Cubs

Colvin to Boston for Theo compensation? Yes, please

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Colvin to Boston for Theo compensation? Yes, please

This Theo Epstein compensation issue has gone on forever.

Not as long as the NBA lockout, of course, but it almost feels that way.

But the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a great idea. Brilliant, really. It's great for Cubs fans, great for Red Sox fans. Great for both organizations.

Tyler Colvin to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo.

Yes.

I will take that. It makes sense for both sides.

After a solid rookie season in 2010 in which he put up 20 homers and 56 RBis in 358 at-bats, Colvin regressed horribly in '11, hitting just .150 in 206 at-bats.

But, he's still only 26 and formerly a top prospect in the Cubs organization. The Red Sox could use another major-league caliber outfielder in case up-and-coming prospect Josh Reddick struggles. Plus, in the AL, a guy like Colvin can DH whenever.

It seems fair compensation on Boston's end for Theo, a guy who doesn't even play in games. There's still at least a decent chance Colvin turns into something. He has upside worth enough for the Red Sox to take a shot.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Colvin has pretty much worn out his welcome. Theo and new GM Jed Hoyer can't be too sick of him considering they just got to Wrigley within the past month, but Colvin's scary 2011 season has turned off almost everybody, from those left in the Cubs organization to the fans who pack the seats each and every game.

Plus, Theo loves guys who can get on base. It's something new manager Dale Sveum has preached a little bit, too.

Colvin does not get on base. Plain and simple. He boasts a .274 career on-base percentage at the big-league level and isn't much better in the minors with a .315 career OBP and just 110 walks in almost 2,100 minor-league plate appearances.

Ouch.

It's much better for the Cubs than giving up top pitching prospect Trey McNutt. Much better than giving up two guys with high upside. Give up a guy who has worn out his welcome in Chicago. Works for me.

Maybe Colvin just needs a change of scenery to re-ignite his career and Boston could be just that.

Let's give it a shot. Somebody call MLB commissioner Bud Selig and make it happen. Anybody have his cell number?

Cubs Talk Podcast: Redemption Stories & Schwarber Leading Off

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Redemption Stories & Schwarber Leading Off

Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by the Cubs Postgame Live team of David Kaplan and David DeJesus to break down all the various redemption stories on the 2019 Cubs, ranging from Kris Bryant returning from an injury-plagued campaign to Tyler Chatwood becoming a legitimate weapon out of the bullpen (1:00). Then, the guys discuss how well Kyle Schwarber is performing out of the leadoff spot over the last week (11:45).

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Kyle Schwarber finding his niche in Cubs' leadoff spot: 'He’s really morphed into the hitter we thought he could be'

Kyle Schwarber finding his niche in Cubs' leadoff spot: 'He’s really morphed into the hitter we thought he could be'

After two seasons alternating table setters atop their lineup, the Cubs may finally have found a consistent leadoff hitter in Kyle Schwarber.

“It’s one of those things you have to believe it to see it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Friday’s game against the Reds. “And sometimes there’s other folks that have to see it to believe it. I just thought it was the right time.”

Schwarber started his 11th-straight game on Friday, hitting leadoff in the last nine games of that stretch. Unlike his abysmal tenure leading off in 2017, though, Schwarber is getting into a groove hitting first for the Cubs this season.

In 2017, Schwarber hit leadoff 37 times; not only did he slash a woeful .190/.312/.381 with seven home runs, but he walked 24 times compared to 48 strikeouts. The Cubs went with a leadoff-man by committee approach the rest of the season, as 10 other players hit leadoff at least once.

Schwarber has flipped the script as a leadoff hitter this season. Although the sample size is small, he’s slashing .265/.372/.618, (34 at-bats) with three home runs and seven walks compared to 12 strikeouts.

“Again, I liked it back then, I did. However, he did not react to it well in that moment,” Maddon said. “But if you look at his overall abilities as they stand right now, for me, that’s the perfect spot for him, especially in our lineup.

“He’s made some adjustments recently, he’s more mature as a hitter, he’s understanding it better. All of those things are involved. I like it; I could’ve done it earlier this year, but he really wasn’t doing what he’s doing right now earlier this year.

“I think this last three weeks or so, he’s really morphed into the hitter we thought he could be.”

Schwarber certainly has been trending upwards since the calendar flipped to May. In April, he slashed .211/.282/.338 with 25 strikeouts and seven walks. While he’s hitting .224 this month, he holds a stellar .389 OBP (.837 OPS), walking 19 times compared to 21 strikeouts.

“There’s things that he’s doing right now that are permitting him to be more consistent,” Maddon said. “Like the other day, that first at-bat walk against [Max] Scherzer in what was such a big at-bat. There was like four pitches all over the place and he didn’t swing.”

Schwarber walked in both of his at-bats against Scherzer on May 17 on a combined 10 pitches. He took four pitches out of the zone the first time around and four more the second at-bat. On the latter instance, the only strikes came on foul balls.

All of this is not to say that the days of Schwarber hitting for power are over. He has four home runs in May, three of which have come in the leadoff spot. And while RBI chances aren’t as prevalent for leadoff hitters, Maddon mentioned how Schwarber has room to grow.

“To this point, he hasn’t really been the RBI guy that you might envision. He’s been more the table setter,” he said. “I think as he learns his craft better, of course he can drive in runs more consistently.

"He’s on the verge of doing that right now. The benefit has been for him to set the table more than cleaning it up to this point, but I think he has the abilities to do both.”

Following the Cubs’ 6-5 loss to the Reds on Friday, Maddon reiterated his confidence in his latest No. 1 hitter. Schwarber went 1-for-4 with a home run, a walk and a strikeout.

“I like his at-bats right now in general,” he said. “That’s kind of why I did what I did, because I think that it’s become a more mature at-bat and the more the stays up there, the more comfortable he’s going to get.”

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