We’re about a month away from the playoffs, or the “end of the season,” if you prefer …
- The Cubs have decided to pass on the opportunity to give former Cub Adam Greenberg an at bat this year, as we discussed yesterday. “Adam made the big leagues based on merit in 2005,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told the Tribune in an email. “While it is unfortunate he got hit in his first at-bat, he is in the Baseball Encyclopedia as a major leaguer and he should be incredibly proud of that. We wish him the best, but there are no plans to add him to the roster now or in the future.” So, that’s that, as far as the Cubs are concerned. I asked Matt Liston, the man driving the project, for his thoughts on the Cubs’ reaction, and he was undeterred. “Despite today’s response from the Cubs, they are one of the most cherished teams in all of sports,” said Liston. “They have great ownership, and I believe they will see this as a wonderful opportunity to do something for the good of the game. My hope is the Ricketts family will step up to the plate for Adam Greenberg and we’ll see him get his at bat at Wrigley this October.” It seems unlikely at this point, but maybe the Cubs will do something for Greenberg – a first pitch, bring him out at a game, etc. Who knows. I think I’d like to see it.
- The Cubs are still struggling with the decision on when to shut down Jeff Samardzija, whose 165.2 innings already this year are more than he’s ever thrown before at the professional level, and far more than the 88 innings he threw last year. “You know there are certain people that are very important to this organization going forward and you’re not going to put anybody in harm’s way either,” Dale Sveum said. “It doesn’t make any sense.” Sveum added that he’ll meet at some point with Cubs brass to make a decision, which could come soon. As I’ve said repeatedly before, I have a very hard time seeing the Cubs let Samardzija go more than a couple more starts. There is nothing to be gained, and the potential – however small – for something significant to be lost. He’s had a great, successful year. Let’s wrap it up, and turn an eye toward next year.
- Speaking of Samardzija, Jonah Keri notes that last year, the pitcher’s daytime numbers were terrible, despite his overall solid year. This year, his daytime numbers are excellent. I don’t know that Keri is implying the “thing” that folks tend to imply when they point out daytime numbers in Chicago, but it is certainly possible that Samardzija has done something to better prepare himself for day games. Or, of course, he’s just a better starter than he is a reliever, particularly during the day. (Edit: Holy smokes, talk about a mis-read. Keri was comparing Samardzija’s day/night splits for this year only, and Samardzija has been far better at night than during the day. That’s all.)
- In case you didn’t know what injury took down Daytona shortstop prospect Arismendy Alcantara, it was a broken foot. We knew he’d injured his leg, and that it was serious enough to warrant Javier Baez coming up to take over full-time at short, but we didn’t know exactly what the prognosis was. Fortunately, it’s good – although he went down back in July, the Cubs decided to take it easy with his healing process, and will instead feed him a steady diet of instructional ball and then winter ball this offseason says Phil Rogers. Lost amid the myriad positional prospects in the Cubs’ system, Alcantara is a legit prospect going into 2013. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get serious top 10 consideration.
- The Cubs have now used a team record 52 players this season. That is a staggering number – more than two 25-man rosters’ worth, or 12 more than an entire 40-man roster. Crazy.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer is settling in, buying a $2+ million house in Lincoln Park.
- Kane County fans are excited by the prospect of the Cubs’ A-ball affiliation coming their way.
- The MLBullets at BCB take note of the Yankees’ long, far tumble – from 10 up to tied in the AL East.