darwin barney errorA Happy Easter to those of you who do the church thing or the bunny thing (or both). In our Easter baskets today? Opening Night baseball – the Astros host the Rangers tonight in real, actual, meaningful baseball. The 2013 season has arrived. Finally.

  • Darwin Barney on his knee cut yesterday, which generously allowed him to see the bone, per the Sun-Times: “It’s not fun. You just can’t believe something like that would happen, but that’s the game. You have to go after pop-ups. Unfortunately for me, there was for some reason a concrete slab right there at the edge of the field.”
  • The Sun-Times terms Barney’s immediate future as a “likely” trip to the disabled list, though the doctors are evaluating today whether Barney can play adequately while the cut heals.
  • The Cubs lost that game against the Astros, by the way, 6-3. The Astros went with an all prospect lineup, and the future would look bright if you could extrapolate one exhibition game. Cubs regulars played just a couple innings in this one, but none of the prospects who played had a particularly notable game, save for shortstop prospect Arismendy Alcantara, who had two hits. Travis Wood started the game and struck out 7 in 4.1, which is what you’d like to see against a youthful lineup. But what you don’t want to see is three walks and five hits. Carlos Marmol had a bad outing, yadda yadda yadda …
  • In addition to releasing Hayden Simpson, Dontrelle Willis and Michael Brenly yesterday, the Cubs also released righty Brett Wallach (the “best prospect” the Cubs received in the ill-fated Ted Lilly/Ryan Theriot/Blake DeWitt trade), knuckleballer Joe Zeller, and lefty Casey Harman.
  • The Padres have released outfielder Kyung-min Na, who is best remembered as “the other guy” the Cubs sent to the Padres in the Andrew Cashner/Anthony Rizzo trade. (h/t Alex.) That was a pretty brief evaluation period for the Padres, given that Na was there just one year and just turned 21 in December. That said, his year in the Padres’ system was awful, and they’re very deep. Wonder if he’ll find his way back to the Cubs – probably not, since the new guys are the ones who traded him away in the first place.
  • Paul Sullivan asks nine questions for the upcoming season.
  • We’re going to see some roster moves today or tomorrow morning, with the Cubs needing to roster Brent Lillibridge and, presumably, Hisanori Takahashi (and needing to call someone up if Darwin Barney is sent to the disabled list – potentially Alberto Gonzalez). The 40-man stands at 39, so one more move will be needed, though it’s likely to be something like Scott Baker to the 60-day DL. The Cubs will scour that waiver wire right up until the end, though.
  • Die hard

    Can they get Campana back to at least add some speed? This could be slowest team in NL

    • Bilbo161

      So now with Campy gone, the question is, who replaces him in the Cub fans minds as there favorite underdog who leans heavily on the scrappy tool. Andreoli? Bruno? Saunders? Those are my candidates.

      • AB


        • Bilbo161

          I like his chances at the title too. Hoping the injury to Barney gives us a look see.

      • kmr1453

        Lillibridge. Fans will fall with Brent this season.

    • TSB

      No the question is with Campana gone and Barney on the DL who will people have to kick around? I guess Valbuena is in for a rough time, no matter what his stats are…

  • BPaoni

    ^ stop it, just….just don’t!

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie


  • Alec

    The marlins designated zack cox for assignment. Cubs could pick him up?

    • King Jeff

      I think they would have to trade for him, unless the Marlins flat out released him.

      • Melrosepad

        I wouldn’t mind taking a look at him. He was still a top 100 prospect at the start of 2012, so there has to be some upside there. No clue what the Marlins are doing.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “No clue what the Marlins are doing.”

          Are you talking about yourself, the Marlins’ FO, or the universe in general? (In my case, the answer would be “yes.”)

    • Crockett

      Oh wow…I posted this below. Sorry about that. Didn’t see that you had already.

      I think Cox is a no-brainer, really. If you grab him and he can’t hack it, it cost you nothing.

      Since he was DFA’d, he would just be waiver grab. I think the AL has the first go-round on him though? I can’t remember the waiver priority rules…lol.

      • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

        Pretty sure all of NL has priority, then AL.

  • Stu

    So when the Cubs become a contenders(2015?) will Barney be the 2nd baseman? I doubt it, so let him take as much time as needed. What difference does it make?

    A few extra losses in the beginning of the year will insure a selloff by the trade deadline. Does anyone WANT the Cubs to be in thick of the playoff hunt this year? That would mean that the grand plan has been derailed. The Cubs CANNOT be in contention for 2013. Period.

    • Kyle

      This sort of thinking is way, way past overdone.

      There’s baseball games in front of us. The Cubs are going to try to win them. Even if we ignore the fact that sites like Baseball Prospectus give them a 15% chance of making the playoffs, it’s still not helpful to respond to essentially every single thing that happens with “lol, whocares,not2015yet.”

    • Tommy

      “Does anyone WANT the Cubs to be in thick of the playoff hunt this year?”


      • hansman1982

        Nah, I much prefer to tank from day 1.

        Looking at it, losing Barney for 2 weeks (or even a month) isn’t that big of a loss. Offensively, we are talking replacement level. Defensively, MAYBE a win difference.

        Hell, maybe Lillibridge can go all 2012 Mather on us and have a terrific April. Probably not, but we’re Cubs fans. We have to have irrational thoughts.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Indeed. I mean, playoff games are fun and all. But what compares to the tingling adrenaline coursing through your body as they get set to announce the #1 draft pick?!?!? OK, besides that. And that. And that, that, that, and… um, sure, if that floats your boat, I won’t judge.

          (And, of course, it’s all well short of new Doctor Who and new Game of Thrones in one weekend!!!!! Have I mentioned that?)

          • Tommy

            lol, that was well stated.

          • Hansman1982

            You still have an intense race at the end of the season. The rush I get from figuring out how to root for cubs losses without feeling icky is amazing. Plus, anyone can cheer a win, it takes a special person to cheer a loss.

            I hate you and your *new* Doctor Who shows that you can watch in order. Nothing like knowing what happens later while you watch Amy try to get it on with the Doctor.

            One question. Is the Doctors name Who or is it Who because we don’t know his name?

            • King Jeff

              The latter.

            • http://ODU Greenroom

              I thought who was on first base?

    • Dave

      Of course I want them to be in the thick of the pennant race.
      Losing now doss not garauntee success in the future.

  • Bilbo161

    The games still have to be played. I for 1 would love to see them in contention. That just means we get to move the calendar up and not wait so long. Management is doing a pretty good job of putting as competitive a team as they can and still keep the future in the farm system.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    more trash to take out to the jim hendry garbage pile.

    • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      little harsh, don’t ya think? EVERY team drafts at least 30 players a years that have no chance of ever making it. organizational filler.

  • Crockett

    Zach Cox was just DFA’d (or released) by the Marlins. I realize his stock has plummeted a bit, but if he’s available on waivers, Cubs have to grab him, don’t they?

    • King Jeff

      If that’s the case, I say absolutely. Their mistake for putting him on the 40 man before they were going to keep him there.

    • Tommy

      I don’t know much about him. He’s a 3rd baseman, right? How does he stack up against our 3rd basemen in the minors now? Any idea?

      • Good Captain

        If he can actually be penciled into the lineup, he’s at lease one step ahead of Stewart.

        • Tommy

          Yeah, no doubt, Cap. I still say Stewart needs to go. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to rely on his health.

  • Dustin S

    The lack of speed was why I kind of had a hunch early Sappelt was a lock to make the roster. He’s basically the option as a pinch runner (and OF defensive sub). If anyone saw the game a few days ago when Navarro was running home from 2nd on a double, he had to be the slowest runner I’ve ever seen in baseball. It looked like he was running in mud 6 inches deep and he was pouring down sweat when he got to the bench.

    • Marc N.

      Pretty happy in general Sappelt is on the team. Team needs another OF who can hit lefties and I thought he played well during his callup. Looks like another competent type of role player from the farm system, which has it’s place in the league and on rosters.

      The OF can definitely use the fresh legs, even if he’s not particularly young for a prospect.

  • Fastball

    Hope Darwin heals up quickly. Thus far this season is off to a bad start health wise. The injury bug has infected the Cubs since day 1 of ST. Not a good sign of things to come.
    May this be the last injury of the season!

    If anything happened to Rizzo or Castro we quickly become an average AAA team.

  • cubmig

    ………….w…o…w……….the season for our team is “over” before it’s even started for us…….. ouch!

    • gocatsgo2003

      Am I allowed to mention that this might not be the worst thing in the world in the long run?

  • Patrick W.

    MLB is missing an opportunity here. With every day interleague play they should open the season with a 3 game series of a rematch of the WS.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Isn’t the schedule determined long before the WS? At any rate, I’ve always preferred that teams start off against divisional rivals. Of course, a lot of teams don’t really have rivals, so that is not perfect either.

      • Patrick W.

        It is, but I’m sure it could be adjusted fairly easily. Some seasons the teams will play anyway. Sure Giants/Dodgers will be a great start, and the Tigers open at the Twins, but both teams play on the road on opening day and quite frankly I don’t know why they couldn’t have played each other this weekend in SF.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          There is no way that the Giants or Dodgers will want to give up a Dodgers-Giants series: that’s probably the 2nd biggest rivalry in baseball after the Sox-Yankees. Similarly, the Giants are not anything special to the Tigers: the Giants just happen to be the team that beat them in the WS. If anything, then the Tigers probably do not want to start the season with a reminder of that.

          So, basically, it would be lose-lose for everyone concerned. If there are no winners, then why do a thing? And it would not be this year, either: in many recent seasons, pennant winning teams would have to give up opening series against real rivals for a rematch against a team that isn’t a true rival. Their fans would not be excited, the national media would not be excited, Joe and Jane Baseball fan would not be excited. So, I’m just not seeing any winners here.

  • Carew

    Who and what’s the story of that Zach Cox everybody keeps mentioning?

  • Fastball

    Zach Cox appears to be Ian Stewarts brother. If we got him on a very cheap deal that would a good thing I suppose.

    • Tommy

      He does have some injury issues it sounds like, but 1 year’s worth of injury doesn’t compare him to Stewart (yet).

      Thanks for posting the article, Fastball.

  • Fastball

    This story on Zach Cox was in the Miami paper a few weeks ago. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-03-03/sports/fl-marlins-spring-training-0304-20130303_1_zack-cox-jcrmarlinsbeat-big-league-camp

    I say he has Ian Stewart written all over him. Maybe he can turn it around in Chicago. It’s that the Theme we are running with these days.

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    I gotta say zach cox looks Intreging… And at 23 he’s got upside… If nothing more depth at 3rd in AAA.

  • Die hard

    Tampa Bay looking for DH who bats righty

    • MichiganGoat

      You don’t say… Oh wait that has been said before

      • YourResidentJag

        Hey, wait a minute! That supposed to be a comment reserved for the ResidentJag.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    What am I missing with Cox? A 23-year-old bat with upside but who struggles defensively at 3B …

    Isn’t that Josh Vitters?

    • Kyle

      He’s much greener. Can’t you see what side of the fence he’s on?

    • Tommy

      Good call. Just looked at his stats and he’s actually much WORSE than Vitters defensively. And that’s saying something!

  • MikeW

    If Barney gets DL’d, i’d just prefer they haul up Watkins.

    1) You dont have to open a 40-man spot for him.
    2) He could play regularly so they’re not stunting growth by having him sit the bench.
    3) He’s not likely to be the type of star who’s worth screwing around with his service time on. Give him a couple weeks and see what he can do. He’s had a nice spring.

  • W_Francisco

    If Barney heads to the DL, you think the FO will allow Watkins to seem some time there? They’ve already said he has an advanced approach at the plate so a little taste of the bigs shouldn’t hurt his development. I’d rather see Watkins than Gonzalez or Maysonet….god

    • Tim

      Alberto Gonzalez made trip to Pittsburgh

      • W_Francisco

        Damn it

  • mudge

    This mentality of nothing matters unless you’re going to win the World Series is a total bore.

    • Marc N.

      It’s how Yankee fans ruin baseball for themselves, but there is a point in there for certain contexts.

  • Bret Epic

    Mauro Gomez DFA’d by the Red Sox. A bit old to be considered a prospect, but great minor league numbers and decent numbers last year in a small sample size. He plays 1st and 3rd base. m.bbref.com/m?p=XXminorsXXplayer.cgiQQid=gomez-001mau&t=all_batting

  • kmr1453

    Looking forward to see some of those Houston prospects in the QCA this season.

  • cub nazi

    The Church thing… shame on you. I thought you had some class. How insulting!

    • Dale’s Ear

      I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re joking..

    • DarthHater

      Of course nothing exudes class like calling yourself cub nazi.

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    I was watching the blackhawk game today and one of their players took a puck to the face a couplecdayscago, took 65 stitches in the face and was out playing today.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      And stitches in one’s face affects one’s ability to play hockey….. how exactly?

      • chirogerg

        a mild lat strain that one can’t even feel affects one’s ability to pitch……how exactly?

  • DPRagen

    This lose now to win later business is the most idiotic concept in the history of the world. The future is now! If Epstein can’t do it get someone who can..

    • chirogerg


      sorry guys couldn’t resist