Bonds and Sosa Contrasts, Schwindel Comps, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Bonds and Sosa Contrasts, Schwindel Comps, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I have found over the past couple months that working out at 9:30 am ET fits my overall life schedule better than doing it very early in the morning, which I had been doing for a long time. So I think I’m going to stick to it even heading into the regular season, whenever that arrives. I mention that now because – like today – it sometimes means I can’t get the Bullets out before I go to the gym (it’s a set class time), which in turn means the Bullets sometimes won’t arrive until muuuuch later in the morning. I’ll almost always have some kind of post out before that (like this morning’s Seiya Suzuki report), and many days I won’t have an issue getting the Bullets out before I go to the gym (it kinda depends on the kids’ morning). But sometimes, it’ll be like today.

•   While I still have mixed thoughts on whether Sammy Sosa was a Hall of Famer or not, and he was no Barry Bonds (no one is – not comparing the resumés), it’s still hard to see this and not notice the STARK contrast with how the Cubs approach Sosa:

•   Sosa, by contrast, is still persona non grata with the Cubs, is not even in the TEAM’s Hall of Fame, and is generally not acknowledged by the team outside of exceedingly rare statistical mentions. It’s long past time to just welcome Sosa back into the fold, but Tom Ricketts has suggested that won’t happen until Sosa acknowledges his participation in the Steroid Era. I don’t necessarily agree, though I will say … Sosa SHOULD just discuss it openly. We know what was happening at that time, and we also know how MLB created a culture where using was seen by many as just part of the game. There would be broad understanding among most fans if there was just an open discussion about it. Sosa has had many opportunities, though, and he has not taken them.

•   One of my favorite Bonds moments ever:

•   Bonds would go on to be walked another *23* times in his career with the bases loaded. Buck Showalter started a trend – much more on that moment here. Meanwhile, about Bonds and Roger Clemens – if they’d had another five years on the ballot, as under the old rules, they very clearly would’ve gotten in:

•   As for Sammy, well, he certainly made for appointment viewing a lot of the time:

•   EXTREMELY cool in-person moments:

•   I don’t know if this would prove to be better or worse, but I would definitely be interested in seeing how the voting played out:

•   The Cubs’ new farm director is on the spot in Arizona at the prospect camp, which obviously:

•   With those front office announcements made yesterday, and with this coming out on Twitter, I suspect we are going to see the Cubs’ full minor league staff and coaching announcements soon:

•   Relatedly, Cubs Insider reports that the Cubs have parted ways with High Performance Director Adam Beard after a few years. That would be a significant change, because the Cubs invested heavily in dramatically overhauling the way they try to marry data, exercise, nutrition, and all of that to achieve “high performance.”

•   Incredibly, Frank Schwindel did not receive a single Hall of Fame vote yesterday, but he did appear on The Compound podcast:

•   Speaking of Schwindel, a stray factoid/comp unearthed by David Schoenfield at ESPN:

Schwindel feels like the best bet to do it again, but he’s a pretty unique player, a 29-year-old rookie who produced a 1.000 OPS. I found two reasonably comparable rookies from the past 20 years:

Luke Scott, 2006 Astros: .336/.426/.621 in 249 PAs (28 years old)
Garrett Jones, 2009 Pirates: .293/.372/.567 in 314 PAs (28 years old)

Scott hit .264/.348/.499 over the next four seasons. Jones hit .249/.308/.438 over the next five seasons. The Scott line will work; the Jones line not so much for a first baseman. Jones, like Schwindel, was more of a free swinger. Schwindel’s strikeout rate, however, was pretty low (just 15.8%), although his exit velocities and expected slugging percentage suggest he was a little fortunate in the power department. I I think he has a chance to contribute over the next few years, but I’m not sure he’s going to be a consistent .500 slugger.

•   To be sure, whatever Luke Scott and Garrett Jones did more than a decade ago doesn’t prove anything about what Schwindel will do. Instead, it’s more like noting how rare it is for a 28/29-year-old rookie to put up the kind of numbers Schwindel did over 300+ PAs, and then how rare it is to carry that success forward for a meaningful stretch. (Just for the historical perspective, though, the seemingly meh Jones slash made for a 105 wRC+ (certainly not what you’d want from a bat-only first baseman, but not terrible); Scott’s was a 119 wRC+ over the four years Schoenfield mentions, but also 113 over the next seven years. So, hey, Frank, be Luke.

•   I loved how often this guy succeeded despite not necessarily having premium stuff:

•   On the flip side, I feel like this question is designed to make you think about Dillon Maples and sigh:

•   I cannot keep up with all the Bulls injury stuff, it is so absurd:

•   Meanwhile, if you missed the big Bears news, they have their new GM, Ryan Poles. And now the head coach process kicks into overdrive.

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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.