Arrieta’s Rehab Moved to Daytona, Baez Could Return Sunday and Other Cubs News

Happy Easter

The Cubs announced Saturday that Jake Arrieta will make his next, and hopefully last, rehab start with the D-Cubs in Clearwater on Monday and not with the I-Cubs as previously reported. Monday forecast in Des Moines did not look favorable, so Arrieta will put on a D-Cubs jersey and face the Threshers (Philadelphia Phillies) in Clearwater’s park.

Jake Arrieta threw 82 pitches over 5 2/3 innings in his last rehab start on Wednesday and would like to stretch his pitch count up to 100 in Monday’s outing. Plus, Arrieta told Carrie Muskat he would like to work on his cutter and changeup “when he’s behind in the count.”

Unless Jake Arrieta suffers a setback, he should be ready to join the Cubs’ rotation during the series in Milwaukee (April 25-27) that starts on Friday.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez could be activated from the disabled list on Sunday according to a report from the Des Moines Register. Tommy Birch caught up with Marty Pevey on Saturday and the I-Cubs’ skipper said the team would wait until Sunday and see how is ankle is doing. If Baez is activated from the DL, he would be used as the team’s designated hitter and would not play in the field. Baez hit in the cage and ran the bases before Saturday’s game.

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo left Saturday’s game prior to the eighth inning with back spasms. Rizzo expects to be back in the lineup on Sunday for the finale against the Reds. Rizzo told Carrie Muskat his back “started barking” on him in the fifth or sixth inning. Rizzo took himself out of the game after the Cubs took the four-run lead.

Carlos Rodon

A day after watching ECU’s Jeff Hoffman, Theo Epstein watched LHP Carlos Rodon pitch on Friday according to a report from Bruce Levine. Rodon was the consensus number one pick in the upcoming draft, but he has struggled this season, same as Tyler Beede, and some think his stock has dropped.

Rodon has not received much, if any run support, which has skewed his record. Rondon picked up his first win on Friday night since March 8 after he held Boston College to one earned run on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings.

The flame throwing lefty is 3-6 in 10 games with a 2.15 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP (79 strikeouts, 24 walks and 61 hits allowed in 71 innings).

Carlos Rodon projects as a top of the rotation starter in the big leagues. Rodon’s fastball sits in the 90-95 mph range. Rodon throws a four-seam fastball with what has been described with “nice backspin that tails away from right handed hitters.” His two-seam fastball (low-90s range) has “a good amount of hand side tail.” Rodon also throws a cutter or a baby slider “with tight, good bite” that is “more horizontal than vertical tilt at 89-91.” Rodon’s curve “has good shape” with “a lot of spin with late drop, but not heavy rotation.” And he throws a projectable change-up.

News and Notes

Arodys Vizcaino has impressed his pitching coach with the D-Cubs and Ron Villone knows a special arm when he sees one according to a report from The Daytona Beach News-Journal. The Cubs are being cautious with Vizcaino as he recovers from two elbow surgeries. The Cubs sent Vizcaino to Daytona for the start of the season so they can build up his arm strength, plus the warmer weather is more conducive for a pitcher recovering from two years of injuries.

According to the Des Moines Register, Brett Jackson is feeling “real good” as he works his way back from an oblique injury. The I-Cubs placed Jackson on the DL last Thursday with a right oblique strain.

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Darnell McDonald is ready for his new chapter in baseball. The Cubs announced the hiring of Darnell McDonald as Baseball Operations Assistant last week, a job he did not think he would be doing when Spring Training began. McDonald said staying with the Cubs organization was a “no-brainer,” he wants to help the players get to the big leagues and “help these guys bring a championship to Chicago.” McDonald admitted he does need to buy some khaki slacks so he can look the part.

Mike Olt is delivering on power potential according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

According to Tony Andracki, Rick Renteria likes what he’s seen from Starlin Castro hitting out of the fifth and sixth spots in the lineup. Renteria would not rule out moving Castro back up toward the top of the lineup at some point.

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Quote of the Day

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