MVP – Gio Gonzalez (.173 WPA)
The title were the words uttered by Renteria when asked if the loss today was a direct result of the trade last night that gutted 40% of the starting rotation. Obviously he played the good soldier and said that it wasn’t. From the emotional standpoint, I actually agree with him. From a logistical standpoint, I don’t. Unfortunately, Jeff Samardzija was scheduled to start the game today, which left the team in a mini bind in that area. The names on the 40 man roster who are candidates to take the spot in the rotation (Dallas Beeler, Chris Rusin, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Kyle Hendricks) were all on short rest, which meant Carlos Villanueva was tabbed as the emergency starter. Wada will get in the rotation for a start as part of the double header on Tuesday. Prior to the game, Noah asked me on Twitter if I thought it might be better for the Cubs to let Villanueva get a few starts before the deadline in an effort to drum up some trade interest. Today is exactly why I don’t think it’s a good idea. Villanueva is not a good pitcher and really shouldn’t even be on the roster. I do not want him in my rotation. I’d rather see what we have in the minors. I know what we have in Villanueva.
I’m not sure what you say about a game like this. We flat-lined fairly early in this one and there really wasn’t a good way to come back. I was going to write this game off as a loss and not even watch, but instead I watched it and feel foolish for doing so. We just have to put it in the books and come out tomorrow with a chance to win the series behind Jake Arrieta, who has been darn near perfect of late.
- I feel like we’re inching closer and closer to seeing a demotion of Mike Olt to AAA in an effort to get him on track. Had the Cubs not promoted Kris Bryant, I think it would have happened already. He’s not an effective part of this roster today and it’s harder and harder each game to justify giving him at bats. I like Olt and I like the power he brings to the table, but another 0-f0r-day with multiple strikeouts just seems to be the norm. With Arismendy Alcantara knocking at the door in the minor leagues, I think Olt and / or Darwin Barney are seeing their jobs in jeopardy.
- Jonathan Sanchez has been released by the organization. Sanchez had planned on pitching out of the pen in AAA, got in one game and sucked. Happy trails, Mr Sanchez.
- 6th round pick, Dylan Cease, has agreed to terms over the weekend. Cease was considered by many to be a first or second round talent, but is scheduled for Tommy John surgery and so he dropped. Jim Callis really likes the signing. It means the Cubs have agreed to terms with all of their first 10 selections and came in under budget.
- John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com checked in with his thoughts on the deal yesterday with the A’s.
- Theo Epstein talked about the trade, saying “There was no pitcher available who was even close to the caliber of player that Addison Russell is”. I agree with the philosophy. Trade for talent and sort it out from there.