Cashner gets disabled, Dunn gets an appendectomy, and Escobar becomes the first potential visitor to the 7-day DL.
We mentioned on Wednesday that the injury front had been quiet, but as we expected, things picked up (or broke down) between then and now, giving us plenty to cover. Unfortunately for Cubs and White Sox fans, much of that activity came at the expense of Chicago-based players.
Guthrie develops pneumonia, Carlos Pena gets an owwie on his thumb, and Andrew Cashner exits his Tuesday start early.
Unless you enjoy seeing players get hurt (you sicko, you), you'll be happy to know that today's installment of Collateral Damage has more to do with bumps and bruises than tears and breaks. Of course, we're sure that given the slower nature of the early part of this week, the universe will cause something massive to happen to balance things out in the injury department, and then we'll have far too much to write about. That will be the fault of the guy who was upset that no one was seriously injured between Monday and Wednesday. He (or she) is a terrible person.
Pegging a surprise team in the NL Central might involve some additional thought.
Over the course of more than a dozen radio hits I've done over the past month, I've been asked several times if I have a sleeper team for 2010. That is to say, a team that I believe will do better than the conventional wisdom or even our projection system suggests. During each of those hits, the first team that I've named has invariably been the Cubs. Today I wanted to examine the roots of that belief, and figure out if I can still stand by it after having done my homework.
The leading fifth man's bid to stick gets zeroed out.
TEMPE—While Randy Wells has been pitching quietly and consistently to put himself at the front of the pack racing to be first past to pole to provide answers at the fourth and fifth slot, there's still the question of whether or not Andrew Cashner's going to wind up as the fifth man.
Back-end rotation heroics for the Cubs and Rockies, plus notes on two developing AL West bullpen quandaries.
MESA—Tuesday's game was one of those unsexy yet critical real-world fights that reflect spring training's high-end purpose. Sure, it exists to get people in shape, and also as a warm-weather money-making venture for the franchises and the attendant tourist industry. Still, at its root, there are actual job fights to be resolved. HoHoKam was exactly that sort of battlefield, as two of the leading contenders for the fifth slot in their respective teams' rotations squared off: Esmil Rogers of the Rockies and Randy Wells of the Cubs.
Admittedly, in each case the competition is a bit theoretical. Wells is being put through his paces, but the inclusion of journeymen Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer, or organizational soldiers James Russell and Casey Coleman, in the race to round out the rotation seems a matter of polite formality, not actual menace. Wells and Andrew Cashner and Carlos Silva are the pack, from which just two will emerge, and both Cashner and Wells pitched yesterday in split-squad action, to mixed results.
A look back and a look ahead to who could the top prosects in the senior circuit next year.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on (insert team here) has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus need to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest look at last year's prognostications.
The Cubs' pitching prospect discusses teammates, the mentality and mechanics of pitching, and more.
Be it as a starter or out of the bullpen, Andrew Cashner looms as a big part of the Cubs' future. A 6-foot-6 right-hander who was taken in the first round of the 2008 draft from Texas Christian, the 23-year-old Cashner has gone from college closer to professional starter, albeit with a strict pitch count. In 24 games split evenly between High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last year, Cashner posted a 2.60 ERA while allowing 76 hits in 100 1/3IP. Notably, only one of them left the yard. Cashner talked about his power game, and his future, at the conclusion of the Arizona Fall League season.
The senior circuit's collection of talent on the rise, and the chances of each prospect to become his organization's best.
Prospecting is all about the future, so let's look deep into the coming year and try to figure out who might be topping next year's prospect lists in their respective organizations, as well as who could be moving up, down, or even out, beginning today with the National League. The American League version is here.