Chris Archer to the Cubs?

The Cubs show interest in Chris Archer.

A few days back, I had read that the Cubs were interested in the right-handed pitcher from Tampa Bay. Archer who didn’t seem to have any direction last year posting average numbers aside from his strikeouts in which he was 5th and had 233 SO. Everything else seemed to be middle of the pack numbers. His stat line for the 2016 season; 9-19, 4.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .238 BAA, 233 SO, 201.1 IP. Not numbers you are going to be comfortable with if you’re trying to sign a pitcher. Maybe there could be room for improvement in the offseason and maybe see a Jake Arrieta type year from Archer. It’s an interesting idea to sign him, me myself, I’m not too fond of the idea.

I think the Cubs should go after Charlie Blackmon, center fielder from the Colorado Rockies. He seems to be a perfect fit for the Cubs, posting very impressive numbers offensively. He could possibly be there to hit in case Jason Heyward hits the way he did in the previous year. .324 AVG, 29 HR, 82 RBI’s, 111 R, .381 OBP, .552 SLG, .933 OPS. Impressive numbers. He has similar numbers that Dexter Fowler would put up. With Fowler leaving, Blackmon could be the perfect fit for the leadoff spot. With Blackmon in the leadoff spot that could leave Ben Zobrist in the number two spot. With his consistency to get on base, it could add a lot of fire power at the very front of their lineup. My opinion, I would say try and acquire Blackmon. Keeping Mike Montgomery in the bullpen is a big mistake in my eyes. He can have a major impact on the starting rotation, a lot more of an impact than Archer would have.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95

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MVP! MVP! MVP!

The Cubs’ first MVP since 1998.

The kid did it, Kris Bryant won his first MVP award and only in his second season. In his first season, he was the clear Rookie of the Year hitting; .275 AVG, .369 OBP, .488 SLG, .858 OPS, 26 HR’s, 99 RBI’s. Now this year he was the obvious N.L. MVP hitting; .292 AVG, .385 OBP, .554 SLG, .939 OPS, 39 HR’s, 102 RBI’s. What a dramatic jump in numbers from his rookie season to his sophomore year. He cut down his strikeout rate dramatically from his rookie year. Which in the numbers shows that he indeed did. Look for him next year to try and cut it down even more. Once he gets his strike out rate down to a manageable rate then you will see him take off. In which could possibly make him an unanimous MVP in the foreseeable future. Other than that, I don’t see anything else he needs to improve on at the plate. Going to the field though, Kris could get better at playing third, he’s not a bad defender he just doesn’t make the best throws to first. Consistency is key for Kris for his future. A lot of Cubs fans were thrilled when Kris Bryant was named MVP. For it was the first time a Cubs player had been named MVP since Sammy Sosa in 1998. The man has already had an incredible career and he is only in his second year. He has won; Rookie of the Year, two Division titles, a N.L. pennant, a World Series ring, and a MVP award. It’s almost like a little kid’s dream playing in the Major Leagues getting the big hits in the World Series and winning the MVP. He truly is living every kid’s fantasy right now.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95

Kris Bryant Wins NL MVP Award

If you went to a Cubs game at Wrigley this summer, you probably heard the “M-V-P” chant as Kris Bryant stepped up to the plate. That wish came true tonight. Kris Bryant was awarded the award this evening with his dad, Mike, and fiancé, Jessica at his side.

Kris is more than deserving for this award. Last season, after winning the Rookie of the Year, it was almost clear that Kris would have a whole lot more to add to that. Let’s breakdown Kris’ stats:

In two seasons with the Cubs:

YEAR

AVERAGE

HOME RUNS

RBI’S

HITS

2015

.275

26

99

154

2016

.292

39

102

176

TOTAL

.284

65

201

330

Kris is also the first player to win these four awards in four consecutive years:

-2013 College Player of the Year
-2014 Minor League Player of the Year
-2015 Rookie of the Year
-2016 National League “Most Valuable Player”

 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the stellar first baseman Anthony Rizzo. I, as well as many others, was surprised when I didn’t see him as one of the Top 3 Finalists for the MVP Award, considering he and Kris have almost identical numbers:

YEAR

AVERAGE

HOME RUNS

RBI’S

HITS

2016

.292

32

109

170

The other thing that stands out to me is that how much Rizzo and Bryant pushed each other this season. The bond that is shared between Kris and Anthony is truly remarkable, one that we haven’t seen in a long time.

OTHER CUB NOTES…

  •   Individual tickets for the 2017 Cubs Convention will go on sale tomorrow at noon for $108 (get it?) a piece.
  •   The Opening Day game @ St. Louis has been rescheduled to April 2nd, at 7:05pm. ESPN will also televise the game on “Sunday Night Baseball.”
  •   ESPN will also carry the Cubs home opener the following Monday (April 10th).

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    Connor Jennings @ChiCubsUpdates

Scherzer & Porcello Take Home Cy Young Awards

Max Scherzer capped off his magnificent season by winning the N.L. Cy Young Award last night. 2.96 ERA, 20 W, 7 L, 284 SO, 0.97 WHIP, .199 BAA, 228.1 IP. The strikeouts, I think, is what solidified him as the Cy Young winner, the man totaled up 284 SO which is unheard of in today’s game. There is no doubt Scherzer deserved that award 100%. Edging out Jon Lester who finished second in voting with 102 points and Kyle Hendricks in third with 85 points. Scherzer finished with 192 points overall giving him a landslide victory. Others that followed; in fourth, Madison Bumgarner with 46 points, Clayton Kershaw with 30 points and Johnny Cueto 19 points. With Jose Fernandez, Noah Syndergaard, Jake Arrieta and Tanner Roark finishing up the ballots.

Onto the A.L. Cy Young winner, where there seemed to be a lot of controversy. A lot of people think the award should have gone to Justin Verlander and by the look of the chart he probably should have been the winner. Credit is due where it is earned and that goes to Rick Porcello. His numbers aren’t very eye popping but none of the A.L. Cy Young candidates really had eye popping numbers. His 22 wins could have a lot to do with the fact that he won the Cy Young voting.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95

Francona & Roberts win MOY

Yesterday, the Manager of the Year awards were given out to Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians and Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both men led their teams to the postseason, one won the A.L. pennant and the other won a Division Series. What impresses me about both MOY winners is both teams weren’t even supposed to be in the playoffs. First, Terry Francona, I think he was the obvious choice in the A.L. to win. Leading his team to 94 wins, a sweep in the ALDS, and another near sweep in the ALCS. Although falling one game short of hoisting the World Series trophy, he managed better than anyone else in the A.L. for the second time in four years he could take home the MOY award he is is leaving a legacy in the baseball world. Now onto, Dave Roberts this one I was not 100% sure about. Me, personally I think, Joe Maddon should have won N.L. Manager of the Year. Yeah, Dave Roberts did more with less and this was his first-year coaching on the professional level. I do have to give him credit for making it to the playoffs without Clayton Kershaw for most of the season. He did however have him in the NLCS and not even Kershaw could extend the series. Joe won 103 games, a MLB best, he brought a World Series title to a city that hasn’t seen one in 108 years. I think the World Series win alone should have been enough to win him Manager of the Year, but credit is due to Dave Roberts. He was clearly the better coach in his colleagues’ eyes.

The Cubs, though, still have MVP hopeful, Kris Bryant and Cy Young candidates, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. I think Kris Bryant is the obvious choice for N.L. MVP hitting; .292 AVG, 39 HR, 102 RBI’s, .385 OBP, .554 SLG, .939 OPS, 176 H, 75 BB, 154 SO. I think the one thing that separated Bryant from being an unanimous MVP was the high strikeout rate. If he was to significantly cut that down and put up similar numbers next year, he could be a possible unanimous MVP. Now onto Lester and Hendricks. Hendricks, the MLB ERA leader with a 2.13. He isn’t the fastest throwing pitcher with a fastball that only reaches 92 MPH. His ability to get you with the finesse breaking balls and his ability to paint the corner with ease. Lester, on the other hand, was dominant but never really got any Cy Young recognition until the end of the season, beginning of the playoffs. Lester’s regular season stats were very good; 2.44 ERA, 19 W, 1.02 WHIP, .211 BAA, 197 SO, 202.2 IP. I think Lester is a more overall better pitcher than Hendricks is, but both are deserving of Cy Young awards.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95

Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel Become Free Agents

It’s been five days since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and they are still making headlines. Center fielder Dexter Fowler and starting pitcher Jason Hammel have both become free agents. I don’t think Fowler or Hammel leaving will affect the Cubs whatsoever, if anything I think the Cubs might be better off. Here is why, starting with, Jason Hammel. Seemed like all season Hammel just didn’t have anything this year. His best stretch of the season was before the All-Star break and even those numbers were not what Joe Maddon wanted. 7-5 record, 17 G, 96.1 IP, 79 H, 38 R, 37 ER, 14 HR, 30 BB, 79 SO, .226 AVG, 1.13 WHIP, 3.46 ERA. You would think there had to be some sort of confidence and consistency issue. Which threw him off his game for the entire season. So, I don’t see any loss there especially with, Mike Montgomery emerging as the Cubs’ new 5th starter. If he performs to Joe’s standards you could possibly see him in the 4th spot moving Lackey to the 5th starting position. Now onto Dexter Fowler, he was a driving force behind this offense it seemed whenever he would leadoff with a hit it would ignite the rest of the lineup. Their record when he did leadoff was visibly a lot better than when he didn’t. With the absence of Fowler in center expect Jason Heyward to move to center field. I also think Joe will stick with Ben Zobrist in right field just to be able to keep Javier Baez in the lineup with his magnificent defensive skills. With the return of Kyle Schwarber, Joe will most likely put him in left field especially with Willson Contreras showing promise of being the Cubs’ every day starting catcher. I think with Fowler and Hammel out of the picture it might make managing a little easier on Joe. He won’t have to make as many decisions and will be able to keep everything a little simpler. Fowler wasn’t much of a power hitter this year his contact was on point for most the season. .276 AVG, 13 HR, 48 RBI’s, 13 SB, .840 OPS, .393 OBP, 84 R, 126 H, 7 3B. He will be hard to replace in the leadoff spot but I think Ben Zobrist will make a good leadoff man with his ability to be consistent and get great contact on the ball almost every single at bat. Fowler and Hammel gone will not affect how good the Cubs will be next season.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95

The Parade of All Parades

5 million plus show up to Cubs’ World Series Championship parade.

Friday was unlike any other day: the emotions/energy in the crowd, were unreal. Standing in Grant Park for 4+ hours, in flooded grass, I can confidently say there is nothing these fans wouldn’t do for their team and city. After all, Chicago is the greatest city in America, with the best fans across all sports. It was a long emotional day; I think the most unique part about the whole day was Anthony Rizzo choking up giving David Ross his final goodbye. Yeah, he might have only been on the team for 2 years but he was the life force behind this team. Always motivating his teammates trying to get the best he can out of them. I don’t want to see Ross go, none of us do, and that is why I think it would be a great idea to keep him as the catchers’ coach. He can bring a lot of wisdom and value to the Cubs’ young catcher, Willson Contreras. I believe having Ross teach Contreras everything he knows will make him a Hall of Fame catcher in my eyes.

Now what I was most excited to talk about, the attendance. There was 5 million plus people to cheer the Cubs on as they held their first World Series parade ever. 5 million people! Which would make it the 7th largest social gathering of all time. Being the number one social gathering for sports, has got to make yourselves feel proud, Cubs fans. We are the best fans in the world for a reason because we would do anything for this team and this team would do anything for us. This year has been one long crazy ride, an emotional rollercoaster throughout the playoffs. I just want to thank the entire Cubs organization, and most importantly, Theo Epstein. Without him none of this would have happened so caps off to you, my friend. Throughout it all the Cubs prevailed and the fans showed to show their support, now the only thing left to do is enjoy the championship and countdown the days till Spring Training.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95