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Fear and Loathing at Shortstop, Anderson Jabs at the Cubs, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

The Family is home today for Labor Day, so I stole away to work out of the house for a bit. Here’s hoping the kiddos keep the chaos at a minimum, dear, and I’ll see you around midnight.


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Kidding. Mostly.

  • With Javy Baez suffering an injury yesterday and departing the game, the Cubs and their fans were finally confronted by what they’ve feared since the day Addison Russell went on the disabled list in early August: what if Javy Baez can’t play every single game at shortstop in Russell’s absence? The hope remains that Baez, who was not evaluated for a concussion but was instead dealing with an eye issue, will not miss much time. The blurriness in his vision subsided shortly after the game (CSN).
  • But even if Baez sits for a day (which he probably should at this point, not only because of the injury, but also just to give him a break), the Cubs will see a significant decline in productivity one way or another at shortstop – either they take a huge hit on defense to put Ben Zobrist in there, or take a huge hit on offense (and some on defense) to put Mike Freeman there. Guys like Kris Bryant and Ian Happ and Tommy La Stella can physically play at shortstop, but it’s not something you want to see. (Remember the days of Too Many Shortstops?)
  • As for why the Cubs didn’t add a shortstop at the waiver trade deadline, Jed Hoyer offered an explanation to the Tribune: there simply weren’t many options that actually cleared waivers this year, because there was a lot of blocking going on. Some of those low-cost, veteran types were probably blocked, among others, by the Brewers, who had waiver priority over the Cubs, and who had plenty of incentive not to let any middle infielders get by them.

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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • No decision has yet been made on whether Mike Montgomery will stay in the rotation – a six-man rotation – after his start yesterday, or if the Cubs will go back to five (CSN). If you see Montgomery pitch out of the pen in the next couple days, well, you’ll have your answer. For my part, I very much hope to see him penciled in for another start later this week.
  • It sounds like the Cubs are going to push Anthony Rizzo as their “MVP candidate” this year (Cubs.com), and although Rizzo has had yet another fantastic season, the NL is just too loaded this season for Rizzo to have a realistic chance.
  • I didn’t miss it, but I also didn’t have a chance to share it given the wedding festivities this weekend: Rob Zastryzny was called up yesterday, making him the latest September addition. With all the pitchers needed on Saturday, it only made sense to bring Zastryzny up as a just-in-case. He was coming anyway in a few days when the Iowa season ended.

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  • Former Cubs starter Brett Anderson decided to toss some serious shade at the Cubs last night:

  • Anderson, who struggled with the Cubs (who tinkered with his delivery in the offseason to try to aid in his many, many healthy issues), was ultimately let go, picked up by the Blue Jays, and has made two modestly successful starts with the Blue Jays. Seems a bit early – and a bit crummy – to be blasting the Cubs, but Anderson was never one to hold back. Here’s hoping he has a great rest of the year, and his Twitter game returns to its former glory.
  • The Reds have picked up manager Bryan Price’s option for 2018, which means it’s time for an obligatory: How does that ****ing benefit the Reds?

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  • Mets gonna Mets:

  • Dude is smooooooth:

  • Over at TYL, it’s a bit of a ROSTER MADNESS time in the football world, so keep up with the latest on the Bears.
  • I know I’ve been throwing a lot of deals at you this weekend, but I am assuming it’s because there are a lot of good sales going on for Labor Day weekend. Example: the clearance section at Lids has a ton of really awesome, and also really crazy, Cubs gear on big sales. A lot of the caps there you can’t get elsewhere.

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  • Another example: the MLB Shop is doing a 20% discount on everything (there are some exclusions, but everything I checked out (new shirts, Players Weekend stuff) still got the discount). This is one of the best sales I’ve seen there.
  • Also: the deals of the day at Amazon include Samsung TVs and a Roku player – I’m gonna get that second one, because I’ve grown so very tired of the apps on our “smart” TV. They stink. We need a dedicated streaming device and the certified refurbished Roku is just $25 today.
  • Also, a general thing: I sincerely appreciate you all tolerating (and sometimes even appreciating!) when we blast deals at you. Just like the ads that display on the page, that is how we stay in business. Running a Cubs blog is absolutely a dream job, but it is also a grind to make it work financially. THANK YOU for making it possible.

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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.