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Cub Tracks’ likely stories

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Five questions facing the Cubs, Wild Man Chatwood, Bryant gets monstered, and other bullets

one that got away
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

— sticks up finger to test the wind

The postseason #narratives were clear before the Cubs got to the playoffs — what to do about the disappearing offense, how would several players bounce back from subpar campaigns, what the pitching staff would end up looking like...how soon Bryce Harper could sign on the bottom line, how soon Joe Maddon could be sent packing, whether it might be better to seek Manny Machado as the Addison Russell train was leaving, whether the Cubs could afford both Harper and Machado and still have the money for venti lattes and DJ LeMahieu...

Here at Cub Tracks, we’ll be kept busy logging and recalibrating the #narrative for months. It’s either that or plays on Yu Darvish’s name, and you’ve made it perfectly clear that it’s not Faridyu that to Yu all the time. Or ever.

— ducks —

We’ll have plenty of help in establishing the bassline and I don’t doubt that we can drum up more. Today, Carrie Muskat leads off with a couple of words in an article about Five Questions Facing the Cubs, we have a Wild Man Fischer Chatwood signing, and Kris Bryant is going to get monstered. Oh, and a CHART! I sheet you not.

Glad you could join us here at the links. Welcome to Saturday. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

“We’d love to go out there and hit better with runners in scoring position, square the ball up more,” Kris Bryant said. “But we just didn’t do that. It’s frustrating. I don’t have an answer to it. It’s making me more motivated to figure out a way to figure it out.” — Tony Andracki.

Answers are easy. Right answers are gonna cost ya.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): 5 questions facing Cubs heading into 2019. “We’re set up to have some depth in the starting staff next year,” Theo Epstein said. “We’re not looking to get rid of starting pitchers. We’re looking to have as much depth as possible so we can withstand multiple injuries.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jed Hoyer talks about disagreeing with Maddon, overall effort level, lack of offensive adaptation. “It’s too early to have a blanket statement and say yes to anything or no to anything,” Hoyer admitted.
  • Friday’s Bernstein & McKnight Show Cubs’ Jed Hoyer: We lost our relentlessness. Includes interview. [AUDIO].
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Joe Maddon will be back…and he should, but needs to lose the fear. “...friction goes with the territory.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): How last winter’s free agent busts led to unusual rotation depth for Cubs in ’19. “$164 million of misspent optimism disappeared in Tyler Chatwood’s historic pile of walks and Yu Darvish’s poor performances and injuries.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Cubs wild man Tyler Chatwood ‘100 percent sure’ he’ll be back in command in 2019. “There will be no more changing his delivery in hopes of helping to locate his fastball, Chatwood insisted.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Why the Cubs’ offensive issues go beyond Chili Davis. “We weren’t looking to sacrifice power and walks in exchange for ground balls and opposite field hits. But in the second half, that’s what the results were. That’s not what we’re looking for,” said Epstein.
  • Sean Sears (NBC Sports Chicago*): Jed Hoyer says the focus is on internal improvements to fix Cubs offensive woes. “Cubs go into the off-season with plenty of internal questions to answer before they can change their focus to the external factors that can improve the club.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Report Lists Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ as “Likely to Depart”. Building on a Mark Gonzales article that was one of my bonus selections Thursday.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Cubs expect Kris Bryant to rebound with a ‘monster’ season in 2019. “He’s challenging himself and we’re challenging him to make something positive out of it,” said Theo Epstein.
  • Lauren Zumbach (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs’ early playoff exit will test the new Wrigleyville’s offseason appeal. “Wednesday marked an early return of what has traditionally been the sometimes sleepy offseason for Sluggers and the rest of the North Side neighborhood.”
  • James Neveau (NBC Chicago*): Arizona Fall League Preview: Cubs send Nico Hoerner to annual showcase. Hoerner was the team’s first round pick in 2018 and quickly made an impression.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): These 8 Cubs Prospects might have ‘next’ in 2019. “...it is a pretty short list.” A good one, though.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Pelicans jersey with special significance in HOF. “A Myrtle Beach Pelicans jersey worn by manager Buddy Bailey as part of the team’s “Deaf Awareness Night” promotion was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): 2019 MLB Draft order set, Chicago Cubs pick 27th. “... teams routinely make good selections there at the back of the top 30.”
  • Thomas Harrigan (MLB.com*): Players set to become free agents in 2018-19 offseason. Lots of 30+ guys and Bryce Harper.

Food for thought:

Yeah, now that’s the way to end a frickin’ column. Thanks for reading.