As some of you know, our youngest – aka The Littlest Girl – has special needs, which include a number of developmental delays. Well, we’ve been working with The Littlest Girl on standing up on her own from a flat ground for a very long time. She could pull up using a ledge for while, and she could do plenty of walking on her own, too. But that thing you take for granted – being able to simply stand up from the floor – was not something she could do.
Until this weekend.
After so much focus on that specific skill, she finally got over that hump, put all the pieces together – you don’t realize how many steps there are to standing up! – and began doing it totally on her own. A lot. A whole lot. She’s all over the place now! Grabbing stuff she shouldn’t off the table, tugging at the back of our shirts out of nowhere for attention, leaving the room without us realizing it … real toddler stuff! Getting into trouble! It was a very good weekend.
- Sahadev Sharma has your must-read on the state of things with Ian Happ, who remains at Iowa a bit longer than I think most were expecting when he opened the season there:
It's been a while since we've heard from Ian Happ. While in Des Moines, I talked to him about his surprising demotion to start the season, how he handled it and what adjustments he's making to try to get back up to the bigs. https://t.co/T5COrRsEVj
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) June 24, 2019
- It’s eye-opening to be reminded just how much even a successful hitter like Happ has to work on if he’s going to be a long-term, impactful player in the big leagues. Better coverage at the top of the zone. More balls in play at two strikes. More focused damage early in the count. Less passivity to open at bats. That’s why you’re not seeing consistent “results” yet at Iowa, because truly, that is not the intention with Happ. He’s working on this thing, then stabilizing it, then working on this other thing while keeping that first thing locked in place, and so on and so on. With so many bench bats struggling at the big league level, it’s crystal clear that the Cubs were very serious about taking Happ to a more consistent next level by working with him at AAA – otherwise, he probably would have long been up by now, and the Cubs would’ve just taken what they can get. I prefer this.
- … but speaking of those bench bat struggles, my god:
5 pitchers have been more valuable offensively than Russell, Descalso and Almora this month – Hendricks, Hamels, Chatwood, Darvish and Lester all have a higher OPS than the 3 position players.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) June 24, 2019
- That is terrifying. With the Trade Deadline coming July 31 and no more waiver trade period in August, I wonder if the Cubs will be “surprisingly” aggressive in trying to add an impactful veteran bat, or if they will instead hang their hats on hoping that Happ can come up and contribute and/or Ben Zobrist will return at some point in August ready to go.
- Or they have to hope Robel Garcia can come up and keep raking in the big leagues. The 26-year-old infielder is the story of the farm system after coming over from Italy to blow up at AA and now AAA, but despite the .295/.369/.604 line at Iowa right now, some things to keep in mind: (1) in the current PCL environment, that slash is actually only 30% better than league average; (2) Garcia’s strikeout rate is a scary 34.5% at AAA; and (3) his .400 BABIP would not last at the big league level (even with him ripping the ball). That is all to say, I love Garcia’s story and I look forward to seeing if he can become a surprise bench bat for the Cubs in the future, but I’m not sure we’re there quite yet.
- Laptops and other gear are among your Deals of the Day today at Amazon.
- It is still pretty unlikely that Kendall Graveman impacts the Cubs this year out of the bullpen (he gets a decent chunk of change if he does, by the way), but it’s good to see his progress. Would love to have him available as an offseason option for rotation depth, depending on how things go:
Kendall Graveman (signed to a one-year deal with club option for 2020 over winter) has been with Cubs at Wrigley Field for the past few days. Playing catch in outfield this morning. Underwent TJ surgery on July 30 last season.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 23, 2019
- Speaking of depth, this is worth following, as it might be make or break time for the talented Oscar De La Cruz:
It appears Oscar de la Cruz has been transitioned to a relief role. After pitching an inning on Friday, he pitched two tonight. No idea if this is a temporary or more-permanent decision.
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) June 24, 2019
- This is fun:
The new Big 3.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 23, 2019
- It’s ‘Stranger Things’ Night at Wrigley Field, which means there are special Snapchat functionalities around the park:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 24, 2019
- This really is such a brutal pitch – a slider/cutter that comes in at 93/94 mph. Despite the reputation, Javy Baez doesn’t really get abused by down-and-away sliders anymore. deGrom is just something else:
Jacob deGrom, Dismantling Báez with Sliders. pic.twitter.com/ZjBnC4ZNF9
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 23, 2019
- The latest Onto Waveland episode wound up becoming a really interesting discussion about Joe Maddon, and how what happened to the Mets just seems unthinkable with the current Cubs (which is wild!):
- Fanatics Cubs gear is up to 60% off with the code SPLASH, so hop on over and check that out.