It has been quite a 24 hours. Whew. I did manage to watch the first episode of ‘The Mandalorian’ last night, though, and it was definitely as good as people were saying. It feels very much “in the Star Wars world,” so that’s key. Very high production value for a TV show, interesting characters, and lots of questions so far. I’m hooked. I expected to be, but yeah, I’m very hooked. (A reminder that you can sign up here for a free trial of Disney+ to watch stuff like that – and signing up supports BN via a commission, too, so thanks for that!)
- One of the rumored rules changes to come in 2020 now sounds like (post-GM Meetings) like it is going to happen, according to Jon Heyman: the minimum injured list stay for position players will stay at 10 games, but for pitchers, it’s going to increase (back to the original) 15 games. The idea is that teams were unreasonably BS’ing about pitcher injuries so that they could effectively carry enormous bullpens. The Cubs never really took full advantage of the 10-day rule with pitchers anyway, so even for entirely selfish purposes, I support this rule change. Now if someone could just convince them to actually start using the IL for position players once in a while …
- The Pirates finally have their new GM, and it’s
Billy CorganBen Cherington, the former Red Sox GM who came just after Theo Epstein:
I took a deeper look at what the hiring of Ben Cherington means for him, the Pirates and their fans: https://t.co/9YqlY4p96j
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) November 15, 2019
- More coming for the Pirates, and you wonder if a deep rebuild is now coming (though they’re a bit behind the 8-ball with it already being mid-November) – and they still need a manager:
Pirates/Cherington now need to hire a manager. That process had been paused. Word is at least Derek Shelton and Mark Kotsay had excellent interviews in Pitts and many holdover execs were part of process. Of course, Cherington is free to pick someone who hadn’t been a candidate.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 15, 2019
- This is a nice reminder from Jordan Bastian:
Going through some '19 Cubs stuff today and feels like as good a time as any to remind that…
Kris Bryant had an .887 OPS with RISP, a .955 OPS with RISP/2-outs and a .965 OPS with a 153 wRC+ in high-leverage situations.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 15, 2019
- This is SO good, and provides so much crucial context for Jack Patterson’s atypical prospect path:
Cubs LHP prospect Jack Patterson tore it up after not being assigned out of ST. He’s got a good story and he’s a big name as the Cubs look to finally develop pitching. https://t.co/C9TWhZ4Gr1
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) November 16, 2019
- Thanks to that time having to step away from baseball, Patterson undoubtedly matured, and also was in a position to rise so rapidly in 2019: he started out as a 23-year-old reliever in extended Spring Training (a profile that rarely leads to the upper levels of the minors, much less hyped prospect consideration) … but he ended the year a 24-year-old starter at AA Tennessee. Basically, once he showed where he was developmentally at A-ball to open the season, the Cubs simply pushed and pushed and pushed him until he found his level by the end of the year. And a guy with so little experience, reaching AA as a starter in his first full pro season? Yeah. You’re reasonable to dream big on him. Read more at CI for Patterson’s story, his stuff, and his impressive pitch mix.
- Holiday goodies, cleaning supplies, office supplies, and (big recommendation) weighted blankets are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
- Miscellaneous notes and bits from Jayson Stark about the trends we saw in the 2019 season:
Fun weekend reading:
*K's-up again! 14 years in a row!
*Almost 19,000 shifts on RH hitters!
*4-man OFs: Not working!
*Fastball counts: No such thing anymore!
*47 guys played 5 different positions!
So let's revisit the 10 Nos. That Defined Baseball in 2019https://t.co/tZTBPPFpL1
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 16, 2019
- Virtually all the trends are exactly what you’d expect, and exactly as strong as you’d expect. Still, the one that just SCREAMS at you is total strikeouts, which have climbed every single year for the last 15 years, and in that span, have gone from a league-wide mark of 30,644 to almost 43,000 this past year! Good God. That’s nearly a 50% increase in strikeouts in just 15 years, with no signs of slowing – the last four years have been some of the largest increases in the bunch!
- That, by the way, is part of the reason the Cubs are so interested in improving contact from their hitters and improving strikeout rates from their pitchers. They are falling behind the industry.