Chatwood's Very Elite Spin, Duensing's Contract Details, Cubs Drag Brewers, and Other Bullets

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Chatwood’s Very Elite Spin, Duensing’s Contract Details, Cubs Drag Brewers, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Well, on the one hand, nothing happened with Yu Darvish overnight. On the other hand, you didn’t *miss* anything happening with Yu Darvish overnight. So, you’re good, right?

  • Yet another reason to be intrigued by new Cubs starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood? He’s one of the few guys in the game with elite spin rate on his fastball AND on his breaking pitch:

  • That is a typically excellent read from Sahadev Sharma, intertwining information about the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure with the importance of spin rate for four-seamers and breaking pitches, and with Chatwood’s experience in Colorado. You should really, really read it. On that last point, we’ve discussed it before, but it bears frequent mention: Chatwood believes his curveball is his best pitch, but the fact that it moves so differently in Denver than it does everywhere else led to him using it much less overall, since he was constantly having to change approach to make the pitch work in the different geographic locations.
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
  • Bonus fun: look back up at that chart, and see the extreme outlier at the top. The guy with the obscene four-seam fastball spin rate – it’s Carl Edwards Jr. That’s how you get a fastball that completely baffles hitters at the top of the zone, not only because it’s “rising”, but also because he has that natural cutting action. If he could just locate it consistently, the pitch would be among the best single pitches in baseball, without question.
  • Some more details on Brian Duensing’s deal with the Cubs, including some possible escalators:

  • The escalators are of note when considering how close the Cubs come to the luxury tax cap entering the season, since escalators and bonuses DO count, but you won’t know if they kick in until sometime during the season – so you have to have a buffer. Hence, I suspect, why Duensing is getting a contract escalator for his 2019 salary for what he does in 2018, rather than a 2018 bonus. For the latter, it would all count against the 2018 luxury tax payroll, but for the former approach, it is spread across the two years AAV-style – so the hit would only be half as much.
  • Addison Russell, gettin’ after it, bein’ a dad:

  • #AtCubs is the best:

  • They are also the best for sharing this tribute to Ernie Banks, whom we lost three years ago today:

  • Yes, but can you do this on purpose:

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.