The Good and Bad of Chatwood, Bryant's Explosion, and Other Bullets

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The Good and Bad of Chatwood, Bryant’s Explosion, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME SOCCERRRRRRRR?!?!? … that’s my mid-day today. So much soccer. The kids love it, though, so it’s all good.

  • Tyler Chatwood’s control problems are no secret, and they were no secret to the Cubs upon signing him. They knew the score with a 28-year-old guy that has absurd stuff, ridiculous spin, five average or better pitches, and a complicated delivery (sound familiar?). They hoped they could tease out a little more from him by working, among other things, on getting more consistency with the control and the command. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m by no means willing to jump ship just yet simply because Chatwood’s walk rate so hilariously the highest in baseball. At 19.3%, Chatwood’s walk rate is higher than anyone else by more than four percentage points (LOL … ish), and there are only six pitchers in all of baseball over 12%!!! Right now, Chatwood is the Mike Trout of walking guys.
  • But, like I said, there’s so much talent there – it’s obvious, and it does manifest itself periodically throughout his starts – that the Cubs have gotta keep working with him. I’m not saying he’s going to be the next Jake Arrieta or anything like that. But if he remains as hard to hit as he’s been, and tightens up the command juuuuuust a little, he’s gonna be a guy who can regularly give you six extremely competitive innings. As a fifth starter, he’d probably be the best in baseball.
  • His big issue yesterday, for what it’s worth, was his four-seam fastball – absolutely could not locate it. It’s such a great pitch that you don’t want him to have to abandon it, but it was in the zone just 8 out of the 20 times he threw it yesterday. That’s a problem.
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
  • Still, although his outings tend to be short, high-wire acts, Chatwood has gotten results this year so far – his 3.35 ERA is excellent, he’s keeping the ball on the ground, and he’s giving up very little hard contact.
  • One other thing: Chatwood’s strikeout rate with the Cubs is up nearly four percentage points, so clearly, *some* things they’ve done with him (pitch selection and sequencing likely among them) are working.
  • Willson Contreras rightly got most of the attention, but Kris Bryant had another huge day at the plate, reaching base five(!) times, and pushing his season line to .302/.434/.612. He’s walking as much as ever, striking out far less than ever, and hitting for way more power. How are these things possible?

  • April was silly:

  • Memories are fun sometimes:

  • A beautiful throwback:

  • Bigger than baseball:

  • Matt Harvey made his Reds debut last night as he stretches back out as a starter and it was surprisingly very good (and he touched 96 mph):

  • Just a bunch of superstars:

  • A tablet for under forty bucks – the Fire 7 right now at Amazon. So if you want a cheap one to watch video and keep away from the kids, there you go.

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.