The Cubs made more changes to their big league roster on Friday. The Cubs added outfielder Julio Borbon to the mix after they claimed him off waivers from the Rangers. To make room on the 40-man and active roster, Alberto Gonzalez was designated for assignment.
Borbon arrived at Miller Park on Friday night and was inserted into the game as a pinch runner for Dioner Navarro in the ninth inning. Borbon reported to his new team about five minutes before entering the game.
The Cubs made a host of roster moves earlier in the week that included designating both Brent Lillibridge and Hisanori Takahashi for assignment. Takahashi cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs announced Brent Lillibridge also cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs will likely stick with the current roster until Ian Stewart is ready to come off the DL … which could happen soon.
Matt Garza completed a simulated game on Friday afternoon at Miller Park. Garza was rusty, for obvious reasons, but completed two innings without any problems.
Garza will throw a bullpen on Sunday then catch up with the Smokies to pitch in a Double-A game on Wednesday, April 24. The Smokies host the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays) with first pitch scheduled for 12:00pm CDT.
The Cubs would like to see Garza complete three innings and throw around 45 pitches on Wednesday. Garza is scheduled to make four-five starts in order to build up his pitch count and innings.
The I-Cubs were able to play a game on Friday … and Ian Stewart manned third base for the entire nine innings. Ian Stewart went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored on Friday night. Stewart remains hitless in his rehab appearances with Triple-A Iowa. Stewart is 0-for-9 with three walks, a run scored, a RBI and six strikeouts.
Dale Sveum mentioned Friday that the Cubs would like to see Stewart play nine inning games for a week before they activate him from the 15-day DL.
Stewart could be activated during the next homestand, which begins on Monday, April 29 with the first of three against the Padres. Stewart is expected to take over the everyday third base job pushing Luis Valbuena to the bench in the utility infielder’s role.
Kyuji Fujikawa played catch on Friday for the first time since landing on the DL seven days ago. Fujikawa will go out on a rehab assignment before the Cubs activate him from the disabled list.
Alfonso Soriano credits using a lighter bat, as recommended to him a year ago by Dale Sveum, as the reason for his improved production at an advanced age. Gordon Wittenmyer also reminded all that Soriano is in the Crane Kenney years of his eight-year contract. Kenney is believed to be the executive that added the final two years on Soriano’s contract to seal the deal.
The Cubs are planning to stick with the way the roster is currently constructed until Ian Stewart is ready to come off the DL.
The Cubs released RHP Jensen Lewis on Friday. After a rough spring, Lewis was 0-1 in five games with a 17.18 ERA and a 3.55 WHIP (10 hits, four home runs, one strikeout and three walks in 3 2/3 innings) for the I-Cubs this season.
The Cubs are 5-10 over the first 15 games of the season. All but two of the 15 games have been decided by three runs or less. The Cubs are 2-4 in one run contests and their biggest margin of victory was a four-run win over the Rangers last Thursday afternoon. The Cubs have scored 54 runs this season while allowing 65 runs.