Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

josh vittersSo, it turns out that the Washington Nationals gamed the waiver system to get more for David DeJesus than the Cubs got, but that’s going to be an entire discussion for an entire post. I just wanted you to know that I knew.

  • You can read the game recap for last night’s game at if you’re a glutton for punishment. I would, for now, note only the portion about James Russell – who has lately looked like toast – where Dale Sveum says he doesn’t think overwork is part of the problem. I’m not sure any pitcher in baseball has made as many appearances as Russell over the past two seasons, so it’s not like it’s an implausible concern.
  • Javier Baez had another couple hits, including a homer, yesterday for the Smokies. But he struck out twice, so it was actually a terrible game for him, relatively speaking. I kid.

  • Scott Baker completed his latest rehab outing, a four-inning start at Kane County, last night. He gave up one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out three. His fastball, according to the Sun-Times, topped out at 88 mph. Baker still believes he can show something in September with the Cubs, but, for me, that optimistic light is starting to dim. The Cubs might decide that it can’t hurt to give him a few starts in the bigs, but it’s hard to imagine them seeing enough to know confidently one way or another whether he can contribute in 2014.
  • Jesse Rogers defends Anthony Rizzo’s season vis a vis Starlin Castro’s season.
  • Josh Vitters’ season is probably over, and his manager at Iowa hopes he gets a chance to play somewhere over the offseason to make up for lost at bats (per Tommy Birch). I think the Cubs would want the same thing, though they ran into a problem last year – Vitters was sent to the Venezuelan Winter League to get some at bats, but (at least by outward appearances) his manager didn’t think he was worth playing every day. He got into a couple games before folks decided it just wasn’t working out, and Vitters was sent back home.
  • Vitters, already on the 40-man roster, is going to be a tough nut for the Cubs to crack. What we know at this point is that he can clearly hit at the AAA level to such an extent that there is reason to believe he could be a productive big league hitter. But he couldn’t stay healthy this year, and he still doesn’t really have a position. He also really, really struggled in his one (brief) look in the big leagues last year. That’s just a tough situation. Do the Cubs think he’s worth holding on to the 40-man all offseason? If not, would he clear waivers if outrighted? Would a team consider giving the Cubs a low-level – but intriguing – younger prospect in a swap? Could the Cubs pick up a decent bullpen arm for Vitters?

  • Although he managed just 100 plate appearances on the season, Vitters hit .295/.380/.511, and isn’t yet 24.

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