I’m headed to Bears Training Camp for the first time this morning – thanks for taking me, Luis! – and I’m pretty excited to see what it’s like. I’ve been to Spring Training a million times, and I love it. I don’t necessarily expect training camp to be quite the same for a variety of reasons, but I’m thinking it could be its own bit of fun.
Oh, but, um, if the baseball world could please not break any huge trades or rumors for the next couple hours, that’d be swell.
- Marcus Stroman has been cruising since he returned from the IL with the shoulder thing, which, remember, came after him trying to quickly ramp up after COVID – it’s been a very disrupted season for him. I say that because, despite the early-season struggles and the COVID and the shoulder injury, Stroman’s ERA is now back under 4, and better than league average by about 4%. Not where you want him to be over the course of a full season, but the peripherals look as good or better than they always have, and lately he’s been getting the results to match. It’s hard for me not to conclude that he’s fine. He’s always been fine. And the sample size just needed to get large enough to see it. I remain very glad that he’s going to be in the 2023 rotation for the Cubs.
- Stroman also had big praise for the catcher he’s been working with when he’s been on this heater:
- Appreciate the frank talk from Stroman, because again, everyone knows what’s up. Willson Contreras is a great teammate. And a great catcher for Stroman, too, for those teams that try to talk down his ability to catch.
- Isn’t it crazy how this is absolutely the only pitch David Robertson threw last night – this one, singular nasty pitch to end the game:
- In all seriousness, it isn’t like Robertson got knocked around. He gave up a solid double. But otherwise, it was a flukey ground ball single, and a home run that was merely a deep fly out in most parks (it just barely curled inside the part of the wall that angles back into the foul pole – it had a .040 hit expectancy). It wasn’t all that bad. That said, I’m not sure what there was to be gained by having him available at all, much less in a game that had become a non-save situation by the time he entered.
- Robertson, who says he’s prepared for a possible trade, told The Athletic that his rebound this year was just about being fully healthy again: “I just needed to get healthy. I had major arm surgery that I needed to recover from. It took a little longer than I thought it would. I had the opportunity to play in the big leagues last year in the spring and just turned down the offers. I worked hard and got another opportunity. I got a deal that was favorable to me, and what I thought was a pretty fair shake to rebound back into my career. I can’t thank the Cubs enough. I’ll continue to play hard while I’m a Cub.”
- Mychal Givens was great again last night, and hasn’t allowed a run in a month and a half. During that time, he’s got a 29.4% K rate, an 8.8% BB rate, a 30.0% soft contact rate, and a 47.5% groundball rate. He has been dominant, and his run is looking a lot like Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera before the deadline last year.
- Wade Miley’s rehab outing at South Bend went terribly by the results (2.1 innings, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K), and that probably does matter a little bit in the Cubs’ efforts to trade him by Tuesday. That said, what matters most is how he actually looked to the scouts (I can’t entirely speak to that), and how apparently a lot of the hits were of the “he’s got High-A defenders behind him” variety. We do know that Miley’s thing kinda only works if he’s got a good defense behind him. We’ll see what happens. A big return was never coming, but something useful/interesting? I’d still call it a maybe.
- I understand why David Ross apologized for the double birds, but he was having a little fun with Joc Pederson (yes, it was later confirmed to be Pederson that Ross was joking with), and it became a great six hours of meming. No apologies necessary!
- Source say Joc was giving Rossy crap for drafting two kickers …
- Nobody likes the late draft. It seemed like a good idea on paper at first, but in reality, it’s brutal:
- Stray minor league thoughts – Loved to see D.J. Herz bounce back in his second Double-A outing after the first appearance was a total throwaway. Also loved to see Luis Devers just keep dominating at High-A (though you do wonder at what point the lack of strikeouts is going to catch up to him). Oh also, of course Matt Mervis homered: