We knew Trevor Cahill could pitch.
But a juggler, too?
Cahill, the former Vista High star, was in the Cubs clubhouse this week doing just that.
Cahill was keeping in touch, via phone, with his 6-month-old Rylee. When it’s your first kid, those that have been there understand the tugging of the heartstrings.
At the same time his cell was buzzing — his old Vista crew tugging at him for some tickets.
Welcome home Trevor and it’s nice to see you with a winner.
“It’s so different this year,’’ Cahill said. “I’m not with a spoiler.’’
Nope, it’s with the rip-roaring Cubs.
The North Side has become the Fun Side this summer, with the Cubs leading the Majors in wins and glorious thoughts of the Fall Classic.
Cahill (3-3, 2.66 ERA) is constantly reminded of Chicago’s thirsting for that elusive World Series trip.
“No matter where we go there are Cubs fans,’’ Cahill said. “It’s like we are never on the road.’’
That was true at Petco Park, where the Cubs Nation set up camp with the fever of Dead Heads.
What a long, strange trip it’s been for Cahill since playing for Vista’s
In his eight major-league seasons he has stops in Oakland (2009-11), Arizona (2012-14), Atlanta (2015) and finally to the Cubs last year.
“It’s really fun,’’ Cahill said, and there goes his phone again. “I don’t want to say we were counting down the season at the other places this time of the year, but it is a good vibe here.”
Everything is usually groovy in manager Joe Maddon’s world. The Cubs’ innovative manager said Cahill is unique.
“His ball moves so much,’’ Maddon said. “And he has different weapons for righties and lefties.’’
But his sinker wasn’t getting much bite earlier in the year. So Cahill went to Triple-A, where he produced instead of pouting. That punched his ticket back to Chicago’s 1060 W. Addison, where the outfield walls are covered with ivy.
“It’s been a weird year,’’ said Cahill, who’s morphed into a reliever and has held rivals scoreless in 25 of his 35 appearances.
Maddon asked Cahill to start on Aug. 16 and he blanked the Brewers for five innings.
This after spending time on the disabled list with a bum knee.
“I had to eat up some innings,’’ Cahill, 28, said of working the first game of a day-night doubleheader. “I was happy to get five innings and save the bullpen a little bit for us.’’
Madden promised there’s more in the Oceanside native’s lively arm.
“He is still a young man,’’ Maddon said. “If he just really focuses on knowing where that fastball is going he could pitch for many more years at a very high level because his ball moves that much.’’
Now Cahill is on the go. He says so long to his family and looks forward to saying hello to his pals.
“That was why playing at Vista was so fun,’’ he said. “Most of the guys on the team were guys I knew since kindergarten.’’
Cahill will learn that young Rylee will be there soon enough.
Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_ sports
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports