We’ve got another edition of the Future Considerations er, Bleacher Nation Podcast coming later this morning. We explain that strikethrough on the show. Stay tuned.

  • They say that a good middle infield combination can act and think as one, but I think the Cubs’ promotional staff took the truism a bit too far with Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro:

  • The image has since been fixed. Now you can buy Cubs Convention passes in peace.
  • Now this is interesting. A report from Carrie Muskat, in passing, mentioned that Michael Bowden was having only limited success right now in the Dominican Winter League. She described one of his outings as a “start,” which made me immediately jump to his stats – indeed, Bowden is starting in the DWL. Bowden, who was successful for the Cubs late in the year out of the bullpen, was a long-time starting pitching prospects with the Red Sox. Sometimes guys “start” offseason games in an effort to get their innings in, but Bowden went five innings yesterday. He’s being stretched out, and he’s actually starting. Does this mean the Cubs are going to continue stretching him out in the Spring with an eye toward possibly converting him back into a starter? Not necessarily. But the Cubs clearly want to see what he’s got as a starter. Recall, I recently linked a fan blog’s look at the Bowden story (I describe it that way, because a fan blog’s take on stories like this is frequently the best picture you’ll get), and how he never really got a chance to settle in as a starter. This could all be nothing. But, like I said. It’s interesting.


  • Bowden, for what it’s worth, after a rough start to his time with the Cubs in 2012, ended up with sparkling numbers out of the pen: 2.95 ERA, 1.255 WHIP in 36.2 innings (but a mere 1.81 K/BB). Most of his success came in September, though, and you know how unreliable September stats can be. In total right now in the DWL, he’s got a 5.23 ERA over three starts and just 10.1 innings (one start was a 1.1 inning bomb-out). In his start yesterday, he allowed just five base runners over five scoreless innings.
  • The MLBullets at BCB, obviously, look at the Marlins/Blue Jays trade, and the reactions thereto. One reaction I had after thinking more about the deal: Is it┬áreally a good deal for the Blue Jays after all? Looking more closely at it, I do wonder – the Blue Jays gave up a bundle of prospects, essentially, for one year of Johnson and the right to pay Buehrle and Reyes the most expensive years of their contracts (it’s not like either of those two increased their value in the year since they signed as free agents (when they were available to everyone for just cash)), since those deals were massively backloaded. If you’re a Blue Jays fan, you better hope they win in the next couple years.



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