mike olt iowaMy 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.
  • Corey

    He’s got a point, only guy that’s a good hitter in general is Melky. His plate coverage is ridiculous.

  • Eric

    Hard not to root for Olt. Seems like a freak thing. Baseball aside, I hope he finds a solution just for his own peace of mind.

  • Jon

    Olt & Vizcaino, the Cubs sure do love damaged goods

    • Eric

      The Cubs love affordable gambles. If those two come back healthy, they both have extremely high ceilings.

    • cubbiesOHcubbies

      Lets not forget, in Vizcaino, the Cubs gave up Maholm and Reed Johnson. While good players, neither was going to be a building block for the future. If Vizcaino pans out, we stole a player to solidfy our bullpen at least. If he flames out, there is really nothing lost other than potential and a couple wheel barrels full of hundred dollar bills. I like the gamble on THIS move. Time will tell though.

      • Kyle

        Well, if he flames out, we lost the opportunity to get different prospects for Maholm.

        • When the Music’s Over

          People often seem to ignore the full picture of opportunity costs.

        • Jono

          That’s the nature of a high risk high reward decision. Bigger upside, bigger downside. It’s always true, though, that when a decision doesn’t work out, you could say that it was a bad decision b/c you could’ve done something else that could’ve worked. But then maybe that other thing would’ve failed. Hindsight only comes afterwards

          • Kyle

            That’s all true. I’m not saying it was a bad decision. I’m saying there’s no such thing as a freeroll: There’s always an opportunity cost.

            • Jono

              yea, I don’t think the Cubs could’ve got ANYONE in return of nothing. The fact that they got something back means that there was value there. Nobody gives something for nothing. And didn’t maholm extend his contract with the braves? Maybe not, maybe he’s still on the same contract, but off the top of my head I’m thinking he did. Now he’s one of their starters in the playoffs. I’ve argued before that there’s value in the ability to extend a rent-a-player.

              • cubfanincardinalland

                Cubs made a great trade getting Vizcaino. Maholm was shit this season, 0.7 WAR, 4.42 ERA, whip over 1.4. Left off the playoff roster for the legendary Freddy Garcia to start instead.
                Kid is 23 years old, players come back from the surgery at different time frames. Thanks to the Cubs brass for not rushing the guy. He has a bright future in the league, either as a starter or reliever.

                • ssckelley

                  It is not a great trade if Vizcaino turns out to be a bust. Like Kyle said the Cubs missed out on getting other prospects in return for Maholm. I don’t care what he did this season, last year he was pretty good and other teams were interested in him.

        • roz

          What a brilliant deduction.

        • frank

          Sounds like an application of Kierkegaard’s either/or–how existentialist of you. And as a former Philosophy major, I say that in a good way.

  • Chef Brian

    I knew Olt had to be experiencing lingering physical issues at the end of the season. I really hope the kid can find a long term solution and be apart of the equation at third base.

  • CeeDeeVee

    Man, hopefully Olt overcomes this and at least gets to the bigs again and stays there whether it’s with the Cubs or not.

    Hey Brett, or anyone else for that matter. Idk if I missed it here or not but where is all this CarGo talk coming from? I read about 4 different articles saying the Cubs may be interested. I would love that pick up but would it be almost the same package as for Price? I forgot what site it was that said a package could be made up of Alcantara and Vogelbach as the biggest pieces. I would do that in a heartbeat but I think the Rockies would definitely want atleast 1 of the big 4.

  • MichiganGoat

    Everything still quiet on the Girardi front, just the report from the Trib that says Ricketts is willing to top any offer (I’m sure Brett is finish a post on this right now). So does the fact that we haven’t heard anything over the week a good or bad sign for the Cubs? If there is no light what color is the red wheelbarrow but if its glazed with rain water beside the white chickens… what color is it?

    • Indy57

      I think it is a good sign. Seems as though the contract negotiation with the Yankees would have been fairly easy given a pre-existing contract. I’ve felt from the beginning that if he didn’t sign over the weekend, it was a positive indication for coming to Chicago. He wants to be “the guy.” Pure guess, no inside knowledge. Just judging from how contract negotiations go in general.

      • cubbiesOHcubbies

        My highly insignificant opinion is the same as Indy. I think if the Yankees made an offer last week, and Girardi and the Yanks were in negotiations or hammering out the finer details, it would have been broadcast everywhere. I think this is a case of no news is good news. Of course that only applies if you WANT Girardi roaming the unrenovated dugout and clubhouse next season (Stupid Rahm, and Stupid Tunney, And stupid Rooftop Owners).

    • Jono

      good sign

    • Diggs

      Nice William Carlos Williams allusion.

      • frank

        Yes–very nice.

  • spearman

    My wife had the tear duct problem in both eyes. She had an artificial tear duct install in one eye. It took awhile, but she’s doing fine now. She does need the other eye fixed, but it’s not as bad. So she has decided to wait because she didn’t like the surgery.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      Spearman – How long for her to heal from surgery?

      • RoughRider

        Sometimes tear duct surgery requires breaking the nose. After tear duct surgery is done a followup visit is usually done 6 – 8 weeks after the surgery for an evaluation. It’s probable that if he had surgery within the next month, and everything went well, he would be able to play by spring training. Since they haven’t done it yet, it may not be an option.

      • spearman

        Heal, about a couple weeks. But there was something about it that made her not want to do the other eye.

    • OregonCubsFan

      Can she hit a curve ball now?

      • spearman

        I’m sure she’d like to hit me.

  • Aaron

    Love the way that Ricketts through his media sources is letting the world know that the Cubs want Girardi and that they are willing to pay top dollar. The Yankees are not going down without a fight to keep Girardi. No matter how this plays out, the Cubs have earned some credibility with me and I’m sure millions of other fans!

    • cubbiesOHcubbies

      Don’t get me wrong. While I love the fact that the Ricketts family is willing to pay top dollar, and even outbid the Yankees, isn’t the team on the field what ultimately needs to be improved before we are consistant guests in the playoffs? I don’t mind hiring a four star general to lead the troops to battle, but you also need the soldiers that know which end of the gun is pointed towards the enemy.

      • Voice of Reason

        The Cubs will get the soldiers that they need to once our minor league system is developed.

        The Cubs are not sure what positions they will have to fill through free agency. That’s why they’ll wait one more year before jumping in and spending big bucks on free agents.

        It’s going to take another year of watching the kids play.

        After the 2014 season Soriano’s contract will be off the books, too. They will have a lot of money to fill holes.

        It’s obvious that they’re going to have to set aside some major bucks for an ace starting pitcher.

      • cub2014

        cubbieOHcubbie, you can do more than one
        thing at a time. besides having a respected
        manager with a good track record will help
        in signing FA.

        • cubbiesOHcubbies

          I agree, but The Dodgers have an inexperienced manager, but a boat load of money. They don’t seem to have an issue signing anyone they chose to pursue. I think if players were honest, they would tell you that the majority of the time, the team with the most money wins the bidding war. I wish it wasn’t that way so much, but thats the nature of the beast.

  • hansman1982

    Wait, how can the Cubs afford to top any offer from the Yankees if they are broke?

    • Jono

      The cubs might not have the money to give out 5 year $100 million contracts, but that doesn’t mean they can’t give out a 4 year $24 million contract

    • Kyle

      We’ll just take it out of the MLB payroll just like everything else. Our owner has found a shiny to catch his eye.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Personally, I think the “we’re broke” stance the front office has taken on is just setting us up for a surprise off-season acquisition (Cano? Choo? Ellsbury?). I believe there’s some truth behind their statements but “building fan excitement” and managing it is part of any professional sports team’s method of profit maximizing.

      If our front office brings a proven manager (such as Girardi), there are many good reasons to go “all in” on a free agent this off-season…

      1) Because you want to give that manager the greatest means to succeed (yeah yeah, they should be doing that anyway). This is a pre-cursive selling point, though. “Look (insert name of managerial candidate).. we plan to bring in some additional talent this offseason and want you to manage a successful team next season.” This front office is generally known for backing what they say.

      2) If they don’t plan to prolong the misery of the previous three seasons, this offseason should be the catalyst for the new Cubs ideology. We’ll receive the 4th overall pick in the draft and it is protected. Now is the ideal time to take one or two free agents who have qualifying offers in exchange for their second round pick. This can be the pivotal season that puts them “in the black” if they play their cards right.

      • Jono

        “We’ll receive the 4th overall pick in the draft and it is protected. Now is the ideal time to take one or two free agents who have qualifying offers”

        That’s a nice original argument. Maybe it’s been made before, I just haven’t heard it: The Cubs should sign a bigger name free agent with a qualifying offer this offseason because doing so next year or beyond will hopefully make them lose a first round pick.

        There is the argument that losing a second round pick instead of a first rounder may not be worth getting into a bad, large, long contract. But you’d have to work off the assumption that they wouldn’t make a terrible deal just to save a first round pick next year. That would be a very bad decision

  • CubsFaninMS

    Unfortunately, from a “prospect status” vantage point, Mike Olt is still the wild card he was. Obviously the most important thing is that he finds a solution so he can continue seeing well to play baseball or anything else he enjoys doing in life. For the mutual benefit of everyone in his life, lets hope he recovers. He seems like a good guy.

  • FastBall

    Olt needs to go to the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. The CC is top notch. I had some health issues that they fixed quickly after having spent months at other so called top notch medical centers. Maybe I was lucky. But I would go there if I was Olt and get this thing knocked out by the best.

  • Blublud

    I’m confused by the relevance.

    • MichiganGoat

      I think it’s a troll pic

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