The Cubs made it a good three days after all in Minneapolis. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester did their jobs on the mound with Arrieta delivering a gem as the Cubs took two of three from the Twins at Target Field. Anthony Rizzo had a huge weekend and Starlin Castro bounced back from a not-so-good day. Castro delivered the game winner in both of the Cubs victories against the Twins.
And Kyle Schwarber left quite the impression before he boarded a plane with a ticket Des Moines.
Speaking of the minors, Ian Happ was officially signed and delivered first home run two days later. Mike Olt took steps forward to forcing the front office to make a decision about him in the near future. And the rumors heated up as the last full week of June approached.
Here are the headlines filled with all of the news, notes and rumors from another busy weekend.
Cubs Get Caught Looking After the Rain Delay, Lose to the Indians – Indians 4, Cubs 3
Kyle Schwarber stayed hot and tied the game at three with his first home run, a two-run shot to left just before the rains returned and delayed the game in the fifth.
When play resumed, Terry Francona sent out his closer to get out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning. The Cubs had problems putting the ball in play and limped out to Cleveland with a two-game split the day after blowing out the Tribe the day before.
Cubs Announce Signing OF Ian Happ, and Nine Draft Picks
Along with Happ, the team inked LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Dave Berg, RHP Craig Brooks, INF Vimael Machin, INF Blake Headley, RHP Jared Cheek, LHP John Williamson, C Marcus Mastrobuoni and INF Angelo Amendolare.
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/19/15
Short-Season Eugene started its season while High-A Myrtle Beach inched closer to a playoff spot. Pierce Johnson was very good on the mound again. And Jake Stinnett turned in one of his better starts of the season.
Report: Cubs Calling Around the League Looking for a Starting Pitcher
The front office is searching for a pitcher and would like to add a starter to slot in behind Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in the rotation. The Sun-Times reported the Cubs “have contacted all of the 29 other teams seeking at least a mid-rotation starter.”
The Cubs are believed to be interested in Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir while the mainstream media will not stop connecting them to the Mets.
Teams have asked about OF Jacob Hannemann and have shown interest in INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara. The Cubs have a lot of depth in the system that could help bring back a pitcher. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have maintained that the Cubs will not sell out the future to try to win this season. Any deals will have to make sense for now and for the future.
The Daily CCO: The Schwarber is Putting on a Show for the Cubs
Kyle Schwarber was all the talk before the series started in Minneapolis. Schwarber added to the offense as the front office was hoping he would. Schwarber’s first hit was a triple and before the Cubs left Cleveland he checked another box on his to-do list, his first big league home run.
Signs started pointing toward Jorge Soler beginning a rehab assignment. And Joe Maddon explained why Tsuyoshi Wada announced he was a badass.
Two Cubs’ minor leaguers were suspended for PED violations.
Addison Russell’s dream came true. Jonathan Papelbon was impressive in a save situation. Includes all of the news, notes and rumors … plus This Day in Cubs History.
Jonathan Papelbon’s First Choice, Reportedly a Trade to the Cubs
The Jonathan Papelbon rumors increased significantly Friday following his performance Thursday in a rare save situation for the veteran closer. There was a heavy scouting presence on hand at the game and more teams are showing interest in Papelbon beyond the Blue Jays and Cubs.
The Philadelphia media seems convinced Papelbon ends up in Toronto. But if it was up to Papelbon, he would like to be dealt to the Cubs.
Even with the addition of RHP Rafael Soriano, it is believed the front office is not done looking for ways to improve the bullpen and Papelbon has been part of internal conversations for more than a month.
Too Many Mistakes, Too Many Errors – Twins 7, Cubs 2
Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs and Edwin Jackson pitched three scoreless innings. But the Cubs were not ready to play Friday night. Starlin Castro made the headlines with another mental gaffe. And Kyle Hendricks had a bad outing. Hendricks gave up a career-high 11 hits and simply did not have it. The combination of Hendricks poor location and the Cubs bad defense equaled an ugly loss.
ESPN Tabs the Cubs as Favorites to Acquire Ben Zobrist
The Cubs were unsuccessful in their attempt to acquire INF/OF Ben Zobrist from the Rays in the off-season. Now, according to the Sun-Times, the Cubs are going to try to trade for one of Joe Maddon’s favorite player. Zobrist figures to be rather expensive. It’s questionable if the Cubs would pay the price. Jayson Stark thinks Zobrist is dealt to the Cubs and reunites with his old skipper.
The Daily CCO: Ian Happ Makes Pro Debut, Mike Olt Starts Rehab and Other Cubs News and Notes
The day after the Cubs announced he was officially in the organization, first round pick OF Ian Happ reported to Short-Season Eugene and began his pro career. Happ collected a hit while batting third and playing center field.
Mike Olt made his first rehab start. And for now, Olt is only going to play third base. Jorge Soler, Jorge Soler, Jorge Soler.
Starlin Castro fielded all of the questions and took responsibility, again, for his mental gaffe.
Includes … Cole Hamels, Kyle Schwarber, Maddon and Hyde explain the Cubs’ text, news, notes, rumors and of course, This Day in Cubs History
Cubs Announce Hornitos Tequila Naming Rights Partner of Left Field Group Space
The Cubs released details for the upcoming four-game homestand with the Dodgers … and the left field group space received a corporate sponsor.
Starlin Castro Delivers in Extras, Cubs Win in Ten – Cubs 4, Twins 1
Jon Lester held the Twins to a Kurt Suzuki home run in 6 1/3 innings. And the Cubs tied the game on an Anthony Rizzo double. Addison Russell made the play of the game in the bottom of the ninth that sent the game into extra innings.
The Twins walked the bases loaded in the 10th and Starlin Castro made them pay. Less than 24 hours after being the story for all the wrong reasons, Castro singled in two runs in the 10th and snared the final out of the game.
Jed Hoyer Talks Cubs on MLB Network Radio
Jed Hoyer jumped on the baseball channel at the end of the week. The Cubs’ GM talked all things Cubs, well at least about Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo and the trade deadline, during a 15-minute interview on Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio).
[This is really a must read for all Cubs fans]
The Daily CCO: A Good Night in the Minors for Happ, Olt, McKinney and Other Cubs News and Rumors
Ian Happ went deep for the first time, and he took a Major Leaguer yard. Mike Olt kept rehabbing and has a front row seat right now for the red-hot Billy McKinney.
Jorge Soler, Jorge Soler, Jorge Soler.
Joe Maddon was very happy for his shortstop. Jon Lester will never second guess his manager. And Mark Zagunis has quite the hot streak going on.
Includes a Corey Black update and all of the news, notes and links … plus, This Day in Cubs History.
Arrieta Goes the Distance, Cubs Win Series with Twins in Grand Fashion – Cubs 8, Twins 0
Anthony Rizzo went deep, Starlin Castro stayed hot, Kyle Schwarber wrapped up his time in the majors with a couple of RBI and Dexter Fowler smacked a four-run homer.
It was a good day for the Cubs.