Today’s the day: the $300 BN fantasy contest runs on today’s games, so that means you’ve got just a few hours left (by 1:20pm CT) to get your roster set. (And, for those of you who’ve not yet signed up, you can still do it – sign up here, and set your roster. It only takes a few minutes, but the sooner you do it, the more time you have to play around with the roster.)
- He’s getting his hits, but Starlin Castro has no walks in 35 plate appearances, and flashed some frustrating “discipline” in the 9th yesterday when he whiffed on a Sergio Romo slider that started six inches outside, and ended up more than a foot outside. He also flashed a frustrating lack of focus in the field when he charged a routine grounder off the bat of pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, rather than taking the grounder normal, knowing that he had plenty of time to get Vogelsong. The ball skipped past him, and it was easily the turning point in the game. It’s early, and all of these things are mere anecdotal at this point. Castro’s also still very young. But I’d like to stop making these excuses at some point – however legitimate they may be – and instead start talking about how complete Castro’s game has become.
- The Cubs’ 10 errors are the most in baseball, by the way. I can’t speak to the nine, but if Castro doesn’t make his yesterday, the Cubs probably win. (Which is slightly different from saying Castro cost the Cubs the game, which is not what I’m saying. They lost for any number of reasons. I’m just saying that, if you take away the Castro error and the four runs that followed it (how many of those do the Giants score the next inning?), the Cubs probably win.)
- I got thinking when I saw this bit from Cubs.com: “When Kyuji Fujikawa is pitching, watch where Cubs catcher Welington Castillo sets up behind the plate. You’ll be able to tell when the right-hander is going to throw his fastball because Castillo holds his mitt high and centered.” I know it’s important to set a good target for your pitcher in a way that makes him comfortable, but let’s hope Castillo isn’t going to have to set too early, lest other teams get wise to the now very public targeting plan. It’s not particularly easy for a batter to sneak a look at the catcher so long as he doesn’t set up too early, but it’s a little dicier with a runner on second. If Castillo’s set up is very deliberate, you’re just asking for some sign stealing.
- The Kane County Cougars are hosting a set of “Meet the Team” parties, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: you get a chance to hang out with the team after a home game, and proceeds from the $25 cost go to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. The first Meet the Team event is Saturday, April 20 (that’s a week from tomorrow), and you can get tickets and more details here.
- More quotes from Theo Epstein on Jorge Soler and the bat incident from the other night. The short version: it seems like an isolated incident, the Cubs are doing their best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Soler’s a good kid who’s been through a lot. Also, you probably shouldn’t talk about his family.
- Gordon Wittenmyer points out one of the larger bummers about the Soler incident: he’s now going to be the subject of more baiting, more challenges, and more scrutiny. He already faced a lot of pressure, and it isn’t going to get any easier now.
- BN’er Josh has a very in-depth deconstruction of the changes Brett Jackson is looking to make to his swing over at the Message Board.
- Don’t forget to check out the latest episode of the BN Podcast, for those who missed it on Wednesday.