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Letting Go of Szczur, Almora’s Catch, the New York Mess, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Late Bullets today. Weekends have become increasingly difficult to do everything necessary for the site (lots of extra needs lately with the site re-design – post about that here, if you missed it) while still having an appropriate amount of family time. I’ll continue to balance as best I can, but increasingly going forward, where family needs and site needs conflict on the weekends, the family is going to win. I love all of you, but I love them a little more.


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  • The Cubs finally decided to let Matt Szczur go yesterday, though we won’t know the ultimate resolution for up to six more days. By designating Szczur for assignment, the Cubs have a week to trade Szczur, which would be the ideal outcome, as it could plausibly net the Cubs a modestly interesting prospect. It’s also possible, though, that the interest in Szczur is limited to waiver claims, and the Cubs may wind up losing him for nothing. After carrying him all last season and into this season, that would be something of a bitter outcome, but let’s keep in mind: (1) Szczur contributed last year in spurts, and was a good presence in the clubhouse – keeping him was not a burden; and (2) even if the Cubs get nothing for Szczur, his spot was increasingly crowded out and complicated by his lack of minor league options. With guys like Mark Zagunis, Jacob Hannemann, John Andreoli, et al at Iowa, it’s possible that, through the course of this season, the Cubs will not really have lost much at the big league level by losing Szczur. And for Szczur, maybe he’ll finally get a chance to win more playing time on a team that has a better opportunity to give him that shot.
  • … but hopefully he doesn’t land with the suddenly outfield-needy Cardinals. Of the loss, Joe Maddon put it this way (CSN): “It’s excruciating. [Szczur is] everything you want in a teammate. He’s always upbeat. He’s always ready to play. He knows he’s not playing, but he’s always upbeat and ready to go. And then he supports everybody around him. You want him on your team. You want him in your organization. He’s that kind of a guy.”
  • Earlier, we talked about Brett Anderson’s injury and ineffectiveness, and how the Cubs will deal with the probable new hole in the rotation (and the opportunity it presents).

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  • Anderson isn’t losing his confidence just yet, but he wants to be healthy (Cubs.com): “I still think when I’m healthy, I’m a good pitcher. It’s a combination of things – everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. I still have confidence in myself. I wouldn’t be in the league this long if I haven’t been able to put some things behind me and deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
  • We also checked out the Cubs’ newest shut-down reliever, Miguel Montero.
  • Hopefully it doesn’t linger, but Jason Heyward is dealing with a sore knuckle.
  • Even in a blowout, Albert Almora is still gonna make great plays in the outfield, including this diving catch.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • The New York Mets are the New York Mess, and the tenor of this tweet pretty much provides the punctuation:

  • Syndergaard, you’ll recall, was hurt two weeks ago, refused an MRI, had his start pushed back, which the Mets let him take, and then he was REALLY hurt, and now he’s going to miss a whole lot of time with a torn lat. He wasn’t going to go on the 60-day DL until the Mets needed a 40-man roster spot to bring someone up to replace Matt Harvey, who was suspended by the team for three days for reasons that aren’t being specified (but the timing is certainly curious given the recent … eh hem … romantic paraphernalia in a teammate’s locker). It’s all just … wow.
  • It remains worth tracking the potentially competitive other teams in the NL, especially as the possibility of competing for a Wild Card spot ticks up ever so slightly for the Cubs.

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  • Getting a professional-grade carpet cleaner is not necessary for everyone, and they are not cheap. But *IF* you were thinking about getting a really heavy duty one, there’s a huge discount (53%) on this one at Amazon today.
  • A whole bunch of Cubs gear flipped over to a sale today at Fanatics, with a range of discounts and free shipping:


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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.