Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

otter pumpkinThe spookiest day of the year is here. Go find some ghosts and give them a hug.

Also, this.

  • If you’re growing increasingly fond of Cubs catching prospect Willson Contreras, you’re going to want to read this profile by John Arguello over at Scout. Lots of folks, including John, have know that Contreras had that talent in there for a long time, but as his frequent coach and manager Mark Johnson says in the article, it was always going to take time to get to a place where he could actualize that talent and turn it into on-field production. One thing I’ll add about Contreras’s marked offensive improvement this year – it’s not at all uncommon for catching prospects to take a little longer to break out with the bat, given the arduous process of learning and improving behind the plate. That likely goes double for a guy like Contreras, who was converted to catcher only three years ago, and is still only 23. He can still get a lot better. He has that upside.
  • Did you know that Contreras struck out fewer times in 2015 than he did in 2014? Oh, I guess that doesn’t sound like much. I should probably mention that he played 2015 at a higher level, and had 204(!) more plate appearances in 2015. Yes, now you’re impressed.

  • And if you missed the Prospect Notes yesterday with tons more on Contreras and other Cubs prospects, there you go.
  • Andrew Felper looks back at Jon Lester’s great first season with the Cubs, and I was particularly nodding-my-head-y when he got to the part about why folks don’t seem to appreciate how good Lester’s season was (primarily, I suspect, it was the historic season by some other starters in the NL, including his own teammate).
  • Dan Jennings has officially been dismissed as the GM of the Marlins, after taking one for the team and becoming the manager earlier this year. He’s being replaced as manager by Don Mattingly, and he’ll be replaced as GM by an internal shuffling of roles.

  • Mark Saxon explores Dave Martinez as a possible candidate for the Dodgers’ open managerial gig.
  • A really touching read on the head-injury risk in baseball and the long road of recovery – and this is not the angle you’re expecting. Please keep yourselves and your kids safe.
  • If you missed it earlier, the Mets routed their way back into the World Series, and Tom Ricketts thanked the fans.

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