Cubs

Kris Bryant tracker: The wait is over

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Kris Bryant tracker: The wait is over

Kris Bryant Watch is officially over.

The top prospect in baseball is expected to be called up to The Show on Friday, according to CSN Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney.

Here's a rundown of Bryant's minor league action this season:

Thursday, April 16 - Iowa Cubs @ New Orleans Zephyrs

Bryant's only hit of the day was a three-run homer that could be the last of his minor league career with the I-Cubs. It was his third home run of the season, which occurred in the 6th inning. Bryant played third base and went 1-for-4, scoring a run and fanning once.

The I-Cubs won the game, 10-7, earning their fourth win of the season.

Wednesday, April 15 - Iowa Cubs @ New Orleans Zephyrs

After a rainout Tuesday, Bryant and the I-Cubs picked up play again with an early game Wednesday, in which Bryant went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. He was also hit by a pitch and struck out twice as Iowa lost 3-2 in extra innings.

Bryant is now hitting .333 on the season with a 1.004 OPS, two homers, seven RBI and two stolen bases in six games.

Monday, April 13 - Iowa Cubs @ New Orleans Zephyrs

Bryant didn't homer Monday, but he did collect three hits - all singles - in helping the I-Cubs to a 4-1 victory. Bryant didn't score or drive in a run (the bottom of the order did all the damage) and stole his second base of the season. He also made two throwing errors at third base.

Sunday, April 12 - Iowa Cubs @ Memphis Redbirds

Bryant went deep again Sunday, crushing a two-run homer in the seventh to spark Iowa to a 7-2 victory. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the game and finished 1-for-4 with three RBI. Bryant hit third in the lineup, with Addison Russell collecting three hits - including a homer - and two RBI hitting ahead of Bryant.

Saturday, April 11 - Iowa Cubs @ Memphis Redbirds

Bryant broke out of his mini-slump to start the year, going 3-for-4 with a double, his first home run of the year and 3 RBIs.

He added a single and played error-free baseball at third base as the Cubs won 13-0, picking up their first win of the year.

Friday, April 10 - Iowa Cubs @ Memphis Redbirds

Bryant was the cleanup hitter, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He was error-free in nine innings of work at third base.

Iowa finished the game with five hits, losing 8-1.

Thursday, April 9 - Iowa Cubs @ Memphis Redbirds

Bryant hit fourth and went 1-for-4 with a single, an RBI, a run and a stolen base while playing third. He hit behind fellow uber-prospect Russell, who had two hits, a run and an RBI.

Bryant drove in John Andreoli with a two-out single to right and then promptly stole second before Junior Lake's single brought home both Russell and Bryant.

Still, the I-Cubs wound up on the losing end in a 7-4 ballgame.

Who Knew? Baseball oddities from Daniel Palka, Anthony Rizzo and more in Chicago baseball

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USA TODAY

Who Knew? Baseball oddities from Daniel Palka, Anthony Rizzo and more in Chicago baseball

After a two-week hiatus, “Who Knew?” is Back!  Time for our (usually) weekly journey through the improbable, inane & obscure of Chicago Baseball.

All notes are through Sunday’s games.

Extra Innings… Extra Runs

Last Monday the Cubs beat the Brewers 7-2… in 11 innings.

They have three wins this season in extra innings.  By 4, 5 and 6 runs!  Their four extra-inning losses this season are by 1, 1, 1 and 2 runs.

No other team has won an extra-inning game by at least 5 runs this season.  The Cubs have done it twice.

Inning Checklist

Anthony Rizzo homered in the 11th inning in that Monday Cubs win.  He has now homered in every inning from 1 to 13 in his career, joining Ron Santo & Sammy Sosa as the only players in Cubs history who can make that distinction.

One-Two Punch

Tuesday night, Yoán Moncada & Yolmer Sánchez led off the game with back-to-back home runs.

It was the fourth time in franchise history the Sox led a game off with consecutive homers.

Sánchez hit the second home run each of the last two times they did it (also September 2, 2017 after Alen Hanson)

It was the FIRST time in Major League history two players whose first name begins with the letter Y had hit consecutive home runs to begin a game.

What’s the Catch?

439 players have had at least 30 at-bats this season.

The best batting average of those players belongs to Kevan Smith (.441 but in only 34 at-bats)

In the Park

The most batters faced without allowing a home run this season is 149, by Dylan Covey. He allowed 20 Home Runs in 70.0 Innings in 2017.

Through the Draft

Friday night:

Javier Báez Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2011 (9th overall)  reached base 3 times (including two walks!)
Albert Almora Jr. Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2012 (6th overall)  reached base 3 times
Kris Bryant Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2013 (2nd overall) homered
Kyle Schwarber Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2014 (4th overall)    homered
Ian Happ Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2015 (9th overall)   homered

Double Time

José Abreu has 21 doubles since May 8th.

You could chop off Abreu’s first 31 games this season and those 21 doubles alone would be enough to tie Ozzie Albies & Nick Markakis for the FULL season National League lead this season

Palka Party

Daniel Palka’s 7 batted balls of at least 115 mph is the 4th highest total in MLB (according to the available data at baseballsavant.com).

But look at how many more plate appearances this season the other guys have had!

  Batted balls of 115+mph  PA
Giancarlo Stanton    10 294
Joey Gallo   9 286
Aaron Judge     8 300
Daniel Palka     7 154

                                                

By the way, the rest of the White Sox team has a combined 3 batted balls of 115+ MPH this season.  Palka is clearly a special talent.

Cubs still owning second place in the NL All-Star vote standings

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USA TODAY

Cubs still owning second place in the NL All-Star vote standings

One Cubs player is within shouting distance of starting at the 2018 MLB All-Star game. But this time around, as compared to last week, the vote deficit is a bit larger.

MLB updated its second round of All-Star ballots for the National League. Catcher Willson Contreras trails Giants catcher Buster Posey by 90,000 votes. The margin was only 22,000 votes at this time last week.

And for other Cubs players such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and others, the margin is a little more substantial.

Rizzo is behind Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman by nearly 870,000 votes. Baez trails Braves second basemen Ozzie Albies by 148,000 votes.

Bryant trails Rockies third basemen Nolan Arenado by 447,000 votes. At shortstop, Addison Russell is in third place, trailing the Dansby Swanson of the Braves and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

In the outfield, Jason Heyward moved up to the seventh spot with 447,359 votes, dropping Kyle Schwarber to eighth with 442,471 votes, and Ben Zobrist ranks ninth with 434,943 votes.

There will be another All-Star ballot update for the NL next Monday, and voting ends on July 5 at 11 p.m. Central.