If the Bullets are your first stop today, I offered my thoughts on last night’s loss earlier this morning. So, that’s where that is, and now I’ll turn to other things …
- After a few games where he looked to be out-guessed at the plate, it was like Kris Bryant flipped a switch (not unlike after James Shields dominated Bryant in his big league debut). He wasn’t offering at anything off the plate, and when he was, he notched a single. Otherwise, he took four walks in the game, bringing his total on the young season to 16 (against 19 strikeouts). Bryant’s OBP is .458, and he’s sporting an otherworldly 22.2% walk rate despite hitting in the middle of the order (it’s not like he’s got the pitcher behind him). He’s a rookie, but pitchers know how much damage he can do, so they’re being almost unthinkably cautious with him (to their own detriment, possibly).
- Among players with at least 70 plate appearances so far this year, Bryant’s walk rate is tied with Bryce Harper for the highest in baseball. Wrap your head around a brand new rookie – whatever the pedigree – being walked as much as one of the most feared hitters in baseball.* If pitchers continue to approach Bryant like this, the Cubs might be best served moving him into the two-hole, between Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo.
- *(Also wrap your head around how impressive Harper is – he’s a year younger than Bryant.)
- Heads up: today only, there’s a deal in the BN shop where you can get free shipping if you buy any two items. Just use the code FREE2LOVE when you check out.
- This Cubs.com piece on the Cubs’ lack of home runs thus far could really read like an overall piece about the Cubs: good things are coming, young players have to adjust, and the talent is there.
- Last night, Chris Denorfia aggravated the hamstring that kept him out the first few weeks of the season, and he’s likely headed back to the disabled list for a while, with Matt Szczur coming up today to replace him. It’s a real bummer for Denorfia, who was hitting .429/.455/.476 in limited duty (that’s a lot of singles!).
- Was it worth it? This guy, one of the BFIB:
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 5, 2015