Positives on the Pitching Side, Outfield Returns, and Other Bullets

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Positives on the Pitching Side, Outfield Returns, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jason heyward catch glove fallHow did I get “We Got the Beat” stuck in my head? Is that even the name of that song? It’s the only part I can hear, playing on a loop, in my head. We got the beat we got the beat we got THE BEAT.

  • Joe Maddon had some complimentary words for rookie lefty Rob Zastryzny, who worked another scoreless outing yesterday, this time 2.2 innings worth with five strikeouts. “Five punchouts, missing bats, great composure,” Maddon told ESPN. “Definitely a kind of guy you can trust, so let’s keep running him out there and see how it plays out.” The Cubs may have lost this weekend’s series in Colorado, but there definitely wasn’t a lack of positive things to take away, especially on the pitching side: Zastryzny’s performance, Felix Pena’s perfect debut, Mike Montgomery’s great start, Trevor Cahill’s great outing, Kyle Hendricks solid once again.
  • Jorge Soler, who’d fouled a ball off his knee on Saturday, was originally listed in the Cubs’ lineup yesterday before being scratched. Joe Maddon said that Soler was sore, and he figured it was a good day to rest Soler with Jason Hammel potentially giving up a lot of fly balls (Cubs.com). With Chris Coghlan out on the DL, hopefully Soler will be able to be right back out there tonight so that Maddon isn’t further restricted in how he’d like to optimize match-ups in the outfield. Soler was able to pinch hit late yesterday (and got the rare sac “fly” on a foul pop up, and no one was covering home plate).
  • Speaking of Coghlan, he’s headed to AAA Iowa to work out as he rehabs his rib contusion, but he’s not yet going to be playing in games (Mark Gonzales). I would assume Coghlan wouldn’t be going there if he wasn’t going to play in games eventually, though, so maybe that’s something to look for later this week.
  • In the meantime, Gonzales added that Tommy La Stella will now be coming up to AAA Iowa as he continues to get ready to return to the big league club after, well, all that stuff that happened.
  • And back to speaking of the Cubs’ outfield, Jason Heyward should be back in there tonight after getting the weekend off (it was actually the last four games) to relax, clear his head, and try to reset. I think it’s a stretch at this point to expect that a switch is going to flip and Heyward will suddenly start hitting like he has in the rest of his career, but I suppose you never know. As Mike Petriello notes, this strategy has recently worked for Bryce Harper, Justin Upton, and Andrew McCutchen. For me, I feel like Heyward’s already-complicated swing is simply too out of whack for any amount of rest to fix things on the fly, and it’s going to take an offseason to really be able to get him back into a position to succeed. But I am not a scout or a sports psychologist or a swing coach, so I could be – and would be thrilled to be! – completely wrong.
  • Travis Wood got a rest the last two days after being leaned on as heavily as any reliever in baseball this year, but he did get into the game yesterday as a left fielder and singled. Despite being a reliever all year, Wood now has 10 plate appearances this season (and a .300 OBP!).
  • It came late on Friday, and what with the weekend intervening, you may have missed the latest update on Kyle Schwarber’s rehab, and the teeny, tiny crack he left open for returning this year (don’t count on it, though).
  • I see stuff like “used Texas Stadium turf” on Amazon, and I think, “Why in the world would anyone buy that” … and then I remember that I would probably faint if someone offered me some ivy from Wrigley to plant at my house.
  • Meta fun:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.