameron Fangraphs Chat

Cameron is annoying but I gotta give credit where due; he is so right, here:

All In The Guetterman, Looking Up At The Stargell Posted: July 20, 2016 at 04:57 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: baez, cubs, schwarber

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer: ‘Expect the unexpected’ at trade deadline | CSN Chicago

If we expect the unexpected, does the unexpected become expected?

Yes, the market for starting pitching is especially thin at a time when there aren’t that many overall difference-makers available. But Hoyer also pointed to the Red Sox flipping Jon Lester to the Oakland A’s in the Yoenis Cespedes deal at the 2014 deadline (an eye-opening experience outside of Boston that ultimately helped the Cubs sign the $155 million pitcher).

“That was like a total shock,” Hoyer said. “I think we should expect the unexpected.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2016 at 10:40 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general managers, jed hoyer

The potential bombshell Cubs trade that never materialized | FOX Sports

The scenario, according to major-league sources, unfolded like this:

The Cubs tried to acquire left-hander Drew Pomeranz before the Padres sent him to the Red Sox for Class A right-hander Anderson Espinoza — simple enough.

The Cubs’ plan, though, wasn’t to keep Pomeranz, who is under club control through 2018. No, the Cubs wanted to spin Pomeranz for a starter who is under even longer team control.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cubs hoping Jake Arrieta can get back on track | MLB.com

A more coherent take on Jake Arrieta’s problems.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 11:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

A theory on Jake Arrieta’s downturn and why Cubs are optimistic about another comeback | CSN Chicago

So, the theory is that he’s not executing???

Since the beginning of June, Arrieta has a 4.81 ERA, the Cubs winning only three of those seven starts. Their ace has thrown 100-plus pitches five times during that stretch, and gone more than six innings just once.

“I just know that I’ve prepared, I’ve planned ahead (and) I have a good idea of what I want to accomplish,” Arrieta said. “Just try and focus on executing. I am confident with all of my stuff. It’s better than good enough to get pretty much anybody out at any time in any count.

“(It’s) realizing that and staying in that mindset. And as soon as I get into a spot where I feel myself nibbling on the corners – or trying to do more than is necessary – it’s about getting away from that as quick as possible.

“Because we all get in that mode sometimes where you get two quick outs and then all of a sudden you have a 3-0 count and you’re like, ‘How does that happen?’ It’s being mentally tough – and aware of situations like that – (and) better inside the strike zone.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 10:56 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cubs get back to work — and there’s lots of work to do | Chicago Sun-Times

I hope he can bounceback so he doesn’t get released.

Turns out he’s a man, not a machine. Once seemingly unhittable, Arrieta (12-4, 2.68) now is barely hanging on to a spot among the N.L.’s top 10 in ERA. And this is alarming: He has walked more batters — 43 — than any of the N.L.’s top 20 starters in ERA.

Arrieta probably can forget about repeating as Cy Young. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, the Nats’ Stephen Strasburg and even Marlins strikeout machine Jose Fernandez all are better-positioned for runs at the award. For Arrieta, Job 1 simply is re-establishing himself as the Cubs’ ace.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 15, 2016 at 07:11 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Jake Arrieta in the Body Issue

ESPN’s Body Issue is out again.  Remember that the shots, while really impressive and showing the dynamism of athletic bodies from across the sports universe, are still of naked people and NSFW.

Arrieta’s are some of the best of the bunch, but Vince Wilfork curled into a ball of potential energy looks like goddamned Atlas and I’m pretty sure I’d drown if I tried carrying a rock across the bottom of the ocean like Courtney Conlogue is doing here.


Saturday, July 02, 2016

Joe Maddon believes young Cubs can learn — some — from losing - Chicago Tribune

I bet they learned:
“Losing is a disease…
...as contagious as polio.
Losing is a disease…
...as contagious as syphilis.
Losing is a disease…
...as contagious as bubonic plague…
... attacking one…
... but infecting all.
Ah, but curable.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2016 at 11:14 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Why Schwarber won’t be traded and what it means for Cubs’ bullpen | Chicago Sun-Times

“I’m looking forward to Kyle Schwarber, who got hurt in a Cubs uniform, and is working is ass off in a Cubs uniform to come back, hitting a very big home run in a Cubs uniform sometime very early next season,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Willson Contreras won’t be Kyle Schwarber 2.0 - Beyond the Box Score

Contreras may not have the impact Schwarber had in 2015 as an all-around offensive force, but defense considered, the Cubs have essentially replaced Schwarber with a slightly different version of himself. It’s just that this version trends toward contact and more advanced defense behind the plate, with the same versatility options the Cubs and Maddon love to have available.

The question moving forward for the rookie backstop is whether his bat will keep him in the lineup when he’s not catching, or if his eventual regression lands him in a platoon role with David Ross and Miguel Montero. Looking at rest of the season projections, the case trends more toward a platoon.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2016 at 11:01 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber, willson contreras

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cubs use 3 different pitchers as OFs en route to 15-inning win

The Cubs played three different pitchers in left field in their 15-inning, 7-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Two of them, lefty Travis Wood and righty Spencer Patton, alternated pitching and playing left in the 14th inning before Wood pitched the 15th while setup man Pedro Strop played left field.

“We were down to almost nothing,” manager Joe Maddon said after using 22 of the 25 players on his roster. “Travis, my God, what an athlete. ... Travis made everything possible. He may have had his best stuff all year.”

It was fun watching Maddon play around with the roster and lineup.  I don’t have a ton of specific criticisms to any of the individual moves (I am not a Coghlan fan); and while some might say he was being cute for the sake of being cute, I think each move made sense in context.  Too bad no one hit a ball to any of the pitchers in LF. 

Video


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kris Bryant has historic 3-homer, 2-double win | MLB.com

This guy looks pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jake Arrieta makes history again while Cubs try to expose Cardinals - Chicago Tribune

I would think the Cubs records would be a little bare on the topic.

Though Cubs’ records are sketchy, Arrieta is in all likelihood the first on-field employee to appear partially exposed in a national magazine since former ballgirl Marla Collins, who posed in the nude for the September 1986 edition of Playboy.

Cubs players pored over that issue. There was not much else to look forward to during the summer of ‘86.

“That’s the best thing I’ve seen out of uniform all year,” broadcaster Harry Caray told the Tribune.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2016 at 08:47 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Monday, June 20, 2016

Contreras joins in Chicago Cubs’ homer barrage

While some of you were watching a silly basketball game I was enjoying a very special moment.

Catching prospect Willson Contreras came up as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and hit the first major-league pitch he saw over the wall in center field for a 2-run home run.

The delirious crowd of 41,024 screamed for a curtain call, and Contreras obliged, eating up the attention. Contreras, 24, will get his first big-league start Monday night, but it would be hard to top Sunday.

“It was amazing,” he said. “My teammates, everybody was like, ‘Amazing.’ That’s what they said. I was just trying to enjoy the time. I was like, ‘Relax, enjoy your time, and have a nice at-bat.’”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2016 at 11:25 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, willson contreras

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Grantland: Hitting Wins Championships: Why the Chicago Cubs’ Inverted Rebuilding Strategy Is Starting to Look Brilliant

I’m referring instead to the core principle with which the Cubs have been trying to build a championship roster since team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer were hired after the 2011 season, a principle that distinguishes this rebuilding project from almost every other one in baseball history: They’re building an offense from within and a pitching staff from spare parts.

This flies in the face of more than a century of conventional baseball wisdom, which states that (1) pitching wins championships, and (2) a team can never have too much pitching. The Cubs’ approach is completely counterintuitive. It’s also completely right.

 

McCoy Posted: June 14, 2016 at 06:56 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cubs on the prowl for a quick strike in summer pitching market | Chicago Sun-Times

Why would Baez be a non-starter?

Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez and top catching prospect Willson Contreras are expected to be non-starters in talks. But the Cubs have a handful of other intriguing young prospects (and possibly Jorge Soler) who could be made available.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2016 at 10:04 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, trade rumors, yankees

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cubs reject Rahm’s Wrigley plaza deal, ‘Negotiations are over’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Is this protection for local bars or a real issue?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2016 at 08:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Are Cubs’ flaws hiding behind the team’s great record?

If the Cubs weren’t 41-18, Maddon might finally decide a change in the batting order could be warranted after No. 2 hitter Jason Heyward struck out three more times and went 0-for-4.

If the division lead was smaller, there might be more concern with some bullpen members who either continue to struggle or have been trending that way. Justin Grimm saw his ERA (5.57) rise again after giving up two hits and a walk without recording an out. That’s not far from what happened in Philadelphia a few days earlier, though this time he was pulled before giving up a long ball.

Clayton Richard picked up where Grimm left off, giving up a run-scoring single and a long sacrifice fly in the eighth inning before getting out of the jam. But the damage was done as a 3-1 Braves lead ballooned to 5-1.

 

 

McCoy Posted: June 11, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

When a slump isn’t really a slump — and why the Cubs might come back to Earth - The Washington Post

Tom Boswell believes the Cubs are lucky.

The Nationals combined have a subpar .282 BABIP after posting normal marks of .300 and .303 the past two seasons. Nats pitchers have a lucky BABIP against of .283. Both those marks would usually trend back toward the high .290s.

In all of baseball, there is only one stunning “outlier” in BABIP for an entire batting attack or pitching staff: Cubs pitchers. Their BABIP is a ridiculously lucky .248. I don’t care how smart their defensive shifts are or how swift their defenders. Nobody is anywhere close to that good at turning batted balls into outs. In this decade, only one team has had a season under .272. The Cubs likely will watch dozens of “reversion” singles, doubles and triples elude them all summer.

The Cubs are MLB’s best team. But not by as much as it seems. Contrary to what their 41-17 record would seem to imply, it may be a good idea to go ahead and play out the rest of the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2016 at 01:11 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, nationals

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cespedes vs. Heyward and the debate over advanced analytics - NY Daily News

Hey, why not bash when you can. If there is any time to make definitive judgments over long-term free agent signs, it’s 1/3 through the first season of the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mets

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Willson Contreras under Cubs’ minor league microscope - Chicago Tribune

And there’s a reasonable chance they’ll get a look at Triple-A Iowa catcher Willson Contreras, who is batting .343 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 48 games.

“I’ve heard nothing but good stuff,” manager Joe Maddon said. “You’ll see him here at some point. I’m certain of that. I don’t know when. He’s doing everything properly. I’m hearing a lot about his defense.  You think he’s going to hit.”

However, there are a few roadblocks for Contreras, 24. The Cubs currently are carrying three catchers – Miguel Montero, David Ross and Tim Federowicz. In addition, Kyle Schwarber is recovering from season-ending left knee surgery that cut into his catching progress.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 09, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, willson contreras

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