A Weird Thing About Miley, Correa's Win Bump, Most Non-Championship Fun, and Other Cubs Bullets

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A Weird Thing About Miley, Correa’s Win Bump, Most Non-Championship Fun, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

On year ago today, the day after Christmas, we got our first serious whiff of Cubs-Padres trade talks on Yu Darvish. Of course, the Padres shortly thereafter traded for Blake Snell, and folks understandably thought that was that. But it wasn’t. That was a very crazy few days after Christmas last year. Probbbbbbably won’t be as crazy this year.

•   Something weird about the way Wade Miley pitches. We already knew that he’d become extreeeeeemely reliant on his exceptional cutter against both lefties and righties – that, alone, is a little weird for a starting pitcher – but how about this:

•   There’s some superficial sense in it for Miley, and it looks something like this: it’s not necessarily that he is trying to massively ramp up the fastball in two-strike counts so much as he’s probably not as eager to use the cutter – a contact-generating pitch – in two-strike counts. If you’ve got a guy at two strikes, you’d like to at least give yourself a shot at getting strike three without a ball being put in play. Historically, Miley got a load more whiffs on his four-seamer than his cutter, though the whiffs on the four-seamer dropped significantly this past season (he used to throw it about 92mph, now it’s more like 90mph). All in all, the mix does make some sense.

•   I wonder if we’ll see a little adjusting in the sequencing from the Cubs. You’ll almost certainly still see cutters early – it’s one of the best early-crappy-contact pitches in the game – but I wonder if the slider gets even more play late against lefties, and the changeup gets more play late against righties. (Of course, that’s all easy enough to say in a rough look, but you do have to remember that it matters how he’s feeling the pitches and how well they’re tunneling.)

•   A stray couple thoughts on a Carlos Correa question:

•   I’ll have a lot more on this topic – where the Cubs could and should realistically get themselves “on paper” by the time Spring Training rolls around. They don’t have to add Correa to be a mid-80s-win team on paper, but I do think we have to take a critical eye at the roster as it stands and be honest. It’s not quite where it needs to be if the goal is to at least have a realistic shot at being in playoff contention by late July. Right now it’s merely a “hey, anything is possible!”-type roster.

•   Seems like the Cubs have some answers here:

•   For me, if not for the ending, the 2003 Cubs would be a really easy answer. But, such as it was, the 2015 Cubs become the also-rather-easy answer. Unlike in 2003, when the ending felt absolutely crushing, the 2015 ending – the NLCS sweep by the Mets – felt very disappointing, but also somehow appropriate after the NLDS win over the Cardinals. It felt like that was how that story was supposed to be told, particularly given what happened thereafter in 2016. Your thoughts? Most enjoyable non-Championship season? Cubs or otherwise?

•   Marcus Stroman, still loving Cubs fans:

•   That is wild:

•   Just end it already:

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.