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jorge soler featureThanks to a late departure yesterday from Chicago (had to write about the blogger forum and the reported Jon Lester offer before I hit the road), thanks to excessive highway traffic (in part due to the President leaving the city at the same time I was trying), thanks to insane construction-related, stand-still delays on I-65 in Indiana, and thanks to the increase in stops that attend the need to drinks lots of caffeine for a late-night drive, I didn’t get home last night until after 2:30am. Thankfully, a few years of child rearing has prepared me well for the day that lie ahead.

  • You’re going to want to read this fantastic piece from Jesse Rogers on and with new Cubs hitting coach John Mallee. Obviously a guy can say the right things, and actually being able to implement them in an effective way is a different animal … but … the guy just gets it. Here’s an example quote, which you cannot read and not immediately think that this is the guy you want guiding and instructing the Cubs’ young hitters: “Getting the players to understand that with two strikes, OPS falls off the map. That’s with everyone in baseball. The odds of hitting a home run and creating this big amount of damage is minimal. The major league batting average is .185 with two strikes, but BABIP was .305 last year. We know we won’t hit with a ton of power, because we never have with two strikes. And if I do get the ball into play, I have a chance to hit .300.” It’s one thing to understand that just putting the ball in play with two strikes is probably better than striking out, but it’s another to describe that effect in a data-oriented, support-oriented way. You can’t win every at bat. If you don’t get the pitch you can drive before you reach two strikes (or you miss it), relent, and just put the ball in play (or keep yourself alive long enough to take a walk).
  • Speaking of young Cubs hitters, BP takes a look at Jorge Soler’s mechanics at the plate, and, where I’d previously seen a really clean swing (proof that I am #NotAScout), they actually see a fair bit of noise. After reading their take and watching the GIFs, ok, yeah, now I see it, too. Soler’s quick hands make up for some unnecessary bounce in his lower body that seems to delay the swing a bit (in part because it raises his hands a bit as he starts his swing). That could be where his swing-and-miss comes from, which, although not to Javier Baez levels, is a part of Soler’s game right now. I’ll have to take a look at whether Soler showed any signs of struggling against high fastballs, which I’d guess could give a guy with these mechanics trouble.
  • A little more on the CSN/Dish carriage dispute about which I wrote yesterday here in the Chicago Business Journal.
  • December 4, the South Bend Cubs will finally reveal their new logo.
  • Supermodel Erin Heatherton is a big Cubs fan, apparently, and she says she’s go streaking in Cubs body paint when the Cubs finally win it all. Maybe. Don’t hold her to it. But it’s my job to share important information like that with you.
  • Vine Line has a deep dive this month on the 1060 Project – the renovation and development project at Wrigley Field – which you can read here.

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