Cubs

Yu Darvish is absolutely killing it on social media this offseason

Yu Darvish is absolutely killing it on social media this offseason

Welcome to the Winter of Yu.

Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish ended the season on a high note and he's carried that over to the winter as his social media game has been on fire lately.

Darvish began the week by poking fun at Anthony Rizzo, jokingly taking credit for some of Rizzo's defensive prowess as the Cubs first baseman won his third Gold Glove Award:

That continued when Darvish won his own award Tuesday...though his wasn't quite as prestigious.

Rob Friedman, aka @PitchingNinja, tabbed Darvish with the "Award for Deadliest Pitch" in 2019 when he hit the batter, umpire and catcher Willson Contreras with the same pitch (a 99 mph fastball!) April 15 in Miami. 

Darvish responded to Friedman, first with an apology and then with a pro tip:

Then came another poke at Rizzo Wednesday when Darvish posted an Instagram video mimicking Rizzo's stance and swing in a batting cage:

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Guess who?

A post shared by Yu Darvish (@darvishsefat11) on

It even elicited a response from Rizzo himself as well as Jason Heyward:

Darvish's most impactful offseason Tweet came two weeks ago when he waited 18 months to clap back at Justin Verlander for an unathletic-looking play in the World Series:

It's all just further proof that Darvish has really come into his own in his second year with the Cubs after a trying first season. His sense of humor and passion was apparent all year and the results followed with a 2.76 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 118 strikeouts compared to only 7 walks in 13 second-half starts.

Darvish had a chance to opt out of his contract and elect free agency this winter, but chose to remain with the team that stood by him through his struggles and showed him unconditional support.

He enters 2020 at the top of the Cubs rotation and could even earn the nod on Opening Day (which was not something many people predicted just a few months ago). 

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Baseball America names Cubs’ Miguel Amaya as breakthrough catching prospect

Baseball America names Cubs’ Miguel Amaya as breakthrough catching prospect

If and when the 2020 baseball season commences, Cubs prospect Miguel Amaya could be in store for a big performance.

Baseball America named Amaya, one of the Cubs top minor leaguers, as its breakthrough catching prospect for 2020.

The Cubs added Amaya to their 40-man roster last November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The 21-year-old is known as a strong defensive catcher who's only getting better at the plate. Last season, he hit .235/.351/.402 with 11 homers and 57 RBIs in 99 games at advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

Amaya was in big league camp this spring before being optioned to Double-A Tennessee on March 10. The Cubs have one of the best catching duos in baseball in Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, so we won’t see Amaya in the big leagues until 2021 at the earliest.

That doesn’t mean Amaya can't play in the show right now. Cubs manager David Ross had a strong parting message for Amaya upon his way out of camp.

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Two Cubs employees test positive for COVID-19

Two Cubs employees test positive for COVID-19

Two Cubs employees who attended the same March 8 training session have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the team confirmed Sunday.

One is recovering at home; the other hospitalized receiving treatment, the team said.

The seasonal game-day workers informed the team of their conditions in recent days.

“There’s nothing definitive to suggest [the] training may have contributed,” team spokesman Julian Green said, noting nearly three weeks have passed since the annual season staff training session.

But the team has responded “out of an abundance of caution, transparency and responsibility” during this uncertain time, Green added.

The U.S. surgeon general on Friday identified Chicago as a coronavirus “hot spot,” anticipating a wave of new cases.

The Sun-Times first reported the March 23 and 24 positive tests.