The Cubs announced Wednesday the signing of first round draft pick Kyle Schwarber. The Cubs signed Schwarber to a bonus of $3.125 million, which is $1,496,200 under-slot. And not long after the signing was announced, reports surfaced that Schwarber was already in Boise to prepare for the Hawks opener on Friday.
The Cubs view Schwarber as more of an outfielder than a catcher but he is expected to see some time behind the plate this summer. Having Schwarber ready to start his professional career less than a week after being drafted is a positive for the player and the organization.
Rick Renteria was asked about Kyle Schwarber being signed shortly after the draft and already reporting to Boise. Renteria told the beat writers, “It speaks more to him. That goes to show you he wants to play. It speaks more to who he is and his character and what he wants to start doing as far as his career is concerned. It’s important to get acclimated to the professional game. The sooner, the better.”
The Cubs have not announced signing Mark Zagunis yet. Multiple reports have Zagunis, the Cubs third round pick, signing for $615,000. Zagunis should report to Boise not long after he is signed as well.
Welington Castillo has been on the 15-day DL since June 3, retroactive to June 2, with a left rib cage strain, and it does not appear he will be coming off the disabled list on time. Castillo is rehabbing the left rib cage injury (inflammation) in Mesa and took 25-30 ‘dry swings’ Wednesday before making 15-20 swings off a tee. Castillo did some running as well.
John Baker is expected to receive a bulk of the playing time in Castillo’s absence.
News and Notes
Chris Coghlan made the best non-catch that his manager has ever seen Wednesday night. Coghlan climbed the short wall in left field at PNC Park, and got his glove on the ball, but a fan was there as well and Coghlan could not rob Andrew McCutchen of his third home run in three days. Click here for the video of the ‘non-catch.’
Luis Valbuena added three more hits in Wednesday’s loss and improved to .288/.394/.456 with 16 doubles, one triple, three home runs and a .850 OPS. In his last nine games, Valbuena is batting .407/.448/.556 with four doubles and a 1.004 OPS.
Starlin Castro squared up two balls Wednesday night that were arguably the hardest hit balls of the night for the Cubs. Castro is only hitting .250/.286/.450 over his last 10 games, another reason why games have to be watched and numbers do not tell the entire story.
Ryan Sweeney played in his second rehab game with the Cougars Wednesday night. Sweeney played in the first of two seven-inning games and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Minor News and Notes
The Boise Hawks have not played a game yet, but the Cubs Short-Season affiliate made three roster moves Wednesday. Tim Saunders was promoted to Kane County, David Bote reported to Boise from Kane County and first round draft pick, Kyle Schwarber was added to the roster.
Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 with a RBI in the Smokies 3-2 victory over Mississippi Wednesday night. Bryant raised his season slash line to .359/.460/.718 (18 doubles, 22 home runs) with a 1.178 OPS. Over his last 10 games, Bryant is 15-for-37 with three doubles and five home runs … .405/.500/.892/1.392. Bryant has reached base 50 percent of the time over the last 10 games.
(h/t to Stan Croussett for tweeting the Kris Bryant link)
In his third rehab appearance Wednesday for the Iowa Cubs, Zac Rosscup struck out the side in order. Rosscup has retired all nine men he’s faced in three games with six strikeouts.
Arismendy Alcantara started his third game in centerfield last night. Alcantara went 0-for-4 in the loss in Fresno, and Javier Baez went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Cubs and Smokies announced Wednesday that the team’s Double-A affiliate will remain in Tennessee through the 2018 season.
This Day In Cubstory
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Ben Broussard
1981 – Cubs trade Rick Reuschel to the Yankees for Doug Bird and $400,000. The Cubs received Mike Griffin from the Yankees to compete the trade
1967 – Cubs traded Bob Hendley to the Mets for Rob Gardner and a PTBNL. The Mets sent John Stephenson to the Cubs on June 17 to complete the trade
1955 – Harry Chiti, Randy Jackson and Dee Fondy homered as the Cubs beat Don Newcombe and the Dodgers 9-5 in the first of two (doubleheader) at Ebbets Field. The Cubs pulled off a triple play in the seventh inning of the second game, third baseman Jackson to catcher Chiti to first baseman Fondy and back to Chiti, but the Cubs lost 6-2 in game two.
1955 – Cubs purchased Owen Friend from the Red Sox
1953 – Cubs traded Fred Baczewski and Bob Kelly to the Reds for Bubba Church
1949 – Frankie Frisch named Cubs manager, replaced Charlie Grimm
1935 – After receiving a clubhouse “tongue-lashing” from skipper Charlie Grimm, who imposed a ban on poker games), the Cubs beat the Phillies 15-0 behind Larry French in Philadelphia. Phil Cavarretta recorded a single, a double, a home run and four RBI while Chuck Klein hit a three-run homer.
1923 – Hack Miller drove in seven runs with two homers and a single as the Cubs beat the Braves 12-11 at Wrigley Field. Miller’s hit a Grand Slam in the fifth that tied the game at seven and his two-run homer in the six gave the Cubs a temporary lead.
This Day In Baseball History
1839 – Due to an erroneous eye-witness account, Abner Doubleday is given credit for establishing the first baseball game is played in America. The Hall of Fame, which opens a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our National Pastime in this small upstate New York town although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a baseball game.
1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated in Cooperstown, NY.
1981 – Major League Baseball experienced its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike ended on July 31.
1997 – The first Interleague game was played between the Giants and Rangers in Texas. The Rangers beat the Giants 4-3 and the former Cubs slugger, Glenallen Hill became the first designated hitter used by a National League team in a regular season game