The Rundown: Addison Russell’s AFL Season Ends with a Homer
Thursday marked Addison Russell’s last game this season. But before you freak out, know that it’s a precautionary measure by the Cubs and he is healthy, according to reports from both Bruce Levine and Mark Gonzales.
It appears the Cubs want to let Russell begin resting for the off-season after tearing his hamstring in April with the A’s and playing 68 games in the minors. He also played in last year’s Arizona Fall League.
In his final game — and at-bat — this year, Russell hit a two-run homer to help the Mesa Solar Sox win 7-3. It was his only hit of the game, as he finished the AFL with a .196 batting average (in around 40 at-bats).
Dan Vogelbach went hitless, but walked and scored a run.
The Cubs will likely replace Russell with another prospect, according to Patrick Mooney, but it’s unclear who that might be.
I understand why the Cubs are shutting Russell down, but I’m kind of bummed. I enjoyed following his progress in the AFL, even though he wasn’t putting up great numbers. I guess my obsession with C.J. Edwards will just have to tide me over for now.
* Sporting News named Anthony Rizzo its NL all-star for first base. Rizzo was so great this year; I really hope he’ll be able to replicate it.
* Carrie Muskat writes about the Cubs sticking with Kyle Schwarber at catcher. We know Schwarber can rake. But if he can reach the majors as a catcher, it would be an enormous advantage for the Cubs. Minor league coordinator Tim Cossins, who coached Schwarber behind the plate in Kane County and in the Instructional League, said Schwarber’s “secret weapon is his ability to see the baseball is shockingly good. He sees the ball much earlier than most people.”
* The Braves have named John Hart their new president of baseball operations (the equivalent of what Theo Epstein is to the Cubs, and Andrew Friedman recently became to the Dodgers).
John Coppolella essentially fills the GM/Jed Hoyer role.