I imagine this was announced when the Cubs first announced ballpark renovations, but if I ever heard it I forgot about it. But it’s worth noting that, beginning in the 2017 season, the bullpens at Wrigley Field will no longer be in foul territory next to the stnads. They’ll be under the bleachers. A full report on the change can be read at the Chicago Tribune.
As Paul Sullivan notes, the move is almost certainly aimed at increasing the number of high-revenue seats down close to the field, even if the Cubs are saying it’s a safety matter. Probably doesn’t matter either way, though Joe Maddon and many Cubs pitchers aren’t thrilled with it. Both because of the aesthetics of it all and because of the home field advantage the Cubs get when opposing pitchers are jeered as they warm up.
Chad Kreuter, meanwhile, thinks this is a good 17 years too late.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.