Hoping for a Tough Pitching Decision and Other Bullets

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Hoping for a Tough Pitching Decision and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

scott feldman cubsThe Little Girl is battling a stomach bug, which means lots of Disney and couch time. Want to hear a song from ‘Beauty and the Beast’? Name it, and I’ll sing it for you from beginning to end.

  • As he was going through a period of struggle, Anthony Rizzo’s swing was under heavy study by the Cubs’ coaching staff, and hitting coach James Rowson identified a minor mechanical issue with the help of video. The issue was corrected just before Rizzo’s huge game on Friday – which is not to say that performance is attributable to the change, but it’s notable.
  • In that same Tribune piece, Dale Sveum notes that he hasn’t  yet come up with who will get bounced from the rotation when Matt Garza returns in mid-to-late May. Nor should he: that’s at least three weeks away, and anything could happen in that stretch. The best case scenario? The decision is as difficult then as it would be today. If healthy, you can’t bounce Jeff Samardzija or Edwin Jackson. If still performing, I don’t see how you can bounced Carlos Villanueva or Travis Wood. That leaves only Scott Feldman, who does seem like the obvious candidate to move to the pen. But – let’s be honest – Feldman’s here for one main thing: to develop trade value by July to give the Cubs the option (but not the requirement) of trading him. If you bounce him to the pen, that doesn’t happen.
  • A profile on Darwin Barney, who can dunk if you lob it up for him. The shop-him-don’t-shop-him story line that I expect to develop in June this year is going to be one of the most interesting – and divisive – stories of the year, I’d expect. Of course, he’ll have to do something about that .184/.244/.289 line first.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer notes that the Cubs bullpen has a 1.03 ERA over the last 10 games. Snuck up on you, didn’t it?
  • Speaking of that pen, and the changes to it, Kevin Gregg got consecutive save opportunities – which he converted 1-2-3 – on Friday and Saturday. Dale Sveum’s current policy is not to name a “closer,” but you’ve got to wonder if Gregg is going to get a little shot to run with it. Considering that no one even thought he would be added to the bullpen in April when he was signed to a minor league deal earlier this month, what he’s done already is incredible. That said, we’re talking about four innings of work so far.
  • It’s a free preview day for MLB.tv, which means you can watch this afternoon’s Cubs/Marlins series finale for free online. Plus other games, I guess.

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.