A Big Z Comeback, a Japan Series Walk-Off, a Cubs Prospect Return, and Other Bullets

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A Big Z Comeback, a Japan Series Walk-Off, a Cubs Prospect Return, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Thankfully, exercising this week – very cautiously, with lots and lots of stretching – has loosened my back up again. It was just so weird for it to spasm out of nowhere like that. Being bipedal is rough, eh?

Speaking of exercising this week, thanks a lot, The Wife:


I mean, she’s not wrong, but still …

  • Spring Training invite. Do it:

  • I am mostly being facetious, but certainly not entirely. What’s there to lose, right? (Unless you think Big Z would derail the entire thing in the spring, rather than be a light, veteran presence with some experience, stories, grips, etc. to share.) It would also be an absolutely insane story if he made his way back to the big leagues SEVEN YEARS after he last appeared. To be fair, he has pitched quite poorly this year in Mexico and Venezuela, and his exit from the Cubs was less than cheery, so, yeah, I am mostly being facetious.
  • A walk-off homer in the Japan series and NOT by the Major League players:

  • That’s Japanese OF Yuki Yanagita taking very good Padres reliever Kirby Yates deep to end it. That’s fun.
  • Also fun:

  • Man, you would totally have to see that guy a few times before you’d really have a chance to track his pitches well. (Awesome camera view, too.)
  • Cubs pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay (lat) was getting after it in some workout videos he’d shared to social media, but which have since been taken down. He looked good. A healthy Alzolay probably makes a couple starts for the big league team last year, and maybe even changes the calculus heading into the offseason. As it stands, the Cubs can’t count on him as certain effective depth for 2019, but that is something he definitely *could* be. It’s not hard to imagine a situation where he’s one of those guys who comes up for a fill in start or two, impresses, and then we get to have the fun conversations about “what do the Cubs do when so-and-so comes back?” It’s also possible that Alzolay winds up getting exposure in the big league bullpen in the second half, with an eye toward competing for a rotation spot in 2020.
  • Stray thought: given the persistent Cubs spending rumors and yesterday’s what-the-what Dodgers report, I would say I’m more concerned about the anticipated value/structure of the new Cubs TV deal than I have been previously (and the cord-cutting landscape already produced reasons for concern).
  • Big-time clearance kicking in at the MLB Shop, so you can do some holiday planning in advance:

  • Snow on the field in South Bend just means spring is around the corner, right?

  • Only 100ish days to 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.