Exiled Russell Rehabs Strained Image

Opening Day, 2018. Ian Happ swatted the first pitch of the MLB season into the seats in Miami. Addison Russell was all over the box score of that game. 2/3 at the plate, stole a base, turned a couple of DPs, got picked off, hit by a pitch and made an error.

Opening Day, 2019. Ian Happ was back in Des Moines and Triple A. Addison Russell was in two states at once; Arizona and Limbo, staying loose at Extended Spring Training while his suspension for conduct unbecoming of an MLB spouse/domestic partner ran its course. Now that its days are numbered, Russell has joined Happ (not to mention Carl Edwards Jr.) on the roster of the Iowa Cubs. Who knows when Happ and Edwards will be back in Chicago, but Russell can reasonably expect to be there when the Cardinals come calling on May 3.

Russell’s been here before, for 11 games in 2015 and a single one in 2017, but under very different circumstances. The first time he was an ascending wunder-prospect. The last time he was coming off an injury. This time, he’s coming out of the penalty box, working on some behavioral rehab.

You gotta think right about now he’d rather face someone like Max Scherzer than another “I’m a changed man,” presser, but I think he’s scheduled for one later today.

Wednesday night he was greeted with what I would describe as polite, big-leaguer-in-town applause when his name was announced in the starting lineup. He didn’t inflate the crowd as rehabbers sometimes do, but he did oblige some autograph-seekers. In the dugout with his temporary teammates, he appeared to be one of the guys. When the kid who was chosen for the nightly “pick-to-click” promo chose Russell (if the “pick-to-click” gets a hit, everybody in the picker’s row wins some sort of token), Happ and the rest of the boys were giving it to him good-naturedly.

So, so far; so good. Good luck, I guess, to young Mr. Russell who, whatever else he may be guilty of, will never be accused of sterility. His third child with a third woman was born last fall. Hopefully, his counseling on the ways and means of adulthood includes the basics of birth control.

Footnotes: The other two Chicago Musketeers, Happ and Edwards, had good nights. Two hits, a stolen base and zero Ks for #8 @ position #8; a scoreless frame with a pair of whiffs for the former Slim Reaper as the I-Cubs improved to 12-7 and stayed two games in front of the Memphis Redbirds.


Thanks for the update Mike.

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  • JustSayin' 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S


  • Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...



  • Charlie 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.


  • crunch 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)



  • crunch 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.


  • crunch 5 days 12 hours ago (view)


    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 


  • crunch 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 


  • crunch 5 days 18 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.



  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.


  • crunch 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...


  • Hagsag 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!


  • crunch 1 week 14 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.