The Daily CCO: Cubs Post a Road Win, Downplay Rondon’s Sore Elbow

Jake Arrieta pitched an excellent game and Starlin Castro hit a two-run homer that accounted for the Cubs only runs Friday night in a 2-1 victory over the Phillies. Questions popped up during the game as to why Pedro Strop was being used in the eighth inning and Neil Ramirez was called on to close it out in the ninth. And Rick Renteria answered the questions following the one-run road victory.

Hector Rondon has a sore right elbow and was unavailable. Renteria downplayed the seriousness of Rondon’s injury and said he would be evaluated Saturday after throwing a bullpen.

Rondon had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and missed most of the 2012 season with elbow soreness. Those two injuries made Hector Rondon available in the Rule 5 Draft in December of 2012.

Emilio Bonifacio and the Leadoff Spot

The Cubs placed Emilio Bonifacio on the 15-day DL prior to Friday’s game as expected. Bonifacio and the team are still waiting for results from the MRI he had Friday in Chicago according to multiple reports. The Cubs have not given a timetable on when he might be able to return.

Ryan Sweeney, Justin Ruggiano and Junior Lake will see time in center while Bonifacio is out according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

As for the leadoff spot, Renteria said the team will “try to mix-and-match” and could use Lake, Chris Coghlan or Luis Valbuena at the top of the lineup.

News, Notes and Rumors

Starlin Castro said after Friday’s game that he knows Roberto Hernandez was not intentionally throwing at him. The two players are friends and see one another in the Dominican during the off-season.

The Cubs hit another home run with the throwback uniforms the team wore Friday night in Philadelphia.

Buster Olney said Friday he has talked with teams that have interest in Jeff Samardzija and their conversations with the Cubs are beginning to gain traction.

Ryan Sweeney spent time with Manny Ramirez while he was rehabbing in Mesa. Sweeney believes Ramirez will help the young hitters once he reports to Iowa according to a report from the Tribune. Sweeney said that Ramirez would joke with them by saying he was their coach, but Sweeney told the Tribune “you can still tell Ramirez is a player at heart.”

Minor News and Notes

Kris Bryant went 1-for-3 with a walk, RBI and a run scored and actually saw his slash line drop to .400/.500/.857 over his last 10 games with a 1.357 OPS. Bryant has hits in each of his last eight games and has reached base safely in 18 straight games.

And speaking of Kris Bryant, he is lighting up the Southern League for the Smokies … and the local NBC affiliate ran a feature on the current Smokies’ third baseman.

Hunter Cervenka was added to the North Division All-Star roster Friday. Cervenka is taking the spot of teammate Corey Black, who has been on the DL. Black is expected to return to the mound Sunday. Cervenka is the seventh Smokie to be named an All-Star. The game takes place Tuesday night (June 17) at AT & T Field in Chattanooga.

Rick Renteria “endorsed the organization’s decision to play Arismendy Alcantara” in centerfield according to a report from the Tribune.

Draft News and Notes

According to a report from, Gianni Zayas, the Cubs 29th round pick in last weekend’s draft, will pitch in the Cape Cod League this summer before deciding on signing with the Cubs. If Zayas pitches well in the Cape, the report indicates he will sign with the Cubs. If he does not pitch well, he will honor his commitment to Florida International University.

It appears Jordan Brink has signed with the Cubs. Brink tweeted Friday, “Not a bad first day when the first person you see is Manny Ramirez, and he says ‘hey papi’ hahaha. #legend.” Ramirez is still in Mesa preparing for his job as player-coach for Iowa. Brink was selected in the 11th round of the draft. The Cubs have not announced the signing.

This Day In Cubstory

2004 – Cubs signed free agent Ricky Gutierrez

1986 – Cubs released Matt Keough

1980 – In an Old-Timers Day reunion, the Tigers of 1945 beat the Cubs of 1945 4-1 in a two-inning ‘replay’ of the ’45 World Series. The Cubs beat the Braves at Wrigley that day 10-5.

1978 – Edgar Gonzalez, born

1978 – Pete Rose collected two hits in a Reds 3-1 victory over the Cubs. Rose started his 44-game hitting streak.

1968 – Cardinals purchased Ramon Hernandez from the Cubs

1960 – Cubs signed Danvars, Mass. High school superstar Danny Murphy to a $130,000 contract, making him the highest paid player of the bonus era to that point. Four days later, the 17-year old started in the outfield at Crosley Field in a 7-1 loss to the Reds. Murphy hit only .120 that year and after three seasons he was sent to the minors. Murphy resurfaced as a pitcher for the White Sox in 1969 and became one of the few players to make the majors as a position player and pitcher.

1959 – Ernie Banks hit the 200th home run of his career off Carlton Willey in the seventh inning. The Cubs beat the Braves, behind Dick Drott, 6-0 at Wrigley Field

1954 – Cubs acquired Hal Rice from the Pirates for Luis Marquez

1953 – Ralph Kiner belted a two-out ninth inning grand slam that tied the game at six in Brooklyn. The game was called due to darkness. Kiner’s slam tied him with Rogers Hornsby for the NL record.

1949 – Ex-Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus, with the Phillies at the time, was shot by 19-year old Ruth Steinhagen, who claimed she was in love with Waitkus, at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel. Waitkus battled for his life and returned to the field the next season.

1943 – Cubs signed free agent John Burrows

1927 – Cubs purchased Wayland Dean from the Phillies

1916 – Cubs released Mickey Doolin

1901 – Cubs executed a triple play off Al Selbach in the fourth inning. Third baseman Fred Raymer to catcher Mike Kahoe to second baseman Clearance Childs to first baseman Charlie Dexter back to Childs and back to Kahoe. The Giants won the game 4-1 at West Side Grounds

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Quote of the Day

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