Zach is an author of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to both Short Relief and BP Wrigleyville. He'll be chatting while yelling at Kyle Hendricks to keep the ball down.
Zachary Moser: It's playoff time, baby! I'm here to chat during the Cubs-Nats game tonight, so send me questions about the Cubs or what's going on in the ballgame and I'll do my best to answer them.
Dusty (Colorado ): Is Addison Russell the Cubs future short stop or would they benefit for trading for a prospect like Wander Javier (who seems like a perfect fit in Chicago)?
Zachary Moser: I think the Cubs are content to roll with Russell for the foreseeable future. With the hitters with whom they've surrounded Russell, they don't necessarily need an impact bat at the position, and the 23-year-old is a Gold Glove-caliber player. Plus, Russell does have some good pop in his bat and will likely improve on this year's meager numbers.
On the other end of the equation is the fact that the Cubs have little to trade away at this point except a couple of unattractive veterans. Ben Zobrist wouldn't fetch much on the trade market, and there aren't many other tradeable players on the club. So yes, while all of you weirdos with your Wander Javier questions are cute, there's zero chance the Cubs pick him up. Go see Jeff Paternostro's various comments.
Ellen (Antioch IL): How do you think the chemistry between Cub pitchers and catchers is this season, compared to last year's? (Yeah, I still miss Rossy...)
Zachary Moser: Hi mom! :)
I think the chemistry hasn't missed a beat, despite Ross and Montero both leaving the club. Contreras really seems to have the trust of his pitchers, and he's improved in every facet (throwing, blocking, framing, game calling) since he's debuted. Have to think the starters feel great with him back there.
Now, do they feel the same with Avila? No, but Avila is a good veteran guy with lots of experience, so even though he's not the best defensive catcher and he's new to the team, he probably engenders a good amount of trust. The Cubs' starters are all veterans, so that also helps.
Alex (Great Smoky Mountains): What are you opinions on the current atmosphere of cubs fandom? From the outside looking in, it seems the hype of last season has simmered down quite a bit due to many fans still riding the contentment of a championship. Thoughts?
Zachary Moser: [shameless plug voice] I wrote this at the beginning of the season about the atmosphere surrounding the team, and the subtle changes in how it felt to be a fan of this team.
The hype is definitely *different*, but I'm not sure it's really lessened. Every year and every new team makes it just as fun to tune in and watch.
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