And now the Cubs have to win two in a row against the Astros just to have a winning homestand against the Mets, Pirates and Astros (and that includes two wins against the Mets!). It’s never good to divine too much meaning from a small chunk of games, but whatever this stretch does say about the Cubs, it ain’t good.
- I’m trying not to read too much into a fluff story on DJ LeMahieu’s promotion, but I can’t help it (it’s what I do). LeMahieu says that, two hours before he was informed he was heading to Chicago to join the Cubs, he was told he was being promoted to AAA Iowa (which would have made a whole lot more sense) on Sunday Morning. Now, it’s possible that there was some confusion or some indecision about who goes where or there were some new revelations about the injury that would open up a spot for LeMahieu. But it seems equally possible that the Cubs had made the decision to open up a spot at AA Tennessee by moving LeMahieu out, and decided a couple hours later, when it was clear Jeff Baker would go on the disabled list, to send LeMahieu to Chicago. Playing regularly at AAA or sitting on the bench in the bigs, what’s the difference for a 22-year-old prospect, right? That would, of course, be ass-backwards, but the order of events leaves me just a tiny bit suspicious.
- In the same piece, Mike Quade confirms what we all have thought about LeMahieu’s role: he ain’t gonna play much. After confirming that LeMahieu would “fill in” at second and third, and would come off the bench, Quade added: “He’ll have to wait his turn, much the way I thought [Tony Campana] would because the three guys [Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano] were playing so well. He’s versatile enough, could he fill-in at first if I want him to give [Carlos Pena] a day off against a tough left-hander? Probably.”
- Despite appearances to the contrary, Chicago Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo says he’s preaching patience to the Cubs hitters, who are last in the league in walks. “Walks are really important, obviously you make the pitcher work, you see more pitches and get into the bullpen,” Jaramillo said recently. “Everybody wants walks because it puts men on base, we’ve been doing a good job of getting on base without as many walks as we’d like.”
- The Cubs DFA’d reliever Jeff Stevens in order to make room on the 40-man roster for DJ LeMahieu. Stevens, whom the Cubs acquired in the Mark DeRosa trade, has had a couple chances with the big team, but has never put it together. He currently sports an ERA near 10 at AAA Iowa, and his numbers across the board are significantly worse than his career averages. He’ll likely go unclaimed and will remain with Iowa.
- Tony Campana’s four steals yesterday marked the first four-steal game for the Cubs since Juan Pierre five years ago. He also made a couple sweet catches in center field. His legend grows…