Will the Cubs Go To A Six-Man Rotation? And Other News and Notes

With Matt Garza nearing his return to the Cubs’ rotation, Dale Sveum was asked about the possibility of the Cubs going to a six-man rotation prior to Tuesday’s game. Sveum did not rule out the Cubs going to a six-man rotation for a short time but it is highly unlikely they would go that route. Sveum said Tuesday the team would cross that bridge after Garza pitches on Thursday.

Carlos Villanueva is likely the odd-man out of the rotation. He admitted he did not help his case to stay in the rotation on Tuesday night. Villanueva allowed a season-high seven runs on a season-high 12 hits in his shortest outing of the year (five innings).

Matt Garza is scheduled to make his fourth rehab start on Thursday when Iowa hosts Tucson. Garza threw a bullpen at Wrigley on Monday and reportedly feels great. Garza is looking forward to returning to the rotation but is not looking past Thursday’s start. Reports Tuesday indicated that Garza could rejoin the team at some point next week during the six game road trip through Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Jed Hoyer mentioned on Tuesday morning that the Cubs’ plan was to have Matt Garza make two more rehab appearances just to extend him. The Cubs would like to see him go six innings in a rehab outing before they activate him from the DL. Garza threw 66 pitches in his last start with Double-A Tennessee in 3 1/3 innings.

When asked about the possibility of a six-man rotation, Hoyer took the company line and said those things always have a tendency of working themselves out.

Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler was named Florida State League player of the week for the week ending May 12. Soler went 7-for-15 in four games with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, five runs scored and four RBI. Soler has reached base safely in 10 straight and has bounced back rather well from his suspension earlier in the season.

Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs have tried to sign Jeff Samardzija to a long term extension and Samardzija reportedly turned down a five year contract in the $30 million range in the off-season. Samardzija was asked about his future with the team after Anthony Rizzo’s seven year deal was announced on Monday. Samardzija is not worried about his contract according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

Samardzija’s agent told ESPN Chicago that there is “nothing to report on a potential Samardzija deal at this point.”

Jeff Samardzija said that he and the front office have an understanding … both sides would like for Samardzija to remain a Cub. Samardzija remains under the Cubs’ control through the 2015 season and he is fine with going through the arbitration process and would like to pitch an entire season in the rotation before looking at a long term contract extension.

Full Report from ESPN Chicago

During Anthony Rizzo’s press conference on Monday, Jed Hoyer said he hopes players follow Castro and Rizzo and sign a long term extension with the team. Hoyer obviously did not name which players he would like to sign to extensions.

Hoyer told Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth on Tuesday morning (MLB Network Radio) that the Cubs were able to keep the negotiations with Anthony Rizzo quiet, so anything they do with Samardzija they will try to keep as quiet as possible.

More News and Notes

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Arodys Vizcaino was in Chicago on Monday to be examined by team doctors. Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery and the last update indicated Vizcaino was making progress with his rehab … but that was six weeks ago and it could be several more weeks before he is ready to pitch in the minors.

Alfonso Soriano sees Cubs’ future without him according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Soriano told Bruce Levine that he is happy for Anthony Rizzo and his new contract but Levine picked up on sadness in Soriano’s voice when he spoke about the team moving forward. Soriano would like to be a part of “this group” but realizes he is getting old and will not be around the team much longer. Levine reported there is a good chance that a team will try to acquire Soriano before the trading deadline.

According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs do not have any contract extension talks planned with Matt Garza at this point.

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  • paulcatanese

    Ironic isn’t it , Barney was in a long slump and then breaks out of in a big way 3/4 with a home run and double along with a single. At least that’s one positive for the night. When the Cubs get the pitching they don’t get the hitting. Well always tomorrow. Maybe it will carry over with Barney and that should help.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Don’t forget about Ian Stewart! He could be called up soon! His hustle will help the Cubs!

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        Some great writer once said that sarcasm is the poorest form of communication.

      • John_CC

        Actually Rips, we’ve all forgotten about Stewart, and you should too.

    • DWalker

      sounds like they were tinkering with his swing since he’s been back- “RT @JordanBernfield #Cubs Barney said he was letting the ball get too deep on him by design,plan was to hit to right.Now trying to drive it.” Honestly not sure how I feel about it. I know now is the time to be tinkering with him if he is going to be part of the future.

  • triple

    The 3-4-5 hitters went 0-12 w/ 6 runners left on base. Paul is right, the one positive to take is Barney’s great day. Hopefully he can keep it going. I don’t think we need to question his work ethic, so hopefully that starts to pay off.

  • redlarczykg

    Camp has been horrible this year.
    7.31 ERA – 16 IN – 23 H – AVG .348
    But he’s Sveum’s buddy. And he’s got a rubber arm.
    He’s also 37 years old.
    Since this a year of tryouts, why not give a rookie a chance. Blake Parker at AAA 15.2 IN only 6 H and 20 SO.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I think once they bring Garza off the DL, he’ll be DFA’d.

      • paulcatanese

        We can all dream:)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Parker has looked good…but the Cubs have to pay Camp is he is DFA’d. Besides, Camp is an asset to a team trying to lose 100 games.

      • 07GreyDigger

        And what are they paying Camp? $1.35 million. If they can pay Stewart $2 million to languish in the minors, they’ll pay Camp $1.35 million to stink for someone else. Drop in the bucket.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I think at this point losing 100 games is not going to happen. They’ve looked very competitive of late against good competition. It’s an exciting time with all the great moves being made and the improved play on the field. Sveum seems to really be getting the most out of what he has.

        Big kudos to Bosio as well. At this point if there is an award for assistant coaches I’d say he would be the front-runner.

        • DWalker

          I still have a hard time giving a lot of credit to Sveum. I find myself generally liking the guy, but he makes decisions I still struggle with. His bull pen management is still well under par in my opinion, especially with sticking to roles rather than worrying more about using a strong pitcher to tackle the heart of the like the marmol/russell situation a week or two ago. I also question if he is tinkering too much with everyones swings and calling for singles in RISP situations and this thing about Barney’s swing today. I don’t what all is going on behind the scenes, but I certainly wonder about. Maybe he is breaking guys out into new levels and it is working. I don’t know, on the other hand this is also the time to be doing it if he is rather than in two years. I also have to question if he is really holding guys accountable. Castro for instnace and his lapses. We don’t know what goes on in the clubhouse and whatnot, so maybe he is, but we aren’t seeing it.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I know that in terms of bullpen, that guys pitch better when they know their roles which is probably why he’s been sticking to roles so much. I think the days are gone when you can throw a bullpen guy out there whenever and they’ll be OK with that. Especially when there’s so much money to be made as closers or top flight set up men.

            As for the Castro thing, I totally agree. He’s definitely one of their marquee players, but when it’s all said and done, I’m assuming he’ll be a 4th and 5th option, especially if he doesn’t start figuring things out. We have to hope he’s being disciplined and I’m not sure that letting Soriano handle him is the best option.

        • Brp921

          i will agree about Bosio,at least for now, the pitching staff, for the most part, looks better than last year and the year before.

        • Brp921

          Could you elaborate a little on the great moves though. Are you speaking of the off season signings the front office made, or the in game decisions by management, or something else.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            My comment comes based on the wins lately. We just won a series against a likely postseason contender and another team that most pundits agree is better than us. To me that’s getting the most out of what you have. When things go wrong usually the manager catches a lot of the blame. So when things go well the same should be the case. At this point Sveum is the one making the day to day decisions about what to do on the field and how to get guys that are slumping turned around. I’d say he’s doing a pretty good job. This team isn’t as talented as either of the two we just beat but we won nonetheless.

            I have argued all year long that some of our players and offseason pick-ups are better than they are getting credit for, but still the manager has to lead them to the W. Sveum is doing a good job at this point.

  • Ray Ray

    Big Z is back! Phillies just signed him :)

    • triple

      It’ll be nice to see some good ‘ol “Big Z” implosions!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Phillies = desperate

    • paulcatanese

      Good gosh, wonders never cease. He couldn’t even get a deal in Japan. Phillies must really be hurting. Putting aside his temper, he is over the hill, gone, never to be a force again.
      As far as his temper goes, his bad pitching will bring it out again, don’t know why he is trying again, has to be ego, unbelievable.

      • 07GreyDigger

        It’s totally ego. I read a story where Ozzie Guillen was quoted (why anyone cares about HIM anymore either) as saying “that Zambrano was shocked and upset he got no major league deals.”

        Zambrano’s head was so big, he couldn’t even see that his stupid behavior was keeping him from being signed. Talk about being clueless.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Phils going to six man rotation…..

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Oh hell yes! Can’t wait to see him rumble in from the bullpen.

      • Brp921

        But Sandberg couldn’t fix anything could he boardrider?

    • BosephHeyden

      Maybe Sandberg will fix him when he inevitably takes over in the next year or two…

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