It only takes four days of working past midnight for my body clock to adjust and think that’s normal. The good side of that is that I feel much more functional on limited sleep the last couple days than I did the first couple, but the downside is that, when a more reasonable hour rolls around tonight and I want to stock up some sleep, I’ll probably have a little trouble settling in. I may have to find some Hawthorne to read to put me down. OOOH! SNAP! YOU JUST GOT BLOWN UP, 19TH CENTURY NOVELIST NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE!!!
- The Cubs continue to talk to Wade Davis’s agent about a possible return (Cubs.com), but, imagining for a moment that they do not re-sign Davis, and their bullpen is complete. Here’s how it might shake out if the Cubs stick with eight relievers:
Brandon Morrow (closer)
Carl Edwards Jr.
Dario Alvarez/Randy Rosario
- Not too bad, as there are several arms in there who figure to succeed in high-leverage innings. Obviously it would look a lot better if Davis were in there, too, but bullpens are so volatile that you don’t know who is actually going to step up and perform in a given year, even when you throw considerable resources at it. That’s not to say I’m advocating just leaving it alone, but I also don’t think retaining Davis is a *dire* need. Heck, we could be looking at guys like Dillon Maples and Adbert Alzolay as key bullpen contributors by midseason.
- I wrote yesterday about Brandon Morrow’s huge innings spike in 2017, by the way, and the implications for his 2018 season with the Cubs.
- Remember Jonny Venters? You might not, because it’s been five years since he pitched in the big leagues. I remember him very well in 2010 and 2011, though, when he was one of the most devastating relievers in baseball with the Braves, featuring a sinker that looked like it should not be possible – it reminded me of the velocity and movement you see on Zach Britton’s legendary sinker, generating an obscene groundball rate (when you can hit it at all). I’m mentioning Venters here because he just signed a minor league deal with the Rays to continue trying to make it back to the big leagues. Why is that notable? Because Venters is coming back from Tommy John surgery. His *FOURTH* Tommy John surgery. It’s rare that you see guys coming back from two Tommy John surgeries (new Cubs Tyler Chatwood is one), and even when you do, it’s usually because the guy had one procedure when he was young, and then the second at some point during his pro career. Venters, 32, has had all four as a pro. He will be getting my rooting interest this season.
- There are about 50 Javy Baez searches that could have made this list, and most would have been safe for work:
- Former Cubs pitcher (he’s kind of a former every team pitcher at this point, and he’s next headed to the Twins) Fernando Rodney, like Pedro Strop, has always gotten a lot of grief for wearing his hat tilted. I hope anyone who gave him grief now feels like a monster:
Fernando Rodney wears his hat crooked. People constantly complain about it. Those people are being silly, in general, but especially so in this case.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) December 15, 2017
- Just something nice to see and remember:
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) December 15, 2017
- Hawk Harrelson and AJ Pierzynski are best buddies. No further comment necessary:
How close are Hawk Harrelson and A.J. Pierzynski? When Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla beaned Pierzynski twice in a game in 2006, Hawk almost left the booth to fight him. pic.twitter.com/1JGy4sehXH
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) December 15, 2017
- Best pitcher reaction ever:
I wish every pitcher had this reaction to a dinger …pic.twitter.com/oVjko1O1Jf
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) December 15, 2017
- Over at TYL, tracking the Bears’ likely draft spot, which seems safely in the top 10, at a minimum. Their win last week dropped their chances of getting a best-case-scenario third pick from 20% to just 8% … so … maybe don’t be so good this weekend. Like, you know, I want all the young guys to look good and continue development, but maybe lose a heartbreaker or something.
- The big Cubs memorabilia sale continues – for one example, with the code SANTA30, you can get a Kris Bryant signed World Series ball for $169.99.
- Over at Amazon, the Deal of the Day that caught my eye is a gift set of 100 – yes, 100 – movies for $63.99. And it’s not like, the gas station collection. It’s the best of Warner Brothers studio, so it’s like ‘The Departed,’ ‘Inception,’ ‘The Hangover,’ the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Casablanca,’ and a ton more.