The Offense is Stuck, the Pirates Have It All Coming, Robel's Time, and Other Bullets

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The Offense is Stuck, the Pirates Have It All Coming, Robel’s Time, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The second day Bullets are 100% the hardest post of the Blogathon each year. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you layer on a lack of sleep, the mental coordination to say the things I want to say about the things I want to talk about … it just isn’t there. Or, at best, it’s extremely slow and difficult to tease out. Excuse any crumminess.

  • Luis offered up some lines last night on Outside the Ivy (the post-post game show he does on NBC with Michael and Danny Rockett) that really resonated. I don’t know whether I agree as precisely or vehemently as he was saying, but it definitely stuck with me. The gist? The Cubs didn’t lose last night’s game because of the decisions Joe Maddon made in the game, they lost it because of the decisions the front office (and presumably ownership) made in the offseason. Recognizing that the offense “broke” in the second half last year, but declining to make even the slightest serious changes to personnel, leaves you wide open to very fair criticism that losses that feature the offense getting owned are a sign of an offseason failing.
  • It’s a reminder that if this inconsistency continues through the rest of the year, it’s just going to be impossible for the Cubs not to make significant changes to the positional group – maybe even core players. How could you justify continuing with the same guys when it’s clear that, for whatever reason, the whole is less than the sum of the parts – and that idea there didn’t come from Luis or even me. It came from Jed Hoyer in early July.
  • Note: whatever happens today is not going to “fix” the offense. It’s not possible at this point. You just have to hope that a nice piece can help, and then the rest of the crew really performs well in the final two months. Not like there isn’t enough talent for a good stretch.
  • More of the absurdity from the Reds/Pirates brawl, which was once again instigated by the Pirates throwing at a batter:

  • I’m reminded of the Cubs and Pirates’ problems this year, which included Joe Maddon trying to go after Clint Hurdle. You think that’s a coincidence? As an organization, the Pirates have a serious problem with throwing at batters – dangerously – as part of an institutional practice. It cannot be permitted to continue, and it’s long past time for the Commissioner’s office to bring down the hammer on that whole organization for it. How many times does this shit have to keep happening?
  • (Note: I’m not saying Amir Garrett or Bell – who came out of the clubhouse after he was ejected – shouldn’t face punishment, too. They should. But it’s clear to me that they’re just fed up at this point, and justifiably so.)
  • It might be time for Robel Garcia to head back to AAA Iowa to keep working on his stateside professional career, but you can’t deny it’s an incredible story:

  • To date, Garcia is still hitting .220/.254/.525, but that’s a 91 wRC+, and the strikeout rate has crept back up to 41.3%. That will not play. Worse, since the All-Star break (i.e., after his four-game debut pre-break), he’s hit just .188/.200/.396, 44 wRC+, with a 44.0% K rate and a 2.0% BB rate. Love the story. Intrigued by the power and the future potential to be a utility guy. But it’s time to let him work on things at Iowa again.
  • Gaming gear, fishing gear, and brain gear are among your deals of the day at Amazon today.

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.