The Cubs made it official Monday. RHP Neil Ramirez and INF Mike Olt have been assigned to Triple-A Iowa to continue their rehab assignments.
Neil Ramirez completed his second rehab outing with Double-A Tennessee on Sunday. Ramirez struck out the side in order on 16 pitches, 12 for strikes. Ramirez retired all six batters (three strikeouts) that he faced in two innings out of the Smokies’ bullpen.
According to Bruce Levine, Ramirez has a chance to rejoin the Cubs by the end of the week if he stays healthy and does not suffer any setbacks.
Joe Maddon provided an update on OF Jorge Soler.
Prior to Monday’s game with the Dodgers, Maddon said Soler “could be a week away from a rehab assignment.”
Jorge Soler has been on the shelf since June 3 with a left ankle sprain. Soler is out of the walking boot and had on-field workouts over the weekend in Minneapolis.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada had to leave Monday’s game in the third inning before he could record an out. Wada served up a home run and after he gave up a single, Joe Maddon and the staff saw something wasn’t right with him. Maddon had Chris Bosio go check on the lefty. Maddon was summoned to the mound after Bosio and trainer, P.J. Mainville talked to him.
The Cubs announced Wada was dealing with cramping in his left deltoid muscle (shoulder) and will be evaluated Tuesday.
Maddon and Wada downplayed the injury. Maddon said Wada was not going to get tested. And Wada indicated he would make his next start. The Cubs are expected to know more Tuesday.
If Wada is not able to start in five days, the Cubs stretched out Travis Wood to the point he could give them a 70-80 pitch start if needed.
The Cubs have very little behind Wada outside of Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson. RHP Jacob Turner was rehabbing with Double-A Tennessee before the break. LHP Eric Jokisch is on the 7-day DL and RHP Dallas Beeler is not ready to contribute at the big league level. Beeler is getting his season on track.
RHP Donn Roach has been rather effective for Triple-A Iowa, but he is not on the 40-man roster.
The Cubs are looking for ways to add at least one starter and a reliever for the backend of the pen. There is only one team that is open for business at this point. And the Cubs are not looking to pay that team’s exorbitant prices right now.
While Joe Maddon and Tsuyoshi Wada did not appear concerned about his injury, the news on Dexter Fowler was not as positive. Fowler had to leave Monday’s game with a left ankle sprain. And he was having X-rays on the ankle when Maddon addressed his status after the game.
Maddon said Fowler is “day-to-day right now.”
More should be known Tuesday, but if he is going to be out for more than a couple of games, the Cubs will have to place him on the DL and make a call to Iowa.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Nationals have expressed in Diamondbacks infield depth.
• LHP Zac Rosscup is expected in Arizona on Wednesday to continue his rehab. The lefty was placed on the DL last Wednesday (June 17) with left shoulder inflammation.
• ESPN Chicago: Cubs bullpen unsung in big win
• RHP Dylan Cease made his first appearance in the Cubs’ system on Monday night. Cease is recovering from Tommy John surgery. While the results do not look great (three runs, one earned, on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 0.2 innings), he was able to pitch in rookie league game.
• LHP Phil Coke is a free agent after declining the optional assignment from the Blue Jays. Coke appeared in two games for Toronto and allowed one run on one hit with two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Coke was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo but elected free agency instead.
• The Cardinals’ employees that hacked into the Astros’ database tried to cover their tracks according to a report from CBS Sports. And several attempts were made to hack the Astros by unknown Cardinals’ employees. It is unclear how many are involved, “but the focus of the investigation is on a small group of Cardinals employees who worked in the areas of statistical analysis and computer programming.” At least four people in baseball operations have hired criminal defense lawyers.
• After all these years, it appears Pete Rose did bet on baseball while he was still a player. ESPN discovered the new evidence that should keep him from being reinstated. And many think it will be hard for the Reds to now include him in the All-Star Game festivities.
• Clayton Kershaw said if he was Joe Maddon he would have argued, too.
• Anthony Rizzo has All-Star credentials according to his manager and the Sun-Times.
• Kris Bryant was the first player to hit a home run on Clayton Kershaw’s curveball this season (0-for-25). The last time Kershaw gave up a homer on his curveball was May 11, 2014 … 38 starts.
• Four of Kris Bryant’s 10 home runs have been hit on two-strike pitches.
And last, but not least, Kris Bryant became the first Cubs’ player since Willie Smith in 1969 to hit a home run off the previous season’s NL MVP. Smith took Bob Gibson deep on June 29, 1969.
This Day In Cubstory
1997 – Cubs traded Saul Bustos and Dave Jefferson to the Expos for Gil Heredia
1984 – The Sandberg Game … click here for details of one of the most important games in franchise history
1980 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and cash to the Indians for Cliff Johnson. Cubs sent Karl Pagel to the Indians on June 30 to complete the trade
1978 – Expos traded a Jerry White to the Cubs for Woodie Fryman.
1970 – Cubs purchased Milt Pappas from the Braves
1970 – Cubs purchased Roberto Rodriguez from the Padres
1961 – Ernie Banks consecutive games played streak ended at 717 games when he was sidelined with a knee injury. Banks began the streak on August 26, 1956.
1960 – Jim Deshaies, born
1946 – Eddie Waitkus and Marv Rickert hit back-to-back inside the park home runs in the fourth inning, the first time in Major League history as the Cubs lost to the Giants 15-10 at the Polo Grounds.
1945 – Cubs selected Ray Starr off waivers from the Pirates
1933 – Cubs swept the Phillies in a doubleheader. The Cubs won game one on Harvey Hendrick’s pinch hit grand slam in the 10th inning. It was the second pinch hit grand slam in Major League history and the second for the Cubs in three years. Cubs won game two 3-1
1930 – Hack Wilson hit for the cycle with two singles, a double, a triple and a homer, scored five runs and drove in six as the Cubs ripped the Phillies 21-8 at Wrigley Field. Pitcher Guy Busy chipped in with a triple and two singles
1895 – A pressure group called the “Sunday Observance League” led by Rev. W.W. Clark, held up play in the third inning and the entire Cubs team is arrested for aiding and abetting the forming of a noisy crowd on a Sunday. Cubs owner, Jim Hart posted bond, securing a warrant from Justice Cleveland of Norwood Park, and the game was resumed. The franchise that would be known as the Cubs 20-plus years later trounced Cleveland 13-4 behind Clark Griffith before 10,000 fans at West Side Grounds.