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Cubs Newsbeat

Monday, November 19, 2018

Cubs in need of major overhaul? Don’t be silly

The Cubs won 95 games in 2018. To put that number into context, in the last 73 seasons, they have won more games than that exactly four times. Only one National League team won more in 2018. That would be the Brewers, who went into Wrigley Field and won their 96th in a one-game playoff that decided the NL Central.

The Cubs won 95 times despite third baseman Kris Bryant playing just 32 games after the All-Star break. Despite right-hander Yu Darvish throwing his final pitch on May 20. Despite closer Brandon Morrow missing the entire second half.

Their pitching staff had the NL’s second-lowest ERA, and only the Astros in the American League had a lower bullpen ERA. Offensively, only the Dodgers, Rockies and Nationals scored more runs than the Cubs in the NL. That’s it. If this is what qualifies as a train wreck of a season, plenty of teams would sign up. But somehow, in the weeks since the Cubs lost the NL Wild Card Game to the Rockies, the narrative has become that they are broken, that significant change is needed. This is silly.

The rare article that asks and answers the question in the title

McCoy Posted: November 19, 2018 at 11:01 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, hot stove, offseason

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Prospects who stood out in Arizona Fall League

This is a surprising development for the Cubs.

Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs’ No. 6
The Cubs’ 2018 first-rounder’s inexperience has been a non-factor in the AFL, where he’s hit .321 and looked like a player straight out of Double-A, and one possibly even on the cusp of the Majors. That’s not to say that Hoerner will springboard up the ladder in such fashion in 2019—but he certainly could. At the plate, he has a knack for barreling the ball to all fields, can handle velocity and adjust to secondaries, and he has more juice in his bat than you’d expect. His arm stroke is a little stiff at shortstop, but it plays up because he creatively finds ways to achieve a good slot, has sound footwork and consistently follows his throws with his body. He’s a very, very solid ballplayer.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2018 at 03:25 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Olney: Cubs Open to Trading Bryant

But it’s possible that the Cubs will trade him, perhaps as soon as this winter. As part of their early offseason discussions, according to sources, the Cubs have indicated to other teams they are willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster and those sources say that includes Bryant

Chris Fluit Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Redefining a Dynasty : baseballmusings.com

I’ve always thought the best model for a franchise is one of sustained excellence.Unfortunately runs like the 90’s Braves and the current Dodgers usually get viewed as disappointments by typical fans, who possess short memories and poor perspectives.

The Braves and the Yankees showed the past and future in the 1990s. The Yankees won four of five World Series titles and three in a row. They are considered a dynasty, as it was known then. The Braves won the division year after year, but only one World Series. No one talks about them the same way, even though for the decade they were probably the better team. They had a great process for keeping the team good, constantly moving out weak players for stronger ones, often developed from within. That may be the only type of dynasty we see going forward.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2018 at 09:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, November 05, 2018

Revisiting the prospects: 20 years ago

A consideration of prospects with Cubs ties from close to twenty years ago- wonder what we would find if looking at all prospects from the same period….

QLE Posted: November 05, 2018 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: 1999, cubs, prospects rankings

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Jason Heyward chooses not to opt-out of Cubs deal that still owes him $100M

Jason Heyward isn’t walking away from more than $100 million. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the outfielder let the opt-out deadline pass for his contact with the Chicago Cubs and will stay with the team for at least another year.

The opt-out is part of the eight-year, $184 million contract Heyward, 29, signed with the Cubs in 2016. He has five years and $106 million left on the deal.

The decision to decline the opt-out was probably a no-brainer for Heyward, though many on the North Side were hoping he would walk away from all that money. Despite the Cubs’ early exit from the playoffs in 2018, the team is still poised to compete in 2019 and beyond. Staying with them gives him a good shot at winning a second World Series ring, and possibly more. And he’s making $20 million in 2019 and at least that much through 2023. After seeing how last year’s free agent market played out for even established hitters, there’s almost no chance that he’d fetch that much on the open market.

So, what would it take for Heyward to do to make this one of the worse contracts of all time?

 

QLE Posted: November 03, 2018 at 09:36 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward, opt-outs

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Remember That Guy? José Macías

Whether he was number one in your hearts is up to you.  He was number one on the scorecard for the Cubs in 2004-05.  That was his uniform number.

The Panamanian utility man played seven MLB seasons, making stops in Detroit & Montreal before playing his final two MLB seasons on the North Side.

As a Major Leaguer, he played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base.  However if asked what Macías’ true position was, one might say the answer is pinch hitter.  He played in 210 games for the Cubs; 110 were as pinch hitter.

A reminder that more players than the stars merit being remembered.

QLE Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:47 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jose macias

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Do the Cubs still have the foundation to support another World Series team? – The Athletic

“We have a lot of work to do in our farm system to continue building it back up to where it was,” Epstein said. “It’s not close to where it was. That’s the goal – to get it back there – especially by the time that this generation of players is transitioning or potentially transitioning.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2018 at 09:45 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The drama is only just beginning for Joe Maddon’s agent, Theo Epstein and the rest of the Cubs – The Athletic

It will be interesting how the situation plays out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Chili Davis ‘not going to blame myself,’ wishes next Cubs hitting coach better

About the time the Cubs announced the hiring of the sixth hitting coach in eight seasons of Theo Epstein’s front office regime, Chili Davis got in his truck and headed out of Chicago on Monday – still sorting out how he took the fall for a group of hitters unable or unwilling to hear his message.

“The driving gives me a little time think about things,” said Davis, who was fired last week after just one season into a multiyear contract. “I guess I need to make some adjustments in the way I deliver my message to the millennial players now. I need to make those adjustments for the next job I get, if there is one.

“But without losing my identity,” he added. “Because I know what I know. And I know what I bring is not wrong. I’m not going to blame myself for this. I’m not going to blame anyone. It didn’t work.

It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools…..

QLE Posted: October 17, 2018 at 06:04 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: blame, chili davis, cubs, hitting

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How did the Cubs go from Rudy Jaramillo to Anthony Iapoce at hitting coach? It’s a long story

When the Cubs fired hitting coach John Mallee last October, only one year removed from a world championship, they knew the decision would be controversial.

But President Theo Epstein said it was a unique circumstance and had more to do with the sudden availability of Chili Davis after the Red Sox changed coaching staffs than anything Mallee lacked.

“It was a really tough decision, but we felt like going forward for the next several years Chili Davis is uniquely qualified to help our hitters get to the next level in certain areas there is still room for improvement,” Epstein said.

The story of the cavalcade of Cubs hitting coaches- I was surprised at how many there have been in such a small stretch of time.

 

QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony iapoce, cubs, hitting coaches

Friday, October 12, 2018

Chili Davis Reportedly Fired as Cubs Hitting Coach After 1 Season

The Chicago Cubs fired hitting coach Chili Davis after one season, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM.

Davis, 58, was a three-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion during his playing career for the San Francisco Giants (1981-87), California Angels (1998-90, 1993-96), Minnesota Twins (1991-92), Kansas City Royals (1997) and New York Yankees (1998-99).

He hit .274 in his career with 350 home runs and 1,372 RBI.

So, who do they blame if the same thing happens next year?

QLE Posted: October 12, 2018 at 01:37 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: chili davis, cubs, fired, hitting coaches

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kris Bryant turned down huge multiyear deal

The Cubs made an attempt to lock up Kris Bryant to a multiyear deal in the neighborhood of $200 million, but the superstar third baseman turned down the deal in recent months, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday. ESPN’s Dave Kaplan was the first to report the offer and its rejection. The club has not confirmed such an offer.

Bryant and agent Scott Boras are inclined to proceed on a year-by-year salary increase through arbitration before Bryant becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. Bryant earned a record $10.85 million in 2018, the highest salary a player has earned in his first year of arbitration.

Should Bryant plan to wait out his final four years of club control and hit the free-agent market available to all suitors, the Cubs could face a quandary of losing Bryant for nothing. In that context, Bryant might be a valuable trade commodity as former National League MVP Award winner who is under club control for three more seasons. Bryant, when healthy, is revered as one of the game’s best hitters, but he was limited to 102 games last year with nagging left shoulder and left wrist injuries, and he hit .272/.374/.460—all below his career average marks—with 13 homers.

Something to follow three years from now, to see what comes as a result.

 

QLE Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:25 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extension, cubs, dollah dollah bills, y'all, kris bryant

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Theo Epstein End-of-Season Press Conference: Everything – Dude Touches on *EVERYTHING*

Facebook Live feed of the press conference.

On the offense, Epstein’s tone and comments can not be misconstrued. He was clearly extremely disappointed and offered some sobering thoughts: “I mean this with no disrespect to any of our players (and coaches and front office and everyone involved): part of getting better is facing the problem. Our offense broke somewhere along the line.” Indeed, it did. According to Epstein, after a good first-half, almost every single indicator (a.k.a. peripheral) was ugly. The front office plans to evaluate the problem big-time in the offseason and do what it takes to address the issues.

One big issue he kept harping on? Grounders: “We hit more ground balls in the second half than any other team by a huge margin. The goal is line drives and fly balls.” Epstein also flat out stated: “Bottom line: we stopped walking and stopped hitting the ball out of the ballpark.” As for the causes of the problem, Epstein suggested that they have some ideas, but there’s no hard conclusion yet. That’s why he’s doing these exit interviews personally and thoroughly – he wants to find out exactly what went wrong and how he can fix it. “I’ve never been part of something like this offensively, and I never want to be again. We should be an offensive force.”

The most notable quote from the session, however, came next. I can’t quite figure out why, but it’s really sticking with me: “It’s time to stop evaluating in terms of talent and start doing it in terms of production.” Epstein continued by saying there simply needs to be more production than talent and that the Cubs are just not where they need to be with some individual players. Moreover, while development isn’t linear, he does expect certain players who do one thing at age 22 or 23 to improve as they turn 24, 25, and 26. But in several cases, things didn’t just get better, they got worse. “We have to get to the bottom of that.” My take? Expect changes to the roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2018 at 06:31 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

Epstein: Maddon to return for fifth season as Cubs manager

The Chicago Cubs expect to make changes after an early playoff exit. Just not in the manager’s office.

Joe Maddon will return as skipper for a fifth season, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Wednesday.

“He’s the manager of this team and I’m very happy about that,” Epstein said.

“And, if I end up not being so, I know some people in Boston who know exactly how to drive a guy away”, he later said off-the-record.

QLE Posted: October 04, 2018 at 05:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, theo epstein

Cubs fan loses bet with internet, writes 1,000-word apology for doubting Brewers

Every Chicago Cubs fan lost a little something when the team completed its disappointing season with back-to-back losses at Wrigley Field this week, but one fan lost a little more.

Once the Cubs lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in a National League Central division tiebreaker and the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild card game, it was official: Nathan Marzion had lost his very viral bet.

Back in May when the Brewers were looking hot and held a 3.5 game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, a confident Marzion tweeted a promise that if the Brewers finished ahead of the Cubs this season, he would write a 1,000-word apology letter to whoever liked his tweet. The tweet quickly went viral among Brewers fans.

 

 

QLE Posted: October 04, 2018 at 05:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: apologies, bets, brewers, cubs, fans

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Addison Russell suspended 40 games for violating MLB domestic abuse policy

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was suspended 40 games for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic abuse policy, the league announced Wednesday.

Russell’s suspension is retroactive to Sept. 21 and the league said in a statement says he has agreed to not appeal the ban.

The statement says Russell “will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board.” Russell’s suspension will be unpaid.

It’s a bad week for the Cubs.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 03, 2018 at 05:44 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs, domestic abuse policy

Cubs’ long-term trajectory in question

I was disappointed by the Cubs end last night. Despite that, the sky is not falling in Wrigley.

     
Year   CHC
2018   95
2017   92
2016   103
2015   97
2014   73
2013   66

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:14 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

NL wild card: Where do Chicago Cubs go from here?

Who?

They are also Jason Heyward for five more years and Yu Darvish for five more years and Tyler Chatwood for two more years. The three will make more than $50 million next season alone. They are a team that preaches culture – and still has a player in the middle of a must-win game sitting in the clubhouse and scrolling through an iPad, much to the chagrin of others in the dugout who were living and dying with every pitch. They are in that awkward place where they need to start considering the future as well as the present, lest the latter bleed into the former and cause the chaos spiral of other successful franchises that lost sight of their window and watched it slam on their fingers.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:01 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tony Wolters’ big hit sends Rockies to NLDS | MLB.com

So it begins. Tough time of year for me. First I have to deal with withdrawals from the end of the season. Next I have to deal with little sleep as I **try** to stay awake until the end of playoff games. On the bright side, I get to play around with the end of season data to scout players for next year’s sim and fantasy leagues. TINO!!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 08:28 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rockies, wild card

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

LEADING OFF: Rockies head to Wrigley for wild-card one-off

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

WILD TIMES

The Rockies head to Wrigley Field for a wild-card showdown with the Cubs after both teams lost tiebreaking games Monday with division crowns on the line. Colorado missed out on a first NL West title in a 5-2 loss at the Dodgers , then quickly scooted off for Chicago. The Cubs await them there after falling to Milwaukee 3-1 with the NL Central on the line.

So, any predictions?

QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:36 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, national league, rockies, wild card

Sunday, September 30, 2018

MLB Playoff Picture Update | MLB.com

Crazy!

Jim Furtado Posted: September 30, 2018 at 07:59 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, rockies

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cubs are only 10th of the 30 MLB teams to make post-season 4 straight seasons

For those curious as for how often teams have elongated streaks of playoff appearances, here’s an article considering that point.

QLE Posted: September 27, 2018 at 06:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, playoff streak

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

MLB reportedly has more ‘credible information’ in Addison Russell abuse case; he’s unlikely to return for Cubs’ postseason - Chicago Tribune

Ken Rosenthal reported late Tuesday in The Athletic that MLB has “additional credible information” to support allegations by Melisa Reidy-Russell that Russell emotionally and physically abused her during their marriage.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 26, 2018 at 03:27 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

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