Tag Archives: Willson Contreras

Thank Yu: Jed Hoyer Pulls Trigger on Darvish Trade

When you woke up this morning Chicago Cubs fans, how were you feeling with news of the Yu Darvish trade to the San Diego Padres? I am genuinely curious because I am excited. I have been reading a lot of different opinions on this subject matter in the last 24 hours. From the knowledge I was able to gather, not many people liked it.

Well, I am here to tell you why it was the exact move the Cubs needed to make. I am not here to change your mind. I am only here to give you a positive outlook on your current situation… as a Cub fan.

Hoyer Trades Yu Darvish to Padres

Had to Happen

Darvish was second in the National League in CY Young voting. He also posted a 2.01 earned run average and going 8-3 in a pandemic ridden season where the Cubs were swept from the playoffs for the second time in three years. Also, might I add how disappointing the end of the 2019 season was as well? The one where we entered September with a 5.5 game lead and lost the division within two weeks. Yeah, those were some rough times.

Nothing frustrates me more when a team is not playing to their potential and that is exactly what the Cubs have been doing over the last couple of seasons. As much fun as winning in the regular season is. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will ever be as special as that October in 2016. Call me greedy, but I want that again. Oh so desperately. I listen to playoff highlights in my car because of the goosebumps it brings back to me.

I live for moments such as Miguel Montero breaking open Game 1 of the League Championship Series with a game-breaking/essentially ending grand slam. That absolutely rocked Wrigley Field to its core. Those are the moments I want back again and the way the roster is currently constructed is just not going to do it anymore.

Trading Darvish is Good

Yes, I know you do not know any of the four 18-20-year-olds with little to no experience. That is ok, you will. Things like this take time and while the Dodgers, Padres, and Braves battle it out for the National League crown, we will continue to acquire talent. Because this time around, the rebuild will be much quicker. The Cubs already have major league talent ready to trade.

Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Kyle Hendricks, and other over-performing players. The Cubs will enter the season with some of their current roster intact. But if and when one of those guys gets off to a hot start, the Cubs will be evaluating and looking to shore up their farm system and reload for the future.

Enjoy This Season

You may still be in a state of confusion about what the Cubs are doing but it is truly time. the days of 2016 are gone and if I am to be hyper-critical right now the Cubs over the past three seasons have been major disappointments. We saw the cracks begin in 2017 when we somehow survived an NLDS against the Washington Nationals, and then got absolutely ran over by the Dodgers in the LCS.

The end of 2018 and 2019 was equally disappointing. It’s time to start getting some return for the remaining assets we have. This return could be beautiful due to the talent that remains on the roster. Hendricks can be a top-10 pitcher in the game. He’s shown his poise and control ever since coming to the big league level. Contreras is a top-five catcher in the game currently and there are a lot of teams that are looking to take their signal-caller to the next level.

You love the players from this team because odds are they brought you some of the happiest moments of your life as a sports fan. Sadly, we are Cubs fans and we just lived through the greatest era of Chicago Cubs baseball history. Just let that sink in. Now, depending on your perspective that could be seen as good or bad. I like to see it as a good thing, and I want to use the talent that we currently have to catapult this team to the future. The players on this team mean a lot not only to you but to me as well.

Memory Lane

I will never forget the instinct Javy Baez played with throughout those playoffs. I will never forget how all the pieces fell into place and the plan worked. It actually worked. Theo came in October of 2011, said he needs to gut the farm system and rebuild this team from the ground up. He came in, he did what he said he would do, and accomplished it.

So when the 2021 season rolls around, and you see these guys in a Cubs uniform, all I can say is enjoy it, remember how these players made you feel and the happiness they brought. The goal of trading these guys is to bring in more talent to accomplish the same goal as before.

Yu Will Thank Jed Later

Yes, I know you are sick of the “Yu” puns well. I can’t help it. If you were blindsided by this trade then I do not know how to help Yu (ok I am done). In a few seasons when the incredible Dodgers, Padres, and Braves maybe are taking a step back, the Cubs will have much better talent in the farm system to bring in to compete for another championship. You can call this run by the Cubs over this past decade a success or a failure. That is your decision. Zach Davies was the only major league-ready player coming back in the deal.

You can be mad at the lack of “talent” the Cubs got for Darvish, but remember. Darvish is a 35-year-old, injury-prone pitcher who before this season had only a few solid stretches for the Cubs. No one knows what you are going to get out of the super young talent. B if one of those guys develops and plays a nice role for us in the future then this trade is a success.

The Cubs need to shed salary and start getting ready for the future. Especially since there is no timetable set for when fans are going to be allowed back into the stadium. Let’s get the struggling over with so we can dominate later on. Today is a rough day for Cubs fans. It is the end of an era, and what a fun era it was.

Tough Times Ahead After Yu Darvish Trade

It is hard to accept, but it is ok. The Cubs are one of the top franchises in all of major league baseball. They’re also one of the few franchises with a top fanbase that will support the team through thick and thin. Wrigley is a special place to many Cubs fans who have made life-lasting memories there. Do not worry, there will be more memories to be made by a Cubs team that will excite just like in 2015.

Remember, when a team struggles they can acquire more talented players through the draft. I don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing I want to see is how the Cubs can develop better pitching. If Jed can find the magic and unlock this liability the team has had this whole decade, then the future of the team is in great hands and we will be looking forward to hoisting more pennants in the future.

Tough times may lie ahead, but so do better times. So embrace the pain, embrace the future. We will reach the mountain top again.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Chicago Cubs Hot Start

Baseball is back and back with a vengeance. We already have our first canceled games for the week due to COVID and the Miami Marlins. But they are not the concern of this article. I want to break down these first five games and usually, I would be bombarded with “iT iS OnLy FivE GaMEs in”. Well, SpongeBob meme, that is nearly 10 percent of our season this time around. The Chicago Cubs are off to a 4-1 start and atop the NL Central. Although 4-1 is a great start, there is always something to improve on and with this Cubs team, there certainly is.

Good, Bad, Ugly: The Cubs Hot Start

The Good:

The bats are “woke”; as the children like to say. Even though they are only hitting .250 as a team, good for third in the National League, the ball still jumps off of the bat. They are first in the NL with 10 home runs as a team. Chicago’s 31 runs scored is also good for first among NL opponents.

Another good thing about this Cubs team is the starting pitching. National League Player of the Week Kyle Hendricks takes the bump Wednesday against the Reds after going the distance against the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener. In 29 innings of work, the starting rotation has given up six runs. Half of those were by Yu Darvish who will be in the latter portion of this reading.

Right now, the Cubs offense is just putting up runs. If you can’t hang with six runs a game then you will not be beating them on a consistent basis.

Free-agent acquisitions Jason Kipnis and Steven Souza Jr have stepped into their roles nicely and have been playing well above expectations so far. Kipnis is hitting .375 and has brought a nice presence to the plate with that left-handed swing. Souza has gotten limited playing time but hit a very nice double down the line the other night to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in Cincinnati.

The Bad:

There really isn’t a lot of holes to poke in a 4-1 start but there is always something extra you would like to see happening. For the Cubs, that is Kris Bryant who has been placed in the leadoff spot and has a measly slash line of .059/.158/.059; not good by any means. The bright spot for Bryant in this spot is the number of pitches he sees in each at-bat. He really sets the table for Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, and Willson Contreras to drive in the runs.

Darvish is supposed to be one of our go-to starters. Unfortunately for Darvish, his style of pitching does not cater to efficiency. His stuff is downright filthy but very erratic and he could only get through four innings in his debut and gave up three earned runs. This is the Cubs only loss of the season so far and it comes from one their least likely suspects.

Usually, throughout a 162-game season, I would be patient with these slow starts. But October is right around the corner and the Cubs need these two in prime form if they want a chance to win another title because this is the Cubs “Last Dance”.

The Ugly:

Let’s be frank, we all know what this section is all about. The bullpen is a joke. Craig Kimbrel nearly blew the save the other night and put his teammate Jeremy Jeffress in quite the predicament. Thankfully, Jeffress shut the door. A former Brewer, Jeffress is coming off of his worst season ever in Milwaukee and is looking to bounce back. Being put in a bases-loaded situation with only one out and nursing a one-run lead is not a recipe for success.

The bullpen has pitched 16 innings (out of 45) and given up 15 runs; all earned. Kimbrel looks like a shell of his former self and can’t locate a pitch. He looked flustered on the mound and had no answers to get himself out of that situation. The Cubs have a lot of work to do for a 4-1 team. This ugly portion will rear its ugly head in October because the Cubs will not be averaging six runs a game all season.

The Cubs First Five Games

There is “a lot” of baseball to be played and I am beyond excited. I will touch back with you guys in between the 15 to 20-game mark to see where this team is and if their October chances improve or not. When I say chances in October, I am talking about how the team could do in the postseason in terms of winning a title, not just making it to the postseason.