Some news and notes to peruse as the Cubs prepare for an early game today..
- Paul Sullivan tweets that Luis Valbuena is going to get the majority of starts in September. I'm not going to go deep into the Josh Vitters issue as I did talk about this back on August 8th. The simple answer here is that Vitters is overmatched at the MLB level. This isn't a matter of a slow start or some bad BABIP luck. As I mentioned in the previous article, Vitters turns every pitcher into Greg Maddux by letting them get away with less than perfect location. He swings at their pitches and it's difficult to make consistent solid contact that way. I expect Vitters to learn a lot about how MLB pitchers are approaching him and will take that knowledge back with him to Iowa next season where he can work on it everyday at a more appropriate level of competition for him right now.
- Brooks Raley will get one more start and be shut down for the rest of the year. Phil Rogers speculates that he'll be one of the Cubs 8 starting pitchers next year. I'd say that's a pretty safe bet right now. The shut down likely has to do with the amount of innings Raley has pitched this year. Raley has already thrown a career high 151 innings this year.
- Great to see some of our own branch out. One of our readers and contributors Kevin Gallo (Wickit Cub) got himself a gig writing scouting reports for Baseball Futures. Here's his first report on Brett Morales. MLB Draft fans, don't worry, Kevin will still be doing reports for Cubs Den as well! Please congratulate Kevin on a well-deserved opportunity to showcase his scouting talents.
- Speaking of the draft, Baseball America has scouting reports on the top performers at the Cape Cod League this year. Possible Cubs pick, LHP Sean Manaea of Indiana State heads the list. It's insider only, but I'll have my own report on the top college pitchers available in the 2013 draft and Manaea is near the top of that list.