Huge Night for Many Cubs, Injury Updates, Amaya Returns, Market-Moving Yankees Injury, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Huge Night for Many Cubs, Injury Updates, Amaya Returns, Market-Moving Yankees Injury, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today is not The Wife’s official 40th birthday, but we’re doing the festivities for it today. That means I’ll be in and out a bit, and I apologize if I’m late on anything.

  • The Cubs opened up the second half with a big ole blowout of the Phillies, thanks to good pitching, bad Phillies defense, and four home runs:
  • Sure, two of those homers came off catcher Garrett Stubbs, but shut up about it. He was throwing over 80 mph, so clearly, he’s a “real pitcher.”
  • Among the big nights, Willson Contreras buoyed his season slash line, which had been fading, from .253/.366/.455/133 wRC+ to .258/.372/.471/139 wRC+ on the night, and he was pulled in the blowout before the position player came in to pitch. Very nice to see after his struggles in July, as all the trade rumors swirl.
  • Speaking of which, here’s David Ross on dealing with that (Cubs.com): “I think it stands out to me that the veteran guys continue to control what they can control. That’s how you get to the point that [Contreras is] at, being such a good player. He’s not trying to control the pitching staff, he’s not trying to control where he hits in the order, he’s not trying to control anything from a team-building standpoint, like where he might go or not go or what the future might hold for him. I think he’s very much caught up in the moment and trying to be the best player he can [be] for his team — and that’s a powerful message he’s sending.”
  • Seiya Suzuki has been fantastic since coming back from the finger injury: .400/.444/.600/193 wRC+.
  • I found this funny:
  • Cubs relief prospect Erich Uelmen made his big league debut last night, and though he gave up a homer (hey, pound that zone in a blowout, am I right?) and a walk (ball four was solidly in the strike zone, for what it’s worth), he did get to strike out Nick Castellanos to end the game:
  • If and when the Cubs trade multiple relievers in the coming ten days, there should be plenty of opportunity for Uelmen to get in a lot more big league innings. Speaking of those trades …
  • Terrible news for dominant New York Yankees reliever Michael King, who seems to have fractured his elbow pitching last night:
  • The obvious implications for the market are that one of the best teams in baseball just developed a need for another impact reliever, or at least some additional meaningful relief arm(s), and right before the Trade Deadline. The Cubs are going to be shopping all of David Robertson, Mychal Givens, and Chris Martin, and it doesn’t take long to connect the possible dots here.
  • Miley up to 32 pitches in a bullpen session is notable – it’s the first update we’ve gotten from him back on the mound – but it still seems impossible that he could return to the big league mound before August 2. Best case, I suppose, is a minor league rehab assignment before that date, and, like we discussed yesterday, the Cubs netting a modest return in a trade or a PTBNL from a team that is will to chance the rest of his rehab.
  • The resumption of the minor league seasons means there was prospecting fun to be had last night, including Miguel Amaya finally making it back to Double-A Tennessee after his Tommy John rehab:
  • It’s pretty unlikely that Amaya can get behind the plate and throw in games before this offseason, but all these at bats are huge. Just get as many as he can, and maybe some more in Winter Ball. That would put him in position to be an up-down third catcher if necessary next year, and maybe he even emerges as part of a regular rotation. You can’t COUNT on it, but it’s worth remembering: Amaya always had big league starter upside.
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong was catching fire before the break, and he has not been interrupted:

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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.