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- Obligatory first Bullet for those just checking in: the Cubs made a trade today, sending Welington Castillo to the Mariners.
- Coming out of the off-day, the Chicago Cubs are 3.5 games back in the NL Central, thanks to a 14-inning 2-1 win by the Mets over the Cardinals late last night (#CardinalsLose). That’s not too shabby when you consider that, just 10 days ago, the Cubs were leaving St. Louis having dropped three of four, and standing 6.5 games back. It’s early, and a lot can happen, but, as we sit here today: the Cubs still have a very realistic chance in the NL Central.
- To that end, check out the latest ZiPS projected standings from Dan Szymborski:
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) May 18, 2015
- The Cubs, as you can see, come in for a Wild Card spot (and have a 53.6% chance of landing a playoff spot) in those standings, with an 18.6% chance of winning the division. FanGraphs has the Cubs a touch better, at 22.3% to win the division, and 59.4% to make the playoffs. Baseball Prospectus has the Cubs even a bit better, at 30.2% to win the division, and 63.0% to make the playoffs. If you were honest with yourself back in March, you would have taken those numbers in late May, right?
- If the season ended, today, by the way, the Cubs would play the Nationals in the NL Wild Card Game. (And I would be an absolute wreck.)
- Peter Gammons writes about the new foundation of the Cubs – aka, Anthony Rizzo. Get ready to smile.
- Patrick Mooney on all things Kris Bryant.
- BP’s Matt Trueblood pointed this chart out to me on Twitter yesterday in response to the Soler Strike Zone article. It looks like Soler really is seeing more non-strikes called as strikes than the average player, so your anecdotal frustration is probably justified. It’s interesting to note, though, that Soler also sees more non-balls called as balls than the average player.
- Former Cub Doug Glanville thinks it’s time for the Cubs and Sammy Sosa to reconcile (Tribune). I agree.
- If you missed it last night, Michael wrote about the Marlins’ shocking managerial change. Also last evening, the Cubs designated Phil Coke for assignment and optioned Brian Schlitter to Iowa.