Well, it looks like it's time for the beat writers to find a new topic now that Chase Utley is a Dodger.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Jason Hammel is trying to find answers as to what's going wrong with his performance.
- From the "Same as it ever was" department: Jon Lester is still working on his pickoff move.
- You make the call: If you had tickets to either game on October 7, would you go to the Wild Card game at Wrigley Field -- making the assumption that the Cubs would have passed the Pirates for the first wild card spot -- or the Blackhawks game to watch them raise another Stanley Cup banner?
- The Cubs have reportedly signed right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill to a minor-league contract.
- Even with Chase Utley out of the equation, the Cubs can still make improvements at second base with their own in-house candidates.
- One of Kyle Schwarber's biggest fans is the veteran he's trying to replace, Miguel Montero.
- In case you missed it in Josh's Minor League wrap-up from Wednesday, Double-A Tennessee outfielder Billy McKinney will miss the rest of the season with a hairline fracture in his right knee. That's gotta hurt.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers takes a dive into this week's Twitter mailbag.
- The buzz is picking up on the North Side, and everyone on the Cubs is noticing it.
- Discussions have begun on September call-ups with a mindful eye of not changing the current chemistry in the clubhouse.
- Jon Lester is on pace to allow 50 stolen bases this season, which would shatter the previous single-season record for a lefty of 42 held by Randy Johnson and Steve Avery.
- Dexter Fowler has been on a tear since the All-Star break -- posting a .438 on-base percentage in the second half -- which will likely raise his price tag if the Cubs want to keep him after this season.
- [VIDEO] In the battle of the golfers, who had the better first pitch on Tuesday: Zach Johnson at Wrigley or Jordan Speith in Arlington?
From CBS Chicago:
- Chris Emma writes that Joe Maddon seems to be immune to the pressure that has brought down many Cub managers before him.
- [AUDIO] Maddon spoke with Spiegel and Goff on topics including the battery of Jon Lester and David Ross.
- Kyle Schwarber has been getting the lion's share of the attention among the Cubs' youngsters, and that's a great thing according to Kris Bryant.
- Lesser-known milestones: It's been one year since the Great Tarp Mishap of 2014.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Not-so-fun fact: It has now been seven starts since Jason Hammel pitched into the seventh inning.
- Steve Rosenbloom is ready to throw in the towel on Hammel, saying that the Cubs can't continue to let him try to figure things out in games that matter.
- The weekend series against the White Sox was a ratings hit for WLS Channel 7, with Saturday night's game scoring a 7.6 rating that made it the highest-rated Cubs game of the season.
- Justin Grimm isn't afraid to enter a game with runners to try and strand, but he's not very good at the game that the relievers play where they try not to flinch when a ball is hit their way in the bullpen.
- It was 46 years ago, on August 19, 1969, that Ken Holtzman threw a no-hitter against the Braves to give the Cubs an eight-game division lead over the Mets. Paul Sullivan looks back at that day and how the passion of young fans for this year's team mirrors the passion that the young fans of that generation had for the '69 team.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Kyle Schwarber has 30 runs batted in through his first 35 games as a Cub, putting him second on the all-time franchise list through that span.
- Anthony Rizzo recently took over the Cubs' Facebook page to answer some fan questions.
- Albert Almora is back in the MLB.com list of their Top 100 prospects, coming in at number 99 in their Tuesday release.
- The city of Chicago was ranked third in the list of best-dressed cities as judged by their sports teams' uniforms, according to rankings developed by Uni-Watch.
- It's Kate Upton in a rain poncho at Wrigley Field! (There's not much more to it than that.)
From the Daily Herald:
- Mike Imrem revisits the Cubs trade of Andrew Cashner for Anthony Rizzo and declares that after a few rounds of jockeying, the trade was a knockout for the Cubs.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor jumps in on the Jorge Soler power discussion and believes that Soler will still have a power breakout eventually.
From Cubs Insider:
- Even Altman takes a deeper look at the numbers behind Jason Hammel's struggles, particularly with his slider.
- Can you name these 10 Cubs, based solely on their batting splits this season?
Today's food for thought: