Happy Roster Expansion Day! Bryant Coming, Baez and West Jawing, Zobrist the Rebel, and Other Bullets

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Happy Roster Expansion Day! Bryant Coming, Baez and West Jawing, Zobrist the Rebel, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very, very happy the Bears landed Khalil Mack this morning (well, reportedly, yada yada yada). But the mechanics – on a Saturday morning – of helping manage that side of things, while also taking care of the kids, and also being ready for today because it’s the first day of roster expansion in baseball? Oof. You couldn’t have done this a few days ago or next week, Bears? (Actually, yeah, I understand why they couldn’t … I’m just complaining.)

  • But yes, September call-ups! They start arriving around baseball today thanks to a quirky rule that basically eliminates the 25-man roster in September. Now, any player on the 40-man roster can be up with the big league team. For the Cubs, that’s going to mean several more bullpen arms, a third catcher (Bobby Wilson when he’s off the DL), and several notable returning injured players. Kris Bryant is expected back today, and Addison Russell could be back – at least on defense – as soon as today, too. It’s going to be a full house within the next week (not everyone will come right away, as Iowa still has a few games left).
  • Eventually Brandon Morrow figures to return, too, but that’s still a ways off. Here’s a question: will the Cubs move him to the 60-day DL today to accommodate someone else on the 40-man roster? That would guarantee he’s out until at least September 15, but it would punt at least one DFA decision down the road a bit.
  • Javy Baez got rung up by Joe West on a pitch outside the strike zone last night – what else is new – and apparently West was not exactly courteous when Baez asked about it (Cubs.com): “We do our best to stay in the game, obviously. I didn’t think it was a good pitch, and it wasn’t. We’re human. We struggle a lot in this sport. But we admit it to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with asking or talking to the umpires. They need to start talking to us like humans because they’re not. If anybody doesn’t talk to me with respect, I won’t talk to them with respect either. I didn’t say anything to him and he came to me like I said something wrong. When somebody does that, I can’t control my attitude. We’re human, too.”
  • I don’t even have to know the particulars of the exchange to know that there’s no chance Baez was wrong on this one.
  • No real particulars on Jason Heyward’s hamstring injury right now, though the messaging from the team talks about tightness and soreness without using the word “strain”. Even the mildest hamstring strain can keep a guy out upwards of four weeks, so it’s really hard to know what we’re looking at here. In terms of positional talent, the Cubs obviously have an overload of guys they can call upon to fill those starts in the outfield. But in terms of having that elite glove available down the stretch? You don’t want to lose it.
  • Wow, Ben Zobrist. Getting on MLB about cleat style, getting on umpires for not being robots, and now getting on old school statistics for being outdated:

  • Who is this brash, young rebel? (Also, he’s obviously quite right. There’s very little value that batting average imparts beyond what we can get – in a much more informative way – from on-base percentage and slugging percentage.)
  • Tommy La Stella netting a record yesterday:

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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.