So, that Batkid thing was pretty amazing. Not only was it an amazing experience for that little boy, but for all of us.
- Bruce Miles reports that Dave Otto, Todd Hollandsworth, and former (brief) Cub Ron Coomer are candidates for the open WGN radio position on Cubs games, recently vacated by Keith Moreland. Bigger “names” Kerry Wood, Mark Grace, Rick Sutcliffe, and Eric Karros are not likely candidates, according to Miles.
- The story of Rick Renteria’s interview process, which was made unique by the hip surgery that preceded it. Teams had to come to him for interviews, as he got around the best he could with a walker. It has a very nice conclusion, with RR getting his offer, and celebrating that moment with his wife.
- Carrie Muskat answers questions, including thoughts on whether Darwin Barney will be the Cubs’ starting second baseman next year, on the Cubs’ desire to add a starting pitcher, and instant replay, among other things.
- Muskat also updates on Arodys Vizcaino, who turned 23 earlier this week. The Cubs pitching prospect missed all of 2012 after Tommy John surgery, and then missed all of 2013 recovering from that surgery and a subsequent bone spur surgery. Vizcaino was going to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but was then (unnervingly) shifted to the Instructional League. Then, he threw just three times in instructionals. Muskat’s update doesn’t mention anything about Vizcaino pitching in a winter league, which is what you would have liked to have seen. At this point, you’ve got to figure he’ll come to Spring Training as a reliever, and only a reliever for now. There is no way the Cubs could expect him to throw 120 innings next year, let alone 180 to 200. If he’s healthy, you might even see the Cubs start him out in relief at AAA to break him back into things. It’s been a long, long layoff.
- Even before his injuries, there was a concern that Vizcaino would be limited to the bullpen because of his build and prior arm issues. That, together with the Tommy John recovery, was part of the reason the Cubs were able to get such an impressive prospect for Paul Maholm. And it’s not like Vizcaino doesn’t have huge upside as a reliever – the stuff is unquestionable. If he can, you know, still pitch.
- The AFL Championship Game is today at 2pm CT (on MLB Network), and there’s a game preview here.
- The annual Spring Training games in Las Vegas are set for the Cubs on March 15 and 16, and they’ll face the Mets.