In case you weren’t up late last night or early this morning, there’s relatively big news: the Cubs are leaving WGN Radio next year in favor of CBS’s WBBM.
- Jed Hoyer tells ESPN that C.J. Edwards’ MRI last week (shoulder) was good news, and that he can soon resume throwing. Edwards posted on Twitter that he expects to start throwing tomorrow. Edwards, the Cubs’ top pitching prospect, has been out since the end of April, when he perceived discomfort in his shoulder while throwing on the side. An MRI showed inflammation (but no structural damage), so he’s been resting and strengthening since then – but not throwing. The Cubs have indicated a hope that he can return to AA Tennessee after the All-Star break in the Southern League (that’s two weeks from now), but if he’s just starting to throw tomorrow, and building back up arm strength, I wouldn’t look for him to be back at Tennessee for a few weeks. That assumes no setbacks, of course. Extended Spring Training games end in a couple weeks (and the short seasons get underway), so we’ll have to keep an eye out for him popping up in action there in a couple weeks; if not, he could appear in an Arizona League (rookie ball) game or two before being fully ready to return to Tennessee.
- In addition to the Southern League All-Stars that Luke mentioned in the Minor League Daily today, the Cubs also placed four on the Florida State League’s All-Star team (High-A): Bijan Rademacher (who was hitting *everything* early), Gioskar Amaya (ditto), Felix Pena (who just hasn’t given up runs), and Andrew McKirahan (dominated as a lefty reliever). The latter two are 24-year-olds, which dampens their prospect status (and, in Pena’s case, his peripherals don’t really support the ERA), but, hey, man, an All-Star nod is cool. Amaya is a legit second base prospect, and Rademacher is a very interesting guy, having been a pitcher in college (and position player, too, obviously). This is just his second full year focusing solely on hitting.
- Speaking of prospects, while I’m not sure I agree with everything in the piece, I do applaud Paul Sullivan for holding up farm system rankings to scrutiny, and at least asking the question: yeah, Team X is ranked 5th, but what does that really mean? We think we know the answer to that, but it’s always good to check yourself from time to time.
- Although Welington Castillo says he hopes to be back in two weeks, when he’s eligible to come off of the disabled list, it makes me a little nervous to hear him describe the initial back/rib injury as feeling a “pop” when he swung (CSN).
- The Sheraton/Starwood hotel at the Cubs’ Spring Training complex is officially happening for next season. One question: how quickly will the 180-room hotel fill up? Seems like it’ll be booked for all of Spring Training within days of taking reservations, given how popular the Cubs are as a Cactus League destination (by far the biggest draw in Arizona that time of year).
- The latest injury for Cuban lefty Gerardo Concepcion, who hasn’t had much of a chance to show what he can do since the Cubs signed him in early 2012 because of multiple (non-arm) injuries (and a very long bout with mono), is a damn broken foot. The young man will be out most of the rest of the season after being hit by a line drive (Baseball America). I guess TINSTAAPP applies even when the guy’s arm is fine.
- Folks were in rare form yesterday, sending me all kinds of funny pictures on Twitter:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) June 3, 2014
— liam (@liamogi) June 4, 2014
— Richard Siegel (@Rich_Siegel) June 4, 2014
- Yes, that last one is Kris Bryant as Mr. Sparkle. He banishes baseballs to the land of wind and ghosts.
- And friend of the program Justin sent me a great – hilarious and on-point – video on Net Neutrality from John Oliver’s new show on HBO. Watch it, be entertained by it, understand it, and be angry about the FCC’s decision to completely undercut the Internet as you know it:
— Justin Jabs (@justinjabs) June 3, 2014
- If you are sufficiently mind-blown and angry about what internet service providers will soon be expressly permitted to do to all of us, drop a comment here at the FCC in support of total Net Neutrality (under the “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” section). Allowing ISPs to negotiate side agreements with large companies for “fast lanes”on the Internet is bad for innovation, bad for mom ‘n pop sites like this one, and bad for consumers.