It’s a field trip day to the pumpkin patch for the kiddos, so I’ll be out a bit this morning. You’ll see normal posting, however, and a new BNTV Saber Shorts video. Of course, those of you who subscribed to the BNTV YouTube page already knew there was a new video.
- We recently speculated – and, by “we”, I mean pretty much everyone – that the Cubs’ sudden opening at assistant hitting coach and the possibility that AAA Iowa coach Manny Ramirez could finally end his playing days might not be a coincidence. After all, Ramirez was brought into the organization to work with a set of young hitters who are either now in the big leagues, or will be soon. And Ramirez’s stay at AAA Iowa was universally praised, as Ramirez works on turning around his reputation. So, could coming back to the big leagues be the next step? Nick Cafardo reports that this isn’t all just pundits connecting dots, saying that the Cubs “take Manny Ramirez’s ability as a hitting coach seriously,” and the team is “deliberating whether to bring him up as a major league coach.” For now, Ramirez is heading to the Dominican Republic to play some winter ball there, but he’s also expected to work with Javier Baez in Miami at some point during the offseason. Theo Epstein has said he won’t comment on whether Ramirez is being considered for the assistant hitting coach job until Ramirez formally decides to retire.
- Given the reports from Des Moines this year, and given what looks like a legitimate 180 for Ramirez as a person, I am totally on board with him coming up to the big team as the assistant hitting coach. Here’s hoping he is, too.
- We’re nearly a year removed from a horrible car accident in the Dominican Republic involving several Cubs prospects, including outfielder Kevin Encarnacion and pitcher Jose Zapata, each of whom was seriously injured. Until this new article from Carrie Muskat, it wasn’t clear just how seriously each was injured. Initially, doctors feared that Encarnancion would never be able to use his right arm again (and had third degree burns on over 50% of his body), and Zapata would never be able to walk again. Each is now participating in drills in Arizona with the Cubs. It’s an incredible story, and you should read Muskat’s piece for the full account.
- A possible source of positive luck next year? According to this Sun-Times article, the Cubs reached on an opponent’s error just 42 times this season, the fewest in the National League. Since that’s generally not the kind of thing you can control, you might reasonably project a little positive regression there next season, and a few more free runs.
- David Price, who is under control for 2015, put up a 2.44 FIP and 2.89 xFIP in 77.2 innings for the Tigers after being acquired at the Trade Deadline, and yesterday, he gave up just 2 earned runs over 8 innings in his only playoff appearance. But that trade was a dud, apparently, since he didn’t single-handedly win the Tigers the World Series or something. Since one start makes all the difference, we should probably ignore his 7.1 shutout innings on the final day of the regular season that handed the Tigers the AL Central in the first place.