Big Cubs Scouting Addition, MVP Race, Soiling Oneself, and Other Bullets

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Big Cubs Scouting Addition, MVP Race, Soiling Oneself, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

bryzzoAlthough I don’t see myself being tempted by wireless ear buds (for $169!), I am currently wresting with whether I’m going to want to upgrade to a new iPhone 7 Plus and the second edition of the Watch. On the one hand, it’s not like my phone (6 Plus) doesn’t work just fine. Ditto the Watch. But I use them CONSTANTLY, and any incremental improvement in the experience might be worth it. Usually, I try to run my stuff into the ground before replacing.

I know, I know. This is what Apple wants me thinking about …

  • After a couple big nights for Anthony Rizzo – which could have been bigger if not for a homer-robbing catch by Keon Broxton in the 9th last night – and some down/off ones for Kris Bryant, the offensive race between the two has tightened up a bit: Rizzo is now hitting .295/.390/.557, while Bryant is at .302/.397/.573. It’s fun to have two elite hitters going nightly back-to-back in the Cubs’ lineup, even as the MVP race is still probably Bryant’s to lose. Nothing Bryant does diminishes how crazy good Rizzo has been, and vice versa.

  • I won’t pretend to have been all that familiar with Lundberg before this report, but I’m told that he’s a big-timer with a unique background, having played in the minors for more than a decade, having played internationally, and having worked under Scott Boras. The Cubs have one of the best scouting groups in baseball, and it’s only getting stronger. And with Lundberg’s unique background (and, again, I’m told he’s really well thought-of in the industry), he could wind up someone with a front office future.
  • Joe Maddon on removing Justin Grimm after just one batter last night (CSN): “What happened? I did not want him to soil himself on the mound.” No, Maddon was not talking about the metaphorical soiling that occasions upon struggling pitchers; he was talking about actual soiling. Grimm, it turns out, was not feeling well.
  • It’s been a mixed year for Starlin Castro after he was traded to the Yankees, but he did just join the 20-homer ranks. So that’s cool.
  • Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg was activated off of the disabled list so he could start last night against the Braves. He had been on the disabled list with elbow soreness (yikes), but miss only the minimum 15 days for the DL stint. In his return outing last night, he left in the third inning after feeling discomfort in his elbow (yikes), and is getting an MRI today. Even if it comes back clean, it’s hard to say exactly when he’ll be available to the Nationals again, and, whenever he is, how effective he’ll be. Before the previous DL stint, Strasburg had struggled quite a bit, presumably because of the elbow trouble. Now, the Nationals are going to lock up the NL East comfortably, but missing Strasburg in the playoffs would be a huge blow.
  • Hey, stick this BP piece in your back pocket for the rest of this month when you hear people talking about momentum and the playoffs. Short version? There’s no correlation between being “hot” going into the playoffs and then success or failure in the playoffs.
  • I thought I was joking when I tweeted this after the Mets signed Tim Tebow:

  • But then ESPN tweeted this, so I’m pretty sure I was not joking:

  • Wrigley Field grass for you to take! For free:

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.