A head’s up: I’m going to be intermittently unavailable today, so I might be a little slow on the draw if something big breaks. I’ll have it eventually (and I’ll try to keep checking in), but there’s your warning in case there’s a delay.
- Nate Schierholtz did not start yesterday against a righty, which led to a(n understandable) wildfire of open speculation and questioning and wondering and worrying as soon as the Cubs’ lineup was released. The beat writers had the same questions, and asked Cubs manager Dale Sveum as soon as they got into the clubhouse. “He’s a little banged up,” Sveum said of Schierholtz’s absence, per Cubs.com. “I’ll probably give him [Sunday] off as well and let him get six days off. I might have to use him to pinch-hit or something. He’s just banged up and struggling a little bit.” I can buy that. Schierholtz has had a rough stretch the last few weeks, and this time of the year, rest is probably welcomed by most players. When asked where Schierholtz was hurt, Sveum said, per Bruce Miles, “a lot of body parts.” Odd.
- Tin foil hat time: Sometimes, a guy just sits out for the reasons the team says. Guys do get bumps and bruises, and a nice, long break is a laudable thing. Given the semi-odd description of Schierholtz sitting out, and the impending All-Star break that was going to give him multiple days off anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are trade implications here. No, I’m not saying Schierholtz is sitting solely because there’s a deal in place or coming soon, and the Cubs want to make sure he doesn’t get hurt. And, no, I’m not saying he isn’t actually resting some bumps and bruises. I’m saying only that, if the Cubs were deep into trade talks involving Schierholtz, and he was dealing with the kind of minor stuff that guys frequently deal with in a long season (but that is serious enough to justify a rest day or two, so that he doesn’t risk a more serious injury while favoring a minor one), it might behoove them to give him these days off.
- Matt Garza is a competitor ’til the end. “I don’t really like not finishing through the seventh,” Garza said of his start last night, per Cubs.com. “Against a team like these guys, you keep pounding away. These guys are gritty and just keep grinding …. [The standing ovation was] awesome, but 6 2/3 [innings] doesn’t deserve that. Seven, eight, nine [innings] does. I appreciate it, but I hope this isn’t my last one.” If it was, Garza’s attitude in games will be missed.
- Sahadev Sharma writes about the atmosphere at Wrigley Field last night with a season-best 42,240 fans in the house. Spoiler alert: it was rockin’.
- The news is looking good on David DeJesus, who is heading to the team’s facility in Mesa, Arizona to continue his shoulder rehab. He could start playing in games there this week, before heading out on a rehab assignment somewhere higher in the minor league system. “He won’t have to play in tons of games as long as everything goes good, and then he gets in a real game and hopefully doesn’t swing and miss,” Sveum said of DeJesus, per Cubs.com. Not to make it all about trade stuff – but this time of year, it’s hard not to – but if DeJesus is able to return in the July 23 to 25 range, as it now sounds like he could, there could be plenty of time before the July 31 deadline for the Cubs to show that DeJesus is healthy.
- Brett Jackson, whose extended absence from Iowa became something of a short-lived mystery yesterday, is in Mesa, rehabbing his injured calf. He could be sent out to AA Tennessee at some point soon.