Anyone hear this brand new “Call Me Maybe” song? Boy, I sure do hope they play that song on an endless loop on the radio for the next three months. There is zero chance that it will eventually feel like a spider laying eggs in my brain.

  • The Cubs sent Brooks Raley back to Iowa yesterday, which was required by the 26-man roster rule. But, just as when he was sent down after his last start, this is meaningless – he could be right back up for his next start. The Cubs are taking advantage of a loophole in the 26-man roster exception, which does not require a team to leave a player down in the minors for the usual 10 days when he’s sent back down after being the 26th man. In other words, by the time his next turn in the rotation rolls around, he will have “been down” for the required 10 days. It’s like the 26th man call-up day, on Saturday, never even happened.
  • Speaking of shuffling up AAA starters, the Cubs are going to consider giving Chris Rusin a start this week. The 25-year-old lefty has had an up and down year at Iowa, and the Cubs will probably need a fill-in starter on Tuesday, thanks to the doubleheader on Saturday. Rusin is not on the 40-man roster, so the Cubs would have to open up a spot for him if they want to bring him up.
  • Theo Epstein was on the Score yesterday with Matt Spiegel and Barry Rozner, and he was his typical cagey self, but did all but confirm that a Starlin Castro extension is going to be finalized soon. Although he wouldn’t comment specifically, he went out of his way to explain that the finalizing steps on these type of deals typically include a back and forth on the specific language of the deal and then a physical. In other words, the deal is coming.
  • Dale Sveum liked Brett Jackson’s aggressiveness in trying to steal third base with one out in the 9th yesterday, but didn’t like the execution. In short, Sveum thought Jackson got a poor jump, should have realized he got a poor jump, and then should have retreated to second.
  • Welington Castillo is dealing with a foot issue, which could keep him out of action for a little while. It isn’t serious, though, and he was able to play through it on Saturday so that Steve Clevenger didn’t have to catch both sides of the doubleheader. Dale Sveum did say that Castillo was feeling a lot better yesterday, though.
  • John Sickels gives a little info on Jorge Soler’s season so far, and on what he’s hearing from scouts. The short version is that the scouts and the numbers, so far, indicate what we’d already thought about him: good power, good arm, good upside. It’s just a matter of seeing how well he hits as he moves up the system.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at Melky’s website plan, among other things.
  • PJ

    I hope Sveum is just trying to put the best spin on an awful mistake re: Jackson’s failed attempt to steal 3rd. It was a bad bad decision and never should have happened. We can’t make an unnecessary out at third in a tie game in the ninth inning! It actually looked to me like he got a good jump. Took a good throw to get him. But stealing 3rd with a lefty batting? Bad move. The Cubs gave away two outs at 3rd. The. Vallbuena flub up hurt also. Did Sveum address that? Was that a coaching error or V’s mistake?

    • Brett

      Totally disagree on it being a bad decision. If you can get to third with one out, you take that chance. If there were two outs, or no outs, I’d agree with you. But one, it’s worth the chance if you think you can get there – the odds of scoring that run increase dramatically.

      • Fishin Phil

        Agree with Brett on this one, especially against Chapman.

      • hogie

        In another situation I would agree with you Brett. However, Hanigan is getting 45% of runners this year, Chapman throws 100 mph, AND there is a lefty at the plate. Getting that extra base only increases your chances to score if it is successful, and the chances for success were greatly decreased in this situation.

        • Brett

          I think that’s all fair.

        • fortyonenorth

          Yeah, but the chances of one of the next two batters getting a base hit off Chapman were pretty obscure. If Jackson hadn’t been caught stealing, he would have died at second. Might as well take the chance – especially in a game that doesn’t matter.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I actually agree. 99% of the time I hate playing around the idea of trying to score on an out or wild pitch or something. However, Chapman simply is unreal: he’s like Sidd Finch incarnate or something. The Cubs’ best hope was that he’d uncork a wild pitch or give up a slow-rolling topper. If BJax is on 3rd, then the Cubs might score on that.

            What I was wondering was why Clevenger was batting. I realize that he’s the catcher and that managers are reluctant to pinch-hit because that leaves no spare catcher. However, Clevenger really is not a good hitter – he got lucky early in the season, plain and simple – I would have pinch hit with almost any pitcher up there.

            • Spriggs

              That was my only real problem too. Leavng Clevenger in. Give yourself a real chance.

              His pitches are obviously different, but the way he dominates the games and freaks out hitters, Chapman reminds me of Sutter in his first awesome year with the Cubs.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Whoops: it turns out that Castillo was unavailable due to a foot injury. So, that explains why Clevenger had to stay in the game. In a way, that makes BJax (attempted) steal much more intelligent: if he gets to 3rd with Clevenger batting, then they could have tried a 2-strike squeeze. Sure, the odds on it working were low: but I’m hard pressed to think of tactics with better odds!

                And Suter never had this sort of velocity. The last thing that I remember remotely like him was pre-injury Tanana: the threw as hard as Ryan but from the left side.

                • Spriggs

                  Of course Sutter didn’t have the velocity… I mentioned his pitches were obviously different. It was just they way they both completely dominate(d).

  • Jeff1969

    Heard Theo on the Score yesterday too & thought it was interesting that Rozner got him to comment on those players who would rather stay where they’re comfortable rather than move on to a contender. Pretty big condemnation of the former Cubs culture. Thought that was amazing & revealing.

    • Brett

      Yeah, I mean, I thought Theo sounded pretty cautious in that answer. He wasn’t ripping anyone on the team (current or former), but mostly just wanted to convey that he hopes in the future, “winning” is the reason guys stay.

  • Spriggs

    Would love to see Soler go on a hot streak right away, so the FO guys can get comfortable sending him to the Arizona Fall League. They should be announcing the teams fairly soon, I think.

  • mudge

    Theo tends to be straightforward, but is often represented by commenters as calculating and close-mouthed, always having some ulterior motive for whatever he says. He & Hoyer have done pretty much what they said they would, have outlined a plan and continue to work it. If you take what he says at face value you might get a more accurate picture than you would by suspecting his motives.

  • Jim L.

    Brett, two words: satellite radio. Enough variety that you don’t have to listen to a station that would endlessly play that lame song, plus No Commericals!