Positional Players REPORT and Other Bullets

anthony rizzo happy celebrationThere’s a lot to write about today, so you can expect an unusually busy Saturday of coverage (hooray, you!). So, if you don’t see something in these Bullets that you know I’d normally write about, it’s a fair bet that it’s coming in a separate post …

  • Today is positional player reporting day, but thanks to some eager beavers, the vast majority of positional players have already arrived in camp. Those that haven’t yet – the Starlin Castros, the Alfonso Sorianos, for example – frequently hail from the Dominican Republic, and there are travel issues that, I believe, often restrict those players from entering the U.S. until they are required to for work (because of the difference between a work visa and a travel visa – it’s actually a crazy complicated system). I say all of this not to educate you about the visa system (about which I could be wrong about a great many things), but instead to underscore that some of the guys arriving today aren’t doing so because they aren’t as “eager” as the other players. They simply may not have been permitted to arrive until today.
  • Ian Stewart says he re-signed with the Cubs, despite other options, in part because he felt like he owed the Cubs something after they stuck with him last year, and supported him through his surgery and his rehab. The job at third base is his to lose, and he says he feels like he has a “brand new wrist,” so we’ll see if the production matches the talk. An .800 OPS and above-average defense from Stewart, and suddenly the Cubs’ lineup looks quite a bit different. I don’t expect that to happen, and I’m not even sure I would call it anything more than “extremely unlikely” at this point. But what if this surgery finally, truly, really did fix things?
  • Jesse Rogers did his Friday chat, this time with Darwin Barney, and I mentally noted this answer from Barney on the difficulty of extra day games at Wrigley Field (all necessary sic – this is just a straight transcription): “Baebeall is all about routines so the tough thing about playing at Wrigley is when you come home you have a diff routine than on the road..road games youre going to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning, getitng back from the park real late…at home, youre trying to get to bed early and wake up early..its not the easiest but it comes with being a cub and its no excuse, we’re all lucky to wear the uniform…” So, I guess Darwin Barney is just another whiner who complains and doesn’t know anything about baseball? I’m not sure how many players are going to have to admit this for all of the fans to get on board with more night games, but I’m going to keep banging that drum. (Also, I like Barney’s responses in that chat. Easy guy to like.)
  • Anthony Rizzo has goals and drive. You don’t need me to tell you that the Cubs’ offense this year will probably go only as far as Rizzo’s (and Soriano’s, possibly) bat takes them. Sure, they have other guys who might have nice offensive years, but Rizzo’s the only guy in the lineup right now who can become a true game-changer who pitchers absolutely do not want to face with men on base.
  • Welington Castillo talks about getting ready for the season, and handling new reliever Kyuji Fujikawa. It sounds like Castillo has been impressed.
  • Evan Grant trolls Cubs fans by saying that the Rangers did better to sign Randy Wells to a minor league deal than the Cubs did by signing Scott Feldman to a Major League deal. I wish Randy the best of luck, but … nah. No. Nah.
  • The front office play-in portion of the Bunt Tourney starts today. The winner of that 16-person pool will enter the 64-man field for the full Bunt Tourney. Theo and Jed are facing each other of the first round in the play-in portion.
  • A preview around the infield from Vine Line and Sahadev Sharma.
  • Dan Plesac talks about the Cubs.
  • Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was still trying to sell Jose Reyes on the idea of buying a big house in Miami just two days before the shortstop was traded to Toronto. One year after he signed a long-term deal with the Marlins.
  • One of the Dodgers’ new slogans this year (yes, they have multiple new slogans (“USE ALL THE SLOGANS!”)) is “A Whole New ‘Tude.” You read that correctly. I’d imagine they’re hoping they don’t give snarky Internetters a reason to start saying “A Whole New Turd.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

24 responses to “Positional Players REPORT and Other Bullets”

  1. justinjabs

    It’s pronounced “baSeball,” Barney!

    And to think they gave you a Gold Glove …. ;)

    1. justinjabs

      Oh gosh, I see that was actually in the article and not a typbo … Does Rogers ever attempt to use punctuation?

      1. justinjabs

        Maybe the ESPN “chat” interface needs those red squiggly lines under misspelled words…

        1. Hansman1982

          So far, from what I’ve seen on twitter, the new guy isn’t anything special.

          Poor linquistic skills (as in it really seems like he has the vocab of a 3rd grader), poor punctuation, too much stating the obvious.

          Meh, I was champing at the bit to unfollow him this morning.

          1. Rcleven

            @M_Montemurro

            Check her out. With Northwest Herald.

            1. justinjabs

              Yup, she’s pretty quality from what I’ve seen. Also decently active, Josh and I were chatting her up about Jackson the other day

  2. Idaho Razorback

    Were the Cubs previewed on MLB Network yesterday? I had a friend record it for me but said they weren’t previewed.

    1. dabynsky

      It is part of MLB Tonight.

    2. Rcleven

      It’s there. Broken up into two segments. Feature of Barney w/footwork turning the DP.

  3. justinjabs

    Also (how about some actual commentary?) I’m very optimistic about Stewart being able to perform now that the wrist is fixed. I was glad that they brought him back. That being said, if he falters again this year – non-tender! And finally, shame on Loria for telling Reyes to buy a house. I know all these guys are loaded but still that’s the incredibly crap icing on the feces cake that is the Marlins.

    1. Mr. Coffee

      As Sveum said, at the price they were able to sign him for, they almost had no choice but to bring him back. I, too, feel like he’s going to come back strong offensively from his wrist injury, but I will be very surprised if his power numbers get back to where they once were. There are so many guys (Ryne Sandberg and Derek Lee immediately come to mind) whose power numbers were never the same after wrist injuries. No reason why he can’t still be a productive hitter, though, and he plays a great defensive third base.

  4. Die hard

    All games on weekdays when kids have school should be day games but when school out Cubs should have right to night games even on weekends which should help players adjust just couple times instead of every other day- also all Fri and Sat games should be at night any time during season if Cubs choose given Mon and Thursday usually off day for adjustment

  5. Mr. Coffee

    Barney’s comments about playing so many day games at Wrigley are telling. I guarantee that almost every player agrees with this, but most refuse to talk about it because they don’t want to sound like complainers. The push for more night games is really a no-brainer, if you ask me. Sure, there have been Cub teams that have proven that they can win big at Wrigley even with the disadvantage. It can definitely be done. I’m just saying it’s a disadvantage, and for a team that has not won the WS in 105 years, any disadvantage that can possibly be eliminated, should be. If the team currently plays 30 night games of 81, there is nothing at all unreasonable about upping this number to about 40.

  6. sven-erik312

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today: I have a good feeling about Stewart, I think he’s going do do what he’s capable of doing, he’ll be just fine. I’ll believe it until it’s proven otherwise. It’s a long sesaon.

  7. clark addison

    I expect a good season from Stewart would be .240 with 15 homers and good defense. He’s just keeping 3b warm until Baez or Lake are ready. By the end of the season, it will probably be Vitters.

  8. paul

    wirgley is a dump so let the cubs fix it up play night games so you can win or move

    1. Die hard

      Agree and can’t put lipstick on a pig to make more attractive

  9. Tommy

    I predict the LA Dodgers to be the LA Lakers of MLB this year.

  10. mudge

    Brett,
    It’s incorrect to use apostrophes in the following: “the Starlin Castro’s, the Alfonso Soriano’s.” I apologize for correcting grammar, but the Theos, the Jeds are after better punctuation.

  11. Mike

    Do the Cubs have labor lawyers as part of their legal team, or do they have dedicated lawyers on retainer?

  12. Internet Random

    “A Whole New ‘Tude or A Whole New Bankruptcy, Whichever Comes First, We Don’t Really Care.”

  13. rich cederberg

    It sucks when a link you post o your blog goes to a site that requires me to pay. I’m referring to the Plesac story.