The Little Girl, who will always be The Little Girl for purposes of this space, turns 10 years old today. That is, on its own, an incredible and wonderful thing, but it also bears a little relationship to this place – it was her arrival that led to me taking stock of life, leaving the law firm, and deciding to do BN full-time. Thank you for that, my dear, and a very Happy Birthday.
• The Cubs will soon have to make the Jake Marisnick and Jake Arrieta signings official (hey, they’re both named Jake!), at which time they’ll have to clear two spots on the 40-man roster. Barring a surprise trade, we’ll see the Cubs try to sneak a couple guys through waivers.
• According to Jon Heyman (who not infrequently seems to communicate with agent Scott Boras), Jake Arrieta “had higher offers elsewhere but loved the idea of a reunion with the Cubs, and pursued it.” That just makes you smile.
• It’s wild that three years ago this weekend, the Cubs signed Yu Darvish, having seemingly preferred him at that time to re-signing Jake Arrieta (though there were reports that the Cubs did make a similar offer to Arrieta to stay). Now, three years later, the Cubs have traded Darvish and are bringing back Arrieta. Just kinda wild how that worked out, even as the two clearly took very different paths the last couple years. No one is projecting Arrieta’s performance in 2021 to replace the expected performance of Darvish (don’t set yourself up for that kind of disappointment – the realistic hope is that Arrieta can be a steady, near-league-average pitcher with periodic clunkers and periodic excellent starts).
• This is crazy and also depressing:
Hard to believe after the way everything came together in 2015 and 2016, but Jake Arrieta is the last pitcher to win a playoff game for the Cubs (Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS).
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) February 13, 2021
• I was at that game against the Dodgers – it was the game Javy Báez hit the bubblegum homer (and another one) and Willson Contreras hit one to O’Hare – and Arrieta was fantastic, and we kinda knew it might be his farewell:
• Not that the multiple reports were to be doubted, but you can consider it confirmed that Jake Arrieta is coming back to the Cubs, assuming the physical checks out:
• Thanks again:
• Ugh. That time of year has arrived: pitchers show up to camp, start throwing a little more aggressively, and some of them realize that something is wrong. Brace yourself. Happens every year:
Mets pitcher Seth Lugo has a loose body in his right elbow and will undergo surgery on Feb. 16. He will not throw for six weeks.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 13, 2021
• Bummer for Hall of Fame weekend:
HOF announces that the July 25 induction ceremonies for Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller will be a television event held indoors with no fans. https://t.co/I0m3kGyoiY
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) February 12, 2021
• I’m not surprised MLB is reiterating this, because it’s been a little underreported:
Over the past year, @MLB and its 30 Clubs have provided a significant number of charitable COVID testing centers & resources, and 10 MLB ballparks are currently serving as mass vaccination sites, with more than 150,000 people receiving vaccinations at MLB ballparks per week. pic.twitter.com/VYhN0NrQG4
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) February 12, 2021
Wanna have your mind blown? Albert Almora Jr. has gotten 50 more plate appearances at the No. 1 spot in the batting order than in any other spot. The next-closest is 254 PAs as the 9 hitter.
1 – 304
2 – 87
3 – 18
4 – 13
5 – 99
6 – 205
7 – 126
8 – 210
9 – 254
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) February 13, 2021