Multi-Inning Relievers Coming, Cubs Expected Back on Top, and Other Bullets

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Multi-Inning Relievers Coming, Cubs Expected Back on Top, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

cubs-champions-win-flag-celebrateIf there was ever a time to come together with one message, it’s now: thank you to all who have served our country, from our friends, to our neighbors, to our brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers and grandparents, to the many we will never meet. We civilians can’t pretend to know everything about what a veteran’s life is, but we can offer our sincere appreciation for what their service means in ours.

  • The Cardinals are planning to stretch out former closer Trevor Rosenthal, possibly to be a starter next year, or perhaps a multi-inning reliever. The same multi-inning relief future might wind up being true for Michael Wacha, as the Cardinals actually have a fairly crowded rotation. Whether these two, or others, could combine to give the Cardinals the kind of multi-inning bridge types that most teams in baseball are going to start increasingly looking for, that remains to be seen. Teams are not going to be able to do what the Indians (and, to a lesser extent, Cubs) did in the postseason with a guy like Andrew Miller, both because Miller is uniquely awesome and because the pitchers would break if they were asked to go multiple innings two out of every three days, but I do think we’re going to see an increasing trend toward shorter and shorter starter outings, and more multi-inning bridge appearances from relievers. We’ve talked about this ad nauseam in the last three years, but it just makes too much sense to limit the times through the order for all pitchers in the game, including the starter.
  • (Obligatory when this comes up: there are teams out there that have trouble developing or attracting top starters who could be best served by really going with the four-man rotation (max two times through the order or about 70 pitches), together with a larger-than-usual bullpen, complete with at least three pitchers who can go multiple innings in relief (i.e., starter-like guys who would get exposed if they had to face a lineup more than once in a game). You have to get total buy-in from everyone to make this system work, but for teams that can’t get those top pitchers to sign anyway, why not give it a try? The Rockies tried a few years ago, but did not fully commit.)
  • Retroactively inserting this into the Bullets, because it’s too awesome: Game Seven highlights … in LEGO form.
  • Crowd-sourced expected standings at FanGraphs unsurprisingly have the 2017 Cubs on top, about 13 games better than the second place Cardinals in the NL Central. While I certainly agree that, right now and on paper, the Cubs are the class of the NL Central, I just can’t get on board with a 99-win expectation for any team, even one as good as the Cubs, coming off a championship. In any case, I doubt the Cubs will need to win 99 games to take the Central again next year, and that – not a championship, which comes later – should be our emotional focus this offseason.
  • I love this so much:

  • I’m still not sure what we should do – feels like we should do *something* – but I wanted to pass along to you this message from Tim Sheridan, the guy who runs ‘Boys of Spring’ and the Cubs’ PA announcer in Mesa, Arizona. Tim was attacked after Game Seven of the World Series, and it sounds like he’s in really bad shape.
  • You should click “follow” on this Twitter account, he said in a chanting voice to compel you to action:

  • I have seen a few folks tweeting about this framed World Series collage, if you were looking for something pre-made to hang on your office wall:

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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.