Hamels Gets Popped by a Spring Training Lineup, the Managerial Situation, and Other Bullets

One thing you learn as you work frequently in fast casual restaurants is that they keep the temperature in those places at like 5 degrees. You don’t so much notice when you’re only there for 30 minutes and just came in out of the hot. But, even on hot days, if you’re in there for many hours, you get cold. Really cold. I guess downing fountain soda after fountain soda doesn’t help, but, pfft, like I’m gonna stop …

  • Cole Hamels says he wasn’t able to locate his pitches last night, and, facing a lineup that was geared up to swing, he got punished for it (Cubs.com). I think he’s quite right about that, which is kind of a version of why you sometimes see big league pitchers get blown up in rehab assignments: they’re just there to throw pitches and get their arm right, and the other lineup is a bunch of young kids who want to hack and prove something against a big league arm. The Diamondbacks had a Spring Training lineup last night, and they’re still professional ballplayers. If you can’t hit your spots and they’re swinging away? You’re gonna get stung, and Hamels did.
  • That is all to say: he did not pitch well, he got punished for it, but I’m not sure how much forward-looking-oh-no we can take away from it.
  • Also, D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game this was what he was trying to do with his surprisingly Spring Training lineup: “I don’t think Cole Hamels had a chance to prepare. He had been thinking for the past four days about Goldschmidt and Peralta and Pollock and all of a sudden he’s getting some new names and he had to rush through their whole program. [Our guys] did their job. They got up and socked them in the nose. That’s what I was looking for.”
  • (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • This article hints at a bit of – well, discord and friction are probably too strong of words, but something close to that – disagreement between the front office and Joe Maddon on his pitcher usage:
  • You should definitely read that one for the full context. I do remember that Morrow stretch well, and I didn’t care for it at all at the time, though if that was enough to end his season, then, let’s be honest, his season was ending early at some point no matter what. As for Strop, yeah, I’ve said my peace on that one, and it was a horrible, horrible decision. On the whole, I think Maddon does an excellent job managing the health and productivity of his players as best he can, and I suspect the front office agrees. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that sometimes these kinds of stories – when they come out in advance of a contract year for a manager – do hint at some underlying disagreements that haven’t made their way into the public view.
  • Each side, by the way, has totally begged off any kind of discussion of Maddon’s contract, which expires after 2019. If no extension is reached this offseason, and Maddon heads into 2019 as a lame duck manager, then and only then will I think it’s fair to start wondering what’s up. (Also: consider how much the Cubs have been through this year, and they still have the best record in the NL. The players deserve the most credit, and assuredly the front office deserves credit, too, for their in-season maneuvering. But surely Maddon and his coaching staff MUST be doing some very good things behind the scenes, yes?)
  • A random note about where things stand in the playoff race, and context for what the Cubs are doing: the Brewers would be up 2.5 games in the NL East, and 2.0 games in the NL West.
  • #AtCubs participating in the fun:
  • It would be funny if this were a real test, and I’m thinking about what would be on it:
  • The Cubs shop is 25% off today with the code SWING25.
  • This had me thoroughly cracking up:
  • Good, good Bears things:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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