Cubs

Trade updates remain stagnent, Garza prepares to return

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Trade updates remain stagnent, Garza prepares to return

While Saturday morning found the Cubs in a holding pattern in regards to the looming trade deadline, this time remains far from uneventful for Matt Garza.

Not only is Garza the subject of trade rumors, hes recovering from a right arm injury that forced him out of his last start after only three innings last Saturday. Its uncertain when -- or if, in the instance of a trade -- hell return to the Cubs rotation, though it appears he could be ready for the Cubs series against the Dodgers that begins Friday in Los Angeles.

But all that might take a back seat to some personal news. Garzas wife is expecting the couples fourth child. The Cubs reported doctors will induce labor on Serina Garza on Tuesday, the same day of the nonwaiver trade deadline.

As for the injury, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Garza is progressing well. An MRI this week on Garzas throwing arm revealed a slight fluid buildup in his right triceps area.

Garza threw from flat ground Saturday morning before the Cubs afternoon game against St. Louis at Wrigley Field. The Cubs look to even the series after Fridays 9-6 setback.

Everything is gradually progressing, Sveum said of Garza. Hes doing much better and well try to get him out there late next week. Everything is going really well, so it if I had to say, it should happen. Everything is just getting better each day, so thats looking pretty good.

Garza is expected to throw a bullpen session Monday, and the Cubs will evaluate his progress after that. Sveum added that Garza may be ready to pitch against the Dodgers.

He could. Were looking at late next week so well see what happens, Sveum said.

Meanwhile, nothing new has happened regarding the Cubs and potential trades. Garza and Ryan Dempster remain on the team, but are considered the Cubs prize pieces on the trade front.

Sveum said the players and coaches will all be happy once the deadline passes, and the rumor mill takes a break.

I think everybodys going to be glad its all over with, he said. Its really not over with a lot of the times because of the waiver wires and all that. But the main things will be shut down one way or the other.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Schwarber, Baez on night to remember at the Home Run Derby

Cubs Talk Podcast: Schwarber, Baez on night to remember at the Home Run Derby

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull spoke with Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber after an electric and entertaining Home Run Derby in Washington D.C.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here:

Who Knew? Cubs at the All-Star Break

Who Knew? Cubs at the All-Star Break

With a break in the action, let’s take a look at the season so far.

Today, I’ll focus on the first 57.4% of the Cubs’ 2018 season. Which is to say, the 93 games before the All-Star Break. Clearly more than “half.”

In all seasons with an All-Star Game (1933-present, minus 1945)

This is the fifth time the Cubs have had the National League’s best record at the All-Star Break.

Here is the entire list (note – 2016 is NOT on this list. They trailed the Giants by 3 games at the Break in 2016):

1937 44-25 +2.0
1969 61-37 +5.0
2001 51-35 +0.5
2008 57-38 +4.5
2018 55-38 +2.5

Which is incredible since:

• Anthony Rizzo has a wRC+ of 100, which is league average

(he was at 131 – 31% better than league average - through the All-Star break last season)

• Kris Bryant has missed 23 games and has only 10 home runs

• The Cubs as a team have 30 fewer Home Runs through 93 games than they did last season

(100 this season, 130 last season)

• The Cubs have had six pitchers make 8 or more starts this season and only one (Jon Lester – 2.58) has an ERA under 3.90

• Cubs pitching has an MLBhigh walk percentage of 11.0%

(Tyler Chatwood’s 9 starts with 5 or more walks is most in a season by a Cubs pitcher since Dick Drott’s 13 in 1957)

• Cubs have outscored their opponents by only one run in the first inning (5251)

This includes being outscored 18-13 in the first inning in Kyle Hendricks’ 19 starts

• Cubs are 57 against the Reds

(they were 27-11 against Cincinnati in 2016-17)

That being said, it's not so incredible since...

• The Cubs have scored at least 10 runs 15 times this season. No other team has done it more than 12 times.

• Jason Heyward has a wRC+ of 109 (he’s 9% better than league average)

This is notable because in 2016 he was at 71 (29% worse than league average) and 88 in 2017 (12% worse than league average).

• The Cubs have EIGHT qualified players with at least a .340 OnBase pct. (and Ian Happ, who is eight PA short of qualifying, is at .379)

The only qualified Cub with a SUB-.340 OBP is Javier Báez (.326 – a career-high). However…

• Javier Báez has 50 extrabase hits in 91 games. Last season he had 49 extra-base hits in 145 games.

Báez is the first player in Cubs history with 15 Doubles, 5 Triples, 15 HR and 15 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.

Báez is the first player in MLB history with 18 Doubles, 6 Triples, 18 HR and 18 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.

**seasons with an All-Star Game – 1933-present (minus 1945)