The Chicago Cubs had a long and very good weekend.
Two of the three games with the Reds were decided in extra innings with a lengthy rain delay setting up the first of two walk-off wins. Starlin Castro drove in the winning run Saturday and again Sunday and received more praise from his skipper following his performance Sunday night in which he made a difference in the field before coming through with his bat.
The Cubs took three of four from the Reds at Wrigley, something that has not happened since 2003.
Off the field, rumors continued to swirl about the Cubs interest in two Phillies. Three more prospects were named to an All-Star squad. And the Cubs signed at least two of the team’s recent draft picks.
Here are the headlines with all of the news, rumors and notes from the weekend …
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/12/15
Rain washed away several of the games at the end of the week for the Cubs minor league affiliates. Duane Underwood Jr. turned in another excellent outing for High-A Myrtle Beach and RHP Pierce Johnson made his 2015 debut with a good outing for Double-A Tennessee.
Look ins at the Dominican Summer League and Venezuelan Summer League are included.
The Daily CCO: Soriano Most Likely Ready After the Break, Wada Staying in the Rotation and Other Cubs News
Joe Maddon indicated newly signed reliever Rafael Soriano would likely be ready to join the big league roster after the All-Star break. Tsuyoshi Wada is staying in the rotation, for now. And the Cubs announced a start time for the July 5 game against the Marlins.
Updates on Pierce Johnson, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, Phil Coke and a check in the rumor mill are in the daily report … along with This Day in Cubs History.
- The Daily CCO: Soriano Most Likely Ready After the Break, Wada Staying in the Rotation and Other Cubs News
Cubs Sign Seventh Round Pick RHP Craig Brooks
The Cubs agreed to terms on a contract with the seventh round pick from last week’s draft, RHP Craig Brooks. The former two-way player has a big arm that projects as a reliever in the big leagues.
Defense Costs the Cubs – Reds 5, Cubs 4
Jason Hammel had a bad outing but still kept his team in the game. Starlin Castro tied it at four with a two-run homer off Johnny Cueto.
In the end, the Reds defense made the plays while errors by Addison Russell and Kris Bryant led to three unearned runs. The Reds won in 10 innings on weakly hit grounder past a diving Starlin Castro.
Player Acquisition Cost: LHP Oliver Perez
Chris’ popular series continued with a look on what it could cost the Cubs to trade for LHP Oliver Perez. The Cubs are believed to be interested in the veteran reliever as the front office tries to give Joe Maddon more options for the bullpen.
The Daily CCO: Maddon Defends the Cubs Young Defenders and Other News, Notes and Rumors
The Cubs defense was the main topic Joe Maddon addressed following Friday’s loss. Maddon brought up the hard work Kris Bryant and Addison Russell are putting in daily to improve defensively. The Cubs defense is really not good with several players lined up at positions that do not meet their skillset.
Carl Edwards Jr. picked up his first Triple-A save. While in Mesa, Neil Ramirez and Mike Olt squared off in an Intrasquad game.
Jon Heyman posted details of Rafael Soriano’s contract.
Includes updates on Jorge Soler, Darwin Barney, news, notes, links and This Day in Cubs History.
Phillies Continue to Scout the Cubs System
The Cubs are believed to be interested in RHP Jonathan Papelbon and LHP Cole Hamels. The Phillies should be looking to move players. But Ruben Amaro Jr. has not made a significant trade that would help turn his organization around. If the Phillies trade either one of the two pitchers, the Cubs could be in the mix for both.
Walking Off with a Win in the Rain – Cubs 4, Reds 3
Kyle Hendricks was in the middle of a good outing before rain in the fifth inning forced a delay in the sixth. Hendricks did not come back after the close to three hour break. Hendricks did not figure into the decision after James Russell gave up the lead. Joe Maddon mixed and matched and got the best out of his bullpen.
Kris Bryant had a huge night at the plate and scored three of the Cubs’ four runs. Miguel Montero went deep in the first inning. And Starlin Castro delivered the game winner in the bottom of the ninth, a single to center that plated Kris Bryant.
The Daily CCO: Are the Cubs Talking about a Piggyback Again?
Injuries and ineffectiveness have taken a toll on the Cubs’ pitching staff. Unless the front office adds a starter, someone in the organization will have to step up. The fifth spot in the rotation has taxed the bullpen all season. And it may take using a combination of Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and/or Tsuyoshi Wada every fifth day.
Includes all of the news, notes, rumors and This Day in Cubs History
Three Cubs Prospects Make Carolina League All-Star Team
The Cubs have 15 prospects representing the organization throughout the minor leagues in mid-season All-Star games. RHP Duane Underwood, RHP Jonathan Martinez and OF Mark Zagunis will represent High-A Myrtle Beach in the California League-Carolina League All-Star Game.
Cubs Sign Tenth Round Pick SS Vimael Machin
The Cubs are quickly signing and/or agreeing to terms with the organization’s recent draft picks. SS Vimael Machin also signed an under-slot deal to begin his pro career with the Cubs.
From the Wire: Cubs Recall RHP Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Iowa, Option OF Junior Lake to Iowa
The recent round of short starts forced the front office to call-up RHP Brian Schlitter and send out OF Junior Lake. Joe Maddon is going to have an even shorter bench until a position player (Matt Szczur, Arismendy Alcantara) is recalled.
Clutch Castro Comes Through Again – Cubs 2, Reds 1
Jon Lester had a very good outing. The defense was fundamentally sound and played a big role in the Cubs first series win of four-games against the Reds at Wrigley Field in over 12 years.
The Cubs have won in walk-off fashion eight times this season. And Starlin Castro has delivered three of those run scoring hits, maybe ‘Mr. Walk-Off’ is a good nickname for the 25-year old shortstop.