Hello, Cubs fans. I’m afraid I don’t have a ton to offer today. I’ve been on the DL the last couple days battling an illness, so I’ve fallen a little out of touch with some of the minutiae surrounding our favorite baseball team. I, of course, am ecstatic to see the team put together this nice, little four-game win streak, which, let’s hope goes to five games and a series win tonight (Tuesday).

Editorial. So have I changed my critical opinion of moving Z to the pen? Mmmm, yes and no. It definitely has paid dividends so far. I found it amusing that, though Carlos did surrender a run in his first relief appearance against the Brewers on April 24, he also essentially negated that run by hitting a sac fly. If that’s not Big Z in a nutshell, I don’t know what is. And he was key in last night’s (Monday’s) victory over those pesky Nats.

So, though I still find the move a little hard to swallow in terms of pure baseball logic, I think, as long as either Gorzelanny or Silva can reasonably replicate Big Z’s production in the rotation, the move is understandable and, yes, even beneficial in the short-term. Carlos Silva deserves huge props for putting together an April that far, far exceeded just about anyone’s expectations (certainly mine). He’s been truly remarkable.

And now, on with the news*:

♪ ♫ You’d just like a…Crosstown Trophy…so hard to get through to you!  ♪♫ Ahem – sorry, just channeling my inner Jimi Hendrix there. One big story in recent days is the announcement that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf have agreed to add a little extra motivation to the always competitive crosstown, interleague series. The winner will receive the “BP Crosstown Cup,” which is sure to displayed with much local pride, uh, somewhere in late June. The Cubs and Sox will play June 11 through 13 at Wrigley Field and June 25 through 27 at the Cell. ♪♫ Ninety miles an hour, girl, is the…speed I drive. ♪♫

Big Z sees his bullpen role as temporary.  He was mum at first, but Carlos told reporters that he and Lou did agree that his role as a set-up man was a short-term proposition presumably until Jim Hendry could find another suitable arm. I’m somewhat surprised to see no indications that the Cubs have even looked into giving Juan Cruz a shot after he was released by the Royals last week. In any case, this reminds me of the old saying, “Don’t do anything too well or they’ll make you do it for the rest of your life.” Be forewarned, Carlos, be forewarned.

Speaking of Carlos Silva, should we trade him?  That’s what New York Post writer Joel Sherman suggests in this article from over the weekend. He sees the Dodgers, who recently put the Silva-esque Vicente Padilla on the DL, as suitable trade partners. Sherman posits lefty reliever George Sherrill and utility infielder Jamey Carroll as reasonable returns for Silva’s contract. I don’t really think there’s much chance of such a deal happening. For starters, Sherrill is a lefty reliever, and the Cubs have plenty of those. Second, the Cubs don’t have any room for a utility infielder at the moment – which is a shame, because it’s still a little unnerving to think that Mike Fontenot is backing up Ryan Theriot at the shortstop position. But it’s an interesting question to consider, at least theoretically: Should the Cubs “sell high” on a pitcher with as dubious a history as Carlos Silva’s?

The state of Nady.  One Cubs player who’s never really been able to get on track in this opening month is Xavier Nady. Granted, he’s had only 34 plate appearances as of this writing. But, aside from that one rip-roaring home run against Milwaukee’s hated Doug Davis on April 12, he just hasn’t scalded left-handed pitching the way the team was hoping. So Lou has decided to make the perhaps unexpected move of giving X some at-bats against right-handed pitching to try and get him to “stay on the ball” a little longer. I hope it works, as I’m still happy to have X’s bat on the roster and I really want to see this guy succeed. Then again, I really want to see Tyler Colvin succeed, too, and there are only so many ways to fit those two into the outfield and…ah, nevermind.

MLB adds another tech option to your busy day.  Are you an mlb.tv subscriber who also has a PlayStation 3? If so, you can now view out-of-market games on the big screen via your PS3. Pretty cool idea. I don’t have one myself; I do have a Wii, however, so I’m kind of wondering whether MLB would add this option for us Wii users.

UPDATE: Here’s a story that fell through the cracks.  A Cubs fan almost sacrificed his life to catch a foul ball in Miller Park this past weekend. The fact that this article is aimed at personal injury attorneys gives rise to a new form of lawyer – the Ballhawk Chaser.


*Reddish text = hyperlinks.

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