- The Cubs are now 3-15 against left-handed starters this season, which is an almost inconceivably bad mark. Despite the rotten luck, Cubs manager Dale Sveum continues to use a virtually all right-handed lineup against th0se lefties. “It’s not that they’re doing horrible, but we’re not getting the slugging percentage at all against left-handed pitching, which is holding us back from scoring multiple runs in an inning,” Sveum said of his righties. But he intends to keep running that lineup out there against lefties, presumably believing that the law of averages will kick in at some point. I can’t say he’s wrong, but it’s not a lot of fun to watch.
- Geovany Soto is expected to be activated from the disabled list today after completing his rehab stint in Iowa. Although you’d expect one of the two catchers on the roster (Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo) to go down, the Cubs are toying with carrying all three catchers, in part due to Clevenger’s versatility. Were the Cubs in a playoff race, I could see that making sense, but wouldn’t they rather see someone like Castillo getting regular at bats at AAA? Most days, two of the three catchers will be sitting on their duff all day. I’m not sure I understand that unless there’s a trade already in the works. If all the catchers stay up, someone like Adrian Cardenas will head back to Iowa.
- Koyie Hill decided not to accept his assignment to AAA Iowa, and instead will take his chances in free agency. Given that he was toiling away in AA for the Reds before he was plucked up by the Cubs, I have a hard time seeing him find a better situation than AAA for the Cubs, but, hey, best of luck to him. I give it a month before the Cubs try to bring him back.
- A nice Bryan LaHair story, about his long road and the support of his father.
- MLBullets at BCB notes that Mark Prior is actually on the verge of making it back to the big leagues after six years in the wilderness.
- For those of you who still don’t buy that Alfonso Soriano is one of the hardest working players in baseball, and one of the best teammates, why don’t you take it from Reed Johnson, who returned to blogging to defend Soriano:
It was hard for me to hear that from the fans. I know how much Sori means to me as a teammate. He plays hurt. I wish the fans could be inside this clubhouse and see what we see as players. Dave McKay didn’t know what Soriano is all about until he came over here and he said, “Man, I absolutely love that guy.” He said, “When I was on the other side, I wasn’t too sure. He hits home runs and watches them a little bit and enjoys it and enjoys the game.” Once you play on that guy’s team, you see. I was telling Sori that he and Rafael Furcal are my two favorite teammates. They come to the park with so much energy and they’re always happy. You wish the fans could get an inside look at a guy rather than just judging a guy from what they’ve read or heard.