Well, That Was A Day
Kind of dizzying yesterday, wasn’t it?
The Cubs day started with the trade of Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers (who then immediately punted him as they only wanted the side dish of International slots instead of the main course of a fuckload of walks and home runs) and Scott Feldman to the Orioles for more international slots. Seems like a lot of work for kids with bad acne in the hinterlands, no?
While I know the main attraction is the additional bonus money for international signings, I’m still a little intrigued in Jake Arrieta. This was the O’s untouchable for a long time. I know the numbers are ugly at the top level, but there’s something there. Last year he had a 4.05 FIP, which isn’t glowing but isn’t awful either. His walks were at a career low and his K-rate was pretty decent. He suffered from a high BABIP. I know the NL Central has become something of a monster, but I’ll always prefer pitchers coming from the AL East into it. The stuff is there, and he’s still only 27 which makes him a year older than Travis Wood, who only just seems to be figuring it out. It’s a stretch, but it’s not an impossibility.
I know some fans are still coming to terms with the main pull of the deal being more money to sign 16-year-olds who at the very least won’t be at Wrigley for five or six years. But as with all prospects, it’s better to get them in bulk because they’re not all going to make it and you have to increase your odds that some will. Give this brass more chances and it’s likely they’ll find a gem or two. It’s all based on trust, and after two and a half years of awful baseball on Clark and Addison I get that it might be thin. But this is how the process works.
Of course, the actual game didn’t help much either last night. While I still wait to make final judgement on Dale Sveum, there are more and more signs my thumb will be pointed Earth-ward when I do. Another infuriating trait Sveum seems to have is falling in love with a hot reliever, even when he’s not hot any more. You saw it with Camp this year and last. Now it’s James Russell, and soon it will be Blake Parker. He got away with Parker throwing his fifth and sixth inning in four days last night. But Russell has been bad for a month now, and after walking Josh Reddick it would have made sense to pull him.
No, Russell isn’t a straight up LOOGY, but righties have been crushing him of late. Derek Norris has some pop but I know he doesn’t strike most as a real threat. But Sveum had Rondon warm, and was obviously hedging his bets. But he once again didn’t pull the trigger on a struggling reliever, which we saw with Marmol before. Sure, the A’s would have countered with Moss or maybe Seth Smith who have more danger than Norris. But considering where Russell has been these days….
It’s hard to trust Rondon or Henry Rodriguez, I get that. But if the goal is to find out what you have, then they need to be tossed into tight situations like this. Especially when both Russell and Parker have their tongues wagging on the ground through use.
Oh, and have we gotten to the hit-and-run in the 9th with the 3 and 4 hitters waiting? That was special, considering that Balfour is nails-tough and Castro hasn’t been a sure contact hitter all season. It’s almost as if Sveum doesn’t watch all the games this year and is still going off assumptions he had from last season or earlier this one.
Felt closer in the afternoon, and so very far away at night.