View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



March 2017



Morning News: Schwarber, CF, and more cuts

Written by , Posted in General

The United States suffered their first defeat last night to Puerto Rico, 6-5.  PR put up 4 runs in the first and the U.S. seemed to be fighting an uphill battle the rest of the night.  Javier Baez had a great night by going 1-3 with 3 stolen bases.  If the Chicago Cubs can get that base running out of him this year, along with a somewhat decent approach at the plate, Javy could see himself in the lead off spot for the Cubs.

Schwarbombs Leading Off

Speaking of lead off hitters, meet Kyle Schwarber.  One of the first posts that I wrote for this site was ranking the players who I thought had the best chance to fill Dexter Fowler‘s spot in the lineup.  I gave the readers four options with Schwarber being number 4 on that list.  On December 13th, when I wrote the post, I would have never thought that a lumberjack such as Schwarber would have a chance to be the top guy.  But a few weeks later at the Cubs Convention, Joe Maddon gave the fans the first glimpse of what he thought his lineup would look like…with Schwarber in the lead off role.  I gave it some time, but now I can honestly say that I really do love this idea.  Look at yesterday for example.  The guy goes 2-3 with 4 RBI’s, 2 runs scored, and an absolute bomb to right off of Derek Holland in the 3rd.  As I said in my first post, this is not your typical lead off guy.  But as readers suggested, he only has to actually lead off once a game before he becomes the guy who has many opportunities to drive guys in.    So, here we are on March 18th, and I am all in on Schwarbomb being our lead off hitter.

Center field Up For Grabs

Jon Jay and Albert Almora, Jr. are having a good battle this spring for the right to claim the center field spot for the Cubs.  As of now there is very little that separates the two.  Jay’s is currently hitting .303 with an on base percentage of .361.  Almora is batting .314 and an OBP of .333.  Defense was supposed to be the one thing that separated the two with Almora, Jr. having the upper hand.  With saying that both players have made their fair share of good plays in the field, so to say that one has an advantage over the other is not making a good case.  If one were to ask me my thoughts on who should be the opening day starter (I’m going to give it anyway because this is my post), I am going young and inserting Almora, Jr.’s name into the opening day lineup.  I want to see him go with the big boys from the onset.  I believe, and know, that we have the firepower to hide his bat early on (look at what we did with Addison Russell early on in his career) and help carry him through the rough patches.  Jay would be a great utility player and a decent bat off the bench.  I’m all about loyalty…therefore give it to our guy, who we drafted, and who gave blood, sweat, and tears in our minor league system.

Cuts Made

Carrie Muskat, and many others, reported yesterday that the Cubs cut 7 players from their big league squad including Eloy Jimenez.  The moves bring the total number in camp to 43.

Up Next

The Cubs have a split squad day on Saturday with one team going against the Milwaukee Brewers and the other taking on Japan.  Jake Buchanan will go against the Brewers and John Lackey will take the mound against Team Japan.  Both games begin at 3:05 CDT.

  • Jason Rose

    I think Maddon is motivated by two things: the desire to get Schwarber more plate appearances and the desire to be able to get Maddon out of the game after his fourth plate appearance when they are winning. I expect the norm will be for Schwarber to bat in the 7th or 8th inning and for Maddon to then pull him, most likely for Jay or Almora, in left field as a defensive replacement.

    Also, there is, not their is…just saying.

    • CubbieBlue023

      Thanks for catching it. Got carried away and didn’t proof as well as I should have.

    • Eddie Von White

      Also… to be able to get Schwarber out of the game, not Maddon…just saying.

  • Doc Raker

    I agree on the Almora loyalty thought process and I agree on Jason Rose thought of Maddon getting Schwarbs as many AB’s as possible before removing him for a defensive replacement late in the game with a lead which could happen as many as 124 times in 2017.

  • Doug S.
  • Doc Raker

    Sign my petition: FIRE LEN KASPER

    • JTBarrett16

      What did he do now?

  • Jason Rose

    So I caught Cubbie’s grammar mistake and now Eddie catches mine. My prior post is now corrected (thanks). Karma is a bitch. Reminder for me to re-read before posting.

    • cap’n realist

      Eddie Von Grammarcop

      • Eddie Von White

        Keeping it real.

      • Doc Raker

        Eddie Von Real

  • Doc Raker

    Did anyone see Stanton’s laser home run last night, exit velocity of 117mph. MLB Network flashed a stat that Stanton had the highest 6 exit velocities for 2016. Do you know why Stanton had the highest exit velocity of 2016? Cause Schwarbs didn’t play in 2016…………..just sayin……

    • cap’n realist

      Back on the college days, while charting pitches, I’d regularly get 110+mph radar readings on exit speeds. No one really paid any attention then, like babip and Worp2% and the other saber garbage. Guys were swinging aluminum rocket launchers back then and hitting raised seam juiced Wilson baseballs. 117 with wood and the Rawlings low seam marshmallows that MLB uses is straight ludicrous.

      Stanton hit the furthest ball I ever saw in 16 years of coaching high school baseball in Southern California. He Walked out of the gym after a basketball game at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, put on his baseball uniform, walked into the batters box, and pulled a 500 foot foul ball on a low and away breaking ball that I wanted 2 feet outside. Also the only time in 16 years of coaching that I took a pitcher out in the middle of an at-bat. For his safety. I told the players on my bench, “that’s what it looks like boys.” I had no idea at the time how right I was.

      • Sherm

        A day that will always be remembered as “the day the Capn was right”

      • cap’n realist

        or as my wife calls it, ‘the day we all ice skate with Lucifer”.

      • Doc Raker

        Stanton is a monster

      • Adam Peters

        I saw a game in Miami last year and Stanton broke his bat and the ball landed at the base of the left field wall. I’ve never seen anything like that.

      • JTBarrett16

        Andruw Jones once hit a HR with a broken bat

  • Doc Raker

    I am watching the Cubs broadcast as I type. Earlier in the broadcast JD asked Len what he talked about at the batting cage before the game with the players. Len said, “Not baseball, the weather, family, how it is going but no baseball talk.” Of course Len doesn’t talk baseball- he doesn’t like baseball, he has no interest in how the game is played, he only knows how to dissect stats. Sign my petition, Fire Len Kasper!