Contreras and Morel, Madrigal's Mechanics and Role, deGrom Please, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Contreras and Morel, Madrigal’s Mechanics and Role, deGrom Please, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Probably the last update from the Blogathon residuals: because the ole eating habits get way out of whack over the course of that week, it can take me a while to get back on track. I just want to keep eating whatever I want and justifying it by saying, hey, I’m doing a hard thing right now, I deserve this fourth donut!

  • Want to know how much Willson Contreras means to Christopher Morel (aka a young talent emerging on the Cubs for hopefully years to come)? Look at how he talked about the Cubs not trading Contreras at the deadline (NBCSC): “As soon as I found out that he was staying, the first thing that we did was hug it out. I just said, ‘Thank you for staying. Thank you for being here, not leaving us, not leaving me alone.’ I’m just happy that he’s here …. He’s been there, even telling me or giving me advice on how to behave on social media, how to behave around the clubhouse, on the field. He’s just been everything. He’s been really helpful. Like I said, he’s like my brother without the blood. That’s all that’s missing.”
  • That’s a reminder right there that not trading a guy for a crap return does have, among other things, some clubhouse value.
  • Nick Madrigal, who had one of the Cubs’ two hits yesterday, says he got into bad habits early in the season and that threw him off ( “I was playing with a couple different things and just trying to find a groove. With the body stuff, I was kind of getting into some bad habits and didn’t realize it until I watched some video. Before you know it, we’re already three weeks into the season. But that’s baseball. You’ve kind of got to battle with it. But at this point, I feel a lot better …. I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot. I feel like I’m seeing the pitches a lot better than I did early in the year. Even my routines daily, I feel like I’ve gotten back to what I’ve done my whole life, instead of trying to change things. I definitely think I’m on track.”
  • Here’s hoping. The reality is that, no matter what Madrigal does over the final two months, there is no version where we head into October thinking, “OK, cool, the Cubs definitely have second base locked down for 2023.” At best, we might think the Cubs are fortunate to have Madrigal as an option, but this year raised enough questions that I don’t think the Cubs could justify not doing Thing X or Thing Y in the offseason just because of Madrigal’s existence. What’s problematic in that regard is that he is so un-versatile on defense that you’re limited to playing him at second base or DH, and if the Cubs have the opportunity to add a significant bat in the infield, you might move Nico Hoerner to second base. At that point, Madrigal becomes an extremely part-time guy and injury replacement (a great depth player, you’d hope). But, again, the Cubs can’t AVOID doing that just because of Madrigal’s presence, both because you cannot absolutely count on production, and also because you can’t count on health. Good teams have more good players than they could deploy if everyone were healthy.
  • Field of Dreams gear is out, and the Cubs are going to look GOOD:
  • It was a bad day to be a player in the Scott Effross trade:
  • As for Wesneski getting blown up in his org debut, I won’t worry too much about it for today. His first start in a new organization after a trade, and after a 10-day layoff, with some bad luck baked in? Let’s just see how he bounces back next time out. Not that you WANT to see a guy struggle because his circumstances changed (someday he’ll be promoted and you won’t want him to get blown up that time), but sometimes that is the explanation. They are humans, after all, and learning how to pitch through those external changes is part of the development process.
  • You will all become SO ANNOYED by my begging for Jacob deGrom this offseason:
  • Yes, I know what the risks are. Yes, I know the extreme cost. Yes, I know how unlikely it is that he would even choose the Cubs. But if you want a shot at a true ace, you have to accept those things and go for it anyway. Sometimes you just gotta take the risk, and if you’re gonna take the risk, take it on the literal best pitcher in baseball.
  • Also, it’s unfair that the Mets have both of these guys and can throw them at you in a single game:
  • Dan Vogelbach scored from first on a (mishandled) double, and people had fun with his unique style:
  • The Padres got smoked by the Dodgers this weekend, even after all the trades, but at least this was kinda fun:
  • Desperate times call for desperate measure and such:

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.