Happy Pi Day, nerds.
- The Cubs are looking for you, if you’re the kind of person who celebrates Pi Day, anyway. That is to say they’re hiring a new assistant in the research and development department, per sabermetrician and Cubs consultant Tom Tango. Such person will “assist in the preparation of advance scouting reports, implement research projects related to on-field strategy, and compile reports and present results to baseball ops personnel” – in other words, you’d be doing all kinds of deep analytical stuff, and using it to try and make the organization better. As you’d expect, the qualifications for the position may as well read “super-duper smart guy,” but consider me excited that the Cubs continue to expand their knowledge pool. Also: when it comes to baseball, to me, “nerd” is not a pejorative term.
- Jason Hammel threw yesterday in a minor league game in order to stay on schedule. He threw 75 pitches and yielded no walks. Those are pretty much the only things that matter in those kinds of appearances.
- Jesse Rogers is sticking to his guns on Jorge Soler starting the year at AA Tennessee, which I still say would be a pleasant surprise. With less than a half-season at High-A, and an injury-modified AFL appearance, Soler didn’t exactly have a chance to prove he was ready for AA last year. Indeed, Soler has played so, so little ball the last few years thanks to defection and injury. Sending him straight to AA to start the year could be a significant challenge for him, but would be a good signal about where the Cubs believe he is developmentally. If I were guessing – without any knowledge of what Rogers has been saying – I would peg Soler as starting out at High-A, with an anticipated mid-season promotion to AA. But, hey, if the Cubs say he’s ready for AA, then great. Minor league rosters will likely be revealed in a couple weeks.
- (By the way, some of you may have noticed that, when he was sent out from big league camp, Soler was “optioned to Tennessee,” and you also probably noticed that I didn’t mention it. When guys on the 40-man roster are cut from big league camp, they are optioned to a minor league team for the purposes of minor league Spring Training. That does not necessarily mean it is the team with which that player will break camp. Guys frequently start with higher level teams, and filter down as more guys are cut from teams at higher levels. In other words, that Soler is “with” Tennessee right now does not necessarily mean he’ll start there when the season begins. That said, Rogers has been pretty adamant on this one.)
- Wow: the Cubs aren’t just leading Spring Training in home attendance right now, they’re absolutely crushing everyone else. Paul Sullivan reports that the Cubs’ 13,266 average home attendance so far is in the top spot ahead of the Red Sox in second … at just 9,762. The new Cubs Park is obviously a huge part of that, though the Cubs have always drawn well in Arizona. Still, hopefully that represents a nice little revenue bump. (Back-of-the-napkin, probably-totally-worthless estimate: $25 a ticket and $15 in concessions spread over an increase of about 3,000 per game over last year, times 15 home games equals a $1.8 million bump in revenue. Not too shabby.)
- If you’re looking to get your beanbag flicked this morning, Tony Andracki writes about the awesomeness of the Cardinals’ organization and the hurdle they present to the Cubs.
- Ever wonder how a Brit ends up a Cubs fan? BN’er Ryan Ferguson explains.
- Len Kasper with your prospect porn of the day (h/t CCO):