In case you missed it, there’s a brand new BN Podcast episode available for your consumption.
- The Cardinals whooped the Pirates 9-1 in their NLDS opening game yesterday. The Cardinals hung a seven-spot on A.J. Burnett in the third inning, and that was that. As for the Dodgers and Braves, it was a little closer, but similarly non-competitive. Clayton Kershaw did as he does, and the Dodgers won 6-1.
- Theo Epstein has apparently suggested an ideal fix to the one-game Wild Card playoff that many of us hate. The fix turns the game into a three-game series, which starts with a doubleheader on the first day. In that way, you get a three-game series (far preferable to a one-game coin flip), and you add just one day to the postseason. The only downside I see is the difficulty in asking a 25-man rostered team to play three games in two days (and then head off to another series) after a long season. That’s a tough order, but maybe that’s not unfair, given what the playoffs are all about.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin was a little surprised that injured utility man Mat Gamel was picked up off of waivers by the Cubs. Melvin had hoped to get Gamel through waivers so that the Brewers would not be on the hook for another $500K next year if Gamel couldn’t play. Claiming a waived player costs only $20,000, so it’s worth the gamble for teams like the Cubs (especially if they, too, will try to get Gamel through waivers, because there would be nothing to lose).
- Speaking of Gamel and my “utility man” designation, Keith Law would take issue with that, presumably post two years of ACL injuries. According to Law, who liked the waiver pick-up, Gamel is a 1B/DH-only type at this point in his career. If he truly can no longer play third base or a corner outfield spot in a pinch, Gamel will be virtually impossible for the Cubs to carry as a bench guy at the big league level. Instead, they’d have to hope to get him to AAA Iowa, where he could depth in the event of a serious injury to Anthony Rizzo.
- And speaking of Law, he chatted yesterday, and among his Cubs-related thoughts: (1) Javier Baez and Albert Almora for Giancarlo Stanton would be too much, and Law says he could see each of those two ending up as valuable as Stanton (wow); (2) converting Gioskar Amaya to catcher is a good idea given the dearth of catching talent (not only in the Cubs’ system, but all over); (3) Law doesn’t believe Dale Sveum was successful in his various charges as manager of the Cubs; and (4) Welington Castillo is not a reasonable centerpiece in a David Price trade (someone was really thinking that?).
- Jesse Rogers continues his look at the various Cubs positions, reviewing the catching situation in 2013 and beyond.
- Looks like Arismendy Alcantara will be playing in the Dominican Winter League this year.
- You can vote on a host of minor league awards, including several ones involving Cubs players/prospects here.
- In case you need to feel badly about the 2003 Cubs season once again, CSN has produced a documentary on that ill-fated season.
- The Dodgers elected to leave Carlos Marmol off of their 25-man playoff roster, despite his 2.53 ERA since coming over in a trade from the Cubs. I suppose they would point to the low leverage innings in which that ERA came, as well as the career-high 8.00 BB/9 rate that Marmol sported after the trade.