I hope no towels were injured during Garza's simulated game.
From Comcast SportsNet (beware autostarting vids/ads)
- If the money is right, Wrigley will be a destination for free agents.
- Matt Garza is focused on his next start, not his next contract.
- Texas Ranger catcher A.J. Pierzynski still enjoys playing the role of villain on the North Side.
- Matt Garza took a step forward on Friday. He's supposed to throw a bullpen session today then make a start for Double-A Tennessee on Wednesday, assuming all goes well. Scott Feldman, you're on notice.
- Dale Sveum got kicked out of the game sticking up for his starting pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, Friday night. The article also has some nice notes on Shark piecing his career back together after bouncing around different roles.
From Cubs Den
- By the numbers, the team may not be as bad as you think. This article made me think of one of the construction worker scenes from Major League.
- I don't usually post their minor league recaps since we have Josh doing a great job here for BCB, but this one has an audio clip interview with pitching prospect Pierce Johnson (scroll to the bottom of the article).
- Draft update: The two big pitchers at the top of the draft are jockeying for position. There are links within this link to some features on Oklahoma fireballer Jonathan Gray. There's also a look at some prep arms who might be targets in the 2nd round.
- Anthony Rizzo's home run through the raindrops on Thursday was definitely a tape measure shot.
- Cody Ransom is ready to play all over the field. I still don't see the point of this signing, but, whatever.
- Manager Dale Sveum is looking for a faster start from his club.
- The Cubs are waiting on Ian Stewart to help build depth in the infield. I'm sure many of you will be thrilled to read Dale's quote that suggests Ian will be handed the starting third base job, too.
- Afterthought free agent signing Carlos Villanueva just might be the team's best pitcher. And just like that, we go from underrated to overrated.
- Are Shawn Camp's early struggles related to overuse last season? I've said it in other places, but they should have sold high on Camp last season, even if the return wasn't much. Middle relievers are simply too unpredictable, particularly at an advanced age (for baseball).
- After a big game against the Rangers, fellow catcher Dioner Navarro says Welington Castillo made a "rookie mistake" by not stopping to talk to the media.
- Newly acquired Julio Borbon's Cub debut was, ahem, rather brief.
- Picking up Borbon makes the team a little outfield-heavy, but that isn't a cause for concern... yet.
- (Video) Back-up Dioner Navarro took the mic to interview starter Welington Castillo.
- (Audio) Carlos Villanueva stopped by the podcast to talk about his hot start.
From the Chicago Tribune (register to see almost anything but videos)
- Are the Cubs the "likely destination" for Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price?
- New Chicago Bear and former Notre Dame teammate Tom Zbikowski says Jeff Samardzija would have been "awesome" in the NFL.
- Speaking of Shark, he shrugged off the discount double check by Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun.
From the Chicago Sun-Times (can read a paragraph, register to read the rest)
- The closer-by-committee approach will stay in place.
- The starting rotation has definitely held up its end of the bargain so far in 2013.
- Former Cub and current Ranger by way of the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves (let's go with "well traveled") Jeff Baker saw the writing on the wall early last season.
- Alfonso Soriano's fountain of youth is lighter bats. Kinda wish Fonzie would have latched on to this sooner, when it seemed obvious to most everyone that swinging a telephone pole wasn't effective.
From the Daily Herald (registry required for all)
- Dale Sveum is savoring some slugging.
- Welington Castillo is making noise with his bat.
Today's food for thought: Another three-fer
- Cool space pictures.
- If you didn't see umpire Bill Miller "balk" in the Cubs' game against against the Rangers on Thursday, you can now.
- And check out how this University of Nebraska-Omaha player gets out of the proverbial baseball pickle to score a run.