Red-hot Wisdom 'staying in the moment'

June 7th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs outfielder Ian Happ was on second base when Patrick Wisdom launched his second home run on Sunday afternoon. As the ball rocketed off Wisdom's bat, Happ knew he could start trotting home.

"It's incredible. It's a homer every time," Happ said. "As soon as he hit it, it's like, 'Oh, there's another one.' The guy's got seven pumps already and hasn't been here that long."

In Sunday's 4-3 win over the Giants, Wisdom belted two homers off Johnny Cueto -- a solo shot in the second and a two-run blast in the fourth. It gave Wisdom seven homers in eight starts since coming up from Triple-A Iowa.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wisdom joined Trevor Story (2016 for the Rockies) and Aristides Aquino (2019 for the Reds) as the only players with as many as seven homers within his first eight starts with a team.

Wisdom smiled when asked if the baseball looks big to him right now.

"That'd be really nice. I think it's just slowing down," Wisdom said. "When the homers come, it's just being relaxed and looking for the pitch I can drive."

That relaxed mental approach has also helped the 29-year-old Wisdom keep his mind off the potential roster crunch that looms for Chicago. At some point, Matt Duffy, Nico Hoerner and David Bote -- all on the 10-day injured list -- will be ready to return and the Cubs will have decisions to make.

Wisdom is concentrating on making the most of his chances, as opposed to worrying about the future.

"If you try to play that game, it kind of drives you nuts mentally," Wisdom said. "I think it's just staying in the moment, not trying to worry about what the future holds and what tomorrow holds. Just trying to play my game. They're rolling me out there, so I've got to perform."

Wisdom's performance has been jaw-dropping.

With Sunday's showing, Wisdom is now batting .412/.444/1.088 through 13 games for the Cubs. He is tied with Donnie Murphy (2013) for the most homers (seven) in a player's first 15 games for Chicago, dating back to Wisdom's two-game stint with the North Siders last year.

"He's been carrying us," Cubs manager David Ross said. "I feel like he's been the real offensive force for us right now, right? It seems like every time he gets in the box, you feel like he's going to do something really good to help the team. Real damage.

Ross has not been surprised by how the 29-year-old Wisdom has handled the situation. Wisdom has had stints in the Majors in previous years and has fought his way through nine years in the Minors to reach this point.

"Control what they can control," Ross said. "I think it's just one of those guys that are mentally tough and have been around the game for a little while, and understanding, just go out there and play your game."

Bryant's return to third on hold

Ross originally had Sunday's game against the Giants circled as the target for Kris Bryant's return to third base. That plan changed when outfielder Joc Pederson left Saturday's game with back tightness and was given another day off from starting.

That setback kept Bryant in the outfield for another day.

"He just continues to fill holes out there for us," Ross said. "He's pretty accustomed to moving around."

Going into Sunday's game, Bryant had logged 266 innings in the outfield (119 in right, 95 1/3 in left and 51 2/3 in center), while also helping out at first (75 innings). Bryant has manned third in 121 2/3 innings, but has not played at the hot corner since April 20.

Marisnick coming soon?

Center fielder Jake Marisnick (right hamstring) went through a light workout on Sunday, following pregame running and agility drills on Saturday. Ross sounded optimistic about Marisnick's chances of coming off the 10-day IL as early as Monday in San Diego.

"We'll see at the back end of today if he'll be ready for [Monday]," Ross said before Sunday's game. "It should be soon. I think yesterday went really well. Just talking to [the training staff], he's in a good place."

Down on the farm

• Outfielder Brennen Davis (No. 2 on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Cubs prospects list) went 2-for-4 with a double in Double-A Tennessee's 10-9 loss to Birmingham on Saturday. Davis has an .840 OPS in four games since being promoted to Double-A.

• Right-hander Dakota Mekkes logged two shutout frames with two strikeouts for Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. On the season, Mekkes has a 1.53 ERA with 20 strikeouts against five walks in 17 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.


"His energy in the dugout with the group is really fun. He gives me the old school five when he comes in after hitting home runs. That just makes me smile. He's just got good energy about him, a good way about him and he's playing well for us." -- Ross, on Wisdom