The Daily CCO: Manny Ramirez Ends Season Early with Permission from the Cubs and Other News and Notes

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

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.

PrintJorge 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.

Mike Olt

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.

Josh Vitters

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

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Quote of the Day

"Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move." – Satchel Paige

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  • BigJonLilJon

    I think Manny was brought in mostly for the young Spanish speaking guys. All reports I’ve read said he was a positive influence. When he decides to officially hang up his playing days, I wonder if the Cubs would bring him to Chicago as an Assistant Hitting Coach???

    • J Daniel

      I agree with you 100%. His job is done, for the time being, with Baez, Soler, and Alcantra as well as a few others I am sure. If he has had that much influence I do not see why he will not return unless he does not want to .

    • Zonk

      Manny really changed the league perception of him. I scratched my head at that signing, but he’s found religion and sounds like he’s gone from clubhouse cancer to mentor with that change. Good for him. Hope he gets another coaching gig

  • J Daniel

    Love the comment from Baez on how they are only waiting on Bryant. They know as well how good he is. Seems to me that they have a lot of excitement and mojo amongst them and know they are going to be good. They have the “IT” factor it looks like to me.

  • RMercer69

    Just saw that Soler is not in the lineup for game 1……..wait, what???

    • Neil

      Soler has been on a strict schedule since returning from the DL to ensure his hamstring issues are behind him. When he was promoted, I cautioned he would not play every game down the stretch. The front office is not going to risk further injury.

  • John G

    Neil, Wasn’t Al Spangler with the Cubs between ’67 and ’71?
    Of course he was. I just want to know if you got the year wrong, or is there a backstory there.

    • Neil

      John, the transactions page shows he was resigned on this day in 1971 and played in only five games with the team in Aug and Sept. If you see an error, please let me know, I make mistakes. This one is correct.

      • John G

        Thanks, I wasn’t being critical. I just knew he was with the team in the late ’60s. I just looked it up and saw that he sat out most all of the ’71 season. He was probably just used as a pinch hitter for those 5 games.

  • Zonk

    Josh Vitters has to be the first 40-man casualty this offseason. He’s out of options next year, as if we needed another reason.