The Bears wrapped up their draft yesterday by going with a whole bunch of best-talent-available types, it sure seems, way above and beyond need. Although that’s always the way it should be in baseball, in football, you do have to think a little bit more about immediate need, sometimes to the detriment of netting the best overall talent. That’s the nice thing about the spot the Bears are in – they don’t really have a lot of desperate positional needs, so they could just take some flyers later in the draft on guys with huge upside. Luis is crushing the draft coverage, so make sure you check it out here.
- It was not a great first month on the whole for Yu Darvish, but he ended it on a very bright note, with one of his best starts with the Cubs last night, going 6.0 innings, allowing just one earned run on two hits and four walks, while striking out eight. The outing dropped his ERA nearly a full run to 5.02. That’s still poor, especially for what the Cubs envision him to be, but hey, in this offensive environment, it’s only 17% worse than league average …
- Are we allowed to do things like, over his last three starts, Darvish has a 3.24 ERA and a whopping 31.5% K rate? It seems a little premature to drop stats like that. But it looked cute. Might delete later.
- I really liked how Joe Maddon let Darvish finish out the sixth last night, despite the pitch count clicking over 100, and despite the early walk. He was cruising, the Cubs had a huge lead, and it was a chance to get him over that mental hump.
- My favorite stat from Darvish’s night is that, despite the wildness early on, he still got 20 called strikes and 19(!) swinging strikes among his 110 pitches. That’s very, very good.
- Highlights from the outing – take particular note of the two especially nasty strikeouts in the middle on what has the action of a changeup, but is thrown at 91-92 MPH:
- Bonus Darvish bliss:
Yu Darvish, Nasty 84mph Slider…and Sword. 🤢🤺⚔️ pic.twitter.com/tOjmp0m3Dg
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 28, 2019
- That was just Darvish’s fourth 6.0-inning start with the Cubs, and obviously his first this year. He’s never gotten an out in the 7th inning with the Cubs. Yet.
- Anyone else think Taylor Davis looked good receiving behind the plate last night? There were a couple borderline pitches that he received so well that they never even looked borderline. He has rated well as a framer in the minor leagues, for what that’s worth.
- It’s a clearance day at Fanatics, which means extra Cubs sale stuff here.
- Heads up on the next stop for Mike Montgomery, as he continues his rehab as a starting pitcher (hmm dot emoji):
BREAKING: Mike Montgomery is expected to make a rehab start for Game 1 tomorrow at Principal Park! 1:08 p.m. first pitch vs. Nashville ⚾️
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) April 28, 2019
- As we said before, it isn’t necessarily meaningful that Montgomery (lat) is rehabbing as a starter, since it’s always easier to shift down into a bullpen role than to gear up as a starter – and since the Cubs had an injured starting pitcher at the time he started rehabbing, it made all the more sense. Of course, since then, the Cubs have seen Jon Lester return well, have seen Tyler Chatwood make a great start, and would have had plenty of time to switch Montgomery back into a bullpen gig if they were so inclined. We have discussed the plausibility of trading Montgomery to somewhere he could start, since he seems better in that role, but I tend to think the Cubs are simply being extra cautious with the possibility they could need a starting pitcher in the next week or two (you never know).
- Although his HBP didn’t result in a serious injury, the Cubs are still putting Nico Hoerner on the injured list.
- Lulz Riz:
- Congrats to Joe Maddon on last night’s win:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 28, 2019