Another night of about four hours sleep, and I am huuuuurrrrrting today. But, no, that’s not why the “morning” Bullets are going up just shy of the afternoon. It’s because there were a bunch of things I wanted to make sure we got out first thing in the morning … and they just piled up! So if you didn’t already see, there’s an update on the Kyle Schwarber injury, there’s a really fun Munenori Kawasaki interview, there’s a look at Anthony Rizzo’s huge game, and the Minor League Daily is back!
And I think I’m about to drink an energy drink. Which I never do. But I think I’m gonna.
Ok. I just did it. I’ll meet you on the moon.
- A general word on injuries: while it is correct to say that the Cubs are well-positioned – by design – absorb injuries like what happened to Kyle Schwarber, it is not correct to say that people should “relax” about it or “not worry about it.” Even as the Cubs do have options for left field and the lineup, and even if they do not lose significantly more (or any more) games in the near-term because of the injury, it’s far from a totally fine and OK thing. Every injury taps the depth. And then additional injuries keep chipping away at it. That’s why you have quality depth in the first place, because we all know that injuries can and will happen, but it is illogical to say that this is a reason to not worry about the Schwarber injury. Without him, the Cubs are inarguably at least slightly worse. Can they handle his loss better than most teams in baseball? Absolutely. Am I happy about that part? Sure. But I already knew about that part back in February and March. I was already happy about it. The Schwarber injury is the thing today, and it’s completely consistent to, on the one hand, be concerned about the impact of that injury (as well as be concerned about Schwarber, himself), and, on the other hand, take some comfort in knowing the Cubs have quality depth. You don’t have to be one thing or the other.
- One small impact to consider from the Schwarber injury: a new catcher will now be working with Jason Hammel tonight, on short notice, after Hammel and Schwarber worked together all Spring. Perhaps the overall quality of Miguel Montero and/or David Ross as catchers will offset that issue, but it’s something of a side bummer about the injury.
- Setting aside the injury stuff, last night’s game was another incredible demonstration of what this offense is capable of. They’re brutally patient, not for patience’s sake, but because they’re not going to swing at YOUR pitch. That makes pitchers work so hard to get an out, because rarely will a Cubs hitter in this lineup give himself up on a pitcher’s pitch. To be sure, that was a pretty crummy pitching performance across the board last night for the Diamondbacks, but sometimes that’ll happen. And, against a lot of teams, your pitchers can be a little crummy and you’ll still claw out a win. Against these Cubs? I don’t see too many games where I’ll be able to say, “Man, the opposing pitching was so off in this one, and yet the Cubs kept letting them off the hook.”
- Trevor Cahill has been dubbed a “super utility pitcher” at Cubs.com, which means it’s now an official term. My offseason-long quest is complete.
- White Sox announce Hawk Harrelson has still got it.
- In addition to his great interview, Munenori Kawasaki is already making fans in Iowa for this:
— Dylan Heuer (@dylan_heuer) April 7, 2016
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) April 7, 2016
- Addison Russell lost the handle on his bat again last night, and it almost started a mascot-related incident (ooh, hey, there’s a “follow” button you can click!):
Addison Russell tried to take out the Diamondbacks' mascot. pic.twitter.com/tPxDAoyN8w
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 8, 2016
- Have you seen new Braves pitcher John Gant’s delivery? I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it, and … it confuses me.
- Whoa – if you ever wanted to get one of those portable phone chargers (I use mine all the time at games), one of the best-reviewed ones at Amazon is 83% off today! Just $10. Kinda tempted to get another one just because.
- You might have thought Dexter Fowler’s small sample 317 wRC+ and Anthony Rizzo’s 306 would be good bets for tops in baseball in the early going, but they’re actually 8th and 11th, respectively. The guy on top? Familiar face:
Your humorously small sample early leader in baseball in both OPS (1.833) and wRC+ (439)? This happy new Yankee. pic.twitter.com/PXB6QMHS7K
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 8, 2016
- If you missed anything yesterday, here’s your mini-catch-up:
- With the Pirates sweeping the Cardinals, there are plenty of questions about the latter team.
- Scott Boras has some thoughts about a Jake Arrieta extension.
- The Cubs/Diamondbacks Series Preview.
- Yesterday was the anniversary of the time Michael Jordan played a game at Wrigley Field.
- Baseball Prospectus’s farm system rankings are out.
- Michael checked in on the Cubs’ pitchers risk of Tommy John Surgery. Really interesting read.
- Kyle Schwarber was injured in a game that the Cubs ended up winning big.
- And there’s a new episode of Limited Range for your enjoyment: