Chicago's Inside Pitch
MESA, Ariz. _ It’s back at HoHoKam Park today for another televised Cubs game. This time, the Cubs duo of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies has the call as the Cubs take on the Royals. The game in Vegas against the Rangers is on WGN radio. Just a programming note, as we like to say in the TV business, I’ll be a guest in the booth for Sunday’s game against the Athletics in Phoenix.
As far as today goes, center fielder Brett Jackson underwent an MRI on his right (throwing) shoulder Friday. The procedure, said the Cubs, revealed nothing more serious than inflammation, but the Cubs will let Jackson rest a week. He has been having trouble throwing the ball, but he said just before noon here today that it doesn’t hurt him to swing the bat.
GLENDALE, Ariz. _ Happy to be back in Arizona and with the Cubs. It’s a bonus day as I get to see the White Sox, too. Today’s Cubs-Sox game starts at 2 Chicago time, an hour earlier than normal. Over in Mesa, the Cubs will take on Team Japan. The Japanese media number in the triple digits at HoHoKam Park.
To quote the late, great Jerome Holtzman, “I arrived at HoHoKam Park in good time” to get caught up with a lot of folks. We’ll get to a few things here on this blog, including the lineup. Let’s do a few housekeeping notes first:
--Pitcher Starling Peralta was returned to the Cubs by the Arizona Diamondbacks today. The D’acks had claimed Peralta in the Rule 5 draft in December. At Class A Peoria last year, Peralta was 5-8 with a 3.44 ERA.
Now you can see why Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer went out and loaded up on starting pitching this off-season, even when everybody thought they were done when they signed Scott Baker and Scott Feldman last fall. In January, Epstein and Hoyer surprised a lot of people by signing Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million contract.
Good thing, because on Sunday, the Cubs announced that No. 1 starter Matt Garza would start the season on the disabled list and Jeff Samardzija would start the season opener, April 1, at Pittsburgh. According to reports out of Mesa, Ariz., Garza experienced some tightness in his already injured left lat after playing catch Saturday. Manager Dale Sveum told the media Garza would be shut down for at least a week.
Thanks to the White Sox for passing this along today:
With the Baseball Prospectus/PECOTA projections coming out today (White Sox are projected for 77-85), below are recent projections since 2005.
2005: Prediction (80-82). Actual (99-63). Difference in wins (+19)
2006: Prediction (82-80). Actual (90-72). Difference in wins (+8)
2007: Prediction (73-89). Actual (72-90). Difference in wins (-1)
2008: Prediction (77-85). Actual (89-74*). Difference in wins (+12)
2009: Prediction (73-89). Actual (79-83). Difference in wins (+6)
2010: Prediction (79-83). Actual (88-74). Difference in wins (+9)
2011: Prediction (82-80). Actual (79-83). Difference in wins (-3)
2012: Prediction (78-84). Actual (85-77). Difference in wins (+7)