So much to discuss today. Be advised, you’re going to see quite a bit more content around here than usual for a Saturday. We’re entering that time of year, so enjoy!
- Get ready to watch the next Cardinals player dominate the Cubs for a decade. Probably. The Cardinals will reportedly soon promote top prospect Oscar Taveras (a consensus top five guy) to patrol their outfield and tear it up at the plate. Normally, you’d say there would be an adjustment period for the 21-year-old, but voodoo magic. Why the call-up now, finally? Well, had the call-up come a few days earlier, Taveras likely would have qualified for Super Two status in a few years, meaning that he’d get an extra year of arbitration, and the Cardinals would wind up paying him a lot more over the course of his team control (assuming he’s good). But, remember: good teams like the Cardinals totally don’t play service time games with top prospects. That’s just crummy, silly teams like the Cubs.
- It didn’t matter last night, but Ricky Renteria said that if a save situation arises in Hector Rondon’s absence, the closer would be Neil Ramirez (Carrie Muskat). Pedro Strop is now back, so that’s a modestly significant revelation. Yes, Ramirez would have been my guess, but he’s the “young” guy. Clearly, he’s won Renteria’s trust already with his stupidly awesome performance so far this year.
- Arismendy Alcantara is going to get his own write-up very, very soon, but I had to note: dude hit another couple homers yesterday, and is hitting .286/.323/.551 on the season after a slow start. His last ten games, he’s hit a Kris-Bryant-like .382/.432/.882. He’s also gotten a taste of the outfield, playing a bit in center field (which increases his versatility, and also gives the Cubs options long-term if, for example, Javier Baez moves to second and Starlin Castro stays at short). Of all of the Cubs’ top prospects, Alcantara – already on the 40-man – seems the most likely to see time at Wrigley Field in the second half.
- The Brewers’ game plan for Travis Wood was clearly to hack early and often, and it worked. It sounds like Wood was left shaking his head a bit at how thoroughly the Brewers smacked him around last night (Cubs.com).
- I don’t actually receive a lot of hate mail. Sure, I get folks ripping me in the comments, and I get blasted plenty on Twitter and Facebook. But I rarely receive an email, crafted with care, that someone took time out of their day to go through the process of sending. I got one last night, and it was the most glorious email I’ve ever received. I had to share it with you so that you can learn from the subtle prose. Here’s the email from Joe, in its entirety and unedited (except for expletives):
Subject: Your A Dumb A**
You really want to claim you’re an attorney? Wow, have you not notictice the Cubs are the worst team in MLB. Talk about dumb talk……………. I think Brent invented it. Keep up the phoneny dreams Cubs fans. And keep sending this dipsh*t your money. BTW, I can make up phoney baseball crap in my basement also.
- I guess Joe didn’t notictice that I don’t claim that I’m an attorney – I claim to be a former attorney. Because I am. I wasn’t even a phoneny one. I have definitely observed how bad the Cubs are this year, and I am definitely a dipsh*t, but I don’t write in the basement. Sometimes I write in my underwear, but Joe didn’t lob that one. I just thought I’d share in case someone wants to craft the next email version of ‘Ulysses.’
- (A serious email note: over the past couple of years, the volume of email I get has increased precipitously, especially this time of year. It’s totally awesome, and don’t let this discourage you from reaching out about anything at all – just understand that it might take me a while to get back to you.)