Is Bryant Daytona Bound? And Other Cubs News and Notes

Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to 12 games and drove in the winning run for the Hawks on Friday night. Bryant went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and he hit a sac fly in the ninth that gave Boise a 5-4 walk-off victory over Vancouver.

After a predictable slow start, Bryant is hitting .315/.381/.648/1.029 with six doubles and four home runs in 15 games. Reports on Friday afternoon indicated Bryant could be promoted to Kane County in the near future. But could Bryant skip Kane County and finish the season with the Daytona Cubs?

Patrick Mooney reported “there are signals” that Bryant “could skip Class-A Kane County and go directly to Advanced Class-A Daytona.” The CCO reported there was a possibility that Bryant could skip Kane County if he was able to perform well in a short amount of time with the Hawks. Daytona has 24 games remaining on their schedule that is if they don’t have any more rainouts.

According to Mooney’s report, Jed Hoyer “declined to say where Bryant could be heading next.”

Jeff Samardzija

More questions surfaced on Friday about Jeff Samardzija following his horrible outing on Thursday in Philadelphia. As Comcast SportsNet reported, Samardzija “wanted the pressure of another prove-it year” because he felt like he could perform like a front of the rotation starter and in turn he would be paid like one.

Samardzija struggled again on Thursday and is 1-2 in five starts since the break with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … in his last two starts, 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA and a 2.46 WHIP.

Following Samardzija’s outing on Thursday, Dale Sveum said, “When you’re good, you get paid, and if you’re not very good you don’t get paid.” Sveum pointed out that he is not concerned about Samardzija and a couple of plays, and decisions, could have changed the outcome on Thursday.

Sveum indicated on Friday that he would not be skipping Samardzija’s turn in the rotation to give him a breather. Samardzija is nearing a career-high for innings pitched (174 2/3 innings last season, 153 1/3 innings this year) but Samardzija stated on several occasions in the off-season and in Spring Training that his goal this season was to pitch at least 200 innings. Samardzija was not happy last year when the Cubs shut him down in early September.

Outside of the contract distractions, the lack of support could also be getting to Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs have been outscored 20-1 in his last three starts and the Cubs run differential is -30 in his starts while the Cubs are -8 in run differential in starts by other pitchers.

Jordan Bernfield brought up Samardzija’s day-night splits during the Re-Kap Show on 720 WGN after Friday night’s game. Samardzija is 2-7 in 12 day starts this season with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Teams are hitting .281 against Samardzija during the day and he has allowed 82 hits in 74 innings. At night, Samardzija is 4-6 in 12 starts with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Teams are hitting .222 against him in night games and he has allowed 66 hits in 79 1/3 innings.

Jeff Samardzija has shown signs of being a front of the rotation starter but the inconsistency is a concern, even for a team that is trying to find solutions to their pitching questions.

Dioner Navarro

Dioner Navarro left the team and flew back to Chicago to have an MRI on his right ankle. Dr. Stephen Gryzlo determined that Navarro has a mild/grade one right ankle sprain. Navarro will not be placed on the DL and will be able to play as the pain allows. Navarro is expected to rejoin the team on Saturday.

The Cubs flew Darnell McDonald to St. Louis on Friday in case Dioner Navarro had to be placed on the DL. Dave Sappelt would have been skipped over for a promotion for the second time in less than a week if the Cubs had added McDonald to the roster. With that said, Sappelt’s days in the organization appear to be numbered.

Matt Guerrier

Matt Guerrier’s season is over but he will not require Tommy John surgery. Matt Guerrier has been diagnosed with a “flexor mass injury” that will require surgery.

The Cubs were happy with the way Guerrier pitched since he was acquired from the Dodgers. And they could look at bringing him back next season.

Kyle Hendricks

RHP Kyle Hendricks made his Triple-A debut on Thursday night … and put together a very good outing. Hendricks allowed one unearned run on four hits in seven innings. Hendricks walked one and struck out five batters. Hendricks threw 89 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Jed Hoyer said on Friday that the argument could be made that Hendricks has been the best pitcher in the system this season. According to a report from Carrie Muskat, it is unlikely that Hendricks would be called up in September when the rosters expand because they want to watch his innings. Hendricks threw 147 2/3 innings a year ago and has already thrown 133 1/3 innings this season.

Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler has been on the DL since the end of June with a stress fracture in his left tibia. Soler is scheduled to be examined in Chicago on Monday to see how his recovery is coming along. The Cubs would like to see him finish the season in Daytona.

Jorge Soler could make up the time he has missed in the Arizona Fall League.

Albert Almora

Albert Almora is on the DL with a groin injury. The Cubs were hoping that Almora would only miss a week at the time he was placed on the DL. Jed Hoyer said on Friday that Almora could be out 10 days to two weeks.

Like Soler, Albert Almora could make up some of the development time he has missed this season in the Arizona Fall League.

News and Notes

Catcher Taylor Davis was promoted from the Daytona Cubs to the Tennessee Smokies to take the spot of catcher Chad Noble. Noble was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa when the Cubs called up J.C. Boscan from Iowa on Thursday.

RHP Nick Struck has really struggled this season (6-8 in 22 games, 20 starts, with a 6.17 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP) at the Triple-A level and was sent down to Double-A Tennessee on Friday.

Zac Rosscup was bumped up from Tennessee to Iowa on Friday. The lefty reliever was 2-1 in 37 appearances out of the Smokies’ pen with a 2.49 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Rosscup struck out 66 batters and walked 19 in 43 1/3 innings (31 hits).

According to a report from Des Moines, Josh Vitters ran the bases on Friday and Marty Pevey is hoping that Vitters can be activated from the DL in the near future.

Brian Bogusevic hit leadoff for the AZL Cubs on Friday night in his first rehab start. The Cubs have not announced when Bogusevic could return to the Cubs’ lineup.

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  • Sonate

    Another thing about “the Shark.” It seems that his pitch counts regularly exceed 110. If so, that’s too much. The will burn his arm out. Shut him down at 100 pitches and his outings will likely improve.

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      OK… But his worse inning stats wise this year is the third and his numbers when pitching 101+ pitches are better than any other pitch count (small sample size).

    • SirGladiator

      It’s weird, but for some people high pitch counts are actually a GOOD thing. I don’t know if Samarja is one of them, but like, I remember turning a Detroit game on last year and seeing that they were in the 8th inning, Verlander had thrown like 120 pitches, they were WAY ahead, like 8 runs ahead, and they weren’t taking him out. I was like, is this manager insane? But the announcers were saying that Verlander says that throwing more pitches actually strengthens his arm, he wants to throw a ton of pitches, so that’s why they were leaving him in. He ended up throwing like 135 pitches before they took him out. So different people respond different ways to throwing a lot of pitches I guess :) .

  • mutantbeast

    Good to see Rosscup get promoted. He has swing/mss stuff at A and AA, and he could be a BP candidate next year if his numbers can translate.

    • SirGladiator

      That is great news indeed, especially because he’s a lefty, and for whatever reason we’ve only got one lefty in the pen right now, it’s crazy. We desperately need another, and this guy clearly has the potential to be that guy, his numbers have been super-impressive, here’s hoping he keeps it up and maybe we’ll see him in September, or at least for the beginning of 2014.

  • 07GreyDigger

    Sappelt getting passed over for Darnell McDonald? OUCH

    • Zonk

      Yep, when you are passed over for first for a waiver claim (Neal), then a 34 year old OF hitting .236 at AAA, you are not long for an organization.

      He’ll be gone when we clear the 40-man roster after the season

      • J Daniel

        ZONK!!! Been awhile!

  • Suzy S

    In noting the Boscan, Noble, Davis movement/promotions at the catcher position…it is glaring at how weak we are at the catcher’s position.
    Hoyer, in an interview the other day, acknowledged this and said the Cubs will address that weakness in the over the next 2 seasons.
    2 years ago, I was extremely concerned about 3rd base…(still am to a degree)…but note that we have a lot of depth at that position in the minors right now.
    Championships come from strength up the middle…P/C/2ND/SS/CF…IMHO.
    It will be interesting to watch how the Cubs address this weakness…I hope they do address it soon.

    • paulcatanese

      Correct, they do come from a strong middle, and right now, they are not championship caliber at any of them, a lot of work to do yet.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wittenmyer reports that Jake Arrieta –who was acquired in the Scott Feldman deal — is expected to take a spot in the team’s rotation for the rest of the season. Arrieta, who has made one successful spot start for the Cubs, owns a 3.56 ERA with 39 strikeouts (against 16 walks) over 30 1/3 innings with Triple-A Iowa.

    • Neil

      Thank you for re-posting.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You’re welcome. I read all you wrote today, and missed that.
        So sorry about that.

        • Neil

          No worries and for the record, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I posted earlier in the week.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Thanks for the reply. Like I said, I scanned your posts today thinking I would avoid
            a repost, and I still blew it. LOL

    • SirGladiator

      That is the best news all day. After the way he dominated in his first start with the team he never should’ve been sent back down, he has clearly fixed whatever he was doing wrong in Baltimore as he has been an owning MACHINE lately, this guy has Ace potential, and certainly when you look at the way our supposed Ace is pitching lately, you could make the case that right at this moment, Arieta IS the ace of the rotation. Here’s hoping he stays that way :) .

  • Ripsnorter1

    Almora: 2nd DL trip this year, isn’t it? Hamate bone and now the groin injury.
    Or did a miss a 3rd trip as well?

    • Neil

      Second trip to the DL, you are correct. He missed time with a hammy earlier but did not go on the shelf.

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