I’m still wearing it a bit, with the residual effects of the Blogathon making me really slow this morning. I want to lay back down.
- As hoped and expected, Cole Hamels will make his return to the Cubs’ rotation on Saturday, officially. The 35-year-old lefty missed a little over a month with an oblique strain, and returns to a 2.98 ERA. The Cubs covered his absence reasonably well, but it’ll still be nice to have him out there.
- Presumably, Hamels’ return will require the bumping of a reliever, and assuming the Cubs don’t want to option Rowan Wick at this point (they shouldn’t), it’ll be a really interesting call to see who is moved out if there isn’t an injury.
- Speaking of the bullpen, Derek Holland – about whom we said incessantly that he’s as brilliant against lefties as he is terrible against righties – was brought into a jam to turn around Matt Wieters last night, and promptly gave up a three-run homer to the righty. Sigh. The explanation:
Maddon said his reason for Holland vs. Wieters was that they wanted the Cardinals catcher to hit righty (86 wRC+ and .250 OBP). Also said Holland is working on some things for facing RHH and the Cubs need to get him out there on occasion in those situations.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 2, 2019
- The explanation didn’t quite square with a comment Maddon had made just before the game about it being “big boy time,” and he could no longer get guys in there for developmental purposes. I suppose this doesn’t quite count as that, but it also wasn’t really a great reason to use Holland in that situation.
- Like the big league team, the I-Cubs were one-hit last night, but at least for them, it was an inside-the-park homer:
Video or it didn't happen — @Trentgiambrone3 with an inside-the-parker 😎 pic.twitter.com/2NZCwb9uxJ
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) August 2, 2019
- Not bad thinking here, as it’s not entirely unfair to the players at issue, and also preserves flexibility for years ahead:
One thing that might be smart for Cubs this month: split Robel and Bote – 15 days in Iowa each.
This way, *neither* uses up an option season in 2019. Garcia would enter 2020 with 3 option years left, Bote with two.
If only Garcia stays down for August, he’ll be down to 2 left.
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) August 1, 2019
- The rub in the plan, though, is that Bote is probably your big league back-up shortstop right now. If he goes down, your in-game back-up is … Garcia at that point? Tony Kemp?
- Speaking of Kemp, I’m a fan immediately:
How Tony Kemp envisions his role with the Cubs: “To be honest with you, I don’t care. I’m just here to help in any way possible, whether that be off the bench or if they want me to serve water to the guys.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 1, 2019
- And speaking of Garcia, his path to a more competitive future is pretty clear:
In his time in MLB with Cubs, Robel Garcia saw 23.3% offspeed pitches. The MLB rate is currently 12.3%.
Garcia had a 41.3 K% overall, but that spiked to 55.6% vs. offspeed with a 65.4 whiff%.
Something for him to hone in on while back at AAA. He was optioned last night.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 1, 2019
- This is hilariously too perfect:
Here's a handy chart of Cubs fan emotion pic.twitter.com/82UecbrpiU
— Cooper (@RushingBaseball) August 2, 2019
- Big Mack fan:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) August 1, 2019