Yu Darvish makes his Wrigley Field debut today as the Cubs welcome the Braves. Will top prospect Ronald Acuna be called up at some point this series now that we’ve passed the window where the Braves can get an extra year of control? Doesn’t sound like that’s in the plans.
- Anthony Rizzo is eligible to come off of the disabled list on Monday, took some swings off of a tee yesterday (Cubs.com). Rizzo described his progress as slow and steady, “like a turtle.” Hopefully that’s … good?
- The one offensive bright spot yesterday:
Wind is blowing in.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 12, 2018
- I also really liked seeing Schwarber smack a double down the third base line, and taking another hit to left after that. He seems to be more willing to go the other way here in the early going than he has over the last year (though, according to the data, that’s not actually the case, since his pull rate is higher than last year, and his opposite field rate is lower). The excellent day brought his overall offensive performance back up to a nice .270/.357/.595 line with a 155 wRC+.
- Schwarber also had a nice catch in left field, after initially misreading a blooper and recovering well:
- I just remembered last night, after Javy Baez fired back at Clint Hurdle for his ridiculous comments about Baez and Willson Contreras, this isn’t the first time someone with the Pirates organization has said these kinds of things:
By the way, this isn't the first time someone with the Pirates has thrown questionable and entirely undeserved shade at Javy Baez for "flashiness" and not respecting the game. Pirates broadcasters during a Cardinals game last August: pic.twitter.com/74rBm7sRBK
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 13, 2018
- Do any of the Pedro-Strop-hat-haters want to say something:
Javy Baez was relaxed talking about this rather silly controversy. Said it was Pedro Strop who talked to him last night after bat flip/slow job to first. #cubs
— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) April 12, 2018
- Jesse Rogers with a feature on Cubs reliever Eddie Butler, who apparently has had to overcome some anger issues. Good, interesting read. As for the pitcher, he sports a 1.64 ERA over 11.0 relief innings this year (seven came in that marathon game against the Marlins), in his first real shot to stick in the big leagues as a reliever. He’s getting work in mop-up duty these days, but he’s getting through his innings well. If he can successfully make this transition, that would be quite a find for the Cubs and a guy who was out of options and on the verge of being let go.
- Jason Heyward currently stands at -2 DRS in the outfield, which, whatever. I was thinking yesterday about how subtly he saves actual runs – there was a double yesterday early in the game that looked absolutely certain to score a runner from first, but Heyward cut the ball so quickly in the corner and got it in that the runner had to stop at third. Kyle Hendricks later got out of the inning without that runner scoring.
- If you missed it, the last installment of Luke’s top 40 Cubs prospects list and analysis dropped yesterday.
- Big deals today at Amazon on a ball vacuum, a receiver, and – ooh la la – an electric food dehydrator!