Lou Piniella is not happy and according to a report in the Tribune….neither was the rest of the clubhouse after being shutout by the Reds on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs’ skipper mentioned, on several occasions, earlier in the week that changes are on the way, but what can and should be done with a team, that despite it’s recent struggles, is still 4 games over .500.
Here is the latest news from the North Side, Micah Hoffpauir’s return to Iowa, the addition of Hector Carrasco to the Triple-A staff and a few rumors from the mill….
- According to a report in the Tribune, Lou Piniella “will start playing the players who are producing, no matter who has to sit. That could mean more time for Ronny Cedeno, perhaps at the expense of the struggling Mark DeRosa.“
- Jim Hendry supports Lou Piniella’s decision to leave Alfonso Soriano at the top of the Cubs’ lineup the Chicago Tribune reported. Could Soriano be a better fit lower in the lineup, possibly 6th?
- Reports earlier in the week mentioned Scott Eyre would be activated on Friday. But after Wednesday’s game, reports surfaced that Eyre would be back with the Cubs possibly on Saturday depending on his outing on Wednesday. Eyre did not pitch in the I-Cubs win on Wednesday night.
- The Cubs will not carry 13 pitchers once (and if) Eyre is activated according to a report in the Tribune. And the speculation is that another reliever will be sent down when Eyre is ready to return.
News from the Farm
- Micah Hoffpauir turned a lot of heads in Spring Training and the young left hander returned to the I-Cubs lineup on Wednesday night. Hoffpauir was sidelined with a strained oblique on April 1st. Hoffpauir was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a strikeout in his first game of the season. To make room for Hoffpauir on the I-Cubs roster, Jake Fox was demoted to Double-A Tennessee after hitting .222 in 29 games with 6 home runs and 26 RBI’s.
- The Cubs signed Hector Carrasco and assigned him to Triple-A Iowa. Carrasco took Geoff Jones place on the I-Cubs roster after Jones announced his retirement. Carrasco was in Pirates camp this past spring and pitched in 29 games for the Angels last season. He was 2-1 with a 6.57 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. Carrasco’s page from the Baseball Cube.
- Rich Hill took the loss on Tuesday night for the Iowa Cubs. Hill allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings with a walk and 5 strikeouts. The big hit….a solo home run in the 1st inning with 2 outs by Jeremy Reed.
- Mark Holliman was sent back to Double-A Tennessee on Monday to make room for Rich Hill on the I-Cubs roster. Holliman was 1-1 with a 5.16 ERA in 5 starts.
- Corey Coles was released after the Cubs activated Eric Patterson from the DL. Coles was acquired from the Mets along with Ryan Meyers for Angel Pagan on January 5th.
From the Mill
Peter Gammons reported on Baseball Tonight and on his blog Monday that the Cubs would like to add a left-handed hitting outfielder to hit 5th in the lineup behind Aramis Ramirez. Lou Piniella would like to move Kosuke Fukudome up to 2nd in the lineup after Alfonso Soriano and ahead of Derrek Lee according to Gammons.
Gammons stated there “are few outfield bats available that fit that description” and mentioned the name Milton Bradley. But stated the Rangers are “unlikely to move him.” Gammon brought up Ken Griffey Jr.’s name but added that the Cubs would not pick up Griffey’s option for 2010….and that Griffey “is unlikely to agree to a deal without that option being guaranteed.”
Gammons also reported Sean Gallagher could be inserted into the Cubs’ rotation….and this was before Jon Lieber served up 4 long balls on Wednesday afternoon.
Enjoy the off day….