I’m headed to Chicago this morning, and will be at The Sports Corner at some point in the late morning (stuffing my face, most likely, in my blue Bleacher Nation shirt, if you’re looking for me), before going to today’s game. Posting should be normal today, but the Enhanced Box Score is going to be delayed. Delayed, and extra squiggly depending on how many Old Styles I have.

  • Dale Sveum says he isn’t yet worried about Marlon Byrd’s deep slump to start the year. But, well, he also says this: “When, what date or whatever, you don’t put a time limit on it. There’s a time where there’s got to be adjustments to be made. Whether that’s a week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks into the season. The bottom line is production is what this job is all about. We got to make adjustments. That’s how people survive in the big leagues.” I find it interesting that the *far* limit Sveum put there was just four weeks. Byrd’s already just about at two (which, for me, is far too early to make a change of an established, usually consistent hitter like Byrd (who also happens to be a quality defender)), and he was pulled yesterday in favor of a pinch hitter in the 9th. That’s not a good sign.
  • Ryan Dempster blames only himself for yesterday’s 2-1 loss. “I could have won that game it I had made a couple of better pitches in the seventh inning,” he said. “Games like those, you know that a mistake can end up costing you the game …. Unfortunately I left a cutter over the middle of the plate and it got hit out, and it was enough to win the game for them.” Let me help be more fair: when Dempster says “games like those,” he means games in which his offense gives him absolutely nothing. Ryan Dempster wasn’t the problem yesterday, and, surprisingly, neither was the bullpen. It was the offense (albeit one facing a great pitcher in Yovani Gallardo). One run just ain’t gonna cut it in 97% of your games.
  • Fluff on Lendy Castillo’s big league debut earlier this week. He made the jump straight from A-ball, so you can understand some jitters. Dale Sveum sounds like he still isn’t thrilled about having to carry the Rule 5 pick. “He looked like he settled down a little bit,” Sveum said. “We would still like to see that velocity where we’re expecting and what we saw early in camp, too. The velocity has to come back. As long as he’s throwing strikes and throwing the breaking ball for a strike, we’re going to be a lot better off. I think you saw a little bit of maturity [Tuesday] from his first routing.”
  • Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo both show up at the back end of a list of five prospects who could make a fantasy impact at some point this year when they are inevitably called up. You don’t really need to understand what that means. You just need to understand that they’re on a list that includes big-time prospects Trevor Bauer and Mike Trout.
  • Ryan Braun is being all mature and professional about the taunts he’s hearing in Chicago this week. “Without a doubt, it’s probably the most, or one of the most, challenging environments to play in regardless of any extracurricular circumstances,’’ he said. “It’s never an easy place to play as a visiting player. They’re always loud, they’re always into the game, supporting their team, and they’re pretty creative.’’ Stop it, Ryan. Say something douchey.
  • Geovany Soto is trying to help Rafael Dolis adjust to the big leagues by making him think about hurricanes.
  • Pat Hughes tries not to let the Cubs’ losing ways get him down as he’s calling game after game.
  • Alfonso Soriano’s defense this year has looked improved, and Dale Sveum says it’s thanks to hard work with first base coach Dave McKay (who works on outfield defense).
  • Ben

    Byrd’s trade value went from fringe prospect to nil in 6games :(

  • ShootTheGoat

    Wow, getting things kicked off early, huh Brett? I thought I was the only poor sap up this early.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Gotta get on the road (at the airport now).

  • DCF

    Deep Slump? It’s obvious that Byrd is struggling right now, but hell, a deep slump would be 30 games, not 6. Six games of bad hitting happento almost everyone in the course of a full season. It’s annoying enough how the media jump on it cuase there’s nothing else to report right now except that, well, the Cubs suck.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Eh, it’s all descriptive. To me, six hitless games is a deep slump. But it’s not like I’m calling for him to lose his job. Yet.

  • Tobias Lane

    Couldn’t the Cubs iron out a deal which would allow Cubs to keep Castillo so that Lendy could develop in minors? I doubt that Philly would want much in return.

    • CubFan Paul

      Agreed. Lendy is hurting the pen more than he is helping

  • CubFan Paul

    “I find it interesting that the *far* limit Sveum put there was just four weeks”

    Me too because that’s the earliest BJax can come up to gain the extra year of control. Sveum is a word ninja sending messages to the front office

  • florida Al

    Old Style???yuuuck….buy one of the better beers….

    • OlderStyle

      somehow, they taste a lot better at Wrigley.

  • Ryan

    Byrd has looked real bad this year so far, but his replacement, Brett Jackson, is striking out 30% of the time in the minors, which would only increase in the big leagues.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I think its time to consider a Campana call-up. He can help this team more then bryd right now. Byrd is done. Its sad to see him decline so fast. Call Campana up, let him start in center, if he performs well, move him to right to replace Da Jesus man, when Jackson comes. Campana/Jackson/Castro 1…2..3.. can help win some games.

    • Andrew

      Dejesus is actually doing quite well right now. I’d personally rather see mather or reed johnson start in center if Byrd gets traded.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Campana starts in center if Byrd is traded, and when Jackson comes up, Johnson gets waived or traded.

        • Brian

          Hopefully he gets traded with Campana so we can drop this stupid “start him in RF, LF or CF.”

  • ty

    MLB radio announces Cub ticket winners! First prize is 2 tickets–Second prize is 4 tickets–Third prize is 6 tickets.

  • art

    IMO Campana will never be a ML starter.

  • Eric

    I find this hard to say. But it’s thanks to an ex cardinal coach that Soriano is not a bit improved defensively. Which strengthens my feelings that they have always had really good coaching, it does make a difference.

    • ETS

      I’ve said for years that I’d love it if the cubs could get duncan. He is what makes LaRussa look like such a genius with his pitching.

      Rotheschild is a very good pitching coach as well. Lets hope Bos can get our arms throwing well. So far, our starting pitching has been great.

    • ty

      Tell Bob Dernier that he did not work with Sori on fielding. What really happened is Dale told Sori he would be benched if he did not hustle and improve–then he backed McKay allthe way. It was well known around Fitch by Jan. that this had happened between all three. Lou and Quade let Sori get away with literally no responsibility in the field. The one area that Sori would work on was his hitting with Rudy. Sveum is a tough guy and does not miss a thing.

  • ty

    Guys on MLB radio said this morning that within two months Cubs will field youngest team in baseball. Burning cells trying to find value for veterans.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Ya almost have to wonder what might have been if we had a real outfield coach who might have trained Soriano how to play left field from the get go. Better late than never I suppose. He’s never going to be a stellar left fielder but he does look better out there. Now if Jaramillo can get this team knocking the cover off the ball that would be sweet. What I find interesting is that Byrd was supposed to have been a long time Jaramillo disciple. I think there is something floating in the back of Byrds mind about getting hit with a wild pitch again. His injury last year was not a minor one. He almost looks afraid / tentative in the batters box. Could be that he has some mental issues from that incident that he hasn’t quite overcome. He wouldn’t be the first player to have a career go into a tailspin after that kind of injury. Some might say … well he came back last year and played. He wasn’t all the effective last year when he came back. At that time he probably hadn’t had time to get the yips implanted in his mind. For his sake I hope this isn’t the case. Just some potential scenario and reason for his non performance in the area that he was directly effected.

    • JustSwain

      I was thinking the same thing about Byrd so I paid attention to his ABs early in the season. If a player is nervous about standing in the box (because he is afraid of getting hit) you tend to see things. First, he’ll back away from called inside strikes. Haven’t seen that. Second, he’ll bail early and hard on anything in the batters box, and occasionally eye level pitches over the plate, haven’t seen that either. It could still be effecting him, but if it is he is overcoming instinctual cues to back away from danger. I’m really hoping that means that he can come back and do something this season.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Two notes about Rizzo and Jackson on that list:

    Jackson should prove to be one of those players who actually has more value in real life, than he does in fantasy. While 20/20 threats are always extremely valuable in fantasy, your standard 5×5 league includes BA instead of OBP. Jackson should have a average/sub average BA, but an OBP near the leaders. (This is among the reasons why I want all my leagues to replace BA with OBP…but I digress).

    Rizzo….I still have my doubts about. I haven’t really seen enough of him to know if he has fixed his swing yet, or if he’ll get eaten up by ML fastballs when he gets called up again. Hopefully he has.

    If I had to bet on it…I think Jackson will have a great rookie season, and Rizzo will either struggle, or be very streaky.

  • Andrew

    Right now the cubs im most disapointed in are Soto and Byrd I just hope something happens to either make them start hitting again or traded. I see Stewart really turning it on in the next few days and hopefully we can get some extra base hits going so we arent embarrassed in the Cardinals series too.

    • DocPWimsey

      It’s been only 6 games. Nobody has “started” hitting or failed to do so. Ruiz, Cozart, Cuddyer, etc., are not off to “hot starts”: they’ve had a couple of good games in the first week. Guys with past success but with low numbers are not off to “cold starts”: they simply have yet to have had a couple of good games.

      Every year we see this: and every year, players regress to their norms.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Hale to the guys on MLB radio… If we are going to have record that looks like 1 – 5 for a while (St. Louis and Miami series coming up and then the Phillies are not far off). I pray we can squeak by with a few wins. I’m not impressed with Byrd or DeJesus. Those are two guys that bring no fear to an opposing pitcher. We need some power added to the lineup and additional speed to the roster. As well as BP pitching… But if the bring up Jackson and Rizzo along with Campana and jettison Byrd, Jackson. Maybe we need to trade Soto soon. He would bring back some value. Castillo is doing well at AAA He and Clevinger can handle the catching duties just fine and provide more than enough offense.

    My new lineup would be:

    Jackson CF
    Castro SS
    LaHair RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Soriano LF
    Stewart 3B
    Clevinger/Castillo C
    Barney 2B

    If I was pitching against that line up I would be a little more worried than what I see being thrown out there now.

    • djriz

      I agree that team would be much more fun to watch, but why in the world would you do anything to hurt the development of the players you are relying on for your future?

      I’d keep teaching them all in the minors, give them a cup of coffee after they win the AAA championship and start them next year.

      Think of it…the Rookie of the Year race is between Rizzo, Vitters, Jackson, Castillo and McNutt..who knows maybe Ceasar (pronounced Sczcur) and DeVoss will be mid season call ups, and join the race.

      That would be fun to watch!

    • JustSwain

      Actually Dejesus does bring fear into opposing pitchers, at least those who have faced him. Jared Weaver predicted that Dejesus would get a line drive single off him in the Angels ST game, when he saw his name on the lineup. I’ve been getting the impression that he’s a guy who never got much press in KC, but opposing pitchers knew where he was in the lineup every game.

  • Nick Nesler

    Gotta admit Brett, I’m looking forward to the old style enhanced box score.

    • djriz

      it’s funny, but I just assumed the last 6 were old style enhanced. with the way they’re playing, would blame Brett.

  • RY34

    dumb byrd asap, trade soto, bring up castillo and any other youngster and see what we have, 50-55 wins is the ceiling this year anyway, at this rate we will set the record for most losses in a season.

  • Puma0821

    I like the prospects of Baez and all but I cant believe we passed right over this Trevor Bauer kid. I don’t know much about him but if he is now the top pitching prospect, broke Prior’s K record and now on the verge of being called up, why did’nt we draft him? He seems like a much more sure shot than Baez and a much more immediate impact too!

  • Puma0821

    Oh I read the article wrong… thought it said 9th.