Cubs Secret Weapon, the Nastiest Pitcher in the Rotation, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Secret Weapon, the Nastiest Pitcher in the Rotation, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Thoughts and prayers today for the family, if you please. I will take any positive vibes you’re inclined to send. [UPDATE: For those of you who have followed in the Bullets the last couple days and were wondering: we got a genetic diagnosis this morning for The Littlest Girl. Thank you for your well-wishes from afar. We’re going to be great, but it’s gonna take a little time for me to get into a place to discuss things a little more specifically. Much love to all. Back to Cubs stuff, which, hey, I still enjoy discussing very much.]

  • Patrick Mooney writes about Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello, a quietly critical part of the pitching infrastructure. Borzello was brought in by Dale Sveum, the first manager of the current front office, and he’s been kept around since then through a couple managerial changes and a few coaching staff overhauls. That alone should tell you a lot about how important he is, but the profile will only underscore it. I especially liked the part where he talked about being on the phone with run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy (another part of that pitching infrastructure) throughout the offseason, talking about what they were noticing about various available starting pitchers – the things that fans and analysts only get to dream about on the outside: what if we just increased this guy’s curveball usage, what if that guy moved over to the third base side of the rubber, what if this guy changed his sequencing, etc. (Or, might I suggest, what if Yu Darvish started elevating his four-seam fastball more often?)
  • On Darvish, specifically, Kyle Hendricks had this to say about Borzello: “Borzello, man, he’s just salivating, watching [Darvish] during bullpens and (thinking) what he could do with him.” Now you’ve got ME salivating, Kyle! The whole read is great for getting a better understanding of how the Cubs incorporate new pitchers, and work with them to figure out how to approach the season ahead.
  • And speaking of getting the best out of new Cubs pitchers, Anthony Rizzo says people are sleeping on Tyler Chatwood, who probably has the nastiest stuff out of all of the Cubs starters:

  • On a staff that includes the guys in the front four, I’m not sure praise gets any higher. You can hear more from Rizzo’s NBC interview here.
  • Sounds like it was the tough, long, tense offseason you thought it would be for Jake Arrieta, but it also sounds like he and his family wound up somewhere – with people they’ve known from their days in Baltimore – where they are comfortable:

  • Getting there:

  • A fun, inside look at the Cubs’ new back-up catcher:

  • Ryan Court WENT TO THE WORLD SERIES PARADE?!?!? Holy crap I hope he makes the team at some point this year (though not by virtue of any kind of serious injury or underperformance so … ):


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.