Our Team Is On The Floor
What a dizzying few weeks. I hadn’t even come down from watching Bryant crush that double that turned into a homer last night when word came that Addison Russell was getting the call. You’d be forgiven if you passed out. I nearly did.
And what I couldn’t help thinking after hearing the news, is this is the complete Cubs team. At least for now. Because it all seems set now. There isn’t a hole to fill. Alcantara’s struggles and La Stella’s injury opened up 2nd. I don’t know if Bryant can stick at 3rd, but he certainly will just rotate into left to get La Stella at 3rd. There aren’t any more big pieces coming.
That sounds harsh on Javier Baez, and I still think he can be a force in the majors. But where does he go? He can’t shift Bryant off of 3rd right now because Coghlan has actually been very good at the plate this season (he still plays left like he just underwent electroshock therapy, but I doubt it would be better with Bryant). Russell is here now, and he’s going to play. He’s a great option to have in Iowa in case someone gets hurt, but right now that’s all he looks like. Almora and Schwarber aren’t coming up this season.
So here it is, Cubs fans. The team as it will, the team as best as it can be. The great thing about Russell is that he doesn’t have to hit. Or more accurately, he doesn’t have to cause the Richter scale to notice with the bat. His glove is that good, and providing plus defense would be more than the Cubs are getting now. If he hits at all it’ll be more than the Cubs have been getting at 2nd. And he’s probably going to hit at least a little. There will be a lot of liners being spread around Wrigley. He’s probably as smooth all-around as any of the prospect the Cubs have and will call up. He just looks right out there.
Whatever else is coming that’s significant, it will probably be through trade to bolster for a playoff run. I think I nearly passed out again just writing that. Or Baez or Alcantara if someone gets hurt, I suppose, assuming they can both make a case in Iowa. I’m sure they can. Or maybe they go in that trade. Who’s to say?
Look around the diamond now. There isn’t anyone who’ll make me roll my eyes when they come to the plate now, or clutch something in the hopes that they finally figure it out like Alcantara or Baez last year. With the way Castro is playing in the field, I won’t even cringe when every ground ball is hit (unless it’s to 3rd).
Sure, they’ll hit slumps. Bryant and Russell and Soler will have 1-for-20s. Hopefully not at the same time. Because if those slumps are spaced out, there’s enough support in the lineup to get by until they snap back into gear. It’s dizzying.
I said I would try and watch this season on an even-keel. But I don’t want to miss a thing right now. Not out of pressure or stress, but out of exuberance. The Cubs are simply good TV. It’s entertaining, win or lose. Look at where we were just two years ago. And now this? The framework of the team that’s going to end the wait is here. You can see it. Every day. I think I might puke.