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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

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 would look like over a full season at any of SS, 2B, or 3B.  He’s easily the Cubs best defender at 2B and 3B (not that Bryant isn’t pretty good, or Zobrist is below average), and I’m sure he’d give Russell a run for his money at SS (IMO, Russell is more solid, and less prone to mistakes, but Baez’s better arm might allow him to make a play or two Russell wouldn’t).  I’ve mentioned before he’s really clubbing lefties, but the most optimistic thing is the K rate has dropped to a level where he should be able to stick in the bigs.

- Here’s the last thing I’ve seen on Soler:

Despite Jorge Soler’s struggles, there’s a chance that the Cubs outfielder could be closer to rejoining his teammates soon.  Soler flew Thursday from Birmingham to Chicago, apparently for an examination. Soler hasn’t played with the Cubs since suffering a left hamstring strain on June 6.  Soler, who has been plagued by a history of hamstring woes, is batting .162 (6-for-37) with 16 strikeouts in 11 games on his minor league rehabilitation assignment.  Soler started his assignment with Triple-A Iowa but was transferred to Double-A Tennessee after two games. He batted .167 (5-for-30) with the Smokies.  The Cubs, who left for the Bay Area following a 5-4 win over the Marlins on Wednesday, currently are carrying nine relievers.

When Hammel comes back from bereavement leave, either Grimm or Patton go back down.  The other could go for Soler, but since Cahill has been starting in AAA I’m assuming he’ll make a spot start or two soon, so that would mean someone else has to go for Soler.  I already think the Cubs made a mistake by keeping Coghlan over LaStella (who was rightfully upset about his demotion*), so I’m not sure they’d DFA Coghlan for Soler.  One of the catchers could go on the DL (or Contreras could be demoted), or Soler could just be assigned to AAA until his bat rebounds (I think this is the option I’d pick for now).

Tommy Birch ‏@TommyBirch 16h16 hours ago
I’m told Tommy La Stella has not yet reported to the Iowa #Cubs. Told yesterday he was given extra time by Chicago. How much unknown. #MiLB

- The pitching has rebounded nicely:

Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka Aug 3
#Cubs starters
19 games before All-Star break: 6.12 ERA, 100.0 IP, 26 HR
19 games since All-Star break:  2.73 ERA, 118.2 IP, 12 HR

Good to see the rest doing them some good. 

- At some point in the near future (or maybe even in this thread), I’ll write up my ideal 25 man roster for the playoffs.  Might as well start thinking about those last few spots, as I’m sure Joe is already.

- Lastly, it’s nice to hear that Almora is doing well since his demotion.  It’s not likely, but there’s a slim chance he could be on the playoff roster at some point (it would likely take an injury), so it’s good he got some experience).

Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 05, 2016 at 10:54 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 23, 2016 at 10:34 AM (#5288648)
Did not realize until just now that Jason Hammel has not given up a run in his last 3 starts and that he has a 22 inning streak going. Incredible.


Yeah, that was fun while it lasted.
   102. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2016 at 09:31 AM (#5290842)
Cubs have to go 18-17 the rest of the way to get to 100 wins and 28-7 to get to 110 wins.

It's looking more and more like Kris Bryant will be the NL MVP this year.


Cubs have an outside shot of becoming the 12th team to have 10 of their guys hit 10 or more homers. Ross, Contreras, Soler, and Heyward need to hit a total of 9 homers to do it. To tie the record for 11 either Montero or Szczur have to go off and hit 5 more homers in 35 games.
   103. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 27, 2016 at 09:58 AM (#5290847)
Bryant needs 5 HR to be the first Cub 3B to hit 40 HR. Yeah, I know he hit some at other positions, but this isn't a hyper technical exercise. The Cubs have 40HR guys at each position other than 3b and C. Current best at those positions are 38 for Aramis Ramirez, and 37 for Gabby Hartnett. No team has all 8. the Braves have 7, missing just SS.

Bryant, Rizzo, and Russell all in the mid to high 80s in RBI. The last Cubs team to have three 100 RBI guys was 1970 (Williams, Santo, Hickman). It had been done only 3 other times before, 1965, 1930, and 1929. The 1929 team had 4.
   104. Brian C Posted: August 27, 2016 at 11:31 AM (#5290861)
It's looking more and more like Kris Bryant will be the NL MVP this year.

I imagine last night basically made it his to lose. Two homers in the late innings including the game-winner on the road against another contender from a major media market in a come-from-behind victory has a way of cementing narratives in voters' minds. He'd have clinched it outright if the game had been nationally televised and on the East Coast.
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