This won’t make you feel much better, because the team still *looks* bad, but, if you’re just examining results, and likening it to an NFL season, the Cubs just lost their first game of the season, and are down big in the first quarter of game number two. Maybe it won’t make you feel better at all.
- Dale Sveum offers his take on Jeff Samardzija’s poor outing yesterday against the Marlins: “Strike one hasn’t been so easy lately and that changes things around a lot, especially against an aggressive team. His split-finger, he couldn’t get that going and it was up. His secondary stuff was a little flat. Velocity was fine but command of the cutter early was killing him.” So, pretty much everything except his velocity was bad (which was how Samardzija circa 2010 would have been described).
- No one seems worried yet about Samardzija’s struggles, and the good news is that he feels physically fine. Better than fine, actually. “I feel great and I felt awesome today,” Samardzija said, per the same article. “The arm feels unbelievable. I really feel I can go out and throw 120, 125 pitches, but I need to be taking that mental approach of not even getting into that 100-pitch mark. Just pound the zone and let my defense work behind me.”
- The nerve issue in Bryan LaHair’s back, which sends pain down as far as his leg, is still giving him problems. “It’s preventing me from moving the way I want to, but it’s getting better,” he said. “I’m starting to increase my range, working before the game and after the game and I’m getting to the bag quicker. It will just be a matter of time before I’m playing defense how I want to.” The issue certainly hasn’t been noticeable at the plate.
- Speaking of LaHair at the plate, Sveum says it’s time he’ll start thinking about re-tooling the lineup, with LaHair possibly moving up from the 6/7 spot.
- More speaking of LaHair, the big first baseman will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at Sports World Chicago (across from Wrigley Field) after Saturday’s game. He’s doing it for charity, and $10 gets you in the door for an autograph and pictures. The money will help a program that teaches kids in Chicago Public Schools about health and fitness. Good for LaHair, and good for Sports World.
- All-Start voting starts today, so get your clicking finger ready. Marlon Byrd ain’t gonna All-Star himself.
- Theo Epstein has started scouting kids for the Draft. That’s right: the Cubs’ President actually goes and scouts some of the top prospects in person. And don’t worry, he’s not burning up time looking for diamonds in the rough – he’s looking at kids who’ve already been reported up the chain, starting with area scouts. Epstein knows how to delegate.
- Like I said yesterday, the Brandon Allen waiver claim situation was set to be resolved yesterday/today, and it has been. The Cubs never had a chance to claim him, as one of the final AL teams with a chance to grab him did so – the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s pretty much a perfect fit for the Rays, who love to grab high upside, low risk, mid-20s players who could wind up being a big win for them. The last such guy they claimed? Lefty reliever John Gaub from the Cubs.
- MLBullets at BCB, reflecting on Ivan Rodriguez’s long, great career. But that one year in Miami … for that, I cannot forgive him.
- Reminder: your BN apparel needs live here.