Anything interesting happen over the weekend?
Eh. Dempster was knocked around in a minor league game yesterday, but who knows if he was working on something. I missed yesterday's game, but apparently Joe Mather had a Johnsonian/Fuldian incredible catch in CF.
Is there a Cubs game today?
MLBTR Cubs offseason in review
Tim Dierkes over at MLBTR just posted his offseason in review piece for the Cubs. They break down the moves that impact the 2012 roster, but there's not much to say about it. This team is going to stink. The biggest move by far was snagging the Superfriends, and we're just waiting to see everything pay dividends down the road. Money quote:
It'll be interesting to see how they react this summer or in the 2012-13 offseason if the Cubs are better than expected this season. When Hoyer's Padres exceeded expectations in 2010, he didn't deviate from his long-term plan, avoiding trading top prospects at the deadline and following through on the Adrian Gonzalez trade after the season. I expect something similar from the Cubs, who still have a few decent trade chips.
Recent mostly meaningless transactions
- The Cubs released Trever Miller.
- Andy Sonnanstine chose to become a free agent rather than go to Iowa.
- Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty is probably sticking with the Orioles
Possibly slightly less meaningless transaction
The Cubs signed Shawn Camp to a minor league deal. Camp recently released by the Mariners, who said they wanted to get younger. Camp has been a solid reliever for the past few years in the AL East. He's a ground ball pitcher with a career 4.12 FIP (3.99 xFIP), probably better than most of the scrubs the Cubs have competing for those spots. It might be too late in the spring but I'm hoping he lands a spot.
The Cubs lineup is nightmare fuel for Dale Sveum
Dale Sveum says he's losing sleep over lineup construction. In the end lineup construction is relatively meaningleess, provided your pitcher isn't batting first, but it's an unenviable position to decide in which order to put all of the Cubs square pegs into the round holes of the lineup. A quote from this article also prompted a thread at Tango's blog about the fragile egos of players with respect to lineup positioning.
Rotation, most of bullpen set, then not set
Dale Sveum said during an interview with Jim Bowden early this weekend that Chris Volstad had one a rotation spot, then backed off the comments later that day. It looks like the rotation is going to be Dempster, Garza, then Samardzija, Volstad, and Maholm in some order. Marmol, Wood, Russell, and Dolis seem to be locked into the bullpen, and also implied Coleman is probably headed to the pen as well. The process of elimination says Randy Wells will probably get the long relief role for now, and the last spot could go to Lendy Castillo. Camp was signed since that report came out, and he's probably a better pitcher than everyone on this list except Marmol.
Tempering Kerry Wood expectations even further
Muskat has a blog post up about Kerry Wood's spring. He's only made four appearances, pitching 3 2/3 innings. He's slowed it down this spring, and has mentioned havign back spasms already. Everyone is bending over backwards to say the back stuff isn't the reason for this. On the less pessimistic side, a vet like Kerry Wood shouldn't need much time to get ready. It sounds like he's been pitching plenty on the side and just needs a little more work on his breaking ball. Given his role it's not like they need to stretch him out, or work on more than those two pitches.
Image of the day
"Minor League Guy" is the Cards #2 prospect, apparently.