So Much Pitching Percolating Up Through the System After a Philosophy Change and Other Bullets

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So Much Pitching Percolating Up Through the System After a Philosophy Change and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am not someone who, by nature, is terribly afflicted by the cold. Rather, my friends frequently make fun of me for being underdressed for the cold at Wrigley. Sometimes, sure, I’m an idiot, but other times, I just don’t really get all that cold, so it only *seems* like I’m an idiot.

I will concede, though, that the cold snap of the last week plus, and the one that looms next week, are bugging even me. It’s cold, man. Too cold.

  • If they aren’t at AAA, and if they are healthy, it just seems like you absolutely have to have Steele, Lange, Rucker, Thompson, Swarmer (Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year), and Miller starting at AA. Maybe Abbott can return to High-A for a bit, because he didn’t get a lot of time there. Ditto Leal. Bailey Clark has always struck me as more of a relief candidate. Hatch might be most effective/likely to reach the big leagues in relief.
  • Man, this really is a glut of actually interest pitching prospects at AA and above. This is what the front office referenced at the Convention – feeling like they were in this place for the first time in their tenure atop the organization – and hopefully it plays out. It’s easy to assume that you’ll get one or two big league contributors out of 15+ AAA/AA guys who you regard as “legit prospects,” but I’m not counting any chickens.
  • Nevertheless, it’s good to have a lot of options. If nothing else, even the guys who ultimately can’t quite cut it as starters in the big leagues might wind up productive relievers, which is something the Cubs haven’t been able to produce en masse either.
  • To that end, hopefully what we’re seeing now is the product of a change in philosophy in the organization, as described by Jason McLeod at the Convention: “I think as we thought about pitching, we tried to fit everyone neatly into a box. Do these mechanics lead to what we think is going to be long-term health, and has he thrown enough strikes that we think the prior performance is going to equal this type of performance going forward? So we put so many checks on guys, I feel, that we probably walked by some guys that didn’t meet certain criteria at the time. That’s what I meant by being probably a little too conservative. We wanted them to check so many boxes. Strike throwers who we thought were going to be healthy, that had this type of performance – whether it be strikeout rate, whether it be walk rate – and that probably hamstrung us a little bit …. We probably could’ve pushed guys in our early days I think, as we sit here five or six years later, I think that – not to be egregious about anything – but we’re probably being a little more aggressive.”
  • The implication there is that the Cubs feel their lack of impact at the big league level on the pitching side has been less a scouting and drafting problem and more of a developmental problem.
  • Very cool:

  • I think this means Brach has to start wearing his hat to the left:

  • This is just gonna be some stupid Super Bowl commercial and I’m gonna be mad:

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.