You may have missed it, since the timing was a little different than usual, but there’s a fresh BN Podcast episode waiting for you – recorded and published last evening. Check it out, and make sure to subscribe so that you can get them all automatically, whatever odd hours at which we decide to publish.
- According to the Cubs’ transactions page, Kameron Loe, who was DFA’d earlier in the week and then outrighted to Iowa, has declined his assignment to Iowa and instead elected free agency. His time with the Cubs was largely unsuccessful, but I don’t have a beef with the Cubs taking a chance on him. The bullpen was in disarray, and you might as well take a shot at guys like Loe and Kevin Gregg if they come, essentially, for free. Look how Gregg has worked out so far.
- Relatedly, the Cubs have already optioned Rafael Dolis to back to Iowa in anticipation of Kyuji Fujikawa’s return from the DL today. The Cubs’ roster machinations from earlier in the week worked out exactly as they’d hoped.
- Paul Sullivan writes about the sabermetric leanings of the Cubs organization in the Epstein/Hoyer/Sveum era, including the (so far) correct decision not to aggressively pursue guys like Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols. An interest part of the article is the reminder that Dale Sveum once referred to sabermetrics as “cybermetrics,” which is funny because Sveum’s managerial decisions almost always seem to be dictated by the numbers.
- I’m not a luddite about many things, but Instagram is one of the. So, thanks to BN’er Jesse for passing on a picture from Albert Amora’s Instagram that is of some bats and a comment “back at it again, injury free.” I’d been asking for a week what was up with Almora appearing in an Extended Spring Training game and then going off the map for over a week. I’m guessing he felt a little discomfort after that game, and need a week off. Hopefully he’s back in action today, and for good.
- Jorge Soler comes in for some praise over at MiLB.com. Thanks to a recent hot streak, Soler’s line is up to an impressive .290/.374/.559, and he’s got almost as many walks (12) and extra base hits (14) as strikeouts (16). In other words, dude is pretty much destroying High-A right now. That same article includes discussion of what the Cubs are doing with Javier Baez, trying to improve on his contact issues.
- Carrie Muskat answers some questions, and busts out some blown save statistics for the last several years.
- Patrick Mooney on consistent playoff teams … and the Cubs.
- Bruce Miles on the Cubs’ RISP woes and the concept of “clutch.” Spoiler alert: being “clutch” is bunk.
- The “Beat Brett’s Face” fantasy baseball contest runs today – it starts with this evening’s games – so you’re running out of time to sign up. The other reason you’re running out of time is that there are only 50 slots, and, at last check, 41 of them were full. So if you want a shot at part of the $500 prize pool, and a bonus of $5 if you beat me, sign up for the contest here. (Full details here. Note: this is a pay contest, and it costs $11 to participate.)