Schwarber Ain't Soft, Russell Losing His Bat and Not Hitting, and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Schwarber Ain’t Soft, Russell Losing His Bat and Not Hitting, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The NBA Draft is this week, which will necessarily mean the potential for significant maneuvering. The basketball fans among you will want to keep tabs over at our Bulls coverage.

  • Although his results are still not as strong as you might expect, Kyle Schwarber is doing one thing as well as anybody in all of baseball:

  • The least soft contact in all of baseball. So why isn’t Schwarber netting better results than his .233/.327/.470 (102 wRC+) line? Well, he could stand to have a little more hard contact – medium contact isn’t that much better than soft contact – and he could improve on his 27.6% K rate. But for the most part, it just looks like bad luck. That .265 BABIP is the biggest culprit, and Statcast suggests it could/should be a whopping 37 points higher based on his quality of contact. Imagine a Schwarber line that popped to something like .265/.360/.510 if he were just getting the balls to fall that he deserves? Those would be the best numbers of his career.
  • … a lot of it is the shift, of course, as Schwarber does seem to do a lot of his groundballing right into the shift. Schwarber has a great groundball rate overall, so that’s good, but when a disproportionate volume of the ones you do hit turn into outs, that’s going to depress your BABIP. (But, how about this? Schwarber’s BABIP is actually higher when he’s facing the shift (.277). Again, his overall very low BABIP just has to be bad luck.)
  • After losing his bat – AGAIN – repeatedly last night, the Dodgers made fun of Addison Russell, as they should, because it’s beyond ridiculous at this point:

  • Figure it out before you hurt someone with a flying bat.
  • Speaking of Russell, after a little mini-hot stretch, his performance at the plate has eroded significantly, bringing his line down to .230/.296/.379. Over the last 2+ weeks, he’s gone just .150/.217/.150 with a 28.3% strikeout rate and a -7 wRC+. His original trip to Iowa was supposed to be conditioning him for the season, but I wonder at what point he might need another trip to try to get back on track at the plate without costing the big league team.
  • If you missed the news this weekend, Craig Kimbrel is off to join the Iowa Cubs:

  • The King will survive us all:

  • Not only did Lester Strode serve in the Cubs organization in various roles from 1989 to 2006, he’s been the team’s bullpen coach ever since, lasting through FIVE managers: Lou Piniella, Mike Quade, Dale Sveum, Rick Renteria, and Joe Maddon.
  • Man, how unlucky has Tyler Chatwood been with specific respect to his 25.0% HR/FB rate:

  • I did the podcast thing:

  • A new and powerful Obvious Shirt:


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.