Friday was a frustrating day for the Chicago Cubs. Instead of recording their first road win of the season, the Cubs did not capitalize and basically gave a game away.
Three games into the season and the Cubs are 2-for-25 with runners in scoring position. Starlin Castro has both of those hits and only one plated a run. The Cubs were 1-for-9 with RISP on Friday afternoon in Denver and wasted plenty of opportunities early in the game.
Joe Maddon, once again, pointed to hitting with runners in scoring position as a league-wide problem, while acknowledging the Cubs have to do better. Maddon thinks the Cubs will eventually turn things around and start producing with runners in scoring position.
The Kris Bryant watch hit the sixth day or half way mark Friday. And while Bryant should not be viewed as a cure-all for an offense that hasn’t looked that good over the first three games, as ESPN pointed out, Bryant would help lengthen the Cubs lineup.
Kris Bryant is 1-for-8 in two games with a double, a run scored, a RBI, three strikeouts and a stolen base.
Maddon said he’s not paying attention to what is happening in the farm system or what certain players may or may not be doing. Maddon is focused on the players on the big league team.
RHP Justin Grimm was placed on the 15-day DL before Friday’s game with right forearm inflammation. The Cubs backdated the DL stint to April 2 which would make him eligible to come off the disabled list next week. The Cubs did not give a timetable for a possible return.
Joe Maddon addressed Grimm’s injury. Maddon said he doesn’t think it is serious. Maddon explained it’s been nagging him, he tried to pitch through it and couldn’t. The Cubs thought it was best for him to shut it down and just give it time. According to Maddon, Grimm dealt with the injury in Spring Training.
Justin Grimm has already reported to the Cubs’ complex in Mesa to rehab the injury.
When the announcement was made Justin Grimm had been placed on the DL, the decision and subsequent explanation to move C.J. Edwards to the bullpen made a lot more sense.
Joe Maddon talked to the beat writers about Javier Baez. The Cubs have told Baez to take all the time he needs to be with his family after his sister Noely passed away Wednesday. Baez was incredibly close with his sister.
Noely was born with spina bifida. And according to Comcast SportsNet, “Within the text of her medical condition Noely’s death on Wednesday night was believed to be unexpected.”
Maddon said he did not have any conversations with Baez about his family during Spring Training. But he sensed that Baez is very close to his family. Maddon didn’t rule out his sister’s medical condition possibly weighing heavily on him during camp.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Addison Russell went 1-for-4 with a double on Friday night in Memphis. Russell is 3-for-8 with a double and a RBI in two games. Russell has not walked or struck out eight at bats into the season.
• The Cubs are among the teams offering mental health support systems. According to a report from ESPN, Josh Lifrak is the same as a coach on Maddon’s staff. Lifrak is the director of the Cubs mental skills program.
• According to Mark Gonzales, Dexter Fowler received a “large applause” in his return to Coors Field.
• Anthony Rizzo was hit in his first two at bats Friday. Dating back to Wednesday’s series finale with the Cardinals, Rizzo was hit in three straight at bats.
• Joe Maddon and Walt Weiss batted their pitcher eighth Friday, the first time since 2008 in a game between the Cardinals and Pirates that both teams hit their pitcher eighth.
• Ben Lindbergh: Calculating the Worst-Case Cost of Jon Lester’s Pickoff Aversion
And last, but not least, according to Christopher Kamka, the 12 hits over the first three games is the fewest for the Cubs since the 2013 season.
This Day In Cubstory
2006 – Derrek Lee signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Cubs.
2006 – The Reds’ Bronson Arroyo hit his second home run in six days off Glendon Rusch.
1986 – Russ Canzler, born
1984 – Andres Blanco, born
1972 – Robin Jennings, born
1965 – Cubs purchased Ted Abernathy from the Indians
1955 – Cubs won on Opening Day for the sixth year in a row, a 7-5 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati.
1928 – Pat Malone was charged with six unearned runs in the eighth inning of his Major League debut in a 9-3 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. Kiki Cuyler also made his Cubs’ debut.
1919 – Hank Schenz, born
1913 – Cardinals purchased Jimmy Sheckard from the Cubs