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welington castillo featureClayton Kershaw didn’t just throw a no-hitter last night. He threw one of the best no-hitters ever: 9IP, 0BB, 15K. It would have been a perfect game but for a Hanley Ramirez error. The most amazing part, to me? Despite the 15 Ks (a career high for Kershaw), he needed just 107 pitches to finish the game. I’m still pissed this guy didn’t wind up in free agency, just so that we could all watch the spectacle.

  • Welington Castillo will start a rehab assignment at AAA Iowa today* as he comes back from rib cage inflammation, per Cubs.com. If all continues to go well, you can figure that he’ll spend at least a few games, perhaps as many as five or so, at Iowa before returning to the Cubs. In his absence, the Cubs haven’t gotten a ton of production behind the plate (John Baker: 13 OPS+, Eli Whiteside: -51 OPS+), but Baker and Whiteside do each have an impressive set of receiving skills. It’ll be interesting to see if we notice anything, in terms of pitcher performance, when Castillo returns. On the year, Castillo is hitting .242/.287/.385, which gives him an 81 OPS+. Not great, but the offensive difference there is enormous.
  • *(Which, together with the promotions of Kris Bryant, Arodys Vizcaino, and Armando Rivero, should give the upcoming games plenty of interesting things to discuss. You know, if Javy Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Christian Villanueva, Rafael Lopez, an intriguing rotation, a sterling bullpen, and much more weren’t already enough. And, eventually … Manny).
  • Make sure you sign up for tomorrow’s contest – there are $500 in prizes, and it’s free to play. Do it!
  • When we talk about renovating Wrigley Field, it’s easy to think about all of the stuff we can see that needs updated/fixed. It’s easy to forget, however, that there’s a whole lot of IT infrastructure that needs updated, too. Given the technologies of the game today, it’s actually pretty critical.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer writes about a difficult issue that shouldn’t be difficult (but, yeah, it is): the use of smokeless tobacco in baseball, and by Cubs players, specifically.
  • Are pitchers inadvertently hitting bats when they don’t mean to? Could an “average” pitcher become a stud if he just better understood how to use the pitches he already has? The interesting case of Effective Velocity.
  • Jonah Keri writes about the rapidly changing relationship between Cuban players and MLB.
  • Man, the Dodgers really do just get everybody, don’t they?

 

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