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matt garza chinYou 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.
  • ISU Birds

    Any truth that the Cubs-Pirates are talking about Shierholtzenberg?

    • MichiganGoat

      Since that player is not on the team I think we can call that rumor false ;)

    • Jp3

      ::rim shot::

    • Austin8466

      I hope. Let’s send Schierholtz and Gregg to the Buccos and they can give us Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow.

      I’d make that deal in a heartbeat.

      • frank

        But they probably wouldn’t.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Yes, he and Junior Lakelandingham are being traded for prospects Tyler Glasnokowski and Gregory Polancodonkulous.

  • MichiganGoat

    So I can safely say Lake > Puig… Right?

    • Featherstone

      Can we bring back the phrase Ladiculous?

      • millhah

        ReLakeulous?

    • ncsujuri

      Wouldn’t it be Lake-diculous?

  • ChrisN324

    The way Garza can pitch well yet has a noodle arm when making those throws is mind bottling.

    It’s pretty funny to watch now that we’re on the outside looking in though.

    • ncsujuri

      How does one bottle the mind? ;)

      • On The Farm

        Chaz Michael Michaels is figure skating. BOOM!

  • Corey

    It’s nice to have a “too many outfielders” problem.

    Vitters Jackson Soler Almora, etc.

    Competition breeds better play and not all of these guys will make it to the majors, but it’s still a fun problem to have.

    I see this in the future.

    Soler Almora Lake

    Olt Baez Castro and Rizzo

    With catcher and pitcher.

    (You can really exchance any of the outfielders for another one)

    and Vogelbach as DH if the NL gets it.

    • Chef

      I wouldn’t really call Vitters an outfielder just yet. At this point he seems to be “organizational filler” that plays in the outfield. Still a chance for him to redeem himself, but a 23% K rate on .255/.348/.426 isn’t showing a lot of ceiling.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Check his number in Iowa last year, when he was healthy. That’s probably a better indicator of who he is than his injury plagued campaign this year.

  • Edwin

    “The good news is that Olt tells Tommy Birch the vision troubles that plagued him earlier this year are all in the past.”

    The bad news is that Birch replied “You’re talking to a plant. I’m over here.”

    • jpeck

      Well-played sir. Well played.

    • mak

      ha

    • Kramden

      OMG!

      Gotta be the Post Of The Day!

  • Cheese Chad

    Wow, no Bryant?

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

    Not that I ever expected them to make him an offer, but does helping the Yankees get under the luxury tax for next year so they can offer Cano a big contract mean we won’t be pursuing Cano in the off season? If he was on the radar at all, you wouldn’t think Thed would be interested in helping the Yankees financial problems.

    • gocatsgo2003

      You wanna commit an amount that will likely approach $150MM to a 31 year-old? Pass.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        I’d commit $100M over 4 years.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          And Cano would politely reject in favor of the team that goes 6-$140-$150

          • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

            Fair enough, but back to my point, if that team is the Yankees, why would Thed help them financially if they had any intention of making Cano an offer, even if it were $100-110M/4.

            • Funn Dave

              For the same reason we didn’t keep Garza and bank on an extension: it’s just too risky and there are no guarantees that it will pan out. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  • Josh

    Any word on Blackburn? He hasn’t pitched in what is coming up on 2 weeks now. Is it an injury, or are they just trying to control innings?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I read sore forearm.

  • ssckelley

    Yeah we can use the small sample size as a reason to not get overly excited about Lake, but in 29 PA he has accomplished more than Vitters did last year in 109 PA.

  • Werner

    This entire post above should be about Lake. Bleacher Nation should immediately be renamed Lake Nation. I am going to court today to change my children’s names to Lake and Lake. So, to sum up, Lake.

  • Ivy Walls

    Right now I think Lake is walking on water…

    or

    Junior is netting all the fish out of the hit lake

    or

    he is so hot that a Lake is on fire

    or

    finally a player comes up and impacts the game.

  • cubzfan

    The Olt article also says Jeff Antigua was sent to Daytona. I guess he is needed for the title run along with Anthony Giansiti. Actually, that says something about how the Cubs view Antigua’s chances to ever make the majors, which were not high before, but now it seems he’s definitely just being viewed as a good organizational guy.

  • H.A.

    Cortisone shot for Schierholtz. But no mention of where he got it. What’s with the mystery of his ailment?

    • cubzfan

      On the broadcast a couple days ago, Len said he had fouled two balls off the same spot on his shin (or somewhere on his leg) and was in a lot of pain. Maybe he had some swelling in that area. Would be a reasonable place to get a cortisone injection to reduce the swelling.

      Could also be that he got the shot in his throwing shoulder, which would be a more likely situation in which they wouldn’t want him to play at all for several days. Not a big deal for an outfielder.

      • H.A.

        Thanks. I was just trying to determine if this was a short term injury or possible long term injury. And how this could affect plans to keep him or trade him.

  • Louie

    I’m on my lunch break and that post about Olt talking to a plant has me in tears laughing!!!

  • Funn Dave

    “The good news is that Olt tells Tommy Birch the vision troubles that plagued him earlier this year are all in the past.”

    That right there should be headline. Granted, it’s only Olt’s word and not an expert medical opinion, but which is more important: the current performance of former Cubbies, or health updates on new Cubbies?

    • DarthHater

      I hope he’s right but put no faith in his own opinion. Hell, I think my vision is fine, but I doubt I could see a ML pitch well enough to hit it.

      • cub2014

        Darth, Of course you cant not with
        your eyes closed

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for the editorial input. Fortunately you still saw the Olt piece (which was already known by most), so, mission accomplished.

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