The day after a long weekend, particularly one where you’re traveling, is always a mental adjustment. Which leads me into …
- Although he was talking specifically about yesterday’s day game following travel from the West Coast, and I’m not going to put words in his mouth, you could read Joe Maddon’s comments here in the Tribune about yesterday’s early game as a bit of a rebuff of having so many day games altogether. In the future, Maddon said, he hopes there’s an effort to “homogenize” things a bit and allow more for more of a routine – the Cubs do have a uniquely erratic schedule with their start times. Again, you could read that to mean fewer day games, which is something we’ve battled about here at BN for years given the Cubs’ extra day games in the schedule. Yes, watching day baseball is fun and relatively unique to the Cubs, but it’s also been fairly well-established by this point that it’s not ideal for the players, who must constantly reset their schedules and body clocks – much more frequently than their opponents – which can wear them down by the end of the year. Fortunately, the Cubs have increased their night game allotment over the past three years to something just about 10 games shy of the big league average. But I’d still like to see it get closer.
- Speaking of which – but not drawing any conclusions because of the sample – Jesse Rogers points out that the Cubs’ offense has been significantly worse this year during its 20 day games (3.25 runs per game, .260 OBP) than its 24 night games (4.88 runs per game, .340 OBP). It’s definitely something to monitor.
- Regarding Tsuyoshi Wada being pulled yesterday after 83 pitches and 5.1 excellent innings, I don’t have much to say. I know I’m a broken record, but I’m completely OK with the Cubs having an aggressive hook once that third time through the order comes around (perhaps especially with Wada, who consistently was fantastic two times through last year only to get blown up the third time through). The idea is to pull a guy before he gets knocked around, not to leave him in simply because he’s pitched well up to that point. Great, great start by Wada, and I’m fine with the decision to pull him. Not sure what else there is to say.
- Javy Baez – who is extremely hot right now – is getting a ton of praise from his hitting coach, who says the young infielder is working hard to calm down his swing (MiLB.com).
- Bryce Harper, who calls Kris Bryant “Silk”, says he would have made the same decision the Cubs did about Bryant’s promotion schedule, even if he thinks Bryant was big-league-ready by Opening Day (CSN). More on the two young stars from Vegas, who are very different in their public approach (Cubs.com).
- If you missed Luke’s catch-up on the minor league system yesterday, it’s here. If you missed anything else from the holiday weekend, catch up here.
- I’d watch this:
NL could roll out a dream Home Run Derby team: Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Justin Upton, captained by Todd Frazier in CIN.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 26, 2015