Cubs

The next steps for Eloy Jimenez after Cubs shut down top prospect

The next steps for Eloy Jimenez after Cubs shut down top prospect

MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs spun it as a positive for elite prospect Eloy Jimenez, the MRI and CT scan revealing a bone bruise and no structural damage to his right shoulder. 

"All in all, we feel like it's pretty good news," general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday at the Sloan Park complex. "We'll get this right and get him back out there."

The Cubs plan to shut down Jimenez for three weeks and then restart a throwing program, which will probably leave him in extended spring training. Once medically cleared and operating at game speed, advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach would be a logical landing spot for Jimenez, who's only 20 years old and a consensus top-15 prospect in the industry. 

Jimenez hadn't played since a March 14 Cactus League game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Mesa. Hoyer pointed to the awkward throw that Jimenez made from left field – the ball wound up in the seats behind the third-base dugout – as "sort of the straw that broke the camel's back."

"Changing his mechanics a little bit is something we'll probably work on," Hoyer said, "just making sure in the future he doesn't do that. He had been a little bit sore before. That sort of pushed things over the edge."

[Buy Cubs tickets]

Hoyer laughed when a reporter asked a follow-up question using manager Joe Maddon's comparisons: Do you think Jimenez is more like Miguel Cabrera or Edgar Martinez?

"I try not to attach many players to prospects," Hoyer said. "It never seems like it works out that well in the future when you guys remind us of these comments.

"But I love his balance. For a big guy like that at such a young age, his recognition's really good. And with a lot of guys with that kind of power, I feel like there's some wild swinging that goes on. With him, it doesn't seem like it's ever wild swinging.

"It's very in control, which is very much like his personality. When you talk to him, he's very measured. He's calm in the box. I think that really helps him."

Cubs expected to hire Mike Napoli — David Ross' former teammate — as quality assurance coach

Cubs expected to hire Mike Napoli — David Ross' former teammate — as quality assurance coach

David Ross will not only be managing former teammates with the Cubs in 2020, but he'll be coaching alongside one, too.

The Cubs are expected to add former MLB catcher Mike Napoli to Ross' coaching staff, per multiple reports. Napoli will assume the title of quality assurance coach, vacated by Chris Denorfia, who held the position for one season.

Napoli played in parts of 12 big-league seasons from 2006-17 with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox and Indians. He won the 2013 World Series with Boston — alongside Ross and Cubs starter Jon Lester — and was also a key figure with the 2016 Indians, whom the Cubs defeated in the World Series. He finished his career with a .246/.346/.475 slash line with 267 home runs. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Cubs pursued Napoli last winter, though the 38-year-old wanted to take a short break from baseball before jumping into coaching. He'll join a Cubs coaching staff that is almost finalized, with the exception of one vacant base coach spot. Here's what the group looks like right now:

Manager — David Ross
Bench coach — Andy Green
Pitching coach — Tommy Hottovy
Associate pitching coach, catching and strategy coach — Mike Borzello
Hitting coach — Anthony Iapoce
Assistant hitting coach — Terrmel Sledge
Bullpen coach — Chris Young
Base coach — Will Venable
Base coach — open
Quality assurance coach — Mike Napoli

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the organization hopes to have the coaching staff finalized by the end of the week. With Napoli on board, the Cubs are one step closer to making that goal a reality.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.

Fans apologize to Yu Darvish following Astros cheating allegations

Fans apologize to Yu Darvish following Astros cheating allegations

When the Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline, he was expected to be one of the final pieces to their championship puzzle.

After a solid nine-start regular season with Los Angeles, Darvish was stellar early in the postseason. In two starts (one in the NLDS, one in the NLCS), he allowed two runs across 11.1 innings, racking up 14 strikeouts compared to a single walk.

Things went downhill for Darvish in the World Series, where he surrendered nine runs in 3.1 innings across two starts. This includes Game 7, when he threw 47 pitches in 1.2 innings, allowing five runs in a 5-1 series-clinching win for the Astros.

Darvish became a scapegoat for the Dodgers' World Series loss and faced heavy backlash from fans. Consequentially, he had concerns about re-signing with the Dodgers when he became a free agent that offseason, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, due to fears of how the city's anger towards him would affect his family.

Two years later, fans are now apologizing for directing their anger at Darvish for his World Series performance. Why?

Tuesday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported the Astros stole opposing teams' signs electronically during the 2017 season. This conflicts with the notion of Darvish tipping his pitches in the World Series, which an anonymous Astros player told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci was the case.

The notion of Darvish tipping his pitches is now in question altogether:

As has often been the case this offseason, Darvish had a brilliant reaction to the whole situation on Twitter:

Darvish joined the Cubs in 2018 on a six-year deal. After an injury-riddled debut season with the Cubs, he took off post-All-Star break in 2019 and is expected to be the team's Opening Day starter in 2020. Although what happened in 2017 can't be changed, it's nice to see he's moved forward.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.