Game Planning Issues Again and Other Bullets

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Game Planning Issues Again and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

carlos villanueva the stacheThat Cubs/White Sox game that was rained out has finally be rescheduled: it’ll be July 8 at 7:10pm CT at the Cell.

  • Dale Sveum talked yesterday about moving Starlin Castro down the lineup, largely to try and take some pressure off of the young shortstop, who is mired in a season-long slump. Sveum wonders if the issue is mechanical. “We’ve talked about some things with his mechanics,” Sveum said, per “When you have a leg kick, you have to be careful about having your hands drift when your front foot hits the ground. [Anthony] Rizzo has a little bit of the same problem a lot of times. It’s a fine line.” At just 23 and in a lost season, it certainly feels like the right time to be working with Castro’s approach at the plate and his swing mechanics, even if it means pain in the near-term.
  • Carlos Villanueva says he simply missed his spot on the 89 mph fastball that Albert Pujols jacked for a two-run homer last night, which turned the Cubs’ win into a loss. Dale Sveum, on the other hand, says that was a pitch that never should have been thrown in the first place. “We were not supposed to even come close to calling or throwing that pitch in that situation,” Sveum said, per “It’s the human factor. Somewhere along the line, we lose the scouting report from the bullpen to the mound.” I feel like Sveum has pointed to this as an issue consistently all year, which makes me wonder: does this happen all the time on other teams, and Sveum is simply more open to talking about it? Is the game planning simply more important to this Cubs coaching staff, and so it becomes a focal point when things go wrong? Or is there some particular problem with Cubs pitchers/catchers/coaches when it comes to developing and sticking to a game plan? I’m not sure, but you’d like to see these kinds of mistakes stop happening.
  • Jeff Samardzija explained his verbal tussle with the Diamondbacks this weekend – turns out the D-Backs were the ones doing the grousing, complaining to Samardzija for throwing inside on Ian Kennedy. Samardzija says he wasn’t trying to hit the opposing pitcher, he was just losing the ball inside a bit.
  • Iowa’s manager says that Junior Lake will indeed be primarily playing third base and center field, which is interesting because of the presence of Josh Vitters (though he’s on the DL) and Brett Jackson.

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.