Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

dallas beeler cubs featureThe Cubs will try again today. Looks a lot nicer out today than yesterday, but unfortunately the Taylor crew is heading back to Columbus before today’s game.

  • Dallas Beeler (shoulder) is back with the Iowa Cubs after opening the year at extended Spring Training. He is technically on a rehab assignment, rather than optioned, which means he’s accumulating big league service time. The Cubs are less concerned about that, though, than the ability to put him on the 60-day disabled list if they should need a 40-man roster spot in a pinch. Beeler’s first Iowa outing was mixed, as you’d expect for a guy essentially in his Spring Training phase. He cruised through the first few innings, had some rough luck (and defense) behind him in the fourth, lost it in the fifth (double, walk, walk), and then saw all of his baserunners score after he’d departed. Beeler is one of the Cubs’ depth rotation options at AAA Iowa – those guys almost always become necessary for at least a start or two throughout the course of a season (as was the case for Beeler just last year) – so hopefully he recovers well over the next month or so, and is ready as needed from there.
  • Speaking of AAA Iowa pitchers of potential importance to the Cubs who are recovering from injuries:

  • I don’t know a ton about this stuff, so I don’t want to play doctor. My understanding is that you get a cortisone shot in the hopes that your discomfort will be sufficiently alleviated to be able to use the affected area (either to more effectively rehab or to do whatever it is that you otherwise do). In other words, in this situation, it could be that surgery was not necessary in Parker’s case, and the best course of action was simply to alleviate his discomfort and see how things go from there. That seems to be the tenor of Birch’s tweet, too. Hopefully, then, Parker will be available to the Cubs as a bullpen option, if necessary, sooner rather than later.

  • Although he’s getting hit more and more as he crowds the plate, Anthony Rizzo is not a fan of wearing any kind of body armor (ESPN). Obviously you want him to be comfortable up there, but … well … please don’t get hurt, Anthony. Bones break.
  • Gonzalez Germen says that he altered his delivery on his fastball and his changeup in the offseason (ESPN), which is the kind of thing you hear that always makes you hopeful on a Germen-type player (i.e., a guy whom everyone agrees has good stuff, but just hasn’t quite broken out). The changeup, as we’ve already seen, was always killer. But when it wasn’t getting swings and misses, it was getting hit hard. And the fastball wasn’t in the zone enough. The Cubs have demonstrated in recent years that you absolutely can find dominant relievers out there in surprising ways. Hopefully Germen can emerge as the next surprise (Michael wrote about Germen him as that kind of possibility in the offseason.)

  • Praise for lefty Zac Rosscup, who’s pitched extremely well so far. The story with Rosscup has always been the walks: if he keeps them down, he’ll be a great reliever (maybe even a consistent, full-inning guy). The stuff and deception is that good.
  • Joe Maddon was as diplomatic as possible when discussing the unusually long rain delay yesterday before the Cubs/Reds game was postponed (Tribune). I don’t doubt, though, that he and his players – and Reds players, for that matter – were probably annoyed that the game wasn’t called much sooner. I know that folks who stuck around the park for four hours, like The Wife and I did, weren’t too happy about it, either.
  • The players did their best, though. Rain delay theater:

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