Better Wild Card Memories, Analytics Among Teams, and Other Bullets

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Better Wild Card Memories, Analytics Among Teams, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The kiddos are magnificent, but not without challenges. Sometimes, you just can’t get to the Bullets until the early afternoon on the weekends. And I’ve gotta be fine with that.

  • Nice anniversary today, and nice JAKE memories:

  • That start was more or less the end of dominant – as in, all-time-great – Jake Arrieta. He gave up a lot of hard contact in that outing, if you’ll recall (which was pretty strange to see for second half 2015 Arrieta), and then got knocked around a bit by the Cardinals and Mets later that postseason. Arrieta, of course, still had two very valuable years with the Cubs after that, but that Wild Card Game will always stand out in my memory as the last time we saw that guy who could simply do no wrong, and the other team had absolutely no chance.
  • Also, the feeling of that Wild Card Game couldn’t have possibly been any different than this year’s, eh? Outcome, too, obviously. That was an unveiling for this era of Cubs baseball, even as fans knew things had become quite good and were going to get even better, the national stage sure was lovely.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
  • I love David Laurila’s notes at FanGraphs because he drops in delicious bits like this, from former Orioles reliever Zach Britton on his transition to the Yankees: “There’s a gigantic difference in how we use analytics here compared to Baltimore …. I’d never been exposed to that amount of information. And it’s not just ‘Here’s a stack of stuff to look over.’ It’s (targeted) to each individual player. I don’t want to get into specifics, but some of it is how my ball moves, both my sinker and my slider, compared to different hitters’ swings. It kind of opens your eyes to things you maybe didn’t think of when you didn’t have that information.” Color me not surprised, even if it is absolutely insane that there’s that big of a difference between big league teams in 2018. I reckon the Cubs fare well in this department now, but certainly wouldn’t have six years ago.
  • Top Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa, Jr. worked out for teams this weekend, and the notes about the performance include the current remaining IFA pools for the top teams: Orioles ($6.7 million), Marlins are next ($4.3 million), Rays ($3.6 million), and Dodgers ($2.78 million). The Cubs committed most of their pool when the period opened on July 2, though they did get an extra $300,000 to work with after having their top signing from the last period taken away earlier this year.
  • Javy hitting up Times Square:

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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.