The Daily CCO: Jason Hammel Bounced Back and Jason McLeod Entered the Rumor Mill

After beating the Pirates Friday afternoon, the Cubs dropped back-to-back games to the Mighty Pirates. But (pardon the pun) Jason Hammel had a good outing in Sunday’s loss to the Bucs.

After two subpar starts against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and in Miami, Jason Hammel completed seven innings for the first time in three starts and allowed two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts. One of the Cubs most valuable trading chips had struggled entering Sunday’s start after giving up eight runs on 19 hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts in 11 innings.

The Cubs are expected to move Hammel before Jeff Samardzija and Hammel helped the Cubs on Sunday afternoon while taking one on his backside for his current team.

Jason McLeod

The Padres announced the firing of GM Josh Byrnes Sunday afternoon and not five minutes after his dismissal was made official, the decision had been made before Tony Gwynn passed away and the team delayed the announcement, Jason McLeod popped up on the shortlist of candidates to replace Josh Byrnes.

Jason McLeod signed a five-year contract with the Cubs when he and Jed Hoyer left San Diego to take jobs on Theo Epstein’s staff in the fall of 2011. McLeod has an excellent reputation throughout the game and will be a General Manager one day. McLeod is thought to be one of the leading candidates, along with Mike Hazen (Red Sox) and Billy Eppler (Yankees).

Kevin Towers could also end up back in San Diego and the A’s David Forst is also thought to be high on the list.

Jason McLeod is under contract but if the Padres ask Theo Epstein to interview him for the GM job, do not look for Epstein to reject the request.

Emilio Bonifacio

Emilio Bonifacio has not started baseball activities yet and the Cubs are “in wait and see mode” with Bonifacio according to a report from Bonifacio has been on the DL since June 13 with what was diagnosed as a right rib cage strain at the time. Results from an MRI revealed Bonifacio has a strained right oblique.

Rick Renteria addressed Bonifacio’s status prior to Sunday’s game and said that Bonifacio is “feel better” and he’s “not feeling discomfort anymore.”

Emilio Bonifacio is “doing some exercises, lower extremity exercises, some movement exercises.”

According to the report, the Cubs are being cautious with him and it could be awhile before Emilio Bonifacio is able to swing a bat.

News and Notes

Jason Hammel said he was fine after getting hit in the backside in Sunday’s game. But Hammel is sick of seeing the Pirates.

Rick Renteria defended his decisions in the eighth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Pirates.

The amount of innings the relievers are throwing is a concern for the Cubs.

Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler played in back-to-back games for the AZL Cubs this weekend as he works to get back to the Tennessee Smokies. Soler went 3-for-5 with two doubles Saturday and 1-for-3 in Sunday’s game.

The Cubs have not given a timeframe on when Jorge Soler will return to the Smokies.

Minor News and Notes

Tommy Thorpe and Ryan Williams posted photos on their twitter accounts they signed with the Cubs. The Cubs selected Tommy Thorpe in the eighth round and Ryan Williams was taken in the tenth round. The Cubs have not announced the signings yet.

Theo Epstein addressed the first half of Albert Almora’s season. And a lot is being made about a 20-year old struggling in his first full season of pro ball.

Joey Martarano also tweeted this weekend that he was ready to sign his contract and “get to playing some baseball.”

Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-6 in Sunday’s doubleheader. Schwarber is 17-for-32 in his first nine games in pro ball with two doubles, one triple and five home runs … .531/.568/1.125/1.693. In four games with the Cougars, Schwarber has a .417/.462/.750 slash line with one double, one home run and a 1.212 OPS.

Weekend Headlines

It was a rather busy weekend for the Cubs that begun with a little rambling about the Cubs home away from home. The Cubs made three roster moves, Kris Bryant hit a homer or two and the rumors picked up as July approaches. Here are the headlines from the weekend …

This Day In Cubstory

1997 – Cubs traded Saul Bustos and Dave Jefferson to the Expos for Gil Heredia

1984 – The Sandberg Game

1980 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and cash to the Indians for Cliff Johnson. Cubs sent Karl Pagel to the Indians on June 30 to complete the trade

1978 – Expos traded a Jerry White to the Cubs for Woodie Fryman.

1970 – Cubs purchased Milt Pappas from the Braves

1970 – Cubs purchased Roberto Rodriguez from the Padres

1961 – Ernie Banks consecutive games played streak ended at 717 games when he was sidelined with a knee injury. Banks began the streak on August 26, 1956.

1960 – Jim Deshaies, born

1946 – Eddie Waitkus and Marv Rickert hit back-to-back inside the park home runs in the fourth inning, the first time in Major League history as the Cubs lost to the Giants 15-10 at the Polo Grounds.

1945 – Cubs selected Ray Starr off waivers from the Pirates

1933 – Cubs swept the Phillies in a doubleheader. The Cubs won game one on Harvey Hendrick’s pinch hit grand slam in the 10th inning. It was the second pinch hit grand slam in Major League history and the second for the Cubs in three years. Cubs won game two 3-1

1930 – Hack Wilson hit for the cycle with two singles, a double, a triple and a homer, scored five runs and drove in six as the Cubs ripped the Phillies 21-8 at Wrigley Field. Pitcher Guy Busy chipped in with a triple and two singles

1895 – A pressure group called the “Sunday Observance League” led by Rev. W.W. Clark, held up play in the third inning and the entire Cubs team is arrested for aiding and abetting the forming of a noisy crowd on a Sunday. Cubs owner, Jim Hart posted bond, securing a warrant from Justice Cleveland of Norwood Park, and the game was resumed. The franchise that would be known as the Cubs 20-plus years later trounced Cleveland 13-4 behind Clark Griffith before 10,000 fans at West Side Grounds.

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Theboardrider

    Cool that Martarano is going to sign!

    Soler is a double hitting machine (when healthy). Does he know what a single is? :)))) His stat line always has a lot of doubles. I remember when Pujols was in St. Louis I would watch him and think “if this guy wanted to he could just rake doubles all day long,” if he were willing to sacrifice HR.

  • John_CC

    You mean Epstein won’t act like petulant teenager and tell San Diego that they cannot talk to McLeod?

    And I feel the same as rider, if Soler stays on the field for the entire second half I think he could put up ridiculous numbers. He seems to be a pure hitter. No matter how long he is off the field he comes back and doesn’t appear to have missed anything.

  • Rational Logic

    Let McLeod go, Theo will find a way to trade for him.

  • calicub

    An early goodbye to you Mr. McLeod.

    And to you Mr. Byrnes, an early welcome.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      If McLeod goes, so be it. It is inevitable any how. But please keep Josh Byrnes as far away from Chicago as possible. Unless it’s to the South Side. That guy SUCKS. I live in AZ and watched him totally FUBAR the D-backs. Then Kevin Towers compounded it 10x.

  • Schmidt

    Who will represent the Cubs at the All Star game? Rizzo and Castro aren’t even in the top 5 in fan votes for their position, so neither may make the squad. I think Shark should make it…

    • Tony_H

      The reserves are voted on by players and managers. Rizzo and Castro both have a good chance along with Samardzija and Hammel. Not that he has any chance but if Neil Ramirez had started the year with the Cubs he very well could have made the team.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Why isn’t Ramirez the closer?

        • Tony_H

          My guess, they may give him another shot starting and Rondon has been effective as the closer. To me it is a tough call as Ramirez is dominant as a reliever.

    • Tony_H

      And I say either Rizzo or Samardzija will be the one that makes it, and if I had to pick I would say Rizzo will be our lone representative at the All-Star Game.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I would rather Samardzija not make it. Cubs luck would have Pujols lining one off his forehead.

  • Tony_H

    Interesting article on pitcher’s arms and trying to figure out why they keep falling off.

    • cc002600

      interesting article and I would agree on most accounts. I managed my son’s travel team for 8 years and was amazed at how many coaches had their kids throwing breaking balls at 10 or 11. They just didn’t care. I didn’t let my kids throw them until 13-14 and even then I only called about 5/6 per game, it was 95% fastball / changeup.

      Another thing I learned as my son went through high school which shocked me was how bad most high school coaches. It was stunning. I learned very quickly that first off they really don’t care that much about your kid as each year there is new crop coming in. Secondly, most of them are lazy and in it for the stipend. And lastly, they are very arrogant and they think that baseball should be run like a military bootcamp. They know very little and teach the kids nothing, but they all think they are coaching in the majors, as they somehow want to make it about them, and not the kids. Its easier to just sit back and have them run laps all day then actually teach the game and conduct actual baseball drills. It made me sick watching it.

      And oh, this was not just my son’s HS, I heard the same story from MANY other fathers whose son’s played HS baseball. When you coach travel baseball for 8 years, you get to know many other coaches and their sons. Anyhow, its a shame, because most kids have horrible experiences playing HS baseball around these parts.

      • Tony_H

        You have met my son’s high school coach, many times before I see as you described him to a T.

        I coached my son for the last 10 years and taught my son a cutter to throw and just come through like a fastball to get movement without the abuse to the arm of a curve or a slider. The curve I showed him was just an over hand curve as well but that was 13/14 before throwing that one. Many kids throwing full force sliders at 12U and especially 13/14, never made any sense to me.

        • cc002600

          agree. I remember when my kids were in travel I had fathers whose kids were older then my son tell me the horror stories of HS baseball coaches, so I thought was fully prepared for the letdown. . And yet, when my son went through it, it was actually worse than I expected, which was absolutely mind boggling. In fact, I found that the older guys were much worse then the younger guys, as complaceny had set in, plus they were so out of shape, they were completely useless in terms of doing anything physical. It was such a joke. And to see what these guys make, makes it even more maddening.

          • Tony_H

            My son says it is not fun to play for him. Plus no practices for summer legion ball, yet he expects them to know how he does things, versus what the JV coach was doing with them.

            He was playing 2B and got yelled at for not doing a double cut on a double to LF near the line after the ball got by the SS on the cut-off and ended up with the 3B going towards the OF to get the ball and the runner then took 3B. It was a stand up double in which the ball didn’t get all the way to the corner on a short fence. I get double cuts to the RF corner, but not sure why it would be needed for the LF corner on a stand up double.

            He also has the middle infielders fire the ball to 1B after every single with no one on base to try and get the runner on a big turn. Every time.

          • cc002600

            yea, I found that most kids want to quit, as these coaches make the experience of playing so miserable. I just don’t get it. Sports is supposed about working hard, but why not have have fun too ? If you were a coach, wouldn’t you want kids to come out and play in your program ? And yet, all I see is how these kids all want to just quit because these coaches make it so miserable. And by no means am I talking about prima donnas, these are kids that I coached for years. I know they are tough and love the game. Its a shame. My son is 21 now, so I don’t care anymore, but what a shame for kids who still want to play in HS.

          • cubtex

            Tony- Many coaches might be unqualified to coach but I would understand his frustration if a high school kid did not understand his role for double cuts. That is why the 1st baseman trails the play so the 2nd baseman can move to back up the cut from the outfield in case of an errant throw. The coach is not wrong. I would be upset at the coaching at your son’s school if they never taught him that.


          • Tony_H

            There was a runner on 2B not bases empty and the ball was not deep in any way. It was just a double down the left field line and the LF could have thrown to 3B with out a cut. This was not a big OF that would require double cuts to LF.

          • cubtex

            sounds as if there was still no play at the plate so it is still the 2B’s job to line up for a double cut. I understand many fields are small and I had my kids do that no matter what so they understood their role. You still want to teach the kids the proper cuts.

          • Tony_H

            That’s fine as there is no harm in it. The way this guy reacts to things makes everything 10X worse.

            The site you linked only shows double cut situations for No Runner on and Runner on 1st and on both it says for possible triple. This was not a possible triple at all.

          • cubtex

            just did a quick search but you might be able to find another that shows more than that. Tell your son that it is the 1st basemans job to trail the play on a sure double. He should be aware of a double cut situation on any ball hit in the gaps or down the line. Any and every ball. He needs to be aware and play out every play in advance in his head before the play happens. If he has any questions on positioning….just ask for help and advice. It is not fun not knowing where you should be on the field and possibly get yelled at in front of the team.

          • Tony_H

            This just wasn’t that situation. What I haven’t explained as I didn’t think I needed to explain it all out as it wasn’t really about the play, the ball went through the SS and close to the 3B who came out to get it because the runner stopped at 2B with a stand up double and it wasn’t going to quite make it to him as the LF didn’t really throw it to make it there just a soft toss to the SS and the way the 3B went to get is was lackadaisical and the runner took advantage of that. The distance was just not that far from the LF to the 3B.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Bryant just homered again.

    • Tony_H

      His BABIP is 000

      • Roland Bowman

        I was going to say that you had a typo. I am a little slow.

  • Tony_H

    I just picked him up in my CBS league to get 2 starts this week. Just not sure this guy can handle starting and to save his career, he may need to be the dominant closer.

    “Andrew Cashner goes on DL for second time this season

    The Padres announced Monday they placed starting pitcher Andrew Cashner on the 15-day disabled list due to right shoulder soreness, per Cashner was on the disabled list earlier this season due to an elbow injury.”

  • Tony_H

    Keith Law says that Josh Byrnes firing was overdue.

    • Ripsnorter1

      A complete no brainer.

      And I don’t want him here, either.

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