Gregg, Cubs move forward; minor-leaguers honored

Gregg, Cubs move forward; minor-leaguers honored

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 09/21/2013 - 15:12

Can we have some peace and quiet around here, already? That was the feeling here at Wrigley at the end of what’s been a long week of trial and tribulation. As we reported this morning, the Cubs and closer Kevin Gregg have decided to let bygones be bygones, and Gregg will not be released after yesterday’s postgame session.

Gregg said he didn’t appreciate being told youngster Pedro Strop would close games the rest of the season, or at least that’s how he heard it. After some airing of words (some choice, no doubt) between team president Theo Epstein and Gregg, the pitcher apologized and cooler heads prevailed.

Theo said he would “sleep on” a decision about Gregg overnight, but Gregg said this morning Epstein called him last night and things were fine.

“Why wouldn’t I be happy about that decision?” Gregg said today. “As far as I’m concerned and it sounds like as far as he’s concerned, it’s over.”

Sveum said this morning he was caught off-guard by Gregg’s comments.

“Yeah, I can’t lie about that,” Dale said. “It caught me completely off guard. I’ll take some credit for that. I guess the communication, somewhere down the line, just got miscommunicated. But like I told you guys, we might give Strop an opportunity. And it is the same thing I told (Gregg). But I guess it got miss-communicated and obviously it turned into a mess. It’s all fixed now and accept the apologies and move on.”

Moving on to more fun things, and we’ll get to more in the paper tomorrow (online tonight), the Cubs honored shortstop Javier Baez and pitcher Kyle Hendricks as their minor-league player and pitcher of the year, respectively. Both met the media in the Cubs dugout.

“It’s awesome,” Hendricks said. “It’s my first time at Wrigley. Being out here on the field, seeing all the big-leaguers taking BP. Some of the guys I know. I’ve played with them in Triple-A and spring training. This is what you dream of, to be on this field, so it’s awesome to be here. My parents are here. They’re ecstatic, obviously, about it. Just trying to take it all in.”

Hendricks is currently enrolled at Dartmouth, where he is finishing his final quarter. He’s an economics major with a minor in math. Smart kid.

Baez absolutely tore it up between Class A Daytona and Class AA Tennessee this year, with a combined 37 homers and 111 RBI.

“I just play the game,” he said, modestly.

Baez is not playing in the Arizona Fall League this year, as originally planned. He’ll work out in Arizona later this fall and get ready for spring training.

As far as taking his game to the next level he said: “Just playing good defense and being patient at the plate.”

The Cubs still see Baez as a shortstop, and he’ll begin next season at Class AAA Iowa as a shortstop. From there, we’ll see. The Cubs feel Baez has the athleticism to play anywhere, and yesterday, scouting-and-development chief Jason McLeod said he’d be a good fit at second base because it’s in the middle of the diamond.

“I’ll play wherever they want me to,” he said.

As far as today’s game goes, the Cubs’ Travis Wood takes on Kris Medlen of the Braves, whose magic number to clinch the NL East is 1. It’s all over if the Braves win here today, no matter what the National do tonight against the Marlins. Wood is tied for sixth in the major leagues with 23 quality starts. He has made 30 starts this season.

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