The Mix and Match Bullpen and Jason Motte's Improvement and Other Bullets

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The Mix and Match Bullpen and Jason Motte’s Improvement and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jason motte cubsPersonally, I think the contemporaneous discussion of live events is one of the things that makes Twitter great. Therefore, if I can’t watch ‘Game of Thrones’ on time, I make sure to stay off of Twitter – pretty tough for me – until I’ve watched. If something were spoiled for me, I would blame only myself.

But, out of an abundance of generosity, I waited a full 30 minutes after it had ended before tweeting something about last night’s ‘GOT’ and I still got “spoiler” grief, including from our very own Michael! Appointment television, man!

  • Cubs closer: Jason Motte? Well, not exactly, but he was yesterday, throwing a perfect 9th inning with one strikeout. Hector Rondon, pulled from a save opportunity the day before – but not explicitly removed from the closer’s role – pitched a clean 8th inning (against the heart of the Nationals’ lineup). Pedro Strop saved the previous game, and it sounds like Joe Maddon is leaning toward keeping things open like that for now, with each of those three mixing and matching depending on the situation (Justin Grimm, it appears, remains the preferred sixth inning option). The hope here is that something consistent emerges over time, but, for now, you might as well consider this a committee situation.
  • After an up-and-down start to the year when he was clearly honing his fastball movement and command, Jason Motte has lowered his ERA to 3.80. His FIP and xFIP still tell a dicey story – 4.28 and 5.16, respectively – thanks to a meh 15.6% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate. In his last nine appearances, though, Motte hasn’t given up a run, and sports much tastier 21.7% and 4.4% K and BB rates. Probably not-coincidentally, Motte’s velocity has been climbing steadily throughout the season, now routinely sitting in the 97-98mph range. That’s where he was pre-TJS when he was at his best. It’s entirely possible that he’s just going to keep getting better as the season goes on.
  • This is just nuts, when you put it this way:

  • And a fun follow-up to that:

  • Heh. I chuckled:

Author: Brett Taylor

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