Rookies of the Year, Cubs Second Base Weirdness, Yankees Stretch, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Rookies of the Year, Cubs Second Base Weirdness, Yankees Stretch, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I slept funny on my right side of my neck AND my left shoulder last night. How is that even possible?

  • MLB Pipeline wrote up a Rookie of the Year 2020 candidate for all 30 teams, which makes for an interesting read about the big-league-ready, up-and-coming prospects around the game. Nico Hoerner, obviously, is named for the Cubs: “Hoerner has played just 89 games in the Minors, but that hardly seemed to be an issue as he held his own in Chicago last season. The 24th overall pick from the 2018 Draft, Hoerner hit .282 over 20 games with the Cubs. Although he doesn’t hit for a ton of power, Hoerner has an advanced approach, makes consistent contact and has the speed to swipe a few bags.”
  • As we’ve discussed, the fact that Hoerner could contribute in the big leagues in his first full professional season after just 89 minor league games is pretty nuts, and is a credit to his makeup. However, there is still plenty he could be working on with respect to organizing the strike zone and driving the ball more consistently. I’d love to see him in a position to win Rookie of the Year honors because he forced the Cubs to make him an everyday starter at second base, but, realistically, I’m hoping the Cubs build a bridge to buy Hoerner some more time to develop at AAA to open the season.
  • Speaking of which, there might not be another position in all of baseball that looks as wide open *DESPITE* the existence of so many options than second base on the Chicago Cubs. There’s no obvious starter there. Yet the Cubs are overflowing with “options” that could do the job, even if not excite you: David Bote, Daniel Descalso, Ian Happ, Addison Russell, Robel Garcia, Tony Kemp.
  • If Happ could handle the defensive component well, I’d be open to the Cubs giving him a shot (but I’m not sure he can). If Bote is the guy he was at the plate after May 21 (.270/.385/.434, 116 wRC+) that’d play just fine, but he also had a 26.5% K rate and a .358 BABIP. Not sure how much you could count on him replicating that line without improvement in his contact rate. Russell is likely gone. Descalso can’t be counted on after 2019. Kemp is a nice bench piece, in my view, but isn’t a starter. And Garcia can’t even be a bench player until he dramatically improves his contact rate.
  • So … anyway. Yeah. Second base is a spot we’re going to have to discuss this offseason. Probably more later today, actually.
  • Despite the mess, the Pirates may land a big name to run baseball operations:

  • Cherington, of course, was the mostly successful GM for the Red Sox after Theo Epstein’s departure, and then worked in the Blue Jays front office for a few years while awaiting his next opportunity. If he does wind up with the Pirates, you do wonder if there would be some check-in-trade-talks with the Cubs between old friends.
  • Great deals at Amazon today for kids (and big kids) – lots of toys, games, Funko Pop, and a Harry Potter invisibility cloak that works with an app. #ad
  • The Yankees have a new pitching coach, and they’re going really outside the box:

  • Though Darvish blames only himself:

  • Speaking of Darvish doing some roasting, I was crying:

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.