The Friday Six Pack – A New Feature

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Today’s game was not much to write home about. Thankfully, I was teaching all afternoon and missed the miscues and missed opportunities. When you make four errors in a game, you are not going to win too many games. Add in another fact that four hits won’t win you too many, either. Put that game in the suitcase and forget about it,and get back at it tomorrow. 8-2 is still a really good start. Excuse me, great start!1

On to Bigger and Better Things…
Our newest feature at Cubs Central is called “The Friday Six Pack.” This weekly feature will be short but focus on six things happening with the Chicago Cubs. Today’s “six pack” looks at some transactions from the past week and how the Cubs bullpen arms have been and will be successful

baez 78 2016 iowa1. Javy Baez rejoined the club today and that changes things. What will his super utility role look like? Will he playing 5 full games a week? Will he play all 3 OF spots? All 4 IF spots? He can, and will do well at the same time. It will be an interesting storyline going forward. I don’t think you bring that kid up to sit 3 days a week. Today, he did not get in the game.

2. Eric Jokisch was released and quickly snapped up by the Miami Marlins. One day he is in Iowa playing against the New Orleans Zephyrs and the next day he is playing for the Zephyrs. Tyler Ihrig was activated from the DL in Myrtle Beach and transferred to Iowa. The lefty Ihrig went right out and pitched well for the I Cubs yesterday going 4 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 3. I don’t know if Ihrig will stick at Iowa or if the Cubs make a corresponding move. I think they will likely make a move that could have repercussions across the system.

3. Neil Ramirez got into two games in the past week and looked pretty close to 2014 Neil Ramirez, He was topping at at 94 with good life and late movement. Today, he went 1.2 innings and did well again. So far, he’s gone 3.2 innings and not allowed a run this year and has struck out three.

4. While the lineup has gotten all the headlines, the Cubs pitching is ranked second in all of baseball. Led by the rotation, the bullpen has not been too shabby either. It helps when the starters are effortlessly going six or seven innings.

5. Tom Ricketts hinted this week that there is extra money if Theo needs to go out and get a pitcher at the deadline this year. Considering the length of the Cubs current rotation’s contracts, in addition to the assets the Cubs have in the minors, that the Cubs could go out and get an arm who is already signed for multiple years. I don’t think Theo is in the “rental business.” If Epstein, he has to give up prospects. He is going to want someone who is signed for a few years beyond this year.

6. With relievers Aaron Crow and Jack Leathersich rehabbing in Arizona, the Cubs continued adding to the bullpen strength by acquiring lefty reliever Giovanni Soto from the Indians for cash this week. It remains to be seen what will happen this summer when one or more of the current arms needs a rest. It is going to happen. Hopefully, one of the aforementioned arms will be ready when the time comes. To me, Crow’s experience might be an arm to push the bullpen over the edge should an arm falter like Richard, Warren, Wood, or Ramirez.

With the 40 man roster now at 39, the Cubs could make another move in the coming week(s) to beef up the roster for a long fall run.

I will be back tomorrow morning with a second new feature as well – The Prospect Stock Report. And on Sunday, just like every other Sunday, the weekly news and notes column arrives along with the Cubs’ MiLB Players of the Week Awards.


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