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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