Heyward Doing Things, Brach Surprising, NL Central Struggles, and Other Bullets

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Heyward Doing Things, Brach Surprising, NL Central Struggles, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I think I’m going to give some people high fives today. It’s a nice thing to do, and people deserve it.

  • Jason Heyward’s two-run blast was just about the only offensive highlight last night – great looking bat drop, too:

  • Over the past month, Heyward is hitting .330/.374/.550, good for a 138 wRC+ that is best on the Cubs over that stretch.
  • Heyward, 29, is up to a .270/.356/.453 slash line, with a 110 wRC+ on the year. That last figure is by far his best with the Cubs, and actually would be his second best in the last six years. If Heyward can sustain this level of production? And if he can move to center field more frequently as Albert Almora keep struggling at the plate? Then the Cubs would have an opportunity to *significantly* improve the offense by adding a corner outfield bat, or an infielder (pushing Kris Bryant more frequently to the outfield). There is a tradeoff in defense in center, but you could at least make changes in the later parts of games to help the D – if you’ve got the versatility, use it to help you accommodate a bat.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
  • Brad Brach once again successfully ate up some innings, and has now gone 7.1 innings allowing just one run. His FIP is now 20% *better* than league average, which, yeah, is a bit insane. That doesn’t account for the fact that he’s getting virtually no soft contact and his groundball rate is way down (so his ERA is likely going to be higher than his FIP, because he’s giving up good contact). Maybe he’s been a *little* unlucky, but it’s not all bad luck.
  • Still, I suppose, given the offseason mono which slowed his ramp up, and given the fact that he has been very good in his career as a reliever except for the first half last year (and then he turned it around very well in the second half), maybe I’ll give a little grace that he could turn a corner and be a very effective reliever going forward. It’s possible. Conceivable. I’d need to see some of these good results coming in non-blowout mop-up duty, though.
  • Arg, this stinks for a great story, but at least it’s not his shoulder (Birch says it’s his groin):

  • Waking up to the Cubs still in first place like:

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waking up to the #Cubs still in first place like

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  • Miscellaneous fun stuff:

  • NBA free agency looms, so keep tabs on the latest with BN Bulls:

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.