The Cubs snapped their eight-game losing streak by beating the Reds on Thursday, but they returned to typical form Friday, committing five errors in a 10-8 loss to Cincinnati.
Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson and Welington Castillo all had miscues on a very windy day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had five errors for the first time since committing six on Sept. 12, 2006 against the Dodgers.
Besides the errors, the Cubs had two wild pitches and a passed ball, they had two runners thrown out on the basepaths (Alfonso Soriano at home in the third, Starlin Castro at third with no outs in the sixth) and they had an outfield collision on a ball that dropped in the eighth, giving Brandon Phillips a single.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game for the Reds either, but they did take advantage just enough to snap their five-game losing streak. Jonathan Broxton nearly blew a 9-6 lead by giving up two runs in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman came in to get the final out of the inning and send the Reds on to the ninth up 9-8. After the offense got him an insurance run, he pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.