You know what’s fun? “Liking” BN on Facebook, and then telling your friends. You’ll see – it’s like playing peek-abo with a dozen kittens wearing tuxedos.
- One of the Cubs’ myriad minor league signing/non-roster invites slipped by me (and everyone else) when it happened, so I just now noticed him on the Cubs’ non-roster invite list: 23-year-old righty reliever Dayan Diaz, who’d previously been with the Astros. He’s got a very interesting story: a promising young arm pitching in Venezuela back in 2008 (he’s originally from Colombia), he was set to come over to the States as a 19-year-old. But then an injury took all of his 2009 season and almost all of his 2010 season (it appears to have been Tommy John surgery), so he was back to square one in 2011. At age 22, old for the league but young in pitching, Diaz dominated short season A-ball as a hybrid starter/reliever. In 2012, he was in A-ball, and he tore it up again in relief (sub-2.00 ERA, 10 K/9, 1.200 WHIP), though he’s obviously got some control issues to work on (4.6 BB/9). Because of his long time in the minor leagues, dictated largely by the injury, he was a free agent after the season. In other words, he appears to be more of a “prospect” than a legitimate threat to compete for a spot in the bullpen to open 2013. That doesn’t mean he’s not a very interesting name to watch, though. I bet he got the big league Spring Training invite as an incentive to sign with the Cubs, because there had to be many, many teams interested.
- Kerry Wood, among other things, talks about what it was like to play in the Steroid Era, and have to deal with insinuations and questions regularly.
- Former Cubs reliever Manny Corpas, whom the Cubs elected not to keep at the end of the 2012 season, has gone back to the Colorado Rockies on a minor league deal, where he might wind up being a part of their four-man/eight-man rotation as one of the piggyback pitchers (though the Rockies aren’t set for sure on doing that again this year). I remain fascinated by the concept, particular on a team like the Rockies, who might have trouble landing quality free agent starters in the first place because of the ballpark. I really hope they do it again, because I want to see the results over a full season.
- Carrie Muskat notes that Cubs pitcher Justin Berg is now former Cubs pitcher Justin Berg, having signed a minor league deal with the Rockies.
- Sammy Sosa is getting a lot of grief because he owns a new company that sells a needle-less delivery system for injections, but I think we probably shouldn’t joke about it too much. The product is designed to help people who need regular shots – like insulin – but who are afraid of needles. That’s actually a pretty laudable product, no?
- It’s the 5000th day anniversary of the Cubs game in which a team scored in every single inning for the first time in decades. Of course, that team wasn’t the Cubs – it was the Rockies, who won 13-6.
- Bloomberg Sports (a solid entity, I should note) has a video series on players whose careers were cut short by injuries. Here, you can watch them talk about Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, because you’re a masochist.
- Speaking of Kerry Wood and video, how about a much happier video? Here’s Wood answering a wide range of questions – baseball-related and otherwise – on CSNChicago:
Pirates Beat Cubs on a Walk-Off, But Ke’Bryan Hayes May Have Been Hurt on Collision with Willson Contreras