Cubs Change Plans on Garza’s Rehab and Other News and Notes

Matt Garza’s rehab start in Geneva on Friday night has been cancelled. The Cubs announced on Thursday that due to the weather and concerns with field conditions, Garza will not pitch for the Kane County Cougars but will instead make the trip to Milwaukee and throw a simulated game. If all goes as expected on Friday, Garza will make a rehab start with Double-A Tennessee.

Garza is expected to throw two innings in Friday’s sim game. Dale Sveum mentioned that Garza would throw around 35 pitches.

Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano is not thinking about leaving the Chicago Cubs. According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs’ left fielder has not given up on this season despite the team’s rough start. Soriano reiterated he does not want to play on a bad team this year but feels it is still early and there is time to change things around.

Soriano admitted that he has not been able to fully concentrate at the plate due to the weather.

Jonathan Gray

Jonathan Gray figures to be selected within the top five picks in June’s draft. Gray, the University of Oklahoma flamethrower, is 6-1 with a 1.19 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP (38 hits, 13 walks and 81 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings) this season and is ranked a long side of Mark Appel as the top pitchers in the upcoming draft. Gray can hit triple digits with his fastball.

The Cubs are among the teams that will be selecting in the top of the draft that has been watching Gray. According to reports, the 6-foot-4, 239 pound right hander has made a lot of improvement over the last two years,

Ian Stewart

The weather has also delayed Ian Stewart’s rehab with the Iowa Cubs. After playing Sunday and Monday and going 0-for-7 with a walk and a RBI, Ian Stewart was scheduled to play nine innings on Wednesday and Thursday. But rain forced the postponement of Wednesday and Thursday’s game.

Stewart is scheduled to spend a couple of weeks with Iowa as he recovers from the quad injury that sidelined him on February 22.

News Bits

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Shawn Camp’s struggles could be tied to the 80 appearances he made out of the Cubs’ pen last season. Shawn Camp said he feels fine. The Cubs and Camp both believe that it is a mechanical issue and not a hangover from last season.

Hisanori Takahashi cleared waivers on Thursday and was sent to Triple-A Iowa. There were not any updates on Brent Lillibridge. The Cubs designated Takahashi and Lillibridge for assignment on Tuesday.

Jorge Soler returned to the D-Cubs on Thursday. The Cubs decided to hold Soler out for two additional games so he would miss the end of the series with Clearwater. Soler went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his return while Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) collected his second straight multi-hit game.

Hayden Simpson signed with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League.

Carlos Zambrano stopped by Wrigley Field on Wednesday, but he was just visiting and not looking for a job. According to the Tribune, the Cubs have no interest in re-signing Zambrano.

And last, but not least, those that collect bobbleheads should enjoy this one … only if it existed.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Vivid_Reality

    I really hope the Astro’s take Appel so we can snag Gray or the top hitter.

    • Ray Ray

      I have seen both pitch. I would rate Appel ahead of Gray.

      • Brp921

        I haven’t seen either and have heard good things about both. Could you give some insight as to why you would rate Appel as the better of the two?

        • Ray Ray

          Gray is a max effort guy. He falls violently toward the left side of the mound after release and exposes half of his back to the batter. Appel is much more poslished and his deliver is smoother. IMO. If you are curious go to youtube as they have videos of both pitchers. Gray also has a much thicker frame and looks like he could have some weight issues as he ages.

          • Ray Ray

            But don’t get me wrong. I would love to have either one of these 2 power arms in the system. Gray has been clocked at 100 this year.I would just say that Appel would be my preference.

          • BosephHeyden

            Everything you just explained about Gray, combined with the Cubs’ horrid luck with good pitchers staying healthy…I would rather take the guy that isn’t going to need Tommy John after his first Cubs’ appearance (then again, with the Cubs’ luck, that could be either guy, too).

          • Ray Ray

            Yep. Remember when some scouts were saying Prior had the perfect delivery????

          • triple

            Yeah, I remember that, but then I’d hear Don Cooper speak differently about him, and lo and behold, that guy is always right about pitchers who will get injured; at least it seems like it anyway.

            And I agree, Appel seems like the better choice. I think Gray could work out good as a closer maybe someday if the starting gig is too much for his elbow. But the Cubs need a solid top-of-the-rotation starter so Appel has got to be the better choice.

          • Ray Ray

            Cooper was the one guy who was vocal about it. He is a hell of a pitching coach. The Sox starters have been one of the healthiest staffs in all of baseball(John Danks is the exception)

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Expect Garza’s rehab to linger.

  • Thomas Doughty

    This is going to sound strange but why don’t Sveum try castro schierholtz and castillo as 1 2 3 and then have rizzo bat clean up with fonsie behind him I’d keep barney in the 8 hole to have some production down in the bottom half
    With the way castillo is hitting this season you have to move him up.

    • Theboardrider

      I like it…

    • daverj

      It would be a big mistake to move Castillo up in the order. Castillo is an approximately .250 hitter with much better numbers now due to a small sample size. His BABIP is unsustainably high. A .250 hitter shouldn’t be considered a .300 (or .400) hitter just because a handful of balls roll between the infielders or drop in the right place in the outfield.

      I can, however, see the argument for moving Schierholtz up to the 2 hole. In a platoon role, Schierholtz could hit over .280 and has a bit of speed and power.

  • Theboardrider

    I live in Oklahoma and am a huge Sooner fan. Hear nothing but great things about Gray and his attitude. Has none of the concerns that we hear about Appel. Dude just loves to play ball and be a great, humble teammate.

  • jim

    Test Disqus. Please delete

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Having trouble with comments, as well?

      • DWalker

        Was having problems yesterday as well

        • Raymond Robert Koenig

          Me too.

          • triple

            me too!

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Someone should manufacture bobbleboobs of famous actresses.

  • Neil

    Cubs claimed Borbon from the Rangers, no word on corresponding roster move yet.

    • cloycub13

      Helluva pick up…For free essentially. Some were speculating earlier in the week that it would take a young pitcher to acquire him… this is a coup! I don’t know much about him, but from what I have read, solid defender with plus speed and hits for average. I like it!

    • Ray Ray

      What do you think Neil? Sappelt?

  • daverj is reporting that the Cubs made a successful waiver claim for Julio Borbon. That is a very nice pick-up. I hoped we’d have a shot at him when he was placed on waivers, but I didn’t think he’d make it to the Cubs as all the AL teams would have to pass.