Trying Hard Not to Overreact, Cheers for Mills, Heyward, Hoerner, Zobrist, and Other Bullets

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Trying Hard Not to Overreact, Cheers for Mills, Heyward, Hoerner, Zobrist, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The big kids had their first day of school yesterday, and it passed without drama. They seemed reasonably happy when they got home and did the kid thing of not wanting to discuss any specifics. I guess I’d call that a successful debut.

  • So, this is an (understandable) overreaction, right:

  • No one would characterize the Cubs’ chances at a title this year as anything other than “kinda poor,”  but the reality is that they’re still slightly better than 50/50 to win the division. From there, who knows? Maybe they can beat the Braves in a five-gamer. Maybe they get crazy lucky/hot and beat the Dodgers again in the NLCS? And then maybe an asteroid hits the ALCS while it’s in action, and the Cubs are World Series winners by default. You don’t know!
  • Kap’s point about seriously overhauling the roster in the offseason (being realistic about what an overhaul can look like) is a good one, though. Agreed. Have agreed for about 12 months.
  • Hey, how about the Alec Mills quality start last night! Six innings of relief and just three earned runs! I joke only kinda, as it was a very useful performance for him to eat up those innings and leave the Cubs in a good place coming into tonight’s game. Indeed, he is very likely to be swapped out today for someone like James Norwood, which would leave the entirety of the bullpen with at least a full day of rest (all the more important given how many of the top guys are on the IL). JUSTIFY HIS SACRIFICE WITH A WIN TODAY, CUBS!
  • Going forward, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Mills has shown the ability to be a swing man for the Cubs heading into 2020, and we know how valuable that role can be. I hope he gets serious consideration for the bullpen next year.
  • Jason Heyward, who was scratched last night, described his overnight knee pain as “sharp” pain in the front of his knee, but with no knowledge of how it happened, and feeling like it loosened back up well after he did his work yesterday ( He probably sits today against a lefty regardless, but I still get a touch nervous hearing about a don’t-know-how-or-when-it-happened health issue for a guy who is hitting .195/.313/.415 (90 wRC+) in August.
  • It me Rage Fan:

  • It’s very interesting to see all the progressions Nico Hoerner has been through in his development:

  • The lack of strikeouts might actually reinforce some of your concerns about Hoerner – yet another high-contact, low-slugging guy who will struggle with weak contact in the bigs – if it weren’t for the walks he was also taking. Being a high-contact guy is OF COURSE not a bad thing in isolation, particularly if you can pair it with good discipline. That not only makes you more likely to take walks, it also makes it more likely that, eventually, you can hit for more power (thanks to the ability to work counts and be selectively aggressive).
  • This seems like an enormous number:

  • A reminder that Ben Zobrist joins the Iowa Cubs today, and after this weekend series, it’s still TBD how soon he could return to the big league club:

Late in a blowout, Nick Castellanos was not having it when the umpires didn’t agree that he’d fouled one off his foot. He does not have “give up” in him.

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
  • I think Cara nailed it:

  • Jokes provide comfort for a second or two:

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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.