In the Cubs/Cardinals series preview, I noted that the Cubs’ pen hadn’t given up a run in 22.1 innings, and quipped that, because I’d mentioned it, they would blow a game during the series. It took one game. Sorry.

  • Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner continue their rehab, each throwing two innings of live batting practice on Monday. Wells is expected to pitch in an extended Spring Training game tomorrow, and Cashner will throw another BP session the same day. There still isn’t a definitive timetable for their return, but there are going to be some minor league rehab starts to be had before we can start putting a date on a return.
  • In advance of their return, the Cubs are going to need a fifth starter again on Saturday, but no one has yet been named. Some tea leaves? Doug Davis, who’s schedule did not appear to allow for him to start on Saturday was pulled after just 59 pitches in his AAA start yesterday, so he could go on three days’ rest (in theory – but, is it wise to do that with a guy for his first big league start in, like, a year?). James Russell threw a third of an inning in relief last night, for what it’s worth.
  • Paul Sullivan agrees that 2011 is a “do-or-die” season for Jim Hendry as GM of the Cubs. Ken Rosenthal says it would be a mistake to fire Hendry because he’s put the Cubs in a position to win in the future (to which I say, if you get 10 years to do it, I’d hope you’ve set the team up for the future), and because scouting director Tim Wilken and Minor League director Oneri Fleita might leave with Hendry.
  • Speaking of Hendry, of his pre-game discussion (and hug) with soon-to-be free agent Albert Pujols, Hendry said, “Same thing (as always): ‘How’s your son?’ ‘How are your kids?’ I’m a little different. I’ve always gotten along with players. [Former Cardinals pitcher] Alan Benes and I are real close. I was Alan’s coach [in college]. Alan introduced me to him probably 10 years ago.” Just grease those wheels, Jimmy. Grease those wheels.
  • Ryan Theriot tries to back away from his asinine post-joining-Cardinals comments.
  • Jeff

    Cashner and Wells Throwing, But Can They Hit?

    After last night, what I want to know is can Wells still play some catcher if needed?
    Glad to see the organization take their time with these two, give them both a couple of rehab starts before even thinking about bringing them back.

    Someone needs to flatten James Russell’s tires or something so he can’t make it to the ballpark Saturday. Nothing personal, I just have no desire to see this guy make another ill fated start.

  • Cardfan

    An entire article in the Sun-Times devoted to a “hug”? Good grief.

  • willis

    I would unfortunately say the smart money goes on Russell getting the nod again. Hopefully I am dead wrong.

    • Michigan Goat

      Yup perfect Q and Hendry logic… Just keep doing the same thing eventually he’ll snap out of it

  • JR

    If Hendry’s talent lies in scouting and development–or in managing his scouting and development team–he’s only doing a part of his job. It has not all been bad but in the last few years he has failed at evaluating major league talent (like Soriano, Bradley, Fukudome) or entering into sound business deals, which is a big, big part of his job. If the Cubs value some of his underlings, pay them more to get them to stay, create a position for them with a new, fancier title, but I hope they do not keep Hendry. What I would really like to see is a GM implement a system-wide philosophy that stressed fundamentals, hustle and defense once guys are drafted into the system and maintaining those expectations all the way up through the major league level.

    I wish they did not trade Gorzellany and maintained their Cashner-Marshall-Marmol combination that worked so well last year. I do not know what Hendry was thinking to get a starter when we desperately needed a reliable bat.

    My wish remains that the Cubs draft Prince Fielder. Someone who not only can hit for power, but has a good grasp of the strike zone and impacts the players around him because pitchers are afraid to pitch to him. Until we get that kind of batter in the lineup, I don’t see the Cubs being more than a .500 team at best.

    • wax_eagle

      I find it interesting that one of his “talents” is in something that is incredibly hard to quantify, or determine success in the short term. I wish that my job results were that hard to quantify.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Soto’s on the DL.