Maddon, Cubs have good problem: too many good outfielders
With the Cubs back home and playing by National League rules after a weekend in Boston, manager Joe Maddon is having a hard time finding playing time for all of his outfielders.
"I do," Maddon said Monday before the Cubs played the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. "Jon Jay right now deserves to play. So does (Albert) Almora. When you had that DH working, it was easier to get almost everybody in there like you wanted to. It's a nice problem to have."
Kyle Schwarber was the designated hitter for all three games at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. He was back in Monday's starting lineup in left field, with Jay in center.
"I think for the most part we've balanced it out pretty good," Maddon said. "Matty Szczur's the only guy who has really had to ride the bench more than anybody. And of course he does it in such a professional way. But otherwise, everybody's been involved. I do look at it. I want to keep everybody in the game.
"When you ask them to play, they need to have played in order to expect good out of them. Matty is the one guy I'd like to try to figure out a little bit more, but for right now, this seems to fit, the way we've been doing it."
Acquiring the taste:
Jon Jay entered Monday with a batting line of .385/.478/.487. He was 15-for-39. The Cubs signed him to a one-year contract last November. Jay played in two World Series with the Cardinals. Last year, he was with the San Diego Padres.
"I've described him as being an acquired taste," Maddon said. "I didn't get him when I first saw him. You watch him from a scout's perspective, there are certain guys when you walk into the ballpark and you just see them once or twice, you don't quite understand where the benefit is. He's the guy that if you watch for a week straight, you totally get it.
"Seeing him last year with the Padres and before that the Cardinals, especially last year with the Padres, a team that wasn't that good, just really watching he went about his business, really convinced me how good he is. I love having him here now. Absolutely."
A good first month:
Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. finished April with a record of 1-0, an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.60. He has pitched 10 innings over 11 games and given up 2 hits while walking four and striking out 13.
"Beautiful, man, and he's young," Joe Maddon said of the 25-year-old Edwards.
He said it:
Joe Maddon admitted he'd like to "adopt" Jon Jay.
"That's just one of those visceral moments," Maddon said. "If I needed a son or a sidekick, I'd go for Jon Jay, I think."