Cubs

Bricks & Ivy: Opening Day Starring Starlin?

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Bricks & Ivy: Opening Day Starring Starlin?

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
2:41 PM

by Luke Stuckmeyer
CSNChicago.com

It's come to this. Twittering managers. I thought 10 distinguished journalists snapping Facebook pictures and twittering tidbits all day was the end of the world...but this is a much clearer sign. Ozzie Guillen has a Twitter account and word spread to Lou Piniella in Mesa. When we explained that Ozzie was posting his thoughts in 140 characters or less, Lou was amusingly surprised by the idea.

"Ozzie, he needs more space than that," Lou joked. "I'm not a Facebook or Twitter guy, you know? I'm more of a prime rib and baked potato."

I quickly ran back and twittered the quotes before entering the blogosphere at Bricks and Ivy. By the way, my Twitter name is @CSNStucky.

OPENING DAY STARRING STARLIN?

If Ryan Theriot suffered some sort of injury in this spring, the Cubs 1 prospect would get a chance. Lou Piniella told the media on Wednesday that he'd be more than comfortable letting 19-year-old Starlin Castro fill in at the Major League level if Theriot was banged up. That doesn't mean Theriot won't be there all year, it just speaks volumes about how high the Cubs are on this kid. Castro looks smooth in the field and has quick hands at the plate. He played this winter for former Cub Moises Alou who was extremely impressed.

CUBS WEEK 1-ON-1 INTERVIEWS

Starting this Sunday the 28th, we'll have Cubs week on SportsNite. Five full length sit-down interviews I did with five key pieces to the Cubs' season. Lou Piniella, Rudy Jaramillo, Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee and Marlon Byrd. Guess which guy went for a dolphin ride this winter? This blog entry is now over. Tweet.

Luke Stuckmeyer covers the Cubs for Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @CSNStucky.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 49th homer of the season came with a runner on 1st and one out, when Oriel Hershiser served up a high fastball that Sammy belted 415 feet into the last few rows in left-center field. 

Sosa would later start the game-winning rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring the game-tying run on a Henry Rodriguez single through the right side of the infield. Jose Hernandez would step in the next at-bat and walk it off with a base hit that scored Mark Grace, as Sammy and the Cubs bested the Giants 6-5. 

Fun Fact: A 33-year-old Barry Bonds would hit home run No. 25, finishing the season with 37 homers. He would finish the next season with 34 dingers but would string five consecutive seasons with at least 45 home runs, of course hitting a record 73 home runs in 2001. 

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans.