6/28 Extra bases

* Since his one-day “breather,” Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is 4-for-10, which is encouraging. Has manager Dale Sveum seen changes since Tuesday’s day off, Castro’s first of the year?

“Maybe a little attitude change,” Sveum said Friday. “I think the mechanics of his swing are probably the same. He’s mixed in some hits which are nice. That’s usually what gets you going sometimes.

“He’s still struggling a little bit with the fastball,” Sveum said of Castro, who was batting .234 overall. “The mechanics are the same. Hopefully, he keeps gradually understanding what he has to do.”

* Alfonso Soriano was the designated hitter for Friday’s Interleague game, and will likely handle that role in the Cubs’ six-game West Coast swing against the Mariners and Athletics. That means Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic will be getting the action in the outfield for the Cubs. The Cubs will have to figure out how to get everyone at-bats when David DeJesus returns from a sprained right shoulder. DeJesus was in Chicago, continuing his rehab.

“A couple of them might be part of our future, left-hand hitters who are better athletes, two-way players,” manager Dale Sveum said of Sweeney and Bogusevic. “We’ll work it out to figure out the playing time.”

Sveum will talk to Soriano about playing time if there’s a significant change for the 37-year-old outfielder.

“You’re not going to just do something like that to a guy who’s had that kind of career,” Sveum said. “I’ll have to figure out how to get these guys their at-bats with matchups, or whoever’s the hottest. A lot of times those things work themselves out.”

* Dioner Navarro has caught Matt Garza’s last three starts, and the right-hander has given up two earned runs in those games, but Navarro isn’t the pitcher’s personal catcher.

“It’s just how it all works out sometimes,” Sveum said Friday. “[Welington Castillo] has caught them all and everybody has had really good games. If you have that kind of fastball command — [on Thursday], Garza had his slider and his command. When you have that kind of outing, it doesn’t matter what’s going on behind the plate.”

Castillo is the Cubs’ regular catcher, and has started 57 games compared to Navarro’s 21.

* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery one year ago, will throw his second simulated game on Saturday in Mesa, Ariz. His first outing was 20 pitches, and went well.

“Everything went good and the velocity was up there,” Sveum said of Baker. “We hope he keeps going in the right direction.”

The right-hander could be pitching for the Cubs by late August.

“He’s basically starting his Spring Training right now,” Sveum said. “The first day pitchers throw live, it’s basically like that [for Baker].”

* Steve Clevenger, sidelined since April 14 with a left oblique strain, was activated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Iowa. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Zach Putnam (bone spur) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

– Carrie Muskat

18 Comments

Beginning to sound like the hand writing is on the wall for Soriano….a trade would be best, hoping he sees the light and and accommodates.

Why shy away from this personal catcher issue? I do not get it. Is nothing wrong with it. Steve Carlton wanted Tim McCarver as his personal backstop, and I know you all can name other examples. Why is it toxic for the Cubs to own up to Garza wanting Navarro as his personal battery mate?

It’s not, Sveum is just playing games hanging on to the little athority he thinks he has. Hell, trade Navarro with Garza if it increases the value of the trade and nets us more or better prospects…ha!

There really is nothing wrong with it as long as it works, so far it is working. This one of those things that should never have went public. In my opinion, internal club house problems breed more problems. I am sure Sveum received a directive from the front office, to let it go.
If you say something before it happens its really not 2nd guessing a managers decision, but right now, maybe stress, maybe attitude, maybe not being able to do things his way, maybe stubborn, but Sveum is making some mistakes.
It would be nice to bring up things we see as fans, to discuss, like opinions on what we would have done?? But that always leads to blame, killing the fun of the conversation.
I seen two things last night I would love to just discuss, but if I bring them up, its the blame game instead of discussion.

Jasper, I cannot agree with your “blame game instead of discussion” statement. We all have various and different opinions about the players, the decisions made by management, etc. Sometimes we have HEATED DEBATES with each other BUT that does not mean we are not interested in all input on this blog. I urge you to express any and all thoughts you have about our baseball team and to be open to any and all opinions expressed by the rest of us. You have interesting and thoughtful ideas which make you an important part of our debates. Please continue to tell us your ideas and we can go from there. Eamus Catuli

White nailed it again! A lot of thin skin on this site when all we are doing is exactly what Wite points out and that is discussing our opinions. I don’t anybody here (except of course for….) would like nothing more than debates heated or otherwise such as the DEBATE regarding the promotion of Wright vs. the non-promotion of Szcuzr. Nobody is wrong or at fault for having their own opinion nor is nobody wrong or at fault for NOT changing ones mind…does not make ANY of us narrow minded, just opinionate as it is Jasper’s opinion that the blame game will ensue should he bring up two points that he would LOVE to discuss but won’t in fear of a heated debate (aka “blame game”)?? That’s nonsense as I think White and others would agree.

Sorry White, not going to put up things I see unless they can be discussed, without blame. Several things happened last night, at least 4 that nobody has even mentioned. Should I choose to try to discuss or bring it up, it will turn into: Get rid of Sveum, get rid of Soriano, the coaching staff is no good, Epstein & Hoyer dont know what their doing and on & on & on.

The problem is that Garza made it sound as if Castillo was to blame for a bad outing, when the problem was Garza’s fastball command.

Jasper, good to hear your response. No one can blame you for your opinions or observations. They can only respond with their opinions and observations – from there ideas and thoughts concerning any issue can be debated, not blamed! I think we would all be very happy to hear about the 4 or more things you observed in last night’s game.

Eh not really, I can take it or leave it White, after all his opinions are no better or worse than any of ours…life goes on. I guess we won’t be hearing from Jasper anymore considering we other commentators are not signing a contract with him just so he can comment?? Oh, by the way: Let’s get rid of Sveum and Soriano, I’m not sure the coaching staff is no good but Sveum’s decision’s are suspect and I believe Epstein and Hoyer know what they are doing and just suffered a terrible trade (Stewart), but for the most part they have done a pretty good job regarding their objective…building the minor leagues. Their objective was never to have a competitive team so soon anyway. I hereby swear an oath that I am to blame for the above opinions that uh, uh, ummmm HAPPEN TO BE OPINIONS. Take care of that kitty White!
(again, blame me for caring about your kittly too….) Unbelievable. Have some consideration and FUN on this bog for crying out loud, a grain of salt wouldn’t hurt either.

I understand what you are saying joey. Thought it is worth a try to let others on this site know that we try not to be ogres and that all opinions are welcomed. You all know that I for one am just a snippy and senile old lady (haha) and that Shirley Purrl and I get through Cub’s games with brownies and catnip. Thanks for caring. HOT OUT WEST! It is awful!

Hey White, you are the best! Maybe you can ship Jasper some of your “special” brownies that might help him mellow and understand there is no blame game just us fans critiquing our team and calling some people out (i.e.Sveum) when making some questionable decisions. (don’t forget to add the grain of salt to the brownies)

LMAO, Joey why would I want Brownies, it all about the Cubs.

My comments are being censored tonight. I can guarantee that. I typed several which were erased.

That is very odd jhosk. Can you type them again and see what happens? I wonder if that has happened to anyone else today. Let’s see what happens.

I think the comments were perhaps out of line, White. Is best to let them go. Hope you are surviving the heat wave well. Was good to get that win last evening. Soriano is very well suited to the DH role. Wish some American League teams would sit up and take notice.

Censored? They must have been pretty bad and profanity laced considering what is publshed by HWSRN. I think if you keep it clean, no cussing etc. we should be ok. Anyone notice all the trade rumors involving Soriano? Exactly.

Just for the record, there was no profanity in those posts I referenced. They were as clean as a hound`s tooth.

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