A very happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there, and to the people who love them. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a handful of fantastic mothers in my life – my mom, my wife, my grandma, my mother-in-law, and more – and I send out good vibes to them all. Particular love to my mom and my wife, each of whom is an incredible mother.
- Jeff Samardzija dominated again, and didn’t get a “win” again, which means he’s got to talk about it again. Fortunately, he just kind of shrugs and says that’s just the way the game is, and he can only do what he can do (Cubs.com). Ricky Renteria makes a good point about how impressive Samardzija (1.45 ERA) has been this year despite the historic no-wins streak, telling Cubs.com, “I’m glad he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s going out there every single day and actually showing you that he’s not thinking about anything other than giving you a really good performance. My solace is in the fact that this guy is being the ultimate professional.” It would be easy to be distracted at this point, but Samardzija just keeps on pitching lights out, every single start. Every team in baseball, including the Cubs, should want this guy.
- (Something really perverse about Samardzija’s winless ways: the salary arbitration process (for which Samardzija qualifies one more time after this season) does take very old school stats into account, which definitely means pitcher W/L record matters when arbitration salary is determined (which sucks for Samardzija). If his win total is artificially depressed this year by pitching for a team that can’t score him any runs, his 2015 salary could also be artificially depressed (slightly). That could make him even more attractive to whatever team – including the Cubs – is considering having him from, say, July on through 2015.)
- James Russell pitched! The now totally-completely-a-LOOGY made just his third appearance since the 100th Anniversary Game meltdown on April 23 (in which, to be quite clear, Russell did not melt down – he gave up one hit, to a guy he’d already struck out). That’s three appearances in 17 days, and he’s totaled just 1.1 innings in that time. I’m sure it’s very strange for him to be that guy now, but, when you consider how he was brutalized by righties last year, it’s the right move. He can be a fantastic LOOGY.
- Emilio Bonifacio is no longer hitting over .300.
- The Cubs don’t know or they aren’t saying when Jose Veras’s rehab stint will be complete (Cubs.com). He’s thrown a couple scoreless frames at AA Tennessee while recovering from an oblique strain. He was struggling mightily before his injury, so the rehab is probably as much about getting his command and confidence back as it is about getting over the injury. Figuring out how long that will take, and/or saying so publicly, is probably tricky.
- Tommy Birch on Chris Valaika, who’s tearing it up at AAA Iowa after coming to the Cubs on a minor league deal.
- Kris Bryant home run video from last night? Hell yeah, BN’er Jason – complete with the appropriate “Get off me!” call: