Baseball

#21 Torres time will have to wait

Today I want to write about how the Yankees top prospect (and currently MLB’s number 2 overall) Gleyber Torres got injured and will be out the rest of the year. It’s really too bad, before the injury I thought the 20 year old shortstop would be making his debut in the Bronx fairly soon. He was working on third base, where the Yankees struggle, so I thought it was coming a lot sooner than most expected. Before I get into Torres I want to mention a couple things, not really much to say so I guess you can consider them “notes.”

What was with that slide Rizzo? Last night Anthony Rizzo slid/ran over the catcher at home plate trying to score on a sac fly. And honestly I don’t care, that’s how the game use to be played until they changed the rules to protect the catcher. Usually Joe Maddon is considered a genius (this year not so much) but his comments last night were incredibly dumb and ill informed. I know he was just defending his player but Rizzo had a clean lane to slide he went out of his way to initiate contact. Go back and watch the tape if you don’t believe me.

Don’t you hate it when some players get more attention than others? Last year (and the beginning of this year) people would not shut up about Gary Sanchez and his power, “so fast to 20 homers” “among the best ever.” And then there’s Cody Bellinger who’s literally THE fastest ever to 21 homers in MLB history, and yet nobody is really talking about him. What’s up with that?

At just 19 years old he won the Arizona fall league MVP just last year, Gleyber Torres certainly has great potential. He has very quick feet and an excellent arm looking a lot older in the field, he simply knows where to be. He’s just one of those players where it just looks like everything comes super easy to him, especially on defense. I was in Arizona and witnessed him with my own two eyes and it still surprises me he was only 19. I personally believe in his power potential right now he’s more of a gap to gap doubles kind of hitter, but I think as he grows up a little more he can transition that to homerun power. The reason why I’m talking about him is because he injured himself sliding head first into home (always a bad idea) and needs Tommy john surgery which will unfortunately cut his season short. But the silver lining it’s his non throwing elbow so it shouldn’t effect his future arm strength any. It’s still funny the Cubs gave up Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade last years and then the Yankees sign Chapman back in the offseason anyway, I think it’s safe to say the Yankees won that trade.

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Baseball

#20 the struggling Cubs

Now that the draft has came and went I really have nothing planned to write about today. After I saw the Cubs lineup yesterday I got a little made so I feel a good rant coming on, is that ok? Before I start don’t come at me with “you’re just a Cub hater” no I’m really not I still believe they can win the NL central. I’m just a realist and I have some problems with the way the Cubs have constructed their lineup recently. And no this isn’t about batting Rizzo leadoff, that doesn’t bother me at all.

How to start? Ok, first Ian Happ needs to be sent back to AAA. He’s only hitting .200 yet he hits first, second, or cleanup in the lineup, he does have 7 homers but who cares when you’re only hitting .200? Speaking of Happ, because he’s the usual center fielder for whatever reason Albert Almora is just a bench player. Almora is hitting .286, the highest average on the Cubs, could win a gold glove and he’s just a bench player playing once every 3 or 4 games. Speaking of bench riders let’s talk about Javy Baez. Baez has gold glove potential like Almora and he also has 30 homer potential but yet he’s used sparingly too. Zobrist hitting .220 and Russell hitting .215 are so much better than Baez at .250 (sarcasm.) Russell playing through his struggles I understand because he’s a slick fielding shortstop, but Zobrist isn’t and he still plays more than Baez. Yes, Baez is going to strike out that’s just the kind of player he is but don’t act like you have such a problem with it and then turn a blind eye to Kris Bryant’s strikeouts. Now I saved the worst hitter for last because I got plenty to say, onto Kyle Schwarber. The dude is hitting .170 why is he still starting? Back in 2015 he only hit .240 yet every Cubs fan was impressed by him why? I didn’t see it he just looked like a strikeout or homer guy, nothing special those guys are a dime a dozen. Last year he tears his ACL which pretty much put the end to him possibly being a catcher, so now primarily an outfielder. An outfielder hitting .170. I’m not going to pretend he doesn’t have a pretty swing, its very quick and it creates plenty of power. When the Cubs drafted him fourth overall in 2014 everyone, including myself, thought that was an over reach they could’ve gotten someone more talented. You ever wondered why? Maybe he’s peaked, maybe the league has figured him out.

My point to this post, start Baez and Almora! The Cubs can still win if they actually make some legitimate changes, batting Rizzo leadoff is not enough.

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Baseball

#2 roadblock in Chicago

I’m still getting back into the groove of writing a full blog every couple days so this one might be a little short like Tuesday. I was racking my brain trying to think of something to write about about today and didn’t come up with anything. So I figured I’d just give my two cents on one of the few teams that are playing as I write this. Today I’ll write a little about the Chicago Cubs.

And more importantly a player that I don’t think is getting a fair shake from the Cubs, Javier Baez. Baez played great in the world baseball classic for Puerto Rico, was the MVP in the NLCS (or NLDS can’t remember which one). He really should be an everyday starter but he’s not in there today and still not 100% the starter at second base. He brings a good bat, crazy athleticism, and highlight plays on defense every day. For whatever reason the Cubs decided to sign Ben Zobrist last offseason and cause a bigger logjam at second base than what was already coming. Ian Happ was what I was talking about, he’s a top 25 prospect now, he was a top 10 pick a couple years back. Cubs fans might recognize Happ’s name because he had an outstanding spring training and was the talk of camp. Because of Schwarber being back they can’t just put Zobrist in left and start Baez at second like they did late/in the playoffs last year. Why don’t they just start Zobrist in right so Baez can play? That’s an option but you’re putting 180 million dollars, Jason Heyward, on the bench. Just start Heyward in center and bench Almora? Well you’re not gaining anything defensively, they’re both very good, and you’re forced to deal with Heyward not hitting anything playing him just because he’s a highly payed player. It’s a good problem to have, that’s why no one is complaining much, but it’s still a problem. Baez has proven his worth as a starter, Happ is knocking on the door, also Happ can play outfield too just like Zobrist. Don’t be surprised if Zobrist or Schwarber or even Heyward will be traded this year. The lineup has no leadoff hitter and the pitching staff is very old so they could trade for a leadoff guy and some young pitching. Just an idea.

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Baseball

#50 last post of the season

This will be my final post of the season, I know there’s at least one game to be played but I’m going out of town on Thursday and will not be able to post after the finale. The only thing I can write about today is the World Series. We are through 5 games of the series and its 3-2 Cleveland. Not much else to say so let’s get into it.

I will still be rooting (somewhat) for the Cubs to win the series. Obviously they can’t win in 6 games like I predicted the most they can do tonight is tie the series 3-3. I think it’s a little too much of an uphill battle for the Cubs to win the series. Corey Kluber is scheduled/planned to go for game 7 and Chicago simply cannot touch the former cy young winner. And the pitcher for Cleveland tonight is Josh Tomlin who the Cubs struggled against in game 2. I thought the Cubs matched up well against the Indians starters and I also thought the offense would finally come out of the dark. But I was wrong this offense has been stagnant the entire postseason. I figured it was maybe because of all the leftys they were facing but when it was a right handed only staff, the Indians, the offense was nowhere to be found. Even the win in game 5 the offense only scored 3 runs so they squeaked by and got the W. Do I still think the Cubs have the firepower to pull it out? Yes I do but do I think it’ll happen? No, in my opinion I think it’ll be over tonight with Cleveland getting the rings.

Since it’s my last post of the year I just have to say Rest In Peace to Jose Fernandez again. His passing was just tragic. Dee Gordon deserves the ESPY for the best moment of the year with that lead off homer. #RIPJF16

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Baseball

#49 2 games in

We’re only 2 games into the World Series tied 1-1 so obviously I’m not jumping ship or anything. I still believe the Cubs will win it in 6 games like I said Tuesday. The Indians are very good and everything I just think the Cubs hitters match up very well against the tribes pitching. Game 1 did not surprise me at all, I knew Chicago would struggle against Corey Kluber. Besides that matchup against the other Indians starters I think the Cubs have the upper hand. But the thing I want to focus this post on is Kyle Schwarber.

I said he wasn’t ready on Tuesday but I didn’t have all of the information so I just want to clear the air. Like I said on Tuesday he only played in 2 Arizona fall league games what I didn’t know was that the Cubs also brought in minor leaguers to face Schwarber. So he saw somewhere around 1300 live pitches before the World Series. I personally thought it was like he rolled out of bed, flew to Arizona, played against some prospects then he’d play the WS. I thought that was a little too much to expect that from someone who hasn’t played in 6 months but if I knew he faced more live pitching I might’ve felt differently. If you haven’t noticed his swing has a lot of movement in it and that takes time to get everything right so with him seeing plenty of live pitching I can see why he got 2 hits last night. Now that the series is back in Chicago without a DH there’s a question whether or not he’ll play. It’s ultimately up to Schwarber’s doctors if he can play the field or not but if he can the Cubs have to start him. With an offense who only has a couple hitters hitting good right now you need his bat in the lineup.

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Baseball

#48 World Series preview

In case you didn’t know game 1 of the World Series between the Cubs and the Indians is tonight. This post will be about the upcoming finale of the 2016 MLB season. Of course I’ll make my prediction at the end of this post but I have a couple talking points to mention first.

The biggest story is the fact that the Cubs put Kyle Schwarber on the World Series roster. If you ask me it’s a bad idea, he hasn’t played baseball since the beginning of April. But he went down to the Arizona fall league, a prospect league, for 2 games and Chicago somehow thinks that means he’s ready to face major leaguers? Oh please spring training is over a month long and the hitters still take longer than that to get into a grove. Furthermore he didn’t kill it down in Arizona he only got 1 hit. So it’s not like he was killing it and showing he was ready to be back he looked a little over matched but maybe that’s just me. I can’t blame the Cubs for bringing Schwarber back though besides Bryant and Baez, Rizzo and Russell turned it up the last couple games, the lineup is looking ugly. Speaking of bringing players back from injury, Cleveland added Danny Salazar to their World Series roster. Salazar started out this year absolutely lights out looking like he was going to be a serious Cy Young candidate. But then he got injured and was out for awhile then he tried to come back a little too soon didn’t look as good as he did before and ended up getting injured again. He is a difference maker in that rotation, if he’s on he’s a top 10 pitcher right there with Kluber. He needs to be healthy and ready to pitch if Salazar is on the Tribe has some good pitching staff along with Kluber and Baur. You can tell early if Salazar will be good or not, just look at his fastball velocity if he’s around 93 mph he’s likely to get hit around however if he’s 95+ mph he’ll be that top 10 pitcher.

I’m surprised I’m saying this but I actually predict that the team who haven’t won in 108 years is going to win the World Series. I just think the Cubs lineup matches up well against the Indians pitching. It will by no means be a sweep but I’m saying the Cubs win in 6 maybe 7. The WS MVP? Anthony Rizzo.

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#46 NLCS

Before I start I should say I haven’t been as emotionally invested in baseball as usual. Happens every year when the Nats get knocked out (usually around this time because they lose every year in the NLDS) so I’m sorry if I’m not my usual know everything self. The ALCS is going on as well but that’s kind of a blowout with the Indians up 3 games to none against the Blue Jays. It’s a little bit of a surprise to me because I thought the Jays were the better team but the playoffs are weird. I know plenty of Cub fans and the Cubs-Dodgers series just seems more interesting to me.

I have said this since the beginning, and I obviously still believe it, the Dodgers can spoil this postseason. The series is only tied 1-1 so it’s not like they’re already World Series bound it’s just I think it’s possible. They already beat the second best team in the NL and they match up very well with the Cubs. Even though the 3 games they won against the Nats they beat them by a total of 3 runs obviously barely enough to pull it out. I have had a couple days to process it and you have to hand it to the Dodgers. Their offense wasn’t at all better than the Nats, especially RISP the Dodgers were horrid, but they kept up with the Nats pitching wise. The Nats were obviously a great pitching team and so are the Cubs. Just like the NLDS against the Nats if the Dodgers can keep up with the Cubs on the pitching side maybe they can claw up enough runs to win the series. With the left handed starters the Dodgers have the Cubs are in for a battle. The Cubs have not been great against lefties all year, I know I’ve said that before, the Dodgers have Kershaw (whose already won), Hill, and Urias to potentially start. The Cubs are without a doubt a good hitting team but the highest era of those three pitchers is 3.39 and because they’re lefties I would give the Dodgers the advantage in those 3 games. If the Cubs decide to hit those lefties they could easily win beside Kershaw the other two aren’t as reliable. Like I said playoffs are weird the Cubs could easily change the trend of them being weak against lefty starters. Just my two cents on the NLCS.

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