Gotta Start Winning on the Road, Hendricks Good, Maldonado Useful, Descalso, and Other Bullets
The Brother and his family are in town, so we get to see that crew. It is awesome to be with family, especially when you don’t get to see them as often as you might like.
- Overall, that was a great homestand coming out of the break. Three series wins. 7-2 overall. Cleaned up a lot of the slop (one player notwithstanding). Great starting pitching. Solid bullpen work. Good defense. I liked what I saw. Now the question: can the Cubs finally starting winning on the road again? The Giants are hot as all get-out, but they are still a very beatable team. The Cubs have just 18 wins on the road this year, and they’re about to be mostly on the road for the next month. So … yeah. Do some of the winning.
- How great was it to see Kyle Hendricks be Kyle Hendricks yesterday? After his shoulder injury, it was clearly taking him a little time to get the rhythm back, but he had it working yesterday.
- Obligatory Hendricks LOL:
- Nothing about Martin Maldonado’s abilities behind the plate were a mystery to us in the offseason when we were pushing the Cubs to go after him (and, indeed, they did try to sign him, but he preferred a regular gig with the Royals), but it’s still been really nice to see it play out so clearly right away:
Kyle Hendricks had some high praise for Cubs catcher Martin Maldonado’s framing abilities. Here’s his comments, plus a look at the called strikes he got on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/MDIKIcpOYK
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 21, 2019
- It would not surprise me in the least to see the Cubs seriously consider bringing Maldonado back next year, regardless of what happens with Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, because they are going to want to have this guy available to those two young catchers. It will absolutely help their development behind the plate. I’m certain of it. (Believe it or not, the year Contreras worked with David Ross and Miguel Montero, he rated as a slightly POSITIVE pitch-framer. I am really not convinced that’s a fluke.)
- It’s really frustrating to see Daniel Descalso persist on the active roster with the Cubs, despite the fact that (1) he never actually plays, and (2) on the very rare occasion he does participate, he’s not doing anything:
Over last month, Descalso has started two games, pinch-hit nine times, appeared in 11 games, gone 2-for-15 and logged 19 innings in field.
Maddon, on challenge of keeping DD involved: "It is difficult, but he makes it less difficult. He's a professional. He's always working."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 21, 2019
- I understand the issues. I really do. He’s under contract through next year (with an option after that), and just because this year is toast, you might really want him next year. He’s great and important in the clubhouse. Maybe it’s all a fluke where he just needs something to click and it’ll all be fine again. You can’t just force a guy to take a stint on the Injured List if he’s not truly injured and/or not amenable to being “injured.” I just would like the Cubs to figure something out where they aren’t operating with a 24-man roster. Gut says things will be different after the Trade Deadline, one way or another.
- Strange things, indeed – not necessarily trades or injuries, but it would be really surprising if those two things didn’t factor into 3/5 of the AA starting rotation disappearing in just a few days:
Strange things happening in the Smokies rotation right now. Hatch pulled after 2 IP a week ago, missed his subsequent start. Alex Lange a late scratch. Neither to IL as of yesterday. Today despite Cory Abbott the listed starter, it’s Erick Leal on mound, jumping his rotation spot
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) July 21, 2019
- Bryan also dropped a bunch of Cubs prospect notes this morning:
Some notes at BN. Thoughts on why Paul Richan is underdiscussed. Threw out a comp for Cam Balego (though I misremembered the particular MLB’ers patience), an AZL player rising up the prospect lists and more.https://t.co/I3vnbpAKG6
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) July 22, 2019
- Much love to a couple Hall of Fame Cubs:
Lee Smith takes his place among the all-time greats! #HOF2019
Watch his full @baseballhall induction speech: https://t.co/QX3uFBGokw pic.twitter.com/OHdYb5ld9Z
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2019
#OTD in 2012, beloved @Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was inducted posthumously into the @baseballhall. pic.twitter.com/HHuJ6XjezO
— MLBPAA (@MLBPAA) July 22, 2019
- Hoping to see some pics of people in this shirt this weekend: