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The Ever-Changing Rulebook

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube45 Comments

I think the new rules are probably the biggest topic of the spring other than the inevitable injuries to players that shake up the plans for the entire season, and most of this has to do with the pitch clock. Of course there is also the World Baseball Classic, but as one game famously took like three hours to play …

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Taking Stock of the Roster (So Far)

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube32 Comments

The Cubs have been riding a win streak since we last blogged that would be impressive if these games actually mattered. They don’t get an official off day until next week, but so far it seems everyone is just taking it easy, and a few have already left camp to participate in WBC play so that will give a few …

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The Quest For Exceeding Expectations

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube51 Comments

I was able to talk to the Gregs about prospects and the Cubs future on the last Dreamcast, and everything from the various projections (including FanGraphs playoff odds and ZiPS), to the way the Cubs themselves are speaking to the press and whatever this damn slogan is, confirms what we discussed, which is that the Cubs are likely nowhere close …

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Unfinished Business

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube34 Comments

The Cubs had just announced their spring training roster, which includes the non-roster invitees. So that’s 72 total players officially in the dugout, not including the random minor leaguer they pluck from the other camps to complete the game once the roster guys are done for the day, and not including the extra lefty or split-neutral reliever they should probably …

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Whither Leadoff?

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube19 Comments

Here we are at the end of January, trying to avoid work while awaiting the coming of Spring Training. We’ve talked at length about the tall mountain the Cubs must climb to not just be plucky underdogs but actually get into the postseason, and a lot of that is because of the barely above average offense they have constructed. There …

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A Winning Pitch (We Hope)

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube52 Comments

We’ve reached the phase right before Spring Training where it’s mostly claims and minor league contracts while the residue of the free agent barrel lingers until teams and agents finally settle on something. For all intents and purposes, the roster is set (very similar to what we did last time, minus some DFAs and outrights and what not) and the …

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The Division is a Pipe Dream

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube2 Comments

Projections are just projections, and as they say, it’s in the hands of the players to play well and buck the narrative. Although it hasn’t been officially published yet, as we all surmised, the Cardinals are likely to repeat as NL Central division champs again: FanGraphs already has the projections for the other four teams in the division, including the …

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Cubs Lineup Readjustment

In Commentary And Analysis by Rice Cube26 Comments

See, I told you it was too early to set a lineup because just a few days after this post, the Cubs did a thing: The Cubs have agreed to sign Trey Mancini to a two-year contract, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter link).  Mancini, a client of the Frontline agency, can opt out of the deal following the 2023 season if …