Wishing Javy's Heel to Heal, Strop's Rehab Stint, Legalized Gambling, and Other Bullets

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Wishing Javy’s Heel to Heal, Strop’s Rehab Stint, Legalized Gambling, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Busy, busy day, even as it feels like the main focus is all the Cubs losing of late. Today, the Cubs will play their makeup game against the Angels (#NoOffDays), and they’ll face an “opener” in the process – reliever Cam Bedrosian will open for old friend Trevor Cahill. (Bonus: since the game was snowed out, the Angels have gotten back Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, so the game is much more challenging now! Not sure where Ohtani might play, but it’s fun to find out.)

Also happening today, the second wave of free agency, kinda, as Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel are now untied to draft pick compensation and figure to sign soon-ish. That, in turn, is happening today because the amateur draft starts tonight!

Oh, and the Cubs very well might be getting Carlos Gonzalez today. Like I said, busy day!

  • Javy Baez was back in the lineup yesterday after missing a game with continued discomfort in his heel, which is the kind of thing that makes my gut say “just IL the guy so he can get to 100% instead of letting him continue to play at 80%,” but Joe Maddon doesn’t see the heel affecting Baez at the plate, where he has been struggling badly since the injury (Sun-Times): “I don’t think it has anything to do with his offense.” If that’s true, then yes, I agree, it’s fine to let him play (and give him some time at third base to reduce lateral movements if necessary). I just … it’s hard not to see the correlation:

  • The overall lines: before the injury, Baez was hitting .324/.364/.604 (148 wRC+), with a 29.2% K rate and 46.0% hard contact rate. After the injury, Baez has hit just .186/.255/.349 (59 wRC+), with a 42.6% K rate. His hard contact rate is actually crazy high – 52.2% – but he’s barely making any contact, and moreover, his groudball rate has shot up to a crazy 65.2%. In other words, that hard contact is deceiving, because it’s not quality contact overall.
  • Baez, himself, says as long as he can play, he’s gonna play:

  • I guess we’ll see if this is just a coincidental blip, or if everyone is simply refusing to acknowledge what is staring them in the face.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
  • Another successful rehab outing for Pedro Strop at Iowa, who should be back with the big league team in a day or two, assuming he felt good after this one:

  • Legal gambling is coming to Illinois, as expected:

  • It’s going to be very interesting how this plays out with baseball, which is trying to get involved in gambling at an institutional level, and with the Cubs’ new TV network, which could conceivably generate some additional content (and revenue).
  • Instant pot, shavers, power strips, tools – great set of Deals of the Day today at Amazon.
  • And we’re back at it with a new podcast episode today:


  • Spotted last night:

  • A little more wiggle room for the Bears:

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.