Another day, another stop in the bleachers. If you’re going to this afternoon’s game against the Reds, I should be there in the right field bleachers somewhere. I’ve got a Cubs-colored tie dye shirt, and I think I’m gonna wear that. It’s a country-themed day in the bleachers, but I don’t really have anything country-ish. So, yeah. Tie dye.
- It was another short, rough outing for Tsuyoshi Wada, as the Cubs continue to struggle to find a taker for the fifth starter spot in their rotation. Each of Joe Maddon and Miguel Montero expressed confidence in Wada after the game, but said he needed to have more confidence in his own stuff (CSN, Cubs.com). The implication is that Wada is trying to be a little too fine early in the count, falling behind, and then getting hit hard when he has to come back more into the zone in hitters’ counts. For now, Maddon wasn’t hinting at making a change in the rotation, though.
- I’m not sure how much longer the Cubs will go with Wada in the 5th starter spot given (1) the presence of Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson in the bullpen, (2) the presence of Jacob Turner working his way back to health at AA Tennessee, and (3) the looming trade season. While you don’t want to see a revolving door at that 5 spot, I’m very nearly to the point where I’d almost hope that Turner is ready within a couple starts so that the Cubs can give him a look for a few starts before the Trade Deadline gets too close. That is not to say that you’d presume Turner is better than what the Cubs could pick up on the trade market; instead, it’s just a matter of getting the Cubs a complete picture of what they have before they make any serious decisions. In the interim, you wonder at what point the Cubs revisit their Spring Training idea – or at least that was the rumor – of having Wood (or Wada) and Jackson serve as a tandem pitching pair for a single game, starting one or the other based on the opposing team. The bullpen’s already bloated as it is, so there’s not much harm there.
- (Quietly, each of Eric Jokisch and Dallas Beeler have missed a window to come up and grab a rotation spot, as they have battled health and ineffectiveness issues. Donn Roach’s results at AAA have been incredible (2.07 ERA over 12 starts), but he allows so many balls into play that I’m not sure how sustainable even modest success is going to be at the big league level. Tons of groundballs, though.)
- Joe Maddon was quick to yank Wada in the 4th inning last night, and had Jason Motte warming in the bullpen even as Hector Rondon first stepped on the mound for a three-run save in the 9th. That’s extremely unusual – it’s often seen as putting unnecessary stress on the closer – but, in this situation, I liked it a lot. If Rondon got into any trouble at all (which he has this year), Motte would be ready to come in at a moment’s notice, rather than having to rush and hurry to get up and warm.
- Former Cubs lefty Phil Coke is coming up to the Blue Jays, which means the Cubs will save a little money – about $350,000 or so. Not enough to do anything major, but, hey, it’s not nothing.
- Mick Gillispie talks to Kyle Schwarber about his success so far this year, and his work behind the plate.
- Although it looks like they are desperately trying to get away from me in this shot from last night’s broadcast, I was totally having a nice conversation with Bret La Epic and his lovely girlfriend Eva:
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) June 12, 2015
- The folks in front of us were cool, too, but it was hard to see around the graphic stuck to their faces for most of the game. I’m just glad I was at a minimum level of embarrassing for the shot. The internet is forever.
And, if you read the Minor League Daily today, the solution to Luke’s trivia question is below. Don’t scroll until and unless you’re ready for the answer …
1 – Josh Donaldson (2007) 20.1 WAR
2 – Mark Prior (2001) 16.5 WAR
3 – Andrew Cashner (2008) 5.2 WAR
4 – Ryan Flaherty (2008) 2.2 WAR
5 – Kris Bryant (2013) 1.7 WAR
As for the hints:
Kris Bryant and Mark Prior are both fairly iconic Cubs. Kris Bryant and Andrew Cashner have had a direct impact on the Cubs’ current roster. Remember, Cashner went the other way in the Rizzo trade. Josh Donaldson and Ryan Flaherty never actually played a game for the Cubs. Donaldson was traded, and Flaherty was taken in the Rule 5 draft.