Bullets Contreras, Rizzo, Chatwood, Almora, Bullpen and other puppies

In the first two months of quarantine, like many other people, I gained a lot of weight (about ten pounds). In the last two months, I’ve been able to eliminate six of that, so that feels good. And then I think about how easy it was to ADD ten pounds in two months, and how difficult it was to LOSE six pounds in two months, and I think you suck at physics.

• We’ll have to do a much deeper dive than a single bullet, but the eye test says it’s already clear that Willson Contreras’ tone framing has improved dramatically. Maybe even to the point that it’s not “not the worst”, it could now be … elite. The stolen attacks (and not the lost attacks) have been so impressive. I know that the movement of the glove may seem exaggerated, but when you get out of the ball and move it towards the center of the area, apparently that is from the prevailing school of framing the teaching of the guru. Because it works

• Puppy Bats:

• Fun fact there? Note that Rizzo’s impressive cut line exists even though he doesn’t have a ball in play yet this year! His only three hits have been home runs. And he’s also been hit by four pitches already this year. Anthony Rizzo will be the first 40-40 player (home runs and HBP), and he will do so in 60 games.

(Photo by Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

• Craig Kimbrel’s stuff will come later. But for now I’ll just point out a few general things about the bullpen, including maximum stress:

• Great read here from Jordan Bastian on how Tyler Chatwood’s cutter not only pairs well with his two-seater (obviously one moves the glove side, the other moves the arm, all in the same plane), but also how it creates a new level speed for him. I hadn’t really thought about this factor in the success of the Chatwood cutter: his fastballs are 95 and his curveball / shift is 80-85. Put the cutter there at 90/91, and it’s not just a different motion tone, it’s also another way to change a guy’s speed.

• Board games and card games among the Deals of the day on Amazon today. #ad

• This capture of Albert Almora was the first week’s play in baseball, which apparently is one thing:

• Phillies manager Joe Girardi on the state of affairs, with his team effectively shut down because an opposing team had an outbreak:

• Major Bears News: All the best for Goldman and his family: