Cubs

Cubs: Willson Contreras fine after awkward collision with Starlin Castro

Cubs: Willson Contreras fine after awkward collision with Starlin Castro

Willson Contreras said he’s “fine” after an awkward collision with Starlin Castro in the sixth inning of the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. 

With one out and the bases loaded, Yankees third baseman Chase Headley lifted a fly ball to Jason Heyward in right field. Heyward made a strong throw home, but it pulled Contreras to his left up the third base line. Castro tried to cut inside to get around Contreras, but instead clattered into the 24-year-old catcher.

“I thought he was going to stay on third,” Contreras said. “But once the throw was made, all my focus was on the throw. I didn’t expect him to come home. But I’m good.”

It was a scary sight at first, with Contreras face-down on the ground for a bit after the collision. But Contreras — who held on to the ball for the out — got up and stayed in the game, with manager Joe Maddon having no concerns about a possible concussion. 

“As he was responding you could see that he seemed like he was pretty good,” Maddon said. 

Castro retrospectively figured he could’ve been safe had he tried to go to his right around Contreras, but wasn’t trying to intentionally make contract with him. Castro checked with Contreras after the hit to make sure he was okay, too. 

“It’s baseball,” Contreras said. “Those things are going to happen once in a while. It wasn’t intentional. I’m good.” 

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

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USA TODAY

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

Despite the MLB trade deadline being two months away, rumors of the Cubs potentially acquiring Orioles' shortstop Manny Machado have intensifed recently. Regardless, Cubs president Theo Epstein made his point on the rumor frenzy quite clear Thursday.

"I can say with regards to this particular spasm of media frenzy, it is outrageously outsized when you compare it to the reality of the situation," Epstein said Thursday on 670 The Score.

Machado is having an unbelievable season with the Orioles, hitting .328 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs entering Thursday. If traded, he would undoubtedly provide a boost to any ballclub, but that is a big "if."

Of course, the MLB season is not even two months old yet, which Epstein pointed out as being a big factor in the situation.

"It's May," he said. "We're still figuring out who we are as a team this year. We're still figuring out our place in the division.

"There's an atypical amount of trade discussion in May this year, which is essentially nil."

Rumors of the Cubs being a potential player in acquiring Machado make sense. At 15-34, the Orioles have the worst winning percentage (.306) in the MLB. With their current positioning, trading Machado could start a rebuild that the Orioles might just need. The Cubs have a 24-year-old shortstop in Addison Russell that the Orioles could acquire to a) replace Machado and b) use as the face of their rebuild.

Be that as it may, Epstein said the rumors are something that the Cubs are "just rolling our eyes at."

"I understand it's natural for people to connect the dots and there to be this kind of frenzy from time to time, but it's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at," he said. "It's not like July, where every now and then there's lots of coverage on deals that are actually being discussed or actually might happen.

"This one is just out there in fantasy land at this point."

Podcast: Albert Almora Jr. dishes on his role and the Cubs’ unsung hero that keeps things loose behind the scenes

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Albert Almora Jr. dishes on his role and the Cubs’ unsung hero that keeps things loose behind the scenes

Albert Almora Jr. joins Kelly Crull on the Cubs Talk Podcast to weigh in on a variety of topics, including his budding bromance with rumored Cubs target Manny Machado, his expanded role and how he spends his time off away from the ballpark.

Plus, Almora has a surprise pick for the organization’s unsung hero, stating the Cubs would’ve never won the World Series without this guy.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: