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pedro strop cubsNo spoilers, but … that thing that happened on that show? Yeah. Boom. In your FACE!

  • Ricky Renteria isn’t committing to a new closer yet – and there was once again no need for one yesterday – but has indicated that any of Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, Hector Rondon, or Blake Parker (i.e., every righty in the pen not named Jose Veras) could get a chance. (Cubs.com)
  • Speaking of those guys, I’ve seen some folks questioning the usage of Blake Parker in a one-run game in the 7th yesterday, rather than Strop/Grimm/Rondon. Setting aside the fact that Parker is a legit reliever whom you’ve got to be able to trust in that situation if you’re going to have him in the pen at all, my read from some of Renteria’s comments about the pen yesterday (see the recap here) is that he was trying to give those guys a rest after appearing in so many games already this year, thanks to the long extra inning affairs. We all want to see wins early, but I don’t think anyone wants to see important long-term bullpen pieces breaking down later in the year because they were taxed too heavily early on.
  • Renteria discusses Edwin Jackson. I discussed his outing yesterday here. That is all.
  • I mentioned this weekend that outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha had returned to action after offseason wrist surgery, and that his placement at AAA Iowa was going to be a little tricky thanks to the need to get each of Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, and Matt Szczur regular starts (and the presence of Chris Coghlan) … well, he was almost immediately sent down to AA Tennessee. At bats may be slightly easier to come by there, but Ha was already Rule 5 eligible last year, so he’s approaching minor league free agency. If he’s going to break through as a bench outfielder for the Cubs, it may have to be soon.
  • If you missed it yesterday, Javier Baez is on the DL at Iowa with a sprained ankle.
  • Jeff Samardzija weighs in on the lack of compensation for college football players, who generate a crap-ton of money for their schools and the NCAA.
  • The Cubs will wear number 42 on Tuesday in New York to honor Jackie Robinson, though there will be the obvious nod to Mariano Rivera, too. (Cubs.com)
  • Does it count as prospect porn of the day if I said it myself? …

  • Edwin

    Snape kills Dumbledore.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      But Snape and Dumbledore are in cahoots!

  • blars82

    Thanks for the spoiler Brett! I can’t believe they killed Kenny, those bastards!

    • dwest9cubs

      Hey, giving spoilers is SUPER CEREAL.

  • CubFan Paul

    “No spoilers, but … that thing that happened on that show?”

    Total “holy f*ck” moment.

    I haven’t read the books, so yeah, Holy F*ck.

  • bnile1

    I hate to start an entire hypothetical debate, but with the relative glut of OF prospects, and the relative dearth of catching prospect nearly ready. Since Ha started as a Catcher, might that not be a place to play him? There is certainly a backup Catching job could be open open, and if he can catch and play good defensive OF, could make him a more useful bench piece.

    • PejaO42

      Good thoughts, but he may be too far along to switch at this point in his career. I think it is more realistic for a trade at this point to benefit both parties, but I like the idea of him moving to catcher.

    • ssckelley

      Might not be a bad idea, once Soler returns AA is not going to have many at bats for Ha either. The Cubs are soon going to need to either trade or cut some of these outfielders. Perhaps Vitters will get the call up soon to Chicago opening up opportunities for Ha at Iowa.

  • PejaO42

    SPOILER: The cookbook “To Serve Man” is actually a book on how to cook man

    • mjhurdle

      that was such a great episode.

      • Lou Brown

        The Simpsons knock off was better. How to cook forty humans…

    • http://BleacherNation blewett

      Soylent Green is people!

  • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

    This weekend at a party I had an Astros fan tell me how bad the Cubs lineup is…. I proceeded to ignore him the rest of the evening.

    • ssckelley

      Not me, I would have had fun with that one as the Astros have a team batting average of .189 with 2 players in their every day lineup over the Mendoza line with a team .616 OPS. There are not many lineups you can find in baseball that is worse than the Cubs but the Astros is one of them.

    • Spriggs

      Impossible. There is actually no such thing as an Astros fan.

      • Darth Ivy

        it’s a shame how few people are showing up to watch the sox. I’ve watched more sox games this season than the past few years combined

        • Darth Ivy

          …because Abreu. Any baseball fan in Chicago should turn on the game he’s coming to bat

          • Jon

            It also looks like Adam Eaton is translating his awesome OBP% to the major leagues as well.

            • Darth Ivy

              Totes mcgee

    • Darth Ivy

      How great would a Cubs v Astros World Series be in a few years?

      • Brocktoon

        It’d be sad about all those other teams’ having all those players dying off unexpectedly.

        • Brocktoon

          Hi there random apostrophe!

        • Darth Ivy

          Oops. By years, I really meant decades

          Fixed.

    • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

      Even worse he was there with our mutual friend, a die hard Cardinals fan. Ugh.

  • blars82

    Everyone died on Veep last night!!! Take that Brett!!

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Ya…well…Jack Bauer avoided death for the 97th time only to be killed in an interrogation! AND right after Kim found out that he was still alive!

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    I do find it interesting that we can no longer discuss hit TV shows after they air. I assume that you are talking about Game of Thrones (damnit…why did I cancel HBO) and that something epic happened (I am guessing that someone was killed and then cooked and served to someone’s enemy).

    Why again is it considered a spoiler if the only airing of it has happened?

    • DarthHater

      Hmmm, perhaps because some people DVR it and might not have watched it yet?

      • Jon

        Really tired of this argument. Then avoid all social media/radio/tv until you can view it. The world does not start and stop and your convenience.

        • CubFan Paul

          “Really tired of this argument”

          Says the person who watches nothing interesting.

        • DarthHater

          Take a pill, Jon. I was just answering the question Joe asked, not taking some big moral stance.

      • roz

        In this day and age, it’s on you to be careful when you go online and you haven’t watched the latest episode of whatever hit TV show just aired. You can’t stop the entire Internet from discussing Game of Thrones.

        • mjhurdle

          totally agree with this.
          If you don’t want it spoiled then watch it, or stay away from message boards.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Rhett dumped charlotte and went back to Atlanta.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        Ok. What if it takes me a month to watch it? How about if I am waiting for the boxed set that comes with the bonus DVD?

        It just seems dumb to not discuss a show because some folks are too busy to watch it when it airs.

      • ChrisFChi

        All tv shows encourage viewers to tweet/facebook during the show.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      If it is regrading Game of Thrones, unless what they aired is different than what’s in the books, then it shouldn’t be a spoiler anyway.

      It’d be like people getting freaked out for reading on the internet that Smaug dies and Bilbo makes it home safely. Not sure how that can be a spoiler when the book has been out for years.

      • Edwin

        I somewhat get it. People start shows or books at different times. If I was reading the Hobbit for the first time, or Harry Potter, I’d be a little bummed out of I’m only on the first book and someone tells me that Dumbledore dies, or that Thorin dies in the end. Even if the books and movies have been out for awhile. If someone is late to the series but just started GOT, I’m sure they’d like to avoid spoilers if possible, to get the most out of the experience.

        On the other hand, people need to chill out about spoilers. They happen, and it’s not the end of the world.

        • blars82

          Yeah, it happened so it should be discussed. The same person that freaks out about spoilers is also the same person that drives in the left lane on the interstate, doesn’t hold doors for others, replies to your long work e-mail with a one word answer, and doesn’t say thank you when I held the door for you yesterday at Starbucks … I’m not the doorman, I was just being nice … say thank you before ordering your grande no fat mocha, jerk!!! What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, some people think that the world revolves around them and that they’re more important than everyone else. Can’t stand that attitude. But with spoilers, I give people a day and then don’t just spoil it for the sake of spoiling it but don’t feel bad if I accidentally do.

          • Chicago4Life

            I say 24 hour rule to spoil and if you do it on FB or something type “SPOILER ALERT,” first.

  • MightyBear

    Another website had an interesting article about putting Edwin Jackson in the pen and bringing up Hendricks. I think this might be a good idea if they believe Hendricks is ready. If they get Arrieta back and move Jackson to the pen and bring Hendricks up, the rotation would be better and the pen would be better (assuming Arrieta pitches like last year and Hendricks pitches like he did in AA and AAA). Jackson has the stuff but right now he has no command and is getting hit in the zone and they’re laying off when he’s out of the zone.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      If the Cubs were good, sure this could be an option, but given that they’re not going to compete this year, it doesn’t really make much sense to me. There are still almost 3 full years left on his contract, the best thing they can do is keep him in the rotation and hope he works through whatever issues he’s having.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Jackson has the stuff but right now he has no command and is getting hit in the zone”

      Not true. At some point the catcher has to take some blame.

    • Edwin

      3 starts seems a little soon to pull the plug on Jackson, especially if you’re planning on replacing him with Hendricks or Arrieta. Arrieta didn’t really pitch that well for the Cubs last season, and Hendricks should probably get a little more than just 2 starts to see how he handles AAA hitting.

      Jackson’s BB% will go down, his BABIP should go down, his LOB% should go up, and he’ll be a decent 3 or 4. A decent 3 or 4 is probably the best we’d get out of Arrieta or Hendricks anyways, so at this point I’d rather Jackson just work through it than bounce him to the bullpen.

  • Bixler51

    “Tip your cap to the kid (Edwin Jackson)”
    “Veras is still my guy”
    - Ricky Renteria

    When you lose, players’ managers turn off the fan base very quickly. Ricky better learn to work in some criticism of performances like Jackson’s yesterday or Veras’ Friday or many fans will sour on him real quick.

    Say what you want about what style of manager works better, but as a fan I liked the Pinella (year 1-only version) “We got a guy throwing 50-ft. curveballs!” quotes after tough losses a hell of a lot better than the pile of horse manure Ricky throws our way on a daily basis.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I don’t care if he rubs the fans the wrong way, as long as he has the respect of the players, that is the only thing that matters

      • Bixler51

        I think he needs to have a more healthy balance. I think there are many “silent” players who prefer winning. Guys like Shark quietly stew when their manager goes back to Veras, pinch-hits Barney and doesn’t do anything to get Edwin Jackson to change his ways. Not having anyone up in the bullpen in order to show some sort of support for the relief pitcher on the mound might make that veteran feel good, but the other veterans on the team who want to win probably think it is stupid.

        Guys will walk all over him if they are not held accountable in any way. I’m just saying he needs a healthier balance, that’s all.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          What RR says in the media is completely different than what he says to players behind closed doors. It is completely unproductive to throw guys under the bus publicly (like Sveum did last year with Castro and Rizzo). I can guarantee you that he has talked to these guys and told them that they need to be better, but he’s not going to do it through the media.

      • mjhurdle

        I agree.
        I think I would be more worried if the manager was preparing angry quotes to satisfy over-reactionary fans instead of standing up for the player.
        Now, if it comes out that RR is telling them they are doing a great job behind closed doors, then maybe there is an issue.
        But not sacrificing players in the media to placate a certain segment of the fanbase is hardly a reason to get upset at RR.

  • Spriggs

    The only thing I really thought I knew about Renteria was that he was going to be a player’s manager type (and that he spoke fluent Spanish and might be good working specifically with Castro, Baez, Soler, etc). What I assumed was that he would take less of a traditional approach to game strategies — I guess because I assumed Theo and Jed would be looking for that. That doesn’t seem to be the case though, does it?

    One defense of Renteria I do not accept is that you cannot criticize him because you don’t know what he’s seen in practices and you don’t know what he says to his players in private. If you take that stance, then it is basically always foolish to be critical of a manager or coach. I don’t buy that. At some point, results and observations of those results as they unfold are more important than what may or may not be happening behind closed doors or on the practice fields.

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