The Daily CCO: Samardzija Wins, Hammel’s Hand and the Cubs Weekend in Review

A pitcher’s win-loss record is downplayed in the game today because it is not the best way to judge how a starter is performing. And while many call it a meaningless stat, and rightfully so, pitchers may view it differently.

Jeff Samardzija picked up his first victory since last August on Monday and after the game he said, “People try to downplay the whole record thing, but as a starting pitcher I think it’s important.”

Samardzija received a beer shower from his teammates after Monday’s 8-4 win over the Giants and he told ESPN Chicago he would “rather just drink the beer” than have it poured on him.

Jason Hammel

According to a report from Mark Gonzales, Jason Hammel’s right hand “was slightly puffy” after his last start on Sunday is he is hoping the “discomfort subsides before his next start.”

Jason Hammel started having problems with his hand, the one he was hit with a comebacker off the bat of Brett Gardner in his previous start, during his outing in San Diego. “Hammel’s hand became fatigued and caught up to him in the sixth inning.” Hammel did not use the injury as an excuse for his poor outing.

Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Wily Peralta in game two of the three-game set Saturday in Milwaukee.

Weekend Headlines

It was a busy holiday weekend for the Cubs. The big league team split the four-game series in San Diego before winning the opener against the Giants on Monday afternoon. The Cubs added two minor league arms to the system and C.J. Edwards has started his throwing program in Arizona.

Junior Lake has grabbed a starting job, for now, but Darwin Barney’s future is unclear. The Cubs activated Justin Ruggiano from the DL and sent Ryan Kalish to Iowa.

Jeff Samardzija stayed in the rumor mill and the Blue Jays GM did not deny interest in Samardzija despite reports. And Edwin Jackson was starting to draw interest from teams before his last outing.

The biggest news of the weekend was Theo Epstein hiring Manny Ramirez to be a player-coach for the Iowa Cubs. And all of that happened after Brian started the weekend doing a little rambling about the Cubs ineptitude.

Here are the links to the headlines from the weekend, just in case you missed anything …

News and Notes

The Cubs hope Ryan Kalish can reboot his game at Triple-A Iowa according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. Kalish told the beat writers he’s looking forward to working with Manny Ramirez.

Bill Mueller thinks Manny Ramirez can be a difference-maker for the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

David Ortiz told the Boston media that his former teammate, Manny Ramirez, is “a different guy” now and he thinks Ramirez will be a good mentor for the Cubs prospects.

Nate Schierholtz feels he’s making progress at the plate.

Jeff Samardzija received a season-high 20 swings and misses, including 12 on sliders, and the Giants swung at 25 pitches out of the strike zone according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

Minor News and Notes

Arismendy Alcantara has heated up and his performances at the plate has been lost in the Baez hot streak. Over his last 10 games, Alcantara is hitting .324/.425/.706 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs, six walks, eight strikeouts and a 1.131 OPS. For the season, Alcantara is up to .281/.321/.520/.841 with 14 doubles, six triples and five home runs.

Logan Watkins has hit safely in 28 of 31 games since April 12 and is 4-for-5 with the bases loaded as Randy Wehofer pointed out on Monday. In 40 games (116 at bats), Watkins has a .310/.394/.414 slash line with seven doubles, one triple, one home run and a .808 OPS.

Kris Bryant hitting streak halted at 10 games on Sunday and in his first at bat on Monday, Bryant went yard with his league leading 14th home run. Bryant went 2-for-3 with a walk on Monday … .337/.431/.641/1.072 with 13 doubles and 14 home runs on the season.

Josh Vitters

Randy Wehofer reported during Monday’s I-Cubs game that Josh Vitters had a small fracture in one of his toes. Wehofer said Marty Pevey planned to give Vitters a couple of days off and that he did not think Vitters would land on the DL. The Des Moines Register provided an update on Vitters after the game. Tommy Birch reported Vitters “has a really, really small fracture in his toe” and Pevey did not know if Vitters would be going on the DL or not.

Josh Vitters has struggled of late (.182/.270/.212) and for most of the season (.208/.278/.375, six doubles, six home runs).

This Day In Cubstory

2005 – Cubs signed Cody Ransom

2005 – Mark Prior left the game against the Rockies in the fourth inning after a line drive off the bat of Brad Hawpe hit him in the right elbow. An MRI revealed a fracture in the elbow and he would be out indefinitely. Prior returned a month later. Todd Wellemeyer took over for Prior, Derrek Lee hit two home runs and both Neifi Perez and Corey Patterson went deep in the Cubs 10-3 victory over the Rockies.

1984 – Cincinnati’s Mario Soto is ejected from the game when he shoved third base umpire Steve Rippley for calling Ron Cey’s foul ball down the left field line a home run. Although the decision was reversed, Soto also attacked Cubs coach Don Zimmer. National League President, Chub Feeney suspended Soto for five games, the first of two suspensions that season for Soto.

1969 – Todd Hundley, born

1935 – Jerry Kendall, born

1884 – Fred Goldsmith became the first Cubs pitcher to hit two home runs in one game. Goldsmith led the Chicago National League Ball Club to a 14-6 victory over Buffalo.

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver