cubs azl spring training logoThe Wife is off today, so we’re going to have a date day, getting some lunch and seeing a movie. There will still be plenty to read around here today, but you won’t see me as much in the comments/Twitter/Facebook.

  • Dan Vogelbach broke out a bit yesterday in the AFL with a couple hits (one of which was a double, and no strikeouts) in Mesa’s win. You can read more on Vogelbach, specifically, here at MLB.com, but it was a good game all-around for Cubs prospects. Addison Russell played short and had a hit, Ivan Pineyro started and pitched three scoreless (4 H, 0 BB, 3 K), and Zach Cates threw two scoreless in relief (2 H, 1 BB, 1 K). The only down game belonged to DH Jacob Hannemann, who struck out onceĀ in four hitless at bats.
  • Speaking of the AFL, the pitch clock has been in play for two games now (read about it here and here), and it appears to have had an impact on the pace of play, and the length of games. That first link has a list of the pitch clock games (the other pace of play experimental rules are featured in all AFL games), which are all watchable on MLB.com. Mesa – the Cubs’ AFL team – will be shown on November 4 and November 6.


  • A bunch of Cubs prospects are up for MiLBY awards, and you can vote to help get them there.
  • A great read from Patrick Mooney on Jake Arrieta’s path and emergence.
  • Baseball America’s Ben Badler on how so many teams missed so badly in scouting Jose Abreu. His tools didn’t stand out and he wasn’t a physically impressive guy, but his approach to hitting just works. Exceedingly well. And apparently that was hard to see when he was facing inferior competition and putting up video game numbers.
  • BA also has a scouting take on Addison Russell. It’s a paywalled piece, so I’m not going to give you too much – suffice it to say, they really like him.
  • A couple stray thoughts on Cubs pitching prospect Jake Stinnett, whom they selected in the second round this year, from BP’s Nick Faleris:



  • Stinnett did have a longer year than most, with his Maryland Terrapins going on a bit in the NCAA Tournament. And, given that he was relatively new to full-time pitching, maybe the wearing down was more evident for him, too. Hopefully with a full offseason of rest (and some work), he comes back showing that impressive power sinker and moves quickly up the ranks.
  • Keith Law still isn’t buying Kyle Schwarber as a future catcher, despite the Cubs’ commitment to letting him catch full-time next season. Law says left field is the “best case scenario,” and first base is the worst. Law is also asked about C.J. Edwards as a long-term starter, and it sounds like Law has concerns not only about the frame, but about the fastball and secondary stuff. If you need a positive, though, Law also says he still thinks Jorge Soler can be as good as Yasiel Puig.
  • George Will is a noted Cubs fan, and, apparently, a notable optimist.

A meta comment on the videos I’ve been making: I don’t think I’ve done a very good job explaining what “BNTV” is, and what the videos are, which has led to a little confusion when folks decide to, or not to, watch the videos.



“BNTV” is not a particular kind of video – that’s just been my shorthand for “this is a video that Brett made under the BN umbrella and put up on YouTube.” That means it could be one of the long, free-wheeling, ultra-low-production-value live streams. Or it means it could be a pre-packaged (and edited) Saber Short. Or it means it could be a pre-packaged (and edited) Q&A. The BNTV videos that aren’t a live stream are really short, and are designed to be quick, fun takes on the topics addressed therein. I totally get why the live streams aren’t for everyone (they aren’t designed to be). But the short videos are sort of a different animal, and I think some of you who have resisted them might actually find you like them if you took a peek.

(Example: BN’er Funn Dave indicated that he wasn’t into watching videos, and so he wasn’t really watching them. Totally fine. I mentioned that if he was going to check just one out to see if he might like them, he should watch the (very short) 2015 Cubs Payroll video. So he watched it. And then he said, “Glad I did. Great stuff; I learned a lot.” That particular video is just below, for those who’ve missed it.)

As for why I do the videos at all, well, there are a variety of reasons – some things work better in video, some people connect better with visual discussions and explanations, and I like to experiment and try new things – but mostly it’s just because they are a fun, complementary, side thing. You won’t miss any huge news or rumors or critical analysis if you don’t watch them. They’re just a little something different and extra.




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