No game yesterday, but it was April Fool’s day. I don’t generally participate in the foolishness, and I can say that my day went off without a hitch. I’m curious how the day went for all of you. Did you pull any pranks? Were you pranked? Tell us about it in the comment section. Now then, on to the news:
- The Mets Lose Their Closer – You might be asking why this is the headline on the Cubs blog. The answer is simple. With the news that Bobby Parnell may be done for the year, it would be a great time for the Cubs to strike while the iron is hot and make a deal to ship Jose Veras to the Mets in exchange for pitching prospects. The Mets are loaded with pitching talent. While Veras may not be the main piece in the deal, why not give them a call and see if he would be a sweetener to move one of our positional prospects in return for one or two of their pitching prospects. I don’t know, maybe someone like Noah Syndergaard? Hey, a guy can dream, but seriously a deal between these two teams makes sense. You don’t normally see minor league guys swapping for minor league guys, but each team has what the other lacks. Let’s make it happen.
- Fans Really Like Spring Training – For some ungodly reason, people actually enjoy spring training baseball. I can only imagine it’s different when it’s in person and that is evident this year by the fact that the Cubs set a Cactus league record for attendance with an impressive number of 203,105 fans passing through the turnstiles. Maybe you just have to be there. What I do know is that the new park looked really cool.
- Cubs Turn Back The Clock Twice (Does That Mean They Turned It Forward?) – If you missed this, the Cubs are apparently celebrating the past decades by not only coming up with a decade by decade themed menu, but by also signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract. What better way to celebrate the past than to sign someone who should have retired long ago? Honestly, the Pineiro news I could care less about it. He’s a minor league fill in at this point with no risk. The decade menu, though, I’m intrigued by. The 1910’s Reuben dog sounds amazing.
- Staying on the Food Train – Staying on the food train, if a Reuben dog doesn’t do it for you, or even if it does, why not get yourself a hotdog flavored cocktail? That’s right, Biz of Baseball has the details, including a picture of the idea.
Game 2 of the opening series with the Pirates pits Edwin Jackson against some dude named Charlie Morton. He’s made 108 starts in the majors and yet I’ve never heard of him. That’s my bad, I guess. Let’s take a look a little deeper at Morton and know what we can expect.
“The new anchor of the rotation begins to earn his three-year, $21 million contract against a Cubs team he has beaten only twice in nine career starts. Morton had a solid spring, putting up a 1.13 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts.”
OK, so apparently he’s good. That makes me feel even worse. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say in terms of his scouting report:
Morton’s repertoire consisted in 2013 of a four-seam fastball (93–95 mph), a sinker (92–94 mph), a curveball (78–80 mph), and a split-finger fastball (84–88 mph).Morton picked up the splitter in 2011, having previously thrown a changeup. He also has previously thrown a slider and a cutter.Morton’s sinker was his most common pitch, especially against right-handed hitters. His curveball was his most common pitch with 2 strikes.
Due to the changes in his delivery and the emphasis he has placed on the sinker, Morton has spawned comparisons to the Philadelphia Phillies’ two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.Pirates special assistant Jim Benedict had previously encouraged Morton to emulate Halladay’s delivery during spring training. Morton has featured his new sinker almost exclusively in his first starts of the 2011 season, resulting in an increased groundball rate but also more bases on balls. Pirates’ fans have christened him with the nickname “Ground Chuck.”
Well, that should make us feel a little better. We’re facing Halladay today and how do we counter? With Edwin freaking Jackson. Fantastic!!
Let’s get to three predictions for the game today.
- Anthony Rizzo rebounds and doesn’t strike out three times. – Hey, I picked the guy to finish in the top 10 for the MVP. He’s gotta start somewhere. There is nowhere to go but up from his opening day performance.
- Jackson will only suck a little bit. – We’ve been reading that he is poised for a rebound. Truth is, I don’t actually dislike him. I just don’t trust him like I did when I watched the Rays for a short period of time. I think he’ll give us 5-6 average innings.
- Morton doesn’t repeat the performance that his rotation-mate, Francisco Liriano did yesterday and looks hittable, but still gets the win.
I found this pretty, pink logo so I have to use it now. This will be a regular feature where we get a look not necessarily at what songs are actually on my iPod, though some are, but rather songs that I am listening to currently. Enjoy!!! Today’s selection is by P.O.D..