It’s a boys weekend at the Taylor casa, as me and The Little Boy are holding down the fort while The Wife and The Little Girl do some grandparent visiting. Pants are for losers.
- We might hear about Matt Garza’s return to the rotation as soon as today, with him throwing on the side, and the Cubs evaluating him from there. Dale Sveum said this to Cubs.com, which may tip the hand: “[Garza's Thursday start at Iowa] was really good. Everything went according to plan, and he stepped up and got his six innings. We would have liked to send him back out there, maybe, but he did what he was supposed to do.” In other words, Garza may have forced the issue by declaring, with his performance, “No, dudes, I’m ready.”
- Third base coach David Bell on his questionable send of Darwin Barney in the 8th yesterday, which resulted in Marlon Byrd throwing out Barney at home by 10 feet (per Cubs.com): “It was the wrong decision. I just watched the replay again, and it wasn’t close. As a third-base coach, you want to make the right decision, and clearly, that was not the right decision.” Had Bell held Barney, the Cubs would have had runners at first and third with one out, down by one, and Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo due up. Barney didn’t get a good break on the hit, having to wait a moment to see if Daniel Murphy was going to catch it. That hesitation gave him no chance to score, and he shouldn’t have been sent. It was a goof by Bell, but it happens.
- Marlon Byrd offered Bruce Levine many thoughts about the player facilities at Wrigley Field, and none are complimentary. Of particular note is the lack of a batting cage that players can access in-game to get warm. This quote about former batting coach Rudy Jaramillo stings a bit: “[Jaramillo] was excited about plans to have a batting cage. They told him he would have one next to the home dugout. It didn’t happen the three years he was here, and I am not sure what happened. I think it would have helped him and our hitters be better.”
- Beyond the Boxscore analyzes Kevin Gregg’s early season success and concludes, tentatively, that it’s legit. Gregg’s pitch mix has changed significantly this year (no more cutter, heavy sinker), and he’s getting more downward movement on his pitches than he has in the past. There’s no guarantee he’ll keep this up, but the early data suggest this isn’t just some luck-driven fluke.
- 29-year-old Guillermo Moscoso is pitching himself into position to be the first “depth” starter to make the rotation for the Cubs if they undergo a massive purge in July. He’s been dominant since entering the rotation at Iowa, and has had past success in the bigs (except in Colorado, which, well).
- Brett Jackson is feeling, and performing, better after getting over a shoulder injury and turf toe in May.
- According to Baseball Prospectus’s formulas, when studying the underlying statistics/schedules/performances, etc., the Cubs have lost 4.3 more games than they “should” have. You can call it bad luck or whatever you want, but BP’s look at the numbers says this team “should” be 21-20, not 17-24.