Dominating Rotation, Bryant’s Elbow, RBI Machine Hoerner And More Cubs Notes

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The Cubs starting rotation has been astonishing so far in 2020. I mean, who would have bet on Yu Darvish having the worst start through the first turn in the rotation and yeah he wasn’t good, but it wasn’t a total disaster on Saturday either.

Kyle Hendricks set the tone with his complete-game shutout on Opening Day and after the Saturday hiccup the rotation has been lights out. Tyler Chatwood only gave up one run against the Brewers in six innings and to begin the Reds series Jon Lester threw five no-hit innings and Alec Mills only allowed two runs on two hits Tuesday night.

Through five starts the Cubs rotation has a 1.80 ERA.

OK, so you have to take the following stat with a grain of salt because starters have only pitched 30 innings, but it’s crazy just how hard they’ve been on offenses so far. The 14 hits allowed are the fewest through five starts since at least 1901!

And if you think Hendricks is the only starter who’s getting the job done without blowing guys away with upper 90s fastballs, here’s Alec Mills from Tuesday night.

El Mago returned in grand fashion.

Javier Báez had a double and two homers against the Reds last night, making him the fifth Cubs shortstop with 10 or more total bases in a game.

Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner went 1-for-3, with two RBIs, driving in Jason Kipnis with a single in the third inning and a sac-fly in the sixth.

Hoerner is now at 20 career RBIs through his first 24 games and that puts him in a small group of former Cubs.

Kris Bryant has gotten off to a freezing cold start and wasn’t in the Cubs lineup Tuesday night. David Ross said Bryant has a minor elbow issue, but no one is worried about it right now.

Meanwhile, Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana is scheduled to pitch his first bullpen since coming back from a thumb injury prior to summer camp.

I mean, if the rest of the rotation keeps being solid, then Quintana could really help out the bullpen…

Speaking of the bullpen, I know Casey Sadler and Ryan Tepera each gave up homers last night, but at this point they’re in the circle of trust and that circle isn’t big right now.

Circle of trust update: 7/29
Kyle Ryan
Casey Sadler
Ryan Tepera
Rowan Wick
Jeremy Jeffress