Gotta Start Talking About Madrigal, Minor League Opt-Outs, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Gotta Start Talking About Madrigal, Minor League Opt-Outs, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Anyone else watch ‘Tokyo Vice’? It was a solid watch, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t a limited series, which means now I have to wait to see if it gets picked up for a season two in order to find out how all kinds of stuff resolves. Totally changed my perspective as I was watching it, because I thought it was just going to be one eight-episode wholly-contained story. It’s funny how now that’s the default expectation, rather than how it always used to be, where you just figured they’d always try to make a show last as long as possible.

•   Nick Madrigal is still having a really rough go of it so far, including doing things he’s never done before:

•   There is some bad luck baked into his ugly numbers (.203/.266/.254, but with an xwOBA 50 points higher than his wOBA), but there’s also the bizarre spike in his strikeout rate (14.1% after being 7.4% the seasons before), a decline in his ISO, and a frighteningly large groundball rate (64.0%). It’s 64 PAs, so the numbers can change very rapidly. But there’s no question the first month has been terrible in every respect.

•   I’m not necessarily saying it’s something that should be considered at this moment, but I do wonder at what point we can mention out loud that Madrigal, who doesn’t even have 100 big league games under his belt yet, still has minor league options remaining. I don’t know specifically what he would work on back at Triple-A (where he spent only 29 games, by the way), but it’s not as if the Cubs haven’t sent down guys before who needed some work even after early big league success. Guys like Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ felt a lot more “established” than Madrigal when they were temporarily sent down for some work. Heck, Albert Almora had been up for three years when the Cubs sent him down for work (not that you necessarily want to think about that … ).

•   MLBTR reminds folks that, in addition to Monday’s roster deadline, which will spur activity, there are also a number of veterans on minor league deals who have opt-outs today. Not necessarily a ton of guys who jump out, though you wonder about someone like Kevin Pillar, who is is a relatively steady outfield defender with a righty platoon-type bat – if the Cubs still wanted that kind of bat in the outfield but decided to move on from someone like Michal Hermosillo, you wonder if they would see Pillar as a guy they could try to turn into a flip piece in July. All it would cost is giving him a spot on your roster.

•   That said, tomorrow’s roster crunch is going to make things hard for teams to do that, since they’d have to clear out THREE spots to add a new guy, instead of just clearing out the two spots that’ll be required in the drop from 28 to 26. In any case, like Jed Hoyer, I expect a fair bit of activity over the next 36 hours. (Maybe a reclamation arm like Dinelson Lamet … )

•   Not sure why the Brewers’ challenge of that double-play in the first inning took so long to get underway. Guys left the field, the game went to commercial, etc. It was apparently about a minute from the time the play happened until the review started, which, uh, is much longer than it’s supposed to be.

•   Scott Effross just keeps being fantastic. I don’t have much else to add at the moment, but I just feel like I am not saying it often enough.

•   Household cleaners, razors, Old Spice, bath bombs – all kinds of stuff you would use in your house – are Deals of the Day at Amazon today, so check that out. #ad

•   Clayton Kershaw was going for a team record strikeout, and the fans in Los Angeles wanted it to be Javy Báez – well, screw them, and God bless Javy Báez:

•   And then he showed them more love thereafter:

•   Walk-off whoopsie:



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.