Weird Offensive Numbers, Happ and Cincy, Suzuki's Latest, Heyward Again, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Weird Offensive Numbers, Happ and Cincy, Suzuki’s Latest, Heyward Again, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Morning baseball today, so be on alert! The series finale today against the Reds starts at 11:35 am CT.

  • The Cubs’ offense has actually scored the third most runs in the National League this year, though that’s not to say it’s been strong overall. I keep reminding myself that Seiya Suzuki is such an important bat for this group, so they need him back before we can really start declaring much of anything about what they can or cannot be. To that end, another intrasquad game for Suzuki yesterday in Arizona, DH’ing and batting four times. Here’s hoping a minor league rehab assignment begins as soon as this weekend.
  • What if I told you that Cody Bellinger and Eric Hosmer have a higher wRC+ so far this year than Nico Hoerner? They do, and that’s kinda weird! Each of Bellinger and Hosmer are still below 100 even after their hot couple games, but Hoerner’s line is the weird one: .292/.292/.375/78 wRC+. It *FEELS* a lot more productive than that because of all the hits, but obviously no walks and no power leave you with a reduced overall impact.
  • It makes me think about how high the batting average would have to be for you to feel like the wRC+ (based, in part, on OBP and SLG) is not quite capturing value (because we know that a single is definitely more valuable than a walk because of the potential for extra bases for runners out there). It’s probably gotta be way over .300 before you even start trying to parse that out, but anyway, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around Nico’s performance this year being 22% worse than league average. Feels wrong. Maybe the sample size is just wonking things up.
  • Ian Happ has a .609 OBP so far this year. That’s just kinda funny. And as for all his success in Cincinnati over the years, he says it’s all about mom:
  • Cody Bellinger is liking hitting behind Nico-Dansby-Ian:
  • Fun with early season breakout games:
  • Adbert Alzolay gave up a meaningless homer in his third inning of work last night, which skews the ERA component, but he looked fantastic.
  • Yeah, the Dodgers might’ve actually helped him figure something out:
  • I sort of kid, but you’ll note that max exit velocity is one of those rare things that tells you a whole lot with a single data point – basically, you CAN’T go over 110 mph unless you have certain swing and strength traits. Just by doing that one time, it means Heyward is probably back to being CAPABLE of putting together much better offense than he showed last year. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it over the full season, but this is the start. Good for him.
  • Our live event is tomorrow evening at HVAC in Wrigleyville! Get your ticket here for food, drink, a live panel (I’m on it! Dave Kaplan’s on it! Are you not entertained?!), Thomas Ian Nicholas is gonna talk about ‘Rookie of the Year’ and his band is going to play!
  • This catch is incredible:
  • Kenta Maeda had been out since August 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and returned to the Twins yesterday with five dominant innings. And then he left with the trainer after the arm shake:
  • You hope it’s nothing serious, especially for a guy who had to work that long to get back on the mound.
  • This thing caught the wind and set off to live its life elsewhere:
  • Sounds like O’s top pitching prospect (and arguably the best in the game) Grayson Rodriguez is being called up to start today for his big league debut.

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.