I’ll confess: I did not see last night’s Cubs game. It’s rare, but I had to miss the game because there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity going on at the same time: Dave Coulier was performing at a local comedy club. Yes, Joey Gladstone, himself. The experience was more fun for what it was than the actual comedy set (which provided a few chuckles, but it was a pretty tame, and maybe largely set-in-stone kind of set). And yes, he did say cut-it-out at one point, but the gusto wasn’t quite there. No mullet, either.
- And Jose Veras did indeed get that possibly-head-clearing disabled list stint we talked about yesterday, hitting the DL with an oblique strain. Brian Schlitter came back up from Iowa to replace Veras in the Cubs’ crowded bullpen. Fingers crossed now that Veras will get right physically, and then get a solid week or two of performance in the minors to get where he needs to be. If he returns in mid-May, and is lights out from then until the end of July, what do you think? Flip candidate still? I tend to think … well … he’d have to look crazy, ridiculously good. The start of the year has been that bad.
- Schlitter’s stay in the pen could be short (or maybe Neil Ramirez or Zac Rosscup or someone else), as Jake Arrieta made his final rehab start last night for the Tennessee Smokies – just a short, 44-pitch affair. He’d look now to be on schedule to return on May 2 (though the Cubs haven’t announced it yet), a day after the Cubs’ next off-day. Carlos Villanueva, then, will get one last start on April 30 before the shuffling takes place.
- Four-game losing streak, ugly 7-16 record, now a worse record than the Astros, and five long months ahead. Ricky Renteria positivity status check? Still intact: “There have been worse starts in the game of baseball, and I’m not even worried about this as much as how we’re going to respond [Sunday],” Renteria told Cubs.com. “What kind of energy are we going to have? What are we going to do? Are we going to focus? Are we going to play? Are we going to be determined to try to salvage a victory tomorrow?” Carry on, RR.
- Renteria had a chat with Junior Lake about some of Lake’s recent frustrations (that seemed to culminate in the 24-year-old outfielder breaking a bat over his knee Friday night). (CSN)
- Last night’s game didn’t offer much joy, but I did think this play by Luis Valbuena was a pretty awesome as I was combing through the highlights: