It’s podcast day, and a fresh episode is on the way later this morning. It includes a musical joke! So, yeah. Stay tuned for that.
- Darwin Barney on fan expectations, per Paul Sullivan: “Well, .500 is not good enough. That’s not our goal. I don’t know what the Cubs fans are looking for. Maybe they’d be happy with that. But as an athlete and a player for this club, I don’t think that’s what we’re shooting for. Obviously the goal is to make the postseason, and that’s what we’re shooting for going into this season.” Speaking on behalf of all Cubs fans, I can say with authority that we’re looking for the postseason as well. We’re just probably less optimistic about it than you are. If, at the end of the year, the Cubs wind up at .500 without having done any harm to the rebuilding process, then I think you’d find many fans would be content. It’s not what we want, and it’s not what we’re hoping happens (we hope for magic, obviously). But if that’s the way it plays out, well, there would be some positives to be taken from it, I’d expect.
- Kerry Wood is in camp again this year, but this time as an instructor. It’s gotta be nice for the young pitchers to have a familiar presence around – someone who’s been through it, knows a lot about pitching, and isn’t the manager or pitching coach (so you don’t feel like you have to try and impress him at every turn).
- Casey Coleman, who was derostered after being shut down late in the year with a shoulder issue, has been rehabbing and is now coming back as a relief pitcher only. That was a transition he probably needed to make at some point anyway, and I’m interested to see if he’s got anything in the tank in relief. There were flashes of a guy who could pump it up to the 93/94 mph range in short bursts, and was in the process of developing a nice slider … maybe that’s the guy he can be in relief.
- Edwin Jackson will fight you. Well, not really, but if there’s a team scuffle, he’s likely to be right in the middle of it, as he was last year during the Nationals/Cubs dust-up (you know, the one after Lendy Castillo threw at Bryce Harper while the Nationals were absolutely obliterating the Cubs during a four-game set).
- Sahadev writes for Vine Line, too, and you can see a snippet of his Spring Training Preview for the magazine here.
- Jesse Rogers writes about the competition at the back of the Cubs’ rotation, and Scott Baker offers the well-aren’t-you-a-trooper quote of the day: “My best interests is their best interests. I’m Cubs property so I’m going to listen to what they have to say and follow orders.”
- Dan Vogelbach gets the Vine Line prospect preview treatment.
- Paul Sullivan noted on Twitter yesterday that, as he observed the first pitcher fielding practice of the Spring, Matt Garza’s first throw to first base … was a success!