Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

GirlieView (05/26/2016)

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.


  • Bryant’s RBI liner up the middle when all that was needed was a liner up the middle…not a bomb. It doesn’t always have to be a bomb, and he’s figured it out. He’s going to be SO good.
  • I still miss Castro but I understand the different make up of this Cubs roster.
  • Wood’s lost some heat (don’t do it, Seymour) and is learning to be crafty, but he … needs a little more bend. (Dammit – leave it alone, Seymour)
  • Wood pitches hard.
  • What happened to the half off prom dresses?
  • Lester has a classic case of ‘the yips’ on the throw to first and everyone in the league knows it.
  • No review of the “YIPS” would be complete without defining the words origin. YIPS is an anagram for the first letters of what the coaching staff mutters when observing Knoblock lawn dart a throw from second to first. “You Idiotic Piece of S**t.”
  • Billy Ocean. Any relation to Junior Lake?
  • First cousins, only much larger.
  • Maybe the Cubs could hire a tutor/musician to stroll out to the mound with Chris Bosio and spend 30 seconds humming to Jon – the way some teams have an interpreter for non-English speaking players.
  • Even with no game tonight, it was a great day for Ben Zobrist who was named National League co-player of the week,
  • Still not loving Heyward hitting two. To me, Zobrist probably belongs there behind Fowler – back to back switch hitting on base machines. Heyward has been a rally killer, and until his wrist, or whatever it is that is bothering him, is 100% it won’t kill him to bat lower in the order. Hell, bat him ninth.
  • We lost all of that funny junk we said with the other comment format… I hope Lizzie was taking notes
  • Lizzie never gets distracted.
  • I guess I’ll summarize. Doug was classic, CAPS apparently gets emails every time somebody comments on VFTB, intentionally, Dork had an identity crisis, Sherm shermranted, business as usual for Seymour and me. Raker was studying science at Subway and failed to check in. Still no sign of our beloved Johnsons.
  • get your game face on, triangle mouths and all!
  • She was last seen standing outside of a baseball stadium holding a homemade sign which reads “balls to the face hurt.” Her original sign, “who wants a ball in the mouth?” was stolen by a streetwalker.
  • Last year I dreaded games that David Ross was the starter because he was an automatic out. He’s not an all star, by any means, but watching him play this year has not been torture.
  • Real satisfying watching Sean Rodriguez strike out.
  • I have a problem with people not giving people that are better than them credit. Know where you stand
  • To all the off season Ben Zobrist supporters. You were right, he is an upgrade from Starlin Castro as much as I like and miss Castro. It’s not just the batting average with Zobrist, it seems like everyone of his AB’s is a quality AB. Zobrist is impressive and made the Cubs a better team.
  • Who hasn’t had the metaphorical bat flipped in their face? It’s life.
  • And who hasn’t, metaphorically, at least, punched an arrogant idiot in the mouth?
  • If you don’t like his bat flip, maybe you should have gotten him out.
  • The Pirates are probably still salty from their Wildcard loss.
  • People don’t hate losers. It feels good to be hated on.
  • The Cubs are playing with class and acting like they have been there even though they are not and have not been perennial winners year after year.
  • it prevents [your] back end of the pen guys from staying sharp because they aren’t needed very often. Take Clayton Richard, for example. In the last seven days, he’s thrown one inning. For the year, he’s under six. This for a guy who has the endurance to throw that in one outing, and he’s considered you long man. How can you expect him to be a long man if he doesn’t have the opportunity to throw long outings?
  • There is no reason to have three catchers unless one of them is named Kyle Schwarber and if Tim Federowicz has his name changed to Kyle Schwarber, I retract that statement too.
  • I would just as soon send Federowicz packing and keep Kalish. I bet Baez would be willing to strap on the gear and catch the long man.
  • Heck, I’d rather see Thunder Matt Murton pinch hit over watching guys like Richard, warm the bullpen pine, game after game.
  • The league may be making adjustments on how they pitch to the Cubs.
  • Len – Joe Nathan, there’s two first names
    Thinking Man – Wouldn’t you like to see a Joe Nathan / John Jay matchup?
    Len – Two more first names right there
    Thinking Man – Then you have Jay Bruce
    Len – That’s out number one. That brings up a great point, do you think Jay Bruce was born to run like Bruce Springsteen?
    Thinking Man – Maybe back in his glory days
    Len – We’re through eight. Cubs seven, Milwaukee two.
  • Opportunity for a 4th of July hot dog eating contest tie in with Joe Nathan.
  • Nathan’s famous hot dog probably has an entirely different meaning in the Nathan bedroom
  • Federowitz pinch hit AB in the 9th was putrid.
  • Flailowitz at bat was terrible. I’d have rather seen Travis Wood pinch hit. Pathetic. He didn’t come within a foot of the ball.
  • I would go with Bryant at 1b and jBaez in left. I didn’t think Rizzo should of been pinched run for. Now we are in extra’s without our best hitter.
  • And Baez could have pinch it in that Whiffowitz situation. Or instead of Cahill, who actually did a lot better than Strikeoutawitz.
  • Wood played hard, as per usual.
  • He played hard for a long man.
  • Maddon, when asked what he said to Wood on the mound with bases loaded? “Understand one thing: If you get out of this, you’re getting an at-bat.”
  • I know you have seen good 3b play, you played with me.
  • What happens in the shower, stays in the shower
  • I do want to go back to something Joe said in the original post, though. The WWE is fixed and pre-planned? SON OF A BITCH!!!!!
  • Sorry brother.
  • If they do move a guy out of the pen and into the starting rotation without a trade, I would look for it to be Warren.
  • I’ll start with Grimm. He’s a two pitch guy. Unless one of the two is a heater that hits triple digits with sick movement? He’s not a starter. Teach him a change-up, and then? Maybe. Not this year.
  • look at the standings, and then stare at a photo of Jake and question your sexuality.
  • Heyward is a different story. He’s just not comfortable at the plate. Give him some time off and call it bereavement (for the death of his swing) But really…just drop him to 7 (or 9) in the batting order and let him work it out.
  • VFTB authoring guideline 101 – The word naked usually follows shortly after Murton.
  • Soler busts out. Finally. He was like a big black right handed Kyle Schwarber yesterday. The JS of Death?
  • Bubble wrap the JS of Death and it sticks.
  • Every time I type that, I have to send Sue a nickel
  • I hope you sterilize them first.
  • Nah…they’re wooden
  • Cheap at twice the price.
  • They actually play rookie ball in Phoenix through out the summer. That is brutal.
  • It’s a dry heat.
  • so is fire
  • My apologies, I thought I gave CAPS your celebrity fan line number. $1 a minute to listen to your recording…………..”and then we took batting practice……..and then we played the games………..and then there was laughter and joy for those capable of experiencing laughter and joy……….and then dinner at Quiznos………..”
  • $4.99 a minute. What do you think I am.
  • I did prefer the 24 – 6 stretch over the 5-8 stretch we have been on.
  • Did anyone see the poor ump in LA that took a fouled off bunt to the groin? He went down pretty hard. Karma?
  • Twig or berries?
  • The Cubs are 1st in the league in ERA and 2nd in the league in runs scored. They’re on pace to win 110 games, which would be freaking insane. Don’t let a couple tough losses in May get you down. All is well in Cubbyland!
  • Cardinals Kick the Cubs in the Twig AND the Berries
  • What a blessing Ben Zobrist has been this season. He had another great night at the plate and has been wonderful this season. Imagine this team had he not been brought in and had Dexter Fowler not spurned the Orioles and come to Chicago.
  • The only question mark was catcher, but Geovany Soto grabbed the opportunity and ran with it.
  • My Bushmills taste especially good this evening, it compliments a good old fashion ass kicking of the Cardinals very well.
  • the pig is on the runway. Hammel will be our #2 come playoff time. Lester just isn’t as trustworthy.
  • Hammel is all star caliber this year. Not only does he pitch, but he hits, and he throws to first. That’s 3 out of 3 if you’re doing the math.


  • Baseball in person still beats any other sport. Even in a loss.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Andrew Thackray, Bartz, Bilyuds, Buddy, and Dork for their first 2016 Regular Season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for being here!


  • Congratulations to Sherm, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Eddie von White
2. Sherm
3. Doc Raker
4. Seymour Butts
5. jswanson
6. Joe Aiello
7. Doug S
8. cap’n realist
9. Brad Lyerla
10. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

  • Today’s day off gives you some extra time to think about the Cubs so give this a try. Given current performance what’s your proposed lineup for Friday’s game vs. the Phillies? (Probable starter is Jon Lester so you must work that in. Adam Morgan is set to start for the Phillies if it matters.)
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Even When Jake is Bad…He Wins

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Chicago Cubs - Won 9-8 over the Cardinals

  • Jake Arrieta showed again that he has the potential to be “human” a day after Chris Sale got shelled. We’ve been a little spoiled having both of these guys pitching in Chicago the way they have been, so you had to know it was going to happen eventually. The key was that we got the win. I would go on record right now and predict that at the end of the year, Jake will still have a 0 in the loss column. Mark it down.
  • Two games in a row with a six run inning. There was no option to embed the game recap, so instead I give you the big inning video. That’s essentially the recap. Had the Cubs not done that, they have no shot at winning this game.
  • How do you like to watch the game? I am an guy, so I watch games at night. I avoid Twitter and Facebook during the day on dates where the Cubs play early so I can watch without commercials between innings. If I see the score, it ruins it for me. Yesterday a Cardinals fan on Twitter ruined it for me. We’ve been direct messaging back and forth since the playoffs last year and it’s all in good fun. He didn’t know, but let this be a lesson to you all. Don’t talk about the game with me until you know it’s OK.

Iowa Cubs (AAA) – Lost 9-1 to El Paso

Tennessee Smokies (AA) – Lost 6-2 to Chattanooga

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Adv) – Won 6-2 over Carolina

South Bend Cubs (A) – Won 10-5 over Great Lakes

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Should the Cubs Add a Villain?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Celebration of the Cubs looking like the Cubs of two week ago lasted long into the wee hours of this morning for this guy. In my glazed-eye state, unsure of why I was still awake, I stumbled upon the final few moments of MLB Network’s late night show with none other than the “great” Harold Reynolds.

Reynolds and Eric Byrnes were discussing players who should be on the move come late June or July when the name Ryan Braun comes up. The Brewers are bad and kind of direction-less after losing Prince Fielder and CC Sabbathia a few years ago, leaving Braun to carry them to a handful of last-place finishes. Moving Braun for younger pieces makes plenty of sense.

The conversation carries on with each former player offering a team Braun would make sense on, including the Indians and Mariners. Byrnes briefly interjects with a notion that Braun would make sense in either league, but his familiarity with the National League could make him a fit with a team like the Phillies.

I shake my head to my cat, Ella, but Byrnes corrects himself by saying that would only make sense if the Phillies surprisingly good start continued further into the season. He adds as a final note that Braun would not be a great add for the top teams in the NL because of their depth in the outfield, to which I do concur and begin to reach for the remote to head to bed.

Since we enjoy hot takes on the interwebs and the fallout from them, I offer to you a hot take from someone other than me.

In what had to be a weird out of body experience or maybe it was just the shandy, Reynolds seems to correct Byrnes in saying that a top team in the NL could be interested in Braun because of his offensive prowess.

At this moment I begin to yell internally, ‘DON’T SAY IT HAROLD.’

He did. He says the Cubs could use Braun and that he would be an upgrade over anyone in their outfield currently.



Yes, I assume you are having the same reaction as me in this moment.

Okay, now that we’ve briefly recovered from such a thought, let’s quickly break it down. Putting aside all ill-fated thoughts about the former* PED user for the Brew Crew, Braun is obviously a great offensive player. He’s made six all-star games and has a lifetime average just over .300, something the Cubs don’t currently have in their outfield.

I’m not going to compare Braun to Dexter Fowler because there’s no way he could play center well with any consistency. In theory you could move Jason Heyward to center, but that just seems like spinning tires for the sake of doing so.

Braun is a better offensive player than Heyward at this juncture and few would doubt that, but what Heyward provides from the depths of the outfield make up for a few of his deficiencies. The Cubs top two outfielders have combined for 156 putouts, three assists and no errors through 44 games, as well as a 1.0 defensive WAR through the first quarter. Heyward’s .6 mark is only lower than David Ross (.8) and Addison Russell (.7).

Braun is essentially average at .1 in 36 games played. He’s not a liability like he was at times during his transition into the outfield earlier in his career, but he’s not even upgrade on Soler despite posting better numbers this year. Soler’s one errors in more limited chances hampers his early-season score, but Braun cannot match the arm strength in left or right.

So essentially it all boils down to offense in Harold’s rhetorical world, but at what cost? The Cubs offense has had its fair share of letdowns this season, including the most recent stretch of futility that cost them a couple series in succession. Soler has been one of the most frustrating of the bunch, often over-swinging on breaking balls away and low. Frustration with Soler is warranted, but he’s one of the lower salaried members of the lineup and was supposed to keep working as a rotational player this year.

Braun would be an upgrade in the lineup over Soler, but where does he fit in reality? Second? Third? Sixth? It would create an embarrassment of bats, but at what cost?

Even if you could get a good deal for a bat like that, would fans ever be able to get over the fact that he’s been an NL Central villain for the better part of eight years?

What say you?

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Winning Covers A Lot

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Chicago Cubs - Won 12-3 over the Cardinals

If the last few days have got you down, hopefully yesterday’s win with the promise that today is Jake day has you feeling just fine. My guess is the coffee tastes better today than it has been.

Jason Heyward made his return to the lineup and did Jason Heyward things (0-for-5 with 2 K), but the rest of the team, including the bat boys, clubhouse attendants and even the organist did their job well. At what point do you move Heyward down in the order? We’ve seen Joe Maddon move other guys around in the lineup, but not Heyward. I want to see him in that seven or eight spot in the lineup until he can play his way out of it. I’m done with him at the front end of the lineup.

Jason Hammel pitched another solid game and has been, arguably, our second best starter this year. I think I would still trust Jon Lester over Hammel, but Jason has really pitched well this year. You know me, I’m a skeptic and was ready to jump off the Hammel train this spring training, but I’ve been running behind that train all season trying to grab on and hoist myself back up for the ride. I’m almost there, and I’ve begun to wonder if there is a chance Hammel makes the All Star team. The Cubs the potential to send multiple representatives, and perhaps Hammel should be one of them.

It was a big win last night to get some momentum heading into this afternoon with Jake Arrieta, and I fully expect the Cubs to win this series.

Iowa Cubs (AAA) – Won 8-3 over El Paso

The win ends an 8 game losing streak for the I-Cubs

Tennessee Smokies (AA) – Off Day

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Adv) – Won 3-2 over Carolina

South Bend Cubs (A) – Won 8-3 over Great Lakes

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Memory and Perspective

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

In 2008, I liked our team and thought we had a realistic chance of making it to the World Series. That was only a short time ago, and yet many fans seem to have forgotten the utter joy and hard lesson of that wonderful season.

The Cubs had won the Central Division in 2007. Though they did not advance beyond the Division Series, the 2007 season ended with great optimism for the coming year. The Cubs were balanced and peaking. In a weak National League, many prognosticators picked the Cubs to win it all in ’08. It would be appropriately poetic. The last time they won the World Series was 1908, exactly one hundred years earlier. It was time to come full circle.

The idea that the Cubs’ time had come was not all poetry and daydreams. The Cubs had a solid and productive infield: Derek Lee (1b), Mark DeRosa (2b), The Riot (ss) and Aramis Ramirez (3b). They would begin the season with Alfonso Soriano, Felix Pie and Kosuke Fukudome patrolling the outfield. Jim Edmonds, one of my favorite mid-season acquisitions ever, was added later as an upgrade to Pie in centerfield. The rotation was high quality too: Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis. Kerry Wood would close. The only question mark was catcher, but Geovany Soto grabbed the opportunity and ran with it.

The season had a magical feel. We believed that, unlike in ’07, this time Lou Pinella would have the team ready for the play-offs. Dempster and DeRosa were popular team leaders. Jim Hendry worked hard to add pitching, bringing in Rich Harden in late July. Wood was the bridge to our past and saved 34 games. Soto had a brilliant rookie season and later earned rookie of the year honors. Everything felt right. No one went crazy offensively, but the team played well together and the Cubs ended the regular season with 97 wins, most in the NL. As predicted, the Cubs entered the playoffs riding high.

Dempster started the first game of the Division Series for us against Los Angeles. He was tighter than a drumhead. After some of his pitches, he stood behind the mound while facing centerfield and took big gulps of air. I never saw him do this before. I thought he would hyperventilate. In the end, he was ineffective. The Cubs lost 7-2. Zambrano was next. He lost game two 8-3. Rich Harden then lost game three 3-1, in the only well-pitched game of the series for the Cubs. Just like that, it was over. A great season, six months of being the best team in the NL, was done.

The lesson is simple. Nothing is guaranteed. Enjoy the ride. Have fun. And, yes, suffering at times is part of the fun. Will we win it all? Maybe. No one knows. But I do know this. I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

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#Cardinals Kick the Cubs in the Twig AND the Berries

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Chicago Cubs - Lost 4-3 to St. Louis

If you came away from last night’s loss to the Cardinals angry, you have every right to feel that way. It was a game we should have won and we couldn’t close it out. It sucks, especially at the hands of the Cardinals, but take a breath and look at the standings and let’s get them tonight.

Where is the Offense? - I genuinely thought the Cubs would score 1,000 runs this season, or at least get close to it, but that looks to be far fetched at this point. As a team, the Cubs have hit .213 / .307 / .348 over the last seven days. That’s not going to get it done, especially when some of those games are against competent teams like the Giants and the Cardinals (though the jury is still out on them). Players go through slumps, but unfortunately all of our guys have chosen the same time to do it. It sucks, but things can change in the snap of the fingers.

Where Would We Be? - What a blessing Ben Zobrist has been this season. He had another great night at the plate and has been wonderful this season. Imagine this team had he not been brought in and had Dexter Fowler not spurned the Orioles and come to Chicago. We could be a team that is much closer to the pack had those guys not come here.

A Veteran is Released – Prior to the game, the Cubs made the announcement that they had released Shane Victorino, who was brought in with an opportunity to win a job and had been playing on a minor league contract with a Major League option should he be called up. It was another edition of the Theo / Jed Educational Lottery, but this ticket was not a winner. It happens. The Cubs felt that with Matt Szczur healthy now, they were blocking Victorino and wanted him to have the opportunity to play somewhere else. Translation: This guy isn’t very good and has no chance to play here. Release him.

Iowa Cubs (AAA) – Lost 6-1 to El Paso

Tennessee Smokies (AA) – Won 3-2 (12 innings) over Biloxi

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Adv) – Won 3-1 over Lynchburg

South Bend Cubs (A) – Won 6-3 over Lake County

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Cubs Water Cooler Topics

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

The weekend rolling over to yet another Monday marks another day to avoid work talking Cubs baseball at the water cooler. This post briefly discusses a few hot topics on the North side…

Soler showing signs of hope?

It has been a tough season for Jorge Soler, to say the least. The 24-year-old Cuban slugger went from being the lineup’s main source of production in October to fighting for playing time in April. Last year, in his first postseason of his young career, Soler mashed .571/.769/1.571 in the NLDS against St. Louis and put up an impressive .417/.417/.833 against the stifling New York staff.

At the beginning of the season, there just simply wasn’t room in the outfield for Soler. He figured to platoon with Kyle Schwarber, seeing at-bats when the matchup was in his favor. However, a horrific season-ending injury to Schwarber jolted Soler ahead in the depth chart and has led to more in-game reps.

He has not delivered.

But, this past week could mark a turning point for Soler’s mediocre campaign. He hit .416 in his last five games—before running into the buzz saw that is Madison Baumgarner—including Friday night, where he went 2-4 with a home run and a few impressive catches in left field. He still is extremely susceptible to an off-speed pitch (particularly a good changeup) but appears to be looking a shade more dialed in on fastballs—the pitches that he should barrel up. Look for Maddon to keep giving Soler exposure in the lineup, looking to build off this recent momentum and boost his confidence.

What’s wrong with Rizz?

Anthony Rizzo has played in every game for the Cubs this season. It’s about that time for a day off. In his last six games, Rizzo only has one hit in 25 at-bats, whiffing six times. Rizzo doesn’t seem like he will ever be a guy whose batting average exceeds .300. And that’s ok—not everyone needs to—but .240 isn’t cutting it. On the bright side, his 11 home runs are fifth most in the league and his defense has been sharp. Also, it’s clear that he emerged as one of the leaders in the clubhouse alongside David Ross.

No, it is not even remotely the time to press the panic button on Rizzo. Rather, just suggesting that a day off to recalibrate (as Jim Deshaies would say) could prove to be beneficial. Maddon tried to shake things up for Rizz by putting him second in the lineup last night—no dice. Let him sit; I’m sure Baez is up for playing first again.

Responding to Adversity

Remember when the Cubs refused to lose two games (or even one) in a row? That was fun. Since dropping both games of the double header against San Diego on May 11, Chicago has treaded water with a 4-5 record, losing two of three games to both Milwaukee and San Francisco. Looking back even further, the team has lost the last 7 of 11 games. On the bright side, the pitching staff is still chugging along and doing their part to keep their team in the game. The blame falls onto the shoulders of a struggling lineup that is stacked from top to bottom. Go figure.

We knew (most of us did, anyway) that turbulent stretches were on the horizon after the Cubs jumped out of the gate to a sizzling start. Anthony Rizzo was quoted in a report by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers saying: “If anyone thought we were going to win 140 games, I want to know what they’re taking.”

The question is this: how will the team respond to such adversity?

Looking ahead at the schedule, the Cubs have a three-gamer in St. Louis starting today followed by a much-needed extended stay at Wrigley. It seems like the team has been on the road a ton lately, so a return to the Confines may be exactly what the doctor ordered to remedy this tough stretch. By the way, there are teams—like Minnesota—that would be grateful winning four of nine. Besides, if there’s a manager to get a team that is underperforming back on track, it’s Joe Maddon.

Deep breaths, Cubs nation.


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It’s Not Easy Being the Best Team in MLB

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Chicago Cubs - Lost 1-0 to San Francisco

I know that as you read this, you’re disappointed. I know the last 10 games or so have been discouraging and making you possibly revert back to the traditional Cubs thinking that this isn’t our year after all, but I would encourage you to stop that thinking and that attitude right now.

Here is where the Cubs stood in the standings over the last 3 years on this date:

2015: 23-18 (3.5 GB)

2014: 17-28 (9.5 GB)

2013: 18-27 (11.5 GB)

We’re 29-13 and have the best record in baseball. Slow your roll and relax.

  • Kyle Hendricks didn’t look great, but got into the 6th inning and only allowed one run. That’s a positive.
  • Jorge Soler played good defense in LF. That’s a positive.
  • The bullpen was perfect. That’s a positive.

It’s not much, but shake it off and get ready for the Cardinals tonight.

Iowa Cubs (AAA) – Lost 8-1 to Tacoma

Tennessee Smokies (AA) – Lost both games of a DH (5-0 & 6-5)

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Adv) – Lost 7-4 to Lynchburg

South Bend Cubs (A) – Won 6-4 over Lake County

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Prospect Spotlight: Dylan Cease

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

The Cubs 8th ranked prospect for 2016 is right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease. Cease was selected in the 6th round of the 2014 MLB draft out of high school in Georgia. During his senior season, Cease was injured and eventually needed tommy john surgery. Before the injury, he was a lock to be a first round pick in the draft. Time will tell if he will be able to reach the potential he showed before the injury, as he hasn’t had enough exposure to professional baseball to make a judgment quite yet. In 11 appearances in the Arizona Rookie League, he posted a 4.50 ERA and had some real command issues which led to a lot of walks. If he is going to be successful, that is what he needs to work on most. However, if he can work on his command and gain some control, his stuff has more potential than any pitcher in the Cubs minor league system.

His fastball has good movement and sits between 97-99 mph and can touch over 100 mph. He also has a good curveball and a solid changeup. It will be interesting to see how he performs in his first full professional season. During this spring in intersquad matchups, scouts were raving about how good he is looking. He showed improved command and his fastball was as impressive as ever.

Given his experience level in professional baseball, he will be starting this season at rookie ball. If he can perform like he was in the Spring, there is no reason why he shouldn’t move up through short season Eugene to possibly reach South Bend by the end of this season. Even with all of the great position player prospects the Cubs have, I would recommend keeping track of how Cease performs this year. He is a guy I can see making a big impact at the major league level in the next few years.

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