The Unconfirmed and Concerning Mancini Report, Morel Steps, Weirdness, Dunston, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Unconfirmed and Concerning Mancini Report, Morel Steps, Weirdness, Dunston, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Sometimes I forget how dang good cashews are. Why doesn’t everyone love cashews?

  • I was sent this report by a number of people, and then I saw it making the rounds on Twitter among concerned Cubs fans. So this is me noting it for commenting purposes, rather than me endorsing this (yet) as legit:
  • The options out there for the Cubs to add a bat in free agency aren’t great, so anything about Trey Mancini – probably the best option left – gets people on edge. I understand. If this report is accurate, it *IS* concerning. That is not a source with whom I am familiar, though, and it doesn’t look like he has a history of breaking news like this. That doesn’t mean he isn’t right, but it does mean that I can’t assume he is. Normally I wouldn’t even mention a report like this, but (1) it’s so bizarrely specific, and (2) it was getting spread around by folks thinking it was some kind of done deal. So I wanted to comment on it.
  • That comment is basically: yeah, I could see Mancini to the Nationals, where he could easily get at bats among 1B/LF/DH, and then become a flippable piece at midseason. Everything in the report tracks with logic. I would hope the Cubs can offer a more compelling overall package, from the money to the competitiveness to the soft factors.
  • It would be really awesome if Christopher Morel takes another step forward this year. He is young, talented, versatile, a great athlete, and has power. It’s not like he doesn’t have the potential to be a really valuable player for the Cubs, and I think sometimes I forget that. Whether it’s because he’s a utility guy, so you don’t mentally lock him into a spot, whether it’s because he cooled a bit after a hot start, whether it’s because he wasn’t a top ten prospect before he shot up to the big leagues last year, or whatever. If Morel, who was 22 at the time, got the call to Triple-A instead of MLB last year and then put up big numbers for Iowa, I think he might be getting MORE hype right now than he is after holding his own in the big leagues. But he DID hold his own in the big leagues, and it’s possible he takes a step forward in his second go.
  • Jayson Stark’s first installment of the Strange But True Feats of the Year is out, and it’s always a fun read:
  • That got me looking back at Shawon Dunston’s 11 years with the Cubs, where he hit .265/.294/.407/84 wRC+. His 3.7% walk rate was almost impressively low – to give you some recent context to think about how low that is, notorious non-walkers Albert Almora (5.4%) and Javy Báez (4.7%) walked a heckuva lot more than Dunston.
  • For fun, among players with at least 2500 PAs during that 11-year stretch, just one guy had a lower walk rate than Dunston: fellow Chicago shortstop Ozzie Guillen, at just 3.0%. Weirdly, Guillen rates as an elite defensive shortstop during that time, whereas Dunston rates pretty poorly. That doesn’t match my memory, and I know defensive metrics from that era are pretty darn thin. So I’ll just keep remembering it how I remember it. Or maybe I was always just wowed by the arm.
  • Colin Faulkner, currently the Cubs Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, and Chief Commercial Officer (read: really important business guy), has interviewed for the top business job with the Bears:
  • The Cubs have hired a notable member of Baseball Twitter:
  • What a story:
  • Fun times with my son yesterday:

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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.