In the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull, Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki close the book on the 2017 season following Theo Epstein’s press conference, looking back at what will go down as the craziest calendar year in Cubs history from last November through the team’s loss in the NLCS this October.
Moving forward, where do guys like Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Justin Wilson and Mike Montgomery fit? Will the Cubs re-sign Wade Davis or go after another proven closer? And how worried should fans be about the offense that completely disappeared in the postseason?
Take a listen below:
Albert Almora Jr. has been hot with the bat as of late, but he reminded us on Saturday what makes him so valuable to the Cubs.
With the Cubs leading 2-0 in the bottom of the third, DJ LeMahieu smoked a shot to center field that would've cut the lead in half and extended the inning had it gotten to the wall.
Instead, Almora showed off his defensive abilities by making an extremely difficult over-the-shoulder grab look so easy, and somewhere Willie Mays tipped his cap.
That's a Gold Glove-type catch, and one to bookmark when reviewing the highlight reel as a whole at the end of the season.
Almora also recorded two of the team's six hits and scored a run, but it wasn't enough in a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Ahead of Saturday's game in Colorado, the Cubs placed Ben Zobrist on the 10-day disabled list with back tightness and called up David Bote, who is set to make his MLB debut in his native Colorado.
Zobrist missed the last three games and weather postponements mean he hasn't played since April 14. The 36-year-old is hitting .326 with a homer and seven RBIs. He was placed on the DL retroactive to April 18.
Zobrist's injury created an opening for a cool story for Bote. The 25-year-old was drafted by the Cubs in 2012 and hasn't exactly lit up the minors, but worked his way onto the 40-man roster after the 2017 season ended.
Bote is from Colorado and is in the lineup for Saturday's game at the Rockies. That means he will get to make his big league debut in his home state.
Bote was hitting .234 in Triple-A Iowa with a .511 slugging percentage.