Keegan Thompson Looked Incredible, Next Steps for Estrada, Mexican Talent Pipeline, Girardi, and Other Cubs Bullets

It’s Hayden Wesneski Day! I suppose I missed the announcement that he can be beginning as we speak’s collection opener towards the Pirates. We knew at the least another begin was coming, however I wasn’t positive precisely when it might be. Today it’s! We’ll see if he can sustain the momentum from his dominant outing towards the Rockies.

  • Keegan Thompson got here off the Injured List WITH A JOLT final evening. That’s pretty much as good as he is seemed all 12 months, getting six strikeouts in his three scoreless innings of labor (one stroll, one hit). He had a 42% CSW over his 43 pitches, which is simply distinctive.

  • It’s not information at this level that, for as a lot as everybody WANTS Thompson to be a beginning pitcher, he has proven his greatest this season in these sorts of pre-planned, multi-inning reduction appearances. It simply looks as if when he is dealing with the order one-ish instances, for 50-ish pitches, the pitches all play up a lot.
  • Thompson’s splits this 12 months, that are undoubtedly skewed by a couple of blow-up begins*, are actually stark:

Starting Pitcher: 78.1 IP, 4.83 ERA, .272/.345/.485 opponent slash, 19.1% Ok, 8.4% BB
Relief Pitcher: 29.0 IP, 1.24 ERA, .175/.266/.227 opponent slash, 28.2% Ok, 8.2% BB

  • The samples are small, however they undoubtedly pair with the attention check. The reduction outings have simply been Thompson popping out attacking hitters, nasty as all get out. This is not to say he cannot work in direction of beginning subsequent season, and have a shot to win a beginning job in Spring Training and/or work in some begins once more all through subsequent season. He may take that subsequent step. He clearly has the expertise. But, very similar to with Adbert Alzolay, you need to watch out to not forsake the dear (however restricted) piece you COULD have, whereas ceaselessly chasing the extra vital utilization. Always a difficult steadiness. I’m simply glad the Cubs lastly have a lot of choices!
  • *(But the query is whether or not a number of the blowing up in these begins was tied to the truth that, as a beginning pitcher, he is attempting to pitch in a method as to preserve and get by way of 6+ innings, and perhaps that is simply not the place he’ll be at his greatest. So perhaps the blow-ups aren’t only a flukey aberration, however are a particular concern.)
  • With Thompson’s return, Jeremiah Estrada was the odd man out of the bullpen for now. Like I stated yesterday, I believe that has much less to do along with his huge league efficiency up to now (which has been scorching and chilly), and extra to do with the Cubs preferring to guage another guys with the remaining two weeks – all the things on Estrada has already been determined, in my view (he is staying on the 40-man roster this offseason, he’ll have an opportunity to earn a full-time gig in Spring Training, however is more than likely going to be launched subsequent 12 months as extra of an up-down man at first). You additionally should be getting near an innings restrict on Estrada, who has pitched so little the previous couple of years.
  • David Ross spoke on Estrada earlier than the choice, and I believe you get a real sense of how Estrada is considered for the time being – ​​extra growth is required to essentially attain his affect ceiling:

“The fastball is actual, perhaps considered one of our greatest fastballs in our group,” Ross instructed Taylor McGregor Tuesday evening. “What excites me is that he is nonetheless very unpolished. The breaking ball hasn’t actually proven up but. It’s not a weapon for him but. He’s nonetheless received numerous enchancment that is forward of him that he is able to doing. … That swing-and-miss is actual and exhausting to search out. When you’ve gotten a fastball like he does with actual carry and on the velocities of 97, 98 – he will get above the barrel for numerous these hitters. A whole lot of dangerous swings [Monday]. He’s thrilling simply ‘trigger I do not even assume he is touched his potential.”

  • That, too, is an efficient level from what we have seen: the fastball ceaselessly seemed huge league prepared (plus-plus potential), however the breaking balls (largely sliders, a couple of curveballs) had way more usually seemed completely unavailable to him on a given day.
  • It’s unimaginable that the Cubs at present have 4 gamers on the roster who’ve Mexican roots, as a result of for a very long time, as wealthy because the baseball historical past was within the nation, you simply did not see that many gamers making it to the large leagues. Keep up that pipeline!
  • I’m actually respecting the plainspoken honesty right here:
  • I ponder what occurs with the White Sox this offseason, assuming they do not pull off some miracle comeback within the AL Central (6.0 video games again with two weeks to go). They went very all-in the final couple years to pair with the rising younger core, however that core is much less rising now, numerous guys have regressed or been injured, and with out some impactful additions this offseason, it is exhausting to see them being significantly better in 2023 (even after ditching Tony La Russa). They are at present simply three video games over .500 with a adverse run differential.
  • I do not instantly see any vital matches between the White Sox and Cubs, by the best way (ie, I do not see an apparent man the White Sox would possibly need to dump in a technique of turning over elements of the roster, that the Cubs would need to purchase). I’m very a lot entering into that mode the place I begin combing over each roster to consider attainable matches or inefficiencies the place the Cubs – a membership with TONS of payroll house and TONS of prospect depth – may slide in and take benefit.
  • Ken Rosenthal writes concerning the Phillies’ huge turnaround this 12 months and how he was mistaken in beforehand saying that merely firing supervisor Joe Girardi wouldn’t make a distinction:

Dombrowski and the gamers nonetheless communicate extremely of Girardi, however the mixture of the supervisor’s lame-duck contractual standing and the group’s excessive expectations created further strain within the early a part of the season. Girardi seems to be able to burst with stress even in one of the best of instances. Nearly two months into the season, the Phillies have been 22-29. Segura had simply gone on the injured record with a fractured proper index finger. And the dialogue about Girardi’s job safety, in considered one of America’s most demanding sports activities cities, grew louder.

When Dombrowski made the change, the gamers responded as if it was a wake-up name.

“I do know that there was numerous hypothesis with Joe. Once it occurred, it was type of a faucet on the shoulder to the gamers, and they received it going,” Thomson stated. “Nothing to do with Joe. Just all that hypothesis (being over), they type of relaxed.”

  • We’ll see if the best way that each one performed out will inhibit Girardi’s potential to get one other managerial job if he needs. For now, he is displaying up periodically on Cubs broadcasts on Marquee, like final evening. I do know that the three-person cubicles actually bug some of us, however I’ve gotta say, I’ve discovered Girardi to be a stable addition (and, actually, ditto Ryan Dempster when he reveals up because the third man). I similar to getting that further layer of perspective, fastidiously doled out in order to not step throughout Boog and JD.
  • Good lord these pitches tunneled for so lengthy:
  • This is wild – the story does not change:

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