Chris Volstad will try to give the Cubs a series win today (recall, Jeff Samardzija’s start was pushed back a day) as he takes on Vance Worley. Tough matchup.
- Matt Garza was the absolute cat’s pajamas yesterday, but it sounds like he was off the game plan. “The game plan was to keep them off balance and try to induce weak ground balls or weak popups and that’s exactly what worked,” Garza said. “Certain things were there and certain weren’t. I threw a curveball about 22 feet high but other than that everything else was cool.” Geez, Matt. You say that’s what worked, but clearly, you weren’t sticking to the plan. Ground balls? Popups? You were too busy striking guys out. Stick to the plan next time, Matt. Er, wait. No. Do exactly what you did yesterday, because you were ridiculously awesome. Did I mention cat’s pajamas?
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum admitted that, in yesterday’s unnecessarily close 9th inning, Shane Victorino was going to be Carlos Marmol’s last hitter if he didn’t get the out. He added: “He’s going to be a high pitch-count guy. Most times he’s going to be 20 or 30 pitches. Obviously, you don’t want to see that kind of stress out there. But that’s what he is and that’s what you have to understand. You’ve got to be patient, but there’s only so much you be patient with.”
- Randy Wells will be available out of the bullpen starting tomorrow, in advance of the Cubs’ decision about whether to send him back to AAA Iowa on Thursday when Ryan Dempster comes off the DL. I wouldn’t read much into Wells pitching out of the pen this week. It’s just as easy for him to then stay in the pen with the big club, or transition back to starting with Iowa by the weekend.
- Sveum took the words right out of my mouth when he spoke about Tony Campana’s immediate future. “As long as he hits, he can be an everyday player in the big leagues,” Sveum said. “As long as he can get on base, he can be an impact-type guy with that kind of speed. He just has to be able to hit and get his bunts down and do the things he’s doing right now on an everyday basis.”
- A long write-up on top prospects Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson from Carrie Muskat.
- Sun-Times writer Joe Cowley, who primarily covers the White Sox, came under fire yesterday for almost unbelievably misogynistic and sexist comments on Twitter. After hours of being blasted on Twitter, Cowley, who is something of a repeat offender, took his ball and went home. He no longer has a Twitter account, whether by his own choice or the Sun-Times’. Before departing, Cowley claimed he was just engaging in satire, which would have been more believable if his comments were even remotely humorous.
- TCR’s Arizona Phil has compiled unofficial extended Spring Training stats to date. It would be a mistake of the highest order to read too much into these numbers for a host of reasons (quirky games, extremely varied talent, minuscule sample size, etc.), but it’s always interesting to look at stats.
- Veteran infielder Edgar Gonzalez, signed in the offseason to a minor league deal, has been released so that he may pursue opportunities in Japan. Go make your money, Edgar.
- For those of you who “like” the Bleacher Nation Facebook page (you should all do it), but who aren’t seeing BN posts show up in your newsfeed – and you wish they were – that’s because of a change Facebook made to the way it calculates what to show you. In other words, Facebook thinks it knows better than you do about what you want to see. The only way to counteract it is to go to the BN Facebook page here, and “interact” with some of the posts. Like some, comment on some, share some. You don’t have to do it all at once, but it’ll help if you do some. Then, when you see a post show up in your feed, make sure it interact with that, too. Just drop a quick comment or a like. After doing that a few times, you will have “taught” Facebook that you want to see BN posts in your feed. Then, when they show up regularly, just make sure to occasionally comment or like. I know, it’s laborious, but this is the only way. Facebook is great for a lot of things, but sometimes, it’s a pain in the ass. I think it may also help if you change your news feed from “top stories” to “most recent,” but I’m not 100% on that part.
- MLBullets at BCB, discussing the Tigers’ recent woes.