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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Quote of the Day

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