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javier baez featureYesterday was The Wife’s last day of the school year, which means she’ll be at home for the summer (well, some of it – she’s a busy bee, so she’ll actually still be working a fair bit), starting today. It’s a bit of a transition. Not a bad one, mind you, but I get very used to the silence in the house as I write, hearing nothing but the clacking of my keys until the Cubs game is on. And it’s always awkward explaining my Cubs prospect screen saver …

  • Javier Baez was going to play yesterday for the Iowa Cubs (a day after being hit on the right wrist, and later removed from the game), but was scratched. That’s actually somewhat encouraging, and Phil Rogers describes Baez’s status as day-to-day. All in all, that’s pretty good news, considering how ugly the pitch looked. If Baez is day-to-day and almost played the very next day, we’re not dealing with a break. Probably just some swelling/bruising and pain. Might as well let him rest it up, though, before risking any kind of aggravation.
  • A trio of rehabbing Cubs pitchers were in action yesterday at Extended Spring Training, according to Arizona Phil: Kyuji Fujikawa (TJS), Zac Rosscup (shoulder), and Pierce Johnson (calf). Good to see all of them getting in work. I’ll confess: the guy I’m anxiously waiting to see show up in game action is C.J. Edwards. We haven’t heard anything since Edwards tweeted last week that he was awaiting results of his latest MRI before getting back on the mound (he’s been resting shoulder inflammation). Yesterday, he cryptically tweeted, “I love my athletic trainer #gocubsgo.” Oh, social media. You are at once fantastically connective, and probably more than we need.
  • Phil also notes that, despite earlier being assigned to the DSL, Eloy Jimenez is still in Arizona (though not playing). There is no explanation right now, but the obvious possibilities are injury, travel issues, or change-of-heart. If it were merely the latter, he’d probably be playing in the games, though.
  • In discussing Ricky Renteria as manager, Jed Hoyer tells the Sun-Times that the 13-man pitching staff – and thus short bench with which Renteria has to deal – is part of an organizational plan to protect their young power arms in the pen for the future. That makes me very happy to hear, and I am now completely, 100% on board with having a ridiculously large bullpen.
  • Patrick Mooney reports that Manny Ramirez has reported to Mesa to get baseball-ready, which presumably means he’ll play in some Extended Spring Training games. From there, he’ll head to Iowa when he’s ready.
  • Mooney checks in on the good, the bad, and the ugly as the Cubs enter June.
  • Harry Caray is legendary, and his escapades with a drink in hand are just as legendary – and the Sun-Times looked at a kind of diary from Caray’s 1972 year, and it shows that Caray managed to hit up at least one bar in 354 of 357 days (until a one-week vacation at the end of the year).
  • It’s time for the 1940s homestand at Wrigley, which will include a first pitch from Lennie Merullo, the oldest living former Cubs player, and the last survivor of the Cubs’ 1945 World Series team. That’s correct: there is but one person alive who played for the Cubs in a World Series. That’s it.
  • Joe Lemire with a fantastic piece on the importance of a first-pitch strike – or, more correctly, the importance of getting two strikes in your first three pitches. It turns out that getting that first-pitch strike doesn’t really change the face of an at bat other than to get you one pitch closer to getting strike two.

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