Maddon Says Almora Could Hit 20 Dingers, Schwarber Will Keep Playing Through Struggles, More

Joe Maddon visited the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score to talk about a wide variety of topics. The talk covered patience, Kyle Schwarber at leadoff, the bullpen, Albert Almora’s potential, meditation, Chris Bosio’s comments on Eric Thames, and more. In this post, we highlight some of the questions posed and Maddon’s responses to them.

On Kyle Schwarber’s struggles and continuing to play him.

Sometimes you got to be patient, and you’ll reap the rewards of being patient.

In response to Heyward saying he subconsciously changed his approach when batting higher in the order. 

Yeah some guys don’t like to hit first. Some guys like to hit second. But Kyle likes it. It’s not an issue for him at all.

On Schwarber catching.

Comfortable. It’s hard to say. It’s two innings like that…I have so much faith in it though…passion is unparalleled. Believe me man, it’s the beginning of May. He’s going to get so hot.

How often do you want Schwarber behind the plate?

I’m not looking for it. Just want to keep him in the lineup and keep him healthy. If in fact, if something were to happen to [one of our catchers], you might see it more often.

In response to Uehara’s consecutive days.

If he covers first base on that first ground ball, he might have had a perfect night. I absolutely believe from the bottom of my heart that if he covered first base he would’ve had a perfect inning. One of those anomaly moments.

Rondon in the 8th and Davis in the 9th; You feeling like these are the guys?

Yeah, trying to put Hector in the right spot and not overuse him. And Stropy was outstanding in Boston. I thought he was really, really good. I’m trying to get these guys in a rotation.

Did you really compare Almora to Jim Edmonds defensively and Manny Ramirez offensively?

Yes, (his) method is very similar to Jimmy. I had Jimmy as a baby. I kind of raised Jimmy. Offensively, it’s how he finishes his swing. If you put (Almora and Manny) side-by-side, their finishes are very similar. Over time, I think we’re going to see significant power out of his swing…at least 20 homers coming out of Wrigley.

And how about Jon Jay? Doing a great job for us all year. Offensively, defensively. This guy is a baseball player, great for the team. He’s going to sustain this high level of play all season.

Will Almora get more time?

It’s situational right now, trying to keep them all in. I don’t have a specific plan.

The defense hasn’t been up to Cubs standards. Is that fair?

That’s fair. I don’t have a specific cause. We’re used to making all the plays. I’m not worried about errors as much as making plays we’re used to making. I don’t have a solid answer. The work has been the same. They’re the same human beings….we’re going to catch our grove, one of those 15 out of 20 runs.

Addison Russell had a throwing error and a bump weekend. Just a day off?

Yeah, I told Addison, actually, that I was going to be looking for a day off for him against the Phillies. And Zo has been playing really good. Zo’s overall game has been outstanding. He’s caught his second wind out of spring training.

On team reportedly being infuriated with Bosio’s comments on Thames? 

I don’t think the team is infuriated. Of course, overall, Thames, I believe, is quite a talent. I saw him when he first came up with Toronto and I thought he was really good. Everything [Thames] is talking about is what I want us to do: meditation, visualization, organizing your strike zone. It’s all been mental. Unfortunate that this has been spinning out of control.

So there you have it, a brief look at a little bit of everything in Cubdom from the man who knows it best. And check out Spiegel and Parkins every weekday from 9am – 1pm CT on 670 The Score.

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