Cubs’ frustrations boiling over
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 17, 2013 10:42PM
Updated: July 19, 2013 6:30AM
ST. LOUIS — Two hundred thirty games into the Cubs’ austerity-driven, ground-up overhaul of the organization, the frustration is reaching boiling temperature for some of the guys taking the hits at the big-league level.
Veteran Alfonso Soriano was mad enough to throw things and talk candidly about perhaps the toughest loss of the season Sunday in New York.
And during a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, manager Dale Sveum got as heated as he has in a Cubs uniform when Yadier Molina was called safe at the plate on a throw that beat him in the seventh inning. Sveum went off on home-plate umpire D.J. Reyburn long after Reyburn ejected him.
“It’s a big play in the game at that time,” said Sveum, still steamed an hour after the play, which made the score 3-0 and put the Cards in position to score again on an ensuing sacrifice fly.
The play started when first baseman Anthony Rizzo spotted Molina lumbering toward home after an infield single and overthrew the plate. Catcher Welington Castillo grabbed the quick carom and threw to pitcher Travis Wood covering, well ahead of Molina.
The Cubs’ 22nd loss in 30 division games seemed to carry over the charged emotions of Carlos Marmol’s ninth-inning loss Sunday.
Soriano called the 4-3 loss to the Mets “unacceptable” and “hard to swallow.” He also said Marmol “used to be good” but added “he’s still good” and “we have his back.”
The kind of anger Soriano expressed can walk a “fine line,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I’m not sure where we are on that line right now.
“You want to see that your players are really upset after a bad loss. Apathy is sort of the worst thing you could ever have. At the same time, players are busting their butt out there trying to succeed, and it is always a fine line.
“You never want to show up a teammate, or you never want to call out a teammate. But at the same time, you want to show your competitiveness.”
A day after Matt Garza said he’d prefer to have former Tampa Bay Rays teammate Dioner Navarro catch his starts, Sveum said no and backed second-year catcher Welington Castillo, a part of the Cubs’ rebuilding plan. “When you have fastball command, we could have an A-ball catcher catching,” Sveum said.
† Prospect Jorge Soler sat out Class A Daytona’s game Monday as the Cubs awaited a diagnosis on a possible shin injury.
† Sources confirmed second-round draft pick Rob Zastryzny, a lefty from Missouri, and fourth-rounder Tyler Skulina, a right-hander from Kent State, have signed deals. Skulina reportedly signed for an above-slot $800,000. Zastryzny reportedly signed for a below-slot $1.1 million.