The Cubs begin a seven-game trip on the left coast late Monday night with the first of three against the Padres. The last time the Cubs played in San Diego (May 22-May 24) they were swept out of town. The Cubs enter play tonight five games back of the Cardinals in the division and 3 1/2 games back of the Rockies (Giants 1 1/2, Marlins 2, Braves 3 and Brewers 6 1/2) in the NL Wild Card race.
Here’s some news you can use, including an update on the sale of the team, for a Monday morning before a week full of late nights out west …
The sale of the Chicago Cubs appears to be nearing an end … just not this season. The papers should be ‘officially‘ signed this week according to multiple reports, including one from Dave Kaplan.
Once the papers are signed they will then be sent to the MLB ownership committee for approval, then to the bankruptcy court and finally to the MLB owners for final approval. The Ricketts Family is expected to have full control of the team sometime around the World Series.
Other than the play on the field, this is BY FAR the most important step for this organization. Until this sale is finally completed, it began in April of 2007, nothing can be done to improve the organization and move forward.
Carlos Zambrano will not accompany the Cubs on the seven-game road trip. He will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday then join the Peoria Chiefs for a rehab start on Thursday. If everything goes as planned, Zambrano will rejoin the Cubs on August 25 at Wrigley against the Washington Nationals.
Zambrano “vowed to finally follow a workout regimen” to help his back. Big Z broke his silence with the media on Sunday (nine days) and admitted he’s been lazy.
“There are things in life you don’t like to do, but you have to do them. I don’t like abs [abdominal muscles workouts] but I have to do them. I have to start doing them every day and be serious about it.”
“I’ve got to be honest with me and with you [media] guys and the fans. I’m 28 years old, I’m not 16 anymore, I’m a big guy and I work hard every day [but] one of the things I don’t like to do is my abs, my core work.If I do abs every day and keep doing my job and be serious about my abs, I’ll be OK.”
Zambrano does not think his back issues are due to taking batting practice.
The Cubs are looking for Zambrano to throw between 70-75 pitches for the Chiefs.
The Cubs will get a boost tonight with the return of Ted Lilly to the rotation. Lilly was Lou Piniella’s most reliable and consistent pitcher before going on the DL on July 21 with left shoulder inflammation.
The Cubs need Lilly back in the rotation for the stretch run. With the return of ‘The Bulldog‘, the Cubs will have to make a roster move. Look for Justin Berg or Esmailin Caridad to be sent down. Both pitchers will return once the rosters expand on September 1.
John Gaub was one of the three pitchers acquired from the Indians for Mark DeRosa on December 31, 2008 … and likely the one that could help them the most this season.
The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 38, so there is room to add the southpaw to the Major League roster … plus they have two more spots they could create by moving Chad Fox to the 60-day DL and recalling Neal Cotts then placing him on the 60-day DL.
Gaub picked up his first save on Sunday for the I-Cubs and has been extremely impressive this season.
John Gaub (turned 24 on April 28) posted a 3-1 record with a 2.83 ERA and four saves in 26 games out of Ryne Sandberg’s bullpen. Gaub allowed just 19 hits and 17 walks in 28 2/3 innings to go along with 40 strikeouts.
In 18 games for the I-Cubs, Gaub is 0-1 with a 0.40 ERA … just seven hits and seven walks in 22 2/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .160 against him while righties are hitting .060.
The Cubs have little to no room for error the remainder of the season. When they have a lead they must be able to nail it down. Angel Guzman has done his job but needs help. John Gaub might be the answer … because Kevin Gregg is not.