Soto Returns; Ramirez and Bradley Sit
This afternoon at Wrigley, when Rich Harden goes up against former teammate Jason Marquis, Geo Soto will make his first start since last Tuesday in Houston, and while Lou Piniella says Aramis Ramirez's back is getting better, he adds "one more day [of rest] won't do any harm."
As for Milton Bradley, Paul Sullivan reports:
Bradley is still projected back by the weekend,
though Piniella said Bradley told him he's feeling better, "though he
still feels (the groin strain) somewhat."
On the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's Major League debut 62 years ago, Bradley is also the subject of a long piece by Gordon Wittenmyer about the sad history of race-baiting by Cubs fans.
Wrigley seems like the last place an African-American player with
such a well-traveled reputation for confrontations [as Bradley] would choose to sign
a multiyear contract. In the last five seasons alone, Cubs outfielder
Jacque Jones and pitcher LaTroy Hawkins said they were the targets of
racist taunts and fan mail. Jones also said in 2006 that he became the
victim of racial slurs and threats on his cell phone when the number
Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker said that same season that he
received enough threatening, racist mail in Chicago that his wife and
young son no longer would attend games.
Visiting ballplayers are even easier targets for the more vicious slurs.
''I've heard a few things [from the bleachers],'' Milwaukee Brewers
outfielder Mike Cameron said. ''But I don't really get into it with
them unless a situation calls for it. I try to stay out of those
WIttenmyer also writes that the reputation of Wrigley Field crowds to go after African American players was one of the reasons that longtime Twin Torii Hunter, who Wittenmyer covered for years up in Minneapolis, had the Cubs on his no-trade list.
We baseball bloggers give the local beat guys a lot of crap--some deserved, some not--so I think it's only fair to point out when one of them authors a well-done piece on a provocative subject.
Kudos to Wittenmyer.
BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies).
i'm more "wtf?" about him hitting 2nd than playing LF...especially since zobrist exists.
Soler's primary position is suppose to be in left for this season so technically he is not out of position. Although I agree, it does seem weird given their histories.
Any idea of where/when Cease will head for the season?
Over/under on HBP tonight?
Yes, I know KB played LF and Szczur played RF last night, but there's a legit case that RF is the easier draw at PNC.
Seems an odd lineup -- Soler in LF and Bryant in RF? Two guys out of position? I guess Fed has to catch tonight so All Star Gramps can catch Lester tomorrow. Or maybe Joe just wants somebody else to catch a no-hitter. Would love to see KB get the power turned on. C'mon Jorge -- channel your playoff self!
All it took was Schwarber, Heyward, and Szczur getting hurt for him to get to play again. Let's go ahead and call this little stretch your last real chance to prove you belong on this team, Jorge.
soler hitting 2nd...didn't expect that one.
tonight: Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrisjt, Baez, Russell, Federowicz, Arrieta
roster shuffle official per Sun Times, Gordon Wittenmeyer on twitter...Szczur to DL with minor hamstring strain, Chris Villanueva to 60 day DL, Ryan Kalish to 40 man roster and gets the call-up.
There's an interview with Heyward up on ESPN where he says the wrist thing has been lingering and he just brought it up with the team as it didn't go away. So that could very well explain why he hasn't had the same hard contact recently.
Ryan Kalish writeup (by Peter Gammons last November):
Villanueva goes to the 60 day DL.
Peter Gammons just tweeted that teammates are tweeting Kalish is getting recalled. Not sure which ones and what they'll do with the 40 man but there we go.
Jesee Rogers just said he thought Ryan Kalish would be the call up.