It appears the Starlin Castro move to the 5th spot may not be that temporary after all. He's back there again even with Alfonso Soriano back in the lineup. As I've said, I'm a fan. Castro just isn't a top of the order hitter to me at this point.
News and Notes:
- Matt Garza is feeling no ill-effects after throwing 42 pitches in a rehab start yesterday. In fact, he says he feels pretty good.“I feel great,” Garza said. “I’m glad to be back, sort of. I’m excited for No. 2.”
Garza threw mostly fastballs and though they clocked at 87-90 mph the Cubs staff confirmed what Lonestar Dugout's Jason Cole tweeted yesterday, that the Mississippi stadium gun is inaccurate. It's likely now that his velocity was at least sitting in the low 90s and probably in the 91-94 mph range. That would be very encouraging if ture. There are still some tests ahead. Garza will have to throw more breaking stuff and stretch out his pitch count, but overall he accomplished what he wanted to do for his first start.
“I was glad to throw strikes and glad they were swinging,” Garza said. “That’s a good sign. I know I had no punchouts but that means I got a lot of outs with them swinging the ball so I threw the ball in the zone a lot, so that’s kind of what I was looking for.”
So it may be a couple more starts and the Cubs could have a completely different question to answer soon. Who is the odd man out once Garza returns to the rotation. 4 of the 5 pitchers are throwing well and the one who isn't, Edwin Jackson, was given a big contract to be a mainstay in the Cubs rotation.
- Kyuji Fujikawa threw another bullpen session today and looked better, according to Dale Sveum. He will get a "start" on Sunday in Iowa, though he'll probably only pitch one inning.
- 3B problem? What 3B problem? Carrie Muskat notes that Cubs 3Bs have hit 7 HRs, most in the majors.
- Patrick Mooney writes that Theo says the Cubs need to find a way to act like a big market team. "Tom (Ricketts) loves Wrigley Field and he doesn’t wake up in the morning thinking about moving. He wakes up thinking about winning here. But winning does come first. We’re all committed to finding a way to make it work so that we can win and act like a big market here.” I think we can all agree with that.
- Baseball America writes about the draft expectations for each team. Like everyone else, BA believes the Cubs will wind up with either Mark Appel or Jonathan Gray, but after that it's not as clear as the Cubs are tough to read with a new scouting director in Jaron Madison. He was involved in more college heavy drafts when with the Cardinals or Padres, so perhaps that lends a clue.
- Sappelt CF
- Ransom 3B
- Rizzo 1B
- Soriano LF
- Castro SS
- Castillo C
- Hairston RF
- Barney 2B
- Wood SP
What to Watch For:
Tom: Cody Ransom has been a valuable pick up so far off the bench. Let's see if he can contribute again today.
John: For some reason, I'm feeling a growing confidence in this all RH lineup. I like moving Hairston down for now and I think he and Sappelt will start making more consistent contribution. Or maybe that's wishful thinking because the team needs them to start producing. For those who advocate scrapping the platoon system, the hard truth is that the Cubs don't have a real everyday lineup -- this roster is built to platoon and the RH hitters need to start pulling their weight. They've been getting better ABs lately and I think we'll see the results of that today.
Felzz: Starlin Castro- Let's see if #13 can continue the good feelings from yesterday. A few good games in the 5 hole may keep him there for a chunk of time. And an 0-fer may send him back to the 2 hole ( Where Dale Re-itterated today that that's his preferred place for Castro....)
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