Hello again, everybody. The All-Star break has ended, the American League won again, making it 47 out of the last 51 for the DH’ers, or at least it seems that way.
As I started saying, today is the first day of the second half, of what I hope is the final “total giveaway” season of the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer regime. I expect the Cubs to be a .500 baseball team next year, if not a little better. This year’s second half should show us some of what we might see for a few years to come, or hopefully, many years. So with that said, let’s get to some ramblings and to talking about the things you and I would like to see in the second half.
- ‘Mendy got off to quite a hot start hitting .391 in five games. I think many will agree that he should be a regular coming out of the break. He can play his way into the starting centerfield for 2015.
- Are we cool with ‘Mendy? Is ‘Mendy already his nickname? Is that bad? What should it be?
- Sorry, I have been off of the Twitter this week and don’t know what has been twitted or who what twitting, or what or anything was said on the myspacer thing.
- I think it is cool that Brian Schlitter is batting 1.000. When your last name is Schlitter, you really need to be a bada** at something.
- Someone please point out that he has one at-bat. I am dying to be educated here.
- How about Justin Ruggiano’s close to the first half? Kid has earned the right to start for a good few weeks coming out of the break. Get him out there. I remember a few people saying this acquisition could be great for the Cubs. I would like to see more. With all due respect, Nate Schierholtz is not the answer, and after his start, he is not proving to be a trade commodity.
- After one-half of baseball, how do we feel about Ricky?
- I will say this about him … 330 days ago; many thought Castro and Rizzo might be lost causes. I mean, people thought this to the point where they were saying they’d rather have Cashner instead of Rizzo. This year, Castro and Rizzo were both All-Stars. Hard to argue with that.
- The Front Office is going to have an interesting situation to attend to this off-season. While they need to turn their attention to Jon Lester and others, they also need to be ready for new contracts. Do they sign Bryant and Baez to 7- or 8- years- deals?
- Or do they only offer one of them, or neither of them, or what? I do not think this is necessarily an easy answer. Not whatsoever.
- I was big on this guy in the off-season. I was big on him in the first half. Welington Castillo has to prove he is a starting catcher in the Major Leagues. The Cubs need to know this, and know it soon.
- Jake Arietta had a 25-day span that made so many of us “Cubbie Kool-Aid-Drinkers” dreaming a TOR. Is he? Is he a 2? Is he a 3? Who knows? I want him to show us during the second half that he is at least one of those, if not a very solid No. 2. Asking for more than that is just being greedy at this point.
- Junior Lake and Mike Olt have about 70 days to prove their worth. I am not saying either should be cut because they are both young. However, like Castillo, they need to show something.
- Then again, Baez and Bryant could both be busts. We don’t really know, but I hope Olt and/or Lake understand the urgency of the moment and answer it. And answer it strong.
- I would really like to see the young arms in the bullpen maintain their performance. I have been highly impressed by Rondon. Should I again mention that he was a Rule-5 pick?
- I would like to see the Cubs package a few bullpen arms for a promising starter. This can happen. Teams will be desperate in the next two weeks. Russell (James) and Wright could command a decent return. And please, I said, “Could.” Not “Should” or “Would.”
- I would like to see if Kyle Hendricks could be a Major League starter. I saw some posts were fans were slotting him as a 2 or 3. I will take that at this point. Let’s be hopeful, but also realistic. He is not a No. 2.
- Luis Valbuena’s yo-yo of a first half was fun to watch. Up and down and up and down and up and …
- Here is to Castro and Rizzo keeping it up and even improving on their first-half performances. Ricky might be on to something, you guys. Really a full spread. The works, you guys.
- And my final hope for the second half … Break Ground Tom!
Happy Friday to all. Happy Weekend to all. I will be at Wrigley this Saturday evening to see Blake Shelton. I am not a country fan. I am a good friend and a great brother. I have heard I should pay attention to the daisy-duke shorts and the boots. This makes me look forward to Saturday night.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!