The Rundown: Cubs Start West Coast Swing in San Diego, Steele Diagnosis Better Than Feared, NL Central Could Dominate Trade Market

“Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray.” – The Mamas & The Papas, California Dreamin’

There are actually some positives to the Cubs’ most recent homestand if you dig deep enough. Chicago took two of three from both the Mets and Rays, and our North Side Baseballers also won a couple of one-run games. The negatives are nearly devastating, however. The Cubs got swept by the surging Reds and Justin Steele is nursing a bad wing.

Tonight, our Cubbies kick off a 10-game swing through California with the first of four games against the Padres. I will climb out on a limb and say David Ross and his troops will win their second straight series.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Bartolo Colón is officially retiring at the age of 50.

Central Intelligence

Climbing the Ladder

“And we can build this dream together, standing strong forever.” – Starship, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

The Cubs still have seven players with an OPS+ that is better than the league average. Christopher Morel (170) leads the team but Mike Tauchman (148) has been a pleasant surprise, too. Seiya Suzuki (137), Cody Bellinger (128), and Ian Happ (123) are playing at an all-star level. Patrick Wisdom (120) and Dansby Swanson (112) are also above-average hitters.

  • Games Played: 55
  • Record: 24-31 (.436)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 2,116
  • Total Strikeouts: 506
  • Strikeout Rate: 23.90%
  • Team Batting Average: .255
  • Runs Scored: 248
  • Runs Allowed: 243
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs: 20.7%, 0.5% to win the World Series

How About That!

There are nearly two-dozen very good players who could get traded this season, including Lucas Giolito, Shane Bieber, Dylan Cease, Aroldis Chapman, and Shohei Ohtani.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has ruled that the Diamond Sports Group must fully pay the Twins, Guardians, Rangers, and Diamondbacks per their broadcasting contracts.

Steve Garvey may run for senator in California on the GOP ticket.

There are 29 MLB teams conducting festivities to celebrate Pride, including the Cubs. The Rangers, however, are baseball’s lone exception.

The Cubs are hosting their Pride Night at Wrigley Field on June 13.

The White Sox have designated infielder Hanser Alberto for assignment. The team also reinstated RHP Mike Clevinger and infielder Elvis Andrus.

The Tigers are expected to promote right-hander Reese Olson to start this evening’s game against the White Sox, marking Olson’s MLB debut. He’s taking the place of injured ace Eduardo Rodríguez, but Detroit will still have to make a corresponding roster move. Reliever Braden Bristo is likely targeted for Triple-A Toledo.

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale exited yesterday’s start against the Reds with shoulder soreness, and he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the issue. As a result, Boston may seek to replace Sale in the trade market.

Minnesota stars Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa are also injured. Buxton has rib soreness and Correa reaggravated a plantar fasciitis injury.

Thursday’s Three Stars

  1. Kevin Gausman – The veteran Blue Jay stifled the Brewers over 6.2 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts.
  2. Gary Sánchez– The part-time Padres catcher spends more time at DH these days, and last night he was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
  3. Max Scherzer – Mad Max tossed seven innings of one-run baseball with nine punchouts as the Mets swept the Phillies.

Extra Innings

There is nobody better to talk about grace, courage, the significance of Lou Gehrig Day, and the fight against ALS than Sarah Langs. Her peers and colleagues shared why “Baseball is Best” in honor of Langs.

They Said It

  • “The story of our season so far is we struggled in high-leverage situations both offensively and pitching-wise. We struggled to execute in those situations. That’s the reason that our record isn’t flipped or even better. We just have to do better as a team in those situations, and I think we will.” – Jed Hoyer
  • “It’s obviously no secret that when the game’s kind of in balance, we haven’t been good. The baseball [we’ve played] and the eye test will tell you that. At the same point, the perspective is that we’re more than capable. You would think the law of averages would start to take place and we’ll be able to come through in those moments and get things going in the direction that we all see this club being able to achieve.” – Swanson

Friday Walk-Up Song

It’s amazing to me that Jeff Lynne can replicate live what he does in the studio considering the intricacies and nuances of his arrangements.

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