Bote's Adjustments, Happ's Contact, Bryants Do Good, Russell and Trade Rumors, and Other Bullets

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Bote’s Adjustments, Happ’s Contact, Bryants Do Good, Russell and Trade Rumors, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s a haircut day, and my usual person is not going to be available for a while, so I have to go with someone new. It’s a good thing I *mostly* don’t care what my hair looks like, because “you can basically cut it all off” is not exactly a challenging request. (We’ll see if I still feel that way later today.)

  • I am very much here for any and all feel-good David Bote stories, not only because his has been such an impressive arc from non-prospect org guy to big league extension, but also because he is really improving:

  • There will be more ups and downs, of course, but right now, this is a guy who was scalding the ball last year when he made contact, but simply made too little contact for it to translate to a positive overall production. A few subtle offseason changes later, and, knock on wood, he’s still scalding the ball (44.4% hard contact rate), but he’s also making so much more contact – his 9.6% swinging strike rate is WAY better than league average (11.0%), a year after being scarily below league average (14.3%).
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Speaking of making more contact, this seems like a very good first step:

  • As Michael said, Happ’s overall production (in a juiced-ball league) is not impressive right now. But it was always going to be a process if the intention was to improve Happ for the long-term, not just to see him do the same stuff he always did and rake against minor leaguers.
  • One more from Alex Cohen, who does the play-by-play for the I-Cubs:

https://twitter.com/espnWD/status/1124291078272815105

  • The Washington Nationals have fired their pitching coach just one month into the season, citing “preparation issues” among other things. It must have been really bad to make this move so swiftly in the season – and after an entire offseason to consider how things were working out. Cubs definitely can’t throw stones when it comes to making coaching changes quickly, but even they let guys last a whole year … which, well, maybe that’s not always the right approach either.
  • Get outdoors-y with your Deals of the Day at Amazon today – hunting, fishing, and lawn care.
  • Addison Russell, officially optioned to Iowa yesterday with no precise timeline for a return to the big leagues, is trying not to worry about what comes next, including the possibility that he could be shopped by the Cubs given the roster situation at the big league level:

  • Russell has just completed his suspension for domestic violence, and it’s possible there are teams out there more willing to consider trading for him now that the suspension is over (note that the return would not be significant, however). Speaking of which, more from Birch on that side of Russell’s work:

  • And speaking of Russell coverage, Cubs VP of Communications and Community Affairs Julian Green took to The Score yesterday to address the report that the Cubs had threatened reprisal for negative coverage:

  • In the Bears world:



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.