Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

With the Cubs’ win last night and the Rockies, Twins, and Indians losses, the Cubs’ “lead” in the Second Pick Sweepstakes shrunk to 1.5 over the Rockies, and 3 over the Indians and Twins.

  • The Cubs have officially re-upped with Boise, signing a two-year extension of their player development agreement, which will keep the Hawks as the Cubs’ short season low-A minor league team through 2014. The other two deals that are up this year are Low-A Peoria and High-A Daytona. The former is expected to switch to Kane County, and the latter is expected to remain the same.
  • Dale Sveum reiterates that the boner the other night on the run that didn’t score was Dave Sappelt’s and not Starlin Castro’s. “It’s not on [Castro] at all,” Sveum said, per the Tribune. “Yeah, you want everybody to sprint 100 percent through home plate, but not when it’s a complete no-brainer where there’s no play at home [or] anywhere else. It’s a non-play, basically. It’s a sacrifice fly deep enough in the left-center field gap, and that’s by no means Starlin’s fault for shutting it down five feet in front of home plate.” Maybe that’s why Sappelt went 3 for 3 with a walk last night. He knows Dale is on him.

  • Phil Rogers looks at some of the scheduling quirks that developed by virtue of the 15-teams leagues, starting in 2013.
  • Travis Wood is battling for a 2013 rotation spot, but I doubt anything short of four consecutive no-hitters to end 2012 will lock up a spot. Although the Cubs aren’t going to go out and get Zack Greinke this Winter, I do think they’ll add quite a few pitchers to compete for rotation spots next year. Only Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija will enter 2013 as locks for the rotation.
  • Carlos Marmol has saved 18 of his last 18 opportunities, and with one more, he’ll have 20 on the year. That would make him just the¬†fifth pitcher in Cubs history with three straight seasons of 20 or more saves, joining Lee Smith (1983-87), Bruce Sutter (1977-80), Ryan Dempster (2005-07) and Randall Kirk Myers (1993-95).

  • How would things have been different if Jim Crane had bought the Cubs instead of the Astros? Maybe not much different.

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