The Bounce Back Story Lines, Edwards Delivery, Bryce's Slip, and Other Bullets

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The Bounce Back Story Lines, Edwards Delivery, Bryce’s Slip, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The shine of Spring Training – OMG BASEBALL IS BACK – lasts for a little while, and then you slip into the grind right around now, with more than three weeks yet to go before the season opens up. Players (pitchers, mostly) need this time to get themselves back up to game speed, but for fans, the excitement is predicated on what kinds of story line threads you have available to follow. Without a number of significant offseason additions – as is the case for the Cubs this year – that can be challenging.

But for the Cubs, it is instead about all of the bounce back opportunities on the roster. It’s a little overwhelming when you think about all the guys who could succeed this year out of the gate, and you could credibly say, “Ooh, he’s bouncing back!” Think about it: Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Albert Almora, (evergreen?) Jason Heyward, and on and on. At least it’s a thread to follow this Spring.

And, given the lack of transaction activity, it’s also the thread the Cubs, themselves, are following heading into this season – it’s kinda the backbone upon which they are projecting success in 2019.

  • Speaking of one of those bounce back guys, Yu Darvish makes his second spring start today. His first featured some wildness at the periphery of the zone, but the guy hadn’t pitched in a game in seven months. Pinpoint control was far less of interest to us than his health, which was very good, and his velocity was very strong.
  • Speaking of another one of those bounce back guys: Carl Edwards Jr. isn’t yet ready to pronounce his new hesitation delivery a success:

  • I’ll admit, a fundamental change in a guy’s delivery at this stage in his career sure makes me nervous in the abstract, but it does feel like the kind of high-risk, high-reward move that makes sense right now. Consider how badly Edwards lost his control in the second half last year, rendering himself nearly unusable in any kind of tight situation (in 11 September appearances, Edwards had 12 walks; from August 5th on, he had an 18.8% K rate … and a 22.5% BB rate!). Then consider how top tier his stuff is if he can just control and command it a little bit. If a risky change to his delivery can square him to the plate and keep him in the zone more often – which would probably make him a top 10/15 reliever in all of baseball – isn’t it worth the risk, given that he’s already flashed the loss of control so frequently in his career?
  • Old friend Eloy Jimenez will be in the lineup for the White Sox today against the Cubs.
  • Really scary situation for former Cubs pitcher Luke Farrell, now with the Rangers. He took a line drive off the face yesterday, breaking his jaw. Hopefully he’ll be all right – he was discharged after tests, so that seems a good sign.
  • Whoopsiedoodle. Too bad he didn’t say “Chicago,” because that would have been legally binding:

  • Whoa there, Scott. Pull it back, baby:

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • I dig this human side look at four veterans in on minor league deals, trying to win a job with the Cubs, who have local ties:

  • Not cool, Angels:

  • This is about six MPH faster than the typical Kyle Hendricks fastball, which, LOL, but as long as it gets results:

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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.