So, is the Tigers-got-cold-because-of-the-sweep thing really true? Assuming they eventually lose the World Series, that’s what folks will say. And we’ll probably never know if it’s actually true, because it’s not like the Giants aren’t good (and hot).
- Darwin Barney won the Field Bible Award for second base (one winner at each position in baseball), which is awarded by a panel of forward-thinking experts each year. From the Fielding Bible’s John Dewan: “Darwin Barney’s defense is a shining star in an otherwise cloudy season for the 2012 Chicago Cubs. After a nondescript debut at second base in 2011, when he saved only one run defensively, Barney led all second basemen in 2012 with 28 runs saved. This total led by a wide margin. He had a lot more runs saved than defending Fielding Bible Award winner Dustin Pedroia’s total of 11, a lot more than Robinson Cano’s 15, and a lot more than Brandon Phillips’ 11. Those three came in second, third and fourth in a vote that wasn’t close; Barney received eight of ten first-place votes. Barney’s vote tabulation of 96 points was only four short of perfection.” That’s all great, and yet all I can think about is the fact that two on the panel didn’t vote Barney in first place (and, if my math is right, not in second place either – the full results will be released soon). For shame.
- Javier Baez is trying to get used to playing third base, not only in the Arizona Fall League, but potentially long term. Although it’s still too early to talk about moving him permanently off of shortstop to accommodate Starlin Castro (or to talk about moving Castro), it is probably time to know whether Baez is going to be able to make the transition when the time comes. Given his skills at short, it shouldn’t be an issue, but it will take time and work. Baez says he’s open to the move, but that he’s got to learn the footwork and the angles at third base a little better. His manager at Daytona, Brian Harper, is Baez’s hitting coach in the AFL, and pretty much says it all (from the Tribune): “[Baez] can play shortstop. Eventually, he can play third. He’s a little uncomfortable there. He hasn’t played many games there. The angles and throws are a little different. But offensively, he’s got some talent.At his age, there’s no reason to not have him play shortstop because he’s still a couple years away from the big leagues. When he’s ready for the big leagues, then you make a decision. But right now, he’s a legitimate shortstop …. He’s got as much talent and power as any young player I’ve seen. He’s a year out of high school. This is a challenge for him, and he’s got some things to adjust and learn. The upside on him is ridiculous. It’s great.” Yay.
- Vine Line with another of its interesting player reviews – Starlin Castro this time. I love the focus: the changes in Castro’s walk rate, and the kinds of pitches he was swinging at.
- Mark Grace is probably out of the running for the Cubs’ color job. (I never thought he was in it.) Grace was indicted yesterday on that second DUI from earlier this year, and he faces a legitimate chance at jail time (which, and this is no comment on Grace’s situation in particular, if you have two DUIs in a 15 month span, jail time is very appropriate – it’s such a dangerous, easily-avoided crime).
- Carrie Muskat answers questions on a variety of subjects, including a bunch of “where is this guy” kind of questions.
- GMs and Assistant GMs voted for a post-season (as in, after the season) All-Star team, and only Mike Trout was a unanimous selection (Miguel Cabrera was actually missing quite a few votes, but what do GMs and Assistant GMs know, right?), and no Cubs made an appearance.
- The MLBullets at BCB focus on the World Series, natch.