Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

chris coghlan cubsAs promised, I went down some water slides at the park yesterday with The Wife and The Little Girl. The issue was the reverse of what I’d feared – my suit contained everything that needed containing, but it rocketed upwards to give me a nice string bikini look every time. Wedgie City, USA.

We had a great time, though.

  • Chris Coghlan’s two homers yesterday bumped his season line up to .247/.332/.427 with a 108 wRC+, all of which is fine, but much less impressive than his breakout 2014 campaign (.283/.352/.452, 126 wRC+). Except, here’s the thing: every indicator of Coghlan’s actual underlying performance says he’s been better at the plate this year than last year. His walk rate is way up. His strikeout rate is down. His ISO (power) is way up. His HR/FB rate is up. His hard contact is up. The only things you could knock him for is a decline in his line drive rate and a slight increase in his groundball rate. The only real negative statistical difference between the two seasons is the BABIP – .337 last year, .271 this year. His career mark is .314.
  • Coghlan joked that he figured out how to stop guys from robbing him of hits – just put it in the seats (Tribune). Clearly he’s aware that he’s had some terrible luck with well-struck balls all season long (if you’ve been watching, you know what I’m talking about). I’ve been trumpeting Coghlan since the second half of last season when it became clear that the tremendous results were not the product of anything flukey, but were the product of some really solid improvements at the plate. If he can really take to this new versatile role, and keep up the offense? He could be tremendously valuable to the Cubs not only the rest of this season, but heading into next year, too.

  • As I mentioned yesterday, Coghlan’s offense is part of the reason I pause momentarily when discussing a Chase Utley addition. Yes, a healthy Utley is probably a better overall option at second base than Coghlan (who is replaced late in games for defense), but it’s so hard to take Coghlan’s bat out of the lineup regularly. And then you factor in Starlin Castro, who played well there yesterday and had three hits … it all gets a little muddy. Maybe that’s good, though. Lots of good options is not a bad thing if the price isn’t outrageous.

  • Kyle Hendricks says he’s out of whack mechanically, and that’s why he struggled so much yesterday (
  • Rafael Soriano (shoulder) is getting close to pitching in a simulated game, but Neil Ramirez (left side injury) is not close to anything (ESPN). It’s a fair bet – just my guess – that we’ll see Soriano back for September when rosters expand, but Ramirez might not be back.
  • Did the Nationals make the worst trade of the season?
  • The Brewers reliever who gave up the walk-off homer to Miguel Montero this week has a broken hand.
  • How about those throwbacks yesterday, by the way? Some of the best I’ve seen:

  • Random thing:

  • All right. So it’s the Giants, and the Cubs are competing against the Giants for a Wild Card spot. But this is really good:

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