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Cub Tracks’ Throwpology

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Meet the Flintsteins, regressive tendencies, superb owls, and other bullets

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Seven
Montgomery wards off the Indians
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Last time through, we worried about the weekend just past, talking about Schwarbombs, Ernie Banks, Eddie Butler, and other bullets. Today we’re counting the days til Spring Training and providing axial tilt on the Cubs news of the day. Game seven always beats the Superb Owl. I agree, Brett Taylor. I still like hockey, though.

A few teams watched Seth Maness work out. The Cubs were reportedly among them. The advantage, if Maness recovers and throws well, is that he’d remain under club control not just for the 2017 season but through the 2019 season. That sounds like the Theo method. It isn’t set in stone but it paints a pretty picture.

If baseball is an anachronistic sport, as some say, the the Cubs are the modern Stone Age family. This makes Theo Fred, and his staff are busy sorting through the rubble to find bones of contention.

We have a full slate today, and I have evil plans to carry out — so, I’ll take a Bronto Burger with everything, to go, and you people can read about baseball. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1908 - Exasperated Connie Mack sells his talented but eccentric and unreliable hurler, Rube Waddell, to the St. Louis Browns for $5,000.
  • 1949 - Joe DiMaggio signs with the Yankees for $100,000, the first six-figure contract in the major leagues.
  • 1958 - The Dodgers officially become the Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.
  • 1959 - White Sox president Mrs. Dorothy Rigney agrees to sell the team to Bill Veeck for a reported $2.7 million. Chicago insurance broker Charles O. Finley allows that he can match the price. Charles Comiskey will try to stop Veeck from buying the Sox, but will be unsuccessful.

Cubs stuff:

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs revamping closer, leadoff spots in '17. “Kyle Schwarber or Ben Zobrist could see time at No. 1; Davis to man 9th inning.”
  • Tony Blendino (ESPN-Insider {$}): Which players are primed for a decline in 2017? John Lackey is seen as likely for regression.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Another indication that Jason Heyward was really unlucky in 2016 (in addition to being bad). References Tony Blengino Fangraphs article. “...there is some evidence to suggest that Heyward’s results in 2017 would likely be better than they were in 2016 even if nothing about his approach or effort changed.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Addison Russell’s improved contact rate signals offensive breakout. “...Russell actually living up to even his .332 xOBA would be worth around 5 WAR.”
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): The market was stacked against Jason Hammel. “His age, his stats, his being left off the Cubs’ playoff roster — it all informs a general lack of trust in his ability to keep pitching well as a season wears on.”
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): What draft strategy could the Cubs have for 2017? Looking ahead to 2021.
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The case for Javier Baez to lead off… sometimes… maybe. “On the surface, it doesn’t make any sense.”
  • Steve Gilbert (MLB.com): Draft prospects show skills at Arizona PDP event. Jed Hoyer was present and spoke with the players.
  • Tom U (Cubs Den): Winter League wrap-up. “...36 players that belonged to the Cubs system at one time or another in the 2016-17 off-season would play winter ball.”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Jason McLeod hopes Cubs’ pitching depth is close. “Organizationally, we really don’t have the impact starters at the upper levels,” McLeod said. McLeod also thinks that Eddie Butler is a ‘perfect change-of-scenery-candidate’.
  • Larry Hawley (WGN-TV): Michael Cerami looks ahead to the Cubs’ 2017 season on Sports Feed [VIDEO].
  • Tommy Stokke (FanRag Sports): Did the Cardinals do enough to catch the Cubs? I doubt it.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading. Smell you Thursday.