jason mcleod cubsDentist appointment this morning. Outside of the concern that they’ll find a gaping cavity in there somewhere, it’s never really bothered me to go to the dentist.

  • Chicago Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod met with the media yesterday, about which you can read here, here, here, here, and here, among many other places. McLeod discussed the plans for Javier Baez, who will be staying at second and shortstop for now, rather than learning another position. Although it appears that the discussion yesterday was mostly geared toward the outfield (something the Cubs say they aren’t doing with Baez), I can understand why the Cubs would have no interest in moving a plus infield glove into the outfield when there are other infielders that could move out there to increase the overall defensive quality of the team. In other words, I would be interested to know if and when Baez could see a start or two at third base, just to see how he looks over there and increase his realistic versatility.
  • As for when Baez could be back with the big club, the Cubs still aren’t tipping their hand, with McLeod only saying that Baez is doing some great things and the focus is maintaining it. For now, it still seems like a “the call could come at any time” situation. Baez is hitting .311/.388/.522 at Iowa this year, and now has his strikeout rate under 25%.
  • McLeod also mentioned that Kyle Schwarber could theoretically join the big league club this year, but obviously it’s still incredibly early and it depends on so much. I wrote about those theoretics yesterday.
  • After another solid start, Kyle Hendricks has pretty much aligned his ERA, FIP, and xFIP: 3.76, 3.67, 3.77. If that’s his true talent level, you’ll take that with a huge smile from a young guy at the back of your rotation. Each number is just a bit better than league average.
  • Joe Maddon praises his young players (Tribune). If you missed one of those guys walking off, here’s Addison Russell getting the job done.
  • CSN is going to carry some minor league Cubs action.
  • A moment to praise Chris Coghlan for a hard single to start the 9th and an even harder takeout slide on a potential double play ball by Jonathan Herrera. Coghlan nearly upended Ian Desmond, who threw the ball away, allowing Herrera to go to second. If Herrera isn’t at second, the Nats outfield is playing no doubles, and Russell’s walk-off double might just be a really nice Denard Span catch.
  • Don’t like reading in the Tribune that Justin Grimm says Neil Ramirez’s shoulder is “still barking.” It already seemed like it would be a while before we saw Ramirez again, but that could mean even longer.
  • Good news on the Pierce Johnson (lat) front:

  • I can imagine a scenario where Johnson winds up helping out in the big league bullpen later in the year, not unlike the possible scenario with C.J. Edwards, who, like Johnson, missed time last year and will have his innings limited.
  • If you missed it last evening, Michael’s MLBits looked at a possible 154-game schedule in the big leagues, Johnny Cueto’s elbow, and much more.
  • The result of Yunel Escobar’s bizarre decision to range off of third base in the 9th last night was not only the Cubs’ ultimate victory, but also this great “heh heh gotcha” shot:

  • Speaking of great shots, this is just majestic:

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  • The five players are Dan Vogelbach (1B), Javier Baez (3B), Starlin Castro (SS), Matt Szczur (CF), and Dillon Maples (4th starter). I had Baez and Castro, but I missed on Vogelbach because I thought Anthony Rizzo was in place in time for the 2012 book. I forgot how well regarded Maples was after that 2011 draft, and I also forgot how high BA was on Szczur back then.

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