In case you didn’t stop by last night, there’s an interesting Nate Schierholtz rumor going around about the Tigers’ outfield needs, and about the emergence of Ryan Kalish as a possible outfielder for the Cubs out of Spring Training.
- Rejoice, ye lovers of tradition and average domestic beer: Old Style will still be served at Wrigley Field this year! The Cubs have reportedly confirmed that the company that runs concessions at the ballpark, Levy Restaurants, will serve Old Style, despite the Cubs’ big-money exclusive sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch. The exclusivity bought by that agreement was exclusive beer sponsorship, not necessarily sales (though I do expect you’ll see an increase in Budweiser and A-B presence at Wrigley), so Levy was always permitted to decide whether or not to continue serving Old Style. I believe you’ll have to go find the particular point of sale where they’re vending Old Style to get it, but at least you can still have one at Wrigley. It’s not the best beer in the world, but, as far as domestics go, it’s no worse than any others. And, hey, sometimes traditions are fun.
- Patrick Mooney reports that Sammy Sosa’s camp has reached out to the Cubs about a reunion (Tom Ricketts discussed that situation last week), but it’s not something the Cubs are putting on the front burner right now.
- The first round of Spring cuts could come as soon as the end of this week.
- Ben Badler writes about the Cubs’ international signings, which is an interesting read, and he notes that – contrary to what he’d previously heard – big-time signees from last years class Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres may not start their careers in the Arizona Rookie League. The duo is in Mesa right now for Spring Training (well, I know that Jimenez is, and I believe Torres will be, also), so they are likely to at least do extended Spring Training in Mesa until the short-season assignments are made in June. At that time, they could head back to the Dominican Republic and Venezuela for the seasons there, or they could stay and play rookie ball. Remember: it was always very surprising to hear that they might start out in the AZL, so, if they don’t, it’s not like it’s a knock on them. At just 17, the DWL and VWL would be completely normal for even the best prospects.
- Speaking of minor league Spring Training, TCR’s Arizona Phil notes in a comment that pitching prospect Pierce Johnson has been shut down, and is now on “limited activity only”, which tends to be for injured and/or rehabbing pitchers. Before you freak out, let’s keep in mind that guys are limited in Spring Training for a number of reasons, and the Cubs will probably take it easy with a guy like Johnson, who is among the best pitching prospects in the system. It’s also possible that Phil is wrong about this, though he tends not to make mistakes on these things. Hopefully whatever is going on, it isn’t serious. Finding out about minor league injuries is always a tricky business, and not always as easy as just asking the question and getting an answer.
- Kris Bryant has supportive parents. And a profile on Bryant from the San Diego Union-Tribune.