Rainout, Injuries, OBP Woes, and Other Pick-Me-Ups and Other Bullets

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Rainout, Injuries, OBP Woes, and Other Pick-Me-Ups and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

angry newspaperWe’re waiting on Kyuji Fujikawa’s MRI results today. He had the MRI yesterday, but the team orthopedist was unavailable in surgery all day, so the scan won’t be read until today. Everyone’s hoping it’s just the same forearm strain that cost him a month earlier in the year. I am nervous.

  • In case you didn’t stay up to find out the inevitable, the Cubs/Sox game last night was rained out in the early going (which totally makes sense, because Edwin Jackson looked like he really had it last night, and Welington Castillo had already homered off of Chris Sale). They haven’t yet scheduled the makeup day, but it isn’t going to be a doubleheader today or tomorrow.
  • Indeed, Jackson was throwing the ball with a lot of “conviction” this time around, Dale Sveum said.
  • There’s been a great deal of talk about OBP lately and how the Cubs aren’t really, you know, doing that thing all that well. GM Jed Hoyer recently spoke extensively on the subject, and you can read his thoughts here, collected by Bruce Miles together with some interesting statistical tidbits. Hoyer emphasized that the overall approach is a team-oriented one, designed to help your team face the other team’s worst pitchers (by getting the starter out early), and requires that players change their approach on a plate-appearance-by-plate-appearance basis (“If the first two guys make outs on four pitches, the next guy can’t go up and just see two pitches. He has to alter his approach in that at-bat.”). Hoyer also dug into the essential question: do you have to draft/sign guys with a disciplined approach, or can it be taught after the fact? His thoughts on the subject seem to suggest that he believes young players can be taught, but established players pretty much are who they are. Anecdotally, that seems correct.
  • New Cubs reliever Alex Burnett is excited for a chance to pitch for the Cubs.
  • Cubs and Sox players are understandably hoping they’ll be able to go watch the Red Wings/Blackhawks Game 7 tonight after their day game at Wrigley Field.
  • Outfield prospect Reggie Golden, a second round pick in 2010 who was emerging as a top 15 type in the system before an ACL injury cost him the last year of game action, has finally been sent out from Extended Spring Training. He’ll head to Low-A Kane County, which already has a modestly-crowded outfield. Mid-season promotions are coming at some point, and the Cubs will have some developmental sorting to do. Hopefully Golden gets a chance to show whether he’s back to his old self. At just 21, there’s still time for him.
  • Speaking of minor league injuries, Junior Lake’s rib/shoulder injury (it was a broken rib up near his shoulder) has apparently been more serious than originally suspected. He was expected back in action by mid-May, but obviously that ship has sailed. Tommy Birch reports that the Iowa coaches were told two weeks ago that Lake was going to be out for another six weeks (h/t to BN’er Nathan). That puts him on a late June return timeline, which really sucks given how important this year was for him developmentally. Given his 40-man roster spot (which he’s had since the Winter of 2011), I’m sure the Cubs really wanted to know, by the end of this year, whether he could be counted on as part of the 2014 team, be it as a starter or a utility man.
  • Speaking of minor league injuries Part Two, Josh Vitters is back on the disabled list, this time with a strained rib cage. The AAA Iowa third baseman missed all of Spring Training with a left quad strain, and then later missed time at Iowa with a right quad strain. He was on the DL earlier this year with a lower back strain. That’s four injuries in total for Vitters this year, and it’s still only May. As with Lake, it’s quite a bummer, given the timing.
  • All of this on the heels of yesterday’s general injury-related bummer news, and the Arodys Vizcaino elbow surgery news. Good morning!

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.