There’s an Off-Day Check-In coming later today, per usual, but boy have I been avoiding that one. The Cubs have lost a lot lately, and I’m just not super excited to see precisely how bad they’ve been.
We’ll put a pin in it for now, though, and focus on some news from around the league …
- The Indians and Mets got together on the latest waiver trade, with Jay Bruce (and his healthy salary) heading to the Indians for a relief prospect. It’s a big trade as far as August moves go (did you know he was hitting .256/.321/.520 with a 120 wRC+ this year?), but the impact to the Cubs is about zero.
- Despite how bad you may feel about Willson Contreras’ injury, at least it happened while he was, you know, actually playing. Braves infielder Johan Carmargo, on the other hand, hurt his knee by superstitiously jumping over the chalk baseline as part of his pre-game ritual. Face. Palm. With his trip to the disabled list, though, former top prospect Dansby Swanson has been recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. More at NBC Sports.
- The Brewers may have been losing lately, but as the Cubs lose a player (Contreras), the Brewers are close to getting one back. Starter Chase Anderson, who’s been on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, made his first Minor League rehab start on Tuesday and allowed just one earned run on two hits and a walk in 3.1 IP. The results are almost irrelevant, of course, as the real news is that he felt great, threw nearly 50 pitches, and was able to command every pitch in his repertoire. When Anderson returns, he’ll return to a 2.89 ERA (3.43 FIP) over 16 starts.
- The Cubs did not add Justin Verlander at the trade deadline, but, as we know, could still theoretically land the starter (who’s cleared waivers) sometime this month. Why do I bring this up? There aren’t any new rumors to report, but Verlander did just bring a no-hitter into the sixth inning before ultimately tossing an 8.0 inning, 1-hit shutout against the Pirates. And that start came after a 7.0 inning, 6-hit, 2ER gem against the Orioles and a 6.0 inning, 5-hit shut-out against the Astros. Indeed, since July 8, Verlander has a paltry 1.91 ERA (3.48 FIP) and plenty of other, impressive peripherals. Of course, there are some thing I could point towards to predict some regression, but, I mean, the dude’s been good lately. If the Cubs don’t work something out this month, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them target the Tigers’ righty in the offseason, as Brett has mentioned several times.
- For what it’s worth, Dave Cameron dives into what it might take for the Tigers to get a real (in terms of value) prospect in return for Verlander before the September 1 waiver trade deadline (or possibly even this offseason). And his math suggests that many, many millions would have to be eaten before a team would give up any value (which has been the problem all along). Even to get the return the Tigers got from the Cubs for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila (Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes), the Tigers would probably have to eat substantial money. I don’t want to spoil his work, so go check it out at FanGraphs for more.
- How did I miss this: 44-year-old Bartolo Colon tossed a complete game agains the Rangers last week and followed it up with a 7.0 inning shutout against the Brewers (5H, 1BB, 5Ks). His overall season numbers don’t look great, but he’s got a 3.29 ERA over his past four starts. And, honestly, I can’t help but smile. Keep killing it, Bartolo. I never want it to end.
- WHEW. Sports Illustrated ranked every MLB park in terms of food safety standards and I’m proud to report that the Chicago Cubs finished in the top ten of baseball (#8 to be exact). Safeco (Mariners), Fenway (Red Sox), and Minute Maid Park (Astros) had the highest food safety ratings, while the Rays, A’s, and Orioles finished last. Well, that is aside from the Tigers and Indians, whose cities did not answer the SI requests ….
- Do you remember the fan who threw a beer can onto the field during the Blue Jays/Orioles Wild Card game last October? Well, his life has been absolutely turned upside down since then, as it led to “public humiliation, loss of employment, a nine-month court case, and a temporary ban from every stadium in MLB.” But here’s the thing, the man himself appears to be a very well-mannered individual with a long history in/with baseball who just made a very regrettable – and perhaps even relatable – mistake. CBC News has a long read on Ken Pagan, and I’ll bet you leave it feeling bad for a
fanhuman whose life was changed at a baseball game.
- Earlier today, I wrote about the St. Louis Cardinals’ #RallyKitten and how annoyingly great that little incident was for the Cubs’ biggest rivals (both ethereally and literally). Seriously, if you didn’t see what happened yet, go watch because you’ll be amazed and annoyed simultaneously. BUT here’s the crazy thing: it was just revealed that the Cardinals lost the cat. Yup. Sucks to suck, Cardinals’ fans. I still hate your whole city.
- And finally, how about some Trivia for your Thursday:
Thursday Trivia Time: Which active ball player has appeared in the most MLB games with 2,780?
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) August 10, 2017