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jason hammel featureSo, Amazon announced a phone last week, which will be available next month – and you can read a review here. Because of my admitted obsession with Amazon, I’ve been following the story with rapt attention. Ultimately, I’m not sure if it’s going to pull me away from my other technological addition – Apple stuff – and it’s AT&T exclusive, which is an issue because we’ve been with Verizon since forever. Still, I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for neat features, and the 3D stuff sounds pretty cool. I think that way especially when I look to the future of baseball video consumption, and fantasize about watching a Javy Baez homer on my phone from a variety of 3D perspectives as I rotate the phone. That kind of thing is probably still years away, but you can see how this opens the door.

Incidentally, whenever there’s Amazon news, I hope you’ll forgive me for using it as an excuse to remind you that you should totally buy stuff at Amazon (1) because it’s awesome and convenient and cheap, and (2) because doing so via the Amazon links here at BN helps support your local baseball blog. You could even bookmark the link to make it easier on yourself – it’s the same beautiful Amazon site. It just tells Amazon that you’re shopping there because I said: “Hey, you, go patronize Amazon’s business!”

  • Jason Hammel is sick of seeing the Pirates (CSN), though I’m sure they’re sick of seeing him, too. And, after taking a liner off of his backside, Hammel either said that he has a nice bump (per that CSN piece), or he said this (per the Tribune, and per ESPN): “It got me right in the meat of the butt. I am very lucky I have a nice bum, so I’ll be good to go.” I choose to believe it was the latter, and I love it. Other nice things Jason Hammel has: an ERA/FIP/xFIP line (2.99/3.06/3.28), a 4.55 K/BB, and a 2.0 WAR. He’s in the top 20/25ish range in baseball in all of those categories.
  • (On the slash line, Scott Feldman was at 3.46/3.93/3.83 at the time he was dealt, and had a 2.68 K/BB. Hammel is dramatically outperforming him to this point. Just sayin’.)
  • Down two runs in the 8th yesterday, with runners on first and second, Rick Renteria had Travis Wood enter the game as a pinch hitter (currently hitting .267/.313/.533) to sacrifice bunt, which Wood did successfully. After the “successful” bunt, the Cubs’ run expectancy dropped from 1.41 runs to 1.26 runs. The Cubs wound up scoring 0. After the game, Renteria explained his decision to try to get just the two runs by putting the tying run at second (ESPN). You know my thoughts on the subject, so I won’t belabor it here.
  • It’s been more than a week since Emilio Bonifacio went down with an oblique injury, but he’s still not doing baseball activities (Cubs.com). That’s just the nature of oblique injuries, because they can easily flare back up. It will be well into July before Bonifacio is able to return, if that early.
  • It feels wrong to call it SCardenfreude, but the Cardinals just put two starters on the DL with shoulder problems – Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia. The latter has dealt with shoulder/arm problems for a long time now, but Wacha’s issue seems to be new. And it’s a little hard to put a finger on, given that it’s a “stress reaction” in the shoulder, which means there’s a bone issue that could lead to a stress fracture if it doesn’t heal (this is what was going on in Matt Garza’s elbow in 2012, if you’ll recall). You just don’t hear about stress reactions in the shoulder much, so it’s hard to say what his timeline and prognosis look like. Let this be your reminder: organizational strengths can become weaknesses so, so quickly with just a few injuries.
  • It was a busy weekend, by the way, so here’s a roundup in case you missed anything.
  • In case you missed yesterday’s throwback unis:

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