Harper Having Elbow Surgery, Braves Becoming a Publicly-Traded Company, Velocity is Good Actually, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Harper Having Elbow Surgery, Braves Becoming a Publicly-Traded Company, Velocity is Good Actually, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Wife reminded me this morning that, while she is not a hardcore consumer of Chicago Cubs news and rumors like the rest of you fine folks, she does check the Bullets every day because she’s curious what I’ll put in this off-topic space up here. So how about this: hello dear. I love you. Stop stealing my Reese Cups.

  • Although he played through a partially-torn UCL this year as a DH, Bryce Harper is now going to have surgery to repair the elbow. They don’t actually know whether it’ll be a full Tommy John surgery (as opposed to a more limited internal brace) until they get in there, so it’s still TBD how long he will miss. Even in a full Tommy John situation, Harper could be back and DH’ing within the first couple months of next season, but obviously he won’t be throwing in the outfield until late in the year, if at all.
  • Harper, who just turned 30, hit .286/.364/.514/138 wRC+ for the Phillies over 99 games this past season while playing through the UCL tear. He’ll probably still hit well enough no matter what, but obviously his value goes way down as a guy truly limited to DH’ing (especially on a team with Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos signed to long-ish term deals). I’d imagine fingers are very crossed in Philadelphia for a more limited surgery (to say nothing of a full recovery, obviously).
  • It’s wild to me, by the way, that the Phillies might sign someone like Trea Turner this offseason to a $300 million deal AND another starting pitcher to a big deal, all to pair with the huge deals they already have on the roster. That’s not a criticism, mind you, as it’s a baseball group and an ownership pushing in as aggressively as they can, but it’s not hard to imagine in, say, two years, it could be an absolute fiasco. I wish for their sake that they’d beat the Astros this year.
  • This could wind up getting really interesting. The Atlanta Braves’ publicly-traded owner is splitting off the Braves into their own stock, which will then theoretically be available for the public to buy and trade (at least until some billionaire buys all of the shares to become the owner and then takes it private):
  • Gonna buy one (1) share of the Atlanta Braves and then demand that they trade Spencer Strider to the Chicago Cubs. “Owner made me do it.”
  • The Cubs will have four guys on this list next year:
  • The Chicago Cubs will crush Canada on March 8:
  • If you wanted another way to think about the value of velocity, even regardless of command:
  • And remember, there is a physics-induced double-whammy effect there: for a four-seamer, the spin rate will naturally increase as the velocity increases. It’s just flat out a really good thing if you can throw 98+ mph. Is it even better if you can locate it consistently? Of course! But that old saw about velocity not being worth anything if you can’t command it … just not true. Sure, there’s a balance you strike (we saw it last year with Caleb Kilian as he added SIGNIFICANT velocity but then the control got so bad that he was unplayable in his big league stint), but if you can throw harder and not completely destroy your control, you’re probably better doing it than sacrificing a bunch of velo for precise command. It kinda sucks that it’s true – if you appreciate a more artful form of pitching, anyway – but it’s the reality of today’s game.
  • Speaking of velocity … I just don’t even know what to do with this guy:


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.