Time to round up some of the days news and notes as we get ready to try and even up the series with the Cardinals.
Anthony Rizzo is getting the day off today.
Hot Stove Cool Music
Tom, Fels and I will all be covering the Hot Stove Cool Music concert on Friday at the Metro. They've just added Ken Casey, who is the lead singer for Dropkick Murphys. Wonder if they'll play "Shipping up to Boston".
Here's the rest of the info via the WGN website...
Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, will be joined on stage by Len Kasper, the Cubs’ TV play by play man, and Peter Gammons, a Hall of Fame-honored baseball writer — as well as feature ensemble performances by headliner Poi Dog Pondering.
Also scheduled to perform are the Parkington Sisters, Brede Baldwin and Kay Hanley, the former vocalist for Letters to Cleo. Epstein, Kasper and Gammons will perform alongside The Hot Stove All-Stars, featuring Jesse Dee, Local H’s Scott Lucas, Will Dailey, Jimmy Chamberlin and special guests.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and Epstein’s “Foundation To Be Named Later.”
Tickets are on sale at www.metrochicago.com.
Other News and Notes...
- Jim Bowden of ESPN talks about starting pitcher trade candidates and two of the most likely to be traded are Matt Garza (90%) and Scott Feldman (70%). I have no idea how he calculated those percentages or if he just pulled them out of thin air, but they are at least vague indications that a) Other GMs are interested and B) the Cubs are willing to deal them. For what it's worth, I think those are the two most likely Cubs to be traded when hot stove kicks into high gear -- and they are the two players most likely to bring back the best talent in return.
- The Cubs officially announced 8 draft signings and they include 2nd rounder Rob Zastryzny, who had already let the cat out of the bag last night. All of the others are in the 10th round or later. They include: 10th rounder Zach Godley, 16th rounder Cael Brockmeyer, 18th rounder Giuseppe Papaccio, 20th rounder Zak Blair, 22nd rounder Kevin Brown, 23rd rounder Tyler Ihrig, and 30th rounder Zak Hermans. These are just the announced signings. Most of those players were already known to be in Arizona and some of the unannounced signings, such as 5th round RHP Trey Masek and 7th round pick RHP David Garner are already in Mesa as well. In the day and age of Twitter and instant news -- plus we've been doing this now for awhile and, with perhaps an exception or two, we pretty much know who is going to sign and not sign -- the official announcements have become anti-climactic. It's a bit sad in a way. I miss the suspense and the drama of the "old days".
- Update: Trey Masek officially signed his contract. See what I mean?
- Of course, everyone is most concerned about Kris Bryant right now. But the signing is just a matter of time. The thought is with the Cubs already funneling money to later rounds that the Cubs have few concerns and maybe already have a loose agreement in place, perhaps with some wiggle room depending on how much the Cubs can save with later picks. However it works, he's going to sign. He has almost zero incentive to go back to school. Way much more to lose than to gain considering the Cubs will almost certainly offer the market value for a #2 overall pick. Just spitballing but I'll put the figure at somewhere between 5.75M and 6.25M.
- Per CSN's Patrick Mooney, Jed Hoyer deflected the blame from manager Dale Sveum, admitting he hasn't exactly given the manager a great deal of talent, particularly in the bullpen.
- Valbuena 3B
- Castro SS
- Schierholtz RF
- Soriano LF
- Sweeney CF
- Ransom 1B
- Castillo C
- Barney 2B
- Samardzija SP
What to Watch:
Felzz: Cody Ransom- Cody's playing first base eh.....?.......... Just gonna let that one breath for a while...................(suppressing chuckles).......... Ok.......... Almost ready............. Yeah. So usually when I shake my head at something like this it bites me in the ol' bee-hind. So look for Commander Cody to go 3 for 4.
John: I'm looking for Jeff Samardzija to rise to the challenge and outduel Wainwright.
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread