You are casually reminded that, especially this time of year, it’s a good idea to follow BN on Twitter and “like” it on Facebook. That way, if you aren’t checking the site obsessively, you’ll still get news and rumor bits injected into your social media outlet of choice.
- Matt Garza mowed down the Yankees yesterday in his debut with the Rangers. He tells the Dallas Morning News that he’s excited to be with the Rangers, and I’m sure his teammates feel the same way about him after that start. Garza gave up just one unearned run over 7.1 innings of work. That unearned run? It scored on a single that followed Garza throwing a ball away on a toss to first. You can’t make these things up. (Memories.)
- Mike Olt, acquired in that Garza trade, made his debut with the Iowa Cubs last night. It turns out, he almost didn’t make it to the park in time for the game, after many travel delays. The good news is that Olt tells Tommy Birch the vision troubles that plagued him earlier this year are all in the past.
- Speaking further of that Garza trade, the Cubs are owed a PTBNL (or two PTBNLs if they don’t choose the guy(s) on the one-player list), and many believe the primary target has been pitching prospect Neil Ramirez. You’ll recall, concerns about Ramirez’s arm reportedly were the “snag” that initially held up the Garza/Rangers trade last week. Well, yesterday, Ramirez was scratched from his start and placed on the disabled list with a biceps injury. Is that the injury that concerned the Cubs in the first place? If so, is a DL stint not unexpected, and indeed, the very reason the Cubs wanted Ramirez as a PTBNL rather than a straight inclusion? Does this DL stint mean the Cubs will select the other players? Are we even sure Ramirez is on the first list? Do I have any answers, or am I just going to keep asking questions? No, I don’t really have certain answers, but I do suspect this means we won’t be hearing about the Cubs’ PTBNL selection for a little while yet – maybe not even until the end of the minor league seasons.
- Last night’s hero, Nate Schierholtz, says that the All-Star break and a well-timed cortisone shot have really helped him recently (per Cubs.com).
- Dale Sveum said he wanted to keep Junior Lake near the top of the lineup now that David DeJesus is back, but that DeJesus is built for the leadoff spot. That’s why they went 1-2 last night.
- Theo Epstein on Junior Lake, per Patrick Mooney: “He’s got a chance to be a really exciting player. But there’s still a lot of development left. He’s got that incredible physical ability, amazing tools, where when he is locked in, and when he is seeing the ball well, he can do some things on the baseball field that make you drop your jaw.” Lake’s line so far is .519/.536/.852. That’s amazing. Your bucket of cold water: only 29 plate appearances, and a .600 BABIP. It’s so, so very early folks. Enjoy the ride, but keep the perspective.
- Scott Baker’s third rehab start at Kane County looked a fair bit like the first two – a lot of base runners earlier, and a very short outing. I’m not “worried” yet, because he’s still ramping up like guys would be in Spring Training. But obviously this has been quite a process for him.
- Speaking of Tommy John recoveries, Korean signee Chang-Yong Lim is getting very close to his big league debut with the Cubs. The 37-year-old righty came to the Cubs this Winter on an incentive-laden, two-year split contract as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in 2012. He’s now been promoted to AA Tennessee, and could see time with the Cubs in August or September, as the team gives him something of an audition for 2014.