It’s pretty fitting that Disney debuted a new trailer for The Force Awakens this afternoon.
ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers is reporting that the team plans to call up super-stud, all-world human hyperbole Kris Bryant on Friday, much to the surprise of yours truly. I had fully expected them to give Bryant another week in AAA, if not at least a few more days.
Breaking. Source: Kris Bryant to be called up by Cubs on Friday. Story coming at http://t.co/iRRtXbR1Vj
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) April 17, 2015
Go crazy, Cubs fans, it’s about to get real. Despite the fact that we all knew this was coming sooner or later, I’m taken aback by just how much sooner this announcement comes. And I mean that in a good way, mind you, as I think there’s more to be excited about than just Bryant’s mere presence in the lineup.
It’s obvious that the club has gotten much more aggressive in terms of building a competitive on-field product, and this call-up signifies that mentality almost as clearly as the pursuits of Joe Maddon and Jon Lester. In fact, I might even argue that it’s more indicative of the front office’s belief that Bryant is the man and the time is now.
Am I reading too much into the difference of just a couple days? Perhaps. But consider that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are seeing fit to let the young man debut at home in front of a rabid crowd that’s actually starting to expect winning baseball. After all the talk of letting Bryant settle into a groove, this seems to cut against the grain a bit.
But after hitting a three-run homer (his 3rd) in the first game of a double-header this evening, I’m pretty sure Bryant is feeling comfortable. Another important factor, and one that I don’t think can be overstated, is that the Cubs themselves have established a really nice rhythm here in the young season.
They’re playing a more fundamentally sound brand of baseball than we’re used to seeing on the North Side and they’re enjoying themselves while doing it. The timing is perfect to add Bryant to the mix, even if the timing does belie the concept of holding him back for reasons other than service time.
Early posturing from Scott Boras and the MLBPA, however, seems to have softened, particularly in light of the recent words from former Cub Carlos Villanueva. Add to that the litany of injuries the team has suffered at third base, not to mention the continued absence of corner man Chris Denorfia, and you establish a need for another bat anyway.
It remains to be seen whether Bryant will be in the lineup when the Cubs take on the Padres in an early afternoon start, though the prospects are cloudy. Even if he’s already en route to Chicago, the late night and lack of sleep may not be adequate preparation to face Big Game James Shields.
Then again, Bryant isn’t just some geek off the streets and I’m reasonably sure the adrenaline is going to be fueling him just fine. Heck, I’m getting jazzed up right now just thinking about it; I feel like a kid on Krismas Eve, anxious at the prospect of a new presence at Wrigley.