Happy Mother’s Day
There could be another round of the Cubs’ roster shuffle in the near future. Joe Maddon said there is ongoing conversation about roster changes. And Maddon indicated after Saturday’s game he recently had a meeting with coaches to “talk about players.”
The starting rotation and relievers have not pitched to expectations. The Cubs are not getting enough innings from the starters. According to Comcast SportsNet, the top three pitchers in the Cubs’ rotation (Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel) have accounted for 11 of the team’s 14 quality starts this year. And the lack of quality middle relief has led Maddon to use the backend of his pen more than he should have in the first 30 games of the season.
The Cubs lack options with the way the 40-man roster is currently constructed, which stands at 39 players. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada is on a rehab assignment with Iowa that is about to expire, and he’s been effective of late in Triple-A. And LHP Eric Jokisch has put together two solid outings. Beyond Wada and Jokisch, the Cubs lack options on the 40-man and might have to cut ties with veteran pitchers in order to give other pitchers opportunities to grab a role on the pitching staff.
The Cubs have lost seven of 10 with majority of the issues being with the pitching staff, more specifically in the bullpen. For all of the Cubs recent struggles they are still one of six teams in the National League with a record above .500.
Kris Bryant went yard Saturday night and provided the Cubs lone highlight in what turned out to be a lopsided game. Bryant hit the team’s first three run homer of the season and gave his team a short-lived 3-2 lead in the third inning.
His teammates and coaching staff vacated the dugout and went down the tunnel into the clubhouse, at the urging of Anthony Rizzo, who said it was Dave Martinez’s idea, and Bryant was greeted there in what he described as a mosh pit.
Bryant has talked about being a complete player. And Maddon pointed out Saturday night that he is more than a home run hitter, “He’s a good baseball player.”
And according to Comcast SportsNet, Bryant already had the ball in a glass case on top of his locker Saturday night.
Anthony Rizzo contributed to The Players’ Tribune … this is a must read.
Lefty Eric Jokisch completed his fifth start of the season for Iowa on Saturday night. Jokisch held Colorado Springs to three runs, one earned, on five hits in six innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Jokisch threw 81 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Jokisch is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. In 24 innings, Jokisch has allowed 11 runs, nine earned, on 27 hits with eight walks and 15 strikeouts. Over his last two outings (12 innings), four runs, two earned on nine hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.
Saturday night’s game was so lopsided that instead of using another reliever from the beat up bullpen Joe Maddon had David Ross pitch the eighth inning. Saturday was the first time that Ross ever pitched in pro ball. Ross retired all three batters he faced. More importantly, he lightened the mood from what had been a not-so-good night for the team.
Maddon said afterwards, “It’s a baseball game. I want to keep them I the right frame of mind. We got beat up tonight. It happens. Despite having a bad night, it ended on a good note.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• A starter’s pitch count is not the only factor for Joe Maddon according to a report from Bruce Levine.
• Before Saturday night’s game, Joe Maddon told ESPN Chicago he thinks the bullpen needs to manage the moment better.
• Joe Maddon was still raving Saturday about Kris Bryant respecting 90 on Friday night. And Maddon hopes the all of the Cubs minor leaguers watch the tape of what he did according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
And last, but not least, a correction on the Mets starters for the upcoming series. If the weather cooperates, Terry Collins will use Jacob deGrom (Monday), Noah Syndergaard (Tuesday), Matt Harvey (Wednesday) and Jon Niese (Thursday) in the four games against the Cubs.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs sent Andrew Carpenter to Rockies as part of conditional deal
2013 – Cubs granted free agency to Kameron Loe
1997 – The Cubs turned the first triple play of the season in San Francisco. A Stan Javier pop fly in shallow center field fell in between three Cubs. The ball bounced off Brian McRae’s glove and fell to the ground for the first out. Kirk Rueter tried to advance to third, McRae threw him out. And the triple play was completed when Darryl Hamilton tried to advance to second base. Jose Hernandez threw to Ryne Sandberg to complete the triple play. The Cubs lost the game 4-2.
1997 – Cubs purchased Rich Sauveur from Tabasco (Mexican League)
1983 – George Kottaras, born
1971 – Cubs released Bob Miller
1956 – Cubs purchased Gabe Gabler from the Milwaukee Braves
1953 – Cubs purchased Herb Adams from the Indians
1947 – Tim Hosley, born
1938 – Merritt Ranew, born
1937 – Jim Hickman, born
1914 – Russ Bauers, born
1910 – Heinie Zimmerman committed four errors and collected four hits in a 9-5 victory over the Giants.
1910 – Phillies purchased Pat Moran from the Cubs
1899 – Freddie Maguire, born
1887 – Bill Davidson, born
1876 – In the first home game in franchise history, Albert Spalding shut out the Reds 6-0 in a game played at 23rd and State Streets.
1875 – Charlie Ferguson, born