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Early Cubs Bullpen Usage Missing Someone, Tough Errors on Baez, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Apparently there’s rain in the forecast in St. Louis, which could impact today’s rubber match between the Cubs and Cardinals (12:45pm CT). I’m not sure if I can handle another two off-days in a row, so get this game in!

(UPDATE: Yes, it’s postponed, but at least they’ll try again tomorrow, instead of punting to midseason.)

  • We’ll have more on Jake Arrieta’s season debut coming shortly, so don’t think he’s being ignored here in these Bullets. I do want to say that, for one night at least, I’m not sure what more Arrieta could have realistically done to give people a good feeling heading into this season after a dicey second half of 2016. A no-hitter is always possible with Arrieta on the mound, but, again, realistically, I truly think that start went as well as it could have. It gave me a spring in my step.

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  • Two close games so far for the Cubs, requiring appearances from multiple relievers. We’ve seen Pedro Strop twice and Koji Uehara twice, and each of Wade Davis, Mike Montgomery, and Carl Edwards Jr. once. Justin Grimm got warm last night (and was unavailable on Sunday because of a funeral), so he was close to entering the game. The only pitcher we haven’t really seen active out of the bullpen yet is Hector Rondon. It’s only two games, so I don’t think any of us should take too much away from it – bullpen situations are so very fluid throughout the year after all – but after the spring discussions we had about Rondon-related concerns, is anyone surprised to see that he’s apparently starting the season out in middle relief? Hopefully he gets in some appearances soon, looks good, builds confidence, and will be available in any situation before too long. Good Hector Rondon is one of the best relievers in the game. (The good thing for the Cubs is that they otherwise have a bullpen entirely filled with setup options.)
  • I enjoyed this read at CSN about Kris Bryant, the born hitter. It does stand in contrast to Bryant’s first two games (0-9, 4 Ks), but as you already know, any two-game sample in a given season means nothing, and Bryant is not a guy you have to worry about. When these things happen at the start of a season, they always get magnified.
  • Although he made a fantastic final play, Javy Baez was charged with two tough errors last night on the final play of Stephen Piscotty’s horror trip around the bases. The first error was on missing the dribbler (an error because it allowed Piscotty to score), and the second was on the throw home (because it allowed the batter to reach second). It was one of those plays where, yes, I totally understand that you’ve gotta give Baez an error on the throw, but what a fluke, since it hit Piscotty. The error on the dribbler seems especially harsh, given that it was such a do or die play that Baez had to go all out – the fact that he missed it was made an error only because Piscotty made the heads up decision to run home. I think that one should be reconsidered and changed in the long run.
  • Speaking of Baez, he had some fun with former Chicago Bear Spice Adams:


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Attention, Chicago Cubs fans! Mark your calendars on April 11, for your chance to meet Kyle Schwarber!

Posted by Lids on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

  • According to Wainwright after the game, he did that on purpose (not, like, the joking thing you say – he says he actually did that on purpose). Perhaps the funniest thing was that Jake Arrieta struck out on the next pitch, which bounced about five feet in front of the plate. Clearly, Wainwright had successfully tricked Arrieta into thinking it was a good pitch by contrast. (I kid, of course, as I would never impugn Arrieta’s hitting ability.)

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  • Very good dogs talking about a very good team:

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Brett Taylor

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