javier baez aflA reminder for those just checking in: I am on vacation. Short of huge news, these morning collections of Bullets will be all I’m posting for the day. Feel free to keep each other updated/discussing things in the comments. Things will be back to normal next week.

  • New Cub Donnie Murphy is on a power binge, hitting two last night to help the Cubs win 5-2 over the Phillies. That was his third in two days, and equals the most he’s had in a big league season since 2007. A power hitter Murphy is not, though he did have 12 homers at AAA Iowa this year in 340 plate appearances.
  • Dioner Navarro was carted off the field last night after an ugly collision at the plate with Chase Utley. Due to the aforementioned vacation, I didn’t see the play myself, but various accounts suggested that I didn’t really want to see the replay. Reports now say that x-rays were negative, and Navarro suffered only a contusion, which I’m guessing is a surprise to many of you. He’s day-to-day, so we’ll see if the Cubs reach for another back-up catcher in the next day or two. The system is relatively barren in that regard at the upper levels of the minors, and I’d imagine the Cubs would probably prefer not to add someone to the 40-man if they don’t have to (even if that guy would just be removed as soon as Navarro were ready again).
  • Someone is coming up to the big team either way, though, as Navarro wasn’t the only player to suffer an injury last night. New Cub Thomas Neal dislocated his shoulder – he’s had shoulder issues before – on a throw last night, and was placed on the disabled list immediately after the game. Unless Brian Bogusevic is ready to come off of the DL, Dave Sappelt seems like a fair bet to be called up to replace Neal.
  • Jesse Rogers spoke to Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod about, among other things, the future plan for Javier Baez, positionally-speaking. Although Baez continues to play shortstop, as he approaches the big leagues – being in Chicago at some point in 2014 is now a real possibility – McLeod admitted that the Cubs will have to make some decisions about his future position soon. This Winter, Baez may even start playing some third base and second base to see how he handles it and to get him some experience there. The article is a good read.
  • Rogers also has a piece on a variety of Cubs prospects, including lefty Eric Jokisch, who just threw a no-hitter at AA Tennessee. McLeod says that, because Jokisch is the kind of guy who can maximize his ability and throw three pitches, he’s likely to make it to the big leagues at some point.
  • A great look from CSN at pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks, who will make his AAA debut today.
  • Thanks to a bunch of rainouts and modest progress, Scott Baker’s rehab assignment will have to be “restarted,” in the sense that his 30-day rehab window will be up next week. He’ll start a new rehab assignment – again, this is mostly procedural – and hope to pitch for the big league club in September.
  • Check your calendar: Gordon Edes reports, based on a source who snuck a peek at a preliminary 2014 schedule, that the Cubs will be visiting Fenway Park June 30 to July 2, 2014.
  • Apropos of visiting Fenway next year, when the Cubs’ renovation of Wrigley Field will hopefully be well under way – modeling after the renovation of Fenway – today marks the 25th anniversary of the last massive and controversial addition to Wrigley (not the bleacher expansion): the addition of the lights. Somehow, baseball on the North Side of Chicago survived.
  • Cubs second round pick Rob Zastryzny has been promoted to Kane County, where he’ll get in a few appearances (and just a handful of innings) before the season ends. He had a 3.14 ERA over 8 appearances (14.1 innings) at Boise, striking out 16 and walking 4.


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