If you only check in on weekdays, make sure you don’t miss Luke’s piece yesterday on the “prospect fog” associated with trade rumor season. It’s a good one. And, in case you missed it, the Cubs will reportedly finally sign Eloy Jimenez just after the Trade Deadline. Oh, and, yes, there were more Matt Garza updates here and here.
- The roster could get a boost later this week, as David DeJesus continues to rehab his shoulder injury. He’s playing games with the rookie team in Mesa right now, but Carrie Muskat says he could be activated from the DL later this week. If that were going to happen, I would expect DeJesus to head out to an upper level minor league team soon for a short rehab stint this week. Although the odds he’s moved have dropped dramatically because of the injury, I would imagine the Cubs would like to see DeJesus back in action at least a few days before the July 31 Trade Deadline. He’s got a reasonable option for 2014 ($6.5 million), and he’s a great veteran presence on the team, so there’s no urgency to trade DeJesus. But it’s nice to have options.
- After his four-hit day yesterday, Starlin Castro’s batting average is up to .247, which doesn’t sound like much. But it hasn’t been that high since June 8. Since that day off late last month in Milwaukee, Castro is hitting .311/.347/.478.
- Brett Jackson is still rehabbing in Arizona, and he’s staying positive about what has been a very disappointing season, both in injuries and performance. He had been dealing with turf toe, and then a subsequent calf problem, for quite some time. To recover, he had to be off his feet for a while, and now he’s got to get back into baseball shape. The injuries were obviously incredibly ill-timed for Jackson, given the Cubs’ rotating center field.
- Dale Sveum says there’s a chance we’ll see Jake Arrieta, acquired in the Scott Feldman deal, make his Cubs debut on July 30 as part of the doubleheader that day. The Cubs will need a fill-in, and the team can call up a guy for just that one day. Arrieta is already on the 40-man, so he makes as much sense as anyone as long as the momentary call-up doesn’t too dramatically impact the Cubs’ service time considerations.
- I’m not sure Junior Lake could have more perfectly lived into his reputation in his first three games with the big club: incredible athleticism, spurts of all-world play, and then head-shaking mistakes and ugly strikeouts. On the balance, you just hope the good outweighs the bad – because he’s fun, man.
- Speaking of Lake, he’s John Sickels’ prospect of the day, which means he gets a long write-up. The short version comes in Sickels’ conclusion: “If you told me that Lake will be an All-Star four years from now, I’d believe it. If you told me he would be flailing at breaking pitches in Triple-A four years from now, I’d believe that too.”
- Len Kasper on the lingering steroid issue.
- If you haven’t watched the video of Ernie Banks joining Eddie Vedder on stage on Friday, you should. It might give you goosebumps.