Father’s Day, Baseball, and Other Bullets

ball and bottle openerBecause my dad passed away when I was 11, Father’s Day didn’t have a lot of meaning for me for most of my life. At best, it was an anonymous Sunday on the calendar of which I was made aware only by reading the rash of “Happy Father’s Day” messages that morning around the web. At worst, it was a day that made me very sad. But, thanks to the arrival of The Little Girl in early 2011 – and now The Little Boy in early 2013 – Father’s Day has re-entered my life, and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t need my fatherhood to be celebrated or applauded, but being a dad to these kids is as awesome as everyone always said parenthood could be. Whether today is supposed to be about me, I don’t much care. Because it’s actually about them. They make me very happy every day, and hearing The Little Girl say, “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy” is the icing that makes today special.

The kids also gave me a baseball with their hand prints on it, and The Wife gave me a bottle opener made from a game-used Chicago Cubs bat. So, yeah, today’s already been pretty awesome.

  • There’s a broad discussion going on in several media about what minor league outfielder should come up to replace David DeJesus (shoulder sprain) on the big league roster, primarily because Dale Sveum said he expects to eventually bring up another outfielder. Although DeJesus was temporarily replaced by reliever Shawn Camp, who was himself coming off a toe injury, it’s not expected that the Cubs will go with 13 pitchers and just four bench players for too much longer. But here’s my question: should the positional player that replaces DeJesus necessarily be an outfielder? The Cubs were already bloated with six outfielders and just one – ONE – backup infielder. It seems just as reasonable to me that the Cubs could bring up an infielder to more appropriately balance the bench. Sveum is closer to this than I am, and he’s the one that has to manage the roster in-game. I suppose the fact that he never rests Starlin Castro, and rarely rests Darwin Barney, militates against having another infielder on the roster.
  • If the replacement is an outfielder, your two obvious candidates are Dave Sappelt and Brian Bogusevic. The former has the advantage of already being on the 40-man roster and batting righty, and the latter has the advantage of killing the ball at AAA. Bogusevic, 29, is hitting .320/.421/.505, while Sappelt is at just .254/.306/.369. Neither player would see a ton of action if called up, so I’m inclined to suspect the Cubs will go with the one who’s freely optionable and gives them slightly more options off the bench, because he’s right-handed. Hopefully Bogusevic gets his shot in the second half of the season, if you know what I mean.
  • Note that I didn’t include Brett Jackson. The former top Cubs prospect is still working on his swing at AAA, and with Ryan Sweeney (rightfully) picking up most of the starts in center field with the big team, Jackson would ride the pine in Chicago if he were called up. There’s no real point to that right now, so it’s reasonable that he’s not being considered for a call-up right now.
  • DeJesus, by the way, is expected to have an MRI on his shoulder tomorrow, and we might get a better idea of just how long he’ll be out. If you’re willing to be cold and calculating about these things, I’d suggest that the target date – at the latest – for DeJesus’s return is the All-Star break. That would give him a two-week period to show that he’s fully healthy before the Trade Deadline. If he can return before then, all the better. If he can’t return by then, however, it’s a good bet that a trade is out of the question.
  • The Florida State League’s All-Star festivities were yesterday, with a number of Daytona Cubs (High-A) represented. Outfielder John Andreoli was honored with the leadoff spot, and the heart of the lineup went Dustin Geiger, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler. Baez had a couple hits, while the others didn’t do much (indeed, Soler was replaced before he even had an at bat – wonder what that’s about?). Frank Del Valle worked an inning in relief, giving up a run, but striking out the side.
  • Baez participated in the Home Run Derby as well, making it all the way to the finals before losing. Geiger also participated in the Derby.
  • Not to step on Luke’s toes, but pitching prospect Paul Blackburn’s debut at Boise yesterday was absurdly good. Blackburn, 19, was the Cubs’ second supplemental first round pick last year, after Pierce Johnson.
  • The Houston Astros have reportedly reached an agreement with top draft pick Mark Appel – the only player taken ahead of the Cubs’ top pick, Kris Bryant – for a signing bonus that comes in well below slot. I didn’t want you to think I hadn’t heard or that you couldn’t discuss, but I’ll be writing about that report and the implications thereof tomorrow.
  • Speaking of Bryant, he won another award. That tends to happen when you’re the best college bat in the country.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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