One thing that really suffers when important life/family stuff takes most of my attention is my knowledge of what’s going on in the rest of the sporting world. I can usually stay on top of Cubs stuff, and usually keep the content here going as normal. But I haven’t the foggiest clue of what else is going on. In fact, “the sporting world” is probably too narrow of a classification. I have no idea what else is going on anywhere in the world. Any Bigfoot sightings or major geopolitical conflicts about which I should be aware?
- While they may not always be the best at evaluating a particular baseball franchise’s state of affairs, ESPN experts took on the challenge of ranking baseball organizations as a whole. They described the endeavor as “an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years.” Sound a bit like the Cubs’ plan? Well, it should, because it is. And, for that reason, it’s no surprise that the Cubs ranked 6th on the list, behind only the Cardinals (le sigh), the Rangers, the Rays, the Nationals, and the Yankees. The picture looks even better when you consider that the Cubs were at just about the bottom of the list on one of the most heavily-weighted factors (current talent in the majors), yet still scored so highly because in the other four factors – minor leagues, finances, management, and player mobility – the Cubs blew almost every other organization away. And, to my mind, those four factors are where the Cubs are focusing their long-term efforts. This organization should be a powerhouse over the next decade.
- Starlin Castro (tight hamstring) should be back into game action within a few days. Ian Stewart (strained quad) isn’t expected to start hitting again for a week.
- Dale Sveum talks up Javier Baez’s defensive development, and notes that the rocket the youngster hit against the Dodgers the other day may have been the hardest hit ball he’s ever seen. (Just think about that.)
- Matt Snyder previews the 2013 Cubs, and, for a national guy, does a pretty excellent job of summing up where the Cubs stand. In fact, it’s just about exactly what I’d say. Nicely done, Mr. Snyder.
- Patrick Mooney on the intended pitching duties of Carlos Marmol and Kyuji Fujikawa, who will work the 9th and 8th innings, respectively, for the Cubs this year … assuming Marmol is still around when the season begins.
- At least one scout sees a bright future for Cubs catcher Welington Castillo, whom the scout describes as having a plus-plus arm and power. He also says Castillo moves well behind the plate, and should see his receiving/game-calling skills improve this year.
- Non-roster invitee, and bench job competitor, Darnell McDonald is a fan of Twitter, apparently.