So, those Blackhawks are pretty ridiculously good, eh?
- The Chicago Cubs’ top pitching prospect, Arodys Vizcaino, whom the Cubs acquired from the Braves last year, was never a real threat for the Cubs’ April rotation. Now, Dale Sveum has confirmed that Vizcaino is not a threat to make the roster at all out of Spring Training. Although Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery last March and would thus be on pace to be recovered by April, the Cubs aren’t going to take any chances with the 22-year-old righty, who’s had other arm problems in his young career. Sveum said that Vizcaino would not pitch in any Cactus League games, and will begin the year in extended Spring Training. Don’t look for him in Chicago until the second half of the season at the earliest, and, even then, probably in the bullpen. None of this is surprising or concerning, by the way – he’s young, and he’s not a critical piece to the 2013 team (mostly because the 2013 team isn’t expected to be competitive). This kind of ultra cautious approach was always going to be the way.
- The approach will also leave open the possibility that the Cubs can put Vizcaino on the 60-day disabled list, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster without risking losing a player. That 40-man spot will be necessary if a non-roster invitee like Brent Lillibridge or Hisanori Takahashi is to make the team.
- Baseball America reveals the guys who just missed its top 100 list, and the Cubs had an additional prospect who was a consensus top 150 player: Brett Jackson. In other words, although Jackson fell out of the top 100 for BA, none of the editors at the publication thought he should fall out of the top 150.
- Carlos Villanueva talks about his short outing yesterday.
- Vine Line’s prospect profile series continues with a look at Trey McNutt, and his conversion to the bullpen. I really can’t wait to see how he does this year as a full-time reliever. Obviously guys have more value as starters, and you don’t want to see a high-ceiling starter converted to the pen – but, for many players with big league aspirations, that conversion eventually becomes necessary. Now that it’s happened, I’d like to see McNutt succeed – and I think he’s got the stuff to do it.
- Dontrelle Willis described the injury that took him out of yesterday’s game after just seven pitches as his shoulder “tightening up” on him, which could be nothing, or it could be a serious problem. He thinks it’s just fatigue. We’ll see – he wasn’t going to make the team out of Spring Training (he’s not even in Major League camp), so he’ll have plenty of time in the minors this year to demonstrate that he still has value.
- Patrick Mooney with a profile on non-roster invitee Darnell McDonald, who was a hot prospect long before he was a journeyman outfielder.
- Don’t be late for a Chicago Cubs meeting. If you are, the coaches might make you wear a clock around your neck so that you can remember the time, like they did for Rafael Dolis.