Screw the Closer - Cubs 3, Braves 2

Talk about a pitcher's duel! The Cubs and Braves, the two teams with the highest two run differentials in the National League, played tonight at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, and the pitchers would not budge...until the final two innings of the game. The Cubs earned themselves a 3-2 victory after playing the "screw the closer."

Yu Darvish made his first start back from the disabled list, and although it was a short start, he pitched well. Over four innings, he surrendered only one run on three hits while striking out five. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz gave up only one run on three hits, while striking out ten over five innings.

For the next five innings, the Cubs bullpen took over. Between Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Brandon Morrow, the Braves got only one run on two hits. That run came in the 8th on a solo shot by Ronald Acuna Jr. off of Carl Edwards Jr.  As for the Braves bullpen, they shut the Cubs down until their closer Arodys Vizcaino entered. The Cubs were trailing 2-1 in the top of the ninth, but scored two runs for a come-from-behind victory. With one out in the inning, back-to-back sharp doubles by Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell tied the game at two. Russell advanced to third after a ground out by Tommy La Stella. Next up was Ben Zobrist, who lined a single to center putting the Cubs up 3-2.

That opened up the opportunity for Brandon Morrow to close the door and secure his 10th save. He pitched a flawless inning retiring Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, and Ender Inciarte respectively to save it for Carl Edwards, who despite giving up a go-ahead home run in the 8th, ended up being winning pitcher.


Source: FanGraphs

With this win, the Cubs won't have another five game streak! During a 15-game stretch from April 26-May 12, the Cubs recorded a five-game winning streak, followed by a five-game losing streak, and then another five-game winning streak. In their last five games, including tonight's game, the Cubs have gone W-W-L-L-W.

The Cubs win would not have been possible without some STELLAR defense by Willson Contreras who contributed to two amazing plays in the 5th inning. One of them came when a wild pitch from Mike Montgomery ended up behind Contreras. He tackled that ball and tossed it over to Montgomery who was covering the plate and applied the tag to save a run. Also in that inning, Contreras threw out Charlie Culberson who was trying to steal third base. Without those plays,  it's quite possible that the game would not have only required two late runs to win.

The same two teams will face off tomorrow night. The Cubs will send Tyler Chatwoood to the mound, and he will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy at 6:35 CT on WGN.

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  • I’m really happy for Russell. He plays such great defense at the most important defensive position. He’s still younger than everyone on the team except for Almora. And he’s worked his OBP up to .340. I can’t believe I got so amped over a baseball game in May. But like you pointed out, I was not looking forward to another five game losing streak.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Yep. Me too. Have been worried about Russell and his future here. I like the kid and when he slugs, the Cub usually in. JD's insight was great, that was Russell"s best AB of the year. And he has been hitting decently the last Couple of weeks.

    And how about Almora? I just can't understand why Joe doesn't play him way more than he does, like everyday. He's such a solid ballplayer.

    And Zo comes up with another clutch hit.

    Is this the first time they've come from behind in the 9th? Seems like they did it often in 2016.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I like Almora too. He is starting to look really good. I think Joe discusses the lineup with the numbers guys and goes on their recommendations. I think he also believes in rest and keeping people fresh. If you look at the Cubs records in August and September that last three years, his approach has been phenomenally successfully. Joe is awesome. He tries to win every game, but never loses sight of the ultimate goal.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    While I don't completely agree with you that there's NO shot that Russell is involved in a trade for machado because I'm personally skeptical that balt is going to get a better trade centerpiece than Russell from other teams due to most contenders being set at SS and 3B and luxury tax concerns for other potential trade partners like say the dodgers or yankees. I do acknowledge though that I think you're right that is unlikely to happen and while I don't think it's as unlikely to happen as you do I still think there's a better than 50% chance a trade doesn't happen. I know Baltimore ownership is said to have a history of reluctance to trade their core stars in the past esp. superstar level players like Machado and I think that they're going to aim for the moon even with just a half season of cost control. I imagine they'll ask for Russell, Alzolay ++ and I think that price will be too much in Theo's mind for a rental.

    Personally while I have some concerns about Addy's mental makeup and general desire to be great based on some knowledge I have about him I don't think that we need to make a deal either way. I like Russell as an overall talent and he's proven that he can be the SS of a championship contending team so I'm not willing to include a whole lot more than Russell in any trade package for a rental. I think he'd be a great return piece for Baltimore as well and it's their loss if they're intention is to attempt to rip the cubs off by trying to pry extra pieces like Happ, Alzolay, or Schwarber

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The main reason I don't think it will happen is that Theo essentially went on the radio and said there is very little chance the Cubs will trade for a pricey rental, and Manchado would be pricey. I love talking about potential trades too, but since he said that I think it is fairly safe to say Manchado isn't going to be a Cub this year.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I don’t think so either but the national media sure doesn’t believe it, or they just really want it to be true. They were having great fun with taking Theo’s quote and interspersing it with “liar” quotes on MLB Radio the other day.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I will admit Theo is usually pretty transparent when he makes a quote and he usually chooses his words differently if he's indeed interested rather than saying we're not looking to pay high prices for rentals.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I wasn't aware of that and I'd have to see the entire quote to get more context but Theo is usually pretty transparent with the fans and I'm fine with that if that's his position. I think you're playing with fire in the future with this practice of regularly trading for rentals. It worked with the Chapman trade but we would feel very differently if Cleveland put us away that season. I'm fine with it too because while I have some concerns about Russell, he's still pretty good and still has plenty of time to get better. I almost feel we have other bigger needs like another outfielder or another closer type reliever. I know our bullpen is playing lights out but I'm a little nervous that we're going to see some regression in the 2nd half not to say that I'm worried about that group but just as I say lets not overreact to Q and Darvishes struggles I also don't want to overreact to our pens hot start. They were pretty darn good the 1st half last season before fatigue hurt them in the 2nd half of the season and we should certainly be worried about a fatigued group this season with the way our high leverage guys have been worked thus far

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Here’s an article with his quotes.

    http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/05/10/as-a-rule-theo-epstein-says-cubs-will-not-be-aggressive-in-the-premium-trade-rental-market/

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Yeah I take those comments as we're open to anything but we're not looking to make a deal just to make a deal and if we do make a deal it'd probably be for a longer term asset and not a rental. In my view, I think if the team and the starting pitching in particular really get hot leading into the deadline and we're looking like a WS favorite then that may change things and Russell's performance may factor in as well. I'm still not ruling out a trade as Theo probably felt the need to downplay the rumors with how much our fanbase is talking about Machado (unfair to Russell too) but for him to say we probably won't be in the rental market is significant to me knowing Theo's history of transparency. He chooses his words carefully I know.

  • This was a great win, on the road, against a surprisingly good young team. The Cubs seemed exceptionally pumped after the last out, as they should have been. Hopefully it carries over.

    Not much has changed in the Cubs win projection for this season, but the other teams in the NL Central are exceeding expectations. We may have a fight on our hands, but my money's on the Cubs.

  • We need a couple of five game winning streaks put together. Our starting pitchers are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Glad we got a bullpen! I see Carl's Jr is human after all. He gives up a dinner, yet we still win.

  • Oops dinger

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Commenting on Edwards Jr. and mentioning dinner is a mistake anyone could make.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And now I see you called him Carl's Jr. Freud would have a field day with that comment.

  • Joe took Darvish out because he had leg cramps. Darvish said his endurance and stamina wasn’t the same because he’s been sick

  • In reply to bolla:

    Cramp in his right calf

  • In reply to bolla:

    Totally understandable. We've all been really sick, and though we may be over the illness, it takes a while to get back to full strength. He should be physically fine for his next start.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I wasn't happy Joe for the move as I wanted Darvish to get his 1st cubs win and improve that 5th inning ERA as a nice thing to build on going forward but knowing this obviously changes things. Nice managed game by Maddon and I like how he took Darvish out even after Darvish tried to plead his case to at least get a chance to get through the 5th. No reason to push it in a May regular season game

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    I thought Addy looked very comfortable at the plate tonight. He's so quiet and then swings so easily. He has taken a bashing the last year or so, but I think his rookie season is more indicative of what his career will end up being.
    What would we do without Willson? A word about Kyle Schwarber; he can misplay a ball to left, but there's no doubt he can throw. That throw tonight was absolutely perfect. A strong, on the line dart.
    How many wins this season? Right now I'd say 93.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    May 15 in 2015 the Cubs were five games over .500, the same as this year. That team won 97. Of course, Arrieta had the greatest second half ever. But as teams start to fade in the second half, I expect the Cubs to roll. So I’m going with 95 and the best record in the NL.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    This is about where I’m at, 95 wins. It’s a tougher NL this year so that probably should lead the league. I’ll tell you though, it might take a trade or two but I fully expect this Braves team to be right there in the pennant race. I’ve followed both theirs and the Phillies rebuilds pretty closely and while I thought the latter would have the edge in 2018 with maybe a WC berth, it’s pretty clear that the Braves have more pieces in place right now. Meanwhile, with the Dodgers collapse and the Pollock injury in Arizona the West looks like a train wreck. Go figure.

    I though Darvish looked very good tonight. With the fluid loss from the flu the cramping was totally understandable, glad Joe didn’t push him. If this team is going to go deep in October Darvish will be a huge part of it. As far as Russell he has hit better lately but I really have no idea what to make of him. At 1,700 PA in MLB you have to assume a guy is who he is but once in awhile you see a glimpse of a better offensive player there. I hope it’s the latter. Anyway solid win. Tonight will be the weakest pitcher in McCarthy the Cubs will face in the ATL, hope they make the most of it.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Among qualifying SS, Russell's BA is .250 (16th), OBP is .338 (9th), SLG is .358 (21st) and OPS is .701 (15th). His HR and RBI totals are poor in today's game.

    Right now, he is middle of the road offensively. Where does Russell need to be offensively where we can say he's a keeper?

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Frankly he could be a keeper now. I think you can definitely afford a 100 wRC+ at SS with his defense. Of course you have a similar situation with Heyward. If both get to 105 wRC+ or thereabouts then you have no issues. Right now the Cubs and Braves are tied for the MLB lead in offense and the Cubs have 6 players getting regular playing time over 120 wRC+ which certainly gives you flexibility. If Heyward and Russell are what they are and don't get over league average as run producers then you probably have to look to the trade market in July to replace one of them in the everyday lineup (such as it is).

    What is is clear now though is that Russell's ceiling as a modern day Barry Larkin is likely not to be reached. The next question is whether he's reached his ceiling already at his lifetime marks of .241/314/.404 .309 wOBA and 90 wRC+. If that's the case and you see an opportunity in the offseason to sign Manny Machado at a price tag you think you can handle, well then Russell's time in Chicago could be not far away from the end. For this season though, and I am not an advocate for a Machado rental, you just hope Russell can be better than his career numbers.

  • In reply to TC154:

    If Machado comes to Chicago, I think it is more likely to be the white sox.

  • In reply to John57:

    Hard to see the White Sox ponying up $250-$350 mil on a player, a number they’ve never even considered before, especially a year or so before they’re ready to compete. In the end I still think Machado is destined to be a Yankee with them making the signing and trading Andujar for pitching. The next two best fits thought, in my opinion of course, are the Phillies and Cubs. For us I think it’s basically because Russell is a tradable asset for value while Heyward is decidedly not so Harper seems like a questionable fit. The storyline has been that Harper wants to play with his buddy Bryant but Machado has been friends with Almora since they were preschool age and will cost about $100 mil less.

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    In reply to TC154:

    On the contrary there was a lot of talk about the White Sox trading for Machado over the winter w the caveat of showing him how great the southside is and how bright their future is and how he should want to be the face of it.

    I think they will be very aggressive as they see Machado like our signing of Lester, proving to the world as well as everyone in the org "We are here and we are for real !"

    Do I think it's going to happen? Prob no, but its possible.

  • In reply to TC154:

    There have only been 3 contracts great then $250M. 2 of them are A-Rod and the third is Stanton.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I miscalculated how much money heyward had left,which will limit future moves. because of that I think harper & machado are pipe dreams at the moment unless the cubs move some players/salary this off season. my predictions are Machado to the yankees and Harper to the phillies on a massive 10 year 450 million contract with an opt out after 3 years. I think the cubs will try to trade chatwood and sign andrew miller and groom alzolay as the 5th starter

  • In reply to TC154:

    Sox could brought Machado in during the off season and given him a tour of Guaranteed Seat Field.

    The atmosphere wouldn't have been much different then it is when they're playing except for the snow on the ground.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Hes a keeper right now at 3 million dollars a yr or less. When he gets to 2nd n 3rd yr arbitration and if the offense doesn't up, its a little problem for the price.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think the great thing about our situation is that we can't go wrong either way. Russell is already a WS Shortstop and he's already a pretty good player but if he can improve a bit at the plate even he goes from a good player to an almost great player and I have some questions about his maturity with all the partying and drinking he does but he wouldn't be the 1st person to have this issue and not everyone's gonna be a kris bryant in this area. I think assuming he matures as an individual that he still has the overall talent to be a really nice player and to me I'm open to trading Russell for Machado but their shouldn't be a whole lot more coming from our end especially for a rental.

  • In reply to TC154:

    TC, Barry Larkin at this point in his career was basically a 700 OPS guy. 24 is very young pre prime ages. We have to keep this stuff in context. At 25 was Larkin’s first breakout campaign, then a step back at 26 before he went on a 10 year HOF run.

    Many very good ball players are just getting their first taste of MLB at Addy’s age, there is plenty of room for growth. Most of all he has shown glimpses of power and strike zone control. It is not out of the question he puts it all together.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Age 24 season in 1998 — .296/.347/.429 119 wRC+. Larkin then outperformed that season in the next 11 of 13 years. And he holds a big advantage in the speed department. It was not fair to comp Russell to Larkin, IMO. They really are two different types of players.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Texas, I think when we look at a SS just how he hits vs his peers doesn’t tell the whole story. He is a very good fielder, so one of the top SS gloves with middle of the road OPS is still a keeper in my book.

    As for TC I don’t view all 1,700 PA sample sizes the same. I would tend to agree with you if he was 27 or so. At 24 (born in January), most of those 1,700 PA have come while many are in AA and AAA. A couple years ago either BP or fangraphs had an article on players younger than 25 with something like 2,000 PA’s, their breakout rate was far greater than normal.

    I almost think the greatest risk for the Cubs is he is just coming into his best years when his service time is running out. I could almost envision that more than him being the hitter he is today for 10 more years.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    There's no reason to think that he can't raise his slugging percentage up in the .425-.450 range (.417 in 2016-2017). If he maintains the .340-ish OBP he is a keeper. Who wouldn't take that in the 7-8 hole from a gold glove SS? Playing on an infield where everyone else has 30+ HR power he doesn't have to be a silver slugger. Addison fits in well with this team! He just turned 24 years old.

  • I like Almora alot and wish he'd get more playing time. I also think Zobrist should get some extended time batting leadoff. What I really like about him is he can hit in all sorts of situations and it seems like that spot in the lineup comes up at big parts of close games somewhat frequently. Monday's game had Happ pinch hitting for LaStella at leadoff and I was really wishing Zobrist was at the top of the order because I think he would've gotten a hit to drive in 2 runs where Happ got the HBP and singe RBI before KB made the last out.

    Also has anybody been wondering where Heyward is or how he's doing? I haven't seen or heard one thing and it's been over a week.

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    Zobrist is a professional hitter and doesn't get flustered if he has 2 strikes on him. He is willing to take pitches, especially as a lead off man, which is what he's supposed to do. It's a pleasure to watch him play and I can understand why Joe wanted to have him on the Cubs.

  • Look around the NL what teams are roadblocks for the cubs? Maybe the d backs or rockies .I don’t see anybody else

    The dodgers are done. Maybe the Nationals? I feel the cubs talent and experience Will get them to the postseason.They definitely need more innings from the starters there’s too many 4-5 inning starts

  • In reply to bolla:

    I would watch out still for the Nats, they will be super tough in a playoff series with their rotation. The bullpen is prone to give some leads up and the offense might not be the same as last year but they have the rotation to shut teams down.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    If the Nats get 100% healthy they still look like the best team in the East, but the Braves’ assets in both dollars and minor league talent and their ability to basically any player they want, maybe even more than one, and Athopoulos’ reputation as an aggressive GM makes that division far from a slam dunk for Washington. The West is a mess. With the AJ Pollock injury in Arizona the Rockies could be the favorite there.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think that's why I'd say that while I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't make a trade I can still see a trade for Machado because the NL is wide open and Theo has proven to be aggressive when he thinks that the team has a real opportunity to run the table. Right now it seems like the brewers, cards, cubs, dbacks, phillies, nats and braves are the lead contenders in the NL and I'd consider us to be favorites in any one of those series and getting machado just makes our chances that much better. The AL is a lot better than the NL from what I'm seeing thus far the astros, indians, yankees, and red sox are all really really good and glad that we won't have to be a part of that AL playoff group.

  • In the course of a season a team needs to get contributions from all facets of the roster. One part of the order cannot be expected to carry the whole load. A few players cannot produce all the standout defense. Pitching too. Bench must also do its share. Good teams pick each other up and avoid scapegoats.

  • Just my general thoughts of the game. Baseball is a crazy fun game where you can win and lose games in a strange way. After Baez error and runners on 1st and 3rd I am sure we all were nervous. A strange wild pitch turns into a bang bang play at the plate then a few pitches later the pinch hitter is out at 3rd base to clear the bases. Crazy.
    Yu did fine. Wish he’d gone longer but mentioned a calf cramp.
    I thought the Braves reliever made mistake with Addi at bat. He nibbled early on. Instead of going at a struggling 8 hitter and nibbled his way to a full count.
    Hope this will get us going again but when chattwood is next to pitch it makes me nervous but anything can happen.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Just as i said the umps screwed us a bit the other day, the baseball gods reward us and screw the braves. I think both runners were safe in that 5th inning rally by atlanta and that must be pretty frustrating for their manager. We really stole that ballgame what a great win just as this series was starting to look like it may get ugly with how hot that Atlanta team is right now.

  • What a nice job by the guys stepping up and getting this win even with Darvish leaving early due to cramping which explains why he was removed before he could have a chance to improve that 5th inning ERA. Knowing that bit of information I think Maddon did a nice job of handling the bullpen and this is a nice confidence boosting win against a hot team that may also be really good. Nice couple of games by Almora and he seems to have that type of gamer mentality that I see from Baez that not every player has. You can see why his makeup was rated as excellent in John's prospect write ups leading up to the 2012 draft the guys just a gamer. The umps admittedly gave us a nice assist on both of those 5th inning calls but I maintain that they screwed us a bit on Monday so I guess the baseball gods are making things even out. Overall always nice to steal a win

  • I wanted to wait until around the 40 game mark to try to get a handle on where this team is....here goes....

    I think as a whole they have played poorly. Yet, look where they are?
    Right in it with the other 3 who have done better than they would have expected of themselves. ‘09 was right comparing their position now with 2015.....these Cubs will be fine....will still be locked up with the other Central teams till after the AS break and then begin separation by Labor Day.....sooner if they actually begin to play better.

    Grades so far:
    Offense....decent B
    SP....C-
    Bullpen.....A
    Defense....C-
    Manager....C

    The SP is still trying to find their rhythm and need to before the bullpen falls over dead.
    Heyward has blown more balls than Schwarber, go figure.....NEEDS to tighten up, Baez needs to focus more....most of his errors are on plays he usually makes.
    Theo is playing the DL list well.......Butler and Heyward? ......ok
    Almora is the one showing the best progression so far.
    Happ needs more Iowa.

    All in all.....we are in good shape, could be better but......

    We ain’t the Mets who started 9-1 and played .333 since AND
    (My biggest surprise) the Dodgers who need to play .600 ball just to break even by the AS break......don’t see that happenin’ either.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree very much with everything you just typed... Biggest improvements we need to see are starting pitching and defense. If those improve, it will improve Maddon's score, as it takes many decisions out of his hands (i.e. easier for starting pitching to go deeper/less quick hooks saving the bullpen).

    On Heyward, I am seriously starting to wonder if there is/was something wrong with his eyes/vision. Just trying to explain all his misplays and losing the ball in the sun/lights and so on that we've witnessed in this short season. Maybe it's even played a hand in his poor batting performance. Maybe his concussion has magnified some of this and there's a reason its 10 days later and he hasn't returned. Not that we're in any rush to have him back, but is it not weird that he was put on the 7-day DL for concussion, and it's now 10 days later and there hasn't even been one report about him. Is it possible the Cubs are playing their cards close to the vest on his situation and that maybe there's something they don't want to deal with publicly yet?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I believe the Cubs D is #2 in MLB so it is hard to not give them a higher than a below average grade.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You could grade our D vs. the rest of the league or compared to our own potential. Either way has merit, and I'm assuming Wickdipper is using the latter.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well....then that’s true....I didn’t look, didn’t know. Numbers do not lie but to me anyhow they’ve seemed sloppy, especially Baez who is capable of being a GG defender.
    Heyward cost them a win on a misplay and never remember him doing that.....
    Good points rb, thanks:)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I think they suffer from what their potential is versus the actual numbers. I thought they were bad until Kramerica (I think?) posted their stats yesterday. I was surprised myself to see them near the top. I have felt they have been pretty average thus far.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    They ranked #2 in Fangraphs' DEF metric. Admittedly, I'm not sure exactly how that metric is calculated. They also ranked (I believe) 3rd in DRS and UZR/150. I don't believe errors factor into those metrics (or if they do, how they are factored). The Cubs problems feel like they've been error-related.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    They are also 27th in fielding percentage and I think the high rate of errors is probably why we feel that they haven't played to their defensive potential. I don't know if there's a flaw in Fangraphs defensive metric but that's pretty impressive for the team to be ranked that favorably given all these errors. Baez in particular is probably having one of if not the worst mistake prone start of his career and with all Heywards misplays as well and contreras errors it's pretty amazing that we rank that favorably. Probably says something about the defensive talent of this group.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I think it depends on what metric you use. If you go by fielding percentage then the Cubs are 27th. Or number of errors they are tied for 26th and they have played a few less games then most teams.

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    I have a new favorite prospect to watch. Victor Mesa, 21 yrs old, has left Cuba and is looking to sign. According to BA he has legit 70 speed and 70 arm. Has more Xtra base hits (27) than SO (19) and 40 of 50 stolen bases. He is RH and could play in A or AA right now. So after July 2 the Cubs will be able to sign him. Let's hope.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Makes a ton of sense we won't be picking at the top of the 1st round moving forward and the international free agent market is our best means of finding impact young talent. This is the 1st time in a while that we can actually sign whoever we want without restrictions so excited to see what type of international FA class we get

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Of the top 30 rated IFA prospects, the Cubs are the favorite to sign 3 of them. I am not sure there is much money left to get this guy.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Just a question. If he has 70 speed why is he getting thrown out 25% of the time? And can we sign the catcher(s) too?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    40 out 50 stolen bases is getting thrown out 20%. Rickey Henderson was thrown out 24% so that's not to bad I think.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Sorry. My math was off. Why does he get thrown out 20% of the time? Presumably these are not MLB caliber catchers throwing and pitchers holding him on.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Joel, no problem I figured it was a math error. I agree with your point though that he is not running against MLB catchers or MLB pitches holding him on so it would be much worst.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Anything above 70% is acceptable. Like to see 75% and above for elite base stealers.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Only 186 players in baseball history have a career SB% of 75% or better (with min 200 attempts).

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Maybe he needs to get better coaching or knowing when to run. We need speed in the system and he's got it. I hope this draft the Cubs take the lack of speed they have and address it, although not to the
    detriment of all other skills. We also need a lead off hitter, and the more possibilities the better. One mock draft has the Cubs taking Connor Scott, a 6-4 180 lb out-fielder with speed and defense. It seems like most of the hitters chosen have a quick swing, the faster the better. There are going to be so many players mocked to the Cubs, but being a true Denizen I've been looking at all of them.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Joel made a simple math error and I think you misunderstood Michael's reply. 40 out of 50 is an 80℅ success rate, which Michael pointed out is elite and showed how rare it is in baseball history. No reason to doubt his basestealing ability.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I should have caught that. Thanks.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I realize it is hard to steal 75% of bases in the major leagues. But this guy was not facing MLB catchers, presumably. I would expect him to get a better percentage than that against amateur opposition. Maybe that is misguided on my part. Is he maybe not getting good jumps? Is he not reading the pitcher well?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    It wasn't against MLB competition, but he was also a 20-21 year old kid playing in a professional league. I don't think anyone is suggesting that rate would immediately translate to MLB, just that he has tremendous speed and a very good success rate while stealing a lot of bases as a young player. The kind of tool that impresses people when looking at a prospect.

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    I will also say that I can't wait until we can sign IFA again. This FO has great scouts overseas and in Latin America. We've already signed a good number from Mexico because we can even now.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You have to be impressed with some of the return on investment that we've gotten on a number of these IFA guys like soler, eloy, gleyber, aramis ademan, isaac paredes (who was dealt for justin wilson), oscar de la cruz, alzolay. The only guy whose looking like a bust is eddie julio martinez who we only signed after he backed out of another deal for more money if I remember correctly.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    He was supposed to sign with SF but there was something about the paperwork that wasn't completed. The irony of Eddie Julio is that he was probably the highest rated and most talked about IFA and all the others we've signed have passed him--a number you've mentioned.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You're right that was it and that's gonna happen when you're signing 16-20 year old kids who you have less information about but for the most part it seems we've had success with our big international signings

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