Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there, including my own and The Wife.
- Jon Heyman says the Red Sox should make a trade for Ryan Dempster, which would be a swell idea for them if it were only that simple. Yes, the Red Sox could use a guy like Dempster, who’s been all universe this year. And, yes, the Cubs would probably be interested in picking up a couple good prospects for a free-agent-to-be. But Dempster loves Chicago and has no-trade rights, and it’s not necessarily a lock that the Cubs would trade him quite yet. Is it likely that the Cubs have been dialoging with teams at a very surface level about stuff like this? Sure. But it’s still early, and Dempster’s is an interesting case anyway: in addition to the no-trade issue, Dempster, a free agent after this season, is probably the kind of guy you’d consider making a “qualifying offer” to (one-year deal worth about $12.5 million) so that the Cubs could get draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. That increases his value in a way that is hard to quantify (since it’s not *certain* that he would decline the offer).
- For my part, for what it’s worth, I want to say I’d like to leave it up to Dempster. I don’t think this year’s Cubs team is going to compete for a playoff spot, so, in many ways, it would be silly not to trade Dempster if a good deal comes along. On the other hand, the decision is ultimately up to him, and I respect what he’s done for the Cubs enough to be OK with it if he decides he’d like to stay in Chicago. I think last year I was pretty unfair to Aramis Ramirez in this same situation, and I’m starting to rethink it. They’re just people, after all. The ideal outcome is that Dempster *wants* to go to a contender, and the Cubs get a couple of nice prospects out of it.
- I’ll have more on Chris Volstad soon, but Dale Sveum has conceded that we’re getting to the point where it crosses his mind about replace Volstad in the rotation. For his part, Volstad still has no explanation for his five good inning, one bad inning starts. “That’s the way it’s been for every game,” Volstad said. “I’ve done so well except for one inning. It’s hard to pinpoint the difference. I’ve got to keep working.”
- Manager Dale Sveum noticed what we all noticed about Welington Castillo’s rough game behind the plate on Friday night. “I think ‘Welly’ will say it wasn’t one of his better games to receive the ball,” Sveum said on Saturday. “Sometimes you do struggle with certain pitchers and you lose concentration. He’s still developing into what [coach Mike] Borzello wants him to do, so I think he kind of reverts back sometimes, maybe when the game starts speeding up and you’ve had to catch 200 pitches. We got a grip on it, and he knows what he was doing, and we know what he was doing,” Sveum said of Castillo. “It’s not a big concern. It’s a little more of getting comfortable and doing what’s called a quarter-turn with the hand, and do it on a consistent basis.”
- Dale Sveum says Carlos Marmol’s hamstring strain is not serious (as I said before – it was a conveniently-timed injury for the Cubs in a number of respects, especially since it’s minor). “It was very, very minimal; nothing major,” Sveum said after Saturday’s game. “Fifteen days and we’ll go from there. It wasn’t significant at all.” For all we know, this injury could prove to be a good thing, both for Marmol and for the Cubs.
- The man who replaced Marmol on the roster, Casey Coleman, flew in from Fresno mid-game, having thrown his stuff in a garbage bag. He arrived at the park, immediately went to the bullpen, immediately started warming up, and immediately entered into the game. I suppose we can excuse the two runs he gave up in his two innings of work. “The adrenalin was pumping in the first inning and I felt I was throwing pretty hard, making good pitches,” Coleman said. “We had a long inning, put a run up and had some good at-bats. That’s when you have to regroup and settle down and just pitch. I was kind of going off the adrenalin too much.”