Hello again, everybody … and a long time it has been! I apologize for my extended absence, but I was traveling around Ireland with family for multiple weeks. While I missed everyone here at the CCO, it was a great trip and a memory that will last a lifetime.
A lot has happened in the land of the Cubs, and much can still occur in the final three weeks of the season so let’s get down to the BRASS TACKS and get back to some rambling!
- One morning at breakfast with my dad at a hotel in Killarney, the first thing he said when I sat down was, “Hey, Soler hit two homers last night!”
- Also, if you have a moment today, and want to see something pretty entertaining, google “Gaelic Hurling.” That game is absolutely nuts.
- Fine, I will talk about the Cubs.
- In the National League, a team only needs to be .500 to be in the midst of the Wild Card hunt this season. The Pirates are seven games over .500 and have the second Wild Card.
- If the same situation occurs in the 2015 season, I believe it is safe to say that is seems possible or realistic for the Cubs to be in the Wild Card hunt given a few solid free agent pitching additions.
- The Cubs are second in MLB in home runs since the All-Star break … not too shabby given an Opening Day starting outfield of Junior Lake, Nate Schierholtz and, well, a non-home run-hitter who is no longer with the team.
- But the Cubs are also first in strikeouts by batters … Javier Baez making an impact in more ways than one!
- I may be alone here, but I find it tough to think the Cubs will trade Castro. He is still a three-time All Star with plenty of raw talent. He also bounced back from a down season quite nicely.
- Addison Russell sounds awesome on paper. However, it is on paper. Let’s see him on the field before we trade Starlin.
- Congratulations to Kris Bryant who has won just about every single minor-league award he was capable of winning.
- And he won the College Player of the Year and Minor League Player of the year in back-to-back seasons. That is extremely impressive.
- Then I read that the last player who did that was Alex Gordon. This is when I got a little depressed.
- I mean, Kris Bryant is going to be the next Mickey Mantle, right? I mean anything less would be an utter failure and disappointment, correct?
- Insert <<sarcasm font>> here.
- ‘Mendy and Javy have a .242 and .229 OBP respectively. This stat will hopefully improve next year for both of them, but it speaks to the need for a consistent veteran bat.
- So, that begs the question … who is the veteran bat? I have been very vocal that I want Coghlan around every day next season. (My dad and I also spoke about him multiple times in Ireland. We both like him immensely. I know you probably don’t care what we think.) However, there needs to be a veteran.
- Who is that? Do you go after Bonifacio again? Would he be a great tutor for ‘Mendy? Who? That is my question, CCO faithful. Who is the veteran bat you would sign? Who do you want?
- It appears seven of the eight positions for next year are locked up when Bryant comes up. I assume Valbuena will be the super utility guy, and the Cubs will hope to see if Olt can break-through, or if Coghlan can keep it up. And wouldn’t either be great. But they still need to chase a veteran bat.
- And speaking of free agents, I love all the chatter about Lester, but I won’t lie, I would be just as happy with James Shields. I think he will cost less for and require a shorter contract. I know Shields is two years older, but at this point, I am great with either … or both!
- But signing both players is just not happening, nor should we even entertain the thought. When discussing potential 2015 rotations, please don’t have both listed. It is just not realistic.
Again, my apologies for the extended absence, but I know the CCO charges forward at all times. I hope you enjoyed the return of Ramblings and are excited to tell me how stupid I am in a comment below.
Also, I was serious about googling Gaelic Hurling. It is absolutely crazy.
I wish each and every one of you a merry and enjoyable weekend, and until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!