The Little Girl got sick last week, and incredible, no one else in the house has yet gotten sick. That is basically impossible, so now it’s just a matter of which of the other four of us the random number generator falls on. I’ve have some stuffiness and sore throat-ness the last two days, but I am like, NO, IT IS NOT ME YOU WANT.
- I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player take this angle about a hypothetical addition of a superstar player (even setting aside any friendship). Bryce Harper sounds like a member of the Phillies front office with this answer rather than a player who wants to win in the near-term:
Bryce Harper was asked this morning about whether he'd like to see Cubs 3B and fellow Las Vegas native Kris Bryant on the Phillies and the luxury tax issues that could come with that: pic.twitter.com/9nSKqhnuiS
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) February 16, 2020
- It’s too much money. The prospect cost is too high. The prospects might become studs. The price tag might go down at the Trade Deadline. Have to have money to sign J.T. Realmuto to an extension. Harper is really hitting on all the arguments, eh? All that’s missing is a comment on Bryant’s defense …
- I get that Harper is partly just defending his teammates here, but there’s more to it than that. Harper obviously hitched his wagon to the Phillies for the very long term (he’s signed through 2031), so I guess I can see why he would be taking a more front-office-like view of transactions. But it’s still surprising to hear him so eagerly pushing back about wanting to have Kris freaking Bryant on his team. Makes you wonder if he’s had conversations with the front office and came away convinced by their talking points (either because they genuinely believe them, or because those are the walls they’re trying to erect in any conversations that have been had with the Cubs (i.e., we ain’t giving up both Alec Bohm in Spencer Howard in a trade for Bryant)).
- The Commissioner is set to speak at 3:30pm CT today, and ultimately I don’t think it’s going to be particularly satisfying. He’s going to say some things – on a range of topics – that seem reasonable some a group of folks, and seem completely maddening and preposterous to another group of folks. Mostly I just hope he gets into some other issues of importance besides just the Astros stuff (which, yes, is very important). I want to hear about the state of negotiations with Minor League Baseball, and maybe even any early talks with the MLBPA. And if there are any forward-looking rules updates/discussions, I’d love to hear about that stuff, too.
- You can get a hint of what he’s gonna say about the Astros thanks to an interview this morning with Karl Ravech. There’s not a lot of new meat there.
- Jeff Passan lays out the state of Astros scandal and its tentacles:
Baseball is burning.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 16, 2020
- This is the kind of thing that would just terrify me as an irrational fan:
After imaging confirmed the issue is tendon-related and not ligament-related, Shildt called this a "minor setback" for Mikolas.
"Nothing is showing in the imaging that it’s worsened, it just hasn’t healed to the way we would like it to heal where it’s going away.”
— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) February 15, 2020
- No UCL problem or damage is definitely a good thing, but when a guy was dealing with flexor tendon soreness late in the year, got treatment and then got five months of rest, and the soreness immediately comes back in the same area once he resumes ramp-up throwing? It would concern me that there’s damage that just isn’t going to allow Mikolas to pitch pain-free this year, regardless of how well he manages it, which means he might be pitching slightly compromised (assuming he doesn’t have to really get shut down for a while, which would also be a bad outcome). Mikolas, 31, was nowhere near as effective in 2019 as he was in his brilliant return to the States in 2018, but he was still a slightly-better-than-average starter for 184.0 innings. This is something to watch closely, especially after the Cardinals extended him through 2023.
- A couple Cubs prospect bits from Eric Longenhagen’s Top 100 chat at FanGraphs: (1) folks who’ve come way down on Aramis Ademan are probably very justified because he simply doesn’t hit the ball hard enough, and, Longenhagen adds that he looks “heavy” in camp right now – not good if you’re a light-hitting middle infield prospect; (2) there’s a chance Brailyn Marquez makes it in the big leagues as a number three starter or better, but it isn’t likely in Longenhagen’s view because not too many big league starters have his body at his age and also don’t have “strike-throwing issues.”
- On that second one: while it’s true that you don’t see many long-levered lefties making it as big league starters, the strike-throwing issues are still an open question. After things clicked for Marquez at midseason, his walk rate plummeted to a pristine 6.6% at High-A. To be sure, walk rate is NOT a perfect proxy for the ability to throw all your pitches consistently for strikes (especially when you get a lot of embarrassing swings and misses from low-level players), but he did at least start commanding the fastball excellently in the second half. The Josh Hader comps (as his extreme upside) will probably persist for a while.
- I laughed:
Do you ever feel bad for calling St. Louis boring?
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) February 15, 2020