The Cubs received good news on Thursday in regards to Matt Garza. Garza completed a 25-pitch bullpen session in Mesa before he left Arizona to meet up with the team in Atlanta. Garza tweeted that he had a great bullpen on Thursday and that both his body and arm feel great. Garza is scheduled to throw another pen on Sunday.
The Cubs have not set a timetable for his return but this is a good start for Garza as he works to get back on the mound.
Marmol is the Cubs Closer
Dale Sveum addressed the closer question after the Cubs survived Carlos Marmol’s struggles on Thursday. Sveum said the team is 2-1 and going into Atlanta everyone will be in their same roles. Marmol acknowledged he is having a tough time but he is going to fight through it.
Sveum admitted he was not going to pull Marmol on Thursday.
To DH or Not to DH
The hot topic on Thursday was about the NL possibly adopting the designated hitter thanks to a report from Bob Nightengale in which Theo Epstein was quoted as saying, “I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League. Hopefully we are just a few years away.”
The DH debuted 40 years ago (1973) and with Houston moving the American League, Interleague games are played every day. Some think that NL teams are at a disadvantage playing in AL parks because they are not built with the DH in mind.
According to Bob Nightengale, a decision has not been made or even formally discussed on when baseball will play under the same rules across both leagues. Nightengale speculated the change could happen after Bud Selig retires following the 2014 season.
Dale Sveum likes the NL not having a designated hitter but when asked he admitted that Dan Vogelbach would be a good candidate if it were to happen.
Sveum indicated Thursday that Alfonso Soriano, Dioner Navarro and Steve Clevenger are possible DH options for the Cubs this season. The Cubs have 11 road games against AL clubs this year … White Sox, Angels, Mariners and A’s.
2013 Draft Pool
Baseball America reported the draft bonus pool numbers for all 30 teams on Tuesday. Assigned value pick values for the first 10 rounds for this year’s draft increased 8.2 percent from last year.
The Cubs pick second in June’s draft and will have $10,556,500 million to spend on their top 10 picks. As Baseball America reported, the bonus pool covers the top 10 rounds and any bonuses paid in excess of $100,000 to players selected in rounds 11-40.
Under the new rules that went into effect last year, if the clubs exceed their draft pool by 0-5 percent they have to pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. Teams that exceed their draft pool allotment by 5 to 10 percent will lose a first-round pick and will pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. If a team spends 10 to 15 percent more than their draft pool, the penalty is the loss of a first and second round pick plus a 100 percent tax on the overage. If a team exceeds the draft pool by more than 15 percent, the penalty is the loss of two first round picks and 100 percent tax on the overage.
According to the Sun-Times, the series win over the Pirates marked the first time in four years the Cubs won their first series of the season.
Ryan Sweeney and Donnie Murphy reported to the Iowa Cubs on Thursday.
Former Cubs’ farmhand Elieser Bonne signed with the Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League.