It’s always so good to be back home after a weekend away. Invariably, you are doing your normal thing, wearing down a bit, and you want a bit of a break. So you get that break, but within a day, you mostly just want to be home again with your crew. That’s how it is for me, anyway. Good weekend in Chicago for CubsCon, but also good to be back with my crew.
- In the wake of yesterday’s lineup discussion, a recent quote from Anthony Rizzo was brought to my attention. I’d missed it over the weekend: “I’ve done well batting leadoff, but my true love is hitting third or fourth,” Rizzo told the Tribune. “Whatever Rossy comes up with, I’m obviously all-in with.”
- All else equal, you’d love to honor a player’s wishes on something like this, especially when you would otherwise be totally fine with him hitting third or fourth. He’s a stud hitter, so sure, anywhere in the top four spots is fine from a construction standpoint. But in a situation where (1) he’s OK with hitting leadoff, and (2) there is just no other good option available, it’s going to be hard to convince me it’s still not the right thing to do with this group, to have him hitting leadoff most days.
- It’s not like he hasn’t had tremendous success there:
Anthony Rizzo career
Batting leadoff (first PA of game only):
57 PA, .333/.474/.689
Batting leadoff (all PAs):
244 PA, .335/.426/.602
Leading off an inning:
988 PA, .289/.377/.533
— Cooper (@RushingBaseball) January 21, 2020
- If the Cubs somehow land an obvious leadoff hitter over the next few weeks, who is expected to play almost every day, then cool, fine, go with that guy. But assuming that doesn’t happen – it’s nearly impossible to imagine at this point – I simply don’t see an option in the lineup that I like besides Rizzo. Sorry, Anthony. You have proven yourself too good in the role …
- I can’t fathom why you might be interested in such a thing, but here is the updated Braves top prospects lists/scouting reports from FanGraphs:
Top 27 Prospects: Atlanta Braves https://t.co/xONqUg7K1u
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) January 21, 2020
- In all seriousness, I had no idea just how much the Braves’ system thins out after the guys at the top. They have tons of great pieces at the top that you could work into a trade with a team like the Cubs, but whoooo boy, it falls off quickly. Maybe that better explains why they might look like they’re hoarding, even in a window of prime contention. Consider that the Braves have been drafting low for a little while, and got absolutely hammered on the international free agency front, so it does make sense that they’d be thin – I guess I just figured that, since they haven’t done much in the way of acquisition trading, they would still be loaded.
- Hmm. Interesting approach here:
Not sure you'll be able to read this, but it's my own HOF rankings based on fWAR and games played/innings pitched (it's more complicated than that, but those are the inputs). If you can't tell, yellow means on the current ballot and blue means active player. pic.twitter.com/MatU88dXD6
— Brad-Tor and the Snow Dog (@ballskwok) January 21, 2020
- As many of you know, I’ve been a “Sammy is just outside the Hall” guy for a long time now, and my position – right or wrong – has nothing to do with PEDs. But this kind of analysis adds to my last 2-ish years of reconsidering Sosa’s place in the Hall a bit. The homers were awesome, and I don’t deny it looks like a Hall-worthy homer total. My problem has always been the very short peak, and him not registering as super elite on a rate basis during the time he played. Maybe I’m underestimating how his overall performance *did* register near the top for a ten-year period, as that analysis places him ahead of several Hall of Famers (and presumed future Hall of Famers). Sosa would still be, for me, on the very low end of “OK, if it’s a Big Hall, let him in,” but maybe that’s where I should land. I’m thinking about it.
- Missed opportunity this weekend by Astros players, and I expect they’ll learn from it come Spring Training (though their organizational culture has been such a mess that maybe they won’t get better PR advice over the next few weeks):
There is a ton of surprise around the game about how the Astros players answered questions over the weekend about the sign-stealing episode and suspensions. Rival officials thought the players would've been well-served by at least some expressions of regret, contrition.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 20, 2020
- Gaming computers, snack bars, radon detectors and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
- Meanwhile, in the Mets’ world, you don’t even have to be the owner *yet* to meddle:
— New York Post (@nypost) January 21, 2020
- Willson Contreras getting to work: