So, I had a filling come out last night. Just came out. No reason. Just came out. And I’ll admit, I’m kinda freaking about it. It doesn’t hurt me too bad right now, but I’m kinda nervous about what’s to come until the dentist can get me in. Not cool, filling. Not cool.
- It is LESS THAN a week away. All the freaking about the offseason fades a bit, and we can start freaking about the Cubs giving up a single run in the first inning of the first game of the season like proper animals (also, follow us on Instagram because pictures):
- It’s kind of amazing how little we’ve heard about Jason Heyward this spring after three years of that being perhaps THE biggest annual spring story:
Will he play center field at times? Will he sit against left-handed starters? Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward is bracing himself for the uncertainties of the 2019 season.https://t.co/CPYwptIKbl via @MDGonzales pic.twitter.com/xLq1viljYZ
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) March 21, 2019
- Heyward is still only 29 years old, and still has far more great seasons under his belt than bad ones. His trajectory with the Cubs has seen his offensive production improve each year, but the results are still below average, and the years have also seen his defensive metrics slip. I tend to think the reason we don’t hear much about him these days is because folks have kind of settled into a zone where it’s like, maybe he’ll be fine, maybe he won’t, but nobody is pinning their hopes on him being a true impact player in the lineup at this point. Realistically, we can pull for a league-average bat and a return to elite defense in right field (with the ability to also play quality center when needed). That’s a perfectly solid player to have on the team. Maybe not the guy we or the Cubs hoped he would be, but perfectly solid just the same.
- Unrelated, a note in that article about how Heyward injured his hamstring late last year has us all reminded just how important periodic rest throughout the season can be. Turns out, Heyward had a little something else that was “nagging” him, and that wound up leading to the hamstring injury. We know that guys play through little injuries and nagging stuff all year. It’s just a necessary and realistic part of playing a full baseball season. But the more you can rest these guys periodically, the greater your chance not only of improving their performance, but of avoiding a more serious injury because of body compensation.
- Joe Maddon is still buying David Bote’s ability as a shortstop, where he played yesterday, continuing to confirm that he’s going to be the primary backup there when the season opens (Cubs.com): “Having David play shortstop is good. He’s got the ability to do it. … Tell David Bote’s he’s got a chance to play some shortstop, and I promise you it’s going to turn out pretty good. [His] lateral mobility, quickness [is] outstanding. Fine arm, so that all plays.” Although he doesn’t quite “look” like a shortstop, Bote has played there in the minors, is excellent at third and second, and has certain attributes – as Maddon notes – that you look for in a shortstop. It was never impossible that he could be a passable big-league-caliber defender there (albeit probably below average), and if he truly adds that to his utility belt? What a valuable player to have on the roster – he has offensive upside, too!
- Man, medical technology for professional athletes is amazing. When it tore open, Yu Darvish’s blister – which he shared on Instagram – looked pretty gross. Just two days later, he shared the updated blister, and it’s pretty dang great:
- Brandon Morrow threw his second bullpen yesterday (25 fastballs) with no issues (Cubs.com). Checking those boxes.
- Heh. Armadillos:
when the pitcher sees Kris Bryant 2019 coming to the plate pic.twitter.com/uYRPnBQzYN
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 22, 2019
- Modems, jewelry, and phone accessories are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
- And a spring clearance event at the MLB Shop with free shipping: