I’ll be back in Chicago tomorrow to take in Tuesday and Wednesday’s games against the Cardinals (probably in the right field bleachers, as close to the lower-right corner (if you were looking out from home plate) as I can get). I’ll be hanging at a Wrigleyville bar before the game – any suggestions?
- Starlin Castro says he’s fine after taking a Johnny Cueto fastball off the arm yesterday. “I feel like it broke my whole arm,” Castro said. “But after going to the ground and then running the bases, the hurt was gone. I feel good …. [it hit me] a little bit on top; not right on the bone. I’m very good. I’m ready for tomorrow, of course.” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one starting to slide my body into fetal position when I watched Castro crumple to the ground. That he’s OK is quite a relief.
- Dale Sveum is getting heat for his decision to pull Bryan LaHair after the 5th inning yesterday in a double switch that saw Joe Mather go to first base, and Alfonso Soriano stay in the game. Sveum defended the move by pointing out that LaHair was likely to face a lefty the next time up, if he had stayed in the game. “It was probably going to be the last meaningful at-bat [LaHair] was going to get off a right-hander,” Sveum said. “If they had two right-handers, setup guy and a closer, I wouldn’t be double switching for LaHair there.” As it played out, the Cubs sent two lefties up to the plate in the 9th inning anyway – both of whom represented the tying run, and both of whom struck out.
- The Cubs will have to make a roster move today when they add new reliever Michael Bowden. The guess here is that one of the relievers will go out, either Scott Maine heading back to AAA, Lendy Castillo going back to the Phillies (if they want him), or Shawn Camp or Rodrigo Lopez getting bounced.
- Farm Director Oneri Fleita was taking in the Iowa Cubs this weekend. Primarily, he was observing Brett Jackson, who isn’t quite ready to hit the bigs, but the Cubs are obviously watching him closely.
- Speaking of Jackson, Sveum is toeing the company line: “It’s just the plan we want to stick with and develop him. He still needs to develop. He’s still striking out a little too much. He needs to be more conscious and a little bit better in that situation. If you’re striking out that much in Triple-A, it’ll be that much more against big league pitching. Until you get those 500 at-bats at Triple-A, it’s something the organization and Theo [Epstein] want to impress on our young guys is you’ll stay and play and develop.”
- Milestone bonuses (i.e., $1 million for your 500th home run) and personal services deals built into MLB contracts are no longer going to be permitted. Both are essentially ways to include additional money in deals, which money would not be considered “guaranteed” for purposes of luxury tax calculations. That’s a no-no. Albert Pujols’ deal with the Angels included both, and that deal will be allowed to stand. But, going forward, no more.
- MLBullets at BCB, featuring the White Sox falling backwards into Philip Humber. Would be nice if the Cubs could stumble into something like that.