Around the Bases: Rizzo Hears Wedding Bells, Contreras Close, Maddon Talks Replay & Soler,

There were a few notable, fun things that happened over the last few days so we thought we’d take a few moments to highlight and discuss them.

  • Miguel Montero and Tim Federowicz have taken Willson Contreras under their wing and are working with him to try and help him develop the communication skills he needs to become a Big League catcher, this according to a report by Carrie Muskat of “I think he’s ready. I don’t see why not,” Montero said after his recent rehab stint at AAA Iowa. Tim Federowicz added, “His biggest thing is he just needs to work on his pitcher-catcher relationships and learn his pitchers and make sure he’s always on their side.”
  • Joe Maddon doesn’t mind the instant reply process currently in place, in fact he prefers it to having to run out and argue a call with the umpire. He recently commented on the subject saying, “I was thinking about that. I was anticipating me going out there to argue the call — much more than 20 seconds, I promise you.” Read more about it here and here.
  • Its well known that Jorge Soler has been struggling, we even wrote a post on the subject. It seems like almost everybody, including Joe Maddon, has an opinion on Jorge. Joe said in an interview, “He’s [Jorge] done a lot of work and his self-awareness is growing.” He added, “He’s really trying to do the right things, making adjustments. He’ll figure it out.”
  • There’s no question that Joe is being patient with Soler, who’s slashing .174/.263/.267 and has a BABIP of .213. Compare that to his 2015 slash line of .262/.324/.399 and BABIP of .361. Part of the problem may be that he’s getting a lot of fly balls so far in 2016 — his FB% is 47.6% in 2016 compared to 29.8% in 2015.
  •  And last, but certainly not least, Anthony Rizzo was recently part of a marriage proposal that a Cubs fan made to his fiancée. Anthony posed with the couple and their family for a picture at a Fanatics sports convention and, once the picture was done, asked, ” Steve, you have any questions you want to ask?” He did. He proceeded to get on one knee right there in front of Anthony Rizzo. She said “yes.”  How cool is that? Here’s the video.

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