One of the relievers the Cubs were depending on when the season began doesn’t appear close to returning to the bullpen. RHP Neil Ramirez has been on the DL since April 17 with right shoulder inflammation and Joe Maddon provided an update on Ramirez prior to Friday’s game.
According to Comcast SportsNet, Maddon was asked if he “had a sense of how close or how far away” Neil Ramirez is from returning from the disabled list.
Maddon told the beat writers, “It’s kind of status quo. Nothing awful, nothing a lot better, pretty much still in that limbo state.” Maddon admitted he did not get the feeling he was close to being back with the Cubs.
Ramirez was scheduled to throw a bullpen for Chris Bosio on Friday at the Cubs’ complex. An update on how the session went was not provided.
Neil Ramirez has missed time the last two seasons with arm issues.
The Cubs are looking for ways to improve the bullpen, especially in the wake of losing another game Friday night. The Cubs have been connected to RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Jonathan Papelbon and RHP Tyler Clippard this week.
Mike Olt had the cast removed from his wrist last week and took batting practice for the first time this week according to a report from the Sun-Times.
Olt is working on building the strength back up in his right wrist and hasn’t set a timeframe for beginning a rehab assignment. A report from the Tribune indicated it may be July before Olt is back in the conversation as a player that could help the Cubs.
Mike Olt told the Sun-Times he is focused on getting back to 100 percent so he can “play with that team wherever” they need him.
The Sun-Times pointed out that by the time Olt is healthy enough to return to the big leagues, the outfield could be just as crowded as the infield. The Sun-Times reported Kris Bryant could be in left field with an infield of Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Addison Russell and Javier Baez.
Mike Olt wants to play and contribute to the Cubs winning ballgames. Olt is not hoping for a trade.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Dexter Fowler has reached base in 14 straight games. The Cubs are 14-6 when he reaches base two or more times in a game.
• Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to 11 games on Friday night. Bryant is 14-for-39 with four home runs and 12 RBI in the last 11 games.
• Stranded for a week, Cubs finally broke the RISP drought according to the Sun-Times.
• Miguel Montero told Comcast SportsNet that the pitch to Paul Goldschmidt was really not good. Rondon threw a fastball middle-middle to one of the best hitters in the National League and it cost his team the game. Montero thought the pitch to A.J. Pollock was the one that got the Cubs in trouble … another pitch that was middle-middle that should not have happened. Montero said the game is speeding up on Rondon when runners get on base and he has to keep the same pace regardless of the situation.
• Matt Szczur went 1-for-5 with a RBI in Iowa’s 10-9 win on Friday night. Szczur is batting .316/.369/.491 in 15 games with the I-Cubs. Szczur has two doubles, one triple, two home runs and a .860 OPS at the Triple-A level this season. Marty Pevey told the Des Moines Register that Szczur’s swing is 180 from where it was last year.
• Andrew McCutchen is upset a photo of one of his pay stubs ended up on Reddit. It is believed the photo was taken at Wrigley Field. The Pirates are discussing the matter with the Cubs according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
• Jon Lester remains hitless in his big league career. Lester is 0-for-57 and the Sun-Times reported he tied Padres pitcher Joey Hamilton (1994-95) and Giants pitcher Ron Herbel (1964-65) for the most at bats without a hit to starts a career.
• Jon Lester doesn’t think he was pressing at the beginning of the season. Lester is settling in with the Cubs after feeling the weight of the contract he signed in the off-season according to Comcast SportsNet. After completing seven innings on a night that Joe Maddon described as “workmanlike, businesslike,” Lester is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
• The Rangers placed RHP Kyuji Fujikawa on unconditional release waivers according to Jeff Wilson.
• Major League Baseball is interested in playing regular season games in London and Mexico City according to a report from Jon Paul Morosi.
• Joe Strauss thinks the Cardinals are buying time for the pitching staff and will make a trade to add a starting pitcher before the deadline.
• Dexter Fowler’s wife voted for the entire Cubs team to represent the National League in the All-Star game.
• James Russell answered a few questions on Twitter for ESPN Chicago.
• For those that were, and possibly still are, upset the Cubs came in second to the Dodgers in the Hyun-Jin Ryu sweepstakes a couple of years ago. Ryu admitted that an MRI taken when he signed with the Dodgers showed a torn labrum in his shoulder. Ryu had season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday and is looking to be at full strength by Spring Training.
And last, but not least, Kyle Hendricks put himself in the history books Thursday night. Hendricks threw the 20,000th complete game shutout in Major League history.
This Day In Cubstory
1991 – Andre Dawson stole second base in the fourth inning of the game at Shea Stadium and became the third member of the 300/300 club with his 300th stolen base. Dawson had hit 354 home runs at the time joined Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays as the only three players in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
1991 – Cubs signed Amaury Telemaco
1979 – Cubs traded Ray Burris to the Yankees for Dick Tidrow
1977 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Carlos Lezcano
1973 – Ramon Ortiz, born
1970 – Ricky Gutierrez, born
1967 – Cubs purchased Lee Elia from the Chicago White Sox
1963 – Tom Ricketts, born
1957 – Cubs acquired Don Elston from the Brooklyn Dodgers for Jackie Sollum and Vito Valentinetti
1926 – Hack Wilson hit a fifth inning home run off the centerfield scoreboard at Wrigley Field. The scoreboard was located at ground level. The Cubs scored seven runs in the eighth inning of a 14-8 victory over the Braves. Wilson and “a few others” were arrested later that night at a friend’s apartment for drinking beer in violation of the Prohibition Act. The scoreboard was moved to left field in 1937 while the structure for the current location was being built that season.
1912 – Augie Galan, born