Hello again, everybody. It has been a few weeks now, but we are back in the saddle on this fine Friday morning. While the past two losses have been quite disappointing, winning four in a row was a nice treat. This team is loose, it’s having fun, it’s got each other’s backs, and most importantly, it’s won more games that it has lost. And winning more games than you lose is always the name of the said game in pretty much every walk of life.
As the first half of the season winds down, it is safe to say the Cubs might just play one meaningful game this September. And it has been many years since that has happened.
So, with that said, let’s get down to it this phenomenally fun Friday and do some rambling.
• I am officially worried about Jon Lester. The first month was one thing, but now, well, now it is almost July. 4-6, with a 4.03 ERA. Nope, folks, that not good.
• I like that Starlin was there for the birth of his new baby, and then back at shortstop by the sixth inning. I like that dedication to those different facets of his life.
• I really don’t want to mortgage much to get a fifth starter.
• Anthony Rizzo is good, and Anthony Rizzo should be on the All-Star team. There are no two ways. I understand there are a lot of good first basemen, but Rizzo deserves to be honored for his accomplishments and performance thus far.
• It’s June 26 … who had Anthony tied for the team lead in stolen bases? He is on pace for over 30 homers, 20 stolen bases and about 90 RBI while have an OBP of over .400.
• You think Kyle Schwarber is ready? He might be, but I am reminded of the tear Arismendy Alcantara went on when called up last July. He was only going to be up for two games if memory serves, but stayed up for the rest of the season.
• As we all know, he is currently in minors, and while repping well with 10 homers, he is only batting .255. The maturation curve cannot be rushed.
• Again, as we have all heard, Jed learned this with Rizzo in San Diego.
• So, no matter how well Schwarber played, there was no way he was staying with the big club. Now, if there were an injury at catcher, it would not surprise me if he comes back up, but I doubt it will happen without an injury. That is until the rosters are expanded in September.
• And just like everyone predicted, the Cubs are nearing the end of June with a starting outfield of Denorfia, Coghlan and Baxter.
• Let’s think about this for a second … the Cubs are seven over .500 with Lester and Arrieta performing at an average rate. Soler has been hurt and did not produce much while playing, and the bullpen was atrocious the first month and a half.
• This brings me to the point that the Cubs have so much room for improvement. The bullpen is coming around while Ramirez and Rosscup are on their way back and with Soriano, Rafael that is, preparing to become part of the mix soon. Obviously none of this is guaranteed, but it could be a drastic improvement. Could … be.
• The following courtesy of Best Pal Sports Inc.: Hector Rondon has not given up an earned run since May 22. That is 13 appearances, but I will admit many of those outing were shaky, but stats are stats are stats.
• As I mentioned before, I don’t want to the mortgage the future, however, Theo is in a position where he almost has to trade for a starting pitcher. It is important to get a pitcher, but equally as important to not give up too much.
• Back to a thought from BPSI … the bullpen ERA is now 3.07. That is eighth best in MLB. Given the struggles the pen has had, this is truly a remarkable stat.
• The Joc Pederson vs. Kris Bryant argument for ROY is very interesting right now. Both are deserving at this point, and both have equally similar and disparate strengths and weaknesses.
• A very good friend of mine spoke with the well coiffed Erik Karros not too long ago, and Mr. Karros could not stop raving about Pederson. Yes, I just wanted to talk about Erik Karros. So I wrote this rambling thought to talk about Erik Karros. I am a fan of Erik Karros.
• The Cubs need to close out the first half strong. If they can ride into the break at 10+ games over .500, they will be in great position to for a run at October. And we have all been dreaming of that for many, many years now.
Here is to a good weekend for all. The mid-summer holiday is a week away, the weather is warming and the Cubs are winning. All is good on the North Side, and the sweet sounds of Wrigley are ringing.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!