Bryant, manager Joe Maddon and the eye test suggest the former MVP is getting closer to a turnaround as the Cubs open a six-game homestand Friday.
Cubs starters Darvish, Quintana and Hamels combined for 19 2/3 innings in the series, allowing just the two runs Darvish gave up Monday (0.92 ERA).
Last year’s MVP runner-up is on an 11-for-17 tear that includes six extra-base hits, helping the Cubs to their first series sweep since August.
Quintana has pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings his last two starts, striking out 18 and walking one. He beat the Marlins 4-0 Tuesday.
The Instagram posts, first reported by The Athletic, included stereotype references and the “N” word, according to Chicago sports site Thebigs.us.
Shortstop Addison Russell won’t be eligible to return from a domestic violence suspension until May 3.
A day after Tiger Woods pulled off perhaps the greatest comeback in golf, Zambrano landed a deal to pitch in the U.S. for the first time since 2013.
Darvish pitched a season-high 5.2 innings, but also walked four and hit a batter facing the worst lineup he’ll see this year.
Quintana dominates for seven innings in 2-0 victory over Bucs, but Caratini breaks hamate bone in left hand. Taylor Davis to be recalled from AAA.
Maddon plans no changes in Almora’s role, so look for the struggling center fielder to be back in the leadoff spot Friday against lefty Tyler Skaggs.
The universally beloved former pitcher had battled throat cancer in the last year.
Darvish, whose importance to the staff has never been higher with Lester on the IL, showed toughness pitching into the sixth on a 40-degree night.
After Tyler Chatwood takes Lester’s next turn Sunday, the Cubs can use days off to go with a four-man rotation until at least April 27, if necessary.
Collins, 29, was acquired the final week of spring training and has pitched in three minor-league games since then (one run, 2.2 innings).
With Lester headed to the IL and the team off to a slow start, Darvish has never been more important to the Cubs as he takes the mound Wednesday.