The Cubs' Ridiculous 30 Games, Zobrist's Absence, Ryan's Emergence, and Other Bullets

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The Cubs’ Ridiculous 30 Games, Zobrist’s Absence, Ryan’s Emergence, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Morning text from Luis: “I got yogurt in my beard. It’s time for a trim.”

Who among us?

  • The Cubs are now an incredible 23-7 over their last 30 games, which, although not quite the pace they hit in the first month and a half of the 2016 season (I’m not sure that start will be matched ever again by a Cubs team), this has that same feeling going into each game – like I’m watching a team that just isn’t going to lose. And if they lose, it’s like, meh, they’ll win tomorrow. Not a problem. (For what it’s worth, that absurd start in 2016 got to 25 wins before hitting 8 losses, so the Cubs have their target.)
  • Clearly, we are watching the greatest Cubs team of our lifetime (note though that the 2016 record was actually 103-58-1, but the fun point remains):

  • Relatedly:

  • Javy Baez – who is THE Cubs starting shortstop – continues to ride a career-high hitting streak with a fun feat sandwiched in the middle:

  • Baez is up to a .325/.362/.620 line, with a 155 wRC+
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
  • The Cubs offered only a general update on Ben Zobrist, who remains away from the team attending to a family matter. There is no timeline for his return. There are some indications out there in the public record about things the Zobrists might be dealing with, but until they actually open that door to a discussion, I think I’d rather leave it alone and say only that I hope their family is well, and that Ben Zobrist is able to successfully and effectively return to the Cubs in due time.
  • It’s an awkward related conversation, but it matters potentially quite a bit for the Cubs’ midseason maneuvering, so I feel a bit of a responsibility to mention it: generally, players on the restricted list are not paid (though teams have the option of paying if they choose to do so). Since it was Zobrist who requested permission to be away from the team one week ago, it is possible that his time on the restricted list will be, as it is typically, unpaid. If that’s true, a pro-rated portion of his $12.5 million salary this year will not be paid out, and could be used elsewhere if the Cubs have midseason needs. Each week Zobrist misses is about 3.75% of the season, which would translate to about $470,000.
  • This is a fantastic read on Cubs lefty Kyle Ryan, who was almost toast when the Cubs sought him out believing they could fix him:

  • Ryan, still only 27, currently has a 3.95 ERA through 16 appearances, which doesn’t look that great if you haven’t actually been watching him. But he’s now trusted and deployed in the tightest spots, and that ERA (6% better than league average) has a whole lot of flukiness in it for a guy with a 2.08 FIP, a 58.8% LOB rate, a 28.1% K rate, and a 10.5% BB rate. He’s been good. Just full on good.
  • Another pitching prospect to keep in mind:

  • Richan, 22, was the Cubs’ second round compensatory pick last year, and got the first full-season assignment to High-A, which tends to be where the better college draftees go. Outside of one weird blowup performance, he’s been fantastic so far this year, and he was a guy who caught our eye at the back fields in Spring Training.
  • Joe Maddon’s new restaurant is open:

  • LOL at the defenders’ disappointment:

  • Good bits from 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.