Call-Ups Coming, Verlander Wanted Cubs, Javy Beauty, and Other Bullets

Thanks for the well-wishes for The Little Boy yesterday. It was a long day, but all went well. Among the things being corrected were nodules on his vocal chords that were impacting his voice. I have to say, that’s been a shock, because his voice immediately dropped an octave. It’s been an adjustment already for me and The Wife, like, whoa, that’s what he is supposed to sound like?

For me, the day started super early to get him down to the hospital for the procedures, and then went deep into the wee hours of the morning because of the trade deadline craziness. By the end of it, I feel like I just had a mini Blogathon (21 hours!).

Most importantly, The Little Boy seems to be feeling great today, so it’s all good.

  • September call-ups are coming. As Luke discussed this morning, Dillon Maples is the storybook headliner, but others figure to come soon, too: Justin Grimm has been rehabbing a finger issue, but seems ready to go. Victor Caratini will come back up, and utility man Mike Freeman will give the Cubs a little more defensively-legitimate depth behind Javy Baez at shortstop. Other relievers could come once the Iowa Cubs season ends September 4.
  • Also, if you missed it late last night, the Cubs acquired outfielder Leonys Martin from the Mariners. He’s not on the 40-man yet, but could be added soon, and become a nice defense/baserunning bench piece for September.
  • My hopes that Houston would make Justin Verlander available after this season – having traded for him only as a mercenary, and then wanting to recoup the prospect cost and offload the salary – took a big hit when it was revealed that the Tigers are including $16 million in the deal, which is a significant sum. Verlander is now on a very nice short-term contract for the next two years, and the Astros paid a healthy prospect cost to make that happen. Verlander was reportedly holding out hope for the Cubs, and only relented when it seemed the Cubs weren’t going to beat the Astros’ offer at this time. Dang. Like I said last night: the Cubs didn’t *need* Verlander right now. After the season, sure. But the Astros ponied up a lot more for a guy they need right now.
  • Hey, how about Justin Wilson? After a disastrous introduction into the organization when he was plagued by sudden command woes, he’s made six straight appearances without allowing an earned run, including striking out the side in the 9th inning last night. His last five outings, in particular, have essentially been perfect: 5.1 IP, 0 R, 41.2% K rate, 0.0% BB rate. In case you’re wondering, yes, that stretch was preceded by some mechanical tweaks (Cubs.com). That’s always a good thing to hear when a guy flips a switch in results like that.
  • How gorgeous was Javy Baez’s RBI single:
  • On every level, that was fantastic. Two strikes, two outs, a big hook coming from a lefty, and Baez stays back, minimizing movement, and puts a clean stroke on it out to right field. That was not a well-located pitch, mind you, but if Baez tries to do too much with it, who knows what happens. I loved that. Just a thing of beauty:
  • (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

  • As for Baez, he says he’s not going to get tired having to play constantly with Addison Russell out for another three weeks (CSN): “I’m not gonna get tired, because that’s what I want: I want to play every day. To help the team, I will do anything. Playing short is my natural position, so I shouldn’t have any problems with it.”
  • Bleacher hooky:
  • That’s hot, baby:
  • It’s also a reminder that while Kyle Hendricks’ “changeup” gets so much love, a big part of what’s incredible about it is how he can change the movement on it to account for the sequencing, the batter, the situation, and the pitch location.
  • LOL. Even off the field, Taylor Davis does The Stare:
  • https://twitter.com/Flowbro33/status/903564392603811840

  • Yup, I would run:
  • https://twitter.com/flippingbats/status/903632746504970240

  • Yikes:
  • Judge wasn’t going to keep up that pace all year, but he was doing things that legitimized his performance (rather than it being one of those flukes we see every year). The strikeouts caught up with him (and possibly a shoulder issue – I’m not as tapped in on Yankee things for obvious reasons), and I hope he gets it back eventually, because following him was a lot of fun. And he seems to be a really good dude, too.
  • For the beer aficionados among you, pressurized growlers are on sale at Amazon today.
  • Over at The Ten-Yard Line, the Bears finished up their preseason in Bares fashion, allowing Mitch Trubisky to take a couple hits at the end of the 4th quarter (in a preseason game they trailed by 25 points).
  • And for the baseball aficionados among you, there’s a one-day-only special going on at the MLB Shop right now:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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