The Kickball team didn’t win for the first time last night. We didn’t lose, either, though. We were up 3-1 going into the top of the final inning, but gave up two runs to blow it (probably shouldn’t have asked Carlos Marmol to close). I led off the bottom of the final inning with a single, but was stranded. Freaking tie.
- Your final Draft tallies for the Cubs: 42 picks, 22 pitchers (18 righty, 4 lefty) and 20 positional players, but 7 of the first 8 picks were pitchers, and 13 of their first 19. So, don’t let that 22/20 split fool you: this was a pitching-heavy draft for the Cubs. And I’m really pleased. The Cubs took the top player they could in the first round – an uber talented center fielder – and then went heavy on high upside (high risk) pitchers. The Cubs’ farm system currently sports a ton of lower upside, lower risk type pitchers (the kinds who could possibly be 4/5 starters or middle relievers in the bigs), but very few boom-bust types. You need those kids, too, even if the vast majority flame out early. All it takes is for you to really hit on, say, one of five of them, and you did quite well.
- A nice recap of the Cubs’ Draft from MLB.com. And, if you missed any of it, you can see all the Cubs’ picks, with commentary here at BN, from Day One, Day Two, and Day Three. We won’t actually know whether this Draft was a “success” for years, and we actually can’t even call it good on paper until we know who signs and who doesn’t (the deadline is July 13). But, for now, it looks acceptable, if not overwhelming.
- The Cubs’ one obvious “overslot” type selection in the later rounds (Round 25, to be precise), high school outfielder Rhett Wiseman, sounds quite enthused to have been selected by the Cubs in the Draft, even if he intends on honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt (we’ll see). “You work your whole life to get drafted as a baseball player,” Wiseman said. “I was so honored, I was so humbled, and the Cubs are a great organization. I’m just so impressed with the people that run the Cubs from behind the scenes and the organization itself. To know that I was drafted by a team like the Cubs — not only a respected organization, but run by very, very respectable people — I was definitely humbled …. I’ll show up to prom pictures with my Cubbies hat on, and it’s going to be tough for anyone to take it off my head tonight, that’s for sure.”
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says that the team has already started taking phone calls about trades, but expects things to really pick up now that the Draft is over. He also says that there aren’t many sellers right now.
- An interview with Mark Prior about his latest comeback attempt, where he’s been pitching pretty well in the minors for the Red Sox.
- Matt Szczur hasn’t played in a game in almost a week. By itself, that isn’t really news – guys miss a week here and there for injuries in the minors all the time. But the Daytona Cubs haven’t announced any injury for Szczur, and he isn’t on the disabled list. No seems to know why he’s sitting out, and it’s extremely rare for a top prospect to be sitting out this long with an injury and nobody can find out a thing about it. Further, the DL in the minor leagues is just seven days, so it’s not like it’s clearly just a day-to-day nagging thing where the team is expecting him back any day (don’t get me wrong: that could absolutely be the case – I’m just saying that’s not “obviously” the case). Szczur has also been a relatively active Twitter user, but his last Tweet is from June 2 (though he did retweet someone on June 4). For my part, I’m no journalist, but I’ve tried to find out the answer. I asked around with some folks who might know the story, they know nothing. I’ve put out the question a couple times en masse on Twitter and no one seems to know anything. I even shot an email to the GM of the Daytona Cubs, who hasn’t responded (either because he doesn’t want to comment or because of that whole “I’m no journalist” thing). My conspiratorial-inclined mind screams out that it’s trade-related or something-is-wrong-related, but my formerly-legal mind says there’s almost always a much simpler explanation. I’m not saying there’s anything crazy afoot here – it probably is just a day-to-day injury thing – but I can tell you that, in the years I’ve been writing about the Cubs, this kind of week-long absence with absolutely no word is abnormal. I guess mostly I’m just hoping that, by writing about it here, the right eyes will see this, and we’ll get an answer.
- UPDATE on Szczur: I just received a response from Daytona Cubs GM Brady Ballard, whom I’d contacted yesterday, pointing me to an overnight Daytona Beach News-Journal article, which notes that “Matt Szczur has been put on the disabled list because of a strained knee. Harper said the Cubs are just being cautious with the outfield prospect. Meanwhile, outfielder Elieser Bonne will be activated from the DL today.” So, it sounds like the delay in DL’ing Szczur was tied to Bonne’s return from the DL. It’s never good to hear about an injury, but this sounds precautionary. Hopefully Szczur will be back soon. Mystery solved. Also: I now suspect that the Daytona Cubs’ GM is a cool dude.