The Wife is away at a conference, so it’s been young-people-party-time at the Taylor House this week. Yesterday, that meant if The Little Boy wanted to wear his sister’s pink boots to school, then, doggonit, he’s wearing his sister’s pink boots to school.
- Tsuyoshi Wada threw yesterday, but apparently his shoulder didn’t feel quite fine enough for the Cubs to say that, yes, definitely, he’ll be starting on Saturday (Cubs.com, CSN). Joe Maddon held open the possibility that he’d be ready to go, but also mentioned that there are other options. If it winds up truly being a single spot start, then maybe the Cubs let Travis Wood go three or four innings as his pitch count allows, and then use the bullpen from there (there are eight guys out there, after all).
- Alternatively, the Cubs could bring someone up for a spot start. Dallas Beeler is on the 40-man roster and has done the spot start thing before (quite well), but he’s still getting his feet under him after pre-season injuries, and is scheduled to pitch today for Iowa. Drake Britton has been stretching out, but probably isn’t quite there yet. Carlos Pimentel has battled command issues this year, but he’s scheduled to start today in Iowa’s doubleheader. That would leave Donn Roach, who is not on the 40-man roster, but who sports a sterling 2.29 ERA (in the PCL, no less) this year for Iowa. The rub with Roach, whom the Cubs claimed on waivers from the Padres this offseason and then outrighted to Iowa, is that his 33:15 K/BB in 82.2 innings, .260 BABIP, and 80.5% LOB rate all make you really tug at your collar. Roach is an extreme – extreme – groundball pitcher, which can work out all right at the back of a rotation if you can generate a few strikeouts here and there, and if you never walk anyone ever. So far, big league teams haven’t felt that it would play well enough at the big league level, but we’ll see. Roach is still just 25.
- The start probably wouldn’t have gone to Jacob Turner just yet anyway, but, even if it would have, he’s been shut down, if you missed the news last night.
- Maybe I missed some things, but I didn’t think Kyle Hendricks’ performance last night – as opposed to his results – were all that bad. Sure, he left a couple pitches up, which is a no-no given his stuff, but you can’t throw every single pitch perfectly, and it just happened that this time, two of those pitches were hit very hard into places where they couldn’t be caught (Bolsinger’s double, and Turner’s homer). You can read Hendricks’ comments on his last two outings here and here, and he’s being a bit down on himself. The last two starts, it looks like teams have gotten hits when it mattered most, which isn’t always a reflection of pitcher performance. In other words, I’m no more or less concerned with Hendricks as the Cubs’ 4th starter than I was before the last two starts. In other other words, sometimes, he’s going to have outings like this. When you’re a control/command/in-play guy, sometimes you won’t hit your spots perfectly, and sometimes they’ll hit it where your defenders ain’t. You take the good with the bad on a guy like Hendricks.
- A longform profile on the man who blew the whistle on Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team last year after their run in the Little League World Series captured national attention.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 23, 2015