I’m still not over yesterday’s game. No, not the part where Carlos Marmol almost blew his second-straight 2-0 lead, and not the part where the bats were quietly the real problem. I can’t get over the part where Ryan Dempster was so freaking good. Every pitch was working, and he was making Marlins hitters look foolish. He hasn’t done that in quite some time. It was really nice to see.

  • Carlos Marmol is temporarily out as the Cubs’ closer says Mike Quade. Marmol will take “some time” to work on his mechanics (long overdue; how about working on that burgeoning belly?), and, in the interim, Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood will close out games as necessary. Perhaps this is the time for bold changes?
  • Quade said the “some time” is likely to be at least a couple days, though Marmol was probably going to need a day or two off anyway given how many pitches he’s thrown the last two days. My guess is we don’t see him for a few days, and then he’ll make a seventh or eighth inning appearance.
  • Marmol said that (1) he hopes to get back to his old self soon, (2) he has lost some confidence (yikes), and (3) he hates to be booed.
  • Ken Rosenthal describes Jeff Baker as “not available” because the Cubs plan on having him in the fold in 2012. While I have no doubt that the Cubs would be happy to have Baker back next year (and he’s cheaply under team control), I suspect that, once again, this is a matter of a reporter overstating things. Baker is *unlikely* to be traded because of his perceived value to the Cubs in 2012 (which I’ve said repeatedly), but to say he’s “unavailable” is flat out ridiculous. He’s a 30-year-old utility player. Of course he’s available.
  • Well, there’s one top 15 pick the Chicago Cubs won’t be signing – 8th rounder Taylor Dugas, an outfielder from Alabama, says he’s returning to school for his senior season and will not be signing with the Cubs. Dugas said that “money” was the reason for his return to school. So, it appears that Dugas wanted way more money than the Cubs were willing to give. Dugas will be a senior next year, so he’ll lose virtually all of his leverage in negotiations like this – that means, if money was the real sticking point, either the Cubs were massively lowballing him, or he was massively highballing them. Given the Cubs’ plans to spend on the draft, I suspect it was the latter.
  • A Cubs minor league pitcher, Yomar Morel, has tested positive for steroids and has been banned for 50 games. Morel is a 17 year old who was putting up great numbers in the Dominican Summer League, so it’s sad for two reasons. Morel is the fifth DSL Cub to be suspended for PEDs. I know that the PED culture in the Dominican Republic is different than it is here in the States (in the last five years, anyway), but that seems like an issue.


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