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pedro strop cubsI had a considerable amount of fun last night at the wedding (the amount of fun you have at a wedding always seems to be inversely related to how you feel the next day), and we’re on the road to the airport for our flight back home.

  • To button up the Kevin Gregg drama of the last two days, Theo Epstein accepted Gregg’s apology, and the reliever won’t be released. There are but a week’s worth of games left in the season, anyway, so it’s probably not worth the hassle either way.
  • In his first – and heavily-anticipated, given the Kevin Gregg drama – save opportunity with the Cubs, Pedro Strop made it happen yesterday. Which is to say he struck out the side. He’ll likely get any other save opportunities the Cubs have to give the rest of the way, and then he’ll head into the offseason as the presumptive favorite to start 2014 as the closer. Given the anticipated makeup of the bullpen, I wouldn’t hate if the Cubs simply didn’t have a designated closer next year – Strop, Blake Parker, Justin Grimm, etc. all could throw late innings – but I understand why teams do it.
  • With yesterday’s win, the Cubs pulled into a tie with the Twins – in the win column – for the fifth worst record in baseball.
  • Scott Baker is happy with how his three-start stint with the Cubs went this year, all things considered. He’ll now rest up, and continue progressing toward a full return in 2014.
  • Cubs prospect Kyle Hendricks – yesterday honored as the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year – is back at Dartmouth taking classes so that he can get his degree. That’s Ivy League, baby. I understand. More on Hendricks here, and what he’s working on (other than his degree) going into next season.
  • And love for Hendricks and Javier Baez – yesterday honored as the organization’s minor league player of the year – from Farm Director Brandon Hyde here.
  • The pitching prospect the Nationals acquired with their David DeJesus waiver wire maneuvering? Matt Spann. Looking over the pedigree, it doesn’t look like the Cubs missed out too badly here.
  • CubFan Paul

    If Blake Parker is throwing late innings early in the year, next year, we’re in trouble.

    Theo&Co’s crapfest April bullpens has been a sign of the direction of the team two years running.

    • MichiganGoat

      That crapfest had one name – Marmol.

      • jt

        “That crapfest had one name – Marmol.”
        –G
        The April pen was pretty bad. I’m not sure that Marmol was even the worst.
        Camp?
        Fuji gave up 3 runs twice in 5 April tries.
        Rondon was pretty good in April but the bottom fell out it May.
        Have you forgotten the parade of those such as Kameron Loe?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What am I missing? Blake Parker has been consistently good this year, and he’s already throwing in the late innings.

      • MichiganGoat

        Nothing, I’m guessing Parker’s couple of poor appearances has made Paul attach Marmolesque suckitude to Parker.

        • CubFan Paul

          Stop Assuming.

      • CubFan Paul

        “What am I missing?”

        I don’t know. I’ve seen every inning he’s thrown this year and I prefer Parker not to be part of the late inning mix. To me, he has “6th/7th inning stuff”.

        • hansman1982

          Well, he’s struck out 10.7 per 9 so I’d love to see your definition of 9th inning stuff.

          • CubFan Paul

            Stats are nice. Watch a game.

            • Eric

              I think you avatar has his hands on his hand because of your dick-ish comments.

              • Eric

                *your avatar

                • hansman1982

                  *his head

            • hansman1982

              That’s right. I forgot you are a better scout than the Cubs scouts, FO and coaching staff.

            • MichiganGoat

              Meaning you let a couple of games dictate how you evaluate a player… Yeah stats are dumb.

            • baldtaxguy

              I think Blake is a nice surprise, both statistically and the small sample of appearances that I’ve seen. I like him as a late inning option and having him as a complement to another closing option such as Strop should give the club a huge year-over-year advantage over last April’s bullpen. Those K stats are real.

            • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

              When your retort is “watch a game” one has to assume you got nothing.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Oooh! Oooh! I have a rebuttal! How about “Watching is nice. Try understanding the game.”

              Or is that too snarky?

            • hansman

              Also, scouting players on TV games, while fun, is useless. You get terrible angles and, outside of the pitcher, you see so little of what the player does its impossible to proclaim a player is Good or bad.

              Scout away but there is a reason why advance scouts get paid to travel to the games.

              • cub2014

                I like Parker as late inning but
                why say “useless” you can
                certainly evaluate a players
                success by watching them on
                tv. some have more expertise
                than others at evaluating.

                • cub2014

                  I think evaluating a pitchers
                  should come down to a few
                  things:
                  1. Control (including within the
                  strikezone) not just walks.
                  2. Movement of hard pitched.
                  3. Ability to throw and control a good
                  off speed pitch (Curve,slider,changeup)
                  4. Velocity or deception
                  I would evaluate in that order, late
                  innings guys the swing and miss
                  rates are a little more important.
                  All this can be done to some degree
                  from your home.

              • The Dude Abides

                you have a lot of opinions on players how many games do you attend?

                • hansman

                  I never wholly dismiss another’s position using evidence that is based on untrained observations of an incredibly small portion of a player’s performance at bad viewing angles.

                  Statistical scouting, while incomplet, still tells us far more than television scouting and does so without observational error.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    So none.

                    • Hansman

                      Oh, you got me. Im exposed as a giant fraud…

                      Wait, I never did claim to be able to break down a guys stuff on TV like you did.

          • jt

            Strop has walked one guy in his last 12.3 IP. That is not Strop like but that is what we are seeing and remembering.
            Parker’s rate of about 3BB/9IP is not bad but it does not compete with a guy with similar stuff throwing at a BB/9 rate of less than one.
            If Strop continues to toss K’s and IF Parker can not get his BB/9 rate down then..
            But these are the types of stats that can and sometimes do change.

      • Geo

        Don’t go off of 3 appearances, you need a bigger body of work so that you can find your answer. 92 on the heater , are you serious about making him a closer?

  • Reality Check

    why was Strop not closing since July 31st? Why is Gregg even on the team? Why is Watkins not playing?

    I guess after Garza was traded; Thoyer/Dale Quade got tired and said; screw it; no more thinking for now…….

    no one knows if Watkins can hit.
    No idea if Strop can close………….

    gotta love the foresight…….

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I agree! I’m a kool-aider, but there are things like you mentioned that would have given me a more warm & fuzzy feeling goin’ forward. The only reason, I believe, that Watkins didn’t get more PT was Barney’s potential contention for the GG award. Still not a good enough reason for me!

      • DocPeterWimsey

        A few weeks of MLB stats will be less predictive of a guys future than years of miLB stats will be. At any rate, the FO obviously hoped that Gregg could get lucky again and that some WC contender would be so desperate for a reliever that the Cubs would be able to deal Gregg for anything in August. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

        As for getting Barney a gold glove, that is not a bad idea. After all, the DBacks just might be stupid enough to trade someone decent to the Cubs for a guy like Barney *if* Barney wins another GG!

  • Die hard

    Kudos to ARod for fighting against MLB hypocrisy which encouraged the drug use of Sosa and McGuire et al when it suited their purposes by showing he can still put up numbers without the juice and showing Bud the middle finger he deserves right in the eyes 👀

    • Brains

      I’m assuming this post is a bait – but part of me agrees that the MLB is picking scapegoats for its internal decision-making. Clearly they knew what was going on, clearly they encouraged it, and then when the cat was out of the bag they blamed the players. This isn’t to excuse them, they’re blame-worthy, and AROD is a classless narcissist. But the guy can hit the ball, and he was just part of a larger structural problem and is getting a lot of blame since he’s so unlikable as a person. I’d like to see the MLB give like a billion dollars to charities as a form of “ownership suspension”.

      • Die hard

        Leads me to believe that the Yankees are behind the ARod push. Maybe they have more financial issues than disclosed — losing Rivera could put them in the market for someone like Gregg…

    • chrisfchi

      this is relevant to the bullet post how?

      • Brains

        Well Theo must have clearly been aware of Manny and Ortiz. I mean, comeon. But what was he, 19 years old at the time?

        • Die hard

          Wrong question- ask instead is Theo aware of anything going on among any of the highly touted up and comers? Why is Theo keeping the likes of Sweeney for example when there are better OF in minors? Insurance?

          • MichiganGoat

            Oh my, first say call out prospects as juicers then say we have better OF in the minors than Sweeney… care to give us a name?

            • Brains

              Yeah there’s no reason to believe that steroid culture is still dominant in the MLB, too much to lose for young players.

              • Rebuilding

                Well, if they were smart they switched over to undetectable HGH years ago.

                What is the deal with the Watkins love? In over 2000 minor league at-bats he’s shown that he will never be a major league regular. And with Alcantera and possibly Baez ready for 2b by next year it was never going to be here anyway

                • Brains

                  Why would Theo hire HGH players? I don’t see that in the plan.

                  • Rebuilding

                    How would you know who the HGH players are? Believe me, there are a ton of them. There is no reliable test for HGH and it leads to more “natural” looking growth. Anyone still taking steroids is doing it because of injury and desperation at this point

          • DarthHater

            “there are better OF in minors”

            Yes, there’s nothing like starting the day with a nice, steaming cup of bullshit.

    • chrisfchi

      Still waiting on how this is relevant to todays bullets. not once was arod or hgh mentioned in todays post.

      • Shmoopy

        It’s relevant because Theo supported steroid players back in the day. But that was a different time.

  • TOOT

    I hate to go to the Sandberg thing again, but it’s like a punch in the face every time I hear about things like this. 3 year contract from Phillies. The dude is managing over .500 since taking over for Manuel. What the F@#K!

    • Joe

      I’d give the credit to the players

      • TOOT

        Same players, different manager. Face the facts brother.

        • MichiganGoat

          I present you Quade as an example of why you don’t let the last few months dictate future success. And no I’m not saying he’s Quade and I wish him all the success.

          • TOOT

            Now I’m really getting pissed off MG. Quade and Sandberg in the same sentence! Yikes!

            • MichiganGoat

              NOW? I think you’ve already reached that level.

              • TOOT

                Sometimes you make no sense.

                • MichiganGoat

                  ALL HAIL THE TOOT!

                  I bow to your superiority, you are a genius, a scholar, and a hero. If only the Cubs would listen to you. TOOT for GM 2014! sign me up I will agree with everything you say from here on out so you are happy and I can avoid your wrath.

                  ALL HAIL THE TOOT!

                  • TOOT

                    Did I hit a nerve? Holy crap.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    No buddy I see where I made a mistake and realize you are the answer we’ve all been search for. TOOT 2014 is my new team. I now support your every idea and plan.

    • Jono

      Is there reason to believe he’s a good manager, or do people just want him bc of the fact that he had a HOF career with the cubs? I dont know either way, im not trying to imply he isn’t a good manager, I simply don’t know. And I don’t think being over .500 with that teams means that he’s a good manager. That’s a pretty good roster that should be over .500

      • Gutshot5820

        Well if you read the comments from the FO of the Phillies, they are basically saying that Sandberg has had great success in six years of minor league ball. He has leadership qualities that players look up to, Also, every minor league player that was in the Cubs have nothing but great things to say about his teaching ability. So… obviously, the Phillies did their homework and was confident enough in his ability to offer him a 3 yr contract.

        • Jono

          Ive read those kinds of statements from the front offices and players, but they seemed to fall into the “of course he’d say that” category.

          • TOOT

            Look at his track record in MANAGING dude, Big mistake on the Cubs Fo IMO.

            • Jono

              its hard to get a sense of a minor league manager’s ability just by wins and losses. And his managing experience in the majors is a small.sample sizesize with some really good players. Again, he may be awesome, I don’t know. I haven’t watched enough of his managed games to know whether he’s good or bad. But I do know that his win loss record isn’t much of an indicator.

              • TOOT

                No, but he is a born winner! We all know that. Period.

                • Jono

                  His success as the player means he must be a manager?

                  • Jono

                    A *good* manager

                • MichiganGoat

                  With the teams we’ve put out the last two years not even the almighty spaghetti monster in the sky would create a winner. The Phillies had playoff dreams this year and should be .500+ I’ll hold off my judgement of his MLB manager skills for a couple of years. I can only imagine the discussions if Sandberg was the manager over these two years.

                  • Jono

                    No human manager could’ve, but I bet a spaghetti monster could have. You obviously know nothing about spaghetti monsters

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Well spaghetti monsters do use batting average to measure success so I retract my previous statement. And they love to sacrifice bunt and believe the best hitter should bat 4th.

                    • Jono

                      Sounds like a goat would do much better

                    • MichiganGoat

                      NO NOT A GOAT, ALL HAIL THE TOOT! He is the answer, he is the best.

                    • DarthHater

                      MG, you are really blaspheming the FSM today. Lucky for you that goats don’t have souls. :-P

                    • MichiganGoat

                      My soul belongs to TOOT

            • Jono

              Again, im not arguing that he isn’t a good manager. Im asking for a reason to believe he is

    • hansman1982

      Ummm…Quade had a 24-13 record after taking over for Lou

      • MichiganGoat

        Hansman how dare you compare Sandberg to Quade, my benevolent leader says that is hogwash. Get bent buddy and realize the truth.

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    I’m praying this week we lose every game and the white sox/twins win every game! All in for the future!

  • themusicbox

    The FO should resign Gregg. He is the best closer option the Cubs have. It is going to be another shitty season in Chicago in 2014 anyway…let him pad his stats.

  • DarthHater

    “The FO should resign”

    Should have stopped right there. Sorry, just couldn’t resist. :-P

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