Plenty to discuss today, with some good and some bad. Theo Epstein spoke to the media yesterday on a range of topics, some of which I’ll touch on here in the Bullets, the majority of which will be addressed separately (yes, including the stuff about free agency). Onward …
- Fight. Fight. Fight. The Cubs saw their second consecutive dugout kerfuffle last night, when Jeff Samardzija got into it with third base coach David Bell. The argument, which was a whole lot of nothing (not unlike the Edwin Jackson/Dale Sveum disagreement the night before), reportedly had something to do with defensive positioning. Although there isn’t much to discuss – disagreements happen – it’s weird to see it twice in two nights after a couple years of relative peace. Another frustrating season is winding down, and it’s understandable among competitive people that things might bubble over from time to time. I once received a “final warning” during a kickball game because I was so fired up about a missed catch call in the outfield (I caught that damn ball) – I can only imagine how many arguments I’d get into if I were playing professional baseball as my livelihood.
- More about how the Samardzija/Bell spat was nothing here from the Tribune. If there was actually a fight involving Samardzija, I’m thinking I’d not want to be on the other side.
- Josh Vitters, long thought to be unable to handle third base at the highest level, is now officially being converted into an outfielder, according to Theo Epstein. He’ll play left field, and that’s where the Cubs will consider him for next season (likely a fourth/fifth outfielder type). It’s easy to forget that Vitters put up solid numbers at AAA last year as a 22-year-old, and was very productive when healthy this year – it’s just that he wasn’t very healthy. He’s got plenty of bat to be a bench guy at the big league level, even at a corner outfield spot. The question is whether he can play well enough defensively. If he can, who knows? It’s still not impossible that he could emerge as a regular or semi-regular contributor.
- Each of Albert Almora and Jorge Soler are progressing well (Carrie Muskat reports they’re involved in baseball activities), and should be on track to play in the Arizona Fall League, as planned.
- Jesse Rogers – and Dale Sveum – on Starlin Castro’s defense.