Alfonso Soriano Makes History and Other Bullets

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Alfonso Soriano Makes History and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The doctor prescribed me some steroids (not so much for power, but for inflammation) for my wrist, and, for the time being, I have to wear one of those wrist braces that make you look like you’re about to go bowling, and about to take it way too seriously. It also makes it very hard to type (on The Wife’s computer today, too). What else can I whine about …

  • Alfonso Soriano’s homer last night didn’t just win the game for the Cubs, it also made some history. With it, Soriano became only the second Cub – joining Andre Dawson – to hit 20 or more homers in his first six seasons with the Cubs. Soriano also joined Albert Pujols and David Ortiz as the only active players with 11 straight 20-homer seasons.
  • As expected, the Cubs’ coaches are going to work on Brett Jackson’s swing and his strikeout issues. It sounds like they thing the problem is less mechanical than it is mental. “Mechanical things are usually easier to fix there’s no question because you can make that adjustment,” Sveum said. “I think a lot of it is anxiety levels for certain people to get to a certain level when they have two strikes on them. That’s what we need to be conscious of more than anything, as much as tinkering and doing so many mechanical things …. He had probably five different hand positions and three different postures in four at-bats [when he struck out four times on Monday in San Diego]. Those are the things we have to get a grip on and make sure we’re not getting so mechanical that you are thinking about everything else other than hitting a baseball.”
  • Steve Clevenger was ejected in the middle of an at bat last night after arguing a strike call. Dale Sveum was not happy … with Clevenger. “He’s got to have a little more composure than that when he’s a catcher. You can’t be getting thrown out of games like that for situations like that.”
  • Josh Vitters, on the explanation he was given for his call-up, and the reason he’s sitting so much: “They told me what is going to go on. They are just going to give me playing time against lefties for the most part and expect me to work my tail off until I am just exhausted. I will concentrate on defensive work and hitting as well.” Whatever. I don’t agree with taking a 22-year-old, hot-hitting, developing player out of AAA and parking him on the bench in the bigs, but I understand the Cubs’ explanation. They want to evaluate what they have in him on the big league stage (the coaches get to see him every day now), and they also want to put him in a position to succeed (I’d argue they’re doing the opposite, but, again, I understand the explanation).
  • Albert Almora could be the next big prospect promoted out of Arizona, though he’s more likely to head to Boise than Peoria, like Jorge Soler. Almora is hitting well in his last 10 games, and the Cubs might want to see him get a little experience at a higher level before the minor league seasons end.
  • I missed this a few days ago, but Jim Callis recently spoke at length about 23-year-old pitching prospects Matt Loosen and Trey McNutt, concluding that neither is a big-time prospect at this point – the latter because his stuff has fallen off (and his command), and the former because scouts just don’t see it, despite good numbers.
  • You’ve got until 2pm CT today to enter to win a couple bleacher tickets next week by captioning a photo of Dale Sveum. Here’s where you caption to win, and here are the full details on the contest. Get on it.
  • The MLBullets at BCB go over the new playoff schedule for 2012, which are of almost no interest to Cubs fans …

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.