Tough outing by Carlos Villanueva last night and he may be the odd man out when Matt Garza comes back, which is now close to becoming reality. The Cubs will try to bounce back with a win to take the series.
News and Notes...
- In case you missed it yesterday, I pitched in some brief thoughts for Chicago Side on what to watch for the rest of the season with regards to Chicago baseball. My answer was a bit abstract, I guess -- but it's just the way I watch baseball.
- Have since heard from Tony Andracki of CSN, who was at the Kane County game, that Willson Contreras did not in fact try to trip a player because the player was already on the ground sliding home. So as we speculated, the bad judgment was not on Contreras part, but instead a bad judgment call by the ump.
- Carlos Villanueva is taking a good attitude toward a possible move to the pen, recognizing that his recent performances -- particularly last night, aren't helping his cause. He's also a fan of Matt Garza, "I'm the 1st one who asks how he feels every day. He will improve our ballclub once he comes back. If I worry about him coming back, if I worry about somebody else's performance ... then I'm not focused on the task at hand" Garza, as we know, could be one rehab start away from a return to Wrigley and Villanueva appears like he's the odd man out right now. I believe him when he says it's not about looking over his shoulder as a source of his current struggles. Rather, we should just look at him as regressing back to the mean a little. He was pitching well in terms of results, but peripherals suggested he was still the same pitcher -- which is a solid starter whose ERA will likely hover around the 4 range.
- Fangraphs wrote an article on Travis Wood with lots of great graphs on pitch location and data on pitch selection, but in the end the author doesn't really go out on a limb one way or another on his conclusion. What's the fun in that?
- A little bit of a buzz stirred up by a fan who saw Carlos Marmol in the lobby and overheard Marmol discussing trade possibilities and a desire to get a fresh start. It's authenticity has been denied by much of the local media here, including Carrie Muskat, Paul Sullivan, and Patrick Mooney. My thoughts? I have no way of knowing if it's true, but if it is, should we be surprised that Marmol is talking about trade scenarios? We've known the Cubs have been trying to trade him since last summer and Marmol has known at least since the failed Dan Haren trade. He's a relief pitcher on the last year of his contract on a losing team. The writing is on the wall. And as for Marmol's desire to leave the Cubs and get a fresh start, can you blame him?
- Carlos Zambrano signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.
- In case you missed it, Anthony Rizzo was on MLB Intentional Talk. Here's the video of the interview...
- DeJesus CF
- Castro SS
- Rizzo 1B
- Soriano LF
- Schierholtz RF
- Valbuena 3B
- Navarro C
- Barney 2B
- Samardzija SP
What to Watch For:
Tom: I'm looking for Jeff Samardzija to bounce back after what was probably his worst start of the season.
John: I miss Luis Valbuena in the lineup. There, I said it. Who would have thought?
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread