travis wood beardIt’s, like, in the low-20s today in Chicago. How’s that for March Madness? *Rimshot.*

  • Your home opener starter will be Travis Wood, who’ll take the fourth spot in the rotation so that he can get the “Opening Day” honor at Wrigley Field, which is pretty nice move, and an acknowledgement that Wood was the Cubs’ best starter last year, based on results. Now both he and Jeff Samardzija get to be “Opening Day” starters.
  • Ah, so that’s what it was: Javier Baez explains to Cubs.com that his right heel contusion came because he was wearing metal spikes, and he landed hard on the base with all of his weight. That pushed the spike up into his shoe a bit, and boom, heel bruise. He doesn’t usually wear metal spikes, though, and he thinks this won’t be an issue going forward. Just a one-time, flukey ouchy.
  • Speaking of Baez, he talks to CSN about being cut from big league camp, and says he understands and wasn’t surprised by the decision. The Cubs have been pretty clear on the plan for Baez, which will see him starting at shortstop at AAA Iowa for at least a little while.
  • Get ready to be excited and then deflated: top Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards will start Tuesday night for the Cubs against the Padres on a split squad day. The game … is not televised.
  • The Dodgers won again last night, beating the Diamondbacks 7-5. That concludes the two-game set in Australia, and each team will return to the States to get ready for the beginning of the broader regular season.
  • You’d think some of the public admonishments from his manager last year would have been enough to get Yasiel Puig in line. But we’re just two games into the season (for the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, anyway), and Don Mattingly is already having to deal with Puig issues. The outfielder had a couple of baserunning mistakes in last night’s game, and came out in the 9th with an apparent back issue. Get this quote from Mattingly, as recorded by ESPN’s Mark Saxon: “Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe,” Mattingly said sarcastically. “I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything. I’m not sure.” You kind of wonder if Puig’s breakout success last year wasn’t exactly the best thing for him, long-term.
  • http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/salazlu01.shtml Luis Salazar

    Puig would be great for us… young, controllable and talented. Sadly, I figure the Dodgers will fire Mattingly before they trade Puig.

    • farmerjon

      Completely disagree. They may well fire Mattingly before they trade Puig, but I don’t want him anywhere near Baez, Soler, Alcantara or any of the other kids coming up. I won’t go so far as to call him a clubhouse cancer, but from what I’ve seen in the past year I don’t want him around.

  • http://www.ehanauer.com clark addison

    Puig is going to self destruct. A million dollar bat and a ten cent head.

    • MattyNomad

      Well put. Puig has the potential to be a high imact, cost controlled talent for many years to come….BUT, he’s so hit or miss. He’s crush a ball and then be 10ft off from a fly out to right field. Fantastic arm, but cant tame it. I could go on and on. AND, his batflip sucks. Valbuena can out flip him any day.

    • Diehardthefirst

      For a second thought you meant Castro

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Any idiot that drives at 115 MPH with their mother in the car has serious problems. And LA is famous for ruining aspiring Hollywood types, so putting a guy with poor judgment and an obvious lack of maturity in that environment is very risky. He’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I will be very suprised if he makes it through the season without incident. Personally I would send him down to set an example that his antics won’t be tolerated.

    • terencemann

      Or maybe he’s just a 23 year old who went from living in a 3rd world country to having more money than most people can ever dream of? Even US born players who are groomed to handle the spotlight often have issues. It took Bryce Harper a couple seasons to grow up.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      how do you say hot dog in cuban????

  • E

    Puig is becoming a Milton Bradley, unfortunately. Hopefully he can turn things around.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Bradley had serious anger management issues that became exacerbated when he wasn’t playing well. (He is someone who definitely needed to be on meds, although I suspect that the kind that would help his problems would kill anybody’s ability to hit a baseball.)

      Puig clearly is an entirely different personality type. Insofar as can be seen, he is simply a carefree spirit. In a way, Puig is the opposite of Bradley: the latter clearly cared too much (probably about everything, not just baseball) and the former seems to think it’s all a lark. There are numerous possible reasons why Puig might be this way. Unfortunately, the baseball world tends to be behind on true psychology (which really is all about brain chemistry), so he won’t get much help there.

      • RoscoeVillageFan

        Biggest tip off that your Free Agent signing has a cluster B personality disorder? Milton Bradley’s ex-teammates describing him as “not a jerk, but he just really wants to win”

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Yeah, I remember that and thinking that this was like reading a priest describe someone as being overly-zealous about religion!

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        As a psychologist I can assure that it is not “all about brain chemistry”, but it certainly can play a large factor in behavior.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Jackson to Padres for Ross and Fried given Johnson gone until at least All Star game ?

  • Diehardthefirst

    May have to sweeten deal with ready relief pitcher but Ross takes Jackson’s spot and Fried is long term project with injury but high upside

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    I think looking back, Edwin Jackson was a mistake by TheoJed. I wasn’t excited about that signing after seeing what Edwin had to offer on the South Side (good stuff but horribly inconsistent). No one is taking that contract as far as I’m concerned. Still, there are a lot of teams with needs and we may end up moving some other SPs. Not Jackson though, unless the Cubs get nothing back.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Let’s not do this again. His remaining contract is 3 years for 33 million, which is a bargain. and his peripherals indicate he will be much better this season

  • Spoda17

    … I heard Puig was hanging out with Johnny Manzel…

  • Diehardthefirst

    Mijares and Bedard available

  • Patrick W.

    I will be at the game Tuesday night. Maybe I’ll open up a Skype and y’all can PayPal me for the id.

    • DarthHater

      I’m telling the FBI…

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    Puig already seems high maintenance. But maybe Mattingly also seems to be so too? Am I imagining this? He’s gotta just manage the personalities on this team and they might dominate this year. Although, I don’t like this vibe for their championship run. I think Puig is wound pretty tight. But I’d fire Mattingly before I trade Puig. We’ll see I suppose…

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, I think that all Mattingly has to do is figure out a lineup order that maximizes run production, keep a close eye on pitchers’ pitch counts and have handy matchup sheets for his relievers handy. History shows that players can be as flaky as a well-made pie crust and contribute to team winning if he helps increase the team’s run-differential. Hell, the Sox have had veritable pastry shops that have made post-season and even won WS.

      On the flip-side, if Kershaw stops pitching well or if Kemp does not play well upon their return, then it will have nothing to do with Puig’s goofiness: it will be because of their own physical problems. Now, Puig’s insane base-running might hurt his team with TOOTBLANs relative to what Puig might do otherwise. However (and this is a key point that people often forget), (Puig + TOOTBPLANS) > (Puig’s Replacement – TOOTBLANS). That is, Puig might help the Dodgers win a little less than he could: but he’ll do much more to help the Dodgers win than any replacement for him will do.

  • Ballgame17

    Fire Mattingly before trading Puig? Wow…you are extremely undervaluing good coaching and no 1 player is bigger than the team, which is where it seems like Puig is headed. We all have to remember where he came from. Poor upbringing in Cuba, to the spotlight in a top market in the country. It’s hard for anyone not to let it get them a little, but I’m seeing a few too many red flags as well…hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I’m not a fan of Puig, but if he performs at this level, he is more valuable than a manager, no matter how good that manager is, and it’s not close

  • FFP
  • gocatsgo2003

    Going to take some SERIOUS dollar signs to get Scherzer if he has another decent year (per MLBTradeRumors):

    3:00pm: Morosi tweets the Tigers’ offer was for six years and $144MM, identical to Cole Hamels’ 2012 extension.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Let’s say it takes 7 years, $175 million.

      I’d be OK with the Cubs doing that. Sure, the last couple years of the deal would be an immense overpay, but those are also the years in which the Cubs post 2019 revenue will be flooding in full bore. At that point the Cubs will be able to absorb the overpay. Burning extra dollars on well past prime years at that stage isn’t as bad of a thing as it is for the Cubs now.

      • DarthHater

        It’s not my money, so let’s make it happen!

      • BenW

        I guess I have a hard time believing 7/175 would do it if 6/144 wasn’t in the ballpark. If he repeats last year, you are looking at more like 7/190.

        • brainiac

          this is completely correct, and the cubs wont be willing to go over 5/110 or 6/120 at best. someone else will, you can be sure. they’ll find a new scapegoat. the venders at the stadium are being paid too much, perhaps?

    • brainiac

      yeah let’s be real here in advance. like tanaka the cubs are not going to have the highest bid. he’s not as good as other pitchers paid in that territory, he’s going to be 30, and he doesn’t want to play for a team designed to be perennial losers. everyone loves the prospects, including me. but there are literally 15 gaps to fill on that bench before the team is competitive.

      there is a 0% chance we get him. and i’m feeling pretty confident that theo is going to leave the club at the end of his contract. he’ll have good personal PR that he brought in talent and that the organization wasn’t a good fit, even though he mostly just did salary dumps and capitalized on hendry’s drafts. as usual we’ll be stuck with the bill.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        It’s way to early for this. 0%. Sheesh. Get real. Literally.

      • NorthSideIrish

        If the Cubs are going to have a 15 man bench then they are going to need pitchers like Scherzer.

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