Day Three of the Draft kicks off at 11am CT today with the final 25 rounds. We’ll have more on some of the Cubs’ early picks, as well as their top pick Albert Almora, later this morning. Until then, Bullets…
- I love Ryan Dempster’s response when asked about the perfect game he took into the sixth inning last night. “I was thinking about a perfect game, for sure,” Dempster said. “I’m not an idiot. I knew I didn’t have anybody on base. It’s the second best thing, a win. Five innings is five innings. You don’t get too worried about it.” Honest.
- Geovany Soto is expected to begin a minor league rehab stint this weekend, which means he could be back by late next week. Regardless of your opinion on Soto’s poor performance thus far this year, his return is good news for the Cubs. By coming back and playing well, he’ll at least give the Cubs *a chance* to shop him in July. He helps no one on the shelf.
- Dale Sveum backed off his “last straw” comments a little bit about Starlin Castro. “Was it a big thing? Of course it was,” Sveum said. “But veterans do the same things too sometimes, so it’s not a case of being young and all that. Everybody on this team and everybody who’s 22 years old still has played a lot of baseball. There are certain things that happen that people get embarrassed by, and he feels horrible about it. But there’s no [excusing it because of age] or anything like that. You’re not going to bench a guy for something like that. You’re going to bench guys for not playing hard or not preparing, things like that. It was just an unfortunate thing that happened that you try to eliminate.”
- Alfonso Soriano is helping Starlin Castro out after his latest mental lapse. “It’s all right to make mistakes I told him, but it’s not all right to make them a second time,” Soriano said. I also said to him that as a shortstop you have to be the boss out there. All the other players watch the shortstop and depend on him. He is young and he can make a mistake but he must learn …. I told him you have to watch the scoreboard every pitch and tell the other guys how many outs there are after an out is made. He knows all of this and he will get better at it because he cares about his team and teammates.” Soriano is a good teammate. He just is. He also has the most homers in baseball since May 15, by the way.
- Speaking of the Draft, teams did what many of us were speculating they would do yesterday: took some tougher-to-sign types early, and then took a whole bunch of easy-to-sign college types in rounds 6 through 10. The Cubs did it, too, so lets hope that means some of the players they took in rounds 11 through 15 (and then more today) are tougher-to-sign types (which is my proxy for saying “better than the round in which they are selected”).
- Since he came to the big leagues, Starlin Castro is the worst defensive middle infielder in all of baseball … according to one metric, which kind of punishes guys for playing a lot of games and having a lot of chances. Basically, there’s a stat that counts the number of errors and “misplays,” and Castro’s got the most (171) among middle infielders by a country mile (Ian Desmond is number two with 131, and Rickie Weeks is third with just 106). Shrug. He’s made some mental mistakes of late, but my eyes tell me Castro is a vastly improved defensive shortstop this year. I might even go so far as to say he looks “above average.”
- An interview with Anthony Rizzo, which focuses mostly on his experience dealing with cancer, in case you needed reminding of Rizzo’s character.
- MLBullets at BCB note the Diamondbacks’ owner absolutely shredding Stephen Drew for not having played yet this year.