Travis Wood was named to his first All Star squad on Saturday and will be the Cubs’ lone representative in the upcoming Mid-Summer Classic. Wood has been one of the bright spots for the big league team this season. Wood is 5-6 in 17 starts with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Wood has recorded 16 quality starts in 17 tries while allowing less hits (75) than innings pitched (110 1/3). Wood has struck out 80 batters while walking only 33 and appears to be gaining confidence with every start.
After posting a 3-2 record in six starts in May with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, Wood is 0-3 in his last six games with a 2.58 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. In his last 38 1/3 innings, Wood has allowed 12 runs, 11 earned, on 26 hits with nine walks and 30 strikeouts.
Travis Wood is scheduled to pitch the final game prior to the break against the Cardinals. Unless the Cubs make a change to accommodate Wood, the lefty will make the trip to New York and will be introduced with the rest of the NL All-Stars but he will not be eligible to pitch.
The Cubs continue to talk with multiple teams about Matt Garza according to reports on Saturday. The Tribune reported that the Indians could end up landing Garza because Terry Francona is a big fan of Garza from their days together in the AL East, plus the Indians “need to reach the playoffs to wake-up a fan base that has been slow to react to the team’s improvement.”
The Tribune reported the other teams that have discussed Garza are the same ones from a year ago that were not willing to meet the Cubs’ asking price.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are very interested in Matt Garza once again this year. One of Rosenthal’s sources told him the Cubs and Rangers were within minutes of pulling off a deal that included Garza last July while another source said the two teams were “really close.” Rosenthal reported the two teams were working on contingency plans after his injury until the Rangers could not wait any longer and settled for Ryan Dempster.
The Dodgers are likely out of the mix for Garza after pulling off a trade with the Marlins for Ricky Nolasco on Saturday night. The Dodgers will pay the remaining $5.5 million left on Nolasco’s deal and sent minor league pitchers Steven Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez to Miami for Nolasco and $197,000 in International bonus pool money.
Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a home run in his Double-A debut on Saturday night. The Cubs promoted Baez after Friday night’s game and Baez wasted no time making a statement at the Double-A level. Baez hit a towering home run in his first at bat. Baez lifted a 2-1 pitch to deep center and out of the park. Baez struck out swinging, flied out to left and grounded out to third in his other three at bats. Baez played a solid short and he teamed up with Arismendy Alcantara on a nifty double play.
Jed Hoyer said they promoted Baez a month earlier than planned because he reached his goals and they want to keep him challenged.
Daytona’s manger, Dave Keller, told the Daytona News Journal that Baez’s improved defense and patience at the plate led to the promotion.
Minor League Moves
The roster shuffle throughout the system continued on Saturday. With Javier Baez on the Smokies’ roster and the recent addition of Nate Samson, the Cubs sent Elliot Soto down to Daytona on Saturday and promoted Jeffry Antigua to Triple-A Iowa.
The Boise Hawks also announced a notable addition to their roster, along with a few other changes on Saturday. Cubs’ second-round pick LHP Rob Zastryzny was added to the Hawks roster, along with tenth-round pick, RHP Zack Godley. Rehabbing Dae-Eun Rhee was also added to the Hawks’ roster. The Hawks placed third-round pick Jacob Hannemann and pitcher Carlos Martinez on the 7-day DL with undisclosed injuries.
The CCO reported incorrect information on Friday night in regards to the Cubs’ plans for Arismendy Alcantara. In the Javier Baez promotion report, I incorrectly posted that Alcantara should soon receive a promotion to Triple-A Iowa with Baez being bumped up to Double-A. It was my understanding that the Cubs planned to leave Alcantara at shortstop, thus mentioning in the report about a possible promotion.
The Cubs have decided to move Alcantara to second base according to multiple reports on Saturday.
Arismendy Alcantara will represent the Cubs’ organization in the SiriusXM Futures Game next Sunday during All-Star weekend at Citi Field and will participate in the Southern League All-Star Game