The Cubs started the second half with the organization’s first series victory in Atlanta since August 2011. Jon Lester flirted with a no-hitter and Jake Arrieta pitched seven innings of shutout ball. Joe Maddon got Meat Loaf but the flight to Cincinnati was probably a little subdued after clubhouse favorite Edwin Jackson was designated for assignment.
Kyle Schwarber made his first start in the majors behind the plate and collected three hits while receiving mixed reviews on his defense.
And the Cubs are still talking to the Phillies about Cole Hamels.
Here are the headlines from a very hectic three days filled with all of the news, rumors and roster moves …
Keith Law Includes Three Cubs Prospects in Midseason Top 50 List
Before the news leaked that Kyle Schwarber had been called up to take the place of the injured Miguel Montero, Keith Law released his list of the top 50 prospects at the midpoint of the season.
Kyle Schwarber checked in at No. 10 and both Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney ended up in the top 50 … and Ian Happ received an honorable mention.
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/17/15
Play resumed throughout the minor leagues after the All-Star break. Ian Happ and Eloy Jimenez were basehit machines for Eugene. Chesny Young went yard and the Pelicans’ received excellent outings from Jen-Ho Tseng and Jonathan Martinez.
Rambling about the Cubs as the Second Half Commences
Brian’s weekly look at the Cubs focused on The Home Run Derby and Kyle Schwarber. Questions about Starlin Castro were asked while pointing out how good the pitching staff was in the first half.
The Daily CCO: Schwarber Back in the Bigs, Soriano Moved Up to Triple-A and Cubs News and Rumors
Kyle Schwarber was recalled as speculation mounted as to how the Cubs would use him in the field. Rafael Soriano inched closer to the big league when he was bumped up from Double-A to Triple-A Iowa. And he was very good Thursday night against the Redbirds. Tsuyoshi Wada tuned up in Iowa as the Cubs aligned him with Jason Hammel … just in case.
Includes all of the news, notes, rumors and an update on Cubs Radio … plus This Day in Cubs History.
Player Acquisition Cost: Will Venable
Chris’ popular series continued with a look at what it could cost the Cubs to acquire OF Will Venable from the Padres. The Cubs are rumored to be interested in Venable as a left-handed option in the outfield.
From the Wire: Cubs Recall Kyle Schwarber from Triple-A Iowa, Place Miguel Montero on 15-day DL
The Cubs made it official, Kyle Schwarber was recalled from Iowa and Miguel Montero was placed on the DL. Montero was scheduled to have a second opinion on his jammed left thumb.
Second Half Starts on a Sour Note – Braves 4, Cubs 2
The Cubs lost the first game after the break when Pedro Strop struggled with his command in the eighth and gave up a two-run single with two down to Eury Perez. Jorge Soler drove in both of the Cubs’ runs. But a sloppy game turned into a loss despite a three-hit game from Kyle Schwarber.
Cubs Sign Catcher Luke Carlin to a Minor League Contract
With Kyle Schwarber in the big leagues, the Cubs inked veteran Luke Carlin to help with the catching duties at Iowa and in the system for the remainder of the season.
The Daily CCO: The Schwarber Plan, Maddon Supports Strop and Cubs News and Rumors
Kyle Schwarber is not going to catch every day and right now there are not any plans for him to play in the outfield. Schwarber is likely to catch games not started by Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, at least that is what Joe Maddon said Friday.
Maddon gave Pedro Strop another vote of confidence and Rafael Soriano is getting very close to the majors. Nothing official on how long Miguel Montero may be out and the Cubs received good news from Jason Hammel.
The Cubs announced a start time for the Giants game at Wrigley on August 9.
Includes all of the news, notes, links, rumors and This Day in Cubs History.
Phillies Pushing to Finish a Jonathan Papelbon Deal?
Jonathan Papelbon wants out of Philly. And he would not mind be traded to the Cubs and being with one of his good friends again. The Phillies are talking to multiple teams according to Buster Olney about Papelbon.
Lester Flirts with a No-No, Cubs Shutout the Braves – Cubs 4, Braves 0
Jon Lester started his second half with a very good outing in Atlanta that went from a one-hit shutout after six innings to a no-hitter in the seventh. The official scorer changed a Nick Markakis first inning single to an error on Kris Bryant and Lester completed the seventh without knowing what had happened. Lester’s no-hit bid went by the side in the eighth inning.
The Cubs offense did just enough Saturday night and took advantage of two Braves’ errors. Anthony Rizzo delivered in the clutch with a pair of two-out run scoring hits.
Cole Hamels Update: Cubs Reportedly Continue to Talk to the Phillies
The Cubs have been trying to pry Cole Hamels from the Phillies for at least a calendar year. And according to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs continue to talk to the Phillies about the lefty. Hamels could be moved by the deadline if Andy MacPhail doesn’t decide to hold onto his biggest trade chip and try to cash it in over the winter.
The Daily CCO: David Ross is Getting the Calls and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors
David Ross has been a positive influence on the pitching staff and possibly the main leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse this season. Ross is also getting his pitchers extra strikes which is one of the reasons he was inked to a two-year contract.
Includes updates on Javier Baez, Rafael Soriano, Jason Hammel and all of the news, notes, links, rumors and This Day in Cubs History … plus a former outfielder used to hide his stash in the ivy during games.
Arrieta Stays Hot, Cubs Win Two of Three in Atlanta – Cubs 4, Braves 1
Jake Arrieta was outstanding again Sunday. Arrieta tossed seven innings of shutout ball and even ran his hitting streak to three games. Arrieta set a career-high with his 11th win of the season and the Cubs snapped a series losing streak at Turner Field that dated back to 2011.
Jonathan Herrera singled in two runs, Jorge Soler hit a rather impressive home run and Chris Coghlan added a RBI double in the ninth inning.
From the Wire: Cubs Designate Edwin Jackson for Assignment
The Cubs basically cut ties with RHP Edwin Jackson following Sunday’s game. Jackson could not be counted on with the game on the line and the Cubs needed the roster spot for RHP Rafael Soriano. And the front office had little to choice but to designate a clubhouse favorite for assignment.
The Cubs have 10 days to trade him but he will likely clear waivers and elect free agency. The Cubs owe Jackson a little less than $16 million on the remaining four-year, $52 million contract he signed in 2013.