I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing, reflective Memorial Day weekend …
- Dale Sveum was complimentary of Travis Wood’s outing yesterday until that 6th inning got away from him, per Cubs.com. In particular, Sveum pointed to the walk to Joey Votto, which led off that 6th inning. That certainly didn’t help, but the elevated pitches thereafter didn’t help. (I’d argue, by the way, that Derrick Robinson’s perfectly-executed suicide squeeze probably was a net loss to the Reds, even if it scored the go-ahead run. The Reds went on to score two more with two outs as Wood struggled to make his pitches, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if he hadn’t handed the Cubs an out. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t like the suicide squeeze in virtually any situation, particularly the 6th inning.)
- Sveum says his pitchers have to remember to keep the scouting reports in mind, and not try to take a hitter out with whatever pitch they feel like making. I kind of wonder which pitchers he’s talking about (and, obviously, some of it is on the catcher, too). Pure speculation: might it make sense for Edwin Jackson, new to the staff and currently struggling, to take a little longer to trust the Cubs’ efforts in scouting and developing a game plan? That could explain some of his uneven performances in the early going, which, in turn, might actually be a good thing in the long-term (as he’s certainly going to trust them now)? I’m probably just being hopeful.
- Carrie Muskat reports that the leash is off Matt Garza today, who will be allowed to throw as many as 110 pitches, depending on how stressful those pitches are.
- BN’er Andy helpfully passes on confirmation that, at a minimum, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod (I’m guessing also Jaron Madison) were on hand at Stanford ace Mark Appel’s most recent start. Given that the same group met with Jonathan Gray this week in Oklahoma, I’m guessing they met with Appel while they were in Palo Alto. The Cubs also took in a recent San Diego game, presumably to watch third baseman Kris Bryant, and they probably met with him as well. It will be interesting to hear if that’s it for the Cubs, of if they also make their way down to UNC at some point to see/meet with third baseman Colin Moran, the only other player that’s reasonably being considered for their number two overall pick at this point.
- Ian Stewart has been seeing some time at first base at AAA Iowa, and may also even see some time at second base. It’s all part of an effort to get him some more at bats and increase his versatility since the Cubs have committed to giving the bulk of the third base starts to Josh Vitters right now.
- BN’er Liam is doing the Wrigley Field Road Tour bike race in August, and with that comes some charitable fundraising, which he’s doing here. Good on you, Liam.