Not only did the Cubs begin a 10-game homestand with a win that snapped the team’s five-game skid, but there was a lot of change at the big league level and down on the farm. The Cubs designated Darwin Barney for assignment, activated Emilio Bonifacio from the DL and committed to Arismendy Alcantara playing every day in the majors for the rest of the season. And that was before the game.
Kyle Hendricks called Tuesday, the best day of his life after he picked up his first big league victory in his Wrigley Field debut. After the Cubs shutout the Padres behind Hendricks and homers from Anthony Rizzo and Arismendy Alcantara, the team announced Jorge Soler and Albert Almora were being promoted. And a report from Comcast SportsNet indicated Soler could be called up in September. The Cubs then announced Mike Olt had been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
What was supposed to be a two-day call-up has turned into an extended stay in the big leagues for Arismendy Alcantara. After the Cubs announced the team had designated Darwin Barney for assignment, the Cubs’ GM addressed the plans for Arismendy Alcantara.
Jed Hoyer told the beat writers, “It’s time for ‘Mendy’ to play. He’ll play second, he’ll play center. I think he’ll be in the lineup every day. One of the things we feel strongly about is that when we do bring guys up, they are here to play. We’re not going to bring up these guys who are part of our future to share time on the bench.”
It appears Alcantara and Emilio Bonifacio will split time at second base and in centerfield while Bonifacio is still with the team.
The front office realizes Alcantara will have his good days and not-so-good days. Hoyer cautioned that a player’s successes and failures are a part of the process and development for players is not linear.
The organization is moving forward and more changes are on the horizon as the non-waiver trade deadline nears.
According to reports from the Des Moines Register, Kyuji Fujikawa will pitch again Wednesday for Iowa. Fujikawa was transferred to the I-Cubs to continue his rehab assignment Monday. Fujikawa pitched one inning and said Tuesday he felt good. Marty Pevey told the Des Moines Register that Fujikawa would pitch Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Jed Hoyer was asked about a timeframe on Fujikawa returning to the big league team. Hoyer told Comcast SportsNet, “Um, not necessarily to be here. Any rehab assignment has a finite timetable and he’s throwing in Iowa. He’s certainly moving in the right direction.”
A pitcher can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days. According to the transactions page on Cubs.com, Kyuji Fujikawa began his rehab assignment with the AZL Cubs on July 6.
Competitive Balance Lottery
Major League Baseball’s Competitive Balance Lottery is Wednesday (July 23) at 1:00pm CDT at the Commissioner’s Office in New York.
Introduced when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement came into play in December 2011, the Competitive Balance Lottery gives teams who have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools one of six additional choices after each of the first and second rounds. Additionally, any other clubs that are eligible to receive revenue-sharing funds are eligible for the supplemental second-round selections.
This year, the Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, D-backs, Indians, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies and Royals have a shot at the supplemental first-round picks. Whichever teams from that group don’t get one of those will be eligible for the supplemental second-rounders, as will the Mariners and Twins.
The Cubs are not eligible for the competitive balance pick, but every other team in the NL Central receives an extra pick in the draft.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Bruce Miles, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will “hold down the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation for the foreseeable future.”
Jake Arrieta said Tuesday he was feeling better after dealing being sick over the weekend in Arizona. Arrieta ran for 25 minutes and was able to eat without any side effects for the first time in a week according to a report from Mark Gonzales.
Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the front office is receiving calls on players and will probably continue receiving calls for the remainder of the month and into August according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
According to a report from Peter Gammons, don’t look for players to give hometown discounts to their current teams, and that includes LHP Jon Lester. The Players’ Union “is more involved in contracts than any time in years and they are driving them for the greater good of all.”
WGN-TV and WGN America will air “Chicago’s Call to the Hall” special this Saturday (July 26) at 5:30pm CDT on the eve of Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dan Roan hosts the half-hour special.
The pitching staff recorded its seventh shutout of the season Tuesday night. The Cubs staff managed six shutouts in 2013.
Justin Ruggiano appeared to hurt a hamstring while he was running the bases in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game. Ruggiano scored on Welington Castillo’s double. Nate Schierholtz replaced him in right field in the eighth. The Cubs said he was fine after the game and was just removed from the game.
Rob Neyer on the Meaning of Darwin Barney.
Minor News and Notes
C.J. Edwards is expected to make his return to the mound Wednesday. The Cubs have not said where Edwards would be pitching. But Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that it is a “strong possibility” that Edwards could pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
The Cubs have the best system in baseball according to Keith Law.
This Day In Cubstory
2003 – Cubs acquired Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton and cash from the Pirates for Matt Bruback, Jose Hernandez and a PTBNL. Bobby Hill was sent to Pittsburgh and the PTNBL on Aug. 15
1987 – Red Sox released Bill Buckner
1982 – Joe Mather, born
1979 – The Cubs beat the Reds 9-8 in 18 innings at Wrigley Field. The first nine innings of the game was actually played on May 10. The game was suspended because the Cubs had to catch a plane. Steve Ontiveros drove in the tying run with two outs in the 11th inning and the winning run in the 18th inning. The Cubs won the regularly scheduled game 2-1 on Dave Kingman’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
1973 – Nomar Garciaparra, born
1970 – Milt Pappas shutout the Reds 1-0 at Wrigley Field. It was the only time during the 1970 season the Reds did not score a run.
1957 – Dick Drott struck out 14 batters, Bob Speake homered and Moose Moryn hit a two-run double in the Cubs 4-0 victory over the Giants at Wrigley Field.
1944 – After hitting one homer in the first game and three in the second game, Giants’ manager Mel Ott intentionally walked Bill Nicholson intentionally with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. The New Yorkers won the game 12-10 after the Cubs took the first game 7-4.
1923 – The Cubs exploded for nine runs in the top of the 12th inning, with the Otto Vogel delivering a three-run triple and beat the Pirates 12-3 in Pittsburgh. The nine runs in a Cubs record for the most runs scored in an extra inning.
1922 – 1B Ray Grimes homers in the Cubs 4-1 over the Robins. The homer gave Grimes at least one RBI in 17 straight games, a Major League record. Grimes would go onto drive in at least one run in 24 straight games.
1912 – Cubs purchased Tom Downey from the Phillies