Cubs

Cubs continue to bolster bullpen by adding another former Rays pitcher

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USA TODAY

Cubs continue to bolster bullpen by adding another former Rays pitcher

The Cubs have clearly made adding to the pitching staff, and especially the bullpen, a priority in the early part of this offseason.

News broke early on Thursday morning that the Cubs reached an agreement with Steve Cishek.

Cishek is a 31-year-old right-hander who throws with a low arm-slot (see the photo above). He joins the Cubs after he was traded to the Rays just before the trade deadline this past season. He pitched under new Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey while in Florida.

Cishek gives the Cubs another experienced reliever in the bullpen after the previous additions of Brandon Morrow and Drew Smyly. In eight MLB seasons, Cishek has a 2.73 ERA with 449 strikeouts in 421 2/3 innings. His high strikeout rate should be appealing in addition to the fact that 2017 was arguably the best year of his career.

After joining the Rays, Cishek posted a 1.09 ERA while striking out 26 and walking seven in 24 2/3 innings. His 2.01 ERA in 2017, when combining his numbers with the Mariners before the trade, was the lowest of his career.

The Cubs bullpen may lose its best reliever from 2017 in Wade Davis, but is trying to make up for it in depth. Cishek had career-best numbers across the board (ERA, WHIP, BB/9, H/9) in his two-month stint with Tampa, under Hickey. If Hickey saw something in Cishek that he could improve upon and Cishek delivered, the Cubs could be looking at a strong addition to the 'pen.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with. 

 

Tom Ricketts brings the World Series trophy on stage during Pearl Jam concert

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NBC Sports Chicago

Tom Ricketts brings the World Series trophy on stage during Pearl Jam concert

During Saturday night's Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts brought out the 2016 World Series trophy, delighting all Cubs fans in attendance.

The concert was made even more special by Vedder having the highlight of David Bote's pinch-hit grand slam playing in the background during his performance of "Rebel Rebel". 

Anytime Pearl Jam is at Wrigley Field, it's a good time, but it is safe to say that Cubs fans who double as Pearl Jam fans will never forget the special night.