Ugly Conditions Today for Darvish, When Should Chatwood Start, and Other Bullets

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Ugly Conditions Today for Darvish, When Should Chatwood Start, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

You know, there were a couple missteps, but overall, the ‘Alien’ series of movies is just so good. Perhaps most impressive of all is how they managed to maintain the same feeling and atmosphere throughout the series, spanning some 40 years.

Bullets …

  • So, the conditions for tonight’s game are expected to be not so great. Although the worst of the precipitation might be more this afternoon than this night (ever-changing forecast and all that), we’re talking about rain and snow mixed, with a feels-like temperature in the low-30s. That won’t make it fun for anyone to be playing baseball tonight, and I’ll admit that I’m particularly concerned about it being a Yu Darvish Wrigley debut start, since he has at times seemed peculiarly susceptible to having his command fall off when the totality of the conditions (weather, emotional, etc.) are not ideal. You can make jokes about it if that comforts you, but I’m just trying to think through the reality of the situation. I don’t think there’s any plan for tonight’s game to get banged, so Darvish is just going to have to deal with the conditions as best he can, and find a way to throw not-crushable strikes. It’s not like he doesn’t still have top-tier stuff, at least.
  • I’ll admit, given Jon Lester’s injury and the need to fill a turn in the rotation anyway, I wonder if the Cubs wouldn’t be better off letting Tyler Chatwood get his “start” tonight, and then pushing everyone else back a day. For one thing, it isn’t just about the conditions tonight, since you’d worry about Chatwood’s command, too. Instead, with Chatwood having pitched multi-innings out of the bullpen as recently as Sunday, he’d be on a pretty normal rest schedule to go a few innings tonight (and the Cubs can bring up an extra reliever today when they put Lester on the IL). Are you certain Darvish will be able to go much more than 3.0 innings tonight in these conditions? I know there are explanations, but he’s averaging well under five innings per start with the Cubs, for what that’s worth. If Chatwood went tonight in a bullpen game, then everyone else in the rotation gets an extra day of rest. And if you were going to have to cover multiple Lester outings anyway, you’re not really hurting anything on that front.
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
  • Now, all that said, from a practical standpoint, I’m not sure how realistic it is to shift to a bullpen game at the last minute, and tell Darvish he’s starting tomorrow instead. He’d still be prepping for the Pirates, so that’s good, but maybe his schedule between starts is such that pushing him to tomorrow at the last minute would throw everything off. Also, going this route would mean Cole Hamels moves to the Angels series instead of facing the Pirates, who have been terrible against lefties this year.
  • Oh, and it’s also possible that, having settled into the bullpen a bit, the Cubs front office might not want Chatwood to take a start at all, preferring instead to give the start to a stretched out AAA arm like
  • Down on the farm:

  • You won’t be seeing Corey Black at Iowa any time soon – he just had his third Tommy John surgery:

  • The Cubs got Black way back when in the Alfonso Soriano trade, and he’s always had a live arm to dream on as a future big league reliever, but obviously the injuries have held him back. Coming back from a third Tommy John surgery is rare, but it would be an incredible story.
  • Small sample, yada yada, but I see you, Daniel Descalso:

  • This video is extremely appropriate looking, and that’s all I’ll say on this family-ish website:

  • I think what they’re saying is that they want to centralize the distribution of minor league highlights, and that there will be more highlights overall when it’s done that way:

  • The big HOWEVER is that unless you are extraordinarily efficient at generating the highlights at a centralized level, you’re going to miss so many opportunities to spread the game in an era where people don’t just sit around waiting an hour for a prospect home run highlight. I don’t really understand why you wouldn’t empower the teams, themselves, to handle this. I’m pretty worried about how this will go, as I think the highest and best value to the sport is for minor league clips to be quickly created and shared as long-term brand-builders, not full videos to be platformed and monetized.
  • Extreme #UmpShow:

  • This is awesome, and it’s easy to forget that the very existence of black holes was a fringy theoretical concept by some as recently as 50 years ago:


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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.