Did you “spring forward” today? It’s funny, with two little kids, the concept of “losing” an hour of sleep is no longer a thing. Either the kids keep sleeping and so do we, or they get up and we get up. I don’t give a hoot whether it’s technically 5am or 6am. If they decided they wanted to sleep until noon, I’d jump on that train.
- Rick Renteria is going to talk to Edwin Jackson about his fastball-only performance on Friday, which apparently wasn’t necessarily what the Cubs had laid out for him that game. (CSN) It’s hard to gauge whether RR was bothered by Jackson’s decision to throw 50 fastballs in 50 pitches, and I can certainly understand the coaching staff wanting to be in on that kind of thing. But I also am thinking … what’s the big deal here? Spring Training is about preparing for the season, and if a veteran like Jackson wants to use a game to work on his fastball command, don’t you want him to be able to do that? My guess is that this isn’t a big deal, and is just a matter of new folks working out their communication with each other.
- James Russell threw off the mound again yesterday, and the lefty reliever could pitch in a Cactus League game this coming week. (Cubs.com) Russell thinks part of the reason for his dead arm was the particularly nasty winter, which prevented him from throwing as much as he would have liked to.
- Rick Renteria says that, so far/for now, Kris Bryant looks the part at third base, able to move well and get down when necessary. (Tribune)
- Patrick Mooney on the constant buzzing sound that follows Javier Baez and Kris Bryant this Spring. Which is to say, there’s a lot of buzz about them.
- For folks looking for the qualifying offer process to change in advance of the next CBA, it doesn’t sound like it’s a big enough concern among the bargainers to re-open the CBA before the current iteration expires after 2016. If true, that means at least two more offseasons with some free agents potentially slipping well into March, as guys like Ervin Santana, Kendrys Morales, and Stephen Drew have this year. Of course, what we could see next year is an increase in players willing to accept qualifying offers (or an anticipation of the same by teams, and thus less qualifying offers to fringy players). This means, by the way, and just for example, that this system will probably still be in place by the time Jeff Samardzija reaches free agency. Does it recast his demands on an extension? Probably not, but his team – whatever team has him when extension talks take place – is likely to remind him of a potentially devastating impact of a qualifying offer in this market for guys who haven’t truly established themselves as elite.
- Speaking of those free agents, it sounds like Ervin Santana is deciding between a one-year deal with the Blue Jays or a one-year deal with the Orioles. If and when he signs, I’ll have more thoughts on the implications.