The good news is that The Little Boy’s sickness is trending well (fingers crossed), but the less good news is that I got hammered overnight. And not the lovely White Claw kind. The how-are-my-sinuses-still-in-my-body-with-all-this-pressure kind.
- David Ross is open to the pitcher batting eighth, something that a lot of folks are going to float with Kris Bryant batting leadoff. But he’s not sold on it just yet (Cubs.com): “That’s still a thought. Hitting the [pitcher] eighth, it makes sense in some context, right? Like, if you’re trying to get somebody on base in front of [Kris Bryant]. There’s a lot that goes into that. But, I’ve also been a guy who’s seen that eight-hole come up in the first inning with a big rally going, and it can kill it. Yeah, there’s thoughts on all that. I’ll get with R&D a lot with matchup setup, pitcher versus certain hitters, and gather that information and then make that decision on a game-to-game basis.”
- Perfect answer; because the reality is that there are going to be some game situations – against certain teams, with certain starting pitchers going for each team, depending on player health, etc. – where it makes a touch more sense to do it, and other situations where it makes a touch more sense to not do it. And because the guys at the bottom of the order are going to be moving around anyway to accommodate some platoon work, I don’t really see an issue with approach the pitcher’s batting spot on an ad hoc basis.
- To me, the most obvious example of a time you’d do it is with Tyler Chatwood. For one thing, he’s among the better hitting pitchers, so he’s slightly less likely to kill an early rally. For another thing, he’s less likely to pitch deep into the game, so you’re more likely to want to pinch hit for him slightly earlier – thus, why not move him up a spot in the order, because you might want to pinch hit for him that second time through.
- This reads like kind of an odd way to answer this, but we’ll chalk it up to new manager talking about injury issues for the first time:
Ross, asked if there's any lingering issue w/ Javy Baez's thumb:
"He's told me no. I've asked him that. I asked him that a while back with the training in the offseason, and I haven't heard anything from our training staff on that subject. So as far as I know, he's 100 percent."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 20, 2020
- I don’t know that there’s any reason for concern about the hairline fracture in Báez’s thumb or the heel injury that nagged him for much of the year.
- Marquee Sports Network launches TOMORROW at 1pm CT with an hourlong intro event. And then there is not only the Cubs’ first Spring Training game at 2pm CT, but also more new content this weekend:
"He changed the shortstop position."
Don't miss the premiere – "Marquee Sports Network Films Presents – More than Mr. Cub: The Life of Ernie Banks," airing Saturday at 5 p.m. pic.twitter.com/qYLULSE0U0
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) February 20, 2020
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 20, 2020
- As for carriage, barring a surprising announcement today, the spring slate will kick off without Comcast, DISH, and YouTube TV, among a few other small shops, in the fold. The expectation remains that Comcast and YouTube will have the network by Opening Day – hopefully much sooner – but those negotiations are ongoing. DISH is having all kinds of problems, apparently, and has eschewed all RSNs since last summer. Not sure what’s going on with them, though they may soon have to merge with DirecTV, which does have a deal with Marquee. So that might be a backdoor way that one happens eventually.
- Although virtually all agree that robo umps are coming in the near-ish future, the folks at BP took an exhaustive look at the remaining technological challenges for actually implementing an electronic zone. There’s still a ways to go.
- Heads up: the Eero routers and mesh systems (it’s what I use, and it killed all the dead spots in my house) are on sale at Amazon today. Worth giving a look if you’ve been thinking about your wifi setup. #ad