Kris Bryant created more headlines Saturday. Bryant hit a mammoth two-run homer in the first inning and his second career Grand Slam in the second inning, the first granny for Bryant at Wrigley Field. Bryant drove in six of the Cubs’ seven runs.
While some consider Bryant just a home run hitter he does exactly what a middle of the order bat is supposed to do, drive in runs.
Over his first 70 games in the majors, Bryant has gotten on base either with a hit or a walk in 60 of the 70 games and he has put together a .278/.381/.486 line with 14 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs for a .868 OPS. Bryant has walked 41 times with 92 strikeouts. Bryant took over the team lead in RBI on Saturday with 49. And while RBI is a team driven stat, the rookie is producing with runners on base.
Bryant is hitting .336/.437/.609 (37-for-110) with runners on base and .371/.475/.677 (23-for-62) with runners in scoring position. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Bryant is batting .423/.531/.731 (11-for-26). And with the bases loaded, Bryant is 2-for-3 with two grand slams this season.
With runners on base and two outs, Bryant is batting .400/.481/.667 (18-for-45) and with a man on third and less than two outs, Bryant is hitting at a .400 clip (6-for-15) with a 1.429 OPS.
Bryant slowed down for a couple of weeks, which is to be expected. Since a much-needed day off, Bryant is 3-for-7 with a double, two home runs and a walk and he has a five game hitting streak (6-for-18 with two doubles, three walks and two home runs).
Joe Maddon thinks Kris Bryant is about to go on a tear. With seven days to go before the break, Bryant should benefit from the return of Jorge Soler. And a big week from Bryant could wrap up a good first half for the Cubs on a really positive note.
The Cubs announced a series of roster moves prior to Saturday night’s game with the Marlins. And there was a lot of player movement throughout the organization. Be sure to check Monday’s Down on the Farm Report for the breakdown of which affiliate the players were assigned to as well as the ones that ended up on a disabled list.
At the big league level, here is the Cliff Notes version:
- LHP Clayton Richard had his contract selected from Triple-A Iowa. Richard was placed on the 40-man roster and added to the 25-man roster.
- C Taylor Teagarden’s contract was selected from Triple-A Iowa, added to the 40-man roster and recalled from Iowa.
- C David Ross was placed on the 7-day DL with a mild concussion retroactive to July 2.
- RHP Donn Roach was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
- INF Tommy La Stella was transferred to the 60-day DL.
- RHP Gonzalez Germen was designated for assignment.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players. And the 25-man roster currently consists of 13 pitchers (five starters, eight relievers) and 12 position players.
OF Jorge Soler will be activated before Sunday’s game. The Cubs will have to option a player to Iowa in order to have a spot on the active roster (25-man) for him.
RHP Dylan Cease turned in an excellent outing Saturday according to Bill Mitchell. The Cubs’ sixth round pick from a year had possibly his best game since Tommy John surgery. Cease gave up one earned run over three innings without surrendering a hit. Cease walked one and struck out three.
Cease has appeared in three games and made two starts. In 5 2/3 innings, Cease has allowed four runs, one earned, on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts (1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP). Mitchell called Cease “one of top AZL pitchers.”
Cubs Rumors Links Corner
• Jim Bowden identified the trade sellers and what those teams have to offer. Bowden has the Cubs and Blue Jays as the favorites to acquire Jonathan Papelbon. Bowden thinks Joe Maddon “would love to be reunited” with Ben Zobrist and LHP Zach Duke “would be attractive to a big market team such as the Dodgers or Cubs.”
• The Des Moines Register took a look at five Iowa Cubs who could be on the trade block … INF Javier Baez, INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara, INF Christian Villanueva, RHP Brian Schlitter and INF Mike Olt.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Clayton Richard was in fine form in his first big league outing since 2013 according to the Tribune.
• Clayton Richard was the 2,000th player to appear in a game in franchise history … No. 500 – Ollie Hanson; No. 1000 – Billy Williams; No. 1500 – Jose Vizcaino
• From Christopher Kamka: Kris Bryant became the first player since Alfonso Soriano on May 16, 2008 to hit home runs in the first and second inning for the Cubs.
• Anthony Rizzo was plunked again Saturday night. Rizzo has been hit 17 times this season. Rizzo tied Marlon Byrd (2010) and Frank Chance (1905) for the Cubs post-1900 record for the most times HBP in a single season.
• Carrie Muskat talked to Addison Russell about the one-year anniversary of the trade that landed him in the Cubs’ organization.
• LHP Bryan Hudson is in Mesa preparing for the start of his pro career. After taking a little break from baseball, he is hoping to pitch in a game in a couple of weeks.
And last, but not least, the Marlins optioned Jarred Cosart to Triple-A New Orleans after Saturday’s start against the Cubs and reinstated OF/1B Michael Morse.
This Day In Cubstory
2002 – Cubs fired manager Don Baylor and replaced him with Bruce Kimm
2001 – Greg Maddux posted his 250th big league victory
1992 – Umpire Bill Hohn ejected an Atlanta Braves fan from the Cubs-Braves game for making obscene gestures. The Cubs shutout the Braves 8-0. Greg Maddux pitched seven innings and beat John Smoltz. Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace and Kal Daniels hit home runs.
1966 – Three seasons after acquiring him from the Cardinals for Lou Brock, the Cubs sent Ernie Broglio to the team’s PCL affiliate in Tacoma. Broglio never pitched in the big leagues again.
1951 – Rich Gossage, born
1951 – Boston Braves selected Barney Schultz off waivers from the Cubs
1950 – Gary Matthews, born
1944 – Cubs released Jimmie Foxx
1937 – Frank Demaree recorded eight hits as the Cubs swept a doubleheader over the Cardinals. The Cubs topped the Cardinals 13-12 in 14 innings in game one on a Billy Jurges’ bases loaded single. And took game two 9-7. The two games took six and a half hours to play at Wrigley Field.