I am one of those people who, during a game, cannot physically bring myself to actively root against the Cubs. But, in the light of a new day, I’m not convinced that winning right now – especially against the Pirates, which just helps hand the division to one of the Cardinals or Brewers – is the best thing for this organization. Just sayin’…
- Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry stated plainly that Kosuke Fukudome was traded so that Tyler Colvin could get regular starts in right field. Since the trade, Colvin has started in just two of the team’s five games. Is this another case of the Cubs and the manager having conflicting incentives (Cubs want to see Colvin develop, Quade wants to win games – this was precisely the same problem the organization had last August)? I’m not so sure. In the last two games, Reed Johnson has gotten the start. Recall, Johnson was the subject of a number of trade rumors going into the last week of July when his back gave out, and he had to sit. It seems to me, sitting Colvin is as much about showing teams that Johnson is now healthy (and thus, enticing to trade partners) as it is about trying to win meaningless August games.
- For what it’s worth, of Colvin sitting, Quade had this to say: “It’s a tentative situation for me just because I have two guys [Johnson and Jeff Baker] that do so well against left-handers, and I’m looking for at-bats for ‘Bake’ and Reed. But there’s a lot of baseball left. He’ll get his at-bats. We’d love to see him excel against right-handers and put him in the best situations I can against right-handed pitching, and pick our spots against left-handers.” The irony? When Colvin was up early this year, Quade started him almost exclusively against left-handers.
- Andrew Cashner threw a second successful bullpen session yesterday, and it must have gone smoothly. “I saw him on the elevator on the way to the park this morning and I thought maybe he was starting tonight,” manager Mike Quade said. “You talk about a kid that’s going nuts. He’s so anxious to get started. We’re going to have to put the reins on him a little bit. … But if it was up to him, he’d be on my card tonight.” Cashner hopes to be back in two to three weeks, but the Cubs are thinking more like four or five.
- Notably, Quade said he hopes Cashner is able to remain a starting pitcher when he returns. That’s great news, but it comes with two caveats: (1) there’s almost no chance Cashner is allowed to start any games in September if he comes back (he’ll be working a couple innings at a time – I’ll confess, this is just my guess); and (2) if Quade isn’t the manager next year, it’ll be up to the next guy to decide whether Cashner can be a starter again.
- Carlos Pena is very happy he wasn’t traded, and that probably explains why he is so effusive in his praise for Jim Hendry. “I’d rather have someone really working towards out common goal, instead of [making trades] just for show,” Pena said. “Our GM is not like that. He’s not trying to ‘look’ like he’s working. He’s working…. He’s doing something that’s going to mean something at the end of it all, something substantial, and we’re going to reap the benefits. I’d rather have that. We put all our heads together, all our energy together, and personally, I’m excited about the possibility of me being part of that team. Even with our record at this point, with our difficulties. I can say the same thing. I’m excited about what’s coming.” Shrug.
- Derrek Lee, whom the Cubs are now facing as a member of the Pirates, remains ever the classy guy. “I have a lot of great friends over there,” Lee said of the Cubs. “It’s hard to see them struggle. I thought they would have a good year this year because of their rotation but baseball is a crazy game. They had some tough injuries right out of the gate. Two injuries to their rotation, that’s hard to overcome. You hate to see them struggle like that. Hopefully they can finish strong like they did last year.”
- Various reports say John Grabow is expected to be traded in August. Don’t expect anything in return. Like, anything.
- Reader Jeff posted this article in the comments earlier, and, since there were no bullets yesterday, I didn’t get it in until today. It’s an article contrasting the Cubs and Cardinals, written by a Cardinals columnist. If you’re a masochist, go ahead and read it.
- I meant to post this screenshot from Cubs.com over the weekend, but the 24-hour thing jacked up my schedule (and my mind). Adventures in hilarious headline writing and timing: