The Wife is at a conference in New York this week, and I am very happy for her, particularly because of the pizza and bagels. In the meantime, the kiddos and I will have a blast.
- The Cubs have many, many injury issues right now, and I went through a comprehensive update earlier this morning.
- Speaking of which, Joe Maddon remains of the opinion that it is important to be extra aggressive in resting guys after the long playoff runs in recent years, which is – for one example – why he sat Kris Bryant twice this weekend after perceiving some fatigue setting in (ESPN). While it may be frustrating for us as fans to see Bryant sitting at a time when the offense clearly needs him, it’s also important to remember that there are still three and a half months left in the season. Joe Maddon is playing a very long game of chess.
- To that end, Maddon pulled John Lackey yesterday after cruising through six innings at just 95 pitches. Take a good start and preserve an arm while you can. For Lackey, it was his first really successful start in a good long while, though it was an interesting one: this year, he’s actually done a good job missing bats and not giving up walks, but he’s given up way too much hard contact in the air. Yesterday, by contrast, he had just four strikeouts (just five whiffs), but got a whopping 10 groundouts. That’s probably the guy he’s going to have to be at this point to have success.
- In addition to general fatigue and a thumb issue, Jake Arrieta has also been dealing with a family issue (multiple surgeries for his mother-in-law, which temporarily has relocated his family), which caused some atypical travel for him between starts (FoxSports). Some like to jump on the “excuse” train, but my instinct is always to wonder, “Hmm, maybe a guy whose performance suddenly took a dramatic turn really is dealing with a wide range of several things at once.”
- The Sun-Times has an update on the Addison Russell domestic violence investigation, but the update is that there isn’t one – Russell hasn’t heard from MLB. It doesn’t sound like he’s eager to discuss the issue any further than that, which is where we have to leave things until and unless MLB announces some kind of resolution from their inquiry. For his part, Russell says he feels good physically and mentally. As we noted earlier, he’s hitting .304/.333/.783 with three home runs since coming back to the team following the allegations coming out on social media earlier this month.
- Although this tweet was a joke:
Anthony Rizzo, History's Greatest Leadoff Hitter.
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) June 18, 2017
- I doubt any other leadoff hitter can boast a 1.000/1.000/2.750 slash line in leadoff at bats (min. 5 PAs). Thus: History’s Greatest Leadoff Hitter. It has now been proven.
- My word:
— Pitcher List (@ThePitcherList) June 18, 2017
- OK, so, yes, some of that is definitely the camera angle, but that’s also definitely Edwards getting a little extra cutting action on his four-seamer (which naturally cuts a little). Part of what makes him so overwhelming for hitters is they’ve got to respect his fantastic curveball, but then be ready to hit 97mph up in the zone with natural cut. Even if you knew the fastball was coming, that’s a pitch that’s so hard to barrel up because of the late movement.
- I was perusing the schedules last night and noticed that the Brewers currently aren’t scheduled to play a team with a winning record until July 7. Part of that, of course, is that there aren’t many winning teams in the NL right now, but they do get the .500 Orioles in there, too. (And the .500 Cubs for a one-gamer on July 6.)
- Good for Nolan Arenado. Kris Bryant’s still better:
Incredible: Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle today … and clinched it with a WALK-OFF HOMER. pic.twitter.com/m1JME0YHwv
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) June 18, 2017
- If you missed the Minor League Daily today, Luke got into the latest scores and highlights and also discussed draft signing season, which is upon us.
- And if you missed anything from the weekend, catch yourself up here with the headlines.
- Stars and Stripes collection:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) June 19, 2017
- Planning summer travel? Luggage and travel gear is a Deal of the Day at Amazon.