Cubs

Kris Bryant losing final vote means All-Star shutout for World Series Cubs

Kris Bryant losing final vote means All-Star shutout for World Series Cubs

The Cubs have an international brand, an iconic stadium, almost 2 million followers on Twitter, some of the most recognizable personalities in the entire sport and the buzz from their 108-year odyssey. Yet not one player from last year’s World Series team will represent the Cubs at the All-Star Game.

That’s the fallout from an underwhelming 42-43 first half, and the results from the final-vote gimmick announced after Thursday’s messy 11-2 loss to the first-place Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner notched 20.8 million votes to beat out reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant and get the trip to South Florida.

Unless Bryant or a teammate becomes a late injury replacement, only Joe Maddon’s coaching staff and closer Wade Davis – an American League All-Star for the Kansas City Royals the last two years – will represent the Cubs next week at Marlins Park.

“I thought it was appropriately done,” said Maddon, who didn’t have a hand in shaping the roster with Major League Baseball. “I can’t defend my guys based on other guys that have made the team to this point. If you just look at the numbers purely, plus our injury factor, there’s no way for me to make a strong argument.”

Beyond being one of the faces of the game – and a two-time All-Star selection in his first two seasons – Bryant produced 16 homers and an .893 OPS while showcasing his defensive versatility and running the bases better than anyone on the team. 

But Bryant’s batting average (.261) and RBI total (34) didn’t stand out in a crowded field that included third basemen from high-flying NL West teams: Colorado Rockies starter Nolan Arenado (15 homers, 63 RBI, .888 OPS); Arizona Diamondbacks reserve Jake Lamb (18 homers, 65 RBI, .916 OPS); and Turner (.384 batting average plus All-Star closer Kenley Jansen calling out the LA market: “It’s the Dodger fans’ fault.”)  

“As much as you want to promote your own guys,” Maddon said, “and I would and I do, when it came down to it, you just look at the numbers head to head. It was hard for me to make any other kind of an argument. I think our players respect that. I would respect that in return if the situation were reversed somehow and somebody else was the manager.” 

6 Cubs sit out Wednesday's activities due to another COVID-19 testing delay

6 Cubs sit out Wednesday's activities due to another COVID-19 testing delay

Six Cubs will miss Wednesday’s intrasquad game as they wait for results from Monday’s COVID-19 testing.

It’s the second time this week multiple Tier 1 members of the Cubs — which includes players and coaches — have missed team activities while waiting for test results. Manager David Ross and five other Tier 1 Cubs did not participate in Monday’s activities after Saturday’s results came back pending and required retests. One of those tests came back positive and it didn't involve a player.

Ross has preached patience throughout Summer Camp as Major League Baseball works through its early testing hiccups, repeating that message on Wednesday.

“This not easy — I think I've said that a million times — it’s not easy on the players, it's not easy on Major League Baseball,” Ross told reporters. “I don't think it's anybody's fault that things are delayed. 

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“If you want to point fingers, we’re focusing on the wrong task. We've got to focus on, as the Chicago Cubs, doing the best work we can when we're on that field and controlling what we can control, and testing is not in our control. To be frustrated is just a waste of energy for me.” 

Because of the delay, Robel Garcia, Christopher Morel, Brennen Davis and Miguel Amaya joined the Cubs from their South Bend alternate training site for Wednesday’s scrimmage.

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Cubs injury update: Anthony Rizzo's MRI confirms rib inflammation

Cubs injury update: Anthony Rizzo's MRI confirms rib inflammation

An MRI confirmed that Anthony Rizzo’s back spasms this week are stemming from rib head inflammation on his left side, the Cubs announced Wednesday.

The first baseman has a history of back injury, dating back to 2014.

He described this season’s bout with lower back tightness as, "frustrating just because of how physically in shape I felt I was. Just can’t control the flareups."

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Rizzo has been limited due to lower back tightness for a week. He showed signs of improvement on Sunday, when he took live batting practice without issue. But his recovery from the workout wasn’t what he had hoped, prompting the MRI.

Rizzo said he doesn’t expect to start the season in the injured list. But if an IL stint is necessary, he’d prefer it be for a few games early in the season, rather than extended time out later.

 

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