October Baseball Doing Its Thing and Other Bullets

mlb logoOctober baseball, man …

  • There were four playoff games yesterday, and they were full of excitement and story lines. After failing to get a bunt down, Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer in the 8th inning to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win over the Braves. The Dodgers win the series, and head to the NLCS. The Pirates were dominated by Michael Wacha, and the Cardinals evened the series at two with a 2-1 win. The A’s took a 2-1 series lead over the Tigers with a 6-3 win. On verge of being swept out of the playoffs, the Rays beat the Red Sox on a walk-off homer by Jose Lobaton (which came after the Red Sox had tied the game in the top of the 9th, which came after the Rays had taken the lead in the bottom of the 8th).
  • The Pirates now head to St. Louis for the finale of the NLDS, which they’ll play tomorrow at 7pm CT. The Red Sox face the Rays tonight at 7:30pm CT, and the A’s take on the Tigers at 4pm CT.
  • Carrie Muskat reports that Kyuji Fujikawa (Tommy John surgery) has started throwing a baseball, which is a good sign in his recovery. It’s still a long way back, and don’t expect him before midseason next year at the earliest, but he’s right on schedule. Generally-speaking, you like to see a guy throwing a baseball within four, four-and-a-half months of his surgery (Fujikawa had his in early June).
  • Muskat also spoke to new utility man Mat Gamel (claimed off of waivers from the Brewers), who says he feels like his second ACL surgery was a success. His second ACL injury occurred in Spring Training while he was recovering from his first ACL surgery.
  • Jesse Rogers continues his tour of the team, looking at the rotation this year.
  • You can vote for Nate Schierholtz for the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the best offensive player in each league (each team gets a nominee). Schierholtz had a great year, and was a great find for the Cubs, but it says something about a team’s offense when a guy with a .251/.301/.470 line is the team’s best offensive player.
  • Big League Stew with 10 reasons on why Joe Girardi could/should leave the Yankees for the Cubs.
  • I was on the Midway Madness podcast yesterday talking bad playoff predictions and Cubs managerial stuff.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

72 responses to “October Baseball Doing Its Thing and Other Bullets”

  1. Blublud

    I suppose we’ll hear now why that’s why you shouldn’t bunt in that situation with Jaun Uribe.

  2. Jono

    I’m going to puke if the Cardinals beat the pirates. I don’t think i’ll ever be able to watch baseball again if they win the series again

    1. Jono

      too many agains

      1. jeff

        I puke every time I see the Cubs play, luckily this never happens in October.
        We Cardinals know how to win, it’s our culture, we are not laughable losers like the cubs.

        1. Eric

          What position do you play with the Cards?

          1. Jon

            He was supposed to be Josh Hancock’s designated driver

        2. Jono

          wow, a cardinals fan bragging about how awesome his team is. What a shock

        3. ssckelley

          You might want to get that puking thing checked out, that is not normal.

        4. Jim L

          No amount of winning can wash the stink of St. Louis off you.

        5. Cleanup Poster

          Cubs still lead the Cards in the all time series. So blow it out your wazoo!

  3. Rebuilding

    I like the pick up of Gamel. Good stick to have on the bench

  4. Jono

    I really hope this website’s ad generator isn’t too viewer-specific. Cher is all over the place right now

    1. MichiganGoat

      Well know we know who really love Cher, because my adds all Michigan tournism ads and kegerators. I’ve also been seeing ads for personalized growlers. The top banner add is very user specific.

      Its okay Jono maybe you really can turn back time.

      1. frank

        Is it? Mine’s therapynotes.com . . .

        1. Cubbie Blues

          Have you been researching any of the Cubs FA pick-ups?

          1. frank

            That would do it!

            1. Stinky Pete

              I continue to get a guy who looks suspiciously like Hank Schrader encouraging me to check out Christian singles.

              1. miggy80

                I get that and Thi on line singles. Oh and the one that says “Jesus is Christ” Christian singles.

                1. Patrick W.

                  I get one of three things regularly: Something I just looked at on Amazon (hey, it’s my job); Allstate (hey, it’s my insurance) and Emuaid, for anybody who has had Shingles (hey, I just got over Shingles). The web knows me.

                  1. miggy80

                    and Cougar life. I guess I look at so much porn that the web thinks I’m single.

      2. Polar Bear

        If that’s the case MG, I’ll be sleeping all day and getting rich while it happens. I have lottery and mattress ads. Sweet…I knew this was my day!!!

        1. Jono

          Now i’m getting the lotta and Cubs gear. Kind of an appropriate combination

          1. Jono

            the lotto, not lotta. I suck at typing

      3. jt

        I have woman’s shoes and NHL Gamecenter
        not the look to wear to the rink

      4. waittilthisyear

        my girlfriend sometimes uses my computer, which has resulted in my ads being victorias secret models in lingerie, which is the best thing my girlfriend has contributed to this relationship

        1. Jono


    2. Jono

      OOOOOHHH, the Cher thing is really an American Express ad. I saw the same one on a couple different websites and REALLY started to get worried. Researching credited cards will really take a toll on your web ads.

  5. Chad

    Reds could be looking to trade Homer Bailey, would that interest the cubs?


    Rotation: The Reds will be banking on Cueto being a healthy ace for a full season next year after three stints on the disabled list with a strained right lat. Mat Latos stepped up well in pitching like a No. 1 starter most of the year. Mike Leake continues to dispel doubters after a nice 14-win season. Lefty Tony Cingrani showed to be a strong and more cost effective replacement for Arroyo. The question is what happens with Bailey. The Reds will probably offer a long-term deal, something Bailey has shown little interest in signing. Instead of taking a hit in arbitration, it wouldn’t be shocking if the club looked to move him to add more talent and free up payroll space. One X-factor: would a new manager try to convince closer Chapman to accept a move to the rotation?

    1. On The Farm

      Any chance the Reds would be willing to deal Bailey, Hamilton, and a low ball playing INF for James Russell a la the Marshall trade?

      (**SARCASM FONT**)

  6. DrReiCow


    How does the Cubs managerial job stack up with the open managerial spot on other teams stack? I worry that the Nats and Reds jobs are much more appealing than the Cubs job.


    1. ssckelley

      Why is the Reds or Nationals job more appealing than the Cubs?

      1. Rebuilding

        They do have the advantage of a set, competitive MLB roster. Some guys don’t want to deal with the kids and initially losing. With that said – I personally think the Cubs job would be preferable

        1. On The Farm

          This is pretty spot on, that and I think the Reds have a couple guys in the top 100 (one a SP in particular) who look pretty promising. A good major league ball team ready to win now, with some solid prospects can make a job pretty appealing.

          1. Voice of Reason

            I totally agree with what both of you said.
            The Nationals and Reds are a step in and win now team.
            The Cubs are a… maybe in a year or two we could really be competitive type of team.

            1. On The Farm

              Cubs kind of look like a boom or bust candidate job wise. They have some great prospects, but everyone knows a prospect’s success rate, and Castro and Rizzo’s less than stellar year could be a sign of things to come or it could be a fluke. Cubs are like the stock market, it could keep going up, or the bubble could burst, we’ll see.

  7. Eternal Pessimist

    I think our starting pitching will look pretty average next year with Wood, Shark, Jackson and Arieta being our top four.

    I’m hoping Baker signs as cheap filler for us with his potential upside (yeah, I know it was a wasted contract this year). If he is healthy he could be our #3 pitcher next year and we can keep Rusin and Villanueva in the pen. After that, I think the Cubs could focus pretty much all of their spending on some bats.

    1. On The Farm

      Who knows, maybe Grimm can figure it out and be a good #5 guy for the them. Grimm tore it up in AA not too long ago so the potential is there. Just throwing another name in the mix.

      1. CubFan Paul

        Good call on Grimm. Even Jesse Rogers left him out of the starter mix

  8. ssckelley

    The longer Girardi’s contract situation with the Yankees drags out the more confident I am that he wants to come home to manage the Cubs.

    1. Cyranojoe

      Why is this? When a contract negotiation drags on, with potential suitors waiting on the outskirts, it just looks more and more to me like an attempt at leveraging for a bigger paycheck. This applies to most of the sports situations I can think of.

      1. ssckelley

        I don’t think Girardi leaves the Yankees for anyone but the Cubs. The only reason he would look at other teams is to drive the price up. Ricketts has already said he is willing to top any offer the Yankees give him.

  9. cub2014

    Brett, any news on starters today for AZFL?

  10. cubbie blue thru n thru

    WFAN660 tweeted earlier today that girardi wants to explore the Cubs opening

  11. Blublud

    Why does everybody always mention prospect success rank when talking about the Cubs top prospects. Overall prospect success rates does not apply. Players drafted in the first round, and even more, in the top 10 have pretty high success rates. Baez, Almora and Bryant are all very likely to be successful, even if only average, major league players. Soler, who would probably have been a top 10 pick, is also very likely to be successful. Of the Cubs big four, its very likely, if not probable that they all will be average ball players.

    1. Rebuilding

      I think you make a good point. You have #2, 6 and 7 picks and a guy who got one of the most lucrative IFA contracts ever. It’s not a normal Top 4 and prob has a better chance of panning out than a usual group of Top 4

      1. Norm

        #3 overall Josh Vitters, #6 Ryan Harvey, #3 Lou Montanez, #3 Corey Patterson.
        And that’s just from the Cubs.

        Just sayin…

        1. ssckelley

          I would put Patterson down as a success since he did have a couple of good seasons for the Cubs. Then you have Prior (who was great until he got hurt), Kerry Wood, and Jon Garland for top 10 picks that were successful. Plus we cannot write Vitters off just yet (but it is getting close), there is a chance he could make the team next season. If you are just looking at the past 20 years of top 10 pick the Cubs are better than 50% success.

          Plus if you look at the last time the Cubs had three top 10 picks that close together (98-01) they got within a game of the World Series.

          1. Norm

            Patterson a success?
            If Almora/Baez/Bryant all had Corey Patterson careers, they would all be considered a ‘success’?
            I guess it’s all subjective, but I would certainly not consider that a success.

            1. ssckelley

              At worse it is neutral, he did end up with a career WAR of 9.6 and played 12 years in the majors. In 2003 and 2004 were a couple of real good years that he had as a Cub, he was heading toward a MVP type season in 2003 before he got hurt. I cannot put Patterson down as a failure, Montanez and Harvey are perfect examples of failed top 10 picks.

    2. On The Farm

      I am assuming I was the one with the most recent comment that prompted this post, so I will give my take. My current scenario I was speaking on the job appeal of taking the Cubs. Right now, probably the most attractive selling chip is the minor league system, and how close a few actually are from the big leagues. I then referred to we all know prospect’s success rate, I am not sure if you took that to meant that I think 50% (or whatever the percentage actually is) are going to flame out. Not in the slightest. I just think that even though our big four look really good, and are putting up really good minor league numbers, its pretty easy to point at Rizzo’s numbers in the minors, and see its no guarantee. Now this isn’t a Rizzo bash, I think he is going to be a really good player. If the most attractive reason to come to the Cubs is the farm system, and you know that some have a chance to flame out completely, some have a chance to just be average, and some even have a chance to not really come into their own until after a few years. Its just one of those things that might make a win now team much more attractive.

    3. MichiganGoat

      You are right the Top 10 picks fair better this is an interesting breakdown of the drafts from 1990-2010 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130605/draft-pick-by-pick-breakdown/

      1. On The Farm

        Looking at this it looks like the #3 pick is pretty equivalent to the #4 pick. This makes me much happier that we finished above the White Sox this season.

        1. SenorGato

          Just need Young Beedah to fall to 4 really.

          1. SenorGato

            Or Alex Jackson …but mostly Beede.

            1. On The Farm

              I am fairly confident between Rodon, Hoffman, Beede, Jackson, and Trea Turner, the Cubs will be landing a great talent at #4.

              1. SenorGato

                Weirdly enough, not as high on Rodon or Hoffman as maybe I should be. Both are a little stiff and Rodon’s connection to shoulder pains bother me. Hes also a little short for such a high pick as a pitcher.

                To me the only thing keeping Beede from clearly being the #1 talent in this draft is his control. That and possibly Turner or Jackson or another position guy might be that good.

                1. On The Farm

                  “Hes also a little short for such a high pick as a pitcher.”

                  Maybe, but with his upside as a pitcher, I think at #4 he is a great value. Of course this is all dependent on how things are right now. So much can change in 8+ months.

                  1. SenorGato

                    Yeah, he might be able to convince me otherwise this coming season, but I even kinda question the upside. I mean if you cast aside the height and shoulder flags (it’s not just that he felt pain last year, there were flags thrown on his stiff, fairly unathletic delivery even before that) the upside is huge. Unfortunately those things are there and it’s hard to hit your ceiling when physically you can’t back it 100%.

                    That said, I’m probably too soon on these criticisms, he finished fine this past season, and I am willing to let things play out.

      2. ssckelley

        Goat, thanks for sharing that article.

        Quick analysis of the top 10 picks. Of the 210 top ten picks 136 (65%) reached the majors and 52 (25%) were all stars. During that same period of time the Cubs made 8 top ten picks, had 7 (88%) reach the majors, and 3 (38%, (Prior, Wood, and Garland)) were all stars.

      3. Eternal Pessimist

        Just as I suspected…the # 20 pick gave FAR more average WAR than the number 3 pick. Fortunately the Cubs get the number 4 pick this year.

  12. CubFan Paul

    Nate Schierholtz had a great first half and that was about it. He cemented his status as an extra OF.

  13. Jono

    That was not a homer in detroit

  14. Jono

    The fan was leaning over the rail, stretching out his arms, and the ball hit his wrist

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