If you’ve been wanting to get a BN shirt for the upcoming season, there’s a special deal going on now through March 22 – basically, if you order any two or more products, you get free shipping. Use “EASTER2013″ as your coupon code when you check out.
- Spring is a time for fun and pranks, especially for guys who aren’t clawing for a roster spot. To that end, Cubs catching prospect Rafael Lopez, together with some help I’d imagine, pranked Javier Baez with an addition to his nice, otherwise completely white Mercedes. All it’s missing are some baseball doughnuts tied to the bumper. The front end was taken care of, too.
- Jeff Samardzija, who gave up four runs yesterday, offers yet another reminder of why you need to regard Spring stats, especially for established players, suspiciously (per ESPN): “If you’re in the environment of no anxiety and no pressure it allows you to be free on the mound with what you want to do. The results might not be what you want, but if you look back at your outing and say there are a couple things you did better than the time before, that’s what it’s all about …. Especially with facing Texas and Milwaukee, the next two starts, those are teams that we’ll face in the first month. It’s good to get some work against their hitters, but you don’t want to show them everything in spring training when you’re about to face them in a couple weeks.”
- Speaking of Spring games, today’s an off-day – one of just a couple all Spring.
- Baseball America’s Jim Callis answered a couple general questions with Cubs-related answers yesterday in his mailbag: (1) he projects Javier Baez to be the number three overall prospect in baseball at this time next year; and (2) he says the Cubs are the fourth most likely team to have seven top 100 prospects at this poing next year (he guesses Baez, Almora, Soler, Vizcaino, Vogelbach, Johnson, and whomever the Cubs select at number 2 this year).
- Arizona Phil over at TCR has an update from minor league camp, and he notes that, sadly, Dillon Maples is dealing with yet another injury. Phil speculates that it’s an elbow or shoulder injury, though I’d heard through the grapevine that he might have a leg issue. Whatever the case, it’s horrible news (if true) for a young man who has been able to throw just 10.1 professional innings since being drafted in 2011. The other bit that’ll jump out at you in Phil’s update? Dan Vogelbach has been taking grounders at third base. Before you go too far with that, keep in mind that this is just Spring camp, and the Cubs would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t at least start to see how he looked at other positions. It doesn’t mean he’s moving, or that he’ll even see any game action anywhere other than first base in 2013.
- FanGraphs’ top 100 prospect list is out, and only Javier Baez (22), Jorge Soler (50), and Albert Almora (51) make it for the Cubs.
- Baseball Prospectus confirms what we’ve all suspected: Junior Lake has the best arm (on the positional side) in the minor leagues.
- Modestly interesting within the context of ongoing Wrigley renovation funding discussions (including more night games): the debut of Northwestern baseball at Wrigley Field, against Michigan on Saturday, April 20, will be a 6:05pm CT start. I assume that night game counts against the Cubs’ neighborhood-dictated allotment for the year, so it’s interesting to see one used for the NU game. I’m sure the Cubs want to make sure the game draws well to generate buzz about the partnership with NU (indeed, it was probably agreed to in advance). Tickets to the game are just $7, by the way, so you should go.
- I’ve made a decision about the Series She-View portion of the Series Preview posts for this season, and you can see the details over at the Message Board. In short, the She-View isn’t going away, but it’s moving over to the Message Board.