Suzuki’s Scratch, the Double-Play Combo, Supportive Org, Clock Talk, and Other Cubs Bullets

Proud papa today. The Little Girl was in a musical, the performances of which were Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They were awesome. She was awesome. It made me so happy.

  • The new rules stuff (and an attendance record) all seemed fine enough to me in the first Cubs spring game. The big news yesterday was actually something that happened before the game: Seiya Suzuki was scratched with left oblique tightness. I did not see an update after the game – only that there were evaluations to take place – so I’m kinda on edge about that until we hear more.
  • An actual oblique strain would not only cost Suzuki significant time (the range is enormous on obliques), but it would blow up his whole spring – a spring that was carefully structured to allow him to play in the WBC and also ramp up to his sophomore season in the big leagues. You don’t need me to tell you how important Suzuki’s bat is to the Cubs this year, so anything that threatens to take him off course sends me spiraling a bit, irrationally or not. So, please let the end result of this be that he felt the tiniest of things, and it’s literally February, so he sat. If I hear the letters M, R, and I, then I will be all the more concerned.
  • Update as I publish, this is GREAT:
  • You don’t get imagine done unless it feels like something is lingering when you wake up the next day. I am definitely bracing myself for a strain. This sucks man.
  • Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner immediately got together on a smooth double-play yesterday, though Swanson says there’s still more work to be done. “After [the first couple weeks], you really start building that strong chemistry to where things really, really flow. Kind of to the naked eye it looks great, but I think we both believe that there’s still some things that we can kind of hone in on and hopefully improve upon.” It did indeed look great to the naked eye, but if they want to get better and better, that’d be fine with me, too.
  • A terrible situation, but you do appreciate seeing the team support, via the Chicago Tribune:
  • Team personnel wore gray T-shirts emblazoned with “Mighty Maeve Fight Club” in honor of Cubs pro scout Alex McClure’s 1-year-old daughter, Maeve. She died about one month ago after a battle with holoprosencephaly, a fatal brain disorder. McClure, his wife and their two daughters spent time around the team Saturday. When McClure worked as a regional scout for the organization, he was responsible for the Cubs drafting and signing pitchers Ethan Roberts and Keegan Thompson.

    “We’re all family here, this whole organization, and when a family member loses someone close to them, the emails have been out for weeks trying to support Alex and his family and the things they’ve been going through,” Ross said. “To show them a little bit of love and support, trying to help any way we can and show them how much they’re a part of the family.”

  • I don’t know if it’s just a “for now” thing, but Meghan Montemurro reports that MLB officials said they are not permitted to confirm the number of pitch clock violations from a given game (I noticed that it wasn’t in the box score). I saw two violations for sure while I was watching, but there may have been more.
  • Buttoning up one question I had about yesterday’s already-infamous game-ending pitch clock violation call:
  • I think we’re probably going to see some catchers try to trick batters with this. The catcher seems unready and waiting, but is in the box by nine seconds, so the batter thinks he has more time, and then boom, violation. Here’s hoping batters just get used to it and the “trick” never works, or MLB changes the rule regarding catchers slightly. For as much as I *am* pro-pitch clock, I don’t think I’m pro-gamesmanship USING the pitch clock, whatever that might look like. You know teams will try to find ways to game things a bit.
  • And on pitch clock visuals, this is what I suspected:
  • Marcus Stroman is almost TOO good at this, because I had to watch everyone else to make sure they were actually moving at normal speed:
  • Stroman’s line about the “sanker gonna be sankin'” this season with the middle infield studs behind him was a quip, but it’s also true – the sinker has always been a huge pitch for Stroman, even in an era where pitchers have moved away from it. Great read on Stroman’s sinker here at the Sun-Times.
  • This was fun to watch:
  • Also fun:
  • This is gold:
  • Well that seals it, I’m signing with the Cubs now:
  • https://twitter.com/Tucker_Barnhart/status/1629483771627180033

    written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

    more cubs news

    Enhanced Box Score: Pirates 9, Cubs 3 – May 17, 2024

    For six hitless, profoundly dominant innings, Paul Skenes today looked like the best pitching prospect I've seen since maybe Stephen Strasburg. The other two who came to mind as I watched were Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez. Those three, when...

    MLBits: Elly De La Cruz Continues to Electrify, Yanks Want Soto for Long Haul, More

    Elly De La Cruz continues to dazzle and the Yankees want Juan Soto in New York for the rest of his career. That and more in today's MLB Notes! Elly De La Cruz's Four Steal Night Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly...

    Cubs Farm Report | May 17, 2024: I-Cubs’ Homer Party Helps Cade Horton Get His First Triple-A Win

    The Iowa Cubs mashed four home runs and scored 10 runs, as Cade Horton made his best start at Triple-A on Thursday. That and more in today's Cubs Farm Report. Cubs Farm Report | May 17, 2024 Triple-A Iowa Cubs...

    Cubs Roster Moves: Brewer to the IL, Hodge to Chicago

    YES! ANOTHER CUBS PLAYER IS HITTING THE INJURED LIST! ANOTHER CUBS RELIEVER AT THAT! PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE MY SHOUTING FOR EXCITEMENT! IT IS ACTUALLY JUST INCREDULITY AND CAFFEINE! Today the Chicago Cubs placed reliever Colten Brewer on the 15-day...

    Chicago Cubs Lineup: Seiya Sits, But PCA is Back

    CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs dropped the opener last night at Wrigley Field, but they've got a Friday 1:20 start with Kyle Hendricks on the bump (and the sun shining) today. Maybe those good vibes will be enough to take...

    Hoping on Happ and Hoerner, Steele and Jones, Murray, Roku, Vegas, and Other Cubs Bullets

    Here's hoping no Pirates players take a wrong turn in Wrigleyville and get detained trying to get into Wrigley Field. Maybe have to miss the game. (This is a Scottie Scheffler reference, for those who haven't seen the bonkers story...

    Cade Horton’s Latest Triple-A Iowa Start Came with Some Awesomeness and Some Bad Luck

    Cade Horton's latest Triple-A outing went better than the last one, though even it will come with some explanation. Officially, the line for Horton was 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K. Fine. Solid. Not overly impressive....

    Enhanced Box Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 4 – May 16, 2024

    The Cubs had a golden opportunity handed to them in the bottom of the eighth inning when leadoff man Seiya Suzuki was hit by a pitch and reached third on a swinging bunt (+ error) for Cody Bellinger immediately after....

    The Mini-Break Pays Off: Ian Happ with a ROCKET Home Run!

    After a red-hot first ten games of the season (172 wRC+), Ian Happ had gone ice cold offensively. Aside from continuing to take his walks (he always does), his overall production plummeted to the point where Craig Counsell game him...

    Kevin Alcantara Doubles, Matt Shaw Singles, and Moises Ballesteros HOMERS THEM ALL IN!

    Brennen Davis isn't the only hot Cubs prospect. In fact, Moises Ballesteros is basically THE hot Cubs prospect of the season so far. And tonight, after two of the Cubs top prospects — Kevin Alcantara (on a double) and Matt...

    Latest News

    Aces vs Sparks Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – May 18

    The Las Vegas Aces (1-0) host the Los Angeles Sparks (0-1) after A'ja Wilson racked up 30 points in the Aces' 89-80 victory over the Mercury. The matchup airs on ABC at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 18, 2024.Aces...

    Diamondbacks vs. Tigers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    On Saturday, Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-23) face Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (21-22), with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET at Chase Field.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch Arizona...

    Astros vs. Brewers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    On Saturday at 7:10 PM ET, Kyle Tucker and the Houston Astros (19-25) play William Contreras and the Milwaukee Brewers (26-17) at Minute Maid Park.Keep scrolling to find out all the details on how to watch Houston square off against...

    How to Watch Rangers vs. Angels: Live Stream or on TV

    On Saturday, Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers (23-22) open a series against Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels (16-28) at Globe Life Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 PM ET.See how to watch the Texas-Los Angeles matchup...

    Red Sox vs. Cardinals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Kutter Crawford will take the mound for the Boston Red Sox (22-22) when they visit starting pitcher Miles Mikolas and the St. Louis Cardinals (18-25) in a series opener on Saturday, with first pitch at 7:15 PM ET.Keep reading to...

    New York Liberty vs. Indiana Fever: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    A game after scoring 31 points in a 102-66 win over the Fever, Breanna Stewart leads the New York Liberty (2-0) at home against the Indiana Fever (0-2) on Saturday, May 18, 2024. The matchup starts at 1:00 PM ET...

    How to Watch Blue Jays vs. Rays: Live Stream or on TV

    Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (19-23) host Isaac Paredes and the Tampa Bay Rays (23-22) on Saturday in a series opener, with first pitch at 3:07 PM ET.Find out how to watch the Toronto-Tampa Bay matchup below.When...

    Mets vs. Marlins: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Luis Severino takes the mound for the New York Mets (20-23) when they visit starter Braxton Garrett and the Miami Marlins (13-32) at 4:10 PM ET on Saturday.Find out how to watch the New York-Miami matchup below.When is Mets vs....

    Yankees vs. White Sox: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Luis Gil will take the ball for the New York Yankees (30-15) when they host starting pitcher Brad Keller and the Chicago White Sox (14-30) in a series opener on Saturday, with first pitch at 1:05 PM ET.The article below...

    Royals vs. Athletics: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    On Saturday, Bobby Witt Jr. and the Kansas City Royals (26-19) begin a series against Brent Rooker and the Oakland Athletics (19-27) at Kauffman Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.Find out how to watch the Kansas City-Oakland...

    more cubs news