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St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Welcome to today’s edition of Cub Tracks news and notes™, a greatest-hits from Chicago-style beat writers and bloggers, ground from #Cubs, #MiLB, and #MLB baseball, and cold-brewed overnight for maximum flavor.

I dunno about you, and I’m not going to go into lengthy justifications why, but I’d very much like to have both Ian Happ and Willson Contreras back for 2023. It’s beginning to look like the team may have stepped in something good, and both players seem to like the smell.

I’m not tired yet of saying that I said that the Cubs would be better after the deadline. That was quite a game — our Cubs look completely different than they did ‘before’. Chemistry means a lot in baseball.

But... to get beat by 42 (-ish)-year-old Albert Pujols... ouch. Smyly drew the short straw there. That didn’t look like a meatball, leaving his hand. But when your team has but one hit, the margin for error shrinks accordingly. Arg. Still, I’ll take that pitching performance any day.

Something involving C2H5OH and perhaps a bit of C₂₁H₃₀O₂ might be in order after that. I guess we’re just gonna have to get used to the three-person booth. It gets confusing though.

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Kyle Hendricks said on Aug. 21 that his focus is on returning to full strength for 2023. The veteran pitcher will move his rehab to Arizona later this week and hopes to build up to throwing before the end of the season in order to take advantage of a full offseason. Hendricks was placed on the 15-day IL on July 6, one day after exiting his start against the Brewers early.

“My main thing is to get him back on the bump throwing bullpens and seeing how he feels. Let’s get him healthy,” Ross said on Aug. 9. “I don’t think getting him back in games is a top priority for everyone. But if he is able to get to that space, I think that’s a win for everyone. That’s kind of where I’m at.” —

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