My two fantasy football teams are solid. All in all, I’m pleased with them. But, man, both teams are getting rocked this week.
- With a 5-3 win yesterday, the Pirates took a 2-1 series lead over the Cardinals in their NLDS series. That puts them just one win away from the NLCS (and from sending the Cardinals packing), which would be another chapter in their (relative) storybook season. If the Dodgers should beat the Braves in their NLDS matchup, that would put the Pirates on the path of beating the Reds, the Cardinals, and the Dodgers this postseason. I can really get on board with all three of those.
- Speaking of those Dodgers, they whooped the Braves 13-6, and are now also up 2-1 in their series. All four divisional series are in action today, with the Pirates and Cardinals playing at 2pm CT and the Dodgers and Braves playing at 8:30pm CT. The A’s and Tigers (tied 1-1) play at noon CT, and the Red Sox and Rays (Red Sox up 2-0) play at 5pm CT.
- Everything you wanted to know about third base prospect Mike Olt’s concussion/vision issues right here in The Courant. Give it a read. No one is sure whether the offseason concussion and the subsequent failure of his tear duct to produce tears were connected, but Olt thinks they were. Unfortunately, after having some midseason success, Olt started experiencing vision issues again in August when he had to stop using the special eye drops that had been prescribed as an interim fix (the drops he’d been using cannot be relied upon as a permanent solution because they have some bad long-term side effects if you use them too much). He’s seeing specialists and trying to get the issue corrected without the drops, so it’s easy to now see why he won’t be playing any offseason ball in an organized league. The Cubs are hoping that the issue is cleared up, permanently, in time for Spring Training. I think, for now, we have to maintain an entirely different perspective on Olt: he probably still has the talent that made him a breakout prospect in 2012, but the eye issues are significant enough that they can drop him down to the guy we saw this year. I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with the mental aspect of the problem, let alone the physical stuff. It sounds like Olt is staying positive, and looking forward to next year, though.
- Olt is currently in Mesa, working out at the Cubs’ complex there, according to Carrie Muskat. She adds that Arodys Vizcaino has been throwing in Mesa, and is scheduled to throw live BP tomorrow. From there, he could pitch in Instructional League games next week. If that goes well – and we’re getting far down the line, given how bumpy Vizcaino’s recovery has been – he could pitch in a Winter League later this year.
- Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim, who is likely to receive serious consideration for the Cubs’ bullpen next year, reflects on his time in the Cubs’ organization to a local publication. It’s interesting how things are framed in a local publication about a local star (whom we would frame as a 37-year-old reliever coming back from Tommy John surgery on a minor league contract), but Lim is not lacking for confidence: “Other than that they are strong, MLB hitters didn’t have anything special. If I can get 100 percent healthy, I think I can really handle them.” I dig it.