Arrieta Not Coming Off IL, Wisdom’s Year, Cubs Sign Nine, Walk-Off Bunt, and Other Cubs Bullets

This morning me thinks that last night me ate too many Flaming Hot Doritos last night …

•   The Cubs have dealt with their first trade, and Anthony Rizzo sums it up on the departure of Joc Pederson – it’s sad: “Such a good teammate and a good friend in four months. His vibe and everything he brought to the team every day was just fun and upbeat and energetic. He was a good person to have around. Good morale.”

•   More sad, from Kyle Hendricks: “You just have to keep reminding yourself we’re going to be playing baseball no matter what and it happens all the time, guys come and go. It’s unfortunate, it’s part of the game. You get close with guys, and they leave. But everyone that enters this clubhouse is a part of the family, whoever we have at the moment, so that’s what we focus on.” The next couple weeks could be ROUGH, man …

•   Jake Arrieta can come off the Injured List (tight hamstring) now, he’s not going to:

•   Although the hamstring issue was not described as a serious injury, this is nevertheless not surprising. Arrieta either needed a lot more time to get right, or, more likely, there will be a graceful exit arranged. I doubt the Cubs want to deal with it before some of the Trade Deadline stuff is sorted, because that could change the short-term “just need a guy to make a start” situation quickly.

•   I’m still trying to figure out whether Patrick Wisdom is successfully adjusting to pitchers’ adjustments since he exploded onto the scene. It looks like maybe? Or no? He’s surviving despite the issue, but he’s just flat out going to need more contact in the upper third. Since that West Coast road trip that kind of wrapped his introductory period (dating back to June 11, where he was EVERYWHERE), he’s hit .213/.263/.440 (89 wRC+). Not good, obviously, but also not horrible, and that’s what his “down” month has looked like. That’s with a .297 BABIP, despite a 93.7 mph average exit velocity (holy lord). There’s probably a little bit of unluck there.

•   But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a serious problem, and it’s the 41.3% strikeout rate during that stretch, of which a small part is the terrible strike zone he’s gotten laterally, but most of which is the ENORMOUS hole in his swing in the upper third of the zone, and then the standard issues that hulking righties have against breaking stuff low and away (though he doesn’t swing at those nearly as much as the high fastballs). The change in pitch approach before and after June 11 is about as stark as I’ve seen for such a short period of time:

(via FanGraphs)

•   It looks like pitchers were trying to go up early on, but were also making a conscious effort to stay in the strike zone, which left a whole lotta pitches in the meatball zone. Now, however, they’re comfortable going WAY up because his contact rate on anything in the upper third (let alone above the zone!) is well below 50%. So if you just keep going up there, eventually you’ll get a swing, and he’s likely to miss it. Missed above the zone? No worries. Just keep trying. Better than trying to be TOO fine at the top of the zone, missing down a bit, and having him crush one:

•   Wisdom has power you rarely see, together with a pretty darn good understanding of the strike zone (and a good glove at third). You want to give that guy a chance to adjust in the big leagues, and I’m glad he’s going to get it in the second half.

•   Miscellaneous love for Wisdom? He’s up to 1.3 WAR, tied for 4th most among all rookies despite appearing in just 44 games.

•   Speaking of righties with big power and whom you want to see over the next few months for purposes of evaluation and development (and who also have big holes at the top of the zone), David Bote is going to start his rehab assignment at Iowa.

•   The Cubs had in eight draft prospects to Chicago, and then announced nine official signings:

•   We’ll sort through the bonus pool implications shortly, but it’s looking like the Cubs’ draft strategy was very clearly to make sure they took guys in the top ten rounds that they could reliably sign quickly (and, obviously, that they liked), and then go heavy on the hard-to-sign risky preps in the non-bonus pool rounds. You always saw some of that, but what we hadn’t seen before was a 20-round draft. How would the Cubs proceed? Well, we got our answer, and so far, at least half of the execution looks perfect.

•   Ope:

https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1416381148352163841

•   The Pelicans won last night on a walk-off Jordan Nwogu bunt:

•   Listen to Javy, and/or ask questions of qualified medical professionals if you need help:

•   Are the Pirates involved in every needless benches-clearing incident or just most of them:

•   LOL this homer hit the outfield sign guy right in the nugs:

•   The Padres scored TWENTY-FOUR RUNS last night against the Nationals. It was so many runs that the highlight video of JUST the runs is over five minutes long:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Pete Crow-Armstrong is the International League Player of the Week, Also-By-the-Way-He-is-Eligible-to-Return-to-the-Big-Leagues-in-Two-Days-Just-Sayin’

The Chicago Cubs optioned Pete Crow-Armstrong to the minors on May 20, which means he can return to the big league roster as soon as May 30. That is two days from now. Just throwing that out there and cc'ing...

That Was Justin Steele’s Best Outing In a While

After his previous outing, for which the final numbers didn't look as good as the stuff, Justin Steele said he was actually starting to feel good about where he was, after missing the first chunk of the season with the...

Performing With Runners in Scoring Position Isn’t “The” Problem for the Cubs, But It Tells a Pretty Extreme Story

It has become mildly overwhelming to try to think through all the layers to the Cubs' offensive disfunction. We will be exploring them on an ongoing basis, I suppose, because there are so many aspects to a team-wide slump like...

Back to Square One, Madrigal’s Boot, Fan Ire for Counsell, and Other Cubs Bullets

do you remember happiness With yesterday's loss to the Brewers, the Cubs fell to .500 for the first time since April 1. And not that anything is being decided today, but the Cubs also fell out of a playoff spot...

REPORT: ANGEL HERNANDEZ IS RETIRING

Angel Hernández long ago - roughly around the time Joe West hung 'em up - became the face of Bad Umpiring in Major League Baseball. We can debate the degree to which that kind of title is deserved, but Hernández...

Enhanced Box Score: Brewers 5, Cubs 1 – May 27, 2024

The Cubs' offense is in a really, really bad place. You don't need me to tell you that. I'm running out of ways to say it anyway. They got a sac fly in the 9th inning of a 5-0 game...

Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Brewers (3:10 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs have been in a pretty frustrating rut for a couple weeks now, especially on offense. But they have a prime opportunity this week to make up some of the ground they've lost with four straight...

MLBits: Acuña’s Season-Ending Injury Stinks for Baseball, Guardians Win 9th Straight, More

Ronald Acuña Jr.'s season-ending injury isn't just a loss for the Atlanta Braves but for the entire baseball world. That and more in today's MLB Notes. Ronald Acuna Jr. Will Miss the Rest of the Season with a Torn ACL...

Cubs Farm Report | May 27, 2024: Priester Stymies the I-Cubs, Thompson’s Rehab Start, More

Offense was in short supply for the Iowa Cubs on Sunday, as Indianapolis' Quinn Priester stymied Iowa for seven shutout innings. That and more in today's Cubs Farm Report. Cubs Farm Report | May 27, 2024 Triple-A Iowa Cubs The...

At Least Ian Happ Did Some Things, Baselines, Bullpens, and Other Cubs Bullets

May your Memorial Day be a restful, respectful day, surrounded by friends and family. And may the Cubs brighten the day by winning a dang game. Let's start with something positive at a time when it's getting easier by the...

Latest News

Pete Crow-Armstrong is the International League Player of the Week, Also-By-the-Way-He-is-Eligible-to-Return-to-the-Big-Leagues-in-Two-Days-Just-Sayin’

The Chicago Cubs optioned Pete Crow-Armstrong to the minors on May 20, which means he can return to the big league roster as soon as May 30. That is two days from now. Just throwing that out there and cc'ing...

Guardians vs. Rockies Probable Starting Pitchers – May 28

The Cleveland Guardians (36-18) and the Colorado Rockies (19-34) face off in Denver on Tuesday. First pitch is at 8:40 PM ET at Coors Field.The probable starters are Triston McKenzie (2-3) for the Guardians and Ryan Feltner (1-4) for the...

Report: NFL Players Association Finalizing Proposal To Revamp Offseason Schedule

In an idea that makes all the sense in the world, it looks like the NFLPA is pushing to overhaul the NFL offseason and essentially eliminate OTAs. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that the Players Association is looking...

Diamondbacks vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Texas Rangers (25-29) will lean on Corey Seager, following a two-homer game, to lead them in a matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks (25-28) on Tuesday at 8:05 PM ET on ARID. The Rangers are +102 underdogs for the contest,...

Royals vs. Twins Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Maikel Garcia (14 games) will look to add to his hitting streak when the Kansas City Royals (34-21) and Minnesota Twins (29-24) meet Tuesday at 7:40 PM ET, live on BSKC from Target Field. Garcia and the Royals are favored...

Brewers vs. Cubs Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Chicago Cubs (27-27) will try to end their five-game losing streak when they visit the Milwaukee Brewers (31-22) on Tuesday at 7:40 PM ET on MARQ. Bookmakers consider the Brewers to be -159 favorites for the contest, while the...

Blue Jays vs. White Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Entering Tuesday's matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays (24-29), the Chicago White Sox (15-40) are on a six-game losing streak. The contest starts at 7:40 PM ET on SN1 with the Blue Jays listed as -214 favorites, while the are...

That Was Justin Steele’s Best Outing In a While

After his previous outing, for which the final numbers didn't look as good as the stuff, Justin Steele said he was actually starting to feel good about where he was, after missing the first chunk of the season with the...

Los Angeles Clippers Draft Picks: List of 2024 and Future Draft Selections

The Los Angeles Clippers were bounced in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs thanks to the Dallas Mavericks and now shift their attention to the offseason. Let's look at the Clippers 2024 NBA Draft picks, future selections, and...

Reds vs. Cardinals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Cincinnati Reds (24-30) will vie for their fifth straight victory when they host the St. Louis Cardinals (25-27) on Tuesday at 6:40 PM ET on BSOH. The Reds are listed as -128 favorites by bookmakers, while the Cardinals are...

more cubs news