We're back on our previews after a hectic day of news yesterday. It's eerily quiet now, but things will likely stir up again soon...
News and Notes...
- The Cubs have DFA'd reliever Shawn Camp to make room for incoming RPs Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier.
- Sox RP Jesse Crain, who was thought to be one of the most sought after commodities in a thin relief market, was placed on the DL. That led ESPN's Buster Olney to tweet "With Jesse Crain landing on the DL, an already thin crop of trade-market relievers gets even more thin. Kevin Gregg a standout in the group." Wow. Who would have thought that? Kevin Gregg...standout? It's a testament to his improvement this year and it seems more teams are beginning to think it's legit, at least in the short term.
- Jeff Samardzija is understandably disappointed about the trade but I really didn't see it as a big issue (which is why I didn't write about it until the notes section here). I just see it as a guy who wants to win and doesn't want to lose good teammates. Here's what Samardzija said, "I don't think this team improves by trading Scott Feldman. He was one of our better pitchers. He's thrown a lot of innings, a solid dude, a solid guy in the clubhouse."It's a shame to see him go, and the same with (Steve) Clevenger. A great dude to have around, a great teammate who played the game hard and played the right way. It's unfortunate. Just hope the guys they get in return are comparable and bring the same attitude to the field every day that those guys brought...I definitely don't want to see all my boys traded, that's for sure. That wouldn't be the coolest thing in the world, especially when we feel we're not too far away from being a pretty darn good team. We'll see how this all turns out by July 31 and then go from there."
- In case you're interested, Carlos Marmol was placed on outright waivers but that was with his permission and with the sole purpose of sending him to AAA to iron things out. I don't expect him to get claimed because teams won't want to pick up his salary.
- In case you missed it, Tom and I both gave our takes on the Cubs big day yesterday. Tom writes that the Cubs front office continues to make smart moves while I wrote a piece on the rebuilding process and how yesterday's moves fit in.
- Lastly, ESPN Jerry Crasnick sent out a series of tweets on his thoughts on the Scott Feldman trade, "I talked to a couple of scouts and a front office man last night who really liked the #cubs end of the Feldman deal. Everyone thinks (Jake) Arrieta has the talent and stuff to be a "guy.'' It's just a question of getting his head on straight. Arrieta might ultimately wind up in the bullpen. But #cubs have the luxury of giving him an extended shot as a starter. Consensus is that Theo & Jed might have also helped increase (Matt) Garza's value by moving Feldman so early." Interesting stuff and it confirms much of what we've all been saying here today. It's that last sentence that drew a lot of buzz, however.
- A nice piece on Javier Baez, who seems to have great perspective on his development as a ballplayer...
On his approach:
"They are working with me to slow things down and not guess at the plate. I'm ready to hit the first good fastball, but I can't chase pitches out of the strike zone."
On his defense:
"I'm working on my footwork and making better throws. I like shortstop, but I'd play anywhere the Cubs want me."
On having the spotlight on him:
I don't think about it. I have to do my job, just like every player."
Sounds to me like the kid is growing up. That's a scary thought for opposing teams.
- Valbuena 3B
- Castro SS
- Schierholtz RF
- Soriano DH
- Rizzo 1B
- Navarro C
- Bogusevic LF
- Barney 2B
- Borbon CF
John: I like this athletic outfield with Matt Garza on the mound. Garza has given up more a few more fly balls than he usually does this year and the Cubs have average speed or better at all 3 positions. I'm going to say Julio Borbon saves a run on defense and creates on one offense today.
Tom: I'm looking at Mr. Trade Value himself, Matt Garza.
Felzz: Alfonso Soriano. Boy is locked in. AL parks seem to be agreeing with him. Let's see if he keeps it rolling.
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread