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The Cubs Didn’t Really Hit the Ball Hard, Happy Javy B-Day, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

It’s a big day today, with the tender deadline coming tonight, Shohei Ohtani expected to be officially posted, and those Giancarlo Stanton trade talks getting very serious.


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The Little Girl was also extremely stoked to get donuts this morning at school, so it’s a big day all around.

  • Doing random perusing, as one nerdily does, I couldn’t help but notice that there were no Cubs in the top 63 spots in 2017 in hard contact (among qualified batters). Anthony Rizzo shows up first at number 64 with a 34.4% hard contact rate, not that much higher than the league average (31.8%). Odd, right, given that the Cubs scored the second most runs in the NL. I suppose that underscores how important their 9.9% walk rate (second best in the NL) was.
  • Kyle Schwarber (36.4%) and Willson Contreras (35.5%) had slightly higher hard contact rates than Rizzo, though not enough plate appearances to qualify for the leader board. If we drop the threshold to 400 PAs so that they both qualify, they come in at 62nd and 79th, respectively. It’s no surprise, then, that the Cubs were 18th in the league in hard contact in 2017. They were 12th best in least soft contact, though, and 8th in medium contact. So, basically, the Cubs weren’t dribbling the ball a lot, but they also weren’t ripping the ball. Probably not what you expect from a team with so many good young hitters.

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(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

  • To be fair, Ohtani’s perspective could have changed quite a bit since then, but it still makes you laughingly picture the Phillies slowly, quietly withdrawing their posting bid.
  • Happy 25th birthday to Javy Baez:

  • Sam Miller takes on the important job of determining, with video evidence: do you get a fist bump at first base after a no-pitch intentional walk? It’s fun and silly, and the Cubs feature prominently, with the first bump reviewed (Schwarber) and the first declined bump (Bryant). It’s funny to see the progression: early in the year, everyone got and received a bump. And then after the first few months, it faded.

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  • A great set of Deals of the Day at Amazon today, including ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ for 37% off, a dirt cheap bluetooth speaker, and a Dyson vac.
  • And all kinds of Cubs gear on clearance now at the MLB Shop.

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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.