1. Arismendy Alcantara is making a case to stay – When Darwin Barney went on paternity leave, we were told that Alcantara was going to be recalled for the two days and then sent back down. The weekend is over and he’s still here and he’s still hitting. I just don’t see a point in sending him back now. As guys begin to get traded as we get closer to the non-waiver deadline, fans are going to need things to be excited about. They need a reason to watch the team. Having Alcantara on the team gives them a chance to see a glimpse at the future.
2. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez competed in the Futures Game – Why the game is not the showcased event on Sunday night before the All Star game is beyond me. This is an example of where I think MLB misses the mark. They miss opportunities to market their future stars and showcase them. It’s as if they are just so arrogant to think that there will always be interest in the sport and they don’t need to market. Nonetheless, both Bryant and Baez competed in the game. Baez went 1-for-2 with a two run home run in the 6th inning to give the World team a 2-1 lead. Bryant went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts and walk.
3. Post All Star break pitching rotation announced – The Cubs announced that the weekend series following the break would feature Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood, and then Jake Arrieta. The next two slots were not announced. My guess is that it will be Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks based on their outings. Dallas Beeler struggled and Dan Straily has been so so in AAA since being acquired.
4. Trade Rumors have quieted – Don’t get too bummed. My guess is that we’re going to see things heat up after the break. Even GM’s need a little time off.
5. No Cubs in the HR Derby – I’m OK with that. Anthony Rizzo expressed interest in the spot, and it would be cool to see him represent, but that park is a tough park for HR hitters from the left side. I’d rather him not participate and risk not hitting any. Just get the video camera out and enjoy the show. My money is on Yoenes Cespedes to repeat.