The Cubs had a good weekend in Philadelphia. Travis Wood tossed a gem Sunday afternoon and led the way to the Cubs first winning series on the road since last September in Cincinnati (Sept. 9-11). The Cubs were 0-9-3 in the 12 previous series outside of Wrigley Field. With the exception of another dud from Edwin Jackson, the pitching staff performed well against the Phillies. Jake Arrieta tossed seven innings of shutout ball Friday night and Travis Wood threw eight scoreless innings Sunday afternoon. And with Hector Rondon unavailable, Neil Ramirez picked up two saves.
The Cubs also ended a losing skid in Philadelphia that dated back to the 2001 season. Prior to this weekend, the Cubs had not won a series in Philly since ’01 and were 0-8-2 in the ten series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Cubs road trip continues Monday night in Miami and wraps up Wednesday morning with an 11:40am CDT first pitch. Once the series with the Marlins is completed, the Cubs will return to a more balanced home-road schedule. Wednesday ends a run of the Cubs playing 29 of 40 games outside of Wrigley Field.
Mike Olt hit his 10th home run of the season Saturday and has become a part-time player as his first taste of the big leagues has become all or nothing. Olt has more home runs (10) than singles (9) and leads NL rookies in home runs and RBI.
The Cubs appear to be willing to let him work things out in the majors, and not in the minors. Olt is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
Mike Olt has shown improvement, defensively at third base, and has made several excellent plays while at times showing limited range. Olt is batting .152/.232/.379 with 22 hits (10 home runs, three doubles), 14 walks and 60 strikeouts in 145 at bats (53 games).
Rick Renteria would like to see Olt make adjustments to his two-strike approach. And the Cubs skipper will continue to play him against pitchers he feels Olt matches up well against.
The Houston Astros signed Jose Veras to a minor league contract Sunday. Veras reportedly did not want to leave Houston last year in the first place. Veras will report to the Astros’ complex in Kissimmee Monday. Once Veras is ready to pitch again, he will report to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Cubs released Veras last week (June 10) after he was designated for assignment on June 3.
Jose Veras signed a $4 million contract ($3.85 million for 2014 season; $150,000 buyout on club option for 2015) with the Cubs in the off-season and did not pitch to expectations.
Minor News and Notes
The Cubs are in no rush with Arodys Vizcaino according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. Patrick Mooney pointed out what has been reported here, the front office has Vizcaino on a three-day throwing schedule. Until he is pitching on back-to-back days, he will not be called up. Vizcaino could still be added to the active roster when rosters expand in September.
Kris Bryant went 1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI Sunday. Bryant extended his hitting streak to 10 games and has reached base safely in each of his last 20 games.
Javier Baez hit his 10th longball Sunday as part of a 2-for-4, two RBI day at the plate that included two stolen bases. Baez is hitting .222/275/.489 in June (13 games) with one double, one triple and three home runs.
Kyle Schwarber went yard Sunday night and is 7-for-11 in three games with two home runs and one walk. Schwarber was Boise’s DH Sunday after catching his first two games. Click Here for Video of Schwarber’s second longball.
One of the names that have been connected to the Cubs in a possible deal for Jeff Samardzija completed his first minor league rehab start Sunday. Dylan Bundy allowed one run on five hits in five innings. Bundy threw 65 pitches.
Kyle Hendricks picked up his seventh win Sunday and is tied for the league lead in pitchers’ wins in the PCL.
This Day In Cubstory
1995 – Cardinals traded Todd Zeile and cash to the Cubs for Francisco Morales, Paul Torres and Mike Morgan
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Brendan Donnelly
1993 – The 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack was celebrated at Wrigley Field. Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1893
1981 – William Wrigley announced the sale of the Cubs to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million, ending 66-year ownership by the Wrigley family
1977 – Kerry Wood, born
1958 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Ellsworth
1958 – Dick Ellsworth made his Cubs debut by pitching the Cubs to a 1-0 win over the White Sox at the Boys Benefit game at Comiskey Park
1954 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Drott
1927 – Cubs won their 12th consecutive game by beating the Phillies 7-2 behind Hal Carlson at Wrigley Field. The Phillies traded Carlson to the Cubs nine days earlier for infielder Jimmy Cooney
1884 – Due to inflammation in his right index finger, Larry Corcoran pitched both left-handed and right-handed in a game against the Bisons. The right-hander threw four innings alternating throwing arms before finishing the game at shortstop. The White Stockings (Cubs) lost 20-9.