Series Preview: Colorado Rockies (38-23) at Chicago Cubs (30-28)

In Series Previews by berselius317 Comments

I feel extremely vindicated in my confidence that the Rockies were going to be good this year. Please disregard any comments that I may have made in the podcast to open the season about how they would end up with a worse record than the Padres, that must have been deceptively edited.

Oddly enough, the Rockies record is not built on their offense. While their team wOBA of .330 ranks fifth in MLB, when you work in that whole park factor thing their offensive contributions actually rank 27th in baseball, just ahead of the Padres (vindicated!). Instead, it's pitching and defense that have led to this resurgence. The Rockies rank second in MLB with +27 defenive runs, and their team 4.09 ERA/4.06 FIP puts them at seventh in the bigs in pitching WAR. A 4.09 ERA with half your game in Coors is incredible – the Rockies team ERAs over the previous five years were 4.91, 5.04, 4.84, 4.44, and 5.22.

Team Leaders

Rockies:

Cubs

Injuries, Transactions, vengeance pacts, etc.

The biggest surprise in the Rockies pitching staff's performance is that they have largely done it without (Lord) Jon Gray, who has made just three starts this season. He's out with a stress factor in his left foot but might be back later this month. Starter Tyler Anderson is out with a minor hamstring injury, but given his 5.85 ERA he's not exactly the guy who has propelled the Rockies to this record.

Ben Zobrist is apparently still dealing with a wrist issue that has robbed him of his switch hitting ability. Addison Russell may be suspended at some point as MLB investigates domestic violence allegations.

Probable Pitchers

K%, BB%, ERA, projected ERA listed for each starter. No time to blurb them, so just the stats today.

Thursday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (20.3%, 11.8%, 4.60, 4.47) vs Jon Lester, LHP (23.8%, 8.7%, 3.91, 3.26), 7:05 PM CT

Friday: German Marquez, RHP (21.9%, 7.5%, 4.53, 4.90) vs Kyle Hendricks, RHP (20.2%, 8.3%, 4.09, 3.50), 1:20 PM CT

Saturday: Jeff Hoffman, RHP (33.8%, 2.6%, 2.61, 4.40) vs Eddie Butler, RHP (17.5%, 13.6%, 3.75, 4.95), 1:20 PM CT

Sunday: Antonio Senzatela, RHP (16.1%, 7.1%, 3.56, 4.98) vs Jake Arrieta, RHP (26.1%, 6.9%, 4.46, 3.22), 1:20 PM CT

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  1. Ryno

    berselius:
    Ryno,

    I’m back in Austin this week – know of anything new around campus that’s worth checking out?

    I haven’t been to Austin in so long, I’m not sure I even know what’s open there anymore. If I were to go tomorrow, I’d go to Hut’s and Franklin BBQ. Probably Juan in a Million too.

      Quote  Reply

  2. Ryno

    Myles: I hate that you are entirely correct.

    I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick. I will not vent about Colin Kaepernick.

      Quote  Reply

  3. cerulean

    I think Addison should get sent down. And while there he needs to get counseling on controlling his emotions.

    I would like to say that he is just an asshole, but every single on of us has the capacity to commit horrific atrocities on those around us and ourselves. We as a society erroneously believe that we can keep people in line with a rod while not giving them tools to deal with emotions when they come. I have the suspicion that people who rely on reflex are more likely to trust their instincts and act on them before understanding what they are doing.

    John Lennon also beat his wife at that age. And he cheated like mad. Oh, you went off to sleep in the bath, did you? Riiiggghhht. Was this before or after figuring out what to do with your Norwegian wood?

      Quote  Reply

  4. Author
    berselius

    Ryno,

    Torchy’s and Clay Pit were at the top of my list. I’m hoping to hit Franklin’s tomorrow but not sure if I can burn a morning, work-wise :(.

      Quote  Reply

  5. cerulean

    Ryno,

    What about Kaepernick? Is this just the whole kneeling-for-solidarity-with-BLM-during-the-anthem thing you’re talking about? Is that really still a thing people are up in arms about!?

      Quote  Reply

  6. cerulean

    berselius:
    cerulean,

    Why do you guys hate The Troops smh.

    I love it how people will decry others for taking symbolism so seriously—and then turn around and do it themselves. This sums up all the rightwing backlash that has given us the pussy-grabber-in-chief.

    And they call us snowflakes for not tolerating the hypocrisy. Are you fucking communists? (dying laughing)

    (That would explain the Russia love.)

      Quote  Reply

  7. cerulean

    In other news, the Cardinals offense remains inoffensive. Being shitout by the Reds. (That’s a funny fatfinger.) They have scored 7 runs in 34 innings against the Reds.

      Quote  Reply

  8. dmick89

    cerulean: I think Addison should get sent down. And while there he needs to get counseling on controlling his emotions.

    I think an investigation should be completed before any punishment is handed down. Seems like a terrible precedent to set that the only evidence needed is for a spouse’s best friend to make the claim on social media.

      Quote  Reply

  9. cerulean

    dmick89,

    He should be advised to volunteer it. If he is proactive about his role and takes responsibility for his actions before having to take responsibility, that would go a long way toward mending his relationship with his wife and his relationship with baseball.

    As for sending him down, he hasn’t been right on the plate or in the field. And this investigation is almost certainly not going to help the team. I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that his baseball troubles were a catalyst for these personal troubles. He needs time to mend his mind and his shoulder.

    Send him to the DL if sending him down sets the wrong precedent. There is something amiss. If it’s “just a mental problem”, he should still be a candidate for a DL stint.

      Quote  Reply

  10. cerulean

    Note that both Russell and Chapman were the ones reportedly weeping in game 7. Emotions are real and powerful. They also exist for a reason—which is to say they are not irrational even though they bypass higher-level cognition.

    A fit of rage can wreak all sorts of havoc if the person has not prepared to handle such an outburst. As a society, we do a pisspoor job helping people understand and handle their emotions. And lately, we have been fanning the flames.

      Quote  Reply

  11. dmick89

    cerulean: As for sending him down, he hasn’t been right on the plate or in the field.

    I’m fine with this. Baez is probably better than Russell at this point anyway. I just don’t think we should punish someone for something that hasn’t even been investigated yet.

      Quote  Reply

  12. Edwin

    I think the Podcast “Invisibilia” is doing emotions as their theme for this season. It’s a pretty great podcast.

      Quote  Reply

  13. Author
    berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Happ
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    2B Zobrist
    RF Heyward
    C Contreras
    SS Baez
    P Lester
    LF War Bear

      Quote  Reply

  14. cerulean

    Edwin:
    I think the Podcast “Invisibilia” is doing emotions as their theme for this season. It’s a pretty great podcast.

    I would say I have experienced liget. Not fun. In such a moment, if I had the means, I would have gone full-Lanre and burned the world.

      Quote  Reply

  15. Rizzo the Rat

    #Cubs put Hendricks on 10 day DL retro to Monday. Tendinitis in right hand. Montgomery to start Friday

    — Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 8, 2017

    This day keeps getting worse.

      Quote  Reply

  16. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Jon Lester is not a team player. Doesn’t he know that he is supposed to give up a run in the first inning to make the rest of the staff feel better?

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  17. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Cmon, I need the (dying laughing)s on my medieval weaponry jokes today.

      Quote  Reply

  18. Rizzo the Rat

    Hey, Willson, stop appealing to the first base umpire when you check your swing. It’s dumb.

      Quote  Reply

  19. Author
    berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Happ
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    2B Zobrist
    RF Heyward
    SS Baez
    C Montero
    P Montgomery
    LF Schwarber

      Quote  Reply

  20. cerulean

    Ryno,

    First, 4:32 AM is a fine time to be posting. How is Taipei?

    Second, he’s available? The Cubs need arms. They should sign him.

      Quote  Reply

  21. dmick89

    dmick89,

    It’s not like they really have anyone that’s worth calling up, but it might be nice to have someone who can hit a home run to come off the bench if the Cubs even have someone like that.

      Quote  Reply

  22. dmick89

    I’m starting to think the Cubs should play for the top pick next year. They’ve got a better chance of that than they do being worth a shit.

      Quote  Reply

  23. dmick89

    At least one of the two good hitters on this team will get to bat in the 9th. If Bryant can get on or hit a home run, Rizzo could then tie it up. The Cubs will lose in extra innings since they already used both of their good relievers, but game tying home runs are always fun in the 9th.

      Quote  Reply

  24. dmick89

    Davis may be the Cubs best trade piece next month. If they can find a team as desperate for a closer as the Cubs were last year, they could get quite a bit in return.

      Quote  Reply

  25. dmick89

    The possibility of making some trades in the next month or so is more interesting to me than this team right now. They’ve got some pieces that could bring them back some prospects. They’ve also got some players that they shouldn’t even consider trading.

      Quote  Reply

  26. SK

    This is how Ron Coomer sounds to me

    Here comes the pitch to Heywar. He chopped it foll down the lef fiel line. Jason playing stellar defense for the Cyubs out it right fiel. We’re in the bottom of the fit. I agree with you Pat.

      Quote  Reply

  27. Berselius is too lazy to login

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    Schwarber
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Heyward
    Almora
    Contreras
    Russell
    Butler

      Quote  Reply

  28. dmick89

    Jake Arrieta might be a better hitter than Schwarber. The Cubs should consider platooning the two so they can always have the platoon advantage at the top of the lineup. It will be just like it was with Dexter.

      Quote  Reply

  29. dmick89

    The way this team has performed this year has made me reevaluate what their true talent was last year and I doubt they were the best team in baseball. Cole was right after all.

      Quote  Reply

  30. Berselius is too lazy to login

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    Jay
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Heyward
    Baez
    Montero
    Russell
    Arrieta

      Quote  Reply

  31. Rizzo the Rat

    Two straight called third strikes with the runner on third and less than two outs. I know the first one was the pitcher, but ugh.

      Quote  Reply

  32. Perkins

    Oh look, it’s the inning where Jake falls apart. And it’s right after an inning in which the Cubs failed to score with runners at the corners and nobody out.

      Quote  Reply

  33. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Too swamped for any new shit anytime soon. Cubs and Mets start a series to determine which team has had a more disappointing start to the season.

      Quote  Reply

  34. Myles

    If I were to wildly speculate without evidence, I wonder if there is some horrible clubhouse presence that is ruining the vibe of this team.

      Quote  Reply

  35. dmick89

    Myles,

    Except it’s pretty much the same exact team that it was last year. When I think about this team entering the season, I knew the pitching would be quite a bit worse and so would the fielding. The Cubs just couldn’t sustain that level for two reasons: they weren’t as good as they pitched and fielded and all their pitchers are a year older, not to mention the additional extra work during the postseason. If someone asked me to point out two Cubs position players that I thought would underperform their projections, I’d have pointed to Schwarber and Russell. I expected big things from Schwarber, but it’s not that surprising that a guy who strikes out so much isn’t very good at the plate. Russell just isn’t that good a hitter. I still think the Cubs are an above average team, but I don’t think they’re that much better than average. It’s a good thing they play in the NL Central, but if one of the other teams in the division gets hot, the Cubs don’t have much of a chance in my opinion. Their best bet is to win the division with about 84-86 wins and then hope for the best come October.

      Quote  Reply

  36. Edwin

    The MLB draft is on tonight. I expect the Cubs to take some players who will be young and have a lot of upside, and could be good potential big leauge players someday if everything works out right.

      Quote  Reply

  37. dmick89

    Edwin,

    huge upside. potential ace. top of the rotation. hits for a high average. gets on base. hits for power. strong arm. great baseball iq (this means he’s white, not black or brown). overreach. great pick. some or all of the above will be taken by the Cubs in the draft.

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  38. Edwin

    Advanced scouting report of the pitcher: Has a good fastball that reachs the mid-90’s. Has a breaking ball which already shows signs of being a plus pitch, and is working on a changeup which could turn into a possible plus pitch at some point. Projects to be a solid #3 or possible high leverage late inning reliever.

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  39. uncle dave

    Rizzo the Rat,

    This sort of reminds me of what it felt like when I got suckered into rooting for the 2014 A’s. I don’t think that they got a hit with RISP for the whole second half of the season.

      Quote  Reply

  40. uncle dave

    Surprised Lackey hasn’t gone on the DL with a sprained neck from watching all those balls leave the yard.

      Quote  Reply

  41. cerulean

    Rice in limbo:
    If all goes well, most Cubs will have a few days of break come All-Star weekend.

    So that’s their plan. I was getting concerned this team wasn’t any good.

      Quote  Reply

  42. cerulean

    Brendon Little, LHP, age 20

    Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50

    He was touching 97 mph in fall ball and has kept that up during the regular season in Florida. He complements it with a true 12-to-6 power curve which flashes plus on occasion, and he’ll also show some feel for his changeup, though it’s behind the other two pitches.

    Alex Lange, RHP, age 21

    Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50

    Lange has two plus pitches in a fastball that usually ranged from 92-96 mph and a power curveball that stood out as the best on the U.S. college national team last summer.

    MLB Draft Rankings

      Quote  Reply

  43. cerulean

    I am guessing the Cubs are going to go for some HS arms with their savings on Abbott. MLB had him ranked at a murderous 187th, 120 places later than he was chosen.

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  44. Edwin

    The Brewers drafted someone named Lutz, and I really want him to get to MLB so I can start making more 30 Rock jokes.

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  45. Edwin

    I searched for Cory Abbott on Bing. I’m happy the Cubs drafted Cory Abbott the pitcher, and not Cory Abbott the Stone Ridge man charged with felony drunk driving.

      Quote  Reply

  46. Edwin

    Brewers have a good looking draft so far. Reds got some interesting names. I can’t seem to find who the Cardinals drafted though.

      Quote  Reply

  47. Ryno

    Edwin:
    I searched for Cory Abbott on Bing.I’m happy the Cubs drafted Cory Abbott the pitcher, and not Cory Abbott the Stone Ridge man charged with felony drunk driving.

    I think the Stone Ridge man might be a better pitcher.

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  48. Ryno

    Edwin,

    I did a story on Alex Scherff (http://on.nbcdfw.com/wMiJoS0), who’s been ranked in most people’s top 60s before the draft.

    Pros: Easy delivery, athletic, fastball touches high-90s, very advanced changeup, good breaking ball
    Cons: Already 19, strong college commitment, height (listed at 6’4″, but he can’t be more than an inch taller than me [6′])

    I would’ve been fine taking him in the second round if I knew he were signable.

      Quote  Reply

  49. Ryno

    Edwin:
    The Brewers drafted someone named Lutz.

    We tried to get ahold of him, but he went AWOL after school ended. Even his coaches couldn’t reach him.

      Quote  Reply

  50. Perkins

    Ryno:
    Perkins,

    I can’t believe some of the names I rooted for…

    Jeromy Burnitz
    Ronny Cedeno
    Freddy FU Bynum
    Matt Murton
    Koyie Taped Fingers Hill

    I had completely forgotten about that guy.

      Quote  Reply

  51. Edwin

    Ryno,

    At this point I’m assuming he gets drafted, but is unlikely to sign? Seems like an interesting pitcher. Always cool to see a younger pitcher with a good change up, I thought that was a pitch that most don’t end up developing until later, especially RHP.

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  52. Ryno

    Edwin,

    I’m assuming he’s falling due to signability, but the signability thing is just a feeling that I got from talking to him. I asked him if being eligible for the 2019 draft (because he’s 19) would factor into his decision to sign and he gave me a knowing nod.

    I’ve heard his parents are pretty wacko, though. Like they might be in his ear about going to school if an MLB team doesn’t offer him a large bonus.

      Quote  Reply

  53. dmick89

    Ryno,

    I wonder if having a year of college next year wouldn’t make him quite a bit more valuable. Pitchers get hurt so it could ruin his career, but at least he’d have an education.

      Quote  Reply

  54. Ryno

    dmick89,

    A 21-year-old college pitcher with his stuff would likely get a much larger bonus than a 19-year-old HS pitcher. He has a ton of leverage right now too, only having to pitch in college for two years.

      Quote  Reply

  55. Edwin

    I wonder what a team like the Brewers will choose to do at the trade deadline. They obviously wouldn’t want to buy at the deadline, since they’re clearly a rebuilding team. Ideally they’d like to be sellers, but with where they’re at and with how the Cubs are doing, it would strange to try and unload some of their better veterans right now.

      Quote  Reply

  56. dmick89

    Edwin,

    Probably just look to add a minor piece. They can win the division if they can they’re just slightly better than average the rest of the way. I’ll be a little surprised at this point if any team in this shitty division wins even 85 games.

      Quote  Reply

  57. Myles

    I barely slept last night for reasons unrelated to this shitty team, but in my fugue state at 230 am I briefly considered that if Arrieta rebounds and becomes elite again that we could move him to the Yankees at the deadline for Gleyber Torres and I started giggling uncontrollably.

      Quote  Reply

  58. Edwin

    Cubs draft another college pitcher, Keegan Thompson. I like this blurb from MLB.com “Thompson throws strikes with all his pitches and scouts have noted that he’s more mature as a pitcher now, focusing on getting outs and not worrying as much about velocity.” Nothing says Cubs Pitcher like not worrying about velocity.

      Quote  Reply

  59. Myles

    Edwin:
    Cubs draft another college pitcher, Keegan Thompson.I like this blurb from MLB.com “Thompson throws strikes with all his pitches and scouts have noted that he’s more mature as a pitcher now, focusing on getting outs and not worrying as much about velocity.”Nothing says Cubs Pitcher like not worrying about velocity.

    Hopefully we can develop him to be a Randy Wells/ Dallas Beeler type.

      Quote  Reply

  60. Edwin

    MLB draft Tracker is not tracking for me. Apparently the Cubs drafted another pitcher, who also doesn’t care about velocity, maybe. I’m relying on the BN comment section, so who knows.

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  61. Edwin

    One thing that stands out so far is a most of the pitchers the Cubs have taken seem to have curveballs that grade out fairly high. I’m not sure that means anything, but as someone who likes good curveball pitchers, I’m happy.

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  62. dmick89

    Edwin,

    Depends on the curve. I loved Kerry Wood’s curve, but Rich Hill’s has always bored me. Kerry’s looked like it came at the same velocity as his fastball and then just fell off the table. It was beautiful. Hill’s looks like it’s thrown at 12 mph.

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  63. Edwin

    MLB on the Cubs 4th round pick: “On the Cape, Uelmen was up to 93-95 mph with his fastball, but that was typically earlier in his starts there. As a starter this spring, he’s lived generally in the 89-91 mph range, though it plays up because of the terrific two-seam movement he gets on it from his low three-quarters slot, generating a ton of ground-ball outs. The right-hander has average secondary offerings, with a decent slider he uses to get people to chase and feel for a changeup. He’s more control over command, but he largely stays in the strike zone. Largely because he shows better velocity in shorter stints, there are some who feel he might be better suited for the bullpen, where he could be a rally-killing ground-ball machine. A team that takes him early will likely at least give him the chance to start at the next level.”

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  64. dmick89

    Edwin,

    Both were tough to hit and that’s all that really matters (Sean Marshall’s was kind of the same too), but if Wood threw his well, it was impossible to hit. This conversation just makes me miss Wood and wonder again what his career could have been if he’d stayed healthy. Despite the injuries, I’m at least thankful that front office was a fan of high velocity and I wish this one was. That front office was useless in most other ways whereas this one is not, but maybe Thoyer should call up past Cubs front offices for some advice on drafting pitchers. (dying laughing)

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  65. Edwin

    Cubs 5th Round: some OF from Puerto Rico, maybe? Whoever he is, and wherever he’s from, he’s an OF. I assume he does the normal baseball things that a 5th round pick does. Also he probably doesn’t care about velocity, but I’m assuming he does care about position, but never both at the same time.

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  66. Edwin

    Shameless grab from BN (who grabbed from BA) about Cubs 5th round pick Nelson Velasques: “He had an outstanding showing at the Excellence Tournament in May, solidifying him for most as the second-best player in the Puerto Rico class behind the toolsier Heliot Ramos. He’s a physical specimen and shows plus raw tools. He ran the the 60-yard dash in less than 6.5 seconds at the Excellence Tournament, a 70-grade time on the 20-to-80 scale. Velazquez shows plus bat speed and average to slightly above-average raw power and he has a plus arm. Scouts describe Velazquez’s pure hitting ability as very raw; he’ll have to adjust his aggressive offensive approach against better pitching.”

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  67. Edwin

    I’m not sure if the Cubs FO doesn’t care about velocity, but for awhile they sure didn’t seem to care about K/9, at least at the minor league level. That might not be true though, it could just be that they spent more resources on position prospects. Either way, they’ve yet to produce a solid starting pitching prospect to reach the high minors, other than if you want to include Hendricks.

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  68. Edwin

    Cubs draft a HS pitcher #6 round Jeremy Estrada: “If one was to base Estrada’s Draft status on his summer showcase performance, he’d be approaching the top group of high school right-handers in the country. Looking at how he’s pitched this spring, however, could lead an evaluator to leave him off of the Top 100 completely. Over the summer, Estrada showed electric stuff from his slightly under-sized frame, starting with a fastball that was 93-95 mph. This spring, he’s been topping out at 92 mph and often sitting in the upper-80s. He showed one of the best changeups in the country last summer, but hasn’t been throwing it much this spring. And he’s lost sharpness in his breaking ball as well, a pitch that flashed plus at times and was up into the mid-80s but this spring has come in closer to 80 mph.”

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  69. Edwin

    When Billy Beane writes his next book about how low velocity pitchers with curveballs and arm problems are the next inefficiency, this FO is going to look amazing.

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  70. Edwin

    Cubs 7th round pick: LHP Ricky Tyler Thomas. I’ll probably remember him as rikki-tikki-tavi after he throws a Perfect Game against Arizona.

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  71. Edwin

    Scouting on RTT:
    “The slight-bodied 6-foot-1, 185-pounder was consistently better in 2016, earning a spot on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Thomas competes and has a changeup that at times earns 70 grades, though that was not the case frequently this year. He didn’t command his 87-90 mph fastball this spring, with his walk rate jumped from 1.38 per nine to 5.16 this season. Thomas has a fringy to below-average breaking ball, and he wasn’t holding his velocity over the course of the season.”

    No word on whether those 70 grades were 70 good grades, 70 bad, or some kind of mix. At least he wasn’t holding his velocity over the course of the season, so he’ll fit right in.

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  72. Edwin

    For the remaining available pitchers in the draft, I’m just going to do a quick search for “lacks velocity”, “lost velocity”, “falling velocity”, “low velocity”, and “velocity trended down” so that we know who the Cubs will pick next.

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  73. Edwin

    Worst BB/9 in MLB right now is 4.93 amongst qualified starters. Also, 2nd worst is 4.61 for Matt Harvey, who has a K/9 6.65. When did Matt Harvey get so terrible? It’s not like he lost velocity either, he just straight up sucks right now. Have fun being Chris O’Leary’s next psychic claim to fame.

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  74. Edwin

    My source has been slow to upload his analysis (hurry up Brett). All I know is he was BA’s choice as the top Division III prospect heading into the season. Plus maybe this helps the Cubs out during bar trivia night.

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  75. Edwin

    Cubs 9th round pick: Chris Carrier, OF. U Memphis. I don’t have anything funny or clever to say about this one (INTERNET: Did you have anything funny or clever to say about the others or something?)

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  76. Edwin

    Hendricks – throwing session not good. Will probably miss another start, possibly more. Cubs pitching is on the thinnest of ice right now.

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  77. Edwin

    More on Glowicki: College Senior (i.e. no leverage, huge cash savings). Seems to be a RP. He’s from Downer’s Grove IL. Not very impressive, but we’ll take those cash savings, thank you.

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  78. cerulean

    Edwin:
    10th Round Pick: Brian Glowicki, Minnesota. RIP.

    Sometimes the brain sees what’s there. And then there is the rest of the time.

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  79. cerulean

    Ugh. I just noticed what a terrible job Rizzo did setting the table. Imagine if he would have just stayed on base. The Cubs could have bunted him along instead of striking out. Awful.

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  80. Rizzo the Rat

    I’ll need to check the numbers, but I feel the Cubs usually win games in which they hit four home runs.

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  81. Ryno

    Edwin,

    Saw that. Good spot for him if he signs. He’s supposed to get back to me later this week about an interview, so we should find out what’s going on soon.

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  82. cerulean

    The Cubs should trade for Matt Harvey. All of the runs he gives up are on long balls—he’d fit right in.

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  83. Rizzo the Rat

    cerulean:
    The Cubs should trade for Matt Harvey. All of the runs he gives up are on long balls—he’d fit right in.

    He might have to lose a little more velocity to fit this rotation.

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  84. cerulean

    In other news, some crazed “feel the Bern” liberal opened fire on some Republicans. It’s no wonder this happened given how Sanders repeated incited violence at his campaign rallies.

    (If only those Republicans were carrying guns, they never would have gotten shot. It’s a right, not a privilege, to bear arms. Abdicating that right by not carrying leads to innocent people dying.)

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  85. Edwin

    cerulean:
    Great news! Edwin Jackson is available. He is a good candidate to shore up the pitching…problems.

    I actually watched Jackson pitch a couple innings last Saturday. He was on Baltimore, and they were the Fox Saturday game. Jackson was actually doing ok. Then a guy got a bloop single. Then the next guy hit a fly ball that should have been caught, but the fielders collided and it turned into a double. Then Jackson let up another single off a pitch out of the strike zone, and the Yankees had a big inning. Just seemed to sum up my Jackson watching experience pretty well. Seems to pitch ok, then a ball doesn’t roll his way, and then dumpster fire.

    It’s too bad. I liked Jackson, and he seemed like a nice guy who other players in the clubhouse generally liked. He never blamed others for his failures, didn’t shy away from talking to the media and answering the tough questions. I wish his tenure with the Cubs would have gone better. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/236412412/edwin-jackson-plays-for-13-baseball-teams

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  86. dmick89

    Edwin,

    It wasn’t a terrible contract when the Cubs signed him. It was probably a bit much, but the projections at the time had him being worth what the contract was paying him.

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  87. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I remember there were some legit red flags concerning his velocity, but overall it seemed like a solid deal at the time. His FIP was even decent the first season, before crumbling the next 1.5. It was frustrating seeing how quickly fans turned on him. It was also frustrating how personal some of the attacks seemed to be.

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  88. dmick89

    Edwin: It was also frustrating how personal some of the attacks seemed to be.

    Yeah, that’s something I’ll never understand. I don’t follow basketball, but I’ve heard some of the attacks on Kevin Durant and all he did was enter free agency and sign with the best team in the league. Apparently that makes him all kinds of a horrible person.

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  89. dmick89

    cerulean,

    That’s definitely a big part of it, but I even saw that LeBron took a swipe at Durant for it and if memory serves, he did the same fucking thing when he joined the Heat. I can at least understand part of that as frustration for losing and he did at least give a more level headed response, but it just irritates me how athletes are treated when they don’t do what a large number of fans want them to do. From everything I’ve read, Durant is a superb human being. All he did was sign a free agent contract with the team that gave him the best chance to win. And most importantly, it’s none of my damn business why he chooses to sign with any team in the sport. It’s a personal decision and it’s not for anyone else to question.

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  90. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I don’t even know what fans want. Player signs for big money deal: “He’s being greedy and only thinking of himself, he should take less money so that the team can surround him with other stars and he can win a championship”. Player signs for less money to team up with other stars: “He doesn’t deserve to win, he’s just gaming the system”.

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  91. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89,

    this reminds me of one of my favorite movie lines of all time from raising arizona

    Parole Board chairman: You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
    H.I.: No, sir, no way.
    Parole Board member: ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
    H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
    Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?
    H.I.: Yes, sir.
    Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

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  92. Rizzo the Rat

    I understand how NBA fans were upset about the Durant signing. I’d be pretty unhappy if I knew before the MLB season started that the Yankees would win the World Series. You could make a case that super-teams are bad for sports. That said, it’s not rational to blame a guy for responding to incentives.

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  93. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat: I understand how NBA fans were upset about the Durant signing.

    I can understand why they might be upset at the NBA. I don’t know anything about the NBA rules regarding free agency and maybe they need to be changed. Seems to me it’s been the same teams winning for as long as I’ve been alive. I always thought it was funny when baseball writers complained about parity in baseball. Baseball hasn’t always had great parity, but it’s been fantastic compared to the NBA. You can probably narrow down the possible champion to four teams prior to the start of any NBA season. That’s been true for as long as I’ve been alive. For as dominant as the Yankees were, I never felt that you could narrow down the possibilities to four teams. As great as the Cubs were entering the 2016 season, they still only had about a 13-15% chance of winning the Series.

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  94. Edwin

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Isn’t basketball a sport that’s pretty much always been defined by super teams? I can see fans being dissappointed if Durant didn’t sign with a fans favorite team, or being frustrated that a favorite team is stuck in basketball purgatory, but that’s the NBA for you.

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  95. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I think it’s more the nature of the respective games than anything else. Baseball has a much smaller skill gap between elite players and replacement players, and the impact of even the best player on a team is minimal. In the NBA, it’s just 5 on 5, and a great player can basically carry a team all the way.

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  96. Rizzo the Rat

    Edwin:
    Rizzo the Rat,

    Isn’t basketball a sport that’s pretty much always been defined by super teams?

    Perhaps, but even by that standard, the winningest team in history sigining a superstar is pretty extreme.

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  97. Ryno

    So the Cubs draft focus seemed to be on the best curveballs they could get. Did they read that recent SI piece about the pitch’s resurgence or something?

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  98. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    My understanding of the NBA salary cap rules is that a player can get a better deal once he’s out from under the first four (?) years of rookie contract control by staying on with the same team. (Now that I look at it, they’re expanding that rule to apply to players past their initial contract as well.) The NBA is really sensitive to this issue, and the initial exception granted under the cap (the “Bird Rule”) allowed teams to go over the cap to keep players.

    That all said, I have zero issue with what Durant chose to do. These guys come into the league, and if they’re good enough to warrant multi-year contracts they have like three, maybe four points in their career where they get to have any control over where they play, who they play for, and, yes, who they play with. It strikes me as brutally unfair to criticize a guy for taking advantage of that no matter the reason.

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  99. dmick89

    uncle dave,

    So Durant could have gotten more money if he stayed with OKC?

    I’d think a big part of the fun in basketball is playing with people you want to play with and guys who have fun together. It’s not as much of a big deal in baseball because it’s not as much a team sport as basketball is. The pieces aren’t working together in baseball like they do in basketball.

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