Today is The Wife’s first day back to work after the arrival of The Littlest Girl, who does not start daycare until February. That means I’m going to get a whole lot of time with The Littlest Girl over the next couple months, which is almost exclusively a great thing. I remember this time with The Little Girl and The Little Boy, and it’s time you never get back. I am really excited about the kind of closeness you can only get in these quiet moments.
Honesty dictates, though, that I admit there is anxiety about fully completing the duties of my job while simultaneously taking advantage of this opportunity to spend so much close time with The Littlest Girl. I imagine it’s going to be a process until we both find our rhythm. She’s currently bouncing in and out of a doze while I type this, and I expect I will have to stop and start these Bullets many times before they are completed.
And, yup – as I type that, it sounds like she needs my attention …
- In a great piece on the bullpen (it’s about a range of things, and worth a read), Sahadev Sharma netted a quote from Theo Epstein that caught my eye: “With relievers, it’s very rare to have someone who is healthy year after year without a DL stint. So they’re all either coming off a year in which they have a DL stint or they’re maybe a year or two away from going on the DL for something.” When the Cubs acquired Wade Davis this week for Jorge Soler, some had concerns about Davis’s two stints on the DL last year for forearm and flexor tendon issues, as the best indicator of future arm injuries for pitchers tends to be past injuries. But, then again, even setting aside the fact that Davis was nails after returning from the second injury, is his situation even that uncommon? As Epstein suggests, when you’re looking at a one or two-year time horizon, aren’t pretty much all relievers on the DL at some point?
- Consider one formulation of the Cubs’ projected current bullpen (roughly speaking, as this will undergo many changes by the end of Spring Training): Davis (time on the DL last year), Rondon (DL last year), Strop (DL last year), Edwards (DL in 2015), Uehara (DL last year), Duensing (DL last year), Grimm (DL in 2015), and Smith (minor league DL last year). Literally every single pitcher in that group of eight has spent time on the DL within the last two seasons. I’d imagine that’s not too unique around baseball, either, given that DL’ing a reliever is slightly easier than a starter (though it becomes even easier for starters now that the disabled list is just 10 days), and many relievers become relievers because they’ve dealt with injury issues. To be sure, elbow and shoulder injuries are the ones that most concern you going forward, but the broader point here is that, when looking back at a reliever’s experience, you’ll probably always be able to say, “Yeah, but he’s been hurt before, so …. “
- This is random and cool:
Random note: If Cubs finalize deal with Uehara, they'll have 3 pitchers on the roster who recorded final out of 3 of the last 4 World Series
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 8, 2016
- For the record, that would be Mike Montgomery, Wade Davis, and Koji Uehara, with whom the Cubs are close on a deal.
- Speaking of that deal, we’ll have more when it’s finalized, but these are extremely fun bits:
Lowest career WHIP in MLB history
(min. 400 IP)
0.864 K. Uehara
0.893 K. Jansen
0.949 C. Kimbrel
0.955 S. Romo
0.968 A. Joss
0.998 B. Wagner
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) December 8, 2016
Jake Arrieta walked 76 in 2016 (197.1 IP).
Koji Uehara walked 66 in his career (437.2 IP)
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) December 8, 2016
Most recent pitchers with a 350 ERA+ in a season (minimum 70 IP):
2014 Wade Davis
2013 Koji Uehara
Cubs have acquired both in last two days.
— MLB Statistics (@MLBRandomStats) December 8, 2016
- A random thought on the Cardinals signing Dexter Fowler, and thus losing their first round pick in 2017: wouldn’t it just be the most awful kind of perfect if, after the signing was complete, MLB came out and said, “OK, Cardinals, now your punishment for hacking the Astros is the loss of your highest pick in the 2017 Draft!” I wouldn’t call that a likely thing to happen (and, even if it did, MLB might just frame it as “loss of a second round pick” anyway), but I also wouldn’t characterize that kind of thing being brokered behind the scenes as “absolutely impossible.”
- Kris Bryant is getting more deserved security:
Adidas signs Kris Bryant to an extension. Hearing it's a record breaking MLB shoe deal, worth $1M+ a year in neighborhood of a decade long. pic.twitter.com/I63Pnt0Ut3
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 8, 2016
- Heh. I chuckled:
- I shared a cheap blowup mattress from Amazon on here last week because it was on a huge sale, and folks seemed to appreciate that one. If you were looking for a nicer blowup mattress, though, there’s one on a huge sale today.