Reliever Injury Updates, Other Injuries, Imanaga Bounce-Back, Double-A Balls, and Other Cubs Bullets

Shota Imanaga MLB Notes
Shota Imanaga MLB Notes

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These next two games are kind of a no-win proposition. If the Cubs beat the White Sox in both games, hey, well, this White Sox team is historically bad so that’s what you SHOULD do. But if the Cubs lose one – or god forbid TWO – then it is just all the more brutally awful.

  • We’ll see tonight how Shōta Imanaga bounces back from his first rough outing, though over this past month it feels like it almost doesn’t matter what the starting pitcher does on a given night. The offense (and defense, and baserunning, and bullpen) needs to do its part. It’s certainly a friendly match-up for Imanaga, facing a dreadful White Sox offense.
  • Hopefully this won’t be ill-timed:
  • Some Cubs reliever injury updates if you missed them:
  • No huge surprises there, necessarily, though the hope was that Yency Almonte would be further along at this point. Of note, the Cubs already have Colten Brewer (who had been pitching really well) and Keegan Thompson on a rehab assignment at Iowa.
  • Speaking of injury issues around the league, young Brewers starter Robert Gasser has been quite good so far in his rookie season – the Cubs got a firsthand look – but he might be missing some time soon:
  • Even if this isn’t a serious injury, you’ve gotta believe the Brewers are going to take it very easy with an important young arm.
  • Painful injury for Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker, who is in the middle of one of the best offensive seasons in baseball:
  • I note that here not only because Tucker is a star and any injury is interesting regardless, but also because of the Astros’ situation overall. They are 7.0 games back in the AL West and 7 games under .500, but their GM has said he doesn’t see a scenario where they sell this year – and instead he expects them to buy. If Tucker has an injury that keeps him out for an extended period of time, you wonder if the Astros would be a team that would want to act quickly to get some additional outfield coverage, and if they’d come calling about someone like Alexander Canario, whom the Cubs simply don’t seem to be able/willing to find big league playing time for.
  • Just thinking out loud as we head closer to a summer where this is starting to look a lot like Nelson Velazquez last year (I would add Brennen Davis this year, too, though I’m not sure there would be trade value there until/unless he really has a long, healthy, very productive stretch far beyond what he’s done so far). If it does become like that – and I think the Cubs were right to move Velazquez when they did, because there was never going to be a starting opportunity for him, he was taking up a 40-man spot, and you want to give a guy a chance – let’s just hope they do better in trade than they did last year. Jose Cuas certainly looked interesting at times last season, but this year he has been unplayable.
  • This is wild:
  • We know they have tested balls in the Southern League before, so it’s not impossible to imagine that MLB either intentionally or inadvertently supplied a funky set again this year. Because the numbers in that league his year are BIZARRE. (The Cubs’ Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies play there. It’s why Matt Shaw’s .234/.360/.389 slash line is 31% better than league average.)
  • Cubs-White Sox tonight, and this is good and great and fine:
  • I was on Tennessee Smokies broadcaster Mick Gillispie’s channel for a chat (I am laughing at the A+ picture choice for me – captures my vibe completely):
  • 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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