View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



March 2017



Morning News: Roster Trimmings and Reign Men

Written by , Posted in General

What’s Happ-ening with the Roster

Ian Happ, Cubs super-prospect and conquistador of Spring Training, will not be on the club’s Opening Day roster after nearly hitting .400 with five home runs during the exhibition season.

This isn’t surprising, and it shouldn’t be concerning.

If you recall, reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant was sent down to AAA to start the 2015 season to prevent the third baseman from becoming eligible for free agency by one year. I’d say that worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you?

Happ is only a phone call away, and it’s probably safe to expect him on the big league roster at some point before the dog days of summer arrive. Plus, it’s always nice to see how young players react to a little adversity early on in their careers. After all, Theo’s regime has developed a reputation for using only high-character guys to build this team – if you haven’t read Fortune’s piece on why Theo Epstein is the number one leader in the world, I suggest you do so today.

Once you’re done with that, read up on Happ and additional Opening Day roster tid-bits, including the status and potential trade of outfielder Matt Szczur.

Reign Men

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I haven’t watched it yet, but I do have a hot date with my DVR at 7:00 p.m. sharp tonight. The main course: Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Reign Men documentary, which aired Monday night and – unlike some of the other docs that have come out – focuses only on Game 7, exploring in-depth the blown lead and subsequent rally to beat the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings.

The documentary was produced, written and edited by CSN’s Sarah Lauch and Ryan McGuffey, both of whom spoke to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald about what sets this program apart from the others.

Dancing Grandpa Update

David Ross scored high marks again for his second routine on Dancing with the Stars after busting out the cha-cha on Monday night. Here’s some video, if you care about that type of thing.

Looking Ahead

The Cubs take on Oakland this afternoon at Sloan Park in a matchup that features Jon Lackey versus Kendall Graveman.

For what it’s worth, the forecast for Opening Night in St. Louis this Sunday is calling for 67 degrees and partly sunny skies. Too soon? Don’t care. Let’s play ball!

  • Brad Lyerla

    Reign Men is worthwhile. Among other things, it shows that Joe Maddon has some brass. He continues to show no doubt that he had the situation under control and the moves he made were better than his other choices.

    • Doc Raker

      I don’t care what Maddon says, Hendricks should not of been removed when he was.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Totally agree. But Maddon has his alternative facts.

  • Doug S.

    I’d half forgotten that Bryant started his first year in Iowa. Seems so long ago.
    Happ is something and I look forward to him on the team. Does his emergence mean Szczur’s gone?
    Ross on DWTS was kind of funny. Once.

  • Doc Raker

    Why isn’t the 2016 MLB ERA leader pitching against our most prominent divisional foes in the opening series?

    • Brad Lyerla

      Goofy isn’t it? Seems like this is another example of Joe being weird just for the sake of burnishing his image as unorthodox.
      I wonder when the team will get tired of it. I am tired of watching it.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I’m tired of it too. It’s time to start being winning smart. You go for the kill. You want to put the shitbirds in a 3 game hole to start the season. You throw your 3 best starters against them.

      • Eddie Von White

        Or you just win them any way you can.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I meant making moves maximizing the chance to win. Such as throwing Hendricks Lester and Arrieta against the shitbirds.

      • Doc Raker

        If they don’t win Joe becomes the problem with nonsense like this. Had we lost game 7 no one would be buying into Joe the eccentric any longer. He risks losing his players, it all worked out in game 7 despite Maddon’s moves, had they lost the players would grumble at every nonsensical move he makes.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Agreed. It’s almost like he put Lester in with Hendricks dealing in game 7 for the sake of pitching Lester. Maddon pulled a Homer to win game 7. We can’t be pulling too many Homers this year and expect to win.

    • Kyle

      He wants Anderson as the 4th starter to break up the lefties. So, then it’s Lackey and Hendricks as 3 and 5. And maybe Joe thinks Kyle’s ego can handle being the 5th starter better than Lackey’s.

      • Doc Raker

        But Hendricks earned the 2 or 3 spot in the rotation, Lackey did not. Not even debatable.

  • Seymour Butts

    Anyone at all concerned that we can’t hold a 4 to 6 run lead late in the ball game? What minor league pitc her will give up 9 in the 9th today? Does Pierced Johnson regret his Prince Albert?
    Burning questions (especially the last one).

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    The Cubs will have both LaStella and Szczur. Duesing will be on the DL.

    “We’ll start the year with a seven-man bullpen,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “With the off days we should be OK.”

    Szczur is out of minor league options, so the Cubs are able to delay a long-term decision on him.

    • Brad Lyerla

      I like Szczur, but I don’t like his chances to make it through the season with the Cubs.