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Son of Cub Tracks has an Old Style

we advance by retreating

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Cubs lose.

Stochastic blues. There’s no scrying in baseball, yellow-dyed balls, a freak of nature, and other bullets. That was the title and slug-line of the last episode. Today, we’re going back to our roots (part two of I dunno how many — here’s part one). I’m in the middle of moving and I don’t even have two thoughts. I’m not even looking for the frog on the can.

(note -- some blogs have changed their focus and mostly do recaps these days. Al handles the recaps here. So they don’t appear as often.)

As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

CSN Chicago*:

  • Patrick Mooney: Kyle Hendricks is back, but Cubs will likely have to wait for their next shot at Yu Darvish. Darvish is “unlikely to move” before the July 31 trade deadline, a source monitoring the situation said Monday.
  • Patrick Mooney: Willson Contreras may be ‘the f------ Energizer Bunny,’ but Cubs still need to get another catcher before trade deadline. “The most logical targets appear to be Alex Avila and Jonathan Lucroy...”
  • Tony Andracki: Was Hector Rondon tipping pitches during late-game meltdowns with Cubs? "I feel like we fixed the mechanics because we felt like last year, I was tipping some pitches," Rondon said.

CBS Chicago:

  • Bruce Levine: White Sox win one for their manager. Ricky Renteria “down-played the importance of beating the team that let him go, but the victory still had to feel good down down.”
  • Bruce Levine: Cubs still searching for backup catching help for Willson Contreras. “Rookie backup catcher Victor Caratini has potential and has been praised by team officials, but he’s not ready to catch in a championship push yet.”
  • Chris Emma: Kyle Hendricks struggles to find form in return to the mound. “He felt that his motion was being rushed and that his command was off.”
  • Jason McLeod relishes task of replenishing Cubs’ farm system. “To me, it’s always a greater challenge once you get there to stay at the top,” McLeod said.


  • Jesse Rogers: Who can Joe Maddon trust in the Cubs’ bullpen? “There's one conclusion Maddon can make from playing the trust game: He can trust the front office to help him out down the stretch.”*:

  • Scott Chasen: Hendricks glad to be back, aims to keep building. "Just too many innings today for the bullpen to cover, really. That's my fault," Hendricks said of the loss.
  • Carrie Muskat: Cubs may eye catcher, but Caratini commended. "I really like [Caratini] a lot," Maddon said.
  • Scott Chasen: John Lackey eyes further success vs. crosstown foes. “...he's made five straight quality starts against the South Siders and has pitched at least six innings in 15 straight meetings.”

Chicago Tribune* {$}):

  • David Haugh: Willson Contreras the emotional catalyst behind Cubs' resurgence. "It's not about me, it's about the team," Contreras insisted.
  • Mark Gonzales: Newly acquired Matt Carasiti serves as insurance for Cubs bullpen. “Carasiti has struck out 54 in 39 innings with Albuquerque and Iowa and has allowed no runs in five of his first seven appearances with Iowa.”
  • Mark Gonzales: Cubs' stretched bullpen could benefit from reinforcements. "It's just been the long ball this year that makes it worse than it is," said Justin Grimm.

Chicago Sun-Times*:

  • Steve Greenberg: Willson Contreras is so good, he’s well worth the occasional bad. “Contreras...has been nothing less than the defending World Series champions’ most important player.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer: ‘Force multiplierJason Heyward embraces turn in Cubs’ leadoff spot. “...the Cubs largely have gone with a matchup approach at the top of the lineup.”

Cubs Insider:

  • Evan Altman: Cubs Trade Rumors: Talks with Tigers continue, Brewers ‘desperate’. Jerry Crasnick said some things.
  • Evan Altman: Kris Bryant gives new meaning to ‘Hot Corner’. New commercial previewed.


  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): What’s going on with Wade Davis? “...things haven’t been smooth lately.”
  • Eric Longenhagen (Fangraphs): Belated trade analysis: White Sox acquire Eloy Jimenez and co. Looking at the South Side’s possibilities for former Cubs farmhands.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald* {$}): Is Cubs' Contreras one of NL's 'elite' catchers? Joe Maddon says so. Miles might have been reading BCB.

Food for thought:

  • Nicola Davis (The Guardian): Moon wetter than previously thought, raising new manned mission possibilities. “The first resource that people are going to look for when they go beyond Earth is water,” said Mahesh Anand.
  • Cari Romm (New York Magazine): One in five people are chronic procrastinators. “Everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.”
  • Gabriel Popkin (Science): Surprise! The proton is lighter than we thought. “It’s a significant improvement on the mass of the proton,” says Edmund Myers.

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Thursday with more news and notes.