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Cardinals Are Already Moving Fowler, Cubs Are Hoping for a Zobrist Bounce Back, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, MLB News and Rumors

We are today getting a disproportionately large – and undoubtedly fake – number of visitors from four places: San Francisco, Honolulu, Quincy (Massachusetts), and Croton-on-Hudson (New York). I’m assuming there are data centers there or something, but I can’t quite figure out what the deal is. It’s not really a problem for the functionality of the site, but it messes up the data. It’s like sneaking in an extra 20 homers into Kyle Schwarber’s season total, but not knowing which ones were real and which ones were fake, and then trying to project his performance for the next year.


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You’re messing me up, guys!

  • Jed Hoyer says the Cubs believe Ben Zobrist will bounce back in 2018 after a season that was tough for him, physically, in 2017 (Cubs.com). There’s not much else you can do at this point but hope the wrist issue will be completely behind Zobrist (no guarantee at age 36), and he can resume being a plus bat while playing at second base and in the outfield. Since the Cubs are covered at both of those spots if Zobrist does not bounce back, it’s not as if the front office necessarily needs to make any moves in the offseason to prepare for the possibility that Zobrist is simply in the phase of his career where the slide continues. So, like I said: really the only thing to do is to hope.
  • If you missed it last night, Steamer does project a bounce back for Zobrist in 2018, albeit to just about a league average bat. That’s a nice guy to have available, since he can play multiple positions and switch hits, but it’s not the guy he was for so many years.
  • One year into his five-year deal with the Cardinals, a year in which he hit quite well but his defensive metrics took a big step back in center field, the Cardinals are preparing to move Dexter Fowler to left field. He’d already been moved out of the leadoff spot last year. Given the rest of the roster, I can’t say I dispute the Cardinals’ decisions on these fronts, but it’s gotta be disappointing to Fowler just one year into his deal, a year where it sure didn’t seem like he was treated very well by folks in St. Louis. With a significant outfield glut that the Cardinals are pretty transparently trying to unload, while simultaneously trying to add a big outfield bat like Giancarlo Stanton, it’s not inconceivable to think that the Cardinals will try to move on from Fowler as soon as they’re able. President John Mozeliak says that’s not the case, but they sure seem like they’re greasing the skids. Fowler has a no-trade clause, but I’m not sure that would stand in the way of a trade if the Cardinals ate some salary.

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  • (Before you ask, no, I don’t see a trade ever being worked out with the Cubs on that front. The Cardinals simply aren’t going to pay a huge portion of Fowler’s salary (which they’d need to for the deal to make sense) in order to help the Cubs reunite with Fowler.)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
  • Baseball America came up with an All-Rookie team, and Ian Happ – like he did for Topps – came in as the second baseman. Among BA’s comments on the fast-rising youngster: “Happ homered in his ML debut on May 13 and never stopped hitting. The switch-hitting slugger finished fourth on the Cubs with 24 home runs despite spending the first six weeks of the season at Triple-A, and his .842 OPS was fourth as well. He was effective hitting from both sides of the plate (.863 OPS lefthanded, .789 righthanded) and showed himself capable of hitting anywhere from the top of the order (.939 OPS) to the middle (.892 as No. 5 hitter).”
  • Hall of Famer and former Chicago Cub Andre Dawson was honored by the MLBPA, together with Bert Blyleven, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Random note on Dawson, noticed while perusing his stats this morning: his 314 career stolen bases were 74th most since 1930. Not too shabby for a guy whose knees totally gave on him. But looking at the list, I notice that’s five fewer than Tony Gwynn (I never thought of him as a stolen base guy), and 15 fewer than Alex Rodriguez. Which, well, that again just struck me as a random name on the list for stolen bases. And then 30 steals ahead of The Hawk is Ryne Sandberg.

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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.