Montero or Hammel Could Be Casualties of Cubs’ Long-Term Plan

Quietly, Miguel Montero and Jason Hammel have been huge parts of the Cubs’ success over the last two seasons. Montero was worth 3.9 WARP in relatively modest playing time last year, and has been worth 1.3 WARP already this year—in addition to which, he’s been Jake Arrieta’s partner in crime, Willson Contreras’s mentor, and one […]


Cubs’ Catching Situation Provides More Questions Than Answers

Very few people would confuse Tim Federowicz for Jonathan Herrera, at least up close. But if you look from a distance and squint a bit, you might just see the resemblance. Herrera, you’ll recall, spent the entire 2015 season on the Cubs’ big league roster despite making it into just 73 total games and starting […]


BP Instant: Miguel Montero to the Disabled List, Tim Federowicz up from Iowa

On Thursday morning, a few hours before the Cubs took on the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a rain-shortened two-game set at Wrigley Field, the team announced that Miguel Montero would be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, and that Tim Federowicz had been called up from Triple-A Iowa to take […]


Fatigue, Platoons, and a Prospect: Cubs Catching Sans Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber was never going to catch more than a couple dozen games this season. Even as the end of Spring Training revealed the Cubs’ plan to hitch Schwarber’s catching starts to Jason Hammel’s starts on the mound, the former Hoosier’s catching development—which some began to view with cautious optimism last season, a testament to […]


In Praise of Miguel Montero: The Tim Meadows of the Chicago Cubs

The Beatles had George Harrison. Late 1990s Saturday Night Live had Tim Meadows. The 2015-2016 Cubs have Miguel Montero. It seems unavoidable that every great institution has a forgotten contributor. That is, a member of the organization who, upon initial consideration, would not be mentioned as the most valuable, indispensable, or aesthetically pleasing to watch. Be […]


Willson Contreras Has His Work Cut Out for Him in 2016

On the face of it, the Cubs seem to have their catching situation covered in both the short and the long term. Last year, Miguel Montero—the big-league incumbent—was the fifth most-valuable catcher in the game, as measured by WARP (3.92), and his 13.9 FRAA ranked fourth, defensively, at the position. Meanwhile, Willson Contreras, the Cubs’ top catching prospect, broke out in […]