It was rather busy Wednesday before the Cubs took the field in Denver for the second game of the series with the Rockies.
The Cubs held a private workout, in front of tourists, at Wrigley Field for OF Rusney Castillo. The free agent outfielder from Cuba reportedly intrigues the front office, along with a majority of baseball. The Cubs are one of many teams holding private workouts for the speedy outfielder with mixed comps that could make him a starting outfielder on a first division team, or at best a fourth outfielder in the majors.
The Cubs designated OF Nate Schierholtz for assignment. Schierholtz could not build on or replicate his career season from a year ago. Schierholtz was expected to be one of the first trade chips the Cubs moved this summer but he was not able to dig himself out of an early slump. The front office has ten days to trade him and could still find a contender to send him to, along with cash, for a young arm with upside, similar to the trades the Cubs completed for Scott Hairston a year ago and Darwin Barney last month.
RHP Kyuji Fujikawa was activated from the 60-day DL and took the spots Nate Schierholtz occupied on the 40-man and active 25-man rosters. Fujikawa is still recovering from last June’s Tommy John surgery and the radar gun Wednesday night backed up what Rick Renteria was saying about Fujikawa, his velocity is still several ticks below where it was before his arm injury.
The Cubs reportedly claimed RHP Jacob Turner off of waivers from the Marlins and are talking to Miami on what it would take to finally have Turner in the Cubs system. As was reported Wednesday and pointed out by Patrick Mooney, the front office has had its eyes on Turner dating back to talks with the Tigers for Matt Garza. The Cubs are expected to work out a deal for Turner, and when they do another spot, at least on the 40-man roster, will have to be created. Turner is out of minor league options and would have to be added to the active roster as well.
And a report out of Philadelphia late Wednesday night, early Thursday morning indicated the Cubs were the team that claimed LHP Cole Hamels.
Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday afternoon that an unidentified team claimed Cole Hamels on revocable trade waivers. Rosenthal pointed out at the team, the Phillies had 48 hours to work out a deal with the team or pull him back. Hamels can block trades to all but nine teams (Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, Rangers, Padres and Yankees) and the claiming team, at the time, was believed to be in the National League.
David Kaplan passed on report from a sports radio host in Philadelphia the Cubs were the only team that claimed Hamels.
Kaplan made two excellent points. One, it is highly unlikely the Phillies would trade Hamels. The Phillies see him as the staff ace moving forward on what could be a very tricky rebuild. Two, the Cubs willingness to put in a claim for a pitcher owed nearly $100 million ($96 million guaranteed after this year) through the 2018 season proves the front office has the financial flexibility to make the additions to the roster they feel benefit the team moving forward. Kaplan reported the claim shows “the baseball world that the Cubs are again open for business.”
News and Notes
The arrival of Javier Baez was a boost for the TV ratings. According to a report from the Tribune, Baez’s debut delivered a 2.0 rating on Comcast SportsNet, up 43 percent from the season average of 1.4 … an additional 92,600 homes tuned in to see Javier Baez make his big league debut.
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Kyuji Fujikawa’s future with the Cubs is uncertain.
Jed Hoyer thinks struggles will be good for Javier Baez according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
This Day In Cubstory
2009 – Mets purchased Jason Dubois from the Cubs
2008 – Cubs traded Scott Eyre to the Phillies for Brian Schlitter
2005 – Victor beat Carlos in the ‘Battle of the Zambranos’ at Shea Stadium. The Mets topped the Cubs 6-1.
2004 – Greg Maddux won the 300th game of his career. Maddux and the Cubs topped the Giants 8-4 and became the 22nd pitcher in MLB history to win 300 career games.
2001 – Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael from Wrigley Field. McMichael disputed a call made in the previous half inning and said he would speak to the umpire about the call before he sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.’ Hernandez had McMichael removed from the old ballyard
1984 – Cubs swept a doubleheader against the Mets at Wrigley Field. Rick Sutcliffe beat Ron Darling in the opener 8-6 behind a three-run homer by Keith Moreland and a two-run homer from Ron Cey. Cubs won game two 8-4 behind Tim Stoddard and Lee Smith’s 25th save of the season.
1967 – Angels purchased Curt Simmons from the Cubs
1921 – Cubs replaced manager Johnny Evers with Bill Killefer
1911 – Joe Tinker was one of the few players that hit Christy Mathewson and he had his best day against Mathewson with a 4-for-4 performance that includes two singles, a double and a triple. Tinker scored three runs, stole home and helped turn two double plays. Mordecai Brown beat the Giants 8-6 at West Side Grounds.
1906 – Under orders from Giants manager John McGraw, umpire James Johnson is refused admittance to the Polo Grounds and the scheduled game was forfeited to the Cubs, 9-0. The Giants owner, John Bush allowed Johnson to enter the park the next day and the Cubs beat the Giants 3-2 behind Mordecai Brown and Ed Reulbach.