Matt Garza is back today, as the Cubs head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers for three. Today’s also the day for our fantasy baseball contest! There’s still time to sign up and set your team (it’s based on tonight’s games), so GET ON IT. That link will get you the details, but if you don’t care about details, just sign up here.
- I gets all tingly when I read things like this about the Cubs’ advanced scouting work (the whole article is worth a read if you want to get geeked about the changes in the way the Cubs prepare for games):
Former catcher Adam Melhuse, one of the Cubs’ two advance scouts, watched the Braves and was at Wrigley Field on Monday to personally present his report to the coaching staff and the players.
“They pick up on some tendencies that maybe we don’t see, because they’re specifically looking for them,” Chicago’s Bryan LaHair said. “They tell us about the action of their balls, what their go-to pitches are, what their strikeout pitches are. We can look at the video, but it’s good to know someone is seeing a pitch in a certain situation every single time. It’s definitely an advantage.”
It requires a significant financial commitment, but Hoyer said it’s worth it. The players have responded well.
“It’s awesome the way it’s set up,” infielder Jeff Baker said. “The biggest thing is they can put into words what they’re trying to say on a report. You can see a report and read it, but it might not make sense or be convoluted. [Melhuse] irons it out and you ask questions.” …
Melhuse, who played for Listach at Triple-A Iowa, doesn’t stay long. He’s back on the road now to advance the next series. Kyle Phillips, the Cubs’ other advance scout, will most likely be at Miller Park on Friday before the Brewers series, although Sveum knows them well enough to do the report himself.
One National League scout estimated that 20 of the 30 Major League teams had advance scouts on the road, but didn’t know of any teams who employ a pair as the Cubs do. Some teams rely solely on video and don’t send anyone to games.
- Other teams continue to complain about the LED board at Wrigley Field in right field, which makes it difficult for bullpen catchers to see the ball when warming up. MLB is apparently investigating, and might soon start working with the Cubs on a solution. I’m sure it’s a legitimate issue, but, at the same time, I haven’t yet heard about any bullpen catchers taking a pitch off the face mask. How bad can it be?
- David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is highly complimentary of the Cubs team that just took two of three from the Braves. It wasn’t the Braves’ fault, says O’Brien – the Cubs’ pitching is just ridiculous right now. I think he’s right.
- MLB has decided that it will not punish Kerry Wood for
giving two fans a souvenir and a great memorythrowing his hat and glove into the stands on Tuesday night. Um, yeah.
- Paul Sullivan answers reader questions, which focus heavily on Carlos Marmol. Sullivan also mentions the Hoyer/McLeod/Padres compensation issue (still no resolution, but it’s been so long that Sullivan isn’t sure if anyone cares anymore), and takes a swipe at … someone … with this: “One thing about Marmol: He faces reporters whenever he blows games. Not everyone in the clubhouse can say that.”
- Carrie Muskat also takes questions, and the most interesting one is the one she doesn’t answer: why hasn’t David DeJesus tried to bunt for any hits?
- MLBullets at BCB features Soxenfreude, as fans turn on an indifferent Josh Beckett.
- If Beckett continues to flounder, might the Red Sox feel compelled to overpay for a starting pitcher or two? Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe thinks they might, and mentions Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.