Back at it …
- Sahadev Sharma writes at length about Starlin Castro’s struggles this year, and, more broadly, his adjustments since mid-season in 2012. Dale Sveum points to some extra movement in Castro’s swing and other possible mechanical (read: correctable) issues. Give it a read.
- Speaking of which, Sveum said he’s finally considering giving Castro a day off. “It’s getting closer,” Sveum said, per ESPN. “I am thinking about it more, I should say. When we gave people days off because of struggles, it isn’t physical. It is just usually a mental day off to sit back, watch and get a breather.” Castro has one of the longest active consecutive games played streaks in baseball (longest in the NL), having played in every game in 2012 and every game so far this year. But, I mean, who cares? If you’re not Cal Ripken or Lou Gehrig, that streak just doesn’t matter. Take a day off, relax, watch the game, get better.
- Sahadev also spoke with Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod about the Draft, another piece worth checking out. In addition to noting that third round pick Jacob Hannemann, the 22-year-old BYU freshman center fielder, was a guy the Cubs decided they “just had to have,” McLeod was complimentary of second round pick Rob Zastryzny, whom some have criticized as a reach. Zastryzny is strong and athletic, and when he’s right, he can miss a lot of bats in the strike zone, according to McLeod. (For my part, those second and third round picks should be judge in relation to (1) what they cost to sign, and (2) what they allow the Cubs to do in the rest of the Draft. To my mind, the Cubs took quite a few over slot players throughout the later rounds, and if getting Zastryzny and Hannemann slightly under slot – guys they wanted anyway – allows the Cubs to sign a big chunk of those over slot types, then the picks were great.)
- Kyuji Fujikawa’s Tommy John surgery is finally scheduled after the swelling subsided in his elbow. He’s got a date with Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday. Don’t look for him to pitch for the Cubs again until the second half of 2014.
- Ian Stewart hit three homers in a game for Iowa yesterday, and, despite then playing a second game in which he went 0-4, his OPS still climbed more than 100 points on the day. It’s still at just .613, though.
- The Cubs’ short season rosters (Boise and Arizona) should be announced very soon, but it looks like Jesse Hodges, at least, will be at Boise. The Canadian third baseman was signed as an undrafted free agent last year, and he was always regarded as better than your typical undrafted free agent.