Don’t forget to check out Social Media Night on Wednesday before the Cubs/Nationals game – it’s a fun event, and I’ll be there with a handful of BN’ers. If you can’t make it on Wednesday, I’m planning to be at Thursday’s afternoon game, with a get-together thereafter. Details forthcoming.
- Dale Sveum explained (per Cubs.com) why Starlin Castro started yesterday after being yanked on Saturday for a significant mental error: “The way I look at it is, obviously, he had enough punishment – if that’s the right word or not – but I think to be embarrassed on national TV and what’s been written in the paper today, I think that’s plenty. I don’t think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity we all go through in the game.” I’m pretty ambivalent on sitting Castro down that next day. Getting pulled mid-game sends a much louder message than having a game off, so, if it’s all about messaging, then things played out just as they should have. More thoughts from Sveum on Castro in that Cubs.com piece.
- Jordan Bernfield had Theo Epstein on Cubs Weekly this weekend, and you can listen in here. Always a good listen. I particularly enjoyed Epstein’s reminder that, although Starlin Castro was talented enough to play in the big leagues when he was called up as a 20-year-old, his development wasn’t complete – and, for that reason, he was probably called up too soon. We might be seeing some of the effects of that now.
- Speaking of the Castro situation, here’s another reason why David DeJesus is a valuable member of the organization. Dude understands how to lead.
- For the same reason it pissed me off, yesterday’s check-swing-strikeout-bs that got Dale Sveum tossed was most grating to Sveum because the home plate umpire could have just appealed to first. And it wasn’t even close to a swing. CSN hooks us up with a GIF of the non-swing for those who missed it. The bat barely even leaves his shoulder.
- Scott Baker re-started his rehab stint at Daytona yesterday, throwing three innings, giving up a few hits, including a solo home run. That was the only run he gave up, and he didn’t walk anyone, but he also didn’t strike anyone out.
- BP’s Monday Morning Ten Pack has a look at Javier Baez and Dillon Maples. The latter, a pitching prospect with short-season low-A Boise, is complimented on how well he’s been pitching since his demotion last month (Maples had an unsuccessful go at Kane County). At just 21, Maples isn’t *that* far behind his developmental curve, especially when you consider that he didn’t pitch professionally after being drafted in 2011, and missed most of last year with elbow issues. This is, essentially, his first professional season. For a non-college pitcher, the Northwest League is appropriate in that situation.
- On Baez, BP – Jason Parks, specifically, since he’s doing the writing on Baez – offers high praise for the shortstop’s success since his promotion to AA. I particularly liked his closing thoughts: “Double-A is a test level, a separator level where pretenders are exposed and future major-league players are uncovered. It’s a small sample but a positive developmental step, and Baez is showing that he is not only prepared for the test but talented enough to excel against much older and wiser competition. He could be a star, a role 7 type with a middle-of-the-order bat and left-side chops in the field. Whatever his future role might be, the Cubs have an extremely valuable commodity in Baez.”
- More love for Baez here.
- If you’re going to games this week, BN’er John has a request for those who are able to save their ticket stubs.