The Cubs have Monday off and will spend a much-needed break in San Diego. The Cubs start a six-game trip with three against the Padres on Tuesday night that ends Sunday with the last of three in Phoenix with the Diamondbacks.
The Cubs did not announce any roster moves after Sunday’s game. Joe Maddon did say LHP Tsuyoshi Wada would start Wednesday’s game in San Diego, but that is the only change he announced. The Cubs should wait until Wednesday to make the corresponding roster move to activate Wada from the 15-day DL.
Maddon said Sunday the team was discussing roster moves and focusing on the upcoming matchups as the way to determine which players to place on the active roster.
It was believed Sunday that Tommy La Stella would be activated from the DL prior to Tuesday’s game in order to give the Cubs another position player on the roster. But he might not be an option at this point.
Tommy La Stella may have suffered a setback in his rehab. La Stella has been on the DL since April 14 with right cage inflammation. La Stella left Sunday’s game with the Smokies in the middle of an at bat. According to Mick Gillispie, La Stella fouled a pitch off, went to a knee and immediately left the game. Bruce Miles reported La Stella will be examined Monday in Chicago.
Junior Lake is expected to be recalled now when the Cubs reduce the number of pitchers on the active roster. Despite rumors, Javier Baez does not appear to be an option right now. Baez needs to play every day, continue his development and show his recent hot streak is more than that before he is recalled.
Joe Maddon said the Cubs would not have 14 pitchers on the active roster by the time the series started in San Diego. It is looking like the Cubs will make moves Tuesday and Wednesday in order to get the roster in order. At this point, the team should be able to go back to a 12-man staff and 13 position players.
It is going to be an interesting first three days of the week for the Chicago Cubs.
Travis Wood spoke to the media prior to Sunday’s game about his new role with the team. Wood is willing to do whatever the Cubs would like for him to. Wood isn’t sure how he will be used as a reliever. Wood did not get the ball from his first save. Dexter Fowler inadvertently threw it into the stands.
Wood reportedly made jokes about losing at bats as a reliever before pointing out with the way he has been hitting this year it doesn’t really matter.
Joe Maddon is not locking Wood into a specific role and will use him as he sees fit. Maddon did not rule out Wood returning to the rotation at some point. The Cubs are hoping he can get back to where he was during the 2013 season working out of the bullpen.
The Cubs would like to see Wood be more aggressive on the mound. Wood has a tendency to nibble and that gets him into trouble. Chris Bosio has been stating publicly for two years now that Wood has to attack hitters.
In his new bullpen role, Wood will only be available as a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner on the days he is unavailable out of the pen.
Buster’s Top 10
The Cubs dropped out of Buster Olney’s power rankings last week, that’s what a 2-5 road trip will do to the perception of a young team.
The Cubs returned to Olney’s rankings this week. And that is what a 6-1 homestand will do, especially with the buzz the Cubs created within the game after sweeping four games from the other New York team.
Olney ranked the Cubs as the sixth best team in the game, the third best NL team in his top 10. Even with losing Sunday, the Cubs will spend Monday’s off day five games above .500 with a 21-16 record. The 21 victories are the fourth most in the Senior Circuit (Cardinals 25-12; Dodgers 24-13; Mets 22-16; Nationals 22-16; Cubs 21-16; Giants 20-18).
Buster Olney’s Top 10: Dodgers, Tigers, Cardinals, Royals, Astros, Cubs, Yankees, Nationals, Twins and Mets.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Joe Maddon is not superstitious according to Bruce Miles. Maddon said, “If you’re superstitious, you have to remember too many things.”
• Manny Ramirez recently spent time with Javier Baez in Iowa, according to a report from the Tribune. Ramirez was not there to help him with baseball. Ramirez went to spend time with Baez to help him through what he is dealing with after the death of his sister.
• Geovany Soto told the Sun-Times he doesn’t have the yips.
• According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, despite the loss the Cubs left Wrigley on Sunday with a great feeling. Joe Maddon was very happy with the way his team played throughout the homestand. And Jake Arrieta thought Sunday was a playoff atmosphere at Wrigley. Sunday was one of those games a team loses during the season, especially when facing a pitcher the caliber of A.J. Burnett. Maddon pointed out to the media the Cubs Meat-Loafed the Pirates.
• Bruce Levine reported the manager factor was a key element in the Cubs’ winning streak.
• Jim Bowden posted five possible trades for Troy Tulowitzki. Bowden has proposals that could land the Rockies’ shortstop in San Diego, Washington, Seattle and both of the New York teams.
• The Royals and Yankees paid tribute to Ernie Banks on Sunday.
• According to a report from the Sun-Times, maturity sets the young Cubs apart.
And last, but not least, the Rangers designated RHP Kyuji Fujikawa for assignment on Sunday. Fujikawa appeared in two games for Texas and allowed three runs on two hits with no walks and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. According to Jeff Wilson, Fujikawa told the Rangers he is not interested in returning to Triple-A. Fujikawa is expected to clear waivers. Once he does, he will decide what his next step is and he could change his mind and report to the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Kerry Wood made the final appearance of his big league career. Wood announced he would retire after one more appearance. And he made it a memorable one. Kerry Wood struck out Dayan Viciedo swinging and walked off the mound to only be greeted by his son as he received a thunderous ovation from the Wrigley crowd. Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game is considered the single most dominating performance in the history of the game.
2010 – Carlos Silva improved to 5-0 on the season with a 6-2 win over the Rockies.
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Tony Womack
2004 – Cubs signed free agents Rey Ordonez and Ariel Prieto
1990 – Ryne Sandberg’s errorless streak ended after 123 games and 584 chances. Sandberg passed Joe Morgan (91 games) in the record books.
1985 – Andrew Carpenter, born
1984 – David Patton, born
1978 – Cubs released Gerry Pirtle
1973 – Glenn Beckert hit safely in his 26th consecutive game as the Cubs beat the Phillies 9-2 in Philadelphia. Beckert’s streak ended the next day.
1971 – Rich Garces, born
1967 – Eric Young Sr., born
1964 – Cubs released Steve Shea
1951 – Jim Sundberg, born
1950 – Rube Walker of the Cubs and the Giants’ Monte Irvin each hit a Grand Slam in the sixth inning. The Cubs lost to the Giants 10-4 in a game called after six innings because of rain at the Polo Grounds. This was the first time in Major League Baseball that both teams hit a Grand Slam in the same inning.
1949 – Cubs selected Herman Reich off waivers from the Indians
1949 – Chris Ward, born
1947 – 46,572 fans packed into Wrigley Field to see Jackie Robinson play his first game in Chicago. Robinson went hitless as the Dodgers topped the Cubs 4-2.