Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

darwin barney gold gloveAs I’ve mentioned before, The Wife is something of a runner. When it’s cold out, she likes to treat herself with Starbucks (hot chocolate) after a morning run. Because she’s kind, she always wants to bring me something, too. I’ve never really liked Starbucks (not a huge coffee guy), but I’m a sucker for anything “pumpkin.” Thus, she brings me a pumpkin spice latte on such mornings. We’ve had many such mornings over the past couple weeks, and so I’ve gotten a whole lot of pumpkin spice lattes. I fear I’m becoming hooked. She’s like my dealer.

  • The Cubs have two finalists for Gold Gloves – am I spacing, or is this “announcing finalists” thing a newer concoction? – in Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo. There was an argument to be made that Welington Castillo was the best defensive catcher in baseball this year, but somewhat limited playing time, weaker traditional numbers, and no “name” probably conspired to keep him off the list. Barney is up against Mark Ellis and, naturally, Brandon Phillips. Rizzo is up against Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt. If you dig into the advanced defensive metrics, Rizzo should probably win going away, while it’s a really tough race to peg at second base. Ellis leads Barney in defensive runs saved (12 to 11 (Phillips is at just 1)), but Barney leads in UZR/150 by a healthy margin, as well as fielding percentage and defensive WAR (FanGraphs). My unbiased vote would go to Barney, but it’s not a runaway like it was last year.
  • You can watch the Gold Glove presentations on Tuesday on ESPN2 at 6pm CT.
  • Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler pushed the Mesa Solar Sox to another win yesterday in the AFL. Bryant was 3-5 with two doubles and a triple, and Soler was 2-4 with a homer and a walk. Armando Rivero got in an inning of work, giving up an earned run on one hit and no walks. He struck out one.

  • With another solid game – that’s just two in a row – Soler’s line in the AFL is now up to .302/.318/.442. Among guys with more than 40 at bats, that’s the fourth best batting average in the league. Never forget the power of narratives, and the uselessness of “scouting” small sample size stats: had Soler’s AFL performance been discussed starting today, as opposed to five days ago, the story might have been something like, “Jorge Soler picks up where he left off despite missing three months of action with a stress fracture.”
  • Jesse Rogers on the state of the rebuilding process.
  • Ryan Dempster is still doing Ryan Dempster things.
  • The World Series gets back underway tonight at 6:30pm CT, as the 1-1 series heads to St. Louis. The Red Sox will move David Ortiz to first base, and Mike Napoli will head to the bench. Because the DH rule is smrt.

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