Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago tells the interesting tale of how Kyle Schwarber put himself on the Cubs’ radar — with a big assist from longtime scout Stan Zielinski, who unfortunately passed away recently. Zielinski drew quite a picture of Schwarber upon seeing him in person, invoking none other than Babe Ruth and calling Schwarber “the best college bat I’ve seen in a long time” — adding, “and remember I’m so old I’ve seen a lot of them.” It’s an interesting read that’s well worth your time.
Here’s more from the NL Central:
- This profile of new Brewers slugger Eric Thames, from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, also merits a look this morning. Interestingly, as Nicholson-Smith writes and Thames explains, the 30-year-old has flattened his swing out since he last appeared in the majors. While there’s an increasing trend toward doing just the opposite to drive power enhancements, Thames engineered his return to the bigs by posting massive home run tallies in Korea.
- The Cardinals aren’t denying that there’s a bit of worry with the early performance of their relief corps, as ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon reports. While the unit got the job done last night, Trevor Rosenthal — who was handed the ball in the eighth — was touched for three hits and a run while recording just one out. Closer Seung-hwan Oh and major free-agent signee Brett Cecil have each struggled through the season’s first nine games, among others. Short sample alarms are by now obviously blaring, and there’s not a whole that that could be done at this stage anyway. But that doesn’t mean the front office isn’t keeping an eye on the situation. “I’m concerned, but I also realize it is still too early to panic,” said GM John Mozeliak.
- That’s not to say that the Cardinals aren’t open to trying things in hopes of jolting the club out of its uninspiring start. After all, lumbering first baseman Matt Adams has now seen 27 1/3 innings of action in left field — a decision that boosts the lineup but also comes with some tradeoffs. Matheny acknowledges as much, as Saxon further reports. “We’re going to get what we get out of a guy who hasn’t played a lot there,” Matheny said in discussing Adams’s transition to the grass. “We’ve seen opportunities to make an impact offensively and, right now, we need both.”