Contreras Ankle, Madrigal Performance, Suzuki Hot, Draft Sticking, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Contreras Ankle, Madrigal Performance, Suzuki Hot, Draft Sticking, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Last night is how this Reds series needs to go, in one extreme or the other: either the Cubs need to STOMP the Reds, with future pieces looking outstanding, or they needed to lose them all. I’d rather root for the first one, so last night was a good time.

  • Willson Contreras finally hit the Injured List with the ankle he originally sprained nearly a month ago at the Field of Dreams Game, and David Ross explained why it played out like this (The Athletic): “It’s like one step forward, two steps back. It feels better each and every day with rest. He tests it out, and it’s sore again the next day. It just made a lot of sense with it not bouncing back to put him on the IL and let him get all the way healthy, if possible, and get some images of it.”
  • Hopefully nothing bad shows up in any scans, not just because you don’t want to see that for Contreras, but also because it can only help the Cubs if Contreras is still looking like a lock to receive a Qualifying Offer after the season. You don’t want to see anything else disrupt that process, especially after the whole Trade Deadline fiasco raised questions about what Contreras’s market will look like in any case. Can you imagine if something were to happen such that, after all this, Contreras doesn’t even GET a Qualifying Offer from the Cubs? Woof.
  • Hoyer shared his thoughts after the hit. “That was sort of vintage Madrigal right there,” Hoyer said. “Good at-bat, line drive to right field. It’s been nice to see. He had the injury and then the short spring, and talk about a guy who is hyper-competitive, you don’t get the big leagues with his physical stature without being the ultimate competitor …. I was with Dustin Pedroia in Boston and you have to have that kind of makeup and he wanted to play so badly, he wanted to be on the field. I think we’re finally seeing him playing healthy over this last month of so and he looks like he always does.”
  • Careful now! Pedroia was a star for a long time, and Madrigal is probably never going to be at that level. But, to be sure, Hoyer wasn’t comparing the players – only the desire and makeup and effort that can accompany being a smaller dude trying to make it all the way up the ladder. (Basically, Hoyer is saying people who are my size have The Will to Win, and are awesome people, and he’s right. We do and are. Thanks, Jed.)
  • As for Madrigal, the slow ascent in his numbers continues, and here’s where things stand over his last month+ since returning from the IL: .301/.375/.344/109 wRC+, .329 BABIP, 8.6% BB, 7.6% K. That’s not a superstar, but that’s absolutely the good and sustainable version of Madrigal that the Cubs hoped they were getting. That level of contact and that level of OBP will play in any lineup, adding some much-needed diversity. Now the Cubs just need to add back in some more power …
  • Also, I know the reports and eyeball tests on Madrigal’s defense are mixed, but it’s wild to see that he only just made his first error of the season last night.
  • It was a decent idea on paper initially, but in practice, having the Draft during the All-Star week has suckeddddd. Nobody engaged in the operation of baseball likes it. But apparently the decision makers in MLB’s home office still do:
  • Somebody is really heating up, and the lack of strikeouts is really exciting to me:
  • Also, I now see that I missed the opening period in the slash line in that tweet, and it’s going to burn me up all day.
  • How about this lovely celebration on Suzuki’s homer last night:
  • Wade Miley, funny dude:
  • Miley is such an awesome dude that, even as he’d only JUST returned to the big league team, and even as he barely knows Wesneski, he made sure there was one of those special bottles of Ace of Spades champagne waiting for the rookie at his locker after the game to celebrate the debut (Tribune).
  • Christopher Morel is also such an awesome dude:
  • The infamous and competitive fantasy football league that generated The Slap? The Boston Globe got the scoop on this year’s participants, which I presume is mostly guys who were in it last year: Eric Hosmer, Shane Bieber, Alex Bregman, Mike Napoli, Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Joc Pederson, Mike Trout, and Christian Yelich.” Eight players and Cubs first base coach Mike Napoli. Heh. Also, must be at least one name missing, and there’s no way it’s Tommy Pham back in the league, right?
  • Craig Kimbrel has had a really rough year in Los Angeles, but he’s been on a hot streak lately … ever since he started entering to ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, which he proudly endorses:
  • For those of you who are going to be into sports betting the NFL season, that link has our partners’ roundup of the best app options for the open of the season. Thanks to our partners and to you for accepting the extra promotional content this time of 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.