The Little Girl has been sick for the last few days, so she’s been staying with The Wife in our bed (she’s been throwing up a bit, so we want to keep a close eye on her at night), so I’ve been riding the couch. I don’t sleep well on the couch. I am very tired.
- We are at the dawn of the Joe Mather era. At least that sounds like Dale Sveum’s plan, after starting Mather in center field last night and batting him third. “Right now, for a little while, I’m going to commit to Mather and see what happens,” Sveum said. “Nothing against what [Tony] Campana’s done. He’s done a nice job. But the fact of the matter is we still haven’t scored. We did win a lot of games because of him and all that, but we’re trying to get some quick runs- two-run doubles and stuff like that. And Campana is still a huge weapon off the bench, too.” Mather could also see some time at third base. On his career, Mather, who turns 30 in July, is a .239/.301/.408 hitter. This year, in 66 plate appearances, Mather is hitting .293/.379/.517, which is obviously quite good. Will those numbers drop if he’s playing every day? Absolutely. But if he can keep them reasonably high, there’s no reason not to play him regularly, and see if a team out there might be attracted to an extremely versatile player who’s bat is working well right now. In other words, I’d say “committing to Mather” right now is as much about scoring runs as it is about showing off a guy who might net a low-level, high-upside prospect in July.
- Sveum offers a folksy spin on the Cubs’ 10-game losing streak: “I’ve been through a 12-game losing streak once in my career and it grinds on you and it gets frustrating, there’s no question about it …. You always say even great teams have a six- to 10-game losing streak in the course of a year. Obviously, we’ve got to get a lot of things fixed — we’ve got to score runs and be better in the bullpen and things like that. You have to win one before you do anything.” What else is he supposed to say, eh? But I don’t know how many “great” teams have 10-game losing streaks. I’d think that’s probably quite rare.
- Ryan Dempster, who improved his trade stock with yet another dominant start (without a win, though), says he knows what’s looming on the horizon when it comes to a possible trade. “I’m not an idiot. I know how things go,’’ said Dempster, according to the Sun-Times. “I know how it goes with players in contract years and the team not necessarily doing like they’re supposed to be doing, there’s always a possibility of things. There’s a possibility of being traded anytime. But I don’t really think about it. I don’t really worry about it because I can just control doing my job the best I can.’’ Once again, you get a sense from the article that Dempster would not block a trade to a contender if he felt it really helped the Cubs.
- It was just in one, throwaway line at the end of an article about a number of things, but Paul Sullivan says Steve Clevenger will not return until June. If true, that’s later than we’d recently been led to believe (we’d heard May 28, when the Cubs return from this road trip on Monday). It could only be a difference of a few days, but, given the sorry state of the Cubs’ catching situation, you can understand why a few days make a difference.
- Carlos Marmol pitched a rehab inning at AAA Iowa yesterday, giving up a walk and a double (no runs), striking out one, and throwing 16 pitches (9 strikes). Not terrible, not great. He could return to the Cubs as soon as Monday or Tuesday if his next AAA appearance on Sunday goes well.
- The Cubs yesterday signed Diory Hernandez, a 28-year-old journeyman infielder who was most recently in AAA for the Astros. He’s never done much with the bat, and had been brutally bad this year until he was released by the Astros.The minor league signing was likely merely a response to an injury to Blake DeWitt on Thursday while playing for the Iowa Cubs (left thumb injury of yet unknown seriousness), and isn’t anything you should be getting to upset or excited about.
- The Onion does what it does, lampooning the Wrigley Field renovation fight.