The Chicago Cubs are welcoming the Los Angeles Dodgers to town this weekend sitting in second place after sweeping the Oakland A’s to open up the week and winning their first series in LA since 2014.
On top of being five games over .500 at 11-6 there have been a number of other great things happening over the first three weeks of the season! The Cubs are on a four game winning streak going into this weekends home stand so I have chosen the top four headlines from the first three weeks.
Let’s start with the Ian Happ news: Many fans have been calling for Jed Hoyer to extend Ian Happ since before the lockout. Those demands only grew after the trade deadline last year and the signings of Dansby Swanson (Swansby) and Cody Bellinger only made fans get louder with their demands for the Cubs to extend Happ. Well, last week they agreed to a three year $61 million dollar extension. Making him, Nico Hoerner, Swansby, and Seiya Suzuki the new Cubs core!
Moving on, on Friday Suzuki returned from his oblique injury. He hit the ground running almost literally! He currently has a .458 on base percentage and a .350 batting average. This is great news because it completes the starting outfield. Now he just needs to stay healthy.
It’s Cody time! He has started the season looking like his All Star self from before the lockout. As I write this he holds a .347 on base percentage and has not slowed down. This is where I am expecting most fans to start demanding that Jed give him an extension. Thing is most fans forgot really fast that the deal is a one year deal with a mutual agreement on a second year so chances are Cody will not be traded if the team keeps playing as well as they have the first three weeks. In fact, I think there is a great chance the mutual agreement on a second year gets picked up at the end of the season whether or not the team makes the playoffs.
The last bit of good news in the last week is about Kyle Hendricks. During spring training it was sounding like he would not return until towards the end of May. Now the good word is he could be back by early-to-mid May. If this is actually the case I think that it is a result of the team hitting the ground running when they broke camp on March 31st. Many fans think the Cubs might trade Hendricks at the trade deadline. I tend to disagree; I think it is more likely they extend him during the trade deadline to keep him in the clubhouse as a leader for the up and coming Cubs pitchers like Hayden Wesneski.
With that… it is time to play ball!
If you cannot play with them, root for them!