I can’t wait to get out to the ballpark today and feel the buzz that I can only assume will be as strong as it’s been at any time in recent memory. Perhaps I’ll see you before the game at Mullen’s on Clark, or at the game somewhere in the right field bleachers. I’ll be wearing a blue and red tie-dye shirt (because I do what I want), and a blue and yellow shoes. Say hey.
- Get ready for a jaw-dropping statistic about Kyle Schwarber: the young catcher/outfielder is tied for fourth. On the Cubs. In WAR. You read that correctly: among Cubs position players – guys who’ve been up all year – Schwarber and his 96 plate appearances (a mere 26 games) have led to a 1.4 WAR, tied with Dexter Fowler, and behind only Chris Coghlan (2.2), Kris Bryant (3.7), and Anthony Rizzo (4.4). Schwarber’s 192 wRC+ far and away leads the Cubs (Rizzo is at 158), and would trail only Bryce Harper (206 – what a freak) in all of baseball if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.
- About that part – yes, we’ll see some regression as Schwarber’s small sample stats stabilize. The .434 BABIP is going to come down, as is, I suspect, the .286 ISO. The really nice thing, though, is that his minor league performance suggests his 11.5% walk rate and 26.0% strikeout rate could be legit. If he keeps those numbers where they are, even if the BABIP and ISO come down a bit, he’s still going to be a beast at the plate.
- Defensively, in left field, so far so good for Schwarber, who says he feels plenty comfortable out there.
- You should read this CSN piece on Joe Maddon’s decision regarding Starlin Castro being out of the regular starting lineup. It gives you more context on the why of the decision, how it was handled, and how it was presented to Castro. I really can’t overemphasize how well this was handled. In years past, this feels like the kind of situation that would have lingered too long, caused problems, and then ended poorly. This front office and this coaching staff, though … I’m just very impressed. I also wrote about the decision yesterday, if you missed it; and discussed the defensive implications this morning.
- More praise for Schwarber in relation to that move, including from Theo Epstein (Cubs.com).
- Cubs catching prospect Willson Contreras had ANOTHER multi-hit game last night (three hits, to be precise), increasing his season line at AA to .342/.418/.496. Michael wrote about the breakout prospect earlier this week, and he’s going to be a fun one to discuss this offseason. I suspect there is going to be a pretty wide range of opinions once the scouting takes filter out.
- Come on, rook:
@kschwarb12 rarely misses the center of the baseball, but he falls asleep at dinner, hard. Clean it up.
— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) August 8, 2015
- Nicely done, Cubs:
— ABC News (@ABC) August 8, 2015