I’ve got like five different things I BADLY want for lunch today. I’m gonna have to flip so many coins.
• Yesterday’s game wound up a big disappointment, but the ceremony beforehand to honor Cubs legend Fergie Jenkins, and the dedication of his new statue outside the ballpark, was not:
Thank you Chicago. I am truly humble. pic.twitter.com/98uxkTgsCh
— Fergie Jenkins (@fergieagenkins) May 21, 2022
it’s @fergieajenkins statue day at Wrigley 🗓️
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 20, 2022
What a moment for Fergie. pic.twitter.com/DmHPcImrrs
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) May 20, 2022
— Josh Rawitch (@HOFprez) May 20, 2022
The full ceremony was streamed live here:
• Christopher Morel, who has started just three games, is tied for 5th on the Cubs in position player WAR. That is probably not a good thing. (Though it *is* a good thing that the Cubs are starting him while he’s up. There’s just no reason not to when there are so many injuries, and so many places he can play. Just get him in there for now, and it will help continue his development.)
• And hey, he’s the best in baseball, so no complaints right:
Good morning to the best hitter in baseball. pic.twitter.com/g7ZszwpAsf
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 21, 2022
• I kid, of course, because the sample there for Morel is nothing. Folks need to be prepared for the reality that he is probably going to go back down to the minors – probably Iowa at this point – when various players (Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, Jason Heyward, and/or David Bote) are back to health . It’s not really a ridiculous decision, given that Morel, 22, has barely spent any time at Triple-A (last year) as it is. And since I have that expectation, I kinda hope pitchers adjust in the coming days/weeks and give him some trouble, which would allow him to see, in advance, some things to work on at Triple-A, knowing how big league pitchers are going to attack him. The early success is fun as heck, but you also want to make sure this is a good developmental experience for him.
• Alllll that said, if Morel just keeps hitting and playing all over, who knows. It also wouldn’t necessarily be absolutely crazy for the Cubs to decide they’re better off – and he’s better off – just staying up right now. Plus, there’s the example it would set for other rising prospects. I don’t expect itbut I wouldn’t say it’s impossible.
• (Also: Taylor Ward just keeps raking, eh? Going from “possibly solid big-time outfielder” at age 27 to “holy effing eff” at age 28 would certainly be something. He had to leave last night’s game after crashing into the wall, though, so hopefully he isn’t seriously hurt, or even hurt enough to derail what could be a truly remarkable season.)
• The 11 homers yesterday – including one from Morel – was a record for a game at Wrigley Field, and although it wasn’t ALL about the wind, there were certainly some that wouldn’t have gone out on a normal day (including the one from Morel, and at least two of the Diamondbacks’ lazy fly balls). How windy was it at Wrigley Field yesterday? Robert Gsellman’s ridiculous catch pretty much sums it up:
• As for Kyle Hendricks’ day, his transition into the rare soft-tossing fly-ball pitcher made him particularly ill-suited to handle that particular game:
Apropos of today’s homers, I thought it worth pointing out that coming INTO today, Kyle Hendricks was sporting BY FAR the largest fly ball rate of his career (41.2%) and BY FAR the smallest ground ball rate (37.5%). FB rate is top 15 in baseball, which seems… not his style?
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 20, 2022
• And when the location looks like this, oof (three of these were dingers):
Hendricks allowed five hits on his four-seam fastball — almost all in the middle of the zone pic.twitter.com/RanusoHlt4
— Joey Pollizze (@joeypollizze) May 20, 2022
• From David Ross (Cubs.com): “He just didn’t have a good feel for his secondary [pitches] or didn’t throw enough [of them]. A lot of fastballs just off. I probably would have liked to see him use a curveball a little bit more early on in that first inning.”
• Pillows, mattress protectors, printers, camping gear, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #name
• Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman, arguably the top prospect in all of baseball, is coming up to the big leagues today:
It’s time. pic.twitter.com/jtmNRWuEJH
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 21, 2022
— MLB (@MLB) May 21, 2022
• The Orioles right now have a fractionally better record than the Cubs, by the way. Not that the Cubs’ longer-term future doesn’t still look quite bright:
“yeah, the kids are alright!” 🎶🎶🎶
This is just the month of May pic.twitter.com/jPToKvtRxm
— Todd ⚾️🐻🦌 (@CubsCentral08) May 21, 2022
What explains the Smokies offensive success this year? One, they can hit. Two, they can get on base. Look at these OBPs in May!!!
Stat dump complete. pic.twitter.com/pbQM0lEqNd
— Todd ⚾️🐻🦌 (@CubsCentral08) May 21, 2022
• Long-time post-hype prospect Carter Kieboom is out for the year as he is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. Kieboom is still only 24, but he has just never been able to get over that MLB hump.
• Roger Angell has passed away:
“Baseball writer doesn’t even really describe him. Baseball poet, baseball thinker… the way he thought about the sport was different from everybody else.” – @jaysonst on the late Roger Angell pic.twitter.com/S8LNfstxXs
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 21, 2022
• At least have to do the due diligence:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 21, 2022
• If the Bears could get a second rounder, I think they’d have to pull the trigger:
REPORT: Robert Quinn Wants Out of Chicagohttps://t.co/Ww31xyLrre pic.twitter.com/c9qMkbSF52
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 20, 2022
• It’s hard to see this winding up the right route for the Bulls, and I still don’t think it happens:
REPORT: Zach LaVine Already Linked to Four Teams in Free Agencyhttps://t.co/czHRK7xJQk pic.twitter.com/rsJpmvuqK5
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 20, 2022