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chang yong limCongrats to the Blackhawks and the Blackhawks fans among you. I am thoroughly jealous of what you’ve experienced this year (and the last four years) and last night, but I mean that in a friendly way. Enjoy it.

  • Although the Cubs lost one reliever they signed this Winter to Tommy John surgery (Kyuji Fujikawa), another signee is close to returning from TJS. Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim made his debut for the Cubs yesterday – well, the AZL Cubs in rookie ball. Lim, 37, was one of the Cubs’ flyer signings this offseason after having TJS last year. There’s a chance we could see him up with the big club in the second half, which would give the Cubs a better opportunity to see what he’s got as they decide whether he can be a component piece of the bullpen in 2014. Then again, Lim is on a split contract that will pay him quite a bit more once he’s on the big league roster, so maybe the Cubs will want to wait.
  • On moving from the rotation to the bullpen in the minors, and reinventing yourself as a reliever. The focus of that piece from the Des Moines Register is Casey Coleman, a career starter who was told in the offseason that he would be moving to the bullpen. I’ve been talking about the possibility of Coleman developing into a quality reliever for over a year now (#humblebrag), given his ability to sit consistently in the mid-90s in short bursts and a developing slider. This year, working exclusively out of the pen at AAA, Coleman has a 2.65 ERA and 1.179 WHIP – fantastic numbers for the PCL. You’d like to see more strikeouts (just 6.5 per 9) and fewer walks (3.4 per 9), though.
  • Patrick Mooney writes about Jorge Soler and his manager at High-A Daytona, Dave Keller. The Cubs Way money quote from Keller: “I’ve heard so many people talk about it: It takes no ability to hustle. It takes no ability to play hard and run hard to first base – four-and-a-half seconds – or to run on and off the field or to be on time, any of those things that go into how you want your mindset to be from an organizational standpoint. That’s what everybody from top to bottom is emphasizing. It’s a habit.”
  • A father, a son, and the Chicago Cubs, from Carrie Muskat. A very uplifting read.
  • A very long profile on the Ricketts Family from Chicago Magazine, which includes bits on the Wrigley renovation history. If you don’t know the full story of the Ricketts buying the Cubs and working to renovate Wrigley from the very beginning, this is as good of a background piece as I’ve seen without bogging you down in the nitty gritty.
  • A couple Cubs pitching prospects received honors from their leagues – Matt Loosen was the Florida State League’s Pitcher of the Week on the strength of six shutout innings and eight strikeouts; Paul Blackburn was the Northwest League’s Pitcher of the Week after 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts. Blackburn was the second pitcher taken by the Cubs in the 2012 Draft after Pierce Johnson. Don’t sleep on him.
  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I missed that Loosen picked up Pitcher of the Week in the FSL. There are a lot of good pitchers down there. That’s a nice accolade.

  • RoughRiider

    “Paul Blackburn was the Northwest League’s Pitcher of the Week after 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts.”

    James Pugliese and Blackburn were really close on the stats. Too bad for Pugliese. His week would have gotten him the Northwest League’s Pitcher of the Week almost any other time.

  • Oswego Chris

    Taking a break from Blackhawk euphoria here…the San Diego Garza rumors are surprising to me…San Diego is having a nice surprising season and all, but they do not appear to be a team with any real postseason capabilities…

    From Cubs end, I am sure Jed would like to get some more of his players back…

  • scorecardpaul

    Brett,
    I loved the father son article. Thanks
    That would be very cool, but pretty unrealistic for most people

  • ssckelley

    I am not a hockey fan at all, but I will watch the Stanley Cup if the Black Hawks are in it along with Olympic Hockey. But I have to say watching the final 90 seconds of the game last night was incredible. I thought for sure the Hawks were done after they failed to score on that power play.

    Hopefully someday we will have the thrill of watching the Cubs win a World Series in similar fashion. Bryant with a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth! CUBS WIN!!!!

  • Jay

    Since Coleman was a batting practice pitcher as a starter, I’m glad to see they found a role he seems to be thriving in. I mean, he was better than stiffs like Brooks Raley, but not by a whole lot.

  • North Side Irish

    Professor Parks put out BP’s Midseason Top 50…Almora comes in 1st at 15. Baez at 17 and Soler at 31. No Bryant since he hasn’t signed, but Parks adds in the comments that he would’ve been ahead of Soler.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That gets its own post.

  • Jay

    And after reading the article on Ricketts, I thought the mayor was smarter than that. There’s HORDES of people that would rather do a short drive to a suburb with plenty of parking then fight thru the congestion that is Wrigleyville to get to a game.

    • JJ

      As a suburbanite, I agree completely. Hate the process of getting to Wrigley, much easier to get to Schaumburg or any near west suburb.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think “short drive to the suburbs” understates the issue. Short as the crow flies, maybe – but you’d have more population having to head outward from the city, frequently during rush hour. Is it fair to guess that you live in the suburbs or are an out-of-towner? I ask because I’ve been researching this issue a bit more lately, and am quickly coming to the conclusion that the only folks who don’t think it would be insane to have the Cubs in a suburb are folks who already live in a suburb or who are out-of-towners who aren’t all that familiar with traveling in Chicago.

      • oswego chris

        “as the crow flies”…you sir and my 85 year old buddy are the only ones I have ever heard use this term..

        • DarthHater

          Whippersnapper.

      • frank

        Makes sense that people who live in the city would rather the Cubs stay in the city and people who live in the suburbs would rather the Cubs move to the suburbs. I live near O’Hare and work not far from Wrigley–almost any suburb would be much easier for me to get to than the time it takes dealing with the hassle that is Wrigleyville on game day. And people who live in the city don’t want to sit on the Kennedy Expressway/Parking Lot for hours trying to get to the suburbs.

  • AB

    It must be a funny feeling pitching against guys who are half your age.

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