Jackie Robinson Day
The Cubs have an open spot on its 40-man roster and now a need at third base with Tommy La Stella on the DL and Mike Olt less than 100 percent. Could Kris Bryant make his debut this weekend before the Cubs hit the road for a week in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati?
Joe Maddon said Tuesday it was possible an infielder could be added to the roster by Friday. When asked about adding an infielder, Maddon responded with a grin. And the first game of the series with the Padres would be the 13th day of the baseball season. The Cubs could still be risking losing the extra year of control on Bryant if he is called up by Friday, as ESPN Chicago pointed out.
The Cubs currently have 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster. Maddon and the front office decided it was best for the team to recall LHP Zac Rosscup from the minors when La Stella was placed on the DL. The bullpen has logged a lot of innings in the first week of the season.
Patrick Mooney posted a reminder the Cubs would rather have Kris Bryant make his debut on the road and not at Wrigley Field. All signs were pointing to Bryant making his debut during the upcoming road trip, but the injuries to La Stella and Olt may have changed the timing of Bryant’s promotion.
When asked about the possibility of Bryant being called up before the end of the homestand, Theo Epstein said he didn’t want to speculate. Epstein added, “It depends on what’s happening with the roster, what’s happening with his development. We don’t know yet.”
- Full Report from Carrie Muskat
- Full Report from Jesse Rogers
- Full Report from Gordon Wittenmyer
- Full Report from Patrick Mooney
Welington Castillo delivered off the bench again Tuesday night. Two days after driving in a run in the ninth inning and scoring on Dexter Fowler’s two-run shot in Denver, Castillo dusted off his bat late in the game again and smacked a two-run homer in the eighth inning … the first pinch hit home run for the Cubs since Nate Schierholtz, July 26, 2014 versus Cardinals.
Welington Castillo has impressed Joe Maddon and the Cubs’ skipper makes sure to tell anyone willing to listen that Castillo is really good. Maddon is glad that Castillo is not happy about his reduced role on the team. Castillo is the back-up to the back-up starting catcher.
The former starter is willing to do whatever he can to help the Cubs win games. Castillo has taken grounders at third base. Castillo just wants to play.
As for explaining his success as a pinch-hitter over the first seven games, he can’t do that according to Jesse Rogers. Castillo told the beat writers, “See the ball, hit the ball. Just keep it simple.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• SS Gleyber Torres, the Cubs 18-year old prospect, is 8-for-23 with a double and a .814 OPS in his first six games with the South Bend Cubs (.348/.423/.391). Torres has walked three times with five strikeouts and has two stolen bases.
• INF Christian Villanueva is bidding his time in Double-A waiting for Kris Bryant to be promoted to the majors. Villanueva is 5-for-21 in five games with two home runs, three walks and four strikeouts (.238/.333/.527) with a .857 OPS.
• Iowa was rained out in New Orleans on Tuesday night. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game two of the series is scheduled to start at 11:00am on Wednesday.
• Kyle Schwarber is 4-for-12 in four games with Double-A Tennessee. Schwarber has a triple and a home run with three walks and three strikeouts (.333/.467/.750) for a 1.217 OPS.
• According to Jerry Crasnick, the recently retired Dontrelle Willis is about to start a career in broadcasting with FOX.
• Joe Maddon wants Cubs to take the fight to the NL Central according to Patrick Mooney.
• Javier Baez is expected to rejoin the Iowa Cubs in the next day or two according to the Sun-Times.
• The bullpen is getting the job done for the Cubs according to Bruce Levine.
• Joe Maddon told the beat writers he “is happy with the information and scouting reports he’s getting from the Cubs baseball operations department. Maddon said ‘Our geeks are good,” according to Carrie Muskat.
• Maddon is also happy with his three-headed catcher … of course, the Cubs’ skipper is referring to Miguel Montero, Welington Castillo and David Ross.
And last, but not least, due to the short bench that Joe Maddon is working with, Chris Coghlan has played third base and second base in the last two games (Monday, Tuesday).
This Day In Cubstory
1969 – Jeromy Burnitz, born
1960 – Mike Diaz, born
1954 – Cubs purchased Jim Davis from Seattle in the Pacific Coast League
1945 – Ted Sizemore, born
1941 – Lou Stringer made four errors in his debut at second base, but the Cubs beat the Pirates 7-4 in the opener at Wrigley Field. Claude Passeau went the entire way and Bill Nicholson hit a two-run homer.
1937 – Cubs purchased Jack Salveson from the Senators
1931 – Ed Bailey, born
1886 – King Cole, born
1862 – Sy Sutcliffe, born