Addison Russell sounded genuinely upset about the freak accident that happened during his Wrigley Field debut.
Russell’s bat slipped out of his hands and hit a fan during the seventh inning of Monday night’s 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Cubs spokesman said the fan was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.
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“I felt so bad – words can’t describe how bad I feel,” said Russell, who wants to give the fan an autographed bat. “I just feel terribly bad about that.”
Paramedics and a first-aid physician arrived on the scene, not far from where chairman Tom Ricketts and president of business operations Crane Kenney had been sitting. The fan left the lower concourse on a stretcher.
“The patient was conscious and communicating with staff while being transported from the stands,” a Cubs spokesman said in a statement. “We will remain in communication with his family to keep updated on his progress.”
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Russell struck out during that at-bat against Pirates reliever Rob Scahill, going 1-for-3 with a run scored and an error on a night where it must have been difficult to concentrate.
“Some of the things you just have to block out,” Russell said. “But (when) the bat was in mid-flight, in my mind I’m screaming: ‘Watch out! Watch out!’ And then I saw the dude’s glasses fly and it just wasn’t pretty. I feel really bad.”
This has been the offseason of Kris Bryant rumors and with his grievance still unresolved Cubs fans can only speculate what will happen to the MVP. Is Kris Bryant trying to change the system like Curt Flood did? Host David Kaplan is joined by ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers to discuss Bryant's future as a Cub, and the lackluster offseason the Cubs have had.
(1:50) - Why the Cubs have not made any moves so far
(3:32) - Is Kris Bryant the new Curt Flood?
(6:26) - Cubs need upgrades, specifically in the bullpen
(9:10) - Will the Cubs make a big move before the season starts?
(11:30) - Does Javy Baez get the big extension?
(14:45) - Will the Cubs get to 86 wins this year?
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Cubs Talk Podcast
The Cubs have made a roster move.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are reportedly close to a deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza.
Souza, 30, missed the 2019 season after suffering a torn left ACL and LCL at the end of spring training. He also missed a chunk of 2018, playing 72 games while hitting the injured list on multiple occasions.
Souza had a career year with the Rays in 2017, slashing .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBIs and a 121 wRC+. Those figures were career-bests for Souza, minus his batting average. He sported a walk rate (13.6 percent) above league average (8.5) that season, though his strikeout rate (29 percent) was worse than the MLB average (23).
The signing of Souza likely rules out a return of fan favorite outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The Cubs have been linked to Castellanos throughout the offseason, but since they're looking to stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold, re-signing Castellanos would require some financial maneuvering.
Souza has spent most of his career in right field (3,608 career innings) but has minimal experience playing center (33 1/3) and left (20). He’s above average in right (career 6 Defensive Runs Saved) and posted a career best 7 DRS in 2017.
The Cubs have a five-time Gold Glove right fielder in Jason Heyward, so Souza will see time at all three outfield spots. Heyward moved to center full-time last season after the Cubs acquired Castellanos and has played center at times throughout his career.
Assuming he stays healthy, Souza is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Cubs. He’ll add power to the middle of the order and add a proven bat to an outfield with some question marks. Albert Almora Jr. and Ian Happ have each struggled offensively at times since 2018. Souza offers another bat in case those two slump again.