Joe Maddon put the positive spin on Friday’s loss to the Reds in which two errors were the difference in the game. Maddon was happy with the effort the Cubs made and has been consistent in the fact he knows physical mistakes are going to happen. Maddon is convinced if the Cubs play with the same effort they did Friday, the team is going to win a lot of games.
Maddon talked about the errors Addison Russell and Kris Bryant made that led to three unearned runs on the afternoon. Russell leads National League second basemen in errors (8) and Bryant is tied with Josh Harrison for the most charged errors at third base (8).
The Cubs defense has been charged the second most errors in the NL, only the Brewers have been worse in that category this season.
Errors are not the best way to judge a team or a player’s defense. Errors are the easiest way. Mistakes players make sometimes do not show up on the stat sheet as an error.
While the coaching staff and front office are trying to figure out the best defensive lineup and how the players fit together on the field, the Cubs must make the routine plays. And that has been an issue for the entire team this season. Maddon thinks the routine plays will be made more routinely.
“That’s the kind of stuff that our guys are going to start making more routinely,” Maddon said to the beat writers. “If anything, if you look at our error on defense this year, it’s been more of that kind of a play than a more difficult play. And I think as our guys start to gain more experience, you’re going to start to see that stuff go away. I can’t be happier with our group right now. I’m not even a moment of being upset.”
The players are putting in the work to get better in the field. And once a couple of those players are in positions that better fit their skillset, the Cubs defense should help win games.
Carl Edwards Jr.
Carl Edwards Jr. recorded his first Triple-A save in the second game of Iowa’s twin bill on Friday night. Edwards Jr. pitched a scoreless ninth with a walk and a strikeout. Edwards Jr. threw his fastball consistently in the 93-94 mph range according to the Des Moines Register.
In four relief appearances for the Iowa Cubs, Edwards Jr. has allowed three runs on three hits with five walks and six strikeouts in five innings.
Mike Olt and Neil Ramirez
Mike Olt and Neil Ramirez played in an Intrasquad game Friday and actually faced one another according to a report from the Cub Reporter.
Mike Olt said “big things coming” when he tweeted how good it felt to be back on the field.
The Cubs have not given a timetable on when either player will begin a rehab assignment.
The Cubs signed RHP Rafael Soriano to a minor league contract earlier in the week. And a day after Joe Maddon said it might be at least after the All-Star break before he is ready to join the bullpen, Jon Heyman reported additional details of his contract.
Soriano is set to receive a prorated $4.1 million base for this season, which should make his salary around $2 million. Soriano’s deal also includes a $4 million incentives package for games finished and appearances.
According to Jon Heyman, Soriano’s contract includes an opt-out clause. If Soriano is not “in the majors by the time of the July 14 All-Star Game” he can get out of his contract.
The first step is to get him to the states once the Visa delay is behind him. Once Rafael Soriano is in Mesa, there will be a better idea of when he will be ready to pitch in the big leagues again.
News, Notes and Rumors
• There was good news on Jorge Soler prior to Friday’s game. Soler is out of the walking boot and according to Jesse Rogers he should begin a rehab assignment at some point. Carrie Muskat reported Soler is feeling good but “still not doing baseball activities.”
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Nationals and Reds have discussed LHP Aroldis Chapman. A deal is not close, but the two teams have talked about the reliever. When the report popped up Friday, the hope was that he would be traded before the 10th inning.
• The Dodgers designated INF Darwin Barney for assignment to make room for INF Ronald Torreyes on the 40-man roster. Barney played in only two games for the Dodgers this season before he was optioned to Triple-A. In 32 games for Oklahoma City, the former Cubs’ Gold Glove second baseman batted .214/.273/.259 with five doubles.
• From the great news department: The fan that was injured last week at Fenway was released from the hospital.
• Ken Rosenthal reported Giants’ GM Brian Sabean and senior advisor Lee Elder attended the Cubs-Reds game Friday. Sabean is scouting more in his new role according to Rosenthal. And the speculation centered on the Giants looking at RHP Johnny Cueto. Or, as Rosenthal put it, Sabean could just “be gathering notes on the Reds and Cubs.”
• Joe Maddon from Jesse Rogers … “You’ve seen a couple of items where you don’t stand pat. You can’t just sit there and attempt not to do anything. Otherwise you do become .500.” Maddon is already thinking playoffs according to Carrie Muskat. And Bruce Levine reported Maddon said Cubs are ready for a playoff run.
• Maddon talked about the positives and negatives of having one closer.
And the quote of the day courtesy of the Des Moines Register is from Iowa’s skipper, Marty Pevey on the importance of pitchers locating the baseball … “I tell these guys all the time, my wife can hit a fastball.”
This Day In Cubstory
1994 – At the age of 34 years old, Ryne Sandberg suddenly retired and walked away from $16 million citing family reasons as why he was calling it quits. Sandberg would return to the Cubs in 1996 and play two more seasons to finish up his Hall of Fame career.
1985 – Pedro Strop, born
1985 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Les Lancaster
1984 – Cubs acquired Rick Sutcliffe, Ron Hassey and George Frazier from the Indians for Darryl Banks, Joe Carter, Mel Hall and Don Schulze
1950 – Phil Cavarretta, Bob Ramazzotti and Bob Borkowski homered in the sixth inning and Roy Smalley hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning as the Cubs beat the Dodgers in Brooklyn 6-3
1940 – The Cubs’ Bill Nicholson became the first Major League player to hit a home run at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Ted Williams homered later in the exhibition called the Hall of Fame Game
1937 – Cubs scored 10 runs in the fifth inning en route to a 16-8 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. Billy Herman and Rip Collins each collect four hits and three runs
1925 – Cubs beat the Braves 2-0 on Charlie Grimm’s two home runs at Wrigley Field
1905 – Christy Mathewson no-hit the Cubs and beat Mordecai Brown 1-0 at West Side Grounds
1904 – Frank Chance hit for the cycle as the Cubs and Mordecai Brown beat Christy Mathewson and the Giants 3-2 in New York