Now that sports betting is legal in Ohio, I am trying my hand at a variety of things with these NFL playoffs. I’ve been bad at most of it. The Jaguars’ big comeback last week puts me close to par, though, and if they turn around and get smoked by the Chiefs today, I’ll be back in positive territory. I’ve never been a big sports bettor myself (I like to place small bets in the stands at Wrigley with friends, but that’s about it), but I can definitely see the appeal — it makes me love sports. I’m totally concerned I can’t otherwise have any kind of dog, even if it’s only a few bucks.
- With Trey Mancini officially in the fold, the Cubs have a good platoon opportunity available with him and Eric Hosmer at first base (while awaiting/preventing the arrival of Matt Mervis). Since Mancini wasn’t reported as signing until after Hosmer had agreed to sign with the Cubs, though, you can’t help but wonder when he’d pick the Cubs over his league-minimum deal. So what kind of timeshare was Hosmer envisioning? Surely he couldn’t have assumed that he would start every day, right? And of course he knew Mervis could arrive at any moment, didn’t he? Ultimately, I think the Cubs could all use Hosmer, Mancini, and Mervis, but I wonder if Mancini signed Hosmer about his role.
- Speaking of which, my initial guess is that, if everyone is healthy, we’ll see Hosmer starting at first base against most righties, Mancini starting at first base against most lefties. , and Mancini will also see a lot of time at DH against both (he’s split-neutral). Mancini may occasionally charm the corner outfielders as well. Mervis will have a chance to force a first base issue on day one, but I think the most likely to come after a few months to solidify his performance in Triple-A. Likewise, if 30-year-old Mancini is really turning it on and racking up runs like he did in Baltimore a few years back, he could take more first base starts (whereas I think Hosmer is going to hit a lot of lefties). isn’t going to start against him, even though things are going great for him). After all, the Cubs have options.
- Jed Hoyer suggested that part of the Cubs’ hope for the 33-year-old Hosmer is a change of scenery, pointing to an aspect I (Markey) hadn’t thought about: “We’ll see how he does.” ,” Hoyer said. “He’s got a great reputation as a clubhouse guy. He’s had a really impressive career. And I think he’s getting it at a time when he’s coming out of a situation that obviously he Tried to trade him on that contract for a long time. I think it’s a fresh start for him. I know he’s excited about it and I think he can really do a lot of good for us Huh.
- When we talk about a change of scenery, it’s usually about a different set of coaches/staff keeping a different eye on a player and communicating with them, and then the physical comfort associated with being somewhere else About too. But something with Hosmer that I didn’t really think was that he would, for the first time in five years, “get out from under the weight of the guy who signed a big contract and then stagnated,” and about In constant thought also how desperately your team is trying to do business with you. Maybe this will help. The Cubs Won’t Be Forced To Give Hosmer The A’s ton Runaway’s — again, he’s on a league-minimum deal — but I don’t hate the idea of seeing if his new digs can bounce-back.
- Interesting note from Nick Madrigal’s off-season training program, which isn’t just about strength, but a specific biometric issue being addressed, according to Markey:
Madrigal spent the offseason in Arizona, strengthening himself and preparing to stay healthy through the 2023 season.
For Madrigal, part of the solution to a healthy regiment in 2023 comes from the advanced data the team has on each player’s biometrics through their walks and other movements. For Madrigal, according to some within the Cubs system, that means the way he runs—Madrigal’s running pattern has him straightening up more than other players, meaning he puts more stress on his hamstrings. is exerting stress, which can lead to hamstring or lower body injuries. ,
Madrigal may find success in the health department by spending the off-season creating a workout plan that counters Madrigal’s running style.
- You forget about that concept: how certain things a baseball player does can stress his soft tissue in ways that make him more vulnerable to injury. Sure, we think about it all the time with pitchers, but how a position player moves, Honestly, I don’t value it much, if at all.
- So, good on the Cubs at Madrigal for recognizing this and working on it. The thing is, even if Madrigal is fully healthy, it’s a very open question as to how and where he fits on the roster, and where he’s going to get his batters regularly at the big league level.
- The national MLB game is on TBS on Tuesday, and the Cubs will have one in the first half — Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. CT on the Cubs. The second half will be announced no later, and that’s when you’re hoping your team is good enough to justify more inclusion (well, if you want the national game, that is).
- rubbish. Future international prospect Fernando Cruz is 15 and looks like he has the swing of a well-tooled 20-year-old:
- Clips like this I would look at an international prospect in years past, and I would have thought, why can’t the Cubs land the guy? The Cubs are the favorites to sign Cruz, by the way, and now I’m completely finished if they’re not able to. That swing looks incredible at that age.
- The plan to accommodate the Marlins’ new pairing, Luis Arraz, who can play multiple positions…is to move Jazz Chisolm to center field:
- In other words, Arraz, who is a poor keeper at second base, will produce a truly bizarre cascade:
- I wonder if the Marlins think the way to combat the extreme defensive innings end is simply to have a second baseman at every position.
- And his frozen head will steal base in the 2070s: