Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

How does a scraper disappear? The Wife and I had a nice, big scraper in our car – the kind of thing you don’t think about until December rolls around and you start to need it. But now that we’ve looked around, the thing is gone. It’s not like you ever take it anywhere but in and out of your car, so how could it be gone? I’m going to go buy a replacement later this morning, and you justĀ know that I’m going to find the damn thing as soon as I get back from the store.

  • Carrie Muskat fields folks’ questions, and notes, among other things, that she believes Nate Schierholtz is being viewed more as a fourth outfielder than a true starter. We’re still waiting on the official signing to hear from Theo or Jed on Schierholtz’s expected role, but it will be interesting. As a fourth outfielder, he might be one of the best in baseball (and would mean the Cubs are still looking for another starting outfielder, regardless of whether they trade Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus). I still suspect he was signed to start more than your typical fourth outfielder would, given that he reportedly turned down more lucrative deals elsewhere (where it was known he would be on the bench) to sign on with the Cubs. You probably don’t do that unless you expect to get a lot of starts.
  • A theory? The Cubs have always planned on dealing one of DeJesus or Soriano, and plan on using Schierholtz in a platoon as a “starter” (he’d face righties, so he’d get the vast majority of the starts). But, since they haven’t yet made a trade, they can’t pursue a free agent outfielder and tell him they want him to start unless they spread the word that Schierholtz won’t be starting (otherwise there would be no spot for that outfielder the Cubs are pursuing). That could all have a relationship to why Schierholtz’s signing hasn’t been made official yet, either. The Cubs may not want to lock themselves into more formally explaining Schierholtz’s role until they get the other outfielder on board, or get a trade involving one of their other outfielders done. You know, now that I’ve typed this all out, I think I’ve convinced myself.

  • Alberto Cabrera, whom the Cubs have said they plan to convert back into a starting pitcher next year, made his first start of the Winter in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, and it was mixed, to say the least. In four scoreless innings, Cabrera gave up no hits and struck out 10. Holy smokes, he’s the greatest pitcher ever! Oh, he walked six. Yowsah. For those wondering, yes, walking six in four innings is much more “bad” than striking out 10 in four innings is “good.” Against consistent big league hitting, you would get destroyed with that kind of erratic control. Obviously it’s great to see him employing the good stuff, though. This is just the first of many, many steps.
  • Speaking of the Winter Leagues, Tony Campana’s time in Venezuela is up. The bad news? He hit just .231 and slugged just .288. The good news? His OBP was .322. That number, alone, isn’t good, but it’s a really nice IsoD.
  • Patrick Mooney wonders what impact the Anibal Sanchez pursuit will have on the Cubs’ decisions to/efforts to sign Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija to extensions.

  • Economic impact studies aren’t always reliable, and you have to regard suspiciously a study commissioned by the very entity who is hoping to demonstrate economic impact, but … the Cactus League performed an economic impact study that says the Cactus League and the year-round use of team facilities adds about $632 million to the Arizona economy. Further, 56% of fans attending Spring Training games are out-of-state visitors.
  • Chicago Cubs Christmas songs? Sure, why not.

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