Manny Ramirez’s tenure with the Cubs is over for now. Manny Ramirez is on the disabled list and received clearance from the front office to return home after Iowa’s last road trip. Ramirez is not with the I-Cubs for the final series of the year in Des Moines. According to multiple reports, Ramirez isn’t retiring from baseball yet and is planning to play ball this winter.
Jed Hoyer addressed Ramirez’s status with the beat writers prior to Friday’s game in St. Louis. Hoyer said Ramirez is “still determined to play” and it’s unclear if he would be willing to become a full-time hitting instructor or a long-term fixture in the Cubs organization according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
Hoyer explained Manny Ramirez was a positive influence on the players and the front office feels it was a positive experience for Ramirez and the Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo is still listed as day-to-day after missing his third straight game with tightness in his back. Rizzo left Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning after his back tightened up on him. According to reports prior to Friday’s game, Rizzo was improving and could return to the lineup in one, or both, of Saturday’s games.
Jorge Soler and No. 68
Jorge Soler has been a highlight reel over his first three games. Soler is 7-for-11 with a double, three home runs and a walk with six RBI.
Jorge Soler explained, with help from interpreter Franklin Font, why he picked his uniform number during Friday’s pre-game show (720 WGN). Soler said he chose No. 68 because that was the first number the Cubs gave him in Spring Training and he likes it.
According to a report from the Des Moines Register, Mike Olt was on the field at Principal Park prior to Friday’s game running in the outfield. Olt strained his left hamstring and landed on the disabled list on Aug. 20.
Olt is expected to be one of the many players the Cubs call-up in September when the roster expands. The Cubs have not provided an official update on his status.
According to reports from the Des Moines Register, Josh Vitters season is over. Vitters broke his ring finger with an awkward slide into second base on Aug. 20 and was placed on the DL the next day. Marty Pevey confirmed prior to Friday’s game that Vitters would not play again this season.
Vitters has struggled to stay on the field throughout his career and this is the latest in what has turned out to be a long list of injuries for the former first round pick. Vitters struggled at the plate and in the field this season and is out of minor league options. If Vitters is still in the organization in the spring, he will have to play his way onto the Opening Day roster.
Josh Vitters has the talent to be a successful big leaguer, he’s just not been able to put it all together yet.
News and Notes
The Cubs announced Friday that Jackie Robinson West will be at Wrigley Field on Monday to kick-off the homestand. The team will throw out the first pitch and lead the crowd in singing the 7th inning stretch.
Rick Renteria is trying to find a happy medium with Starlin Castro according to a report from Carrie Muskat.
After Friday’s game, Javier Baez said the team is just waiting on Kris Bryant.
Justin Grimm struck out four batters in the ninth inning of Friday’s game, the 72nd time in MLB history a pitcher recorded four strikeouts in a single inning.
With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 15-12 in August and with only three games left in the month, the Cubs can do no worse than a .500 record for the month.
The Cubs are 8-1 on the days Kyle Hendricks has taken the ball.
The Cubs have not been connected to either OF/1B Jozzen Cuesta or LHP Misael Siverio, but there were 20 teams in attendance at their showcase in South Florida on Friday according to Jon Heyman.
This Day in Cubstory
2010 – Carlos Zambrano became the first pitcher to hit a home run in eight straight seasons since Gary Peters (1963-1971). Zambrano hit a homer in a 14-2 victory over the Pirates
2007 – Cubs traded Buck Coats to the Reds for a PTBNL. Cubs received Marcos Mateo on Sept. 12, 2007 to complete the trade
2001 – Bill Mueller hit a walk-off home run that gave the Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Marlins. Fred McGriff hit a three-run homer and reached 80 RBI for the 14th straight season, only the second player in big league history to drive in 80 or more runs in 14 straight seasons, Hank Aaron holds the record, ‘Hammerin Hank’ did it 17 straight seasons.
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 54 in a 4-3 victory over the Rockies
1992 – Rookie Jim Bullinger tossed a one-hitter against the Giants in his third big league start
1989 – The Cubs acquired Luis Salazar and Marvell Wynne from the Padres for Darrin Jackson, Calvin Schiraldi and a PTBNL. Cubs sent Phil Stephenson to San Diego on Sept. 5, 1989 to complete the trade
1979 – Cubs purchased Bruce Kimm from the Tigers
1978 – Todd Wellemeyer, born
1971 – Cubs signed free agent Al Spangler
1945 – Stan Hack collected the 2,000th hit of his career, a single off the Pirates’ Preacher Roe in the first inning in Pittsburgh.
1941 – Carmen Fanzone, born
1930 – Hack Wilson drove in six runs in his return to the lineup. Wilson hit home runs No. 45 and 46 on the season in a 14-6 win over the Cardinals. Wilson finished August with 13 home runs and 53 RBI
1915 – Cubs traded Larry Cheney to Brooklyn for Joe Schultz
1898 – Kiki Cuyler, born