Lots to get to again today, including some minor-league stuff. For those of you waiting for the Brett Jackson promotion to Tennessee, I’m told it could come today. UPDATES: It's official. Jackson and pitcher Rafael Dolis to from Daytona to Tennessee. Outfielder Ty Wright goes from Tennessee to Iowa. Pitcher Trey McNutt goes from Peoria to Daytona. D-Lee is the DH today. He’s had some back stiffness that he called a “non-issue.”
Dempster is the pitcher.
Jim Hendry said he expects the suspension process concerning Carlos Zambrano to accelerate the next couple of days, meaning we should know the length of the suspension in that time frame. Hendry said he has not spoken to Z, and neither has Lou. The Cubs will play with 24 men today and most likely tomorrow. If Zambrano can land on the restricted list, the Cubs could get back to 25.
Jim was asked about how he views the investment he made in Zambrano in 2007, giving him a five-year, $91.5 million contract extension.
“There was nothing wrong with the investment,” Jim said. “This guy was an outstanding pitcher in the National League, in the game, for the 4-5 years before that. There was no question that the deal was a solid one in the industry. He certainly would have been one of the hotter tickets on the street if that thing went to the end of the season. This guy pitched a lot of innings, won a lot of games, lived in the shadow of Woody and Prior for a couple of years. Really, over the body of work, pitched as well as anybody in the National League for a 3-4 year period. He certainly pitched well enough to earn that contract whether it’s here or somewhere else.”
As far as DinnerGate, with Z and Ozzie Guillen, Jim said: I would think in those type of circumstances that even if you had that planned before, that better judgment would have kept you home that night. Ozzie and I are good friends, too. It’s certainly not his fault. He just kept his end of the prearranged dinner. But I think if you go through what you did that day and go through what you did with your own teammates that day, I think you might be better served staying home.”
Lou added that his daughter was in town, and he hadn’t seen her since leaving for spring training in February. He had a chance to go out with his wife and daughter Friday, but chose not to.
“I was sick from what happened, and I was very tried and embarrassed,” he said. “They both went out and ate by themselves, so I stayed home. That’s all I’ve got to say about that situation.”
Brett Jackson continues to be the story. Last night, he went 3-for-3 with 3 doubles, a walk and a hit-by-pitch as Class A Daytona beat Dunedin 8-6. Jackson is at .316/.420/.517 with 19 doubles, 8 triples, 6 homers and 38 RBI.
Had a chance to talk to Randy Bush about Jackson. Randy recently had a chance to see Brett in Daytona.
"Really good," Randy said. "He'll be moving up soon. "He's certainly ready for the next challenge."
Speaking of Daytona, the Peoria Journal Star reports that pitcher Trey McNutt is moving from Peoria to Daytona. (See update above.) McNutt, the starter in the Midwest League All-Star Game, is 6-0 with a 1.51 ERA and a WHIP of 1.12 at Peoria. He's listed as the Chiefs' starting pitcher for today, so we'll see what happens.
Last night, the Chiefs were blanked 5-0 by Cedar Rapids.
Up at AAA Iowa, Mitch Atkins worked 7 innings and got the win as the I-Cubs beat New Orleans 13-2. Atkins gave up 7 hits and 2 runs while walking one and striking out five. He's 5-2 with a 3.52 ERA. He also doubled in the game. Brad Snyder, Marquez Smith (4-for-4) and Jason Dubois homered. Darwin Barney had 2 hits, including a double, and 2 runs.
At Tennessee, Hung-Wen Chen got a no-decision as the Smokies beat Carolina 7-6. Chen worked 6 innings, giving up 9 hits and 6 runs. Catcher Robinson Chirinos, who was in spring training with the Cubs, was 3-for-4 with a double. He's at .325/.399/.556 with 18 doubles, 7 homers and 34 RBI.
The Cubs say Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg will be a coach for the world team in the Futures Game and that Tennessee manager Bill Dancy will be a coach on the U.S. team. Peoria's Hak-Ju Lee will play for the world team, and Brett Jackson will play for the U.S. in the July 13 game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.