The Treat of Painful Baseball Stories, Strop's Velocity, 100 MPH Cubs Prospect, and Other Bullets

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The Treat of Painful Baseball Stories, Strop’s Velocity, 100 MPH Cubs Prospect, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The NBA Draft is TOMORROW NIGHT. We cover the Bulls now here at BN, so make sure you’re popping over to BN Bulls periodically to keep up on the latest. As you’d expect, the rumors are flying about trades in the 3 to 7 range of the draft (Bull pick 7).

  • Let me check the balance sheet on yesterday. On the positive side of the ledger, Craig Kimbrel made his Iowa Cubs debut, and seemed like Kimbrel. The Brewers lost. The Cardinals lost. Kyle Schwarber hit another first-pitch leadoff dong. Cole Hamels continued his stretch of dominance. Brandon Kintzler was great again. These are good things!
  • … but on the negative side of the ledger, we learned that Kyle Hendricks has a shoulder impingement, the Cubs lost for the sixth time in their last eight tries, the Cubs could not capitalize on coming home after an off-day to face a rebuilding team, and, le sigh, it was Eloy Jimenez who hit the game-winning home run. That burns. It’s poetic, and orchestrated by the gods to maximize regret. It’s just one game, and whatever, but I think we might as well just let ourselves feel this one. It’s one thing to watch a young stud go off and succeed elsewhere after a “buy” trade – that happens – it’s another thing altogether to see him break out across town and smash one right in your face in his Wrigley Field debut:

  • I feel that one in my bones. And not the bone I thought I’d be feeling when Eloy Jimenez started hitting homers at Wrigley Field. This is the price you pay to make the trades you make, and this is the price you pay to be the kind of fan who invests emotionally in prospects.
  • Oh, and the bat broke when he hit that. Eloy Jimenez hit that no-doubt, game-winning homer on a broken bat.
  • Moving on to the baseball … woof that pitch. Pedro Strop may have missed his spot vertically by six inches, and horizontally by two feet:

  • My level of concern about Strop is close to 0% right now (assuming health), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the injuries in the Spring and thereafter to his hammies have left him behind the curve on getting as sharp as he usually is by now.
  • Moreover, I don’t think we can ignore the velocity decline Strop has shown as he dealt with the Spring Training hamstring injury (right), and then the in-season hamstring injury (left):


  • Strop, who just turned 34, could absolutely see his velocity decline at this stage in his career, though relievers (especially big strong ones like him) are frequently able to sustain premium velocity well into their 30s. I don’t want to sound any alarm sirens just yet, but it’s worth watching. You can see where he was ramping up the velocity back to usual levels after the FIRST hamstring injury, and then the second one happened, and poof, it all evaporated again.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • As for the losing stretch, in general, Kris Bryant espouses the mantra:


  • Hello, Brailyn:

  • Being able to hit triple digits as a 20-year-old lefty starting pitching prospect is not enough, alone, to make you a top guy, but it’s the kind of starter kit very few prospects have. Further, we haven’t seen it in the Cubs farm system since … since … I’m drawing a blank. Just don’t trade Brailyn Marquez this trade season, man.
  • Star notes from Bryan:

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.