From the Wire: Cubs Recall OF Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa, Option RHP Dan Straily to Iowa

As expected, RHP Dan Straily was optioned to Iowa following Saturday’s game against the Mets. Straily took the loss in his first start with the Cubs. Straily had two bad innings but retired the side in order in four of the six innings he pitched. Straily was charged with seven runs, five earned, on four hits with three walks, a HBP and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

The Cubs have recalled OF Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa. Szczur will be available for Sunday’s game at Citi Field. Szczur was on the 40-man roster and on an optional assignment with Triple-A Iowa.

Matt Szczur will be the seventh different player to make his big league debut this season for the Chicago Cubs. Szczur will join Arismendy Alcantara, Neil Ramirez, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada and Dallas Beeler.

Matt Szczur hit .261/.315/.312 in 116 games for Iowa with 16 doubles, one triple and one home run. Szczur can play all three outfield spots and swiped 30 bases while being caught seven times.

PrintOver his last 14 games, Szczur hit .292/.313/.338 with three doubles and a .652 OPS. Szczur can, and has, track down just about any ball hit near him in the outfield. When Szczur is in center, he can cover from gap to gap.

The Cubs selected Szczur in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. After persuading him to forego football for baseball, Szczur was added to the 40-man roster due to the Major League contract he had to sign that voided his original contract. Szczur has one minor league option remaining after this season.

Dan Straily will rejoin the big league team when the roster expands in September. The front office and coaching staff would like to see Straily make a couple of starts before the season ends. The Cubs have not announced the plans for the rotation in September but both Straily and Felix Doubront are expected to be part of the plan over the final month for the season.

With the two roster moves, the Cubs active roster stands at 25 players … 13 pitchers, 12 position players.

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"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • Tom U

    The moment he steps on the field for the first time, Matt Szczur can make a claim for the fastest player in Major League Baseball.

    • woody34

      It’s been obvious for awhile we need some speed on this team. This one will be fun to watch

    • triple

      Is he even faster than Hamilton?

      • Tom U

        The short answer is probably. The longer answer is that it is all relative.

        I spoke about this with my daughter, a track athlete for whom sprinting is a reluctant specialty (she prefers the high jump and pole vault, if I may digress). She explained the 30 yards (the 90 foot basepath) is not a proper distance to judge speed, as sprinters usually are reaching their top speed when hitting the tape at 100 meters.

        While both players played football (Hamilton turned down a scholarship offer to Mississippi St.),Szczur develop those skills, including speed at a much higher level as a receiver Villanova. Szczur also participated in track while Hamiltons bio makes no mention of that. Szczur is also slightly bigger, and that size does matter in a foot race.

        So as a base stealer and in the outfield, will Hamilton appear faster than Szczur? We will have to see, but possibly yes. In a race, however, my money is on Szczur.

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  • BillyFinT

    How do you pronounce Szczur?

    • BillyFinT

      I recall that Tom once said as in “Caesar”?

      • Cubbiemacg

        Yes that’s how is pronounced

  • SuzyS

    Szczur is one of those people you root for as a human being. I’m not sure he’s going to make it in the mlb…but I’m sure going to root for the guy.

  • Tony_H

    I posted this last night in the game thread, but if you haven’t watched this video on Matt Szczur that was on E:60 Risking it All, it is well worth the 10 minutes.

    As Suzy says, I have no idea if he is going to have much of an MLB career, but I am rooting for him!

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9617233