TOMORROW, Back-Up Catchers, Pitchers, Happ on the Mic, Swanson, and Other Cubs Bullets

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TOMORROW, Back-Up Catchers, Pitchers, Happ on the Mic, Swanson, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Owing to my travel to Chicago today for tomorrow’s opener, I had to get up SUPER early to go to the gym. Well, I mean, I didn’t “have” to, but it was either get up super early and do it, or don’t do it at all. And given what I plan on putting into my body on Thursday (an offseason’s worth of ballpark food and beer), I thought it best to be sure to get to the gym today.

Anyway, the problem is that I’m now back from the gym way before anyone else in the house is even close to getting up, and I need coffee. Bad. But our coffee make is extremely noisy. So I could be a jerk and fill my own dire caffeine needs, or I can be a hero and suffer. This is fatherhood.

  • Speaking of heading to Chicago … ah, I can’t wait to get up bright and early on Thursday, get the necessary work done, and then head to Wrigleyville. It’s always cold as hell for the home opener, but Wrigleyville always has a wonderful energy. My sense is that it’s going to be really nice this year, because, although the Cubs aren’t expected to be division leaders, they are expected to be more competitive than recent years.
  • For those around, I’m planning to hit up Nisei before the game, the right field bleachers during the game, and then maybe Yak-Zies after the game. I hope to see lots of you out there!
  • Might mess around and become a Car Video Guy this season:
  • I just saw that AZ Phil reported expected Triple-A Iowa catcher Dom Nuñez got hurt in a game on Saturday (severity unknown), which makes me wonder whether that left the Cubs feeling like they absolutely HAD TO keep catcher Luis Torrens in the org. And since Torrens almost certainly had an opt-out, rostering him was only way (which the Cubs did, officially, yesterday). I’m happy with Torrens as a third catcher on the 26-man roster anyway, and definitely happy the Cubs have him as depth in case of an injury to Yan Gomes or Tucker Barnhart. But for those of you who were less happy about it, maybe that helps explain it. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Cubs let Torrens go, and Nuñez needs time, and then Gomes or Barnhart gets hurt – suddenly the Cubs are really caught with their pants down.
  • It didn’t always start with three catchers, and it might not last the whole season this way, but Michael reminds us that this isn’t new:
  • Meanwhile, if Nuñez has to miss time, you can expect to see minor leaguers Jake Washer and Bryce Windham get the bump to Iowa to be the primary catchers there. Miguel Amaya is still expected to open the season at Double-A Tennessee, and I’ve gotta believe the Cubs are hoping, once he finally gets a decent chunk of games behind the plate back under his belt, he can get up to Iowa.
  • It’s a staff full of FIP-beaters, pitching in front of a great defense … I don’t know how you best account for that in the ERAs, but if your final tally has the ERA higher than the FIP for this staff, that’s a red flag:
  • A note on Michael Rucker, whom Jed Hoyer was talking up in an in-game interview, and who HAS had stretches where he’s looked very good:
  • A little Ian Happ mic’d up to enjoy:

  • An out-of-context screenshot from the video:
  • Dansby Swanson is sure that his big contract with a new team is not going to add any pressure to his plate:

  • If you didn’t know, the catcher is not allowed to use any part of his gear other than his glove to wrangle the ball. Specifically, you’re not allowed to use your mask to snag the ball as it spins away from you. That’s called a catcher balk, and it means the runners advance. And if you do it with the winning run on third base:
  • I love this so much:

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.