The team that has not lost a series this season and has won its last two could receive a boost before Friday’s opener against the Padres.
Injuries to Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella may have moved up the front office’s timeframe for calling up Kris Bryant. It’s believed the Cubs would rather add Bryant to the big league roster while the team is on the road but multiple reports suggested Bryant could be up by Friday.
Iowa has a doubleheader scheduled for Thursday. With the first game expected to get underway at 5:00pm CDT in New Orleans, the Cubs plans for Bryant will be known without the team having to say a word.
Joe Maddon was asked prior to Wednesday’s finale if he had been given a date as to when Bryant would be called up. Maddon said no one has given him a specific date.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Maddon has his speech ready for Bryant when he is called up.
“The thing I like to do with young players like that is to really just try to emphasize you’re one of a group. I’ve been around prodigies before, and … part of it’s the rhetoric. The rhetoric from outside will be glamorous, glorious, whatever hyperbole you want to call it. From within it has to be real. In conversation with the guy, whether it’s Kris Bryant or Addison Russell or Javy Baez … we have a lot of these guys. When they eventually get up here, I really try to disarm that whole thing with them conversationally. My expectation is you play hard, do your work and you care.”
Joe Maddon is not worried about Bryant, Russell or Baez contributing once they are promoted from Triple-A Iowa. Maddon explained that some prospects are able to produce right away at the big league level because “they haven’t had a chance to process the whole thing.”
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from 670 The Score
Travis Wood is a Dirt Bag, and That’s a Good Thing
Joe Maddon paid Travis Wood a huge compliment after he threw seven-plus innings of shutout ball on Wednesday night. Maddon called Wood a dirt bag.
Travis Wood was very good Wednesday pounding the strike zone and pitching to the ballpark. The wind was blowing in and Wood admitted he knew if he could get early contact and the Reds elevated the ball he could have a good outing.
Maddon has not held back his praise for Travis Wood. Maddon views Wood as an athlete that can help the Cubs win games beyond the mound. Wood will see time as a pinch-hitter this season and could be used in the outfield late in games if the situation presents itself.
During his post-game press conference, Maddon said, “As pitchers go, you could label him as a dirt bag. I love that phrase when you’re talking about a good baseball player.”
Following Thursday’s off-day, the Cubs welcome the Padres to Wrigley Field for three games.
Jason Hammel is scheduled to face James Shields in the opener on Friday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks and Tyson Ross will go in game two. And Jon Lester is expected to square off against Andrew Cashner in Sunday’s finale. All games start at 1:20pm CDT.
The Cubs begin a seven-game, two-city trip through Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on Monday.
News, Notes and Rumors
• One executive Peter Gammons spoke with about Jorge Soler said, “He’s so good he hits the ball in, out, up, down.”
• When Dave Martinez saw Jorge Soler throw out Zack Cozart at third base, the Cubs’ bench coach thought of his former teammate, Andre Dawson, according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. The Cubs see Gold Glove potential in Soler, who has been very good since Opening Night.
• Starlin Castro had a hell of a game Wednesday night according to Joe Maddon.
• Major League Baseball announced Wednesday a new Amateur Prospect League will begin this Saturday in Nicaragua.
• Chris Coghlan took grounders at second base prior to Wednesday’s game. And both Welington Castillo and David Ross took grounders at third base before the finale with the Reds.
• According to a report from Jesse Rogers, Tommy La Stella thinks he will be ready to come off the DL next week when he’s eligible.
• From Christopher Kamka: Last year the Cubs did not hit a home run in the first inning at Wrigley Field until August 19, the Cubs already have two, first inning homers this year … Jorge Soler on Monday and Anthony Rizzo on Wednesday.
• Speaking of home runs, the Cubs have hit at least one longball in the last five games … the Cubs went deep in 11 straight games (Aug. 16-27) last season.
• Jon Lester responded to tweets, both the good ones and the bad ones, according to a report from the Sun-Times.
• Jake Arrieta showed he was human in rare loss at Wrigley according to Bruce Levine.
And last, but not least, Justin Grimm tweeted Wednesday that he had an “encouraging day.”
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs selected Cody Ransom off waivers from the Padres
2008 – Blue Jays returned Randy Wells to the Cubs
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Nate Teut
1997 – With a 4-0 loss to the Rockies, the Cubs losing streak was extended to 12 games, a new record for the worst start in league history.
1994 – Albert Almora, born
1972 – Burt Hooton pitched a no-hitter at Wrigley Field. The Cubs beat the Phillies 4-0. Hooton became the 12th rookie to pitch a no hitter in baseball history.
1972 – Antonio Alfonseca, born
1957 – Cubs traded Ray Jablonski and Ray Katt to the New York Giants for Bob Lennon and Dick Littlefield
1955 – Randy Jackson, Dee Fondy and Ernie Banks hit three consecutive home runs in the second inning, but the Cubs lost to the Cardinals 12-11 in 11 innings.
1955 – Cubs purchased Lloyd Merriman from the White Sox
1948 – The first Chicago baseball game was telecast on WGN-TV with Jack Brickhouse on the call. The Cubs lost 4-1 to the White Sox at Wrigley Field.
1948 – Cubs signed free agent Vern Morgan
1947 – Cubs purchased Lonny Frey from the Reds
1946 – Cubs stunned the Reds 4-3 after scoring four runs in the ninth inning of the opener at Crosley Field. Bob Scheffing, after spending three years in the Navy, delivered the game winner, a pinch-hit, two-run single.
1943 – Frank Fernandez, born
1938 – Cubs traded Curt Davis, Clyde Shoun, Tuck Stainback and $185,000 to the Cardinals for Dizzy Dean.
1929 – Ed Winceniak, born
1906 – Johnny Evers and Frank Chance were ejected from the game in a 3-0 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. And Joe Tinker got into a fight with a fan outside the park on the same day.
1906 – Tommy Sewell, born
1894 – Detroit (Western League) purchased Bob Glenalvin from the Chicago Colts for $600.
1892 – Dutch Leonard, born