I’m coming up on six months out from my foot surgery, at which the projection was 90% recovery. I can pretty much do everything again except lunges that require deep bending of the toes and pressure on them at the same time, so that’s good. Running, jumping, etc., all pretty much normal. The only thing is, it’s still really stiff and there’s still tons of numbness. I’m not sure how much that “matters,” but it’s kind of perpetually noticeable. Like my foot is always in a splint or something.
- After his three-hit, four-times-on-base performance last night, Cubs backup catcher/catching prospect Victor Caratini is hitting .299/.365/.368 (103 wRC+) in 96 big league plate appearances. His .069 ISO will increase for sure, though his .388 BABIP will come down (though he’s a line drive guy with a gap-to-gap approach, so he might always have a high-ish BABIP, even without great speed). All in all, there has never been reason to doubt he could be a .280/.350/.400-type hitter in the big leagues, which, if the glove keeps coming along, would make him an extremely valuable catcher as a starter.
- The Cubs’ other three-hit night came from Jason Heyward, who is hitting .290/.349/.434 (111 wRC+) on the year, with fantastic peripherals all around. Most encouraging to me is that his line is pretty much right where his career numbers are, which, together with the peripherals and the eyeball check, say that this really could be who he is again. Given the last two years, I think it’s very fair to ask for many, many months of this to believe he’s back. But, at some point, we’re there.
- Also, this is wild, man:
It's July 19. Jason Heyward has more HR than Addison Russell, more RBI than Kris Bryant and a higher OPS than Anthony Rizzo.
Who predicted that back in March?
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) July 20, 2018
- The Cubs picked up reliever Jesse Chavez after the game last night, and he’s expected to be with the team in time for Saturday’s doubleheader (at which point the Cubs may just keep up someone like James Norwood as the 26th man before optioning him back to Iowa the next day).
- Our sense was that the Chavez addition was about depth and a hedge against getting squeezed too much in future deals, and Joe Maddon agrees:
#Cubs Maddon doesn't think they're done adding players. "They enjoy it too much " he said of front office
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 20, 2018
- Maddon, of course, is being cheeky about the rationale, but he’s not wrong about the substance.
- Big Cubs Energy:
After tonight's win, the Cubs are now 3.0 games up in the NL Central. 🤟⚾️🍆 pic.twitter.com/nwPlxFn0Kf
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 20, 2018
- This will be something to keep an eye on as Quintana starts this weekend:
— ChicagoCubsOnline (@TheCCO) July 19, 2018
- It’ll be 12 days between starts for Quintana by Sunday, so hopefully that’ll be plenty of rest (all guys deal with some soreness/weakness throughout the season at times, you just hope it isn’t an actual injury). Cubs could have DL’d him and gotten a free player without Quintana missing any time at all, by the way. I don’t know what the culture is about DL’ing guys – maybe they hate it, even when they’re sitting anyway, and there’s value in not pissing guys off – but the Cubs sure don’t take advantage of these things in the same way that other clubs do.
- If you missed it yesterday, Cubs first rounder Nico Hoerner was in Chicago to visit with the team … doctors, because he damaged ligaments in his left elbow on a diving play and his minor league season is over. The hope is that he can play in fall or instructional ball after taking four to six weeks off of baseball activity (Cubs.com).
- There’s still plenty of love in Chicago for Dexter Fowler (bonus Travis Wood appearance!):
Some good friends have come to visit! pic.twitter.com/BWJBwtERms
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 19, 2018
- Cubs fans also still have love for Fowler, who had another rough night at the plate, and just want to see him somewhere he can be happy:
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) July 20, 2018
- Speaking of which – maybe you should have treated Dex better, bub:
Just ran into Cards pres. of baseball operations John Mozeliak. Cubs gave him a booth that's like a broom closet with no air conditioning.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) July 20, 2018
- This almost perfectly sums up just how nasty Dillon Maples’ stuff is:
Dillon Maples fanned four in one inning
For the SECOND time this season 😯 pic.twitter.com/OXgNXdQ5Dc
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) July 20, 2018
- Now if he could only keep it around the zone (especially his fastball) with remote consistency, he’d be a killer setup man.
- This is not an exaggeration. The worst call – BY TWO UMPS – I have ever seen. A pitch down the middle, SWUNG AT AND MISSED, called a ball:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) July 20, 2018
- At Amazon today, the DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection is 67% off.
- A very happy heads up on the clearance even at Fanatics today:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 20, 2018