The Cubs are a season-low 17 games under .500. The injuries have certainly sucked, but they don’t account for all 17 of those games. Somewhat relatedly: everyone is patting Ramon Ortiz on the back for his more than solid debut last night… why is no one criticizing the organization for not starting him over a month ago while we were forced to suffer through the Davis/Russell shit show?

  • Was Marcos Mateo’s elbow injury caused by his unusually long, 57-pitch outing last week? Mike Quade doesn’t think so – or, more accurately, he hopes not. “I would like to think not. I think he’d made 40 pitches with us before. Fifty-seven pitches? It was a long stint for him, but I’d like to think [it didn’t affect him]. He felt great in his side [session] the day before. He wanted to be available [Sunday], but we wouldn’t let him. He had plenty of rest. He’d been a starter in the past.” Blaming the long outing would be very convenient – Mateo could have blown out his elbow at any time – but sometimes convenient explanations are also correct ones. We’ll never really know where the truth lies, but I doubt Mateo has thrown that many pitches in three years (when he was last a starter).
  • Quade says he doesn’t mind being second-guessed or questioned about his decisions. That’s fine. But how about making better decisions?
  • The Cubs are hopeful that Ryan Dempster can start this Saturday in Pittsburgh.
  • Jeff Baker is day-to-day with back spasms, which kicked up on the play in which he threw the ball into left field in the first inning last night.
  • Welington Castillo continues to work on his game at AAA, patiently awaiting his chance to stick in the bigs. “This is a business, and I have to do whatever it takes to earn my spot,” Castillo said. “I simply have to play ball, have fun, and the rest will take care of itself. No one is given a roster spot simply because they are a top prospect. Once I get to the big leagues, I want to stay in the big leagues.”
  • Steven Rosenbloom questions why Cubs pitchers are suffering so many arm injuries. As usual, he asks the questions in the most inflammatory way possible, but the questions are at least interesting. With a new manager and new pitching coach, the questions probably deserve to be asked.
  • 21-year-old pitching prospect Nick Struck has been promoted to AAA Iowa after just six starts in AA.
  • A nice writeup on High A first baseman Justin Bour at the Friendy Blogfines.


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