Stewart Not Ready to Return and Other Cubs Notes

Ian Stewart told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday that he does not think he is ready to return to the Cubs. Stewart explained that he needs more time after struggling over 12 rehab games with Iowa. But the problem is that position players are allowed only 20 days on a single rehab assignment which means Stewart’s rehab time in Iowa runs out after Friday.

Brian Harper has been working with Stewart and has seen progress, and so has Iowa’s manager, Marty Pevey.

Ian Stewart went 0-for-4 on Tuesday with a strikeout. In 12 rehab games with Iowa, Stewart is 4-for-40 with eight walks, one double, five runs scored, five RBI, 15 strikeouts and four errors.

A report from Gordon Wittenmyer indicated the Cubs might have to option Stewart to Triple-A Iowa in order to give him more time. The Cubs re-signed Stewart in the off-season after non-tendering him less than a week before committing to Stewart for another year. Stewart signed a one-year, $2 million contract that includes an incentive package worth an additional $500,000.

Luis Valbuena is hitting .243/.338/.500 with a .838 OPS that includes three doubles and five home runs in 21 games while Cody Ransom is 7-for-14 in five games with the Cubs that includes two doubles and three home runs.

News and Notes

Matt Garza is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Wednesday afternoon in a Smokies’ uniform. Following Tuesday’s off day, the Smokies traveled to Mississippi to take on the Braves. Garza is scheduled for two innings in what will be his first game action since last July … first pitch is scheduled for 11:00am CDT.

According to ESPN Chicago, Edwin Jackson wore it when he spoke to the media following Tuesday’s start. Jackson admitted he let everyone down his first month with the team.

Josh Vitters was activated from the 7-day DL on Tuesday. Vitters had been slowed by muscle spasms in his back and was placed on Iowa’s DL on April 9. Vitters did not arrive in Des Moines in time for Tuesday’s game but is expected in Wednesday’s lineup. Vitters is expected to play left field with Ian Stewart continuing his rehab assignment.

Barret Loux (ankle) and Darnell McDonald (thumb) were placed on Iowa’s 7-day DL on Tuesday.

According to Dale Sveum, Steve Clevenger is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a strained left oblique. Clevenger will report to Mesa in the next few days to start hitting.

Kyuji Fujikawa’s next bullpen session is scheduled for Thursday. If all goes well, Kyuji Fujikawa will report to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday to begin his rehab stint. According to multiple reports, the Cubs would like to see him throw in two rehab games before he is activated from the DL.

David DeJesus, Luis Valbuena and Julio Borbon were hitting off a tee with assistant hitting coach Rob Deer on Tuesday according to Bruce Miles.

Former Cubs’ RHP and catcher Randy Wells announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday. The Cubs drafted Wells as a catcher in the 38th round of the 2002 draft. Wells was not able to repeat the success he had in 2009. Wells replaced Carlos Zambrano in the rotation that season and posted a12-10 record in 27 starts with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Wells was slowed by injuries the past two seasons and could not get on track in the Rangers after signing a minor league contract with Texas in the off-season.

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  • calicub

    Darnell McDonald, 34 yrs. old, batting .182/.250/.258/.508

    I have to imagine that with BJAX, Sweeny, Bogusevic, Lillibridge, Ty Wright, and soon vitters all getting reps in the outfield, there’s not much time left for 1998’s #21 ranked prospect.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I agree and was stupefied that the Cubs even attempted to keep him.

      Brag about Bogusevic all they want, he still cannot hit ML pitching for average, has no power, and no speed.

      Stewart: dogging it, just like I said.

      • calicub

        Yeah it’s not looking pretty for Stewart. With the way LV and Ransom are performing, it’d been real nice if the FO had just cut their loses and claimed Zach Cox from Miami so he could be taking the reps @ 3B in Iowa…

        Hindsight and what not.

        I haven’t looked at Bogusevics splits but if he could replace Sappelt on the current roster I’d be all for it (minus the whole LHB thing). I think that 3rd of the Marshall trade was sure to fail from the get go..

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        Stewart dogging it?? Gee, there’s a big surprise.

      • paulcatanese

        While some have stated that Theo’s legacy may depend on Jackson being a poor signing, that may be a bit premature, still a small sample size.(Although he would really have to turn it around,(Jackson).
        What very well could be the worst signing that Theo has made would be Stewart, I do not see him in anyway being what they (Cubs) believed him to be.
        I do not understand it now, then, or any time that they brought him in. A poor, poor judgment on their part, as well as Loe, even as a filler, just a waste of time and money. I do not expect statues to be constructed for either one, unless they are looking for something to attract the waste bearing birds.

        • DWalker

          I know I made the comment Jackson may be Theo’s signature signing for a while. I think right now, Jackson will have more impact than Stewart as it stands right now on peopels minds. Stewart is gone after this year almost certainly, and may never paly another game in the majors, already people are forgettign about him as a big league player on the roster. It was a good idea, wrong person that has only a minor financial impact and the loss of a handful of mediocre guys that while they might have been more useful this year than Stewart, had no long term place with the club. Jackson on the other hand, has a 4 year $52 million dollar contract that is going to be a bear to unload for the next few years EVEN IF he improves. Hopefully in two years, we have some pitchers coming up, so where does that leave Jackson? Even if he is performing, will anyone want him with say a year and a half or two years left on his contract? Stewart looks bad, but will fade from most peoples memory in short order. Jackson is probably going to linger, especially if he doesn’t start pitching well.

          • Ray Ray

            People cannot blame this contract on Hendry. It was an overpay when they signed him and it is still an overpay

          • paulcatanese

            I see you’re point, well taken.

  • calicub

    With Gregg somehow not letting the Cubs down a second time and Kyuji on his way back, I have some confidence this team may in fact be a .500 team by the ASB or when the Cubs start selling off pieces. Hitters are starting to wake up and the rotation has been a breath of fresh air so far, except for Jackson but I’m not quite as down on him yet as others seem to be..

    • Ray Ray

      Really? Don’t let 3-4 against the Marlins confuse reality. This team will struggle to score runs against good teams and quality starters..500 is a stretch.

      • calicub

        Yes it was the Marlins, and yes in all likelihood the Cubs wont be a .500 team, but the bp seems to be settling down and the baatts are waking up, mainly rizzo.

        I know your a glass half empty kind of guy Ray but this team is just as unlucky as it is bad..

        The cubs have played alt of good teams, and have been in every one of them

        • calicub

          Last night was th first time they were blown out of the water, andthey still scored 7 runs. I can life with that

        • Ray Ray

          I am not a glass half empty type of guy. I am realistic on what this team has. They have a bunch of below average major leaguers. To think Valbuena and Ransom will continue is unrealistic.To think Gregg will continue to perform is unrealistic. Look within the division. Do you honestly think the Cubs are better than any of the teams? So……. .500 is not realistic. There is a difference to see through rose colored glasses and being realistic.

          • calicub

            Fatalists often disguise themselves as realists but it doesn’t change the truth…

            The Cubs have been in almost everygame against teams expected to compete or atleast have winning records. I have no illusions that the players the Cubs have are not superstars, but i think its too early to write off the Cubs as playing .500 ball over the next month and a half.

          • calicub

            Obviously its conditional and there are big if’s but its not out of the realm of posibilities.

            Kyuji replcing Loe, is an automatic improvement.

            Castro isn’t going to remaind a .270’s hitter
            Rizzos average is rising

            The rotation is strong aside from Jackson, with Garza coming and baker sometime after that.

            Defense following barney’s return has also improved dramatically.

          • Ray Ray

            Read this Cali Cub. I guess this guy’s glass is half full. It is just being realistic. This team is not good.

            Terrible Offense
            – The Cubs have gotten off to an unimpressive start at the plate.
            Scoring only 3.5 runs per game, they are on pace to be one of the worst
            scoring teams in the league. The shape of the scoring output is likely
            to change; Nate Schierholtz won’t be batting .355 while Anthony Rizzo sits at .158 in a month. However, there’s no reason to expect great things from this team offensively. With only Starlin Castro, Trade-Bait Soriano,
            and Rizzo as the only players who have proven they can bat well at this
            level, the walk-fearing Cubs will continue to struggle to score.

            Decent Starting Pitching – This is a mixed bag varying from pitcher to pitcher. Jeff Samardzija’s
            success is legitimate. He seems to have picked up where he left of last
            year before getting with a 12.36 K/9 trailing only A.J. Burnett in the
            national league. The low walk rate and high rate of ground balls
            generated of 62.8 percent are also encouraging. Carlos Villanueva’s 0.64 ERA is an obvious candidate for regression to the production level of mere mortals. Those batting against Travis Wood
            have only hit ground balls 35.3 percent of the time and have hit only
            .235 on balls put in play. All those line drives and fly balls will turn
            into hits and home runs before long. Scott Feldman has pitched just as bad as his results have indicated, but Edwin Jackson is sure to turn things around based on his respectable performance in regards to strikeouts and walks so far.

            Marmol – Yup. He’s this bad. No advanced stats required, the man can’t find the strike zone.

            The rest of the bullpen – Not enough innings here from any player to make any real conclusions. The most notable fluky performance is Kyuji Fujikawa’s
            double digit ERA. Nothing about how he’s pitched here or in Japan
            indicates that batters will continue to hit .471 on balls in play
            against him or that base runners will be left stranded over 40 percent
            of the time. He will be useful after he returns from injury.

            4-8 Record – While technically it would be surprising if this
            club lost over 100 games as that record projects to, the general idea is
            not far off. There is below .500 level talent on the field, and being
            outscored 54-42 through 12 gives no indication that anyone should change
            their mind about this team.

          • calicub

            I did not say this team is good!!!

            and no I’m not gong to read paragraphs of some unkowns opinion thatyou agree with. Give me enough time I’ll find an article talking about the cheese farms on the moon.

            The fact of the matter is this: 24 of 25 games, the Cubs have been in games. Yes they find ways to blow it, but think about the circumstances.

            lillibridge and gonzalez hacking it on defense.

            Kyuji went down and there was no one to turn down. Gregg is filling that hole now, and upon his return the bulpen will improve. When Garza or baker returns and pushes feldman back to the pen, it will improve even more.

            again, I HAVE NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF PLAYER ON THIS ROSTER!

            but it is not out of the realm of possibility for the current trend to continue and currently injured players to return and improve this roster.

          • Ray Ray

            Wow! Let me recommend De-Caf. lol. Just enjoy the few winning streaks this team will have. It was built to lose. They don’t have a snowballs chance in hell to compete. Isn’t that what the Cubs want? Don’t be middle of the road? Be terrible or great? As the article said. They have 3 major league hitters and 1 will probably be traded at some time. Travis Wood cannot sustain his pace(Sabermetrics), Scott Feldman is brutal,EJax is not good. This team was terribly constructed and it was done on purpose

          • Ray Ray

            Good teams know how to close out games. Close is only good in hand grenades. I played against alot of poor teams that we knew we would find a way to win at the end if we stayed close. This is not even close to a .500 team

      • DWalker

        Yeah, they beat the marlins, and not very soundly. And last night the close game streak ended with a bang. Still though, they are getting production out of third base and Rizzo is starting to look like he isn’t totally overmatched. The fact that they stayed so close in games with very good teams in April does say they have a fighting chance in most every game. Starting pitching has been good for the most part, the bullpen is actually performing lately so in theory it is possible, even if unlikely.

        • calicub

          thank you. I’m not saying its guarunteed but its not out of the realm of possibility

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