Chicago Cubs: Carrying the load in 2018
El Mago has performed his best trick of the season not by making balls disappear over the left-center concourse or by stealing balls out of thin air. No, his best trick has undoubtedly been pulling a first place Cubs team plagued with injuries, free agent failures, and struggles hitting in the clutch clean out of his blue Cubs hat.
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While Anthony Rizzo was struggling or hurt, hitting Javy magically appeared. Kris Bryant struggled to hit with power, and subsequently found himself nursing the reason for that lack of power on the DL. Multi-positional defensive wizard Javy appeared.
As Tyler Chatwood was making balls disappear out of the zone, swipe tag Javy appeared. While Addison Russell was struggling to throw balls to first base, cannon-armed Javy appeared. For months, as Yu Darvish wondered whether his injury was in his head or in his arm, you guessed it- Javy miraculously disappeared diving into the stands only to reappear out of thin air with a ball in his glove.
Except, he hasn’t appeared completely out of thin air. We have all witnessed the sorcery Javy has performed all over the diamond in the past, but those tricks were inconsistent, and at times, extremely frustrating. Some at bats elicited applause from the crowd, some drew tomatoes. Some garnered trophies in the form of NLCS MVP back in the epic 2016 season.