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The Sorry State of Things, Arrieta’s Thumb, Hendricks’ Finger, Zobrist’s Wrist, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

There is so very much going on, so you can trust that anything not addressed here in the Bullets is being addressed separately. The Cubs kicked off their draft last night with three college pitchers, and Luke offered his thoughts earlier this morning. Much more on that front as Day Two gets underway later this morning.


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In the meantime, Bullets …

  • Tweets of quotes without context can look pretty stark, but, even observing the context within various articles, I can say that these two comments rightly stand out about where things are for the Cubs right now:

  • The Cubs have now lost nine straight games on the road, and face 16 of their next 19 on the road. Yikes. Moreover, the Cubs have won just six times in their last seventeen games. Things can still turn around, and the rest of the NL Central is bad. But this season has been a slog. This most recent stretch has been brutal.
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
  • Joe Maddon suggested that the cut on Jake Arrieta’s thumb is not a big deal (CSN), but they are once again going to hold him back from throwing too much between starts to try to help it calm down before his next outing. With Arrieta’s issue, Kyle Hendricks on the DL (right middle finger tendinitis), John Lackey struggling, and Eddie Butler not finding a groove, the Cubs’ rotation is even more of a mess right now than it seemed even a week ago.

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  • Speaking of Hendricks, he’ll throw today to see if he’s on track to return from the DL this weekend (Cubs.com).
  • Ben Zobrist’s wrist injury is lingering and healing very slowly (Tribune), even if he doesn’t believe it necessitates a stint on the DL. For now, he can bat left-handed without issue, but when he bats right-handed, it still bothers him. It’s not a huge sample, but I’m fairly concerned that the injury is sapping his production from both sides of the plate, even if it isn’t bothering him: since he suffered the injury on a May 26 swing, Zobrist is hitting a dreadful .102/.228/.184. His walk and strikeout rates are normal, but he’s had no power or BABIP to speak of.
  • Sahadev Sharma writes about the Cubs’ shifting tendencies – or, that is to say, their lack of shifting. Although Joe Maddon was one of the forerunners of defensive shifts, other teams have started shifting far more than Maddon’s teams in recent years. You might say the Cubs are falling behind, given that they don’t have elite defensive results this year, but they did the same thing in 2016 when they were one of the best defenses of all-time.

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  • Jeff Sullivan writes about baseball’s home-run spike, which has truly become ridiculous. To the extent its any consolation when thinking about Cubs pitchers who are doing well “except for all the homers,” that’s something that is happening to a whole lot of pitchers around baseball.
  • You need this:

  • Also, I am good with all things Aaron Judge:


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Brett Taylor

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