The Cubs have now been swept on the road by each of the NL West teams this year. Swell. At least you can almost taste that number two pick next year (and second highest international spending pool – don’t forget that).
- Darwin Barney officially tied the ML record for consecutive errorless games at second base in a single season with his 141st straight such game yesterday. He’ll go for the record on his own tonight in Arizona.
- There continues to be some kind of disconnect between what the coaching staff wants Chris Volstad to execute on the mound, and what Chris Volstad actually does. On Volstad’s ugly start yesterday, Sveum was plainly irritated. “There was no life, no breaking balls, no sticking to the game plan,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “He pitched a pretty good game against these guys last time, glove side, down and away, and I don’t know what was going on [this time].” It’s frustrating, and, being that we’ve heard Sveum say similar things about Volstad a couple other times this year, you start to wonder if there’s a coachability problem with Volstad. I’m starting to think that the tender decision on Volstad will tell us what we need to know.
- Dale Sveum says Starlin Castro needs to work on not being so reliant on his strong arm – in other words, get yourself in a better position to field the ball more quickly, and shorten up the throw. Castro’s defense has obviously been vastly improved this year, but it’s a reminder that playing in the big leagues is a constant process of adjustment and improvement, especially for a player of Castro’s caliber.
- Cubs players can expect extra baserunning drills in Spring Training next year after a series of gaffes have plagued them in the second half of the season.
- The players continue to respect and like Dale Sveum despite the looming possibility of 100 losses.
- The MLBullets at BCB note that Bobby Valentine is almost certainly out the door in Boston, and also include a pretty interesting study from Deadspin on pundit predictions in baseball (spoiler alert: they’re all really bad at it).
- Included in those MLBullets was a really interesting piece from Jonah Keri on those trades where a “small market” team is “forced” to trade one of its stars in arbitration, because they’re getting too expensive. How often did they win that trade? How often was it a good idea to not just pony up the cash to keep the star? The results were mixed – with respect to positional players, there was a clear split in good trades and bad ones. On the pitching side, though, teams were more likely to “win” the trade if they were dealing away an established pitcher who was about to get expensive. It’s a very interesting read.
- I won’t link to them because they read like the angry rantings of elders with neighborhood children on their lawn, but I find it almost inexplicable that the only place you’ll find vitriol and hostility about the “farce” or “joke” that is the feel-good Adam Greenberg signing is in Chicago. The national baseball media? Wonderful story. The Miami media? Wonderful story. The Chicago media? A farce and a joke. It’s not like I don’t understand the bitterness associated with covering the Cubs for the past four years, but geez … hug a bunny or something, guys. It’s OK to just feel good about something for the sake of feeling good sometimes. It won’t kill you. Promise.