The Rundown: Kris Bryant’s Hitting Streak Ends in Ugly Loss to Twins, Papelbon Prefers Cubs? Olt Begins Rehab in AA, Happ Debuts with Emeralds
Last night’s 7-2 loss to the Twins was all-around pretty ugly. Kyle Hendricks wasn’t fooling anybody, the bats were quiet, and the defense resembled a clown college at times.
Things got off to an inauspicious start in the bottom of the first, when Starlin Castro booted a routine double-play ball, and then allowed another runner to come around and score while he was scolding himself for the error.
It didn’t get much better after that. Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs, but that was about it.
Hendricks gave up seven runs (six earned) and 11 hits in only five innings. He struck out only one.
Just have to shake this one off and go get them tomorrow.
Happ’s debut for Eugene
Cubs first-round pick Ian Happ, shortly after being signed, is already with short-season A-ball Eugene and he made his debut last night.
Playing center field, Happ singled in his first at-bat and ended the night 1-for-4. Expect him to play a number of different positions — many think second base could ultimately be his position with the Cubs.
Papelbon prefers Cubs?
Last week we heard that the Cubs and Blue Jays have had discussions with the Phillies about closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Jon Heyman is reporting that Pabelbon would prefer to come to the Cubs. He’s had a nice season (despite being on a very lousy team that hasn’t given him a lot of save opportunities lately) and has history with the Cubs’ front office, who drafted him with Boston.
I’d be in favor of the acquisition, but I’m not sure it’ll happen after the signing of RHP Rafael Soriano and the progressing Neil Ramirez. Although, too much pitching depth probably isn’t a thing.
* Kris Bryant’s hitting streak ended at 14 games. It was the longest hitting streak for a Cubs rookie since Jerome Walton’s 30-game run in 1989. He lined out to left to end last night’s game. Bryant has had an interesting year at the plate so far this year. He has hit for a better average than I expected, but with not as many home runs. I still think he has a big power streak coming at some point, but I will still take his current type of success at the plate (lots of walks, singles and doubles).
* Mike Olt has joined Neil Ramirez to rehab in Double-A Tennessee and made his debut in the second half of a double-header last night. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Not sure where Olt fits if/when he makes his way back to Chicago. Probably a bench bat, but I wonder if he is tried out in the outfield at all.
* Myrtle Beach outfielder Mark Zagunis is having a nice season and had himself quite the day yesterday. Zagunis homered in his first two at-bats, and ended the game 4-for-4 with 3 RBIs. Drafted in the third round in 2014, Zagunis is an on-base machine and currently has 45 walks on the year versus only 38 strikeouts.
* LHP Justin Steele, a fifth-round pick out of high school in 2014, started for the Eugene Emeralds last night. He recorded nine strikeouts in only five innings. He gave up two runs (unearned). Steele will be a guy to keep an eye on this year.