View From The Bleachers

May 22, 2013

Recapping the Random – 05/22/2013

Filed under: Featured,General — Chet West @ 2:00 pm

Slowly,  this Cubs team is starting to look like a project in motion, rather than a wreckage left by a past regime.

No, they won’t go anywhere this year and they may not next year, but sure enough they are starting to take a game here and there where they normally (for the past few seasons at least) would not.  They were moving right along at a decent clip before the Dark Knight of Gotham, Matt Harvey, came along and slowed their mojo.  By the way, lets talk about Matt Harvey for a minute, the guy is a stud! He is 5-0 on a team that is 17-25 and recovering from being madoffed.   He is 2-0 in the last three games he pitched with six runs of total support.  Yes stat-heads, I just used wins as a determining factor.  I’ll even break it down in simpler terms…the guy is winning games on a crap team.  When I see that, I just figure the rest of the statistical minutiae fall in line….don’t worry , I checked and it does.

Where was I, oh yah, the Cubs look to be entering the race finally.  A friend recently said they looked as though they are finally approaching the first quarter pole.  I say whoa!  Lets take a few steps back, how about they just saddled the horse?  (A salute to Mike Quade if you will?) At least it seems they know they are entered in a race.  It may be one that finishes sometime in 2017, but lets be thankful for the little things in these little times.

Meanwhile, the glaring issue of the bullpen rears it’s ugly head and throws away a nice start by Matt Garza.  Freakin’ bullpens, they are about as sexy as the offensive line in football, but damn it if they are not as important.  The funny thing is they are made up of guys who failed everywhere else on the diamond.  These guys seem to come from everywhere.  How often do you hear, “well, John was a shortstop when he was drafted but now he’s a long reliever.”  You don’t really start out as a reliever, you end up there, yet the importance is massively understated.  How many teams in baseball right now would be great if they only had a bullpen?

Anyhow, on with the news…..

 

  • The week started off with Don Mattingly’s job in jeopardy. Now it seems like all is well?  Look, I grew up on Don Mattingly.  His 1984 Topps rookie card was the first modern card to balloon to stratospheric values within the same year as its release.  It put baseball card collecting on the map.  However, when there is a lot of money on the line the first guy to go is the manager, even if it is the great Donnie Ballgame!  (side note – pretty sure his rookie card is worth less now than it was 25 years ago)
  • Ryan Vogelsong broke his hand swinging at an inside fastball.  DH in the NL anyone?
  • Miguel Cabrera hit three homers in one game and the Tigers still lost.
  • Baseball Prospectus did a piece on the 10 players in baseball history “they wish had stayed healthy”.  It’s worth a read, and yes, Mark Prior is number seven.
  • So, basically Theo told Ian Stewart that Vitters is the future at third base for the Cubs?  Should we call it the cold corner for a little while?

 

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Ryan Dempster broke his toe jumping over a dugout fence. No dugout fences anyone?

  • Doug S.

    Sorry if it’s been beaten to death, but have to ask… Is Javier Baez an option at 3rd down the road?

  • BLPCB

    When did that happen? I thought that happened to Aubrey Huff after SF’s perfect game last year.

  • Seymour Butts

    Not as long as Soriano is on the roster.

  • Jedi

    I could see them platooning in 2015.

  • Doug S.

    You guys are too funny.

  • Noah_I

    Yes, Baez is an option at 3B down the road. If he moves off shortstop, it will almost certainly be to 3B instead of 2B. A move to 3B would highlight his best defensive asset (strong arm), while a move to 2B would exacerbate his biggest defensive weakness as a middle infielder (size might make him a bit too “slow”). The big question with Baez is if the approach improves enough to be worrying about where he’ll play.

  • Noah_I

    Just to follow up on the “Vitters as the future” thing, Theo has clarified in a way that makes that seem like a bit of an overstatement by Ian Stewart. What Theo really said was more along the lines of: Vitters is still a prospect, you’re not, and we’re going to give the guy who is still a prospect the vast majority of starts.

  • Jedi

    They just need to dump Stewart once and for all. The only holdup can be Theo & Co. don’t want to be on record having paid him $2mil for 9 AAA hits and 6 weeks worth of ‘work’…even if Valbuena and Ransom both suffered freak injuries, Stewart would not be the automatic next-in-line at 3B.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    But where does “Fat Dan” fit in?

  • Jedi

    A league that uses the DH.

  • BLPCB

    The National League will have the DH by then

  • BLPCB

    Mattingly needs to trim his sideburns if he wants to save his job.

  • Eddie Von White

    test

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