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Cub Tracks before and after

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Murphy slaw, Bryant powers up, Happ goes bats, and other bullets

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
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Cubs win! That’s good stuff, and it’s great that Daniel Murphy has brought his bat to bear. He’s doing good things for the team, but there are still unanswered questions. Whitney McIntosh asks some of them below. Paul Sullivan thinks Murphy can be the toast of the town.

Kris Bryant thinks he has answers to his power issues, says Tony Andracki. Phil Rogers concurs below.

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

Cubs News and Notes:

  • Whitney McIntosh (SB Nation): The Cubs deserve every bit of criticism they’ve gotten for the Daniel Murphy trade. “...it’s fair for fans to have been skeptical from the get go of how the Cubs would handle this.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): The stories behind the Cubs’ top Players Weekend nicknames. “The best monikers come from the pitchers; here is a sampling, with their explanations for the nicknames they chose.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Wait ’til next year? Cole Hamels thinks ring in 2018, return to Cubs in 2019. “Will the Cubs exercise the $20 million option year on Hamels’ contract and bring back the former Phillies and Rangers ace in 2019?”
  • Jeff Wilson (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): Rangers try to explain Hamels’ sudden turnaround with Cubs. “What impresses me now is he’s throwing 95-96,” catcher Robinson Chirinos said.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Could Alec Mills stick in Cubs rotation down the stretch? “Alec really permitted us to think different thoughts,” Maddon said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Murph, Schwarbs, El Mago mash in Cubs’ win. Murphy smacked a two-run homer, Kyle Schwarber (Schwarbs) added a two-run blast and Javier Baez (El Mago) hit an opposite-field shot to power the Cubs to a 10-6 victory over the Reds on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
  • Michael Clair (Cut Four): Baez displayed his amazingly fast reflexes on a ball he definitely shouldn’t have touched. “Baez made up for it by walking to end the at-bat.”
  • Phil Rogers (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs’ Bryant believes adjustment in swing will bring him more power. “...it was actually trainer PJ Mainville who suggested it to him,” he said. Evan Altman (Cubs Insider) adds his wisdom. Bruce Miles (Daily Herald) chimes in.
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): How Bryant’s return could take the Cubs offense to the next level. “When you get a really good player back in your lineup, it makes a difference. The term I use is it lengthens the lineup,” said Maddon.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.