Angel Guzman Update – The other day someone mentioned Guzman and another comment questioned his inclusion in future plans. While I agree that he shouldn’t be included in plans going forward, we need to remember that he’s still alive and rehabbing. Carrie Muskat provided an update the other day on his rehab. It sounds like it’s going very well for him. Since he’s rehabbed so much in his career, at this point he’s not afraid to let loose and throw. When asked his time table for return, Guzman said “”By [Spring Training], my goal is at least be throwing off the mound,” I like Guzman. I really hope he gets over the hump because it was really nice to see him finally figure things out. He was just coming into his own and was a guy the bullpen really could have used this past season. (Source)
Manager News (When will it end?) – I’m growing tired of the managerial search. At this point, I’m rooting hard for the Rangers so the Cubs can talk to Girardi. I have to believe that perhaps the Cubs are hoping for the same thing. You’d have to think it would be silly not to wait for a rejection from him. At this point, in my mind, he’s the best guy for the job. I don’t see anyone seriously giving a look to Sandberg or Quade, so you’ve got both of them in your back pocket should Girardi not want to sign. Wait him out and get an answer.
Chris De Luca of the Sun Times recently wrote about how Sandberg was the man for the job:
But Sandberg knows these young players. He knows what it’s like to play day baseball — and play it well — at Wrigley Field. He knows this market. And, more important, this market knows him. The Cubs no longer have a face of their franchise. With ticket sales suddenly a concern, they need a prominent face. Sandberg’s will come cheaply.
There is no other fit for Sandberg.
And this is a team — maybe taking a page out of the Blackhawks’ playbook — that will spend more time honoring its former star players. Remember, Harry Caray’s statue was relocated to make room for Hall of Famer Billy Williams’ statue last month.
Forget Quade’s 24-13 record down the stretch. The Cubs were playing a bunch of kids, facing no pressure. This was not a legitimate test for the next Cubs manager. And he has no major-league playing experience. That’s a fact that shouldn’t figure into this equation, but it’s a key commodity in dealing with today’s players.
Sandberg isn’t just a former player, he’s a Hall of Famer. And no one knows the 2011 Cubs better than Sandberg.
This process should be over by now. (Source)
Meanwhile, Gordon Whittenmyer feels like Quade is the favorite for the job, but notes that Girardi is still in the mix.
The most interesting nugget came from Phil Rogers:
In any case, Wedge has been telling his confidantes that Jim Hendry was going to hire him to manage the Cubs if Joe Girardi wasn’t available. But rather than wait to see what happened, he took the bird in hand: an offer from the Seattle Mariners. (Source)
Notes from the Farm – Josh Vitters, who broke his hand late in the year, is back and playing in the Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the time that he missed due to the injury. The interesting note that Muskat mentions is that the Cubs are beginning to consider giving him more of a look at first base. The reasons aren’t really directly stated, but we all know it’s because he’s not a very good fielding third baseman (18 errors in 91 games in 2010) and the first base position in bone dry in terms of organizational depth. The move, at this point, can only help his chances of getting to the Majors and making an impact sooner than later. Right now, I need to see better discipline at the plate from Vitters. He’s slowly moving down people’s lists in terms of being a legit prospect and that’s discouraging. 2011 is a big big year for him. It’s put up or shut up and maybe the move to first will help. He’s currently playing third in Arizona, but that should change once he does things more inter-organizationally.
Former Lefties Alert - For those who thought there was a good chance that Ted Lilly may return to the Cubs this off-season after the Dodgers placed him on waivers in September after trading for him can put those thoughts to rest. Lilly signed a 3 year deal with the Dodgers. (Source)
Rich Hill has apparently had discussions with the Red Sox about pitching for them in 2011. (Source) Hill pitched in AAA last year for the Cardinals and Red Sox and didn’t fair too bad. I’m not sure what happened to his career, but it’s a shame. He looked to have so much promise and that curveball was a thing of beauty.