Rather than belabor the Reds' ridiculously good record at Wrigley in recent years (they're now 18-2 over their last 20 games in Chicago), I thought I'd talk a bit about Emilio Bonifacio.
Buried in this notes column, which is mostly about Kris Bryant, is this note about Bonifacio:
Emilio Bonifacio (right oblique strain) said he felt better but no date has been set on when he would start a minor league rehabilitation assignment. Bonifacio is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday.
Oblique strains are tough -- I recall two Cubs (Ryan Dempster and Steve Clevenger) who had them in recent years and both missed more than a month. So it's unlikely we see Bonifacio before the All-Star break. Which raises a question: if and when he does return, who goes off the 25-man roster? Chris Coghlan? Or a reliever? (I'd vote for the latter.) And if Bonifacio plays well enough after his return, can he be traded for anything of value?
Random thoughts before another night game.
Coghlan LF, Lake CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Olt 3B, Barney 2B, Arrieta P
Luis Valbuena goes from leading off to batting fifth to not starting. Insert "other split squad" joke here.
Hamilton CF, Frazier 3B, Votto 1B, Mesoraco C, Bruce RF, Ludwick LF, Schumaker 2B, Cozart SS, Bailey P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta has not faced the Reds this year, but has been outstanding over his last three starts, allowing just one run in 20 innings (0.45 ERA), giving up 10 hits and a walk (0.55 WHIP) and striking out 27. Maybe he's finally reached the potential he always had in Baltimore. That would be a huge win for Theo & Co. in the trade made for him last year.
Homer Bailey shut out the Cubs for six innings April 20 at Wrigley Field. That's by far Bailey's best start of the year; since then he has posted a 4.37 ERA in 11 starts. Current Cubs are 32-for-133 (.241) against him with three home runs (two by Starlin Castro, one by Nate Schierholtz). He might be happy to get back to Wrigley, given those records.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.