Pitch Clocking the Clock Impacts, Hall of Fame Voting Glut Again, Rule 5 Draft Talk, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Pitch Clocking the Clock Impacts, Hall of Fame Voting Glut Again, Rule 5 Draft Talk, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Winter Meetings are ongoing, so they’ll get the bulk of my attention today. But there are still some Bullets-y things to touch on …

  • Jayson Stark wrote about the coming rules changes and their relationship to the offseason, and I found it very interesting just how dismissive folks were – even anonymously – about the potential impact of the pitch clock on free agent pitchers who are notoriously slow between pitches (Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel among them). I know that it’s easy, and probably correct, to say that these guys will adjust just fine. But if I’m already on the fence about an older closer or bounce-back candidate, and I know that – in addition to anything else – he’s going to have to shave some 10(!) seconds off his average time between pitches? Knowing how much of a routine these guys have had for years and years? Yeah, it would be on my mind at the margins, and might shave off a couple bucks on my top offer. Maybe I’m just dead wrong.
  • An aside on that: Stark notes that the longest BATTER out there between pitches is Cubs free agent target Christian Vazquez, who is way over 20 seconds between pitches without anyone even on base. Batters have to be in the box and alert to the pitcher with at least 8 seconds remaining on the clock, so, yeah, that’s going to be a serious adjustment. (He should probably give the Cubs a discount … but then again, his strong pop time behind the plate makes him all the more attractive because of the coming changes in the running game …)
  • A hurdle for the even the special committee votes on possible Hall of Famers? Vote limits. Again. I didn’t realize this until Buster Olney pointed it out:
  • Fred McGriff was a unanimous selection, which means the 16 voters had only two other possible names on their ballots. So for those who did select at least two others, they may have wanted to vote for another name or two, but couldn’t. It’s not that hard to imagine that some of the voters who did want to vote for McGriff, Dale Murphy, and Don Mattingly (for a few examples) ALSO wanted to vote for Barry Bonds and Rogers Clemens. But they couldn’t. It’s the same stupid issue that plagued the writer voting, just at a smaller scale.
  • Interesting read at BA about how next year’s Rule 5 Draft could face the opposition issue from this year’s. Whereas right now, thanks to the pandemic and the changes in the main draft, a lot of teams were squeezed on 40-man roster decisions and the pool of draft eligible prospects is really robust, next year’s class could be really thin. Some insiders are speculating, per the BA piece, that it could mean there are more selections this year than usual (which already might’ve been the case since it’s such a deep class). The Rule 5 Draft is Wednesday afternoon.
  • The FanGraphs analysis of the Brewers-Mariners trade (Wong for Winker and Toro) winds up in much the same place I did on an initial reaction: it’s hard to see what exactly the Brewers wanted with Winker and Toro. Now, obviously they DO see some serious bounce-back potential for Winker and some development potential for Toro, but it just seems so odd to use a valuable trade piece in Wong *AND THROW IN CASH* to acquire a guy who was barely wanted and a utility man who is going to be a non-tender if he doesn’t really turn it around this year.
  • This is fun:

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.