Yesterday’s off-day was particularly ill-timed, given how the Cubs’ series with the Cardinals played out. Two insane, walk-off, comeback wins, followed by a deflating, “meh” loss. You really don’t want to sit on your hands after that. The Cubs get the Phillies, starting today.
- For those harboring hopes that the Cubs will soon have both Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo (who is destroying the PCL once again) in the lineup, Paul Sullivan notes that LaHair has yet to take even a moment’s worth of practice in the outfield this year. Clearly, the Cubs have no designs on making a move any time soon (which is what we’ve expected). LaHair’s been dealing with a crotchety back, but when I watch him in the field, I have a hard time seeing a guy who could plausibly handle a corner outfield spot. We didn’t see much of him in the outfield last year, either, so it’s hard to feel confident in his abilities out there right now. When Rizzo is ready, as nice as it would be to have both bats in the lineup, I think it’s more likely that the Cubs look to make a trade.
- Dale Sveum on facing the Phillies this weekend: “They have one of the best pitching staffs over the last few years, so it’s going to be tough. Hopefully, getting into more of a hitters’ park, we can hit some home runs. You have to do that against those kinds of pitchers because it’s hard to string hits together. They don’t walk anybody either.”
- The Cubs are monitoring Jeff Samardzija’s innings and pitch counts very closely this year. Although he bulked up and got into great shape in the offseason, he still threw only 88 innings last year, all in relief. He looks strong in the early going, but the Cubs will have to be careful not to overwork him.
- Steve Rosenbloom wonders why Carlos Marmol is still on the Cubs, and I wonder why I just read something Steve Rosenbloom wrote. Well, except this time, he actually makes some reasonably useful points. But, as always, it takes two teams to tango. Recognizing that this team has no need for Marmol is only half of the equation. The Cubs, for their part, continue to talk up the virtues of Marmol.
- Bob Brenly, who often jokes during Cubs broadcasts that he was a terrible hitter, actually wasn’t too bad. He was better than average, and may have been in the top 1/3 of offensive catchers all-time.
- The Bricks and Ivy Ball raised $1.25 million for Chicago Cubs Charities on Wednesday night. I can only assume there are some pictures floating around somewhere of the Cubs’ players decked out in their fancies.
- Baseball America’s Jim Callis says that the Cubs will take the best available player with their number 6 overall draft pick this year, rather than feeling forced to take a pitcher. I agree. I also agree with Callis that the best available player will probably be a pitcher when the Cubs’ turn comes up.
- MLBullets at BCB, noting Carl Crawford’s now three-month UCL injury. No, I don’t think the Cubs will be able to pawn another outfielder off on the Red Sox.