The Daily CCO: Big Week Ahead for the Cubs

This is an important week for the future of the Chicago Cubs. Not only could an announcement be made about the Cubs new radio partner, the draft begins Thursday and the Cubs are still scheduled to meet with the Landmarks Commission on Thursday.

A report from Ed Sherman indicated Friday the Cubs are close to announcing a move from 720 WGN to 780 WBBM-AM for next season. Speculation is that the Cubs would spend a season on WBBM before moving to 670 The Score once the station’s contract with the White Sox expires after the 2015 season.

The Cubs are still scheduled to go in front of the Landmarks Commission on Thursday to receive approval on the updated plans to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field. The Score’s Dan Bernstein reported over the weekend that Mayor Emanuel is still on board with the Wrigley restoration and any alteration to the bullpen doors was expected. According to Bernstein’s sources, the Cubs have ordered steel to in order to begin the project in July.

MLB’s First-Year Player Draft kicks off on Thursday evening. The Cubs have the fourth pick and no one knows if the Cubs will end up with a pitcher or a position player. Speculation and mock drafts will continue leading up to the draft. The Cubs have been connected to Carlos Rodon, Nick Gordon, Max Pentecost, Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland, Michael Conforto, Alex Jackson and Aaron Nola. The Cubs will take the best player on their board and then spend the rest of the draft taking pitchers from what is considered a pitching-rich draft.

On the field, the big league team opens a six-game homestand on Tuesday night with the first of three with the Mets. And the first homestand in June wraps up Sunday afternoon with the last of three against the Marlins.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez left Sunday’s game against the Nashville Sounds in the sixth inning after being hit in the right hand/wrist area by a pitch in the third inning. Baez stole second and third base after he was hit, had another bat and played in the field before he left the game in the sixth.

There has not been an update provided from either the Cubs or the Iowa Cubs. Iowa takes on the Sounds at 7:05pm on Monday.

Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena

Welington Castillo was lifted in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game with a sore back. He was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons. Castillo is expected in the lineup for Tuesday’s opener against the Mets.

The Cubs were playing with a short bench on Sunday. Luis Valbuena missed his second game in a row. Valbuena is “nursing a lower body injury” that one report indicated is an abdominal problem. Rick Renteria described his injury as not being serious. The Cubs have not given a timeframe on when Valbuena will return to the lineup.

News and Notes

Starlin Castro said Manny Ramirez looks crazy on Sunday, but said he wasn’t and he feels Ramirez can help Javier Baez get to the majors according to a report from Patrick Mooney. Castro said he keeps in contact with Baez.

The Cubs will have to make at least two roster moves prior to Tuesday’s opener against the Mets. Hector Rondon is supposed to be activated from the paternity list (three games by league rules) and that could mean a reliever that is with the big league team could be shipped out as part of a numbers crunch. Justin Grimm pitched two innings on Sunday and the Cubs have not shut the door on him starting again. Would this be a good time to send Grimm to Iowa and stretch him out in order to fill a rotation spot in late July, August and September?

Carlos Villanueva understands the business of the game and he could be traded before the July 31 deadline, but he doesn’t want to see any of his teammates traded according to a report from

According to multiple reports, John Baker and Justin Ruggiano went down the slide at Miller Park on Sunday.

Paul Sullivan talked with Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro and he told Sullivan the Wrigley Field cake was supposed to feed 1,000 people.

In the Cubs shutout on Sunday, Adam McCalvy counted 17 of the 27 outs that Kyle Lohse recorded came in at bats with three or fewer pitches and seven were one-pitch outs.

Minor News and Notes

Kris Bryant went 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI on Sunday. Bryant has hit six home runs in his last eight games. Over his last 10 games … .412/.545/1.029 with three doubles, six home runs, 10 walks, 11 strikeouts and a 1.575 OPS. For the season (55 games), .348/.452/.692/1.143 with 15 doubles, 18 home runs and 33 walks with 64 strikeouts. Bryant moved back into the lead in all three Triple Crown categories in the Southern League on Sunday.

Arodys Vizcaino has appeared in nine games for the Smokies since his promotion. Vizcaino is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. In 9 1/3 innings, Vizcaino has allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts. Vizcaino is pitching every three days.

As Tom pointed out in the Down on the Farm Report, Brett Jackson is hitting. Over his last 10 games, Jackson is hitting .370/.433/.667 with three doubles, one triple, one home runs, two walks and a 1.100 OPS. In 27 at bats, Jackson has struck out eight times.

Sean Kernan asked Dave Keller about the addition of Manny Ramirez to the I-Cubs roster and coaching staff. Keller was Ramirez’s manager in the Indians’ system in the ‘90s.

Weekend Headlines

It was another busy weekend for the Chicago Cubs, with the biggest news being the contract extension Crane Kenney signed with the Cubs last summer. If you missed any of the news, here are the headlines:

This Day In Cubstory

2006 – Cubs released Adam Greenberg

2001 – Cubs beat the Brewers 10-4 and extended their winning streak to 12 games, the longest winning streak for the Cubs since 1936 when the team won 15 in a row. The Cubs lost the next day.

2000 – Rick Aguilera notched his 300th save in the Cubs 2-0 win over the Tigers in Detroit’s first trip back to Wrigley Field since the ’45 World Series

1998 – Cubs selected Corey Patterson with the third overall pick (first round) in the draft

1998 – Cubs selected David Kelton in the second round of the draft

1998 – Cubs selected Wil Ohman in the eighth round of the draft

1998 – Cubs selected Eric Hinske in the 17th round of the draft

1994 – Cubs selected Kyle Farnsworth in the 47th round of the draft

1987 – Cubs selected Mike Harkey with the fourth overall pick (first round) in the draft

1987 – Cubs selected Alex Arias in the third round of the draft

1987 – Cubs selected Frank Castillo in the sixth round of the draft

1987 – Cubs selected Jeff Cirillo in the 37th round of the draft

1986 – Cubs selected Derrick May with the ninth overall pick (first round) of the draft

1986 – Cubs selected Joe Girardi in the fifth round of the draft

1986 – Cubs selected Jim Bullinger in the ninth round of the draft

1986 – Cubs selected Rick Wilkins in the 23rd round of the draft

1972 – White Sox purchased Phil Regan from the Cubs

1964 – Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Billy Cowan homered in the fourth inning of a 6-2 win over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field

1964 – Cubs traded Glen Hobbie to the Cardinals for Lew Burdette

1961 – Ernie Banks tied a Major League record with three run scoring sacrifice flies in a single game. Cubs beat the Reds 7-6.

1957 – Moe Drabowsky set a NL record for the most hit batsmen in a single game. Drabowsky plunked four in a Cubs 4-3 loss at Crosley Field

1949 – At the age of 40, Dutch Leonard became the oldest Cubs pitcher to throw a complete game shutout. Leonard blanked the Giants 3-0 and allowed three hits at the Polo Grounds.

1906 – Cubs acquire Orval Overall and $2,000 from the Reds for Bob Wicker

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Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • John_CC

    I’m sure what this sentence means, is Starlin stating that Manny in not crazy, though he look crazy?: “Starlin Castro said Manny Ramirez looks crazy on Sunday, but said he wasn’t and he feels Ramirez can help Javier Baez…”

    • John G

      It’s just Starlin being Starlin.

    • Neil

      I took it to mean Castro thinks Manny looks like a nut, but he’s really an okay guy.

  • Steve Baier

    I keep thinking that Kris Bryant’s slugging percentage is his OPS, until I read on.

  • Steve Baier

    I keep thinking that Kris Bryant’s slugging percentage is his OPS, until I read on.

  • Rational Logic

    Anyone else see Kerry Wood’s delivery in Kolek?

    • K_Gripp

      Absolutely. His mechanics look very similar to Wood’s. He has the two things that lead to Wood’s injuries too. He has the dreaded inverted W and he throws against a closed front side. I’m not saying he won’t have a successful career. I am saying he will have 2 tommy johns in his career.

      • Rational Logic

        Unfortunately I was thinking the same thing. It’d be nice to instead think, “this kid can get 20Ks in a game” but at the pace of TJ surgeries, that’s all I can focus on.

        I have no idea which way I’m leaning for the draft. I won’t be upset if we land one of Jackson/Nola/Rodon but beyond that I don’t have much of an opinion.

        • K_Gripp

          I have no idea either but after the Bryant pick from last year I trust the FO to make the best choice.

          • Rational Logic

            Agreed. I like how they stick to their philosophy: Bats have historically provided the highest ROI in the first round, then load up on pitching. Bats are always safer. I’d be pumped if they got Jackson then a few college arms. To me, a 2nd or 3rd round college arm can be just as good as a 1st round HS arm.

  • calicub

    I have family in Hoboken and I’ve had a cake boss cake. Believe me 1000 people wouldn’t have been able to eat the cake because they are disgusting. Looks =/= taste

  • Eugene Debs

    Lets hope for a good draft. The front office always seems to have a solid plan for the draft, definitely one of their strengths.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Farnsworth parlayed a 47th round pick into a pretty nice mlb career. Especially compared to Harkey at #4 in 1st round and Corey Patterson at #3 in 1st round. Ahh…the folly of the draft.