We havesome cool stuff up online and for the paper tomorrow, when I rejoin the Cubs at Wrigley. This morning, Carlos Zambrano threw a simulated game at Wrigley, and the Cubs say he threw 73 pitches and things went well.
I'm told Tyler Colvin and Jeff Baker were among the batters. Sure, the Cubs had a "right-hand" pitcher on the mound, so Lou gave Colvin a start in a sim game. I didn't go. I covered enough simulated games in spring trainings past to be inducted into the simulated writers wing of the Hall of Fame.
We'll see where it goes from here. It's likely Big Z will make his restart next week, perhaps in Pittsburgh. I'll be there to chronicle that one. The rest of the rotation for this week should fall into place after the Cubs know if Tom Gorzelanny is ready after getting hit on the left ring finger by a batted ball last week in Philly. And from there, we'll see who goes to the pen once Big Z comes back.
Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano had been carrying the Cubs offensively. Soto's line for May, though, is .200/.365/.320. He's 10-for-50 with 1 homer and 13 walks, which has been his saving grace this month. All the more reason for D-Lee and Aramis Ramirez to get things going.
Before we get to the minor leagues, I came across this lengthy piece about Milton Bradley on ESPN.com:
I didn't have to read to far to see the word "mercurial" in the story. Here are a couple of quotes that stuck out:
"When you grow up and your name is Milton Bradley, people are always going to pick on you. So I felt like I had to develop a defense mechanism for people to leave me alone."
Also, if you remember Cubs GM Jim Hendry telling Milton to "look in the mirror" during spring training, maybe it had an effect in Milton going for psychological help.
"When Jim Hendry told me to look in the mirror, I did," Bradley told ESPN.com. "That was a guy who gave me a big contract, and instilled a lot of trust and belief in me. I never disrespected Jim, and things didn't work out. I know he had insurmountable pressure on him as well. He had to do what he had to do. When he said it, I just didn't blow it off. I took it to heart, and it weighed on me. And I'm doing what I've got to do."
Iowa beat Colorado Springs 11-7 yesterday. Jim Adduci extended his hitting streak to four games by going 3-for-5 with 4 RBI. He's 8-for-18 during the streak, and his hitting line is now .286/.340/.346.
Darwin Barney went 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to six games. He's 13-for-28 in the streak. He's probably major-league ready. Someday, he'll make the Cubs or some other team a nice fifth infielder and part-time starter at short.
Jeff Samardzija worked a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. His WHIP at Iowa is 1.50.
At Class AA Tennessee, Hung-Wen Chen had a quality start of 6 innings and 3 runs, but he lost as the Smokies fell 4-1 to Jacksonville. Outfielder Tony Campana extended his hitting streak to seven games. He's 13-for-28 in the streak, and the Cubs have good reports on him.
Daytona (A) lost 9-7 to Fort Myers. DJ LeMahieu, taken out of LSU in last year's draft, was 4-for-4 with 3 stolen bases.
At Peoria (A), pitcher Rob Whitenack got the win with 6 innings, of 3-hit, 3-run ball as the Chiefs beat Quad Cities 6-5. Whitenack, a righty, was selected in the eighth round last year out of SUNY Old Westbury. The Cubs media guide points out he is the first player ever drafted from that school. He is the college's single-season strikeout leader, with 79 in 67.1 innings. Also for the Chiefs, Hak-Ju Lee extended his hit streak to five games. He's 10-for-23 in the streak.