Who’s got two thumbs, a dog named Henry, and is in charge of Bleacher Nation this morning?
*Points to self* This guy.
Like the day after every #BNBlogathon, Brett is out cold right now, sleeping off 40 hours of continuous trade deadline coverage. He’s truly a beast, and we wish him a full and refreshing slumber.
Oh, and in case you missed the closing/re-cap post of the event, you all raised over $16,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation, which equates to nearly three full wishes granted. So thanks again for all of your donations and support, it actually does mean a lot to us (and, of course, the kids whose wishes you’re granting).
Brett will be back later today, but for now, bullets …
- And to start, I just want to recap, once again, how unbelievably well the Cubs’ trade deadline went. They added arguably the most attractive starting pitcher on the market, a dominant, left-handed reliever with a year and a half of control, and a left-handed hitting catcher who was an offensive force in the first-half of the season. That checks three huge boxes with the brightest colored ink.
- You can also read what Joe Maddon, Jed Hoyer, and others, thought about the Cubs’ trades this month right here at MLB.com. Hoyer, for example, was thrilled with the addition of Justin Wilson, because he can handle some of the higher-leverage moments down the stretch, which should help keep everyone fresh for the playoffs. The same goes for Alex Avila, whom Joe Maddon was happy to acquire, so that the “energizer bunny” Willson Contreras can get some much needed rest without losing much production with the switch.
- And in case you were wondering, Hoyer suggests that, yes, the Cubs did take a look at some rental options just before yesterday’s trade deadline, but ultimately decided to mostly focus on pieces that can help beyond this season. Given how much they did add (and how empty the prospect cupboard is now), you probably shouldn’t be greedy for more.
- Meanwhile, I checked in with the Cubs’ odds and rankings versus the rest of the league yesterday, and, surprise! They are overwhelmingly picked to win the NL Central and have up to a 14.3% chance of winning the World Series this year. Moreover, after a 13-3 start to the second half, reaching 90+ wins is once again a part of their projections. Hell yeah.
- Of course, they do have a tough road ahead of them, what with their next six straight games coming against two of the best teams in baseball (Diamondbacks and Nationals). Fortunately, those games are all at Wrigley Field, and the first team up, Arizona, has a losing record in the second half (7-9).
- In an article at Splash, that’s sure to make my fiancée jealous, Anthony Rizzo and his bride-to-be Emily Vakos discuss how they met, and how she thwarted Rizzo’s courtship at first (pulling out the old fake-number trick). They also talk about the proposal and what it’s like to live in the city with someone as famous as Rizzo. There’s also a bonus “Newly-Wed Game” style bit between them at the bottom.
- Oh, and Anthony, the ball is in your court:
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) August 1, 2017
- Among the best relievers traded at the deadline yesterday (in terms of rest of year production) the Cubs’ new lefty Justin Wilson is tied for second with Joe Smith and behind Addison Reed.
- Also at FanGraphs, Travis Sawchik discusses the relievers that were not moved at yesterday’s deadline, namely Zach Britton and Brad Hand, and tries to figure out, you know why.
- At The Athletic, our friend Rian Watt discusses the great success that Jon Jay has been for the Cubs this season, crediting, among other things, an increased walk rate and decreased whiff rate. He also delivers one of my favorite lines ever, “Turns out it doesn’t matter much which way you’re hitting the ball, as long as you’re hitting the ever-loving shit out of it.” As always, you’ll want to check this one out.
- The Chicago White Sox had a big scare yesterday, when Yoan Moncada (their second baseman and baseball’s top prospect) collided with outfielder Willy Garcia in truly ugly fashion:
— CSN Chicago (@CSNChicago) August 1, 2017
- Despite a huge blow to the head for Garcia and Moncada being literally carted off the field thereafter, the early reports suggest that both may have avoided serious injury. Moncada is day-to-day and Garcia will be reevaluated today, before any decisions are made. And while OBVIOUSLY their safety is the most important thing here, you have to bet that White Sox fans were relieved to hear that their second-baseman-of-the-future will be alright after such a terrifying fall.
- The Chicago Cubs won the coveted and I-didn’t-know-it-even-existed Bullpen of the Week award presented by The Hartford.” You can read more about how the award is handed out, it’s actually a Bill-James crafted metric for bullpen performance, and who won it before right here at MLB.com.
- Felix Hernandez had a nice moment with recent 3,000-hit club member Adrian Beltre:
"Thanks for not making me pitch to you with 2,999"
– Felix Hernandez, probably.pic.twitter.com/Y3UDTNOYbF
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) August 1, 2017
- And the A’s Kris Davis managed to make contact on a pitch that flew inches from a seagull, calling back memories of Randy Johnson.
- JBL Speakers, a teapot infuser (whatever that is), a new apple watch band (now we’re talking), and some tactical outdoor equipment are among today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon.