Starlin Castro’s extension is coming as soon as today. More on that in just a bit. Until then, Bullets …
- Former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was all but told by the new front office last year that the Cubs did not want him back (recall, they offered him arbitration, but did not want him to accept), says he’s been surprised by Theo and Jed’s efforts to rebuild the Cubs. “I didn’t know they were going to strip it down this far,” Ramirez told Bruce Levine. “I didn’t realize they were going to get rid of every single guy. [Theo Epstein] was honest with my agent. [The Cubs] told him that they were going young. That is what happens when you rebuild but I did not know they were going to start from zero.” We’ll see what happens in 2013, but it is becoming increasingly fair to describe what the Cubs are doing as “start[ing] from zero.” I’m not saying that’s wrong, of course. Just accurate.
- Dale Sveum says he isn’t too concerned with the stats for his young players, now or in September. “If you’re here for a short amount of time, you’re not worried about stats, you’re worried about what you see with bat speed, the intelligence, the willingness and the ability to make adjustments when things might be out of whack,” Sveum said, according to ESPNChicago. “Those are the things you’re judging and evaluating more than the stats.” I guess he was just talking about the hitters. That is his background, after all.
- The Cubs have a middle-of-the-pack defense overall this year, which is a huge step up from the last-in-the-NL defense last year. Of course, defense, alone, won’t do much for the Cubs – they’re much worse overall than they were last year or the year before. Need some bats, need some arms …
- For a few innings in the middle of yesterday’s game, Brett Jackson was the team leader in OPS. Seriously. He’s now slightly behind Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano at .795. Anthony Rizzo’s steady march backwards continues, and he’s down to .785. None of this is a reason to be worried about Rizzo or un-worried about Jackson. These stretches happen.
- Darwin Barney is on the verge of tying David Eckstein’s NL record for consecutive errorless games (in a single season) at second base. Eckstein did it 113 straight games in 2010. Barney is at 112.
- Paul Sullivan does the mailbag thing, and actually spends a fair portion of it defending the Cubs.
- Jeff Passan with 25 things you didn’t know about baseball this year. It’s awesome.