Cubs

Javy Baez gives the Cubs a jolt with epic grand slam, bat flip

Javy Baez gives the Cubs a jolt with epic grand slam, bat flip

What first inning struggles??

The Cubs have had issues in the opening frame of games lately, but Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, that was certainly not the case.

After making Cincinnati Reds starter Amir Garrett work in the first inning, Addison Russell forced home a run by drawing a walk.

Four pitches later, Javy Baez made it hurt big time, drilling a 1-2 Garrett offering off the bottom of the left-field video board:

Here's the full play:

It was Baez's third career grand slam; he hit two in 2016 (June 28 and Sept. 26).

The June 28, 2016 blast came in the 15th inning against the Reds last year:

It was also the Cubs' first first-inning grand slam since Junior Lake accomplished the feat in 2013:

Another interesting note: Baez now has as many grand slams on the season as walks earned (he has four intentional walks, one unintentional).

Baez has three homers in his last 10 games and is on pace for 24 longballs, a jump from the career-high 14 he smacked in 2016.

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.