Thompson's Fire, Hoerner's Homer, International Draft Update, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Thompson’s Fire, Hoerner’s Homer, International Draft Update, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Little Boy has been in a run club this summer, and he ran his first race this morning. Regardless of how he did – he did well! – I couldn’t be more proud. Doing those big group activities has been challenging for him, so to see him smiling and participating among hundreds of people this morning … it just puts that same big smile on my own face.

Speaking of that, though: the family activities attendant to that race – and then The Little Girl needing transport for her activities, and then The Littlest Girl having her Miracle League baseball game – have my schedule totally mucked up, so I have to REALLY hustle through these Bullets. Apologies for the brevity, but I’m sure you understand. Some Saturdays are Family Saturdays.

  • Keegan Thompson was so very excellent last night:
  • Nico Hoerner hit his fifth homer of the year last night (be reminded that he had zero in 2020-21 combined):
  • Meanwhile, Adbert Alzolay is in the beginning stages of a ramp-up (lat strain) per Hottovy, so, like we estimated all along, there’s still no reason to expect to see him until well into August at the earliest. (The Sun-Times piece also has an update on Wade Miley’s rehab, though I’ll need to dig into that one more separately. His timeline is now very unclear.)
  • You may remember that the International Draft discussion is supposed to be taking place this month, and if a deal is put in place, then the Qualifying Offer system goes away this offseason (notable for teams that want to be aggressive in free agency, perhaps … ). But so far, the talks are not going well:
  • What else is new, right? You remember what February and March were like, and although the stakes here are smaller, it’s still a critically important issue on which the players and owners fundamentally disagree. That said, at least there are numbers on the table, and maybe there’s a gap to be bridged in the coming weeks? As long as international prospects have the opportunity to earn at least as much as their stateside counterparts via the draft, then I tend to think it could be a good thing for everyone involved (at least when compared to the current system of hard-capped smaller pools, and wink-wink signings that take place when players are just 14).
  • Nelson Velazquez is getting regular starts right now, rather than being match-up protected, and he’s struggling a bit. But remember, that’s the point, too: it’s not a bad thing for him to see how he gets attacked, because we knew he was going to need some adjusting time. It comes at every level for him, it seems, and he still hasn’t played much at Triple-A. These struggles will theoretically allow him to be in a much better spot at Iowa if/when he eventually heads back, and then that in turn will set him up to have the best possible offseason in advance of 2023, when he could be competing for a prominent bench/part-time gig.
  • Love for Scott Effross:
  • Javy Báez on the reaction to the Anthony Rizzo trade, which came first last year:
  • Kris Bryant might finally be heating up. After hitting his first homer of the year earlier in the week, he went deep twice last night for the Rockies. Good for him.
  • The Cubs are still probably too good to be among the TRULY terrible come the end of the year:

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.