Monty Exit, Mills Starts, Garcia Adjustments, Iowa Bullpen, and Other Bullets

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Monty Exit, Mills Starts, Garcia Adjustments, Iowa Bullpen, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s take your daughter to work day! Well, I mean, that’s what it is for me anyway, because The Little Girl has joined me at Starbucks. That guy. That guy is me.

  • This is kinda weird to be coming out on the heels of his trade, and it includes things that we definitely didn’t know:

  • Teammates got down on him? Sent home for a day? What? Whatever the case, it’s fine and good that the Cubs afforded Montgomery a chance to start, and they got a great back-up catcher in the process. It was no lock that Montgomery was going to be tendered a contract after this season.
  • Anyway, the current depth starter the Cubs prefer is Alec Mills, who posted a quality start this week against the Reds, and he is very likely to get another start on Tuesday against the Giants ( “We’re looking possibly to get him out there again,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Listen, I have a lot of confidence. You’ve heard me about this fellow before. He’s definitely a big league-caliber pitcher. I don’t think he’s a four-A guy. He’s more than that. He just needs an opportunity.” Like I said the other day, it’s very easy to see big-league-caliber secondary pitches. I have my doubts about whether the fastball will be effective enough for him to be a starting pitcher, but it sure seems like Mills has the stuff to at least be a swing guy – which is probably another part of the reason the Cubs were comfortable dealing Montgomery.
  • We are not smarter than the whole of baseball, so if we knew upon Robel Garcia’s arrival that he was really going to struggle against offspeed/breaking stuff, then pitchers around the league were very much going to be ready. So I dig hearing this from Joe Maddon ( “When you were a young player like that when there was no analytics, video, and all this other stuff, it took really a trip through the league once before people were really able to discern your weaknesses. From the very first moment he came here, in the very first game that he played, you could see that the other team had already scouted things that would’ve normally taken weeks, maybe months, to figure out. In return, he’s already made some nice adjustments.”
  • Interestingly, Garcia has so far still seen more than 50% fastballs in his big league time, but that does seem to be about the floor for notoriously strong fastball hitters (Juan Soto and Jorge Soler are right around 50% also, for example). While I understand that you can’t always JUST throw a guy offspeed – because part of why it works is because of the interplay with other pitches, and also not every pitcher can throw his offspeed/breaking for strikes when needed – you would maybe expect that number to move even further for a little while if Garcia just keeps punishing fastballs (he’s slugging well over 1.000 against fastballs). Note that typical well-rounded hitters – Bryant, Rizzo, etc. – see about 55 to 60% fastballs, so don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if the league didn’t immediately attack Garcia in a particular way. I just think they’re going to keep on adjusting, and he’ll have to keep on working, especially as he gets less luck on his balls in play.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Gotta love Victor Caratini doing his best Willson Contreras impression:

  • The Iowa Cubs bullpen is just hilariously loaded with “yeah, might be”-type guys:

  • There is absolutely NO REASON for the Cubs not to try to add, via trade, an impactful bullpen arm this trade season. But whatever happens on that front, I can’t lie: there are so many guys at Iowa I wish we could somehow see get an extended look to see how it plays in the bigs (without, you know, risking the postseason). Hultzen, Rowan Wick, Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Dakota Mekkes, and Duane Underwood – every single one of them, I want to see at the big league level for an extended period, even though I know that’s not possible right now. Craig Brooks will eventually enter that conversation, too, and Tim Collins is already a kinda-sorta big leaguer. Oh, and Carl Edwards, Jr. is rehabbing there and will be back with the Cubs soon.
  • Clothes, fancy headphones, vacuums and more are your deals of the day at Amazon today.
  • Man, Paul DeJong has REALLY fallen off:

  • Country fun for a good cause:

  • The longstanding David Price-Dennis Eckersley feud continues with some harsh words:

  • Our latest Onto Waveland episode:

  • In conclusion, kids and baseball are everything that’s right:

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.