The Cubs' Approach at the Plate, Wieck's Knee, Adam's Velocity, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Cubs’ Approach at the Plate, Wieck’s Knee, Adam’s Velocity, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It took me a while to watch it because I was never into the comic, but the ‘Watchmen’ series on HBO was freaking awesome. It took me several episodes to get my bearings – again, I had almost no background knowledge – but some of that seems to have been by design, even for folks who do have background knowledge. In any case, the series bit-by-bit gets you there, and then takes you on a really different, though-provoking, enjoyable ride. Huge recommend, especially for folks who’ve been into Damon Lindelof’s previous work, even if you’re not into “comic book stuff.”

•   Something I noticed this weekend anecdotally: it seemed like the Cubs were not only whiffing a lot more (referenced in this morning’s writeup), but they were also taking a ton of strikes. To be sure, seeing pitches and taking “pitchers’ strikes” is not a bad thing – it can be part of a good plate approach. But for some guys, that can too easily slide into the same problem you have when you get into “swing mode,” but the opposite: you just get into “take mode.” You never want to be taking strikes just to take them, and if that means you have to start ambushing the first or second pitch, so be it.

•   Obviously there’s a fine line there, and it’s one that is far easier for me to say than for athletes to deploy, but this is an early concern:

•   You can’t yet draw any hard conclusions from that information with the sample we have (and also because a team is a collection of individual players doing different things). The numbers could completely change in the next few days. But it’s on the radar.

•   For his part, manager David Ross feels like guys are still just getting comfortable in their plan and approach:

•   Brad Wieck has apparently gotten past his hamstring issue, but then developed a knee issue (Wittenmyer). It’s not hard to see the Cubs putting him on the 45-day IL at some point when a 40-man spot is needed, and when that happens, he won’t be eligible to return until well into September. This might wind up a lost year for him, which would obviously suck given the corner he seemed to turn upon arriving with the Cubs last season.

•   I thought Jason Adam looked like he had some good stuff (I thought that back in the Spring, too), getting five whiffs out of 25 pitches, and touching 97mph on the fastball with great late life. He gave up the winning run on a combination of a well-struck Orlando Aria triple (that a better route turns into an out – Ian Happ still has work to do out there in center) and a solid single from Ryan Braun. But in terms of how the pitches looked, I liked what I saw. I also can’t help but notice that he was a 94/95 mph guy last year … and now 95/96/97? Cubs seem to have added velocity to a few guys coming out of South Bend. Also, it looked like Adam was throwing a knuckle curve (harder velo and movement) yesterday, rather than his typical curve.

•   The Cubs’ Director of Pitching:

•   Toothbrushes, camping gear, back-to-school stuff, and BIDETS are Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.