Another End-of-an-Era Moment, Wisdom, Wick, Hermosillo, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Another End-of-an-Era Moment, Wisdom, Wick, Hermosillo, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Definitely looking forward to checking out “What If…?”, which just dropped on Disney+. The Little Boy really liked “WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” but wasn’t really into “Loki” (too esoteric for him, I think). I think he’s gonna like “What If…?” though. And I like watching them with him. (You can sign up for Disney+ here and support BN in the process!)

•   The Cubs have lost six in a row, which is their second longest losing streak of the year behind the 11-gamer that ended the season. They are a season-high 11 games under .500, and it was actually clicking over to 10 below after game one that ended a long streak:

•   So, to the extent you mark the competitive era by the period of time the Cubs were never REALLY bad, then it just ended for sure. The Cubs are now 16.5 games behind the Brewers, who throw Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes out there the next couple days.

•   Rowan Wick returned, after more than a year away, with a 1-2-3 7th inning last night (three crappily-hit balls in play), and normal velocity. He doesn’t really need to prove anything the rest of the way other than health and that his pitches are still there. The Cubs will have a crapload of bullpen options in-house heading into 2022, and I also trust them to pick up one or two or five reclamations that turn out well. But you’d still like to head into the offseason feeling like Wick, at a minimum, is a locked in member of your final-few-innings group.

•   Patrick Wisdom was the star of the night at the plate for the Cubs, with a homer and a double, AND no strikeouts. As Michael wrote recently, Wisdom has kept his production up and has slowly been decreasing the strikeouts. Even if you take the worst “since date X” stretches you can find, Wisdom is still an average or better hitter. The strikeout rate remains in the very high 30s for any of those stretches, and I remain doubtful he can be anything more than an average hitter with a strikeout rate that high, but he keeps doing it. I also like that the Cubs keep playing him at a variety of positions (third, first, left field) so that there’s no difficult decision in the future about keeping him on the roster or where to play him.

•   Wisdom also had a particularly great plate appearance in game one, with the bases loaded, fighting off some pitches and taking some close ones from Freddy Peralta. He took the walk, and then STARED DAGGERS at Peralta, presumably because he’d just hit Willson Contreras up and in for the millionth time from a Brewers pitcher:

•   Michael Hermosillo returned last night at Triple-A Iowa from his hamstring injury, and it was like he didn’t miss a day:

•   He also walked and got hit by a pitch. Hermosillo, 26, is hitting .324/.450/.610 this year at Iowa (182 wRC+ (the 4th best wRC+ by any player at any level of the minor leagues)). He should be headed to Chicago TODAY, in my view, because there’s little point in having him continue to obliterate Triple-A. If he’s healthy and ready to go, then bring him up, and see what you’ve got over the next month and a half. As an impending minor league free agent, you’re going to have to put Hermosillo on the 40-man roster anyway if you don’t want to risk losing him, so bring him up and see what he can do. He’s the same age as Greg Deichmann, and he’s long had the prospect pedigree to be A GUY. He just hasn’t yet made it happen at the big league level, where he started getting cracks with the Angels back in 2018 (but never got a real look). We always talk about wanting the Cubs to find these kinds of positional guys to help flip a switch, and for all the success we’ve seen this year with Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega, Hermosillo is right there as a guy who COULD be a future contributor. Let’s find out.

•   This baseball: “I have to go now. My planet needs me.”

•   That’s a third straight game with a homer for outfield prospect Alexander Canario, and his eighth straight game with a hit with his new organization. Bryan wrote about him yesterday, and he’s certainly been raking since the Kris Bryant trade. And actually, he had started to really rake for about a month before the trade, albeit at Low-A. Cubs gave him the bump to High-A after the trade, and he only accelerated his destruction of baseballs.

•   Meanwhile, Bryant is doing walk-offs for the Giants (albeit of the least compelling variety):

•   New Cub Nick Madrigal is down in Arizona at the Cubs’ facilities with his new boss:

•   Last night in Chicago:

•   So, this quote is making me surprisingly emotional:

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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.