Practice Game recap
Chris Volstad pitched three strong inninngs yesterday, extending his spring training scoreless streak to six innings. As with Samardzija and the other starter candidates, small sample size abounds, but I think he's got a good shot making the rotation. Tom Ricketts seemed to think so too during his brief time in the booth with Len and Mick. Former top prospect Jay Jackson also pitched yesterday, surprisingly for three innings. Jackson completely fell off the radar after his disastrous 2010 season in Iowa. Jackson gave up one run and struck out one. Long man/pitching depth candidate Andy Sonnanstine had a rough outing, giving up three runs and nearly the lead in the eighth inning.
Offensively the star was Anthony Rizzo, who crushed a mammoth HR off of Giants reliever Sergio Romo. Josh Vitters hit an RBI triple earlier in the game. Starlin Castro managed to avoid a TOOTBLAN thanks to the stat's originator.
Is there a Cubs game today?
Indeed. Randy Wells takes the mound against the Brewers at HoHoKam today at 3 pm CT. Travis Wood and Casey Coleman are also pitching. Coleman pitching again so soon seems to point to the Cubs bullpenning him this year. Len and Mick have the call, and Randy Wolf will start for the Brewers.
Is it just me, or are the Cubs regulars getting a lot more starts than they have in years past?
Great piece about baseball on the radio by wpbc
Concepcion in camp, "not nervous" about playing here
Cubs blog Ivy Envy got a mini-interview with Concepcion, He's very comfortable in camp and the Cubs have made him feel comfortable. Not sure if he reported it in this interview or earlier, but he says he throws a fastball, a circle change, and a "hard" curveball.
Perils of media access
Rubin says the press can't be expected to not report a story, even if it's an obvious whisper campaign. But the press can and should be expected to report a story in full. If an item appears to be a hatchet job by Mets brass, then reporters should perform due diligence and at least attempt to get all sides of that story before filing. In this case, that effort was made poorly, if at all. Maybe this happened because of the rush to be first, or the accelerated news cycle of the internet age. Whatever the reason, it happened nonetheless, and it shouldn't have.
The only reason I can come up with as to why this story was put out there unquestioned is because it came straight from ownership. So failing to report the "story" could not only mean getting scooped, but losing access as well. I understand that in journalism access trumps all, but what good is access if all it buys you is closer proximity to lies, half-truths, and axe-grinding? And what is a reporter's job if not to question the "official" story?
Chicago media take note.
Finally final Theo compensation in Red Sox hands
Per Peter Gammons
Seriously though, Gammons tweeted that the rest of this process is in the Red Sox hands, and will be decided by the end of the month. They get to pick one prospect from a list of three, and choose who to send back to the Cubs.
Per Sveum, Marmol's main goal this spring training is to work on locating his fastball. He's not too worried about Marmol's slider, and Marmol hasn't thrown many of them this spring. Not surprisingly Sveum is not considering demoting Marmol.
Sveum also commented on the handedness problem I've brought up a few times when talking about Joe Mather and the Cubs corner infielders. His chances of squeaking by Blake DeWitt or Tony Campana look better than they did yesterday.
Bruce Levine chat recap
Some nuggets from Bruce Levine's chat yesterday
- For some reason Bruce doesn't think Maholm has a rotation spot locked down.
- Bruce is also down on Wells, calls him "not a favorite" for the rotation. Lots of hedging though, no decisions are going to be made for another week or two.
- There's been a lot of teams interested in Marlon Byrd. Once May/June rolls around and the Cubs can get the extra year of control for Brett Jackson, they should have an easy time moving him.
- Bruce also says that the smart money is on Mather making the team over Campana, due to the way their options are structured. They can stash Campana in the minors, but Mather can void his deal if he's not in the bigs after the first month or so
- On how tough it is for a player to change his approach: "It's difficult to change a player's style once he gets to the majors. Jaramillo did it with DeWitt last spring and it took DeWitt almost four months to absorb all of Rudy's philosophical teachings. It also [cost] DeWitt his job."
Obstructed View bracket challenge
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Image of the day
Happy Pi Day
Please ignore any of the fools who go on and on about how "purists" think that tau is a better constant. It doesn't matter.