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junior lake featureI’m headed to Chicago today, so you may notice a dip in my availability on Twitter/in the comments today while I travel. You should see normal posting, however. And if you’re going to tonight’s game, come find me in the right field bleachers. I’ll be rocking my blue BN shirt, blue/yellow shoes, and, of course, the beautiful Zubaz pants I will have just received.

  • The Cubs don’t really seem to have an answer right now for what is to come with respect to Junior Lake (CSN). He basically doesn’t play now – Lake has just 9 plate appearances in August – and starts will become all the more unlikely when rosters expand in September. On the year, Lake is hitting .219/.246/.368 with a 33.4% K rate and a 3.3% BB rate, so it’s not as if he’s had his playing time unreasonably reduced. Sending Lake, 24, to Iowa has never been discussed publicly, but there’s less than three weeks left in that season anyway. Unfortunately, this may be the way Lake’s season runs out – with him mostly on the bench. And then everyone will reevaluate in the offseason. The raw talent has always been clear, but the risk that he’d not be able to translate it at the plate has always been equally clear. Is that enough to keep Lake on the 40-man roster this offseason? How much can be gained by, for example, letting Lake be a regular starter at Iowa in 2015?
  • A good read from Mark Gonzales on the Cubs’ work with Arismendy Alcantara in center field. It sounds like the Cubs are not planning to change Alcantara’s throwing motion (he throws from three-quarters, like an infielder), but they are working with him on better planting his feet.
  • Tommy Birch on Felix Doubront’s debut with the Iowa Cubs last night. I’d call it mixed: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 7 K. It took Doubront 80 pitches to get through those 4 innings, but he was obviously working with good stuff to strike out 7 batters. He faced one batter in the 5th, who singled, and then scored off of the incoming reliever.
  • I’ll have more on Kyle Hendricks later, but here’s the Cubs.com recap of last night’s game, with quotes from all involved on how he’s been doing.
  • That ugly lunge into first base that Starlin Castro did on Monday? The kind he does, perhaps, too often when running hard to first? It did mildly twist his knee, according to Cubs.com. Obviously he still played last night, but it’s a reminder that it’s a dangerous move, even if it’s instinctual and possibly a hard habit to break.
  • Taking four other folks to a Friday Cubs game in August can be very expensive.
  • Lots of praise from the Brewers for Anthony Rizzo’s improvement at the plate.
  • Visual chart of Cubs TOOTBLANs this year? Visual chart of Cubs TOOTBLANs this year.
  • The first episode of BNTV has been recorded (live last night), and you can watch it below, or subscribe to BNTV’s YouTube channel:

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