With his 3.1 innings of scoreless work this weekend with the independent Sugarland Skeeters, I assume you’re on board with the Cubs signing 50-year-old Roger Clemens?
- Yesterday’s big winner, Chris Volstad, said he was happy to finally get the winless monkey off his back, but reiterated what he said throughout the streak: it wasn’t a big deal to him. “There are a lot of things out of my control, out of the pitcher’s control, to get a win or loss,” he said, per Cubs.com. “Maybe it’s been a little bit of bad luck for me over the last year and a month, or whatever it was, but that’s baseball. Sometimes you throw well and don’t get that win and get a loss, and sometimes you don’t [throw well] and you do get a win. I think that’s why the streak, or whatever you want to call it, wasn’t a huge issue. I knew how I finished last year, and a couple games this year, everything just didn’t come together.” Volstad is going to give the Cubs fits when it comes time to make a contract decision if he keeps pitching well to end the year. He’s just 25 (turns 26 in September), and could be in his second year of arbitration in 2013. Even with the crummy overall stats, Volstad would get a raise to more than $3 million next year if the Cubs tender him a contract. Is he going to be worth that commitment? Would he re-sign for less if he was non-tendered? Would it be with the Cubs, though? Volstad’s potential remains the white whale in the discussion.
- Darwin Barney’s been slumping of late, and has been putting in extra time in the cage, trying to work it out. But Dale Sveum remains confident that, some day, Barney is going to break out offensively. And not just as an end to the slump. “I think he can be [a .300 hitter] and I think he knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the back side to where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat,” Sveum told Doug Padilla. “The hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it should play into a .290 to a .310 hitter some day.” Obviously if Barney *could* become a .300/.340/.420 hitter, with his defense, he would instantly become one of the best second baseman in baseball. But, with all due respect to Sveum’s expertise on the hitting thing, it’s very hard to see.
- Shawn Camp is on pace for 83 appearances this year, which would come up just short of the Cubs’ record of 84, shared by Ted Abernathy in 1965, Bob Howry in 2006, and … wait for it … Dick Tidrow in 1980. Camp has a 3.63 ERA on the year.
- From the Message Board: Hawk Harrelson blows up on an umpire again, even after he was reamed by the Commissioner the last time he did it.
- Arizona Phil over at TCR has a write-up on the Cubs’ most recent AZL game, which includes more on pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua.
- The MLBullets at BCB look at the aftermath of the Red Sox/Dodgers trade, among other things.