Midway Minute is a daily Chicago sports newsletter. To get this in your inbox for free each weekday morning, sign up for free here. All new subscribers through 9/3 are being entered in a drawing to win a Justin Fields jersey.
Good morning, frents!
It's cut day as the Bears get down to the 53-man roster. If your key card doesn't work at Halas Hall, you know why.
Pirates at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
Cubs at Twins (7:10, Marquee)
Sky at Mercury (9, The U)
Catching up with old friends
It's been a month since the Cubs began their new normal.
One month since three franchise cornerstones and the three best arms in the bullpen were sent elsewhere.
One month since one of the most recognizable teams in MLB was turned into a squad only the Romine parents could love.
It's been a weird month, to say the least. Forgettable and unforgettable at the same time. The Cubs have gone 7-20 since the sun rose after that July 30 trading deadline and no one is quite sure what comes next.
It seems like a good time, though, to check in on the traded players and see how they're doing with one month left in their new homes.*
*All stats and records are through Sunday
Javy Baez — Mets
.210/.258/.452 with 4 homers and 7 RBI in 17 games
Welp. Baez's thumbs-down booing of Mets fans was the talk of baseball on Monday morning and if there's one ex-Cub who's homesick for Wrigley, it's probably him. He's probably not even getting a playoff trip out of the deal, either. While the Mets held a 3.5 game lead in the NL East at the trade deadline, they've gone 9-20 since and trailed Atlanta by 7.5 games entering this week.
Baez isn't to blame for all of that, but he's struck out in a full third of his 66 plate appearances and only walked three times. ESPN's Paul Hembekides tweeted on Monday that Baez has 223 strikeouts and just 24 walks over his last 162 games. To put that in perspective, only 13 players in baseball history have posted 200+ strikeouts in a full season. The lowest walk total among them was Drew Stubbs walking 63 times in 2011.
Baez might have thought getting some playoff time in the Big Apple would up his market value this offseason. In truth, it's probably cratering.
Anthony Rizzo — Yankees
.219/.316/.375 with 3 homers and 10 RBI in 18 games
Rizzo got off to a strong start in the Bronx, becoming the first Yankee in history to record a RBI in each of his first six games in pinstripes. But then he tested positive for COVID-19, missed 10 calendar days and his performance hasn't been great. Coming into Monday night's game in Anaheim, Rizzo was slashing .156/.222/.188 with just one extra-base hit in the nine games since returning to the lineup. It hasn't hurt the Yankees, though: New York ripped off a 13-game winning streak and have gone 23-6 since the trading deadline, though they still can't seem to catch the Rays.
Kris Bryant — Giants
.268/.318/.549 with 6 HR and 13 RBI in 22 games
It seems like a general love-in between Bryant and the Giants any time I check in and it's the one arranged marriage that has a great chance lasting past this winter. San Francisco has gone 20-8 since the deadline to maintain their lead (and insane pace) over the Dodgers in the NL West. The biggest question with Bryant, however, is the same as it was here: Can he stay healthy? Tightness in his side held him out of Saturday and Sunday's game, but an MRI cleared him for a return against Milwaukee on Monday night.
Andrew Chafin — A's
1.15 ERA and two saves over 15.2 IP in 15 appearances
Chafin was a Cub for the least amount of time, but he left an impression with his hair, mustache and the '88 Firebird he was driving around Wrigleyville. He's been in search of a houseboat to live on in Oakland, he earned a save against the Yankees on Sunday and the only runs he's surrendered have been a pair of solo homers. The A's have been middling since the deadline with a 14-13 record and they've fallen out of a wild card spot behind the Yankees and Red Sox. But Chafin will play a big role in that bullpen as the team tries to fight back.
Ryan Tepera — White Sox
1.54 ERA over 11.2 IP in 14 appearances
The rest of the Sox bullpen has been overly dramatic in August, but Tepera has been steady when Tony La Russa has called his number, even beating Craig Kimbrel to becoming the first pitcher to record a save for both the Sox and Cubs in the same season. With increased trust, it'll be interesting to see how TLR uses him in the month going forward.
Craig Kimbrel — White Sox
7.15 ERA, four homers and one save over 11.1 IP and 12 appearances
Kimbrel's struggles already got their own newsletter last week, but he's since surrendered three runs in garbage time against the Cubs in Friday's high-scoring affair. The days of him pitching an automatic ninth at Wrigley Field seem a lot longer than a month ago.
Jake Marisnick — Padres
.130/.200/.130 with three hits in 14 games
No one will ever remember Marisnick in a trivia question about the Cubs 2021 deadline, certainly not any fans of the Padres. Marisnick has 25 plate appearances in San Diego and he's struck out in 11 of them as the Padres have struggled to stay in wild card contention.
News and results
Bears listening to Foles offers — with a catch
What's with the Bears feeling like they owe things to veteran QBs? First there's the rumor Andy Dalton is only starting Week 1 because it was promised to him in his recruitment, now it's Albert Breer's report the Bears will only trade Nick Foles to somewhere he wants to go. I think all of us here would send Foles to Bishop Sycamore in an instant if it met getting that cap hit off the books.
Rodman's Vegas bender is becoming a movie
'48 Hours in Vegas' is being co-produced by The Worm himself and distributed by Lionsgate. It reportedly focuses on Rodman's trip to Sin City during "The Last Dance." Expect to see a similar project about the 2010 Hawks infamous trip to Vancouver if this one succeeds.
- Tarik Cohen still doesn't have a timeline for a return and Matt Nagy's comments on Monday only made things more confusing. Bleacher Natio
- Jon Greenberg asked Lucas Giolito about those ever-present "worst pitcher in baseball!" commercials. The Athletic
- NU basketball landed its highest-rated recruit ever: A four-star point guard named Rowan Brumbaugh. Inside NU
- A pair of Michael Jordan's "heavily used" boxing shorts are going up for auction. Starting price: $500 and a restraining order from the Jumpman himself. Page Six
- There's a box truck with graffiti on its side throwing eggs at people around Chicago. My newest favorite Facebook page is dedicated to the attack and trying to bring the egg-throwers to justice. Facebook
Thanks for reading today's Midway Minute!
If you liked it, you can ...