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Cub Tracks wonders

Rizzo’s back, and other bullets

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There hasn’t been any baseball played on the north side of Chicago since the last Cub Tracks crawled off to sleep in the bath.

I wonder if they’ll play tonight? I watched a thing called Beyond Skyline instead of the Cubs game. Awful alien-invasion film. My friends had it on when I went over for burgers and I ended up putting it on when I got home to do this thing.

Probably would have been better off watching a baseball game. Probably? Definitely. But I don’t like to stop once I’ve gotten started — I’m a little ‘stitious that way.

Let’s see what the beats and the bloggers have written on the wall, shall we? As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“It’s just fun to watch him play baseball. He always has so much fun out there. It doesn’t matter if he’s 0-for-20 or 20-for-20 or has four homers in two games or whatever …. I get wowed by him all the time. It’s great to have him on our side because he plays with joy.” — Kyle Schwarber, talking about Javy Baez.

  • Craig Edwards (Fangraphs): The bonkers game that probably shouldn’t have been. “Nothing about this game was great, but a whole lot of it was unique, which is something.”
  • Moshe Wilensky (Cubs Insider): As part of Cubs’ holistic recruitment approach, desirable tax status may lure free agents. “I often wonder if free agents factor in tax savings when choosing their new teams...”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs, Braves to honor Jackie Robinson at May 14 game. 42.
  • Carrie Muskat, Joe Trezza (*): Cubs, Cards to renew rivalry after 1-day delay. “It’s going to be fun,” Dexter Fowler said of playing the Cubs. “They have a good team over there and we have a good team. It’ll be an exciting series.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic*): How two Cubs pitchers evaluate themselves after tough outings and a Cardinals preview. “Baseball is a results-based business.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Postponements will force Cubs to identify a sixth starting pitcher. “It’s going to happen at some point,” said Mike Montgomery.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Frostbitten optimism? Promise of sunshine and (Drew) Smyly days ahead for Cubs. “It’s been smooth sailing. No setbacks. Now it’s just building up endurance, stamina, strength,” said Smyly.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Anthony Rizzo expected to return from DL on Tuesday. “The Cubs are expected to send first baseman Efren Navarro back to Triple-A Iowa...” (this has occurred)
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Willson Contreras reverting to old catching style with bases empty. “He shouldn’t be doing that with two strikes or with somebody on base,” Maddon said.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register {$}): Social media star Taylor Davis showing he can be a star on the field. “I thought it was funny that I got more publicity for that (video) than going to the big leagues,” Davis said.
  • David Just (Chicago Sun-Times*): Efren Navarro trying to model himself after ex-Cub Mark Grace. “Navarro said that he strives to play much like Grace and J.T. Snow, fielding well, hitting the gaps and, “every once in a while,” connecting for power.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Javier Baez isn’t changing -- no matter what anyone thinks. “People that talk about me can save it,” Baez said last week in response to criticism.
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): On the ‘right way’ and Javier Baez’ continued evolution. “...Baez has come a long way since he made contact at a 59.0 percent rate and struck out over 40 percent of the time upon his arrival at the big league level.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Kris Bryant defying league strikeout trends in a big way. “...the Bryant Paradox...”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Kris Bryant has gotten so good, he may actually be underrated now. “...he’s grown and evolved so much as a hitter that he’s far, far more than just a slugger.”
  • Peter Gammons (The Athletic {$}): Like father, like son for Turk Wendell and Wyatt, who is preparing for the MLB draft. “ father, like son...”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Down on the farm: What do the Cubs think they have in the minors right now? “The Cubs don’t need their prospects to be heroes anymore.”
  • Chicago Tribune* {$}: Q&A with Bob Vorwald [AUDIO].

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.