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Getting Schwarber Pitches, Baez and Russell Rotation, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News
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Brief Bullets coming at you today, as I’m on the road back home, writing from a Dairy Queen parking lot (they’re not open yet! ahhhh!).

  • Obviously it worked out in a grand way yesterday, and Joe Maddon spoke about the decision to move Kyle Schwarber all the way down in the nine spot (Cubs.com): “Of course, his confidence is impacted, and that’s the whole point. I wanted to impress upon him it’s not a loss of confidence from me to you. I understand you’re going through a moment right now. What is the best way to deal with this? You can set aside your baseball ego – hitting ninth. To me, it’s so attractive. It’s not hitting ninth and like the last kid playing right field in a sandlot game, it’s not that at all. It’s really attractive. I just want to get Kyle back in a situation where he can work on things, get better pitches and get pitched to, as opposed to being pitched around.”
  • Hopefully yesterday’s huge moment helps Schwarber continue to work through his adjustments. I especially liked to see that he (1) went the other way, (2) in the air, (3) with a pitch on the outer third. He’d had trouble in all three of those areas lately, and it’s good to see that part of his game is still there.

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Javy Baez got the start at shortstop yesterday, and Joe Maddon didn’t frame it as a “day off” for Addison Russell, instead thinking of it more like the two are splitting time there now (Tribune). Not unlike with the Schwarber platoon and batting 9th, Maddon mentioned not wanting Russell to get too many at bats while he’s struggling – it’s an interesting developmental angle we’ve not really heard before, but maybe there’s something to it. Long term, I don’t think anyone is ready to question whether Russell is going to be the shortstop, but for right now, the Cubs are fortunate to have a guy like Baez – who also needs to find starts, mind you – who can play solid defense at short, and is also hitting .270/.299/.507 (101 wRC+).
  • There’s a chance the Cubs will finally slot in a sixth starter at some point in the coming month, without many off-days ahead (Tribune). The best bet is Mike Montgomery getting a start.
  • The young Cubs fans whose video went viral after his dad gave him Cubs tickets had his day at the park yesterday, and the Cubs logged the whole thing.

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  • This, somehow, turned into a single into right field:

  • Edinson Volquez threw the first no-hitter of the year last night, and it was a 98-pitch Maddux, too:


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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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