The Cubs received some not-so-good news about LHP Tsuyoshi Wada prior to Wednesday’s loss to the Dodgers. Wada was still dealing with soreness in his shoulder. And while the Cubs haven’t ruled him out for Saturday in St. Louis, the Cubs are exploring internal options in case he is unable to pitch.
Reports indicated Wada was feeling better Wednesday, but according to the Sun-Times, Wada’s shoulder injury “might be more than routine cramping.”
RHP Edwin Jackson and LHP Travis Wood are possibilities for Saturday. Jackson is not stretched out and Maddon is not sure if he could give them enough innings. Maddon would prefer to keep Wood in a relief role. Maddon likes Wood coming out of the pen, not in the rotation right now.
The Cubs lack options at Triple-A, at least ones that are on the 40-man roster. The Cubs may turn to RHP Donn Roach or RHP Carlos Pimentel if Wada is not able to start according to Carrie Muskat. Neither Roach nor Pimentel is on the 40-man roster. The front office would have to clear a spot on the 40-man in order for either to start Saturday’s game.
Donn Roach has put up good numbers for Triple-A Iowa. In 14 starts, Roach is 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In 82 2/3 innings, Roach has given up 76 hits with 15 walks and 33 strikeouts. Carlos Pimentel is scheduled to start Iowa’s second game Thursday and is 5-4 in 13 games, 12 starts, with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Pimentel has allowed 35 runs, 24 earned on 52 hits with 36 walks and 52 strike outs in 62 2/3 innings.
Injuries (Dallas Beeler, Eric Jokisch, Jacob Turner and Tsuyoshi Wada) and ineffectiveness (Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Felix Doubront) have zapped the depth the front office built up in the off-season. The Cubs have several intriguing young arms in the lower levels in the system that are not close to being ready for the big leagues.
The lack of pitching depth has been a concern for the front office. Even if Wada is able to start Saturday, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs are more aggressive on the trade front to acquire a starter from outside of the organization.
Kyle Hendricks had a poor outing Wednesday as his struggles continued. Hendricks thought he was turning things around, but that is not the case. Hendricks said he has to “do something different.”
Over his last five starts, Hendricks is 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed 19 runs, 17 earned, on 32 hits with four walks and 22 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Hendricks pointed out he has not given his team a chance to win his last two starts. Hendricks said, that is “pathetic.” Miguel Montero shared the responsibility for his poor outing Wednesday.
Hendricks doesn’t have the stuff to live up in the zone and he must pitch from ahead in the count. Hendricks has not the last two times out. And while the Cubs defense was blamed for his poor outing against the Twins, his teammates made the plays behind him Wednesday.
Kyle Hendricks has appeared tentative on the mound in his last two starts. And until he finds the confidence he appears to have lost, the struggles will continue.
Javier Baez posted photos on his Instagram account Wednesday and said he was on his way to Arizona to continue his rehab. Baez apparently took a couple of weeks away from the team, which the Cubs said was an option when he broke his finger. Baez has been out since June 7 and still had the cast on his hand.
The Cubs said it would take Baez six to eight weeks before he was able to return. Reporting to Arizona and working out at the Cubs’ facility is the next step in the process.
Cubs Rumor Links Corner
Over the next five weeks there are going to be numerous reports and endless speculation about the players the Cubs could try to acquire before the deadline. Some of those rumors and reports will have ‘legs’ and will be headline worthy, and there will be those that may not provide new information but are still worth reading.
The links to mainstream media reports will be posted in this section on a daily basis, when available. ‘The Silly Season’ is getting ready to kick into overdrive. Just remember, there is going to be a lot of information that is not accurate between now and July 31. Being able to filter out the noise is key and knowing which reports are fact-based will be very important until the trade deadline.
• Gordon Wittenmyer asked the question, does the Cubs’ front office have enough support from ownership to add a big arm.
• Patrick Mooney questioned if Theo Epstein will have financial flexibility to at the trade deadline.
• Joe Maddon is confident in the front office’s ability to make deadline deals according to the Sun-Times.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, Joe Maddon expects the front office will deliver at the trade deadline.
• Bruce Levine reported Theo Epstein is weighing options in the trade market.
• The Cubs are in contact with teams for starting pitching according to Bruce Levine.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to a report from Mark Gonzales, LHP Zac Rosscup will report to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa on Friday to begin his rehab. Gonzales did not include in his report the reason Rosscup did not make the trip to Arizona on Wednesday as originally scheduled.
• Joe Maddon ripped the MLB review process according to a report from the Sun-Times.
• The Phillies are expected to hire Andy MacPhail soon for a position in the front office according to Jon Heyman.
• Jon Lester thinks Jonathan Papelbon would be a good fit with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• Jesse Rogers asked, should Addison Russell move up in the Cubs’ order?
And last, but not least, the Cubs have won games this season and the players know they are a good team. But as David Ross pointed out to the Sun-Times, the Cubs are a third-place team right now and haven’t done or won anything yet.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs released Casper Wells
2013 – Cubs released Ian Stewart
2010 – Carlos Zambrano was suspended indefinitely after throwing a tantrum in the dugout that involved Derrek Lee at the Cell. Zambrano blamed Lee for the White Sox scoring six runs on him in the first inning.
2010 – Edwin Jackson no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays. The D-Backs beat the Rays 1-0 and it took Jackson 149 pitches to complete nine innings
2007 – A distraught fan jumped onto the field and charged the mound toward Bob Howry after he blew an 8-3 lead to the Rockies at Wrigley Field. The fan made it a few feet from his intended target before security guards tackled him. Howry picked up the victory after Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs won the game 10-9.
2005 – Cubs released Travis Phelps
1998 – Sammy Sosa broke the Major League record for home runs in a month. Sosa hit his 19th longball in June and passed the mark set by Rudy York of the Tigers in August of 1937.
1989 – Rubi Silva, born
1985 – Daniel Bard, born
1982 – Paul Maholm, born
1978 – Aramis Ramirez, born
1975 – Cubs released Bob Locker
1971 – Michael Tucker, born
1969 – Brad Woodall, born
1967 – Ernie Banks hit two home runs to back rookie Joe Niekro’s three-hitter in the Cubs 8-0 win over the Astros
1950 – Hank Sauer (4-for-4, 12 total bases) drove in four runs with two home runs and two doubles and Roy Smalley and Phil Cavarretta hit homers as the Cubs beat the Phillies 11-8 at Shibe Park.
1949 – Hank Sauer hit a second inning home run for his fourth home run in as many days and his fifth in the last six games. Sauer led the Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Giants at Wrigley Field.
1947 – Jose Ortiz, born
1939 – Cubs purchased Bill Nicholson from the Senators for $35,000
1937 – Augie Galan became the first switch hitter in Major League history to hit a home run left-handed and right-handed in the same game. The Cubs beat the Dodgers at Wrigley Field 11-2.
1930 – Gabby Hartnett drove in seven runs, including the game winner in the ninth inning by hitting two singles and two homers as the Cubs beat the Phillies 13-12 at Wrigley Field