Starlin Castro is the New Leadoff Hitter ... Sort Of and Other Bullets

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Starlin Castro is the New Leadoff Hitter … Sort Of and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

starlin-castro-batI’m braving the challenging today: I’m taking both kids (two years and two months) on a trip to visit grandma and grandpa, and I’m doing it solo. It’s a 1/1.5-ish hour drive, so wish me luck.

  • Meant to mention it with the EBS last night, but Kyuji Fujikawa’s return with the Cubs was successful, with a scoreless frame. He used all of his pitches, it appeared, and his fastball touched 94. That’ll play just fine.
  • It doesn’t sound like Jeff Samardzija feels his outing last night was all that bad, despite the seven runs allowed. “I thought I had good stuff today, fastball location was good,” Samardzija said, per “There’s a couple pitches I’d like to have back, like the hanging slider to Desmond [on his homer in the fourth], and a couple here and there. It’s a tough one.”
  • Yesterday’s lineup, with Starlin Castro at the top, and Ryan Sweeney in for David DeJesus, is likely to be the against-lefties lineup going forward, Dale Sveum said. Julio Borbon might also get some of those center field starts, but the plan to play DeJesus against righties only will continue. That’s fine with me: when marketing him in trades, teams know about DeJesus’s platoon splits, so you’re not hiding anything by playing him every day. Might as well put him in the best position to succeed.
  • The Cubs’ batting average with runners in scoring position, thanks to seven doubles last night that somehow yielded just three runs, remains an hilariously low .181. At some point this year, the Cubs are going to start scoring a ton of runs because they’re going to go through a regression in that stat, and people are going to write things like “the Cubs have figured it out with runners on.” For now, they haven’t “figured it out,” and they are reaching historic levels of weakness with runners on second or third.
  • Today is Matt Garza’s next rehab start – he’ll throw this evening for AA Tennessee. Last time out, he went a touch over 50 pitches, so you’d like to see him approach 70 in this one.
  • The Dodgers have lost 8 in a row. That’s not really tied to anything, but I do enjoy it.
  • Patrick Mooney on the Carlos Marmol/Dan Haren trade that wasn’t. This will be a season-long storyline, especially if Haren’s recent success continues. The Cubs, you’ll recall, backed out of the deal after reviewing Haren’s medicals and determining that a hip issue was just too risky to take on (for the money involved in the deal, at least). If the Cubs make that deal, who knows what follows? Which pitchers do they sign? Which ones do they not? It’s a tough what-if game to play.
  • Jesse Rogers wonders if the Cubs could just keep their current rotation together for next year, and if that would be a good one.
  • Well, as I too often do, I finished yesterday’s fantasy contest in the middle of the pack (33 out of 50 – I’m being generous with my “middle”). At least that means 32 of you got the bonus for beating me, and Fin With DeJesus, Blue23, santinello31, thedeej34, inkastad, and lukobravo won some big money. Good on them, bad on me. Keep your eyes peeled for the next contest, which should come soon. Not sure of the form yet, but it’ll be fun.

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.