Heyward Snaps a Bat, Framing Issues, Strop's Return, a New Cubs Hire, and Other Bullets

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Heyward Snaps a Bat, Framing Issues, Strop’s Return, a New Cubs Hire, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The kiddos have their final week of school this week, so it’s about to be full-on summer time. Need to get my dad bod back in shape for the pool …

  • Jason Heyward was extremely angry about his potentially game-changing 9th inning at bat:

  • Yo. Never seen Heyward do that, as he usually keeps his cool out there, and the bat break over the knee is about the highest art form of anger expression on the baseball diamond. Risky move, too, if you don’t pull it off – and if you have felt big league bats, they don’t break easily, even at the handle. But then again, Heyward is absolutely ripped, so that bat never had a chance.
(Photo by David Banks/ Getty Images)
  • I presume his anger was one part because he struck out, and two parts because this was the 3-0 call on him following seven straight balls from a pitcher who could not find the zone:

  • Totally get why that would anger Heyward in the moment, and Cubs fans as well. The only thing is – and I’m not saying that’s a strike! – the ump had been calling that spot against lefties all day, extremely consistently. It was correct for Heyward to take the pitch, and it *should* have been called a ball. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying the ump called that pitch a strike against lefties all day. Shrug.
  • As for the zone overall, yes, it was another bad one, particularly for Cubs pitchers, who missed all kinds of strike calls in the zone. Some of that is flukey and should be blamed on the umps, sure, but also I think we have to remember that a huge part of “framing” is presenting strikes well so that you don’t give the ump any reason to be confused about where the pitch was. Willson Contreras rates, by far, as the worst framing catcher in baseball. It is not reasonable to see “bad” strike zones like this and not point out that sometimes, it’s the Cubs doing it to themselves.
  • Pedro Strop, who is supposed to throw off the mound again this weekend, is feeling so good he doesn’t want to do a rehab assignment (Cubs.com): “You know me. If they ask me, I’m going to say no. They’ll make their decision by themselves without asking me, because if they ask me, I’m not going to say I need it.”
  • That said, Strop knows everyone wants to be very cautious with his hamstring to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Joe Maddon says the plan was to do the rehab assignment, but that nothing has been finalized. He does seem to suggest to Cubs.com that Strop really is feeling great. Maybe there’s a slim chance we see Strop back with the team early next week?
  • Best hitters on the team:

  • A very interesting coaching hire for the Cubs, indeed:

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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.