Here are some Cubs notes-
- Soto was named Rookie of the Month for April. He hit .341 with 5 homers and 20 RBI in April. It looks like he is off to a strong start in May too. I would not be surprised if he gets it again this month.
- Wood has modified his slider some, or at least the grip. He looked nasty yesterday afternoon with more downward cutting action to that slider. The pitch is also about 3 MPH slower in which I think makes it more devastating with that 93-96 MPH fastball and that 82-85 MPH slider. I would love Wood to break out that overhand curve ball he use to throw. I love that pitch!
- In case you missed it, Eyre was activated yesterday off the 15 day DL and Marshall was sent to AAA Iowa. Marshall is expected to strengthen his arm and increase his pitch count because it sounds like he will get the next shot at being the Cubs starter in the rotation. Lou wants at least 2 leftys in the rotation otherwise they should give Gallagher a shot. I also would not be opposed to trying to catch lighting in a bottle and calling up Donald Veal and trying him as a starter. He is currently in AA Tenn and throwing the ball well. Veal is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA, he 25 SO and 18 BB in just 33 IP. He has a good curve and live fastball. He has ML stuff but the only concern is can he locate his pitches. I think he deserves a chance if Marshall and Gallagher don't do too well.
- For Mother's Day the Cubs will be using pink bats and will be wearing shoes with pink trim specifically made for Sunday. Should be fun!
Here is "What We Are Hearing"-
- The Cubs are looking for a lefthanded bat for CF or RF but preferably Center Field so they do not have to move Fukudome. I am hearing the Cubs have a mild interest in recently released and former Cardinal Jim Edmonds. Edmonds numbers have been declining the past 3 years and is off to a horriable start batting .178 with a .265 OBP and only one HR. A guy once viewed as one of the elite defensive CF in the game is just a 37 year old average outfielder who would be a 4th outfielder on about half the ML teams. I am not a big fan of Jim's because he plays shallow to make routine plays look unbelievable, he is a hot dog, former Cardinal, and Big Z and him do not get along. I would honestly go with what we have until something better comes along like a Matsui, Crisp, Matthews, or a player of that caliber. A player like that would be available around the trading deadline and I think our outfield could survive until then.
One thing that is impressive is he has 17 career homers at Wrigley which is third only to Busch Stadium(111) and Angels Stadium(62). He also posted a .254 avg. with an OBP of .378 and 37 RBI at Wrigley in his career. Just thought you should know.
- The Cubs could be in the market for a number 1 or 2 starter at the deadline if there are any available. Some pitchers they should keep an eye on are Greg Maddux and Randy Wolf from the Padres, Scott Kazmir from the Drays, Jarod Washburn from Seattle, and AJ Burnett from Toronto. All these pitchers are on teams in last place or have contracts that are almost up. The only real exception is Kazmir but he was rumored to be available this off season, as well as next off season.