Cubs Not Worried About Swanson, Suzuki Health and Medal, The Big Ohtani Moment, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Cubs Not Worried About Swanson, Suzuki Health and Medal, The Big Ohtani Moment, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Little Girl (who has long since ceased being particularly little) made the family eggs this morning, which was pretty awesome. The only issue? When she brought them to me, they were in a bowl (strike one) with a spoon (strike two). Eggs must be on a plate, and eaten with a fork. I did my fatherly duty and ate what I was given (she did a great job!), but I knew in my heart it just wasn’t right.

  • Gonna start with non-WBC and circle back to WBC stuff. Firstly, a bit on why the Cubs aren’t worried about Dansby Swanson’s terrible spring numbers, including all his strikeouts. As I suspected, it’s not about health or mechanics or stress or pitch recognition or whatever – it’s just getting his timing right. “Right now, a lot of it has been the swing mechanics are really good, he’s in a good spot with how his moves are, and now it just becomes timing,” Cubs hitting coach Dustin Kelly told the Sun-Times. “And that’s where a lot of our guys are at right now. And it’s common in spring training for them to really focus on the mechanics, focus on the move that they make, and then as they get 10, 15, 20 at-bats, then it’s like, ‘OK, now my timing’s starting to come back.’”
  • Historically, Swanson has had his worst month of the season in April, so maybe he’s just a guy who takes a little longer to get his timing down. That’s not a GOOD thing, of course, but it does mean we might be able to hold off from any panic when it’s April 20th and Swanson is hitting .150/.200/.200 with a 38% strikeout rate in a tiny sample.
  • Although he wasn’t able to play in the WBC this year because of his oblique injury, Seiya Suzuki was there in spirit and uniform with his countrymen:
  • For those wondering, Suzuki wore number 51 in Japan (he wears 27 with the Cubs). You can consider that a tribute to Ichiro, who also wore 51, but notably Ichiro had “Ichiro” on his jerseys, not “Suzuki.”
  • Speaking of Seiya, a little health update before more WBC content:
  • That means Suzuki’s first round of swinging against front-toss must’ve gone all right. So more boxes are being checked in the comeback. If he’s facing live BP by early next week, I’m gonna be feeling REALLY good, because it’ll mean a return sometime in April is very possible.
  • For the WBC to end on a Shohei Ohtani-Mike Trout at bat, in a one-run game, is the kind of thing that would’ve absolutely felt overdone in a movie. The odds against it playing out like that were truly enormous. Yet it’s what we got.
  • Although I wanted Trout to do something – hey, sue me, I was rooting for Team USA – I am very glad it didn’t end on a routine groundout or a fly ball or whatever. For Ohtani to get Trout swinging through three pitches was something else entirely. It never happens:
  • Trout, of course, tipped his cap to his teammate, and Ohtani called it the best moment of his life.
  • Ohtani is the definition of “built different”:
  • Don’t forget that this is a guy who could’ve waited another year to come to MLB as a true free agent and sign for $200+ million. But he wanted to get going, did the International Free Agent thing, with its DRAMATICALLY limited payout, and made a huge bet on himself. And just like last night, he won.
  • Speaking of which … please please please please please:
  • All-WBC Team:
  • Pre-game speech:
  • Captain Trout:
  • I wonder … how this will go:
  • Who among us:

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.