Just in case you were wondering: The Little Girl was a star in her gymnastics show yesterday. 80-grade effort and happiness.
- Bad news on Tommy La Stella’s rehab: he tweaked his side yesterday (he was also hit by a pitch, though it’s unclear if that’s related) at AA Tennessee, left the game, and is coming to Chicago for evaluation. Whatever the outcome of that, it’s highly unlikely he’s back within the next couple days. That means the Cubs might have to go back to the well for bench pieces this week – currently, only Jonathan Herrera, David Ross, and Welington Castillo are on the bench. The Cubs need at least two more position players (unless they’re going to go with an 8-man pen in perpetuity, which seems a bit much). One of those figures to be an outfielder – Junior Lake? – and the other was probably going to be La Stella. I’ll have some thoughts on the Javier Baez implications a little bit later today (because that’s a much broader conversation), but, no, I don’t think the Cubs would bring up Baez just because La Stella got hurt. Might Arismendy Alcantara get another shot at the big league level? It’s possible the Cubs just go with Lake for now, and figure out when/if to add a fifth bench option later in the week.
- For all the Cubs’ good fortune with health in the rotation and among the starting positional guys, they’ve had nothing but bad luck in the bullpen and on the bench. I suppose that’s better than the other way around.
- Speaking of infielder health, hopefully Kris Bryant gets over whatever was ailing him yesterday during the off-day today. He left the game “under the weather” and dehydrated (Cubs.com), so it shouldn’t be an issue. But, given the bench situation yesterday and the close game, he must have been feeling really awful to leave the game.
- Joe Maddon left open Travis Wood’s bullpen role for now (Cubs.com). With four lefties in the 10-man bullpen right now, there’s a ton to sort out over the next day and a half. Perhaps after that sorting, it will be more clear how Wood is likely to be used. The nice thing is that he doesn’t have pronounced splits, and could be a full-inning or long guy, rather than just a LOOGY. In addition to saying the things you’d expect him to say about just wanting to help the team, Wood mentioned in that Cubs.com piece that he’s comfortable pitching on back-to-back days.
- Each of Joe Maddon and Jake Arrieta felt like yesterday’s game was a really good one, even though the Cubs lost (ESPN). Arrieta pitched fantastically, and the Cubs hit the ball well and took walks – the balls just didn’t drop.
- Kerry Wood’s foundation is putting on a home run derby, and you can check out the details here.
- A great read from the New York Times on Kris Bryant, his father, and Ted Williams.
- So that’s why the Cubs lost yesterday:
Hurdle on A.J. Burnett: "Pitched with a will to win. Competed very, very well."
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) May 17, 2015
- Burnett totally willed those balls into Pirate outfielder gloves. #TWTW
- If you missed anything this weekend, here’s your catch-up. And if you missed anything on the minor league level, Luke’s got you covered here.