Quintana's Command, Darvish's Catcher, Cubs' Slumps, and Other Bullets

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Quintana’s Command, Darvish’s Catcher, Cubs’ Slumps, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

So much kid-related activity today, as Saturday’s have become regularly. I’m stealing 10 minutes here and there when I can to piece this together …

  • Hey, a free game today, which will hopefully be enjoyable for the folks tuning in:

  • Jose Quintana’s command was off from the word go last night, and he said after the game that he was battling his delivery, which I take to mean his mechanics were slightly out of whack (Cubs.com). As you can see from his pitch plot, he was not especially close when he was missing the zone. Hopefully he can get it straightened out before the next out, and hopefully Tyler Chatwood can give the Cubs six solid innings today since the bullpen picked up four innings last night.
  • Joe Maddon is adamantly not down with the idea of bringing up Chris Gimenez to be Yu Darvish’s personal catcher (Cubs.com): “Two games ago [against the Brewers], everybody thought it was a nice combo, then Yu had a tough time and now it’s the catcher’s fault. It has nothing to do with the catcher. Did you all write that down? It has nothing to do with the catcher.”
  • It’s been written down. Now, then, it’s important to note that no one is saying it’s Willson Contreras’s *fault* that Darvish has struggled deeply with his command, movement, and conviction. Rather, what some of us are saying is that, in this period where righting the ship is so critical, it is worth exploring every possible avenue to help Darvish be comfortable – and maybe a familiar voice/receiver on the field could help in ways you don’t really realize until you get there.
  • Maddon went on to say the following (which, I mean, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying): “It’s [finding] the best version of him. We’re doing our research, we’ve been doing our research. It takes a while. Talk about relationship building and the trust and constructive criticism, you have to be together for a while before you can put all of that together.” Isn’t having Gimenez already in house a nice way to accelerate that process? To ensure more success? I think this discussion is more than fair right now.
  • Javy Baez is ice cold right now, both at the plate and in the field. He’s making errors and mistakes on defense that we’re not used to seeing from him, and he’s hitting just .222/.222/.296 in his last seven games. Of course, he’s far from alone on that second front, but obviously you’d like to see the defense tighten back up, and quickly.
(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
  • Something I’m keeping an eye on:

  • Rizzo’s coldness started before his DL stint, obviously, but he was also feeling the back issue long before he actually went on the DL.
  • The Cubs’ offense has been slumping overall, obviously, but they are once again tanking in the extreme in runners-in-scoring-position situations. They are now down to a woeful .223/.329/.292 line with a 70 – SEVENTY – wRC+. They are 30% WORSE THAN LEAGUE AVERGE with runners in scoring position.
  • Ben Zobrist kinda thought his baseball career was over in high school:

  • Cubs pitching prospect Chad Hockin – the Cubs’ 6th round pick in 2016 – went under the knife, but at least he’s got a good attitude about it:

  • Congrats to Albert Pujols on reaching 3,000 hits last night:

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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.