anthony rizzo hittingMy non-Wrigley ballpark tour continues today, as I’ll be heading to Milwaukee to see the Brewers host the Yankees (Tanaka!) at Baseball Prospectus’s event at Miller Park. That’s going to have me departing relatively early in the day, so, although there should be plenty of content, I may not be around quite as much in the comments/Twitter/etc. later today.

  • Jed Hoyer tells Patrick Mooney what many have been saying for a long time: Jose Abreu, while a fine player, was not someone who made sense for the Cubs to pursue: “In our situation, in the National League with a young, left-handed-hitting first baseman, [Abreu] wasn’t a player we were interested in. Had there been a player with his profile that played outfield or maybe played a different position, we would have been involved as well.” There’s a reason that every single finalist for Abreu was an American League team.
  • By the way, at the close of the White Sox/Cubs series, Jose Abreu has a .392 wOBA and a 147 wRC+. Really incredible numbers. Anthony Rizzo is at .404 and 156. Rizzo is younger, less expensive, under team control for longer, a better defensive first baseman, and a better hitter of meatballs. Just sayin’.
  • Jeff Samardzija threw 126 pitches on Monday night, and the Cubs’ GM was still answering questions about it on Thursday night (CSN, Cubs.com) – in that respect, I’ve got to agree with Jed Hoyer when he says that this is something that just needs to die. Everyone has said his peace, everyone is mostly on the same page – it probably won’t happen again, but was probably ok-ish on Monday – and it’s been beaten to death. I regret my part in focusing on it so intensely earlier in the week, though, in my defense, that was immediately after it happened.
  • I know he’s been striking out a lot, but I do wonder: if Mike Olt didn’t have a .186 BABIP, how might his .184/.259/.434 look?
  • You can tell from the scatter plot of his pitches that Jake Arrieta had some control issues last night. It’s worth pointing out, though, that there were three pretty clear strikes that were called balls, and two of them were potentially at-bat-ending calls. That’s probably true most nights for most pitchers, but it’s interesting to think about the impact it can have on a guy’s outing. Maybe one of those calls ends an inning before a few more hits are lodged? Maybe he can pitch another inning or two. So on and so forth. (Can you tell I’m really getting into the relationship between ball/strike calls and pitcher performance and pitch framing this season?)
  • Jed Hoyer is happy with how Rick Renteria has performed so far this year (Carrie Muskat), setting an appropriate tone and creating an environment in which players can succeed. From where I sit, that’s how I feel – the early returns on the things that matter right now (player development and/or rebounding) look pretty good. Obviously I’ve got some in-game philosophical differences with RR, but they’re relatively minor and infrequent.
  • A couple prospect notes from Sean Kernan: Rob Zastryzny probably won’t miss a start after taking a liner off of his arm this week, and Zeke DeVoss is scheduled to play for Daytona, although he was technically sent down to Boise. It looks like that was just a procedural move, rather than a “goodbye from the organization” move.
  • One more prospect item: Kris Bryant raised his OPS about 40 points yesterday. That, alone, isn’t that amazing, given that a big day will do that in May. But it’s amazing because his OPS was already 1.028 entering the day!
  • I really would:



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