The Cubs now have 50 RBIs with the bases loaded. How does that compare to last year (or even the past few years)? We all know the Cubbies have been horrible with RISP, much less with the bases loaded.
— Aaron K., Chicago
Every time the bases get loaded, a reminder that YOU can get loaded on the thousands of beers available at Binny’s Beverage Depot. If you can’t find it at Binny’s, you’re probably drunk enough already, mister. Binny’s Beverage Depot. Champagne provider of the Chicago Cubs.
CARRIE: Here are the Cubs’ batting averages with the bases loaded and total RBIs in those situations:
2016: .400 (20-for-50) with 50 RBIs
2015: .284 (40-for-141) with 111 RBIs
2014: .200 (17-for-85) with 66 RBIs
2013: .231 (21-for-91) with 65 RBIs
2012: .241 (21-for-87) with 67 RBIs
2011: .296 (37-for-125) with 90 RBIs
2010: .292 (33-for-113) with 100 RBIs
The Cubs’ individual stats with the bases loaded are:
Matt Szczur (3-for-4, nine RBIs)
Ben Zobrist (4-for-6, eight RBIs)
Addison Russell (3-for-6, six RBIs)
Jason Heyward (2-for-5, five RBIs)
Kris Bryant (1-for-4, six RBIs)
Dexter Fowler (1-for-4, four RBIs)
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3, one RBI)
Even more surprising that I’m still alive may be the revelation that clearly Ed Hartig is still alive, as there’s no way that Carrie did this research herself.
What effect do you think Stephen Strasburg’s extension with the Nationals will have on the negotiations the Cubs are having with Jake Arrieta?
— Sean M., Indianapolis
They’ll probably try to sign Arrieta instead of Strasburg.
CARRIE: Strasburg, 27, was given a seven-year, $175 million extension on Tuesday, and the biggest impact it has on Arrieta is that it reinforces the high price of pitching. Arrieta, 30, will be a free agent after the 2017 season, and he expects to be compensated. He said Wednesday he’d like to stay in Chicago, but he clearly stated that he is not going to give the Cubs a hometown discount. As of now, Arrieta is under control with the Cubs for this season and next.
You think pitching is expensive? How about the cost of living these days? It’s all guys like Arrieta or Strasburg can do to keep the lights on. AREN’T BASEBALL SALARIES OUTRAGEOUS, YOU GUYS??? THESE GUYS ARE MAKING MILLIONS TO PLAY A GAME FOR A LIVING!
Any chance that Bryant is a permanent fixture in left field with the way Javier Baez is playing?
— James M., Jacksonville, Fla.
No more permanent than Schwarber was when he was out there. HEY-O!
CARRIE: I wouldn’t say permanent.
Other things Carrie won’t say:
CARRIE: Bryant will see more playing time in left field than anyone expected at the start of the season, mainly because of Kyle Schwarber’s season-ending left knee injury.
WHAT??? When did THAT happen?
CARRIE: Manager Joe Maddon wants to get Baez in the lineup for defense and wants Tommy La Stella in for offense in certain matchups.
For example, Tommy La Stella versus the fragile bag of meat that is his human body.
CARRIE: Some fans have asked about Jorge Soler’s status because he’s not playing every day. Soler is still in the development phase of his career, and the Cubs are in win mode. The goal is to find matchups in which Soler can be in a position to succeed.
For example, Jorge Soler’s fragile bag of meat versus Tommy La Stella’s fragile bag of meat.
Do you have any updates on Schwarber’s knee? Will we see him around the ballpark?
— Jerry U., Belvidere, Ill.
Low and lazy.
CARRIE: Schwarber is at Wrigley Field for his rehab, but his progress will be slow, which is why you won’t get daily updates.
Also because the Muskbox is written almost as sporadically as HJE.
CARRIE: Chicago’s coaching staff is keeping him mentally in the game by having him chart the pitchers, which will give him a better understanding of situations and help his development as a catcher.
It’s also helping him learn Excel, which can only help his CV.
CARRIE: Schwarber is still wearing a massive brace on his left leg, which he can only take off to do his exercises and shower.
This is the only lead Carrie has ever followed up on and done some actual investigative journalism.
Just that she followed him around to see when he took off his brace.
What I’m saying is that she tried to get a sneaky peek at Kyle’s peen.
I was watching a Spring Training game and noticed the discussion of Arrieta’s workout and the new equipment the Cubs brought into the facility. How do players establish workout routines? Are any of the other guys adopting Arrieta’s training program after his success last year?
— Chris M., Rutherford, N.J.
THEY GET OFF THE DAMN INTERNET AND GO OUTSIDE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, CHRISTOPHER!
CARRIE: During the season, players follow Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss’ program. In the offseason, Buss travels to meet with the players and their personal trainers to go over their workout plans and make sure they’re following his instructions.
I hope he travels around in a bus and says things like, “You want to ride your way to success, you gotta get on the Buss!”
CARRIE: Yes, more players have added Pilates to their workout routine, and Arrieta does deserve credit for that. It’s easier to do that now since the new clubhouse has a Pilates room with space for the reformer. Last year, the device was crammed in a corner of the interview room, which was shared by the groundskeepers for weather updates.
And by “weather updates,” she means that there was a hole in the roof of the interview room that they stood under. If they got wet, it was time to bust out the tarp.
What’s the status of Matt Murton? Why hasn’t he been brought up?
— Jim and Crissy B., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Jesus Christ. Or, to put it in Murton’s now-native tongue, “イエス・キリスト.”
CARRIE: Murton, who is back in the U.S. after playing in Japan, is on the disabled list at Triple-A Iowa with a strained oblique. There’s no timetable for his return.
As soon as the groundskeepers’ feet get REALLY cold, Murton will be up.