Outside of anonymous rumors (of which I’ve heard my own, but I won’t get your hopes up by passing it along (did you catch that?)), we’re still waiting on concrete news with respect to Jorge Soler, who is expected to pick his team today.
- Jeff Samardzija is back to getting special time and attention with pitching coach Chris Bosio, after a couple rough outings. Manager Dale Sveum says Samardzija just needs to keep adjusting. “You’re starting to see a little breakdown of mechanics again and trying to bully his way through a lineup sometimes and not being able to concentrate,” Sveum said, according to ESPNChicago. “It’s just getting the ball down. When he was pitching in spring training and early in the season, he was down in the strike zone. His head wasn’t flying off to the first-base side and all that. Now he’s losing a little bit of concentration I think and that ball is going to get up and you’re definitely not going to have command of arm side down to a left-handed hitter. You saw [Saturday] he pull-jerked about three pitches that [catcher Steve] Clevenger couldn’t even catch. That’s when you’re just flying wide open and have nothing behind the baseball.” Samardzija’s talent and ability is undeniable at this point. But being a quality Major Leaguer means constantly adjusting and readjusting. Now we see if Samardzija can keep doing it. I imagine these tutoring sessions with Bosio are not a new thing, but he’s probably getting some extra attention right now.
- Alfonso Soriano wants folks to know that his knee only bothers him when he starts running, and when he slows down (the latter is obvious to anyone who watches him run through first base or track down a liner in the outfield). Otherwise, he says he’s been pain free since April, thanks in large part to strengthening exercises. That decrease in pain, perhaps largely invisible to us, is a bit reason he’s hitting, Soriano says. That, and the lighter bat, which we know he switched to a couple months ago.
- Dale Sveum and the Cubs are aware that they are presently on pace for 108 losses, the most in franchise history.
- Patrick Mooney has a long piece on the Cubs’ former top scouting man – and now effective number two to Jason McLeod – Tim Wilken. It sounds like the Draft was a success, in terms of blending the cultures of the holdovers and the new guys, but I still can’t see Wilken sticking around too much longer after this season (the last of his contract). Seems like a good enough guy who’s done a decent job with the resources he was given in his time with the Cubs.
- Luke poses an interesting trade question over at the Message Board – how much would it take to get Starlin Castro, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and a full-paid-for Alfonso Soriano?
- Dale Sveum still hearts Prince Fielder.
- The MLBullets at BCB note the ongoing debate about American League pitchers hitting in interleague play, and the suppose increase in injury risk.