Promotions, Helmet Rubs, Truly Magnificent Home Run, and Other Bullets

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Promotions, Helmet Rubs, Truly Magnificent Home Run, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Oh, hey Winter. How you doin’? You weren’t missed.

  • As Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma note, the Cubs have filled some of their minor league coach/coordinator holes internally, promoting Chris Valaika to minor-league hitting coordinator, and Jeremy Farrell to minor-league field coordinator. Very, very important developmental roles for the life-blood of an organization, so, you know … do good coordinating, gents.
  • Ah, ’twas a simpler and happier time:

  • It really is remarkable that Herrera, who you may remember was one of those veteran minor league signings you bring to Spring Training as depth behind the depth, wound up making and then sticking on the 25-man roster all season. It was mostly a matter of circumstances that spurred it, rather than his .230/.242/.333 (50 wRC+) line with mediocre defense. But, as the tweet correctly concludes, the Helmet Rub was worth it. Also, that time he took an unsolicited curtain call:

  • Also, here’s Herrera celebrating Kris Bryant’s incredible walk-off against the Rockies that year because why not:
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Is … is Yu Darvish in prison:

  • No, but seriously, that’s good stretching. Get fit, my man. I would like to dream on a healthy, dominant Yu Darvish season, please and thanks. (And it’s not so insane to do so, given the time he’s had to rest, get healthy, save bullets, have surgery, etc.)
  • I share this because it’s a freaking awesome baseball highlight, but also because it allows me to note some things about Willians Astudillo, whom you may not know:

  • Astudillo, a 27-year-old Twins catcher, is a freak. How? His minor league strikeout rate was just about 3.0%. No, I am not missing a digit. That’s a real number. In a 97-plate-appearance cup of coffee last year with the Twins, it was 3.1%. He hit as many homers (3) as he struck out (3). I have absolutely no idea how a guy who makes this much contact and never walks (he’s about a 2.5% walk rate guy) will play out as a big leaguer. It seems like it would be impossible to make enough *hard* contact to be productive, but the guy is just kinda freakish. I think he could be a really fun guy to follow this season. He’s currently hitting .316/.360/.481 in Venezuela over 236 plate appearances. He has struck out FOUR times.

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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.