Maddon's Lone Home Run Derby Concern: Fatigue

The Cubs' Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber will compete in the derby.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
July 11, 2018 - 1:20 pm
Cubs manager Joe Maddon, left, and outfielder Kyle Schwarber

Benny Sieu/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) The Cubs will be well represented in the Home Run Derby in Washington D.C. on Monday, with infielder Javier Baez and outfielder Kyle Schwarber being tabbed to compete in it and entering the national spotlight event at Nationals Park.

With the Cubs relying heavily on Baez and Schwarber in a tight NL Central race, should they be concerned about the derby damaging their swings? Manager Joe Maddon weighed in, explaining he was only concerned through the short-term prism, not the long-term outlook.

"The big thing about this event is that I think my biggest concern is the number of swings taken -- fatigue," Maddon said in an interview with Connor McKnight and Rich Campbell on 670 The Score on Wednesday.

"If you want more participants (in the derby), don't make it so long. Don't require so many swings. Don't require that much effort. I don't think it's going to mess anybody's swing up, I really don't. But I do really think it can fatigue a guy. 

"Part of this All-Star break is you don't want your guys to work too hard or too often. So, have fun with it, enjoy it, but as a contest, limit it and call it down a little bit. You'll get more guys that want to participate."

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge won the derby in 2017, then endured a tough slump following his victory that only enhanced the notion that participating creates damage to in-season results. 

Maddon is looking at the positives that come with Baez and Schwarber taking part in the derby.

"It does something for them, which is going to benefit us," Maddon said. "The fact that they're being elevated by being asked to participate and participating. I've utilized the phrase 'a mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form.' Just by being asked to do that, when they walk on the baseball field afterward, there's this cache built up where you feel a little bit better about yourself by being in that situation.

"And beyond that, the people want to see it. I think both of our guys have charisma about themselves that appeals to the masses and the baseball fan and I like it. I rarely watch the Home Run Derby, but I will because our guys are participating. 

"There's a charismatic excitement about both of our guys, and I think there's an elevated method about being participated that will help them down the road."