Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the cool hangout that’s off the beaten path for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad that you stopped by again tonight. Please make yourself at home. You’re probably home anyway. Bring your own beverage. The dress code has been waived.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
The Cubs got Dolly Parton-ed by the Minnesota Twins tonight, losing 9-5. I’m trying to think of something good to say about tonight’s contest—I guess Ian Happ getting a couple of hits and Willson Contreras and Trayce Thompson hitting home runs was nice.
Perhaps the nicest thing about the past month or so of being a Cubs fan is watching the absolute joy that Frank Schwindel is having being the toast of Chicago. You can see it in Schwindel’s face every time he takes the field. I’ve also seen so many pictures in my Twitter timeline of some fan seeing Schwindel in Wrigleyville and asking for his picture. You can tell in Schwindel’s face that he’s as thrilled to be asked to have his photo taken as the fan is having their picture taken with Frank.
Anyway, you’re free to discuss tonight’s game here if you want to.
Yesterday I asked you what you thought about adding a pitch clock to baseball. A total of 54% of you thought that it was time for MLB to adopt a pitch clock and only 34% were against it. The rest of you were “meh.”
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning is the night I skip the movie discussion in an attempt to keep myself sane. However, I always have time for a jazz track.
I feel like I’m not giving enough attention to contemporary jazz and vocal jazz, and I do admit that those are two areas of the genre that I’m not as familiar with. I mean, I’m not really an expert on post-bop, cool jazz or modal jazz of the 1950s and 1960s either. But at least I know a little something in that area.
So today I’m offering you Washington, DC vocalist René Marie and the title track from her 2016 album, Sound of Red. René Marie is known for her protest songs, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a blues-y number that should get you into a good mood.
As far as her reputation as a protest singer goes, I’m reminded of something that Billy Bragg once said. He said that most of his songs weren’t political—they’re love songs just like any other pop singer. But because he sings a few political songs and other singers don’t sing any, Bragg gets labeled as a political singer. I feel that’s true of Marie as well.
Tonight’s baseball question comes from this Patrick Mooney article in The Athletic: How does the Yu Darvish deal look now? (The Athletic sub. req.)
I think it’s safe to say that the deal that send Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini to the Padres for Zach Davies, Owen Caissie, Reginald Preciado, Yeison Santana and Ismael Mena was unpopular around here when it happened last December. It was probably even less popular the first two months of the season when Darvish was posting an ERA around 3.00 and was the best pitcher on the Padres. At the same time, the Cubs were contending for first place despite having a huge problem with their starting rotation and finding a decent backup catcher.
But since then, Darvish’s season has gone south. He now has an ERA of 4.13 as the Padres have fallen out of a playoff spot. Caratini, who had been forced into a starting job in San Diego out of necessity, has only hit .217/.300/.310 with the Padres this year. He’s only thrown out 17% of runners trying to steal.
So does the deal look better now that (almost) and entire season has went by? On the negative side, Davies was expected to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter with good control and he’s been anything but. He has a 5.49 ERA and he’s leading the league in walks issued.
The four minor leaguers acquired in the deal have had mixed results. Shortstop Yeison Santana was the only one who started the season on a full season minor league team in May, but he was demoted back to the Arizona Complex League after hitting .147/.238/.173 over 20 games in Myrtle Beach. The 20-year-old Dominican did better in rookie ball, hitting .292/.385/.382 over 32 games in Mesa.
The other shortstop, the big 18-year-old Dominican Reginald Preciado, played the entire season in the ACL. But he did quite well in Arizona, hitting .333/.383/.511 with three home runs over 34 games. Arizona is a pretty nice place to hit, it must be said, but that line is still pretty good,.
Ismael Mena, an 18-year-old center fielder from the Dominican Republic, struggled more at the plate than his two countrymen. In 44 games in the ACL, Mena hit .224/.287/.295 with two home runs and nine steals. The positive signs for Mena is that he hit better in the second half than the first and the scouting reports on his defense in center field are promising.
The one true success story among the four of them has been Owen Caissie, a huge 19-year-old Canadian corner outfielder who destroyed the ACL to the tune of .349/.478/.596 with six home runs over 32 games. That got him promoted to Low-A Myrtle Beach, where Caissie did struggle in a more difficult hitting environment. Over 22 games with the Pelicans, Caissie put up a line of .233/.367/.329 with only one home run and four doubles. As you can tell from that line, Caissie was still drawing walks and getting on base, but a lot of those balls that he crushed for doubles or home runs in Mesa were dying in the moist, heavy air of Myrtle Beach. Caissie is certainly a promising hitter based on what he did in rookie ball, but he does need to prove that his power is real outside of Arizona.
So how do you think the Cubs did in the deal? Davies is almost certain not to be re-signed by the Cubs this winter, but the other four players could be under team control for the next decade. The issue is whether they will show enough in the upper levels of the minors for the Cubs to want to keep them.
So give a grade to the Darvish deal after almost a full season. Did the Cubs do well in that trade after all? Or do you still hate the deal?
After one season, grade the Yu Darvish trade for the Cubs:
This poll is closed
Thanks again for stopping by. We’ll be back again tomorrow with another edition of BCB After Dark. Please tip your waitstaff on the way out.