With last night’s loss, the Cubs are assured of leaving Colorado with, at a minimum, a one-game worse record than the Rockies. Since the Cubs hold the tie-breaker over the Rockies in terms of Draft standing, that is effectively a two-game “lead.” A loss today would make it effectively four, with just six games to go.
- Dale Sveum is perturbed about yet another “bone-headed play” last night, when Joe Mather improvidently tagged from second on a fly ball to left field, with Josh Vitters tagging from third. Mather was thrown out before Vitters scored, and the Cubs didn’t get a run (yes, that is a carbon copy of a play from Houston last week, when Dave Sappelt did the same thing). What can you say? It just seems like the kind of mistake you wouldn’t make in high school. Mather, for his part, said he thought he could make it.
- Chris Volstad says he’s had a successful year, despite his crummy numbers. Per Carrie Muskat: “This is the year when I’ve learned the most as far as how to use my stuff individually, how to attack hitters, how to study that type of thing, as opposed to just relying on other people to do it or guide me along. It’s definitely a learning process and it’s taken a little bit of time but this is the year when I’ve grown the most.” Volstad is arbitration-eligible again this Winter, and would make a raise on his current $2.66 million salary. Is it worth tendering him, knowing he’ll get at least $3 million (and could get as much as $3.5 or $4 million, in an extreme scenario), just on the chance that the just-turned-26-year-old will finally make good on his physical talent? It’s a fool-me-once type of situation, but I can understand why teams are so reluctant to give up on him. God help my stupid optimism, but I’d probably tender him. Volstad starts today for the Cubs.
- Paul Sullivan does a mailbag, which includes some interesting thoughts from a reader on the inattentiveness of young men these days. The reader is trying to explain why the Cubs seem to suffer from so many ….. OH MY GOD THAT DOG HAS SHOES ON!
- Not entirely unrelatedly, here’s a humorous and informative Twitter exchange between Cubs prospects Logan Watkins and Dustin Geiger, the takeaway of which is that it looks like prospects who aren’t playing in organized leagues this offseason will be training in Arizona with the club in November and January.
- Another not entirely unrelatedly, here’s an interview with Albert Almora over at FanGraphs. The whole thing is a treat, but this was my favorite quote: “We have video here and watch it constantly, every day. I have an iPad and it has what I’ve done against that pitcher multiple times. It helps, of course. I like to see the way a pitcher works and how he throws to you — how he’s been placing pitches with you. Stuff like that. Every day is different, but sometimes you have a better idea of what’s going to happen and what he’s going to throw.”
- (Speaking of Watkins, Michael Brenly tweeted a congrats to his roommate on being named the Cubs’ minor league player of the year. The award wouldn’t shock me, but I haven’t seen the official announcement yet.)
- Not to jinx it, but Darwin Barney can tie the Major League single-season record for consecutive errorless games at second base if he makes it through today’s game unscathed. The record is 141 games, set by Placido Polanco in 2007.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke on a range of topics, including the Cubs’ plans for free agency this offseason, which will obviously be getting its own post later this morning. Didn’t want you to think I missed it.