I’m still in Texas, visiting my new niece. But, having visited my niece for a number of hours over the past two days, I decided to visit a bar with my brother last night. And another. And another. I got to know them quite well. I am … tired.
- Dale Sveum will name the Cubs’ Opening Day starter today, and, based on schedules, it’s likely to be Ryan Dempster. If so, Matt Garza – who is the Cubs’ best pitcher – isn’t going to be bummed. “I’m just excited to go play,” Garza said. “If it’s ‘Demp,’ me, [Jeff Samardzija], [Chris Volstad], [Rodrigo Lopez], [Trey] McNutt even, it doesn’t bother me. Crazy stuff can happen. I’m not bashing anyone, but it doesn’t bother me. As long as I’m one of the five and I get the ball in Wrigey, I’m not too concerned about it.” The honor doesn’t really mean a whole lot of anything, and, to me, gets a lot more attention than is really merited.
- Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said at least one of the two guys who lose out on a rotation spot (from among Chris Volstad, Randy Wells, and Rodrigo Lopez) will go to the bullpen. The other could also go to the pen, or to Iowa, or to another team.
- Marcos Mateo is having an MRI on his pitching arm after leaving yesterday’s game early. Mateo missed a huge chunk of time last year with elbow soreness.
- Baseball America ranked the farm systems, and the Cubs come in at 14th, which is the highest they’ve been in any system-wide rankings.
- For reasons not yet entirely clear, the Cubs released a number of Minor Leaguers this week, including RHP Yohan Gonzalez, RHP Jordan Latham, SS Rafael Valdes, OF Ben Klafczynski, OF Blair Springfield. Klafcynski was just taken in the 2011 Draft and, although he didn’t play well last year, you wouldn’t expect the Cubs to cut bait quite so quickly. There are new bosses in charge, though, I suppose.
- Staying in the prospect vein, Keith Law chatted yesterday, and mentioned quite a few Cubs prospects. The highlights: Law says Dan Vogelbach has lost weight but is “still fat,” and has a slow bat; Law likes Jeimer Candelario’s swing; Law thinks Hayden Simpson is pretty much done, because he couldn’t reach 90 on the gun this week; and Law liked what he saw this week from Javier Baez, Shawon Dunston, Jr., and Yasiel Balaguert.
- A long Q&A with Tom Ricketts. Nothing earth-shattering, but kind of interesting.
- A long write-up on Dale Sveum. Nothing earth-shattering, but kind of interesting.