I wanted to try a little lemon juice in my iced tea this morning, so I looked around the kitchen for a transportation mechanism for a little bit of juice. I saw one of those syringes you use to give kids medicine, and figured that was perfect. The only part I didn’t really consider, until it was time to deploy the juice, was that I had to sit there like a total weirdo, retrieving a syringe from my pocket and squirting its contents into my drink in full view of people who unquestionably wondered what I’d just drugged myself with. Whatever. The important thing is that it worked! Tasted lovely. Probably shoulda cleaned the syringe out first, though …
- Pedro Strop, who is headed to Cincinnati, finishes his Cubs career as one of the best relievers in franchise history:
- When you factor in his role in the clubhouse, in the bullpen, in a time period where the Cubs won it all, I really don’t think there’s much argument that he should go down as an all-time great Cub. The relief role is so mercurial, and for Strop to have been as consistently excellent as he was for nearly six years until the injuries were too much? That means a lot.
- Also, remember when he pitched excellently in the Wild Card Game despite excruciating pain? It was the end of the year, he knew he could do it for one more game through the pain, and so he did it. I’m not about guys playing through pain in usual circumstances, but when it was going to be his last game of the year either way? And he was pitching well? That is just a monster of a man, and says a lot.
- His farewell to the Cubs and their fans:
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These last 6 1/2 years with the Chicago Cubs have been a memorable and exciting time in my career. I want to thank ownership, Theo, Jed, my former teammates and especially all of the fans in the wonderful city of Chicago for your support throughout these years. These years will forever mean a lot to me. THANK YOU CHICAGO! Estos últimos 6 años y medio con Los Cachorros de Chicago han sido unos años muy memorable y emocionante en mi carera. Quiero darle Gracias a los dueños, Theo, Jed, mis compañeros y especialmente a los fanáticos de Chicago por su apoyo durante estos años. Estos años siempre significarán mucho para mi. GRACIAS CHICAGO! @cubs
- More love for Pedro, including the greatest laugh in baseball:
Thank you @pstrop46 for being not only one of the best Cub relievers of all-time but also one of the best human beings around. You deserve a huge standing O that first appearance back at Wrigley. Much love.
— Len Kasper (@LenKasper) January 30, 2020
- On the decision to let Strop leave on a contract that’ll guarantee him under $2 million (plus incentives that could take it over $3 million), as much as I love the player and will remember him as fondly as anyone, I think Bryan nails the issue:
I love Pedro Strop.
If choice is Stropy at $1.8-3.3 million or an open roster spot for variety of optionable RPs to prove themselves to be 2020-23 stalwarts, I’m taking the second choice.
Every front office decision being critiqued through the same lens is getting exhausting.
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) January 30, 2020
- The money is unquestionably a factor (the Cubs signed Jeremy Jeffress for less than half what Strop is getting, so yes, money has clearly played into the thinking). But there is also the issue that, at some point, you have to make some innings available for the cache of arms that you’ve brought in because you want to see if you can unlock something for 2020 and beyond. It’s one of the few things the Cubs actually ARE in position to do in 2020 that could help for the future, too.
- Meanwhile, speaking of the Reds, this is crazy:
Players from the Reds 2019 Opening Day lineup projected to be in the Reds 2020 Opening Day lineup:
— Cooper (@RushingBaseball) January 31, 2020
- Smart home devices, supplements, and jump starters are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
- Interesting that MLB Pipeline pegs Cole Roederer as the Cubs’ next best prospect behind the big four at the top:
There are always close calls on the #Top100Prospects list, so which players just missed making the rankings? Here's a look at each #MLB team's best prospect who didn't crack the Top 100: https://t.co/BDwPuBrwcQ pic.twitter.com/pZ97cqx8dB
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 30, 2020
- I really don’t think you can go too wrong with anyone you’d choose from that next tier of Cubs prospects, because there really isn’t an obvious guy among Roederer, Ryan Jensen, Adbert Alzolay, and Chase Strumpf (those are probably the next four, in some order, at least in my view). You could also make an argument for pitchers like Cory Abbott, Tyson Miller, Kohl Franklin, Riley Thompson, or Richard Gallardo to be in that second tier, too. For the most part, though, I feel like – at this moment – there are a clear top four (Hoerner, Marquez, Davis, Amaya), a slightly clear second four, and then a big group of really interesting guys you could debate.
- Why it is impossible to ever stop dreaming on Dillon Maples. The stuff is special:
Per Driveline Baseball’s Stuff metric (which will be under the hood on my starting pitcher ranks coming out Monday), the top relievers by stuff:
1) J Karinchak
2) E Clase
3) M Barnes
4) D Maples
5) J Hicks
6) C Roe
7) B Abreu
8) B Graterol
9) P Fairbanks
10) R Pressly
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) January 31, 2020
- Wow. An ice cold shot from beyond the grave:
This obituary is so hilarious. This woman who was a die hard Cubs fan passes away on January 19th at the age of 95. Check out what she wanted in her obit. Attn. #ChicagoCubs #TakeThat #BlessYouJoanneDeVrieze pic.twitter.com/yNjZAHbp1d
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 30, 2020
- Curtis Granderson is hanging ’em up, and it’s kinda sad that he never got to play for the Cubs in some limited way:
— Curtis Granderson (@cgrand3) January 31, 2020