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Another exclusive interview with the simCubs manager, Brandon Palmer

The simCubs manager holds forth on the value of teamwork, this was the week that was, and other stories

Spahn, Sain, and pray for the Professor?

As we saw in our last interview, Brandon Palmer is a man of many interests ... and many words. Today we speak to him once again regarding the team’s recent string of successes, the Washington Nationals, and other matters both varied and sundry.

Please feel free to join us. Ray Renfield is off giving blood so I am forced to take the bull by the horns and beard the lion in his lair.

First, let’s look at the current standings and league leaders. Then we’ll talk to Nony Ross Palmer about his team, his players, and their place in the scheme of things.

So the Nationals, Cubs, and Dodgers are in first place in the NL, and the Rays, Indians, and -Angels in the AL. The Indians have the best record in baseball at 30-10 and are running away with their division.

Brock Holt is still hitting over .400 and leads the NL. Christian Yelich leads the Senior Circuit in home runs with 15, and Gleyber Torres leads the Junior Circuit with 17.

The trade winds have been blowing. Here’s a summary:

Nick Solak from the Rangers to the Braves for Adam Duvall; Duvall to the Giants for Jacob Heyward (Jason’s younger brother)

Jameson Taillon from the Pirates to the Rockies for Kyle Freeland.

Adam Wainwright to the Red Sox for Martin Perez and shortstop Jeter Downs. Waino was subsequently waived by the BoSox and is probably on his way to Pawtucket.

The Yankees waived Luis Avilan and Angel Aguilar. The Cubs claimed Avilan and stashed him in Triple-A. He’s not on the 40-man roster. Trevor Megill was sent to Double-A Tennessee and Bailey Clark went to A-ball.

And finally, young talent Nico Hoerner is back and struggling outfielder Albert Almora, Jr has been sent to Iowa, where he’ll start in right field.

BCB — We’ll start with that, and perhaps two fingers of the Gouden Carolus, if you don’t mind, Brandon.

BP — Don’t mind if I do. Well, we’ve all been waiting for the time to come for Nico to return, and perhaps this time he’s here to stay. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I plan to make use of his and Johan Camargo’s ability to play multiple positions effectively and help keep the regulars fresh. Nico brings a little more speed in his game than Johan does, and he may see some time in center, spelling Ian Happ ... and of course he’s a fine middle infielder.

Albert isn’t very happy about going to Iowa. But his bat hasn’t made the trip from spring training and we can’t afford that if we’re going to stay 15 or so games over .500, which we’re going to have to do to win in this division, in this league. Steven Souza Jr. has shown signs of coming out of his funk and Jose Quintana has thrown very well the last couple of times out. I’m pleased.

BCB — Yeah, Q looked damn good. And his last time out he was working on a Maddux. It really showed against Clayton Kershaw, who threw sooo many pitches.

BP — Oh that was fantastic, wasn’t it? Grinding like that, against THAT guy, and we ended up knocking him out early. Their bullpen is nails but still, I love to see our guys do that, get that bulldog mentality, make those pitchers WORK for their outs.

We’re winning ugly sometimes but we’re winning. Other teams are trying to pry our players away but it’s the chemistry that makes everything work. Our leaders on the field and in the clubhouse instill the right mentality. I told Anthony Rizzo today that he doesn’t need a ‘C’ on his sleeve. He already has them on his cap and on his chest.

Theo is burning up the phone lines. Like I said, the stove is lit, and deals are in the air early as teams are already separating themselves. Oddly, its the supposed HAVES that are looking for help, offering secondary players for veterans. Those guys that play multiple positions are in demand. People are calling about Donnie Dewees, Trent Giambrone, relievers like Tyler Olson and Rowan Wick, guys that are younger but still have some growing to do and could play at the major league level.

Everybody’s grinding. Anthony Iapoce is putting on daily clinics. Wyatt McClory has inherited the Pitch Lab and I think he has Dr Frankenstein in there with him. All of our pitchers are learning knuckle-curves and late-breaking sliders and cutters. Spencer Kang and Tyler Tyskiewicz are running infield and outfield drills seemingly 24-7.

BCB — Feel good when you’re going good. Like Mark DeRosa says on the broadcasts, dinner tastes better, everything is better...

BP — Oh yeah, and you want it to last forever. Next month we have the draft, and I understand we have some excitement there. Alan Escobar, our West Coast scout, has been looking at a trio of speedy outfielders, and I would not be surprised to find one or more on our roster next year. Dante Carew has good speed and power, Nick Davis has great tools in general but he’s raw, and Charles Pinto is a polished contact man who is still growing into his power.

I’m also hearing good things about third baseman Luis Ortiz, catcher Derrick Hippern, and a quartet of young setup men/closers, and a few infielders with promise. We’ll have to see how that goes. We’re 27-11. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said at this juncture.

See you next week.

BCB — Til next week! And thanks for reading.