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jorge soler featureI’m headed to Chicago today so that I can take in tomorrow’s game against the Pirates (finally, Jorge Soler in person from my usual right field bleacher seats … and if he gets the day off after an off-day, so help me … ), and head to a wedding on Saturday. If you’re going to the game tomorrow, stop by the right field bleachers down by the LED board. Or maybe we can get a beer after the game. Or maybe you can just shout hey at me from across the street.

  • The Cubs’ winning ways are, for many reasons, a fantastic thing. Since it’s an off-day, I’ll at least offer up the standings check-in: the Cubs presently have the 8th worst record in baseball at 64-76 (can’t lose 100!), two games worse than the Mets, who have the 10th worst record, and two and a half games worse than the Reds, who currently hold the first unprotected pick for the 2015 draft.
  • I’m about to do something evil, given how much I like the discussed player, and how much I’ve enjoyed this past week of baseball:
    • Jorge Soler’s first 7 big league games: .462/.500/1.000, .633 wOBA, 315 wRC+, .529 BABIP, 21.4% K rate, 7.1% BB rate. Truly fantastic.
    • But did you remember this? Junior Lake’s first 7 big league games: .484/.500/.774, .550 wOBA, 260 wRC+, .542 BABIP, 15.2% K rate, 3.0% BB rate.
  • What’s my point? It’s not to compare the two players, as they each come with tremendously different skill sets and risks (the latter of which have, so far, borne out for Lake and may have derailed any hope of turning him into a regular starter). Instead, I’m just highlighting the nature of small sample sizes, particularly when they come at the start of a young player’s career, and we tend to start forming opinions (“I know he’s not THIS good, but, damn, he must be pretty good”) before we should. Jorge Soler has considerably more upside, and less downside risk, than Junior Lake did when he first came up last year. There are reasons to believe he could be pretty good in the long-term, but consider this your brake tap. Enjoy the crazy awesome performances, because it’s a really fun ride, and over the long haul, it could wind up in a special place. But there will be peaks and valleys.
  • Speaking of which, I wonder if one of those valleys will come when pitchers stop trying to test the big man inside:

  • The prognosis on Starlin Castro’s high ankle sprain is about a four-week recovery time, which would end his season (Cubs.com). It sounds like he’s still going to try and get back on the field before the end of the month, though. I wouldn’t expect it, but that does suggest he’ll be able to head into the offseason with a clean bill of health.
  • Castro, together with Jake Arrieta, is a candidate for BP’s Comeback Player of the Year. For me, it’s Castro by a nose.
  • Last night’s was Javier Baez’s first no K game in his last 14. He also walked for the second straight game after going 13 games without a walk. Baby steps.
  • Steve Stone offers the most anticlimactic home run call you’ll ever here.
  • If you missed this week’s episode of BNTV, you can rectify that by watching here (and/or by subscribing on YouTube so you never miss an episode):

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