Last minute game notes on an already busy day...
- Juan Paniagua is finally in the U.S. after receiving his long awaited visa, according to Ben Badler. The question now is how much the Cubs want to accelerate his development to make up for last time. He was earmarked for Boise and that may still happen, but he may end up spending less time there than planned, especially if he succeeds.
- ICYMI, Matt Loosen, whom Baseball America ranked as the Cubs 27th best prospect to start the season -- and whom some Cubs officials called a sleeper, made good on some of that promise today by pitching a no-hitter. Congrats, Matt!
- The Jake Arrieta acquisition is drawing some rave reviews, first from other executives around the league and now from the players themselves, according to Phil Rogers. Rogers said some LA hitters told Ken Rosenthal that Arrieta's stuff that day compared to the Mets' Matt Harvey, who faced the Dodgers three days later. Said catcher A.J. Ellis to Rosenthal: “The stuff he threw up at me was stuff I haven’t seen all year – the sharpness of his pitches, the way his fastball darted out of the zone. He has really high upside. I thought it was an awesome trade by the Cubs.” Arrieta reportedly hit 98 mph in his brief Iowa appearance.
- A nice story from the Idaho Statesman on RHP Trey Lang, who is struggling this year but has endured much more and has the makeup to bounce back. I think the media there does a great job of covering the Hawks, much better than some big league cities, in my opinion. You can always find an informative article on the players or team whether it's from announcer Mike Safford on the air or through his blog or the local papers like the Statesman or the Press or TV outlets like KIVI.
- Travis Wood made the all-star team but will not play because he's scheduled to pitch the day before the break. This probably means the Cubs won't have a representative in the all-star game.
- Len Kasper praises the Cubs front office in an article he penned for the Daily Herald.
- Kasper's sometimes bandmate Matt Spiegel also wrote an article for the Herald, saying there is plenty for Cubs fans to watch for the rest of the season.
- ESPN celebrates the 15th anniversary of celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Murray, singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” duringWrigley Field’s 7th inning stretch at Chicago Cubs games. The SportsCenter Featured piece, debuting on the Sunday, July 14, 10 a.m. ET SportsCenter and narrated by Chicago native Jim Belushi, chronicles the “Guest Conductors” who’ve taken over for the legendary Harry Caray who began the tradition. Interviews in the piece will include Mike Ditka, Jeff Gordon, Ernie Banks and Chip Caray. Other celebrities shown in clips taking their turn at the microphone include Denise Richards, Danica Patrick, Eddie Vedder, Mr. T, Vince Vaughan and more.
- Castro SS
- Ransom 3B
- Rizzo 1B
- Soriano LF
- Navarro C
- Castillo DH
- Barney 2B
- Sappelt RF
- Borbon CF
What to Watch:
Felzz: Starlin Castro- hasn't this guy always been a pretty good lead off hitter? I think he has. Plus he'll see a lot of fastballs. Why wasn't this done earlier? Anyway, I expect good things.
John: Matt Garza -- Don't buy the re-signing rumors. This could well be Garza's last start as a Cub. Hoyer said earlier in a conference call that Garza's performance last few times out has "opened some eyes" in the trade market.
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread