To help preview our upcoming series with the Chicago Cubs, I talked with Al Yellon from Bleed Cubbie Blue, one of the top Cubs blogs on the net, to talk about the Cubs season thus far and what the future holds for a franchise in the midst of a transition period.
TNB: Stephen Strasburg goes down again with an injury, possibly ending his season. Is he the second coming of Mark Prior?
Bleed Cubbie Blue: Well, based on what I heard late yesterday, it appears Strasburg may be able to pitch after all. I know the Nats have to be very careful with him given his potential and the money they have invested in him. Prior's injuries may have been caused in part by a couple of freak accidents (a collision with Marcus Giles in 2002, and a line drive off his right elbow by Brad Hawpe in 2005).
I was hoping to see Strasburg against the Cubs this year, but he wasn't scheduled to pitch in this series anyway. Perhaps in 2011. I wish him well -- he's a tremendous talent.
TNB: Derrek Lee is now with the Atlanta Braves. What was his significance to the Cubs franchise and what does the team plan to do with first base?
Bleed Cubbie Blue: Derrek Lee was one of the most popular Cubs of his seven-season tenure with the team; you can see fans wearing his jersey all over Wrigley Field, even during the last series with the Braves. He finishes with the fourth-highest OPS of any Cub with more than 1500 plate appearances and 11th on the all-time Cub HR list. He plays the game with class and dignity and I wish him well.
The Cubs are going to try rookie Tyler Colvin at first base (where he played a bit at Clemson) during the Nats series. It's not clear whether this is a genuine tryout or just a way to make him more versatile; the Cubs may have to go to free agency or trade to get a full-time 1B for next season.