Cubs

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Where does the Addison Russell-Manny Machado trade rumor stand?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Where does the Addison Russell-Manny Machado trade rumor stand?

Connor McKnight (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) join Kap on the panel. The Addison Russell-Manny Machado trade rumors pop up again. Has Russell’s hot play quelled the trade talk?

Plus the guys discuss if they are surprised the White Sox are this bad and whether the Bulls should move up for Luka Dončić.

 

NL Central could get even tougher as Brewers enter talks with Craig Kimbrel

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USA TODAY

NL Central could get even tougher as Brewers enter talks with Craig Kimbrel

According to a tweet from MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers are in the midst of making a big addition to their already dangerous bullpen.

In 2018, Kimbrel posted a 2.74 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 42 saves in 47 opportunities. His five wins in ‘18 were also tied for his career-high in a season.

If he officially signs with the Brewers, Kimbrel would join Josh Hader in the pen, who just finished the ‘18 season with 143 strikeouts and the NL Reliever of the Year award.

Kimbrel would also be joining Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress, all of whom posed big problems for the Cubs at one point or another.

The news of Kimbrel and the Brewers being in talks, combined with the recent news that new catcher Yasmani Grandal’s contract is structured in a way that will allow him to test the market again in 2020, shows that Milwaukee is extremely serious about trying to repeat as back-to-back NL Central champions.

With just over two weeks until the first Cubs-Brewers regular season game of 2019, it certainly appears that winning the NL Central is going to be an arduous task for the North Siders.

Yu Darvish leaves spring start early with blister

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USA TODAY

Yu Darvish leaves spring start early with blister

Yu Darvish Comeback SZN is off to an inauspicious start, but things could've been a lot worse.

With Opening Day just over a week away, Darvish was removed early from his spring start Tuesday afternoon.

Before Darvish could finish his fifth inning of work, Cubs training staff, manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy came out to the mound to investigate the pitcher's hand.

It turned out to simply be a blister issue on the ring finger of his pitching hand:

Cubs nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Blisters can be tricky, but that would obviously be a better outcome than anything related to the bone bruise or elbow surgery Darvish had over the winter.

There's also good news in that Darvish doesn't plan on peeing on the blister, despite his teammates' suggestions:

The 32-year-old came to Cubs camp this spring looking like a totally different pitcher after the stress of last season. He was in good health and able to let it go freely on the mound while also conducting media sessions in English and seeming more at ease off the field.

After signing a 6-year, $126 million deal with the Cubs last February, Darvish managed to pitch only 40 innings across 8 starts before hitting the disabled list Memorial Day weekend with what was initially ruled as a triceps injury.

Darvish has 14 strikeouts in 12 innings this spring.

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