-- The I-Cubs' Andrew Cashner was named PCL Pitcher of the Week. That's what winning two starts while allowing one run and just eight hits over 13 innings will do for you. And let's not forget: he won the second of those games while dealing with the pressure of having TCR's very own Mike Wellman in the stands.
-- The Giants fan site, 22gigantes, pointed me to an mlb.com article in which the 30 MLB clubs were ranked for drafting success, based on All-Star appearances, Cy Young Awards, etc., won by their draftees in recent years. Cub draftees earned six such awards—four All-Star appearances plus ROY Awards for Kerry Wood and Geovany Soto—which tied the team for 11th place with the Giants, Marlins, and Cardinals.
(I'm a bit confused here since the article says the numbers are based on "awards won by players drafted by teams over the past decade." Wood was drafted in 1995 and won the ROY in 1998. ???)
The Nationals and Red Sox (17 player awards) led the way. Among other NL Central teams, the Brewers (10) were tied for 4th place. The Pirates, Astros, and Reds were all down near the bottom.
The same article offers a different calculation of drafting success based on a variety of individual player stats accumulated by draftees. By that figuring, the Athletics, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox lead the way. The Cubs are not in the top 10.
--By all accounts, Carlos Zambrano's simulated game, consisting of 73 pitches Monday at Wrigley Field, went well, and the plan is for him to return to the rotation on the road, i.e., sometime on or after next Monday, when the Cubs begin a nine-game trip in Pittsburgh.
-- After taking three of five against two first-place clubs on the road, the Cubs continue to match up with the big boys, as the red-hot Dodgers, winners of 12 of 14 and owners of an MLB-best record of 16-5 in May, come to Wrigley for a three-game series beginning tonight.
Aramis Ramirez will be rested for a few days because of a bone bruise on his left hand. (An MRI and x-rays concluded there was no fracture.) Lou says that moving Ramirez to the DL is not currently a consideration. (Had the link and lost it, but that's what he said.)