Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

It’s another travel day for me, as I head home from Chicago after a great visit. Hopefully my voice returns to me soon after all of my screaming. I sound like Adele during her voice-less hiatus.

  • Sounds like everyone is in agreement that Chris Volstad had a nice start yesterday, save for that one pitch to David Freese. “He threw the ball really well up to that point,” Dale Sveum said. “He got the sinker in on Freese all day long and tried to come in and left it out over the plate and that was a back breaker in that inning. … For the most part, it was a much more improved outing and he pitched more aggressively and used his sinker and did a good job.”
  • Volstad hasn’t won since July 10 of last year, which is a really incredible streak … at least until you realize that W/L for pitchers is an almost entirely meaningless.

  • It sounds like Kerry Wood will not be activated from the disabled list this weekend when he’s eligible to return to the team. Sveum is still talking about things like “building up shoulder strength.” Never a good sign.
  • Dale Sveum likes batting Tony Campana second in part because he likes the idea of someone like Campana dropping sacrifice bunts. “I think you have to do it because you’re putting pressure on the defense to throw a ball away,” Sveum said. “[With Campana bunting] it’s going to be bang-bang [at first base] whether it’s at somebody or not. And if he pulls off a good bunt he’s going to be safe.” It’s an interesting twist on the usually sabermetrically-loathed sacrifice bunt. Does it become less loathed if the guy doing the bunting is 30% likely to turn that sacrifice into a hit?
  • Ian Stewart’s numbers have turned to garbage after a 1 for 20 streak, but Sveum correctly notes that Stewart’s been hitting the ball hard. “He swung the bat good that one day when he hit the ball hard four times and I think sometimes when you don’t get results, guys start pressing a little bit and swinging out of the zone,” Sveum said. “But we’ll get him going. He has too much bat speed. The good thing is, for the most part, he’s getting good pitches to hit. We just have to get things going swinging the bats.”

  • The coaching staff is planning to have the catchers monitor pitchers for mound visits, rather than having pitching coach Chris Bosio trek out to the mound every couple innings. That’s fine, I suppose, though I wonder what the theory is there. Are they worried that it hurts more than it helps when pitchers see a coach coming out to visit them?

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