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Green Passed Away, Russell and Sliders, a Fantastic World Series Video, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

3.5 hours.

That’s my sleep counter for last night, after two slightly longer, but still far too short nights of sleep the preceding two nights, thanks to the World Baseball Classic (and aggressive early-waking kids). So, there was a late-night write-up for the WBC, a podcast to record this morning, other posts to pop out … and you’ll forgive me if the Bullets are a little later than usual.

And if they are marginally less coherent …

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  • Former Cubs GM Dallas Green passed away yesterday, and Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts released a statement:

  • A very interesting read from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on Addison Russell’s second half in 2016. Nope, it’s not about the power surge we’ve discussed so often. It’s actually about how pitchers realized he was feasting on their sliders, and started (1) throwing them less often, and (2) started working them down and away more frequently. The result: “Only six players experienced a bigger drop-off in their second-half slugging percentage on sliders than Russell did, declining from that attractive .578 slugging mark featured above to a .286 figure in the second half. This while seeing fewer sliders, swinging at more of them, and whiffing less often when he did swing.” In other words, it would *seem* that Russell’s early success against sliders emboldened him to swing even more often at sliders, despite the ones he was seeing being harder to hit with authority. So, he still made lots of contact against sliders … but it was weaker contact. Pitchers’ pitches. That kind of thing. At least, that’s what the data looks like. Something to keep an eye on for early 2017.
  • Incidentally, Russell is Keith Law’s breakout pick this year at shortstop.

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  • Ben Zobrist was scratched last night because of a stiff neck, and is day to day (Cubs.com).
  • Anthony Rizzo played in a minor league game yesterday instead of the big league one, and, like Kyle Schwarber, Rizzo bunted for a base hit against the shift (Cubs.com).
  • This is a fantastic fan-view video of the final out of the World Series, which I hadn’t seen before:


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  • USA! USA:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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