We’ll try this Reds/Cubs thing again today. Jeff Samardzija will still start, with Ryan Dempster still going tomorrow. Paul Maholm, then, is the one bumped from the series, and he’ll pitch on Friday at Wrigley against the Dodgers.
- What a difference a hot couple weeks makes. After months of suggesting behind closed doors that Bryan LaHair could not handle regular duty in the outfield, the Cubs are now finally talking internally about what they’re going to do with LaHair when Anthony Rizzo is ready to come up and claim first base later this year. Most assumed that LaHair would be dealt at that time, if he were still hitting, or put on the bench, if he weren’t. But now the Cubs are thinking seriously about how LaHair might work in a corner outfield spot, and it will be interesting to see if we start hearing reports about him taking in some practice in the outfield.
- Manager Dale Sveum made his position on getting both in the lineup pretty clear: “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but obviously there’s going to be a point in time where you have to get their bats in the lineup at the same time.” LaHair, himself, says he’s open to a move. “I wouldn’t even look at it as a position change for me,’’ said LaHair. ‘‘I’ve been playing the outfield my whole life. I’m very comfortable in the outfield. I mean, I want to be the first baseman, but if it helps for him to be at first, it is what it is.”
- Ryan Dempster says Carlos Marmol would be sharper if the Cubs gave him more leads to protect. Maybe. Let’s start with him protecting the handful he’s given, eh?
- John Sickels takes an in-depth look at Brett Jackson, and opines that he might have success where past “can’t miss” Cubs outfield prospects (think Patterson, Harvey, Kelton, Colvin – at least according to Sickels) failed.
- You all already figured it out in the comments, but the reason Blake DeWitt was going to get the start last night (and will probably start tonight) is because of his numbers against Bronson Arroyo (9 for 25). Darwin Barney is healthy, and still “the starter.”
- An ugly story brewing around Yoenis Cespedes. His (former?) advisor in the Dominican Republic, Edgar Mercedes, says the Cuban-born slugger has yet to make good on promised payments to the people and institutions that helped him get to the States. From the sound of things, Mercedes alleges Cespedes got to the States, and then cut off all communications with his Latin advisors. A lawyer for the academy run by Mercedes says, “The basic understanding with Cespedes was that he would pay 22 percent of all the money received from Oakland 48 hours after receiving payment. We have evidence that he has already received a $5 million signing bonus in addition to his regular April salary, but now he’s evading payments. He is an ungrateful one.” Yikes.
- MLBullets over at BCB, featuring a bit on Albert Pujols’ struggles and snippiness.