The focus for the Cubs is about the future. Both the near-term future and the long-term future have been at the forefront in the last few days.
As for the near term, Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters in St. Louis before Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to the Cardinals that center fielder David DeJesus likely will be out a month after suffering a sprained right shoulder during last Friday's game in New York.
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That will put DeJesus out until after the all-star break. DeJesus' body of work is well known, and if the Cubs wish to trade him for prospects, they should have little trouble moving him, provided he's 100 percent healthy.
Sveum also said the Cubs would "lengthen" their bench with the start of this weekend's interleague series against the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field.
When DeJesus went on the DL over the weekend, the Cubs activated relief pitcher Shawn Camp off the DL, giving them a 13-man pitching staff. There are many who think today's norm of 12 pitchers is unwieldy, but 13 places an even bigger burden on a manager, especially in long games when more bench players are needed.
For the weekend, the Cubs could activate catcher-infielder Steve Clevenger off the 60-day DL. Clevenger, who has been rehabbing at Class AAA Iowa, went down with an oblique injury April 14, and he could give the Cubs some much-needed flexibility as he's able to catch and play both infield corners.
With Ryan Sweeney playing ably in center field and Julio Borbon also an option, there doesn't seem to be any urgency on the Cubs' part to bring up Brett Jackson from Iowa.
Jackson entered Wednesday with a hitting line of .223/.303/.369 with 6 home runs, 22 RBI and 72 strikeouts in 206 at-bats for Iowa.
As for the long term, the Cubs announced the signing Wednesday of fifth-round draft pick Trey Masek, a right-handed pitcher out of Texas Tech. Officially, the Cubs have signed nine players from the June 6 amateur draft, including three top-10 selections. Other reports later Wednesday said the Cubs had come to terms with nine of their first 10 picks.
Yet to sign is first-round pick (second overall) Kris Bryant, a third baseman out of the University of San Diego, but the Cubs officially have agreed with second-rounder Rob Zastrysny, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Missouri, and 10th-rounder Zachary Godley, a right-hander out of the University of Tennessee.
Reports also surfaced that the Cubs had come to terms with third-round pick Jacob Hannemann, an outfielder out of Brigham Young University. The reported bonus was $1 million.
In Wednesday's loss, the Cubs managed just 2 hits for the game, both against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. Cubs starter Edwin Jackson fell to 3-9 with a 5.49 ERA. The Cardinals scored 3 runs in the sixth, 2 coming on a homer by Yadier Molina.