Team USA Moves On, the Unfortunate Diaz Injury, Taking from the Dodgers, and Other Cubs Bullets

I’m a Field Trip Dad today, helping out at school. It’s just nice that kids are finally doing field trips again.

  • Team USA is moving on to the knockout stage of the World Baseball Classic, beating Colombia 3-2 last night and moving on to face Venezuela on Saturday in the quarterfinals. If they win that one, they’ll face Cuba in the semifinals the next day.
  • Elsewhere, Team Puerto Rico won a huge loser-goes-home game against the Dominican Republic, a game that means so much to so many players and fans in Latin America (and around the world).
  • It is extremely, extremely unfortunate that Mets closer Edwin Diaz suffered an injury last night while celebrating Puerto Rico’s win. It’s unfortunate for Diaz and the Mets, obviously, but it’s also unfortunate for Team Puerto Rico, which must be feeling some seriously mixed emotions – that was a huge win for them. They care A LOT about this event, and now there’s some sourness to one of their biggest wins. And it’s also unfortunate for everyone who has really been enjoying the WBC, because the last thing we need is another reason for MLB teams to pull the plug on their players participating.
  • As for the celebrating part, you just hate to see that so much. I always worry about it when a guy does something great and gets swarmed by a group of large, bouncing teammates – it just seems like such an obvious recipe for possible disaster involving a knee or ankle. I’m not saying don’t celebrate. It’s a natural human thing to do, and it’s part of the excitement. I just want to see guys be smarter about it, because I dread a moment like that happening to the Cubs.
  • The Cubs have an example on the roster right now – Cody Bellinger’s shoulder injury from 2020, which was partly to blame for how he got derailed in 2021, stems from a celebratory shoulder/arm thing he did with Enrique Hernández after a big homer in Game 7 of the NLCS.
  • One last WBC thought, based in part on this eye-popping Shohei Ohtani clip:
  • I love that some guys care so much about the WBC, and are passionate about winning for their country. It’s their life, their career, their choice. So I’m not telling anyone to do anything other than what they’re doing. But I can help but notice some of these massive velocities in mid-March (Javier Assad touching 97 mph, for example) and I just hope it doesn’t cause undue or early wear-and-tear for pitchers later this year, even if they don’t actually suffer “an injury.” You can’t tell these guys not to give it their all, though. I guess I just hope everyone can have it both ways (outside of Edwin Diaz, unfortunately).
  • One of the top pitching prospects in baseball will miss the season:
  • So that’s Cavalli, Daniel Espino, and Andrew Painter all going down with major arm injuries so far this spring. Tough spring for top pitching prospects.
  • The Cubs have imported so many players, and a couple coaches, from the Dodgers organization, but it’s hard to argue with what the Dodgers have accomplished. Jed Hoyer to the Sun-Times: “I think the Dodgers do so many things well, from the top down. From [president of baseball operations] Andrew Friedman to [general manager] Brandon Gomes down to [manager] Dave Roberts and that coaching staff, they do a lot of things well. Look at their minor-league staff. [Cubs hitting coach Dustin Kelly] and [assistant hitting coach] Johnny [Washington] came through there, and they develop coaches well. They’ve had the most incredible depth the last few years. As a result, some of the players they’ve let go are really talented guys who they just didn’t have spots for. … It’s a testament to what they’ve created over there.”
  • In other words, if you’re going to take from the edges of another organization, might as well be the Dodgers?
  • This is a knowingly silly exposé, and it is a lot of fun to read:
  • Bryan has started ranking and writing up Cubs prospects if you’ve missed it:
  • 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.

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