Another Extension for the Rays, Hamels Still Trying to Come Back, Wind at Wrigley, and Other Cubs Bullets
I went with pancakes yesterday, by the way. Because I wanted something good for lunch. Only ate half, though, so now I get fancy pancakes again today. Thank you for your service, Yesterday Brett.
- The big extension news yesterday was Jeff McNeil and the Mets (with conceivable Nico Hoerner implications), but it wasn’t the only extension of the day:
- Fairbanks was already under control via arbitration for the next three seasons (ages 29, 30, and 31), so what the Rays have done is guarantee him his payday, while providing cost-certainty for themselves and an option year on what would’ve been his first free agent year. Given Fairbanks’ extensive injury history, you can understand why he would want to lock in the guaranteed eight figures while he has the chance.
- That said, if he is anything like what he showed last year, the Rays just got an unbelievable bargain. Dude averaged over 99 mph with his fastball last year, while posting a 1.13 ERA and 0.86 FIP, striking out 43.7% of the batters he faced, while WALKING JUST 3.4%. When healthy, he was the best reliever in baseball, handily. But thing is, he pitched just 24.0 innings because of a torn lat in the first half of the season. Still, a great “risk” for the Rays, much like the recent Jeffrey Springs extension, and I’m jealous.
- I have to assume Cole Hamels is going to want a chance to start if he’s going to come back, so the Cubs probably aren’t a great path for him:
- If he was willing to give it a go as a reliever, though, hey, why not bring him to camp on a minor league deal? As long as the Cubs also still pursued a surer thing (i.e., Chafin, Moore, Britton, Hand, or Smith). Hamels, 39, last appeared in 2020 for the Braves, just a solitary 3.1-inning outing. His last full season was 2019 with the Cubs, so it’s been a minute. Wish him all the best, though.
- The places where pop-ups can leave the yard (I’m surprised not to see Yankee Stadium on here):
- Not that it would’ve made this list in any case, but this reminds me we haven’t seen many of those EXTREME wind days at Wrigley Field the last few years. You know the days, where any pop up has a chance to go (remember the time Bryce Harper popped one up and chucked his bat in anger … and it wound up 10 rows deep?). Feels like it used to be about 10 of those per season. Lately it’s maybe just a couple per year. I miss it. I’m sure the pitchers don’t.
- Obviously the big question there is going to be the video boards, because of the timing; but the (publicly-available) data and discussion have suggested that the primary impact has been on days when the wind was blowing *in* (having less effect than it used to). It’s hard not to wonder, though, if somehow the air currents are impacted just enough to alter flight paths even on days when the wind is, for example, howling out to center.
- The Braves just keep extending all their young talent:
- In a last-minute twist, he will actually wind up agreeing to play for Team Italy, before subsequently agreeing to play for Team Canada:
- Garish, tacky, gigantic, light-up celebratory signs in baseball stadiums? … I’m in. I love them. The tackier the better. This is magnificent:
- Dallas Green with the swindle:
- Yesterday, the Cubs signed Tyler Duffey to a minor league deal, the Royals signed Matt Duffy to a minor league deal, and the Rangers signed Danny Duffy to a minor league deal. Seriously. All on the same day. Duff(e)y Day.
Wesneski as a Velo Guy, Fulmer as a Closer, Heyward as a Dodger, Beer Bats at Wrigley, and Other Cubs Bullets
Phillies First Baseman Rhys Hoskins Just Went Down on a Non-Contact Injury, Had to Be Carted Off (UPDATE: ACL)
Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Thump the Diamondbacks, Wesneski Cruises, Thompson, Mastrobuoni, More