The win over the White Sox yesterday did about as much as one game can do to wash the lingering elbow-surgery-bad-taste out of my mouth. But I’m still bitter.
- Which is not to say you can be bitter about the Cubs signing Kyuji Fujikawa in the first place. It’s not like the reliever, who now has to have Tommy John surgery, had an injury history that suggested this was coming. A $9.5 million sunk cost is absorbable, and was worth the risk (and Fujikawa still might be effective next year in the second half). Fujikawa was performing well when healthy, and I think the Cubs probably made a good bet. But the Dark Overlord of Spite turned his evil gaze upon the Cubs on Sunday, using his laser eyes of injustice to explode Fujikawa’s UCL. Not much the Cubs could have done about that, and they can’t be blamed for not anticipating a freak injury that seems to happen to a variety of pitchers, indiscriminately.
- Jed Hoyer said, per ESPN, that the Cubs reviewed multiple MRIs for Fujikawa before finalizing his deal, and they are confident that this is just something that happened, and there was no way to know it was coming. Fujikawa, 32, called it the first major injury of his career. More thoughts from Hoyer here, including his note that, when you start talking about the forearm, you get nervous.
- Patrick Mooney on the disappointment associated with Fujikawa, Arodys Vizcaino, and Scott Baker, all of whom are dealing with varying degrees of bad Tommy John surgery luck.
- Jed Hoyer says that Albert Almora (hamstring strain/pull/tightness/whatever) is already running “foul pole to foul pole” and should be back in action soon.
- Junior Lake is playing in extended Spring Training games finally! That, per Arizona Phil at TCR, who says the Cubs yesterday gave Lake the you-bat-every-inning treatment typically reserved for rehabbing players who are expected to head back out to their respective teams soon. We heard yesterday that some Iowa coaches believe Lake wouldn’t be back at AAA for another four weeks, but maybe it will be sooner than that. I don’t think Lake is going to be getting five or six Extended Spring Training at bats every day for the next four weeks. He’ll probably play, then take a day or two off. Then play again, then a little break. Once he’s able to play a handful of games in a row, I expect we’ll see him sent to AAA Iowa. Maybe it’ll be four weeks, maybe it’ll be sooner.
- The attendance for yesterday’s Cubs/Sox game – annually a virtual lock for a sell-out – was just a touch over 31,000, or about 10,000 short of a sell-out. If that doesn’t make the Cubs nervous about attendance issues, I don’t know what will. Hell, it makes me nervous.
- BN’er Lance took a huge, awesome set of pictures from this weekend’s Kane County action, and you can see the shots here. I love seeing the young guys enjoying the game.
- In case you missed my interview yesterday with author Chris Neitzel, check it out.