Monday, June 27, 2016

Jumping the Gun

It's not been a good week or so for the Cubs - after an epic sweep of the Pirates last weekend, the Cubs got their proverbial butts handed to them by the Cardinals and the Marlins.  Suddenly they've lost six of their last seven and the team looks human.  Now, of course even the best of teams go through their cold spells throughout the season, so panic should not yet be setting in; however, that doesn't mean a little re-tooling can't be done.

The offense has been streaky and had issues with RISP which should even out as part of the eb and flow of a 162 schedule and the starting pitching has still been mostly adequate.  However, the bullpen has been pretty rocky and so Theo and Co. decided to make a change:

40 year old Joel Peralta will be the latest man to suit up in Cubbie Blue.  As a reliever who blossomed under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay, the Cubs manager convinced him to give it one more go on a minor league deal with Chicago after an awful beginning to the 2016 campaign with Seattle.  He hasn't been in the organization for very long and has only made a few appearances out of the AAA pen; that said, historically, Joel has had strong reverse platoon splits - by that, I mean the righty is much more effective against lefties.

This season alone, while righties teed off on Peralta to the tune of a .306 BA, lefties hit at a much more modest .209 clip.  All of this makes sense when you take into consideration that the man sent back to the minors to make room for the veteran was auditioning LOOGY Gerardo Concepcion, who was hit hard in his brief trial.

All in all, while I'm happy with the move itself, I'm also kind of happy to be adding this sweet Tampa Bay faux-back image to my CATRC binder.  Also, it seems fairly appropriate that Peralta's card would feature such a psych-out, seeing as there was a bit of trickery involved with his call-up.

You see, late last night, Iowa reliever Corey Black posted this cryptic tweet:

Obviously that could mean absolutely anything; but, when it was discovered that the Cubs had optioned fellow reliever Concepcion to the minors his morning without announcing a corresponding move, many a Cubs fan (including this one) jumped to the conclusion that Black, who was acquired from the Yankees in the 2013 Alfonso Soriano trade, was coming up.  I even went so far as to pull out my Black cards for CATRC consideration:

By the way, the reason why I have time for all of this on a Monday morning is because I work for a school district and I'm currently on summer hours - suddenly, I have lots of free time.

Anyway, news on the follow up roster jenga'ing was slow moving, so I decided to go for a six mile run in the interim (because I'm a glutton for pain - it was way too hot for that nonsense).  By the time that I hobbled back through my front door, word had dropped from multiple sources that it would in fact be Joel Peralta, not Corey Black, who would be added to the 25-man roster.

Looks like I jumped the gun, didn't I?  But, what the heck was Corey so excited about then?

Okay - I'm not a fan of the show myself; that said, from what I've heard about it, I can't blame anyone for getting super excited about it.  At least, the real life twist in our story today wasn't a "red wedding" level one - though, I'm sure some more irrational, ledge-jumping portions of the Cubs fan-base wouldn't mind that happening today.

Anyway, here's hoping that Peralta has something left in the tank and the Cubs can finally get someone to lock down that LOOGY spot - both Concepcion and the injured Clayton Richard have been less than stellar so far in 2016.  If not, perhaps a guy like Corey Black will indeed end up getting his chance to play in the Show.

We shall see.


  1. LOVE me some summer hours!
    Corey Black will a chance this year... the only question is if he'll be more or less excited about his call to MLB than he is about Thrones.

  2. Luckily fixing the bullpen is one of the easiest things to do at the trade deadline if you are willing to pay the price. Considering what is at stake for the Cubs I assume they will pay the price.

  3. Too funny, I mention that I'm not big on Orange is the New Black on my blog and you comment that you like it. Now on the very same day we've got the roles reversed, as I'm totally hooked on Game of Thrones! Sweet throwback jersey on that Peralta BTW. Who'd have thought someone who didn't throw their first MLB pitch until age 29 would still be at it at age 40...