Did you know that yesterday was the 10th(!) anniversary of the Mike Trout catch? That famous one up against the wall in Baltimore. I cannot believe that was ten years ago. I instantly felt aged when I saw that anniversary pop up.
- Seiya Suzuki was at Wrigley Field yesterday after having taken live batting practice in Arizona this weekend (Lance Brozdowski). You can safely assume he was meeting with the coaches and training staff, discussing how the finger feels, and maybe taking some additional live BP this week. After all that, if he’s feeling good, there’s a CHANCE we will finally hear about him heading out on a rehab assignment sometime later this week. I really hate that he’s missed this period of time to gobble up those MLB at bats and work on the necessary adjustments, but if he can be back in time for the majority of July-October, then maybe not too much will have been lost, in terms of him being in a good and settled “big league” place for 2023. That’s when his productivity will matter most at this point.
- Bryce Harper’s broken thumb is reportedly going to require surgery, and if there was any doubt at all about whether he’d be able to play in the All-Star Game, there’s no more question about it. Why mention that? Because Gordon Wittenmyer writes about how the Harper injury could make it easier for William Contreras to make the NL team, joining his brother Willson, who leads the catcher voting. No one would want a star player injured just so you could get a brother-brother All-Star storyline, but if William does make the game, it’ll be a pretty incredible moment.
- Crazy stats here from Brad on a Patrick Wisdom-Kris Bryant comparison:
- If you don’t want to click through to see the full wide images, the gist is that the two have been virtually identical hitters (in overall production/value) since the start of 2021, but with Wisdom smoking Bryant since the date he was first called up. And thanks to the starkly different defensive values (per the metrics, at least), Wisdom has been worth 3.2 WAR during that period of time, while Bryant has been worth just 0.7 WAR. Very weird to think that it is statistically accurate to say the Cubs have been better off with Wisdom (without even considering contracts or trade returns). Both are in their age 30 seasons, by the way.
- Bryant finally returned to the Rockies last night after missing 44 games over the course of two back-related Injured List stints. He had a single in four at bats, and here’s how he discussed his healthiness after the game (MLB.com):
Finally done with interviews in stocking feet, Bryant sat, bent over, put on his shoes and tied them without recoiling or leaning awkwardly to avoid pain. It wasn’t that way in late May when Bryant’s comeback lasted two games.
“Just simple bending over and putting my shoes on or any of that, I don’t wince at that anymore,” said Bryant, who went 1-for-4 with a single in the Rockies’ 4-0 win over L.A. at Coors Field. “When I can do that, and really feel I can go out there and play, that’s a good feeling. That’s the key test point for me throughout this whole thing — how I feel when I put my shoes on.
“Well, you guys didn’t let me put my shoes on, so I don’t know.”
With that little mood-lightening chuckle, Bryant could turn his attention to being the important lineup cog the Rockies envisioned when they signed him for seven years and $182 million during Spring Training.
- Bryant is in the first year of the surprisingly-large seven-year, $182 million deal he signed this offseason, and hopefully for him and the Rockies those back issues don’t become long-lasting or chronic. He’s managed just 18 games so far with the Rockies, hitting .269/.338/.328. As with all the former Cubs who were so important to one of the best stretches of baseball in my fanning life, I wish Bryant nothing but the most success with the Rockies. Hopefully, now over the back issue, he can break out.
- Gaming gear, body scales, chargers, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. I literally just ordered three more cheap chargers because – as I’ve GRIPED BEFORE IN FULL DAD MODE – they just disappear in our house. Full on disappear. It is absurd. It’s like the losing-one-sock thing, except I don’t think anyone’s charger is getting stuck in the dryer.
- I missed this part of the Angels-Mariners brawl and it is very likely to make you chuckle:
- The Cubs are doing a Cookie Monster bobblehead day:
- The MLB All-Star Game caps are out, and they’re fine, if relatively nondescript:
- Sox cap made me think to check in on them. I’m not sure if it’s a better example of “nothing is guaranteed” or “a terrible manager really can eff things up” or “injuries can be brutal,” but whatever is driving it, the White Sox being four games under .500 – they have one fewer win than the Orioles! – sure is something. I feel for their fans, but I think there were a number of ways that the roster was kind of a mess even before they did very little this offseason. I don’t think Tony La Russa is helping. Not sure if there are any lessons to be taken from a Cubs fan perspective, but I suppose it’s a reminder that even when you go into hardcore rebuild mode, and then spend as your young talent is rising, it’s not a lock that you’ll routinely make the playoffs, much less win a title.
- Since I was looking at the standings anyway, I’ll note that the Cubs remain the fifth worst record in baseball, though the Tigers and Pirates are basically right there with the Cubs. Not to get too obsessive about reverse standings this early, but the main cut-offs to think about are: either being in the three worst records (equal top pick odds), or being in the eight worst records (virtual guarantee to at least pick in the top ten). So basically, later this year, we’ll probably talking more about where the Cubs are in relation to those two cut-off points.