It won’t be another 15-hour day at the park (but it would be OK with the weather again so nice here), but it will be another busy one. I’m heading downstairs in a few to talk with Cubs GM Jim Hendry. The news of the day so far is that the Cubs have activated second baseman Darwin Barney and granted pitcher Doug Davis his unconditional release.
UPDATES: Jim met with us on the field today and looked and sounded very much like a guy who isn't going anyplace. Along with Hendry on the field were scouting guru Gary Hughes, scout Ken Kravec and special assistant Greg Maddux. I asked Hendry what the plan was going forward the rest of this season. We'll flesh it all out in the paper tomorrow.
"I read some things that people assume," Jim said. "They use the word 'fire sale.' That's not going to happen. We're not interested in trading people at all that will be valuable to us moving forward. People like to float names of your better players, which makes no sense to trade. If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future, and we still want see how we play the next month or so. Everybody thinks there's this big, automatic, 'You have to be a buyer or a seller or it's fire-sale time.' Well, we've got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing or some people who will be very productive for us a year from now that when you get ready to put together a team in the off-season, you certainly don't want to start out without them anyhow...We're certainly going to hold on to the people, no matter what, we feel will be major contributors down the road."
In other words, don't look for players such as Sean Marshall or Carlos Marmol or Matt Garza or even Ryan Dempster to be traded.
The Davis release is a start. At this point, you just might as well get Casey Coleman back up here and let him learn and take his lumps. It couldn't be worse than what we've been seeing. Coleman pitched for Iowa yesterday and got the win, working 7 inning. We’ll put up the minor-league report below to get us started. Getting named to the PCL all-star team were first baseman Bryan LaHair, catcher Welington Castillo and reliever John Gaub.
Lineup vs. Tim Lincecum:
Kerry Wood just threw live batting practice to Tony Campana and Lou Montanez. Wood looked good, breaking Campana’s bat. He could come off the DL any day if the blister problem is OK.
Marlon Byrd's homer helped Iowa win its seventh in a row, 10-4 over Albuquerque. Casey Coleman improved to 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA by working 7 innings and giving up 7 hits and 3 runs. He walked one and struck out four. Marwin Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double. Byrd was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and a homer to go along with 3 RBI. Darwin Barney, who returned to Wrigley Field last night to watch the second game of the doubleheader, was 2-for-3 with a double. Byrd sounds raring to go.
If it feels good Friday, I'll get out and try to get out there (Chicago) Saturday," he told the Des Moines Register. "If not, I'll spend another day trying to get it right."
Class AA Tennessee beat Carolina 12-11, but starting pitcher Trey McNutt had trouble again, lasting only 3 innings and giving up 6 hits and 4 runs. He walked three and struck out nobody.
"Right now with Trey working back up to his pitch count, we're a little short (in the bullpen) every once in a while," manager Brian Harper told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "He still isn't where he needs to be. I've got a feeling with his next start he's going to be a lot better."
Rebel Ridling had a pair of homers, and Ryan Flaherty hit his 14th. Junior Lake added his second. Flaherty (.315) was 3-for-5 with 5 RBI, giving him 61. Jeffrey Beliveau converted his first save, allowing a run on 1 hit with 3 strikeouts in 1 inning. Beliveau, a 24-year-old lefty, was an 18th-rounder in 2008 out of Florida Atlantic.
Class A Daytona lost 3-0 to Dunedin. Juan Serrano took the loss, falling to 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
Peoria (A) heads up to Miller Park tonight to play Wisconsin. Yesterday, the Chiefs beat Wisconsin 4-1. Graham Hicks started and worked 3 innings, giving up 3 hits and a run.
Reggie Golden hit his first pro homer for Boise in the Hawks' 3-2 win over Tri-City. Boise has won five in a row. Willson Contreras had 4 hits. Golden has hit safely in eight of 11 games. Yao-Lin Wang started and worked 5.1 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run. He's 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA.