On a typical morning, I’ll organize my thoughts, roughly laying out what we’re going to get into that day, and then dive into the Bullets (which often helps me frame what I want to include there, and what instead merits a deeper, separate look in an individual post – for example, we’ll get into Jake Arrieta’s fantastic start later today).
This morning, though, I was so riled up about the runners-in-scoring-position stuff that I woke up and started researching and writing right away. The resulting post took up pretty much all of my morning, which delayed the Bullets a bit.
- In addition to his interview with The Score yesterday (together with Theo Epstein, and recapped by Michael here), Jed Hoyer spoke with the Tribune, CSN, and ESPN about the coming Trade Deadline, and reiterated that, although the Cubs will consider anything, they’re not too keen on breaking up their current, young, big league core. He did go on to drop the “expect the unexpected” line about the deadline, and noted that the front office wouldn’t be working as hard as it is if they weren’t serious about exploring the trade market.
- There isn’t going to be a trade out there that magically fixes the Cubs’ collective woes with runners in scoring position, but it’s very safe to assume the Cubs will be exploring the market for creative ways to improve the team (for example, the pitching deal discussed by Ken Rosenthal here, and which Michael will later be addressing in a separate post). I don’t necessarily expect an earth-shattering move by the Cubs in the next couple weeks (does that mean I am wrong by not expecting the unexpected? or, would the unexpected become expected if I expected it?), but I do think they’re going to make a move to add a quality arm externally. Yes, I do have some hope that guys like Joe Nathan and Brian Matusz can positively impact the pen, but relying solely on them and the other guys already in the pen would be quite a risk heading into August, September, and, most notably, October.
- Speaking of the Trade Deadline, the Blogathon is getting closer to the full 39 hours thanks to your donations to Make-A-Wish! Keep ’em coming if you want to maximize the deadline insanity!
- Like Luke mentioned in the Minor League Daily today, I wanted to talk about Dexter Fowler’s and Jorge Soler’s rehab game with the Iowa Cubs – we’ve been waiting for it. And then it rained. Stupid rain.
- Writing at ESPN, Jeff Sullivan discusses how the Cubs have very likely benefited from an easy schedule, in terms of the caliber of the individual players they’ve faced.
- As noted by the CCO on Twitter, it looks like lefty Jack Leathersich, who’s been rehabbing from 2015 Tommy John surgery in Arizona, will soon join the Tennessee Smokies as he continues to work his way back. Leathersich, 26, was emerging as a very interesting bullpen piece for the Mets last year before the elbow injury ended his season, and made it difficult for the Mets to carry him on the 40-man roster while he rehabbed. The Cubs picked him up, managed to get him through waivers and onto a minor league deal, and he’s been working his way back this year. He threw 8 innings in the rookie league this year as part of the rehab, striking out 16 (lulz) in those 8 innings. The real test will be as he moves up into the upper minors, and whether the strikeout proclivities remain without seeing too dramatic of a spike in the walk rate. If so, Leathersich could be another option for the big league bullpen down the stretch.
- One Cubs fan is in the process of seeing all 30 ballparks … in just 33 days.
- The Cubs are putting a new, subterranean club level in at Wrigley Field behind home plate:
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) July 19, 2016
- Anthony Rizzo is the Cubs’ Heart and Hustle Award winner:
— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2016
- Good stuff:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 20, 2016
- BN’er Chris Neitzel asked me to pass on word of a summer deal for his “108 Reasons It’s Been 108 Years” book, for which I wrote the foreword. He’s a good dude and it’s a good book, so I’m happy to pass it on.
- Among Amazon’s deals of the day today: the complete X-Files collector’s set for 59% off.
- The other big moments around baseball last night, over at Baseball is Fun.