Four days out from surgery, and I can’t believe it’s been that long. Days seem so abnormal because I’m laid up in bed this whole time that it all kinda bleeds together. I guess I’m glad about that. Also, the pain in the foot has still been very manageable, so fingers crossed on that front. The biggest issue right now is dealing with some of the side effects of being laid up, plus the various medications. Specifics are unnecessary, but suffice to say, I’m very uncomfortable.
- Jed Hoyer spoke with ESPN about a variety of things, including his impeccable Super Bowl predictions in recent years (so I guess take the Patriots by 4). Something that stood out was this bit on the Cubs’ core: “We still have this excellent, young core. I think 2018 is the year where our guys are going to take a big step forward. Most of our guys are in their mid-20s, entering their prime years. I think this group is really going to come together. I’m excited for that part.”
- Now, there’s certainly quite a bit of “obviously” in there, and we all feel the same way as Hoyer. But the reason I wanted to pause on this is because I think it’s almost become so “obviously” that we rarely call out the potential for this team. Specifically, the offensive potential. Sure, it’s not *ALL* going to happen, but just let yourself imagine a season where:
- Kris Bryant takes yet another step forward in his peripherals, which he somehow keeps managing to do.
- Anthony Rizzo continues to be consistently among the top 10 bats in the league, and maybe has a career year this time.
- Kyle Schwarber hits like he did in the second half last year (130 wRC+ type), or even takes a step forward from there.
- Willson Contreras hits like he did for that stretch before his hamstring injury, when he was one of the hottest bats in the league.
- Addison Russell hits like he did in the second half when he was able to play (111 wRC+).
- Ian Happ takes the next step and adds a little more contact to his game.
- Javy Baez makes more incremental improvements overall at the plate this year.
- Albert Almora hits like he did in the second half last year (117 wRC+).
- Jason Heyward takes one more step forward and becomes a league average bat.
- Ben Zobrist bounces back to league average, too.
- Individually, those are all extremely reasonable, plausible things, especially given the youth on the team. And yet if they all happened, the Cubs’ offense would freaking explode to the tune of the one of the best offenses in the last 25 years (they already had the second best offense in the NL last year!). The potential is there for something really special, regardless of what happens the rest of this offseason. So that’s cool to look forward to.
- The Cubs packed up and rolled out to Arizona yesterday:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 3, 2018
- Fun clip here on the players various Cubs grew up idolizing (and it’s especially fun to see how you can observe some of their same traits in those players):
Which baseball player did you idolize growing up? The #Cubs give their picks (guess who picked Griffey Jr.) in the video and our Cubs team weighs in here: https://t.co/gvrCqX10U5 pic.twitter.com/uoEBCtNvDB
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) February 3, 2018
- Jim Thome says he wants to go into the Hall of Fame with a Block C Indians cap, not a Chief Wahoo cap.
- Earlier this morning, with a kernel of an idea from Luke, I wrote up a possible solution for tanking in MLB.
- In your head, Fred:
that feeling when the cubs haunt your dreams pic.twitter.com/jFgqqnAC6k
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 2, 2018
- If you want a small, portable phone charger, the one I use is on a huge sale at Amazon today (it’s a Lightning Deal, though, so eventually they’ll run out).
- Very nice right here:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 3, 2018