The Daily CCO: A Big Week for the Cubs at the Midway Point of the Season?

The Cubs hit the midway point of the season Monday night when the team opens a three-game series in Boston. Theo Epstein will not be with the Cubs on the trip to Chicago. Epstein has family matters to attend to, but Jed Hoyer will be with the team for their first series at Fenway Park since 2011.

The Cubs begin play Monday with a 14-13 record in June. If the Cubs are able to win the first game in Boston, the team will post a winning record in a month other than July for the first time under the current regime.

Sunday should have been the calm before the proverbial storm. It figures to be a busy week for the Cubs with the July 2 International signing period beginning in three days. The rumors are picking up and the Blue Jays are interested in more players on the Cubs roster than just Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Manny Ramirez will be introduced to the Des Moines and Chicago media Monday. Comcast SportsNet will carry Ramirez’s press conference from Principal Park that is scheduled to start at 2:00pm CDT. Manny Ramirez played in one of Iowa’s five games in Colorado since he joined the club Thursday.

Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro will make a final push to make the All-Star team, plus will Arismendy Alcantara be named Player of the Week in the PCL or will Kris Bryant take home his first Triple-A award?

Minor News and Notes

There was a system sweep Sunday … Iowa won 2-0, Tennessee posted a 6-1 victory, in took 11 innings for the D-Cubs to walk-off with a 9-8 win, the Cougars won 9-7, Boise had a 6-2 victory and the AZL Cubs won 5-4.

Tsuyoshi Wada had a good outing Sunday. Wada threw 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball while allowing six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts on 99 pitches, 65 for strikes. Wada was recently added to the 40-man roster and is expected to be called up once a trade or two takes place to create an opening for him. Wada is 9-4 in 15 starts this season with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. In 99 innings, Wada has 101 strikeouts with 25 walks and he’s allowed 91 hits.

Ben Wells is trying to regain his confidence according to a report from the Idaho Statesman.

Kris Bryant’s hitting streak came to an end Sunday. Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 and is still batting .317/.391/.756 in 11 games with Iowa that includes three doubles, five home runs and a 1.147 OPS.

Arismendy Alcantara extended his hitting streak to eight games Sunday. Alcantara went 2-for-4 with a double. Alcantara has eight multi-hit games in his last 10 and is 19-for-41 over last ten games … .463/.489/.805 with six doubles, one triple, two home run, three walks, nine strikeouts and a 1.294 OPS. Alcantara is batting .349/.395/.560 with eight doubles, three triples, three home runs and a .955 OPS over his last 28 games.

Javier Baez is improving. Baez walked again Sunday and went 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI. Baez is hitting .368/.455/.474 over his last 10 games with six walks, four doubles, 11 strikeouts and a .928 OPS. Baez has four walks and three strikeouts in his last three games.

Kyle Schwarber went 0-for-4 Sunday but he still reached base with a walk. Schwarber is hitting .412/.512/.882 with four doubles, four home runs, six walks, seven strikeouts and a 1.395 OPS in 10 games with the Cougars.

Albert Almora went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, a walk and a run scored Sunday. Almora has hits in nine of his last 10 games and is batting .356/.396/.467 over that stretch with two doubles, three walks, five strikeouts and a .863 OPS.

Weekend Headlines

Even with the team not playing Sunday, it was a rather busy weekend for the Chicago Cubs. And Dallas Beeler had a very good debut. Here are the headlines from the weekend that includes news, and rumors, you can use.

This Day in Cubstory

2006 – Cubs released Tony Womack

1999 – President Bill Clinton showed up in time to see Sammy Sosa hit his NL best 30th homer of the season in a 5-4 victory over the Brewers. Nine of Sosa’s previous 13 hits were home runs.

1998 – With an eighth inning home run, Sammy Sosa extended his Major League record for home run in a month. Sosa hit 20 home runs in June of 1998.

1994 – Cubs signed free agent Jose Nieves

1986 – Cubs traded Dave Lenderman and Dave Liddell to the Mets for Ed Lynch

1972 – Joe Pepitone rejoined the Cubs after a brief retirement and went 1-for-4 in the Cubs 4-3 victory over the Pirates. Rick Reuschel allowed two hits in 7 1/3 innings before leaving the game with a twisted ankle. Billy Williams drove in three runs.

1970 – Mark Grudzielanek, born

1964 – Doug Dascenzo, born

1956 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Jerry Kindall

1932 – The Cubs took the field at Wrigley wearing numbers on their uniforms for the first time. The Cubs were the last team to add numbers to the back of their jerseys. The Cubs topped the Reds 7-0

1909 – Cubs spoiled the Pirates opening of Forbes Field with a 3-2 victory in the new park.

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Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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  • cubtex

    Not a surprising stat with who the Cubs are putting out there on a daily basis.

    Mark Simon ‏@msimonespn 39m

    The MLB teams ranked 1-30 in hard-hit rate– Tigers, Athletics, Rockies at top- Cubs, Royals, Padres at bottom pic.twitter.com/047qELccYG

    • Tony_H

      Not perfect of course, but the better offensive teams are at the top, and the worse offensive teams are at the bottom.

      • cubtex

        look where the Astros are. They are doing what the Cubs are trying to do. Theo is following that blueprint to a T and they are a year ahead of us.

        • gary3411

          It’s not a race to be the first .500 team. If it were, yes the Astros are ahead of us. But if Samardzija isn’t traded, we will be better than them next year.

        • Tony_H

          They started first.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think we’ll be better next season than the Astros are. And Tony’s right. They did start a year ahead of us.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think we’ll be better next season than the Astros are. And Tony’s right. They did start a year ahead of us.

        • triple

          I don’t know how you figure the Astros to be a year ahead of us? Is it because they are actually a whole 1/2 game ahead of us in the standings. So they have the 5th highest “hard-hit rate” in the MLB, while the Cubs are near the bottom of the list. That pretty much disproves the correlation between hard-hit balls and having a winning record, or being closer to be ready to compete in comparison to another team. Nice try Cubtex, you almost had 1/2 a person convinced.

          • cubtex

            I always knew you were half man hslf something else :)))

          • cubtex

            Just like Clark the Cub. Lol

          • triple

            Good one Tex! Too bad you have no real answer about any of what you are posing to be correlation between hitting and winning or being ready to compete. You can’t build a house on sand, your argument against Theo and the Boyz is still weak sauce.

  • cubtex

    The Cubs have not sold out a game yet this year. The largest single-game announced tickets-sold count is 38,753, for the May 20 night game against theYankees that featured Masahiro Tanaka’s first Chicago appearance. They’re likely to sell out only one game this year, I’d think — Saturday, July 26 against the Cardinals. That might be the only tickets-sold number above 40,000 this year. The last year the Cubs had only one home date with 40,000 or more tickets sold was 1997.

    That is awesome! The fans are speaking loud and clear. Next year has to change!

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I’m making plans to go see the Iowa cubs it’s a 4 hr drive as opposed to a 2hr drive but I’d rather go see them then see the bad major league club. I have always gone to see at least 2-3 games a year at Wrigley since I was about 10 years old. This is the first year I’m not going.
      Last year I only saw one and although Wood pitched a gem the Cubs had no offense and the Bullpen gave the game away.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Before I got married and had kids I used to go to 15-20 games a year.

      • cubtex

        and how slow the games have become has something to do with that too. Who wants to sit through a 3 1/2 hour to 4 hour game? They need to start calling a strike…..a strike again. A poor product and long game= no attendance

        • Tony_H

          What strikes are not being called? I posted this yesterday and it shows a strike zone with zones based on how often it is called a strike. I know that you know that umps aren’t perfect but the strike zone chart looked about right.

          http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/11127248/how-catcher-framing-becoming-great-skill-smart-teams-new-york-yankees-espn-magazine

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I totally agree with that. Knees to letters needs to return.

          What’s the deal Tex? Haven’t heard from you in a few days then all the sudden you’re all over this thread poo-pooing all over everyone’s excitement?! In all honesty I have missed you and was wondering what’s up.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I totally agree with that. Knees to letters needs to return.

          What’s the deal Tex? Haven’t heard from you in a few days then all the sudden you’re all over this thread poo-pooing all over everyone’s excitement?! In all honesty I have missed you and was wondering what’s up.

      • Denver Mike

        I have to agree, I was happy to drive the 90 minutes to see the I-Cubs this weekend. While I was driving down to Colo. Springs I even mentioned to my girlfriend how much more excited I was to go see them than I have been any of the times I’ve seen the ML club in Denver the last 3 years. If it weren’t for the fact Rockies tickets are around $5 for every game, I doubt I’d go see the “big” club at all.

        I know as well as anyone that all of Alcantara, Baez, Bryant, Watkins, etc. at AAA aren’t going to be All-Stars, but it is somewhat promising that we have some pieces getting close. Hopefully they can help make the Northsiders a bit more bearable in the near future.

      • TrevorPetersma

        In addition to the game, downtown Des Moines has become a great place to hang out both pre and post ballgame. Zombie Burger, El Bait Shop, High Life Lounge,, etc., plus tons of live music in the summer, all within walking distance of each other and the ballgame.

        • texcubnut

          You are so right, Trevor. I lived in Des Moines in the 60’s/70’s and Sec Taylor Stadium and the surrounding area was ‘dumpish’ ( that’s about as kind as I can be ) We returned last year and I was stunned at what has been transformed around Principal Park. I would recommend it to anyone to go see an I-Cubs game, especially now with their current line up and taste the mini-Wrigleyville like atmosphere arourd the ballpark. You won’t be disappointed.

      • brent carmona

        I actually moved back to austin for the summer and Iowa will be visiting round rock on the 17th through the 20th. It’s a easy 45 min drive or so from me, hoping to catch at least two games for sure. I can’t wait, definitely showing up an hour or two before to watch bp and possibly get an autograph or two. I’ll try and post updates when I do go too…

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Next year is coming soon! We’re on the precipice of a special period in Cubs baseball. Most exciting time to be a Cubs fan since the 2003.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Next year is coming soon! We’re on the precipice of a special period in Cubs baseball. Most exciting time to be a Cubs fan since the 2003.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I know you are not happy. Please don’t use the exclamation points for basic sentences. I receive a lot of complaints about people using all caps and exclamation points. I appreciate the understanding and helping me keep a civil place for readers to leave comments and talk about the Cubs

      • cubtex

        ok. no worries. no caps and no exclamations.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you. U/lc is cool. I appreciate it.

    • Tony_H

      Supply and demand works.

      But the moves the FO makes will have nothing to do with this. They will be adding some more “vet” players that you may like more, but it will not be to try and give attendance a boost. Attendance will get a boost when Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, etc come up. I will go to a game this year if they get promoted.

      • cubtex

        Did you see what the Phillies owner just said? He will not rebuild because fans will not attend Phillies games then. A truer statement was never made.

        • gary3411

          and theyre going to probably be mediocre for a long time. I would be pissed if PHI fan

          • BosephHeyden

            Philly also doesn’t have to do a whole lot to get better. As bad as their record is, they’ve had a two stretches that put them within striking distance of the NL East league. Their main problem isn’t just that they’re old: it’s that their core is old AND doesn’t respond to Ryno’s management style. Sandberg called out Rollins at the beginning of the season and Rollins responded with a chain of 0’fer’s, followed by a benching, followed by a bit more hitting.

            The rest of the core isn’t as bad, but they’re upgradeable through free agency. All Philly needs to do is get two or three position players and, with how the East is, they’re contenders again. The Cubs, on the other hand, need a complete rehaul because that’s the position they’ve been put in. Their farm system wasn’t left in the best shape and players were sold to replenish it without having a reasonably talented replacement on standby.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Exactly. They’ll never be setup for dynastic success like us.

        • Tony_H

          If you were selling an old aging team wouldn’t you say the same thing? You are in sales, I’m sure you get it.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          They’ll probably never have the pipeline we’re going to have either. We’re setup for long term success! Gotta love it.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          They’ll probably never have the pipeline we’re going to have either. We’re setup for long term success! Gotta love it.

    • Roll

      It is the only way the fans can communicate to Ricketts to spend money on mid level FA’s (that wont cost draft picks). This outfield is barely AAA worthy and once Shark, Hammel, and others go for minor leaguers in the next few weeks it could be a scary rest of the summer.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I’d rather have Wada here now then Jackson.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I do think the starting pitching and bullpen can keep the Cubs in games the rest of the season excluding Jackson and despite losing at least Hammel and possibly Shark as well depending if the Cubs can get what they want. Wood Arrieta, Beeler, Wada, and I’d like to see Jackson take Villanueva’s spot if he gets traded (probably won’t happen) bring up Hendricks to see if he and Beeler have what it takes.
    If the Cubs decide to trade wright and or Russell we have Rosscup and Rusin. I think Rusin would be a better option out of the Bullpen and it wouldn’t hurt to have 2 long men in the Bullpen either.

  • gary3411
    • Denver Mike

      It sure doesn’t appear Toronto valued Stroman much last year and during the off-season, considering they were offering him for Bud Norris. He has preformed pretty well in the majors so far this year, so I have to believe he would be harder to pry loose this time around.

  • dwalker

    McLeod is staying! this time.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    How was Soler this weekend? He was the only of the the Big 5 + Alcantra prospects not mentioned? It probably should be a Big 6 because Alcantra looks like the real deal.

    Can’t wait to see him up! We’ve got a bonafide legit potential star prospect that will be called up any day now. Haven’t had that sort of excitement since Starlin made it up 4 seasons ago.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    How was Soler this weekend? He was the only of the the Big 5 + Alcantra prospects not mentioned? It probably should be a Big 6 because Alcantra looks like the real deal.

    Can’t wait to see him up! We’ve got a bonafide legit potential star prospect that will be called up any day now. Haven’t had that sort of excitement since Starlin made it up 4 seasons ago.