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 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.
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.
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.