The mornings are getting harder and harder as the reduced sleep starts to build up. I still feel mostly cogent, but much slower. And less articulate. Bargle gob majone.
- The offense has been terrible so far this Spring, and Dale Sveum has noticed. “We’re not swinging the bats at all,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “The on-base percentage, everything, has been pretty bad this Spring Training, and that’s after two pretty good games to start the Cactus League. Since then, it hasn’t been very productive. It’s not that easy to not get 10 hits in the Cactus League, and we haven’t done it for awhile.” The Cubs’ team .307 OBP is the worst in all of baseball this Spring. For all of the discussed improvement in the rotation, the lineup has always looked pretty terrifying, even after Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro return.
- Paul Swyden of FanGraphs/ESPN Insider tries to build the case of how the Cubs could be competitive this year, and thus set up the “do they continue to rebuild or go for it” question. The answer is obviously the latter, though the Cubs aren’t going to completely sell off the farm for the mere chance at a Wild Card slot.
- Dale Sveum offered some thoughts on how Kyuji Fujikawa and Chris Rusin pitched this weekend (good on both accounts, though Sveum was quick to note that Rusin faced a lot of lefties).
- Junior Lake is dealing with a “stiff” trapezius muscle, which doesn’t sound terribly serious, but neither did “lat tightness” or “mild quad strain.” Lake wasn’t going to make the big team either way, but you’d like to see him healthy for the start of the AAA season.
- Team USA avoided an embarrassing first round exit in the WBC by beating Canada yesterday. They now move on to the second round in Miami, together with Team Italy from their pool.
- But now what you’re really here to read about. THE CUBS BUNT TOURNAMENT! David DeJesus defeated The Video Dude (Nate Halm) in the final yesterday to reclaim his championship belt. DeJesus won in 2012, so I expect that we’ll once again see him drop down about three bunts this season. The team and most of the front office was in attendance, and many were rooting for The Video Dude. “It’s always easy to [root for the underdog],” DeJesus said, per the Tribune. “The guy with the belt, people ‘be hatin’.’ But it’s all right.”
- They see me buntin’, they hatin’, wasting outs I’m sacrificin’ dirty …
- The Cubs are getting some grief because The Video Dude (Nate Halm) finished second. That was to be expected – and the snark would have been even more titanic if The Video Dude had won – but Halm has played professionally in leagues other than MLB recently (where it’s possible that bunting is much more prevalent), and the vast majority of players in the bunt tourney are not regular bunters (nor should they be). Further, the players are bunting into little squares against BP fastballs. That’s not exactly reflective of the ability to bunt in the big leagues. Not only can I not get riled up by The Video Dude beating the “real” players, I actually get excited by it. Long live The Video Dude.
- In case you missed Luke’s top prospects series last week, make sure to at least check out the final installment.