A Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there, including my own and The Wife. Thanks for birthin’ them babies. Also all the other stuff.
- Matt Garza made his third rehab start yesterday, this one at AA Tennessee. He threw 66 pitches (30 in the first inning probably shortened his day) over 3.1 innings, striking out two, walking two, and giving up three hits. He’ll make his next rehab start at AAA Iowa on Thursday, and the Cubs will decide at that point whether he’s ready to return.
- And when he does return, Dale Sveum told the media, per Paul Sullivan, that Edwin Jackson won’t be bumped to the bullpen, nor will it be the “best pitcher in baseball,” Travis Wood. We know it won’t be Jeff Samardzija, so it’s down to Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva. Feldman has been red hot of late, and Villanueva has cooled considerably. The latter always seemed destined for the bullpen back when the Cubs had seven starters, so it would make sense that he’d be the guy bumped now that they’re about to have six. Barring a surprising turn of events, I’d look for Villanueva to move – temporarily – to the bullpen when Garza returns.
- GM Jed Hoyer was asked about Ian Stewart’s future with the organization now that he’s riding the pine at Iowa (Hoyer mentioned that it would be a “disservice” to Josh Vitters not to start Vitters at third base, which is interesting for a variety of reasons), and his response probably didn’t encourage Stewart. “We’ve been really patient with him,” Hoyer said, per Cubs.com. “Early in the rehab, you take numbers with a grain of salt, but I think later on, I think you’ve got to perform, especially with Valbuena doing what he’s doing. We’d be jumping up and down to get that kind of performance out of a third baseman. Valbuena has earned that job …. I’m not sure. I hope there is [a future with the Cubs]. I do think there’s a lot of talent there. It’s been an unfortunate run with the injuries. He’s a left-handed hitter with power who plays good defense. I hope there’s a future here, but at this point, it’s going to be about performance. We want him to perform.” You could append that last sentence with ” … so we can trade him” and I think it would be fair.
- Speaking of Valbuena, he left yesterday’s game early after jamming his pinky on a slide. X-rays were negative, and Dale Sveum said Valbuena could pinch hit today (since he’s not starting against a lefty anyway).
- Kameron Loe didn’t last long on the free agent market. The former Cub reliever has already signed a minor league deal with the Braves.