Busy pregame session today. From today’s earlier blog, you know that the Cubs put catcher Geovany Soto on the disabled list and called up Welington Castillo. They also announced that veteran lefty Doug Davis, 35, will start Saturday night’s game here against the Giants. Davis went just 3.2 innings last night for Iowa. GM Jim Hendry said the decision on Davis was made today but he was taken out early last night because he was in the mix to start.
Lightning and a threat of rain chased the Cardinals off the field during batting practice, but let’s hope we’re OK for the game. Lineup:
Koyie Hill starts behind the plate tonight, and that’s been a hot-button issue on this blog for some people. Manager Mike Quade talked about parceling out playing time between Hill and Castillo. Quade on whether Castillo would get into a game soon: “Absolutely. Probably sooner than later. We like to get somebody involved right away. He’s a good-looking player, a good-looking prospect. He’ll split some time with Hilly, for sure. Things get earned around here. He didn’t come here to solely back up Hill once in awhile.”
I asked him what areas Castillo had to improve on:
“He can really throw,” Q said. “But the mental aspect of calling a game, catching a game, handling a pitching staff, part of that’s knowledge, and a lot of that’s experience. And getting that group (of pitchers), how are they going to buy into you? How are you going to earn that pitching staff’s respect? Physically, he’ll block balls and throw people out. But working together with guys, especially with some of our veteran guys, he can learn a lot from them. Very few young catchers come up and have if figured out.”
As far as another hot-button issue, Q said he had no problem with Alfonso Soriano’s effort on any play last night.
“Soriano made two of the best plays I’ve seen him make last night,” he said. “Then he slips and falls. I was thrilled to death. Coming off that popup in L.A., he’s responded very well to understand, “Look we’re going to play this game hard and going to do what we do.’
“Effort, I got no issue. I don’t think he’s going to win a Gold Glove. But I watch him work every day. We’re going to the best we can with Sori. Every so often, something like that’s going to happen. You hope the flip side of that he’s doing a decent job and he’s gotten the ball out of the ballpark. I think he’s a better left fielder now than he was three years ago. Mistakes are going to happen no matter who you are.”
Getting close to game time, so I’ll do this part quickly. Talked to Oneri Fleita. He said there is nothing seriously wrong with pitcher Hayden Simpson, last year’s No. 1 draft choice. Simpson came out of last night’s start for Peoria with shoulder tightness. The Peoria Journal Star’s Kevin Capie tweeted today that Simpson was taking pitchers fielding practice today. Oneri said it appears Simpson may have slept on the shoulder wrong. If anything, he’ll miss one start.
DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 11 games for Class AA Tennessee in a 7-5 loss to Huntsville…Lefty Zachary Rosscup, obtained from Tampa in the Matt Garza trade, got the win for Daytona, which has won eight straight. Daytona beat Jupiter 4-2. Rosscup (2-0, 2.70) worked 5 innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs while walking four and striking out four.