Day Two of the move is already underway. I am sore and tired, and the movers aren’t even coming until tomorrow. No significant complaints, though. Well, other than that Michigan/Akron game, anyway.
- Scott Baker’s velocity yesterday was in the same range as his first start, though he touched 90 a few more times. Once again, Baker had good movement on his pitches, and generally located well. Baker gave up just three hits (one homer) over six innings, and more impressively, struck out four while walking no one.
- Baker’s got one more start left this year, and, if once again shows off this new-ish, craftier-type pitcher (with success), his offseason is going to be very interesting. On the one hand, maybe he’s reinvented himself a bit, and can still have success without the velocity going forward. On the other hand, maybe teams will catch up to him once they see him a couple times (in a way, it’s like they’re seeing a brand new pitcher for the first time). On still another hand, maybe he’s got another couple MPH by next year, and he’s back to his old self. Whatever the case, I think his free agency is going to be a tough nut to crack, especially if both he and the Cubs desire to be reunited (in that instance, given the past year, what’s a fair contract? $2 million for 2014 (with incentives), and something like an $8 million option for 2015?).
- Carlos Villanueva, who’s been excellent as a swing man this year, hopes he gets the chance to start next year (he’s in the first year of a two-year, $10 million deal), and, if he does, he’s got a very realistic outlook (per Mark Gonzales): “Either we’re good, and I can start all year and guide us through the playoffs. Or I’ll be good, and they can get something for me at the All-Star break. It’s the business side of it, and I understand it.” He’s probably right about those possible outcomes, granting that he omitted the not-hoped-for possibility that he is injured or ineffective.
- Carrie Muskat reminds folks by way of numbers that Alfonso Soriano was an important offensive piece for the Cubs.