Junior Lake as Ben Zobrist? And Other Bullets

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Junior Lake as Ben Zobrist? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

junior lake cubsMore live Draft action coming at you today, and it’s the fast and furious day: Rounds 11 through 40 start today at 12pm CT, and the picks fly in without delay, so check in at BN periodically to see the latest picks as the day goes on.

  • Dale Sveum on Francisco Liriano yesterday, per Cubs.com: “He’s done this to everybody. When he’s right and he has his velocity, he’s basically in the CC Sabathia-type category where he has great velocity but really doesn’t throw his fastball that much. He’s got great command of his changeup and slider. He’s one of those guys where it’s very, very difficult if he’s on with his offspeed stuff – it’s going to be a tough day.” Thing is, Sveum really isn’t exaggerating. This year, Liriano has been insanely, ridiculously good. Of course, two of his starts have come against the Cubs, so …
  • As expected, the Cubs have already taken advantage of the new night game ordinance, and they’ve changed four Friday dates from TBD to 3:05pm CT: July 5, July 12, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16.
  • The Cubs were named among three NL teams that got good value on the second day of the Draft, according to ESPN’s Christopher Crawford. He particularly liked the Skulina/Masek/Frazier stretch.
  • Tommy Birch writes up Junior Lake’s latest game at AAA Iowa. The 23-year-old prospect played in right field yesterday, and apparently looked good out there. He understands his role now as a super utility player, and seems to be taking well to it. We’ve now seen Lake play successfully at shortstop, third base, center field, and right field in the last two years. That’s enough to get you a job, but I’m assuming he could handle left field, second base, and first base as well. With that much versatility, he’s not going to need to hit a ton to be a Major League bench piece by 2014 – and, who knows? Maybe he does hit well and becomes the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist.
  • With the Draft underway and the short seasons getting ready to begin next week, Extended Spring Training has come to a close. Arizona Phil at TCR has compiled the Ex. ST stats for your perusal. Remember: this is for entertainment only, as the stats are (1) small sample, (2) against varying competition, and (3) from semi-real games that feature oddities like the same batter batting at the top of every single inning.
  • Check out these pictures of the Cubs’ now completed new facility in the Dominican Republic. Dig it.
  • Much to your chagrin, I did better in this week’s “Beat the Expert” fantasy contest than I did last time around. Only 23 of you beat me and earned the bonus cash. In your face! … but that means I finished 24th, which means I didn’t win any money. These folks did, though: g123, aprahl, bracetoby, dean78904, and mlowe – I reckon they’re pretty happy about it this 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.