…and he’s gonna need it. Hello, Cubs fans. My daughter’s on spring break this week, so I’m writing this from home and having a really hard time focusing. So let’s not mess around with fancy-schmancy intros and get right to today’s top stories*:
Lip service or serious roster decision? That’s my reaction to Lou’s latest comments re: young esquire Tyler Colvin, who is ripping through Cactus League pitching to the tune of a 1.06 OPS in 50 ABs. Yesterday, Sweet Lou floated the idea that Colvin could break camp with the team as 5th outfielder if he could get regular playing time. Um, yeah, good luck with that. I suppose Lou and his coaching staff could put together some sort of rotational schedule in which Colvin, who can play all three outfield positions, relieves each of the three starters throughout the week.
OR the Cubs could just send Tyler to Iowa where he can get regular ABs without such contrivances and, presumably, keep his confidence high. Lou did say that Colvin would be a starter if the Cubs had an outfield opening so, again, if this kid has a legit shot at being a starting player someday soon, why not just keep him on that path? Lou does seem to recognize the importance of this possibility, which I’m glad to read.
Angel Guzman has surgery, renewed hope. Angel had his shoulder surgery yesterday and, for better or worse, it was a relatively milder procedure than initially anticipated. This improves his odds of making a comeback with the Cubs next year. I think we all have to keep our expectations low with Angel, but it would be nice to see him on the mound again in some capacity.
The Toyota sign is coming. Architectural aesthetics be damned – it appears Tom Ricketts has every intention of striking a deal with Toyota for an illuminated sign of some sort in left field. I’m half-joking about the aesthetics thing. There was an interesting and somewhat convincing article in Sunday’s Tribune about the detrimental effects the sign would have on the look of Wrigley Field. But, as Tom points out, it wouldn’t affect anyone’s sight lines – including rooftop attendees. And, y’know, it’s another revenue stream for improving the team and the park. I saw a clip of Tom Ricketts addressing the matter on the news last night, and he seemed very matter of fact about it. Expect the sign to happen.
Cubs signing of Korean pitcher is now official. As reported here a few weeks (months?) back, Jin-Yeong Kim is now officially a Cub (uh, at least organizationally speaking). Kim reportedly received a $1.2 million signing bonus. Hat tip to Wrigley Bound’s Matt Swain for breaking/covering this story – I haven’t really seen it mentioned anywhere else.
Roster cuts coming tomorrow (Friday). Who shall go? Who shall stay? Will Kevin Millar’s cockroach-like tenacity (and .320 batting average) see him through to the finish line? As of this writing, the team is carrying 40 players but that number will drop to 30 by tomorrow (Friday).
Abe Lincoln’s ghost haunts Topps Cubs cards. Here’s a weird little story I came across. Some bored graphic designer at Topps apparently photoshopped a ghostly image of dead prez Abraham Lincoln onto several current and former Cubs player cards – including Milton Bradley. Hm, Milton Bradley…Abraham Lincoln…is that a political statement? I don’t want to know. Very odd.
Yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) game results: Cubs whup some Rangers ass with 12-1 victory. My man Sean Marshall looked a little shaky in the first inning but settled down to have a stupendous start – 4 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB and 5 K (!!!). Meanwhile, lefty bench bat candidate Chad Tracy showed a little of that rebound promise with two doubles that drove in five runs. Kosuke also went 3 for 3 in the lead off spot. (See, Lou? Fukudome batting lead-off and raking vs. a right-handed pitcher. Check the splits! Theriot can still hit well in the eight hole vs. RHP and bat lead-off vs. lefties.) Andres Blanco looked pretty good at shortstop, too. (Just sayin’.)
Today’s (Thursday’s) game: Cubs vs. D’Backs, 3:05 CDT. No word on lineups or starters just yet (is it Gorzelanny’s turn?), and I’m not sure whether I’ll get a chance to come back and post them. It does appear audio of the game will be available via mlb.com.
And last but not least – our newest VFTB feature: Deadspin.com’s Question of the Day! Here it is:
Which do you prefer: The feeling you get when you go to unload the dishwasher so you can do the dishes, only to find the dishwasher is either (a) empty or (b) only partially filled with dirty dishes, thereby saving you some work, or the feeling you get when you go to switch your clothes into the dryer and discover the dryer is empty, so you only have to fold one load of clothes?
Hmmmm, y’know, for me – it’s a wash. INSTANT RIMSHOT!
*Reddish text = hyperlinks to my sources.