The Cubs are still searching for the right bullpen mix and injuries aren't helping...
- RP Rafael Dolis has been DL'd with what is being termed as a forearm strain and you only hope that isn't a sign of something more serious down the road. The Cubs called up RP Blake Parker who had a 2.04 ERA and 7 saves at Iowa. He'll miss a ton of bats (13.25 K/9IP) with a fastball that can reach the mid 90s, but he'll also walk more than his share (5.09 BB/9IP). His FIP is a solid 2.86.
- To make room for Blake Parker the Cubs DFA'd the recently acquired Alex Burnett.
- Tony Andracki of CSN wrote a nice piece on Albert Almora for "The Foundation" series. Almora is unusually mature for a player his age and has been a stabilizing presence at Kane County.
- An interesting piece of Ari Kaplan on the lessons he's learned from baseball analytics over the past 23 years and how it can be applied to organizations. You can check out his blog Ariball for some interesting analysis, including his most recent piece on Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout.
- Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs are still keeping tabs on Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant, and Colin Moran in the NCAA tourney.
- Reader Abram P. III sent some great photos from Iowa and I will post them soon. The picture above of Blake Parker is an example. Give him a follow at @Abram_the3rd if you are on Twitter.
- DeJesus CF
- Castro SS
- Rizzo 1B
- Soriano LF
- Schierholtz RF
- Castillo C
- Valbuena 3B
- Barney 2B
- Samardzija SP
What to Watch For:
- Tom: Jeff Samardzija. If he can come close to anything near his last outing the whole nation will take notice.
- John: Ian Kennedy should be perfect for Starlin Castro's "slider speed bat". Note: My keyboard is dripping with sarcasm as I type those three words. I also think overall that the Cubs will hit Kennedy well today.
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread