Muskrat's Best Column Ever? Notes on Z, Sori, Hill, Jeff ND, & More

Something really strange and unexpected happened to me this afternoon. I read an article by Cubs.com beat writer Carrie Muskat that didn't make me want to break things and didn't make me dumber for having read it. With the Cubs rolling and now this column, maybe hell really is freezing over? Some miscellaneous things going on w/ the club, so let's get up some notes:
  • The aforementioned Muskrat column contains some decent items of note. First off, both Rich Hill and Felix Pie, both of whom started the season on the Cubs big league roster, have been removed from the Iowa Cubs and shipped back to Arizona. Wow. Hill is going back to continue to work on his mechanics (and probably his self-confidence) with Minor League pitching coach Rick Tronerud and pitching coordinator Mark Riggins. It's absolutely amazing to me that Hill can get this lost with his mechanics and become this bad, this quick. Yesterday there was talk of shutting him down which would indicate they at least had a thought that he may have some kind of injury. But now they're sending him to EST to throw more-they must have ruled that out somehow. As much talk as there has been and will continue to be about picking up a starting pitcher via trade, the answer to the Cubs pitching problems could be in Hill's head. If he gets things straightened out and can return to form, he would be an enormous boon to the Cubs rotation down the stretch. Don't think he can do it? Why not? He's shown he's capable-just remember the job he did for the Cubs last year. Until we hear otherwise, there's absolutely no reason that Hill can't regain some of what made him so great last year.
  • Felix Pie will be heading to the desert to rehab a hand injury. Or that's how the story goes, at least. The team is saying that Pie injured his left hand, "Pie either jammed his hand or injured it on an awkward swing and has been playing in pain for a few games. It's one of those freaky injuries you get in that soft spot between thumb and forefinger," said Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita on Monday. Whatever you say Oneri. Too bad for Pie-he seemed to be finally getting back on track.
  • In non-Arizona news, Jeff Samardzija is headed from Tennessee to Iowa. The departure of Rich Hill and Sean Marshall from the Iowa rotation has created a need for SPs in Des Moines. Samardzija has begun to put it together over his last 5 starts or so. Over his last 5 GS, Samardzija has given up 8 earned runs over 27 and 1/3 innings on 16 hits and 10 walks while K-ing 16. Not bad work, but for me, Donnie Tyrone Veal is more deserving of the promotion.
  • One final note from the Muskrat is a little fact about Cubs minor leaguer Alex Maestri. Pending Maestri's start tonight for Dayton, Maestri could get the call up to AA Tennessee to replace Jeff ND. If he does, it's believed that this would be the highest level of American professional baseball an Italian-born player has reached. I couldn't think of any Italian-born major leaguers, but never having any ever get as high as AA struck me as interesting.
  • BP injury expert Will Carroll has some notes up on the injuries to Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. Carroll is extremely skeptical of the Cubs and the (mis)information they often seem to give on injuries. Remember how the Cubs handled the injuries to TD name inspiration Mark Prior and Kerry Wood and you'll know why. Carroll says he's going to take Jim Hendry at his word this time, but he doesn't sound too convinced. Carroll believes the "mild strain" that Z was diagnosed with is an injury to his rotator cuff based on the way Z dropped his arm slot in his last start. Carroll points out that when the results of the tests on Z's shoulder were announced, they were announced simply as an MRI and not as the arthogram that was reported. It's unclear whether this was a change in the test actually performed or just the way it was annouced. Carroll says there may be something more than we're aware of here and that he's going to watch the situation closely. Carroll expects Z will miss some time beyond the minimum 15 days.
  • Carroll reports that Alfonso Soriano's hand injury is healing nicely and he should begin taking BP soon. The club wants to reign in Sori a bit, however, as a setback in this sort of injury would be the re-breaking of the bone which would put him back at square one. Sori should be back by the All-Star break, but his own timetable of next week is probably faster than the Cubs will let him go. The good news is that the rest he's getting now is allowing the club to work with him on his flexibility which is helping his problematic leg injuries.

Comment (1)

Anonymous

July 1, 2008 at 3:03 PM

um, that's not a column. it's an article. a column is a form of article in which the author expresses an opinion on the news. an article tends to be unbiased. it's not that tough.