With the holiday weekend in the rearview mirror, there’s a whole lot to discuss today. So, stay tuned. If it isn’t in the Bullets, that’s probably because I’m writing about it separately later today.
- Now that the minor league seasons are over – and the AAA Iowa Cubs did not make the playoffs – it sounds like you can expect another four or five September call-ups. The obligatory third catcher is likely to be one of them (JC Boscan), and the rest will probably be pitchers. Brooks Raley is a lock, and Justin Grimm is probably close behind. Scott Baker is also possibly in the mix, as well as fellow rehabee Rafael Dolis. From there, the Cubs could put a new player or two on the 40-man roster.
- Scott Baker’s rehab stint ended yesterday – not necessarily because he’s ready to return to the bigs, but because the minor league season ended. Baker threw 5.2 innings at Kane County, giving up 7 hits and 2 ER, but no walks. He struck out 4. It’s uncertain what will happen next, per Cubs.com. Even if Baker is now activated (I’d expect him to be, because why not? Assuming the Cubs can open up a 40-man spot for him), he won’t be starting this month with the Cubs, said Dale Sveum. He’d come out of the pen.
- Travis Wood wasn’t trying to groove a fastball to Henderson Alvarez yesterday when the Marlins pitcher hit a no-doubter three-run homer. Wood simply missed his spot - it wasn’t a matter of the Cubs being unaware that Alvarez can hit.
- Dale Sveum tells Bruce Miles that winning in the minor leagues – the Cubs have three playoff-bound affiliates – can help mold players for the future. They come to understand what it means to focus on every single pitch, every single play, etc.
- A fantastic read from Patrick Mooney on the Cubs’ selection of Javier Baez at the top of the 2011 Draft.
- Jesse Rogers looks into what so many appearances in the last couple of years could mean for James Russell, and whether it might be worth easing up on him considerably over the last month (yes please).
- Donnie Murphy has power (his eight August homers led the Cubs), but Giancarlo Stanton has POWER.
- Set those DVRs: the E:60 special on Matt Szczur, who donated bone marrow to a stranger (and is probably going to get a whole lot of love after this thing airs), is tonight at 6pm CT. You can see the trailer here.
- Don’t miss out: for the DraftStreeters among you, they are offering us a 100% bonus on the deposits of new users. That means, if you decide you want to try out the cash fantasy games at DraftStreet, make sure you use the code ‘BN100′ when making your first deposit.