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If anywhere is going wake up the Chicago Cubs’ recently-slumbering bats (outside of Coors Field), it’s Chase Field (that’s where the Diamondbacks play, in case the ever-changing landscape of stadium naming rights has confused/annoyed you). The Cubs usually hit pretty well there, at least when it’s not the playoffs.

  • Yesterday’s rainout (thank you!) gives the Cubs an extra day to figure out what they’re going to do with the fifth starter spot, as Casey Coleman will now throw on Sunday. Assuming it isn’t James Russell (however obvious that may be, you assume it at your own peril), the likeliest candidate is AAA Iowa starter Jay Jackson. A solid prospect – before last season, some would have argued he was the Cubs’ top pitching prospect – Jackson would probably have been the fifth starter much sooner had he not started the year on the disabled list.
  • As for the guys whose absence necessitates the preceding discussion, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner threw on flat ground from 90 feet yesterday with no issues. They were supposed to have been re-evaluated yesterday with plans for further rehab being laid out. Not sure what the status is, but things look good. I’m sure the rehab plans will be released soon.
  • Mike Quade knows the starting pitching has been the problem with this team… although they are in the bottom third of the league in runs scored.
  • Speaking of which, how can the Cubs be in the bottom third in runs scored when they’re near the top in hitting and OBP? They’re terrible with runners in scoring position. The worst four will be no surprise: Tyler Colvin (0-for-13), Carlos Pena (3-for-20), Alfonso Soriano (4-for-22) and Marlon Byrd (5-for-27).
  • Paul Sullivan with a surprising editorial on what the Cubs need to do for the future and for their fans. The best point? (with my own editorial addition) The fact that the Cubs have failed for so long to figure out a way to have state-of-the-art facilities, given their resources, is an absolute embarrassment.
  • Marlon Byrd – again, whom I love – drops another unfortunate quote: “[The No. 3 hole] is not our worry,” Byrd said. “Our worries are winning games, and one spot in the lineup is not going to win or lose the game at all.” Actually, Marlon, the problems in the three hole have already lost games for the Cubs this year. Several. I’m sorry if you don’t want to accept that fact because you’ve been the biggest three-hole culprit. But it’s plainly true.

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