Third baseman Mike Olt fracturing his right wrist in mid-April is what led to the Cubs calling up Kris Bryant from Triple-A to take over the position on the same day he went on the DL, but now that Olt is healthy again Bryant’s presence means there isn’t room for him in Chicago.
Bryant has thrived as a rookie, hitting .275 with 12 homers and an .859 OPS in 75 games to live up to the hype as baseball’s No. 1 prospect, so the Cubs activated Olt from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A.
Olt put up big numbers at Single-A and Double-A to establish himself as a top-100 prospect, but he’s mostly struggled for the past 2-3 seasons and has hit just .158 in 111 games as a big leaguer for the Rangers and Cubs. At age 27 he still has time to get back on track, but Olt needs to go crush Triple-A pitching for a while.
If you’re betting on the Home Run Derby you probably need to reexamine your life choices. But if you reexamine them and nonetheless decide that you need to bet on the Home Run Derby, here are the current odds being offered:
Todd Frazier: 7/2
Kris Bryant: 5/1
Prince Fielder: 11/2
Albert Pujols: 6/1
Anthony Rizzo: 13/2
Josh Donaldson: 7/1
Joc Pederson: 7/1
Manny Machado: 7/1
I feel like the oddsmakers are selling Joc Pederson short. He may be struggling at the plate now, but he has a crazy big swing and power. Given that people are going to be throwing him 40 m.p.h. meatballs, I feel like he’ll do some damage. And Prince Fielder has won the dang thing a couple of times. I wouldn’t be shocked if he put one in the Ohio River.
Still: I agree, Frazier is the man the beat. His home park and all of his shots are bombs.
Bottom of the sixth, Cardinals have a 4-2 lead but the bases are full of Cubs. Miguel Montero at the plate. A borderline pitch was called a ball instead of a strike. The very next pitch, Montero hits a double to the gap. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is angry and argues, presumably about that last pitch.
Except he does it in the middle of the dang play while Cubs runners are circling the bases. Watch:
Seriously, the argument unfolds almost immediately, and is going on while Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler all come in to score.
I presume Molina has enough sense of the field at this point to know that there likely wouldn’t be a play at the plate and probably was still watching it unfold out of the corner of his eye. Still, this is pretty inexcusable all the same. he’s distracting the ump, who could be called on to make a call, either at home if a runner doesn’t touch or to help out at third base. He’s possibly signaling to Soler that there is no play at the plate as well, erasing any doubts in his mind if he or his third base coach had any.
I mean look at this:
Mostly, though, it’s just unprofessional. If you have a beef with the strike zone — and he may have had a longstanding one that built with the game, I have no idea as I didn’t watch it — take your beef up when there isn’t a play unfolding. Molina was ejected here, and I don’t have any problem with it whatsoever. Not because he’s arguing balls and strikes, but because he’s literally getting in the way of a play.