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Cub Tracks’ queso derretido

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Cubs news sliced thin and served on warm tortillas

blue plate special
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

I have to admit I’ve grown quite fondue this group, and I’m glad they haven’t portioned it out yet. At least none of the ‘core players’ have left, outside of Jorge Soler.

Yeah, we were all hoping that Yu Darvish would turn out to be a big cheese, and he still might ferment. In the meantime, Tyler Chatwood has become a persona au gratin by treating the strike zone like Limburger, and Cole Hamels might be the last wedge against ERA inflation — we don’t know yet.

But I’d be willing to gamble a good-sized hunk of cheddar on all three remaining on the roster through the end of the season, for various reasons. So the Cubs have to figure out how best to use them — no use crying over spilt milk, sunk cost or no.

Let us not be Stilton with our praise, for Theo and his group have wrought a Gouda many miracles, finding holes in the wheys and means that the game is based on, exploiting every newfound market inefficiency as if it were the next best thing since sandwich picks, locating holes in the rules as if they were so much baby Swiss, and in general telling the rest of the league that each identified path is nacho cheese.

Remembering the Jesus Figueroas and Gary Scotts of the past, I have been pleased to see how, once unwrapped, Javier Baez and the rest of the Cubs’ draftees age into everyday players, leaving the rind of past mistakes behind them. The daily grind doesn’t grate on me. Your fromage may vary.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

Yu Darvish spoke to reporters after throwing 23 pitches in the bullpen, the first ten of which he felt pain in his elbow. But a mechanical adjustment on his extension relieved the pain and allowed him to finish strong and do some light throwing afterwards. He’ll throw again soon but only based on how he feels that day. He’s also excited to have Cole Hamels join the Cubs, claiming the bigger the game the more he shows up. — Jesse Rogers.

“I’m excited to be able to continue my career with the Cubs. It’s been a dream come true to grow up watching the Cubs play as a kid. I always enjoyed playing at Wrigley. To be able to be part of that organization with the group of guys that they have, I’m really excited to get that started and head into the post-season with those guys.” — Cole Hamels

The fact that Happ and Hamels go to #Yankees and #Cubs screams that DeGrom, Syndergaard, Archer, Fulmer aren’t moving. Otherwise Yanks and Cubs would have waited. — Steve Phillips.

Do the Cubs have too many lefties in the rotation? If they keep Montgomery in the mix, that would give them four with the addition of Hamels. Maddon isn’t too concerned about that.

”It’s called [Jim] Abbott, [Mark] Langston and [Chuck] Finley and if you go back to the ‘79 White Sox, they had four,” Maddon said. “It’s always OK for a team to have five righties, but once you get a couple lefties out there, everybody gets concerned about that. If the quality of the lefty is good, it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen it work before.” — Carrie Muskat.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Rizzo, Baez homer, but Mike Montgomery toils in loss. “This was Montgomery’s 11th start, and he’s now totaled 87 innings.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cole Hamels: Cubs tenure to be ‘tremendous journey’. “I’m excited to be able to continue my baseball career with the Cubs,” Hamels said Friday.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Why the Cubs added Hamels and why they missed on Miles Mikolas. “...the Cubs weren’t in a position to guarantee a spot in the rotation and wondered if Mikolas would be a redundancy...”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Epstein, Maddon address Hamels’ fit with Cubs. “We do have an idea, but I’m not ready to tell you,” Maddon said.
  • Keith Law (ESPN Insider {$}): Hamels trade makes back of Cubs rotation better. “...he’s been decidedly average this year and has become very homer-prone, at least in Arlington...”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Hamels acquisition should spell end of Chatwood’s starting days. “...the Cubs may need to shift him into incredibly low-leverage situations in the hope that he regains some semblance of control.”
  • ESPN: Chris Gimenez on position players pitching [AUDIO].
  • Emma Baccallieri (Sports Illustrated*): Position players on the hill? Now it’s not just fun, it’s a pretty smart move too. “This is no longer a quirk. It’s a strategy.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Kris Bryant’s shoulder MRI was clean, he “1000%” expects to return this season. “...today’s news is about as good as you could hope, given the circumstances.”
  • Matt Snyder (CBS Sports*): Bryant’s shoulder injury has zapped his power and may ultimately wreck his season. “...there’s legitimate concern...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): No target date for Bryant’s return: ‘I’m trying to be smart about it’. “Bryant says he merely will follow the orders of the medical staff and not try to rush his return.”
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): 15 minutes with Cubs Hall of Famer, Sweet-Swingin’ Billy Williams can brighten your day. “I would enjoy playing for Joe,” he said. “But I enjoyed playing for a guy like Leo [Durocher] too.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): In league of her own: Eileen Gascon, 86, hopes to inspire new generation. Gascon reflects on her sandlot days, sneaking into Wrigley Field, and her working two jobs while she played professional baseball.

Food for thought:

Jeff Goldblum is set to front a new scientific documentary series for National Geographic.

”The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum” will feature the “Jurassic Park” star exploring how common items used daily are made - and how they affect society.

”National Geographic has a knack for developing smart, immersive narratives that expand our understanding of the world around us in creative and entertaining ways,” Goldblum tells Deadline. “Curiosity is a fundamental human trait.”

Thanks for reading.