ryne sandberg philliesWith the family move and the destination wedding now behind us, activity here should be returning to something close to normal as the Cubs’ 2013 season comes to a close.

  • Ryne Sandberg is the interim Phillies manager no more, having been stripped of the interim label, and inked to a three-year (plus one option) deal. Phillies management and the players sound pleased to be retaining Sandberg for the long haul, and I’m very happy he’s getting this opportunity. It doesn’t project to be a particularly easy job, with the pressures of Philadelphia laying atop an aging, expensive roster.
  • As the season winds down and the playoffs approach, you may want to do a little MLB betting (smart money: avoid the Cubs). That link there will get you what you need … but if you bet on the Cardinals, so help me …


  • Junior Lake did the four strikeout thing yesterday, highlighting the contact problems that portend a serious regression in his offensive numbers in the near-term future. Sahadev Sharma writes extensively about Lake here, and explains why it is probably unreasonable to expect Lake to keep up his productivity unless his K-rate and BB-rate start trending in better directions. Dale Sveum also says he thinks Lake could stand to benefit from playing some winter ball, where he could get more experience in the outfield.
  • Sahadev on the positive signals from Edwin Jackson and Starlin Castro.
  • Dioner Navarro is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, and he gets a whole lot of love from Dale Sveum. He’s in line for a healthy payday after the season, and I expect that he’ll first seek out a starting opportunity before landing somewhere as a backup (potentially with the Cubs).
  • Dale Sveum works to defend Anthony Rizzo’s down season (young player, starting every day, batting third, etc.), which is fine. But I think there’s a lot of truth in his final quote in the piece: “So you analyze the year and it’s not as bad as everybody makes it out to be.” Indeed, and more about that later.


  • Jeff Samardzija says that he’s appreciated Dale Sveum’s work this year, but concedes that nobody knows what is going to happen after the season (per Patrick Mooney).
  • Scouts talk about a variety of players on Baseball Prospectus (including love for former Cub Andrew Cashner), and there’s a pretty money quote on pitcher Jake Arrieta: “It is still easy to change opinions quickly on whether he is a starter or reliever. He is one of many pitchers where the sum is less than the parts. He has stuff, a great body, can get swings and misses, and can put together dominant stretches. That being said, he can disappear with the best of them and look like a walk waiting to happen. He has to be frustrating for them because he has so much promise.” That’s a scout confirming everything our eyes were telling us.

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