The Cubs announced on Friday that Scott Baker will make his Cubs’ debut on Sunday against Yovani Gallardo in the series finale with the Brewers. Baker has been on the 60-day DL all season and will make his first start in the majors since 2011.
Scott Baker is excited about the opportunity to start and Dale Sveum said he deserved the opportunity after months of rehabbing. Baker last started a big league game on August 8, 2011 and has not pitched in the majors since September 24, 2011.
The Cubs did not say if they will go with a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season. According to multiple reports, no one in the rotation will be skipped this time around but each starter would be pushed a day to make room for Baker to start on Sunday.
Travis Wood was pushed back a day and will start the opener of the three game series in Cincinnati on Monday. The Cubs said they bumped Wood to Monday instead of starting Baker in Cincinnati because the Reds are in the mix for the Central Division crown.
If Baker makes it through Sunday’s start without any problems or setbacks, using Baker and Justin Grimm as a way to limit Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija for the remaining of the season, instead of shutting either pitcher down, might be the right move. Wood has already topped a career high in innings pitched (179) and starts at the big league level (28) and Samardzija has already started more games (29) than a year ago with nearly 15 more innings (189) than last season (174 2/3).
The Cubs will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster in order for Scott Baker to start on Sunday. The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players, while the active roster currently stands at 32 players.
The Cubs activated Daniel Bard prior to Friday’s game and he threw a bullpen at Wrigley Field. The plan, for now, is for Bard to work with Chris Bosio and while the Cubs would like to get him into a game, they have not set a timetable on when he could make his Cubs’ debut.
Daniel Bard went about three months without pitching in a game after he re-tore an abdominal muscle in a different spot than he strained earlier in the year.
News and Notes
Dale Sveum said on Friday that he is 99 percent sure that the Cubs will not call-up anymore players from the minors this season.
Cubs’ pitchers have driven in 27 runs this season, tops in baseball … and the Cubs have hit 95 longballs at Wrigley this year, the most home runs hit by any team in their home park this season.
Chris Rusin has shown a lot of improvement this season. And according to a report from ESPN Chicago, Rusin is still a work in progress.
Michael Bowden and Cole Gillespie both cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. It sounds like Bowden will not accept the assignment and will test free agency this off-season.
Justin Grimm became the 85th different player used by the Cubs since Opening Day 2012. Grimm is the 53rd different player used by the Cubs this season which ties a franchise record for the most players used in a single-season. The Cubs used 53 players last year and will set a new franchise record for the most players used in a single-season, at least by Sunday, when Scott Baker takes the hill.
Some Cubs look to make strong final impressions according to a report from Bruce Miles. Miles mentions in his report that the Cubs would be wise to re-sign Dioner Navarro in the off-season.
The Cubs have already been linked to free-agent-to-be Jacoby Ellsbury and Scott Boras is already trying to drive up his price.