It’s time for baseball, fireworks and a long homestand at Wrigley Field. The Cubs return from the road (3-3) and will spend the next 10 days leading up to the All-Star break at home. The Cubs were on the road for a majority of June, the team just finished a stretch of playing 20 out of 29 games outside of Wrigley Field.
Over the last 47 games, the Cubs are 27-20 and 19-12 in the 31 games against teams with a record above .500. On the flip side, the Cubs were 8-8 in the other 16 games against teams with an under .500 record. With the next 10 games against the Marlins, Cardinals and White Sox, the Cubs must not let up going into the break.
Joe Maddon announced Thursday that RHP Donn Roach will make Saturday’s start against the Marlins. Maddon pointed out the defense has “to be in the right spots for him because he is not going to get a lot of punch outs.” Roach was charged with four runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings last Saturday.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs are not sure when Tsuyoshi Wada will return to rotation. ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs “might be going with a fifth starter by committee” with Wada recovering from a sore shoulder. ESPN Chicago also pointed to Dallas Beeler possibly being an option “going forward.”
Dallas Beeler is 1-5 in 13 starts with Triple-A Iowa this season with a 6.33 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Beeler has been a lot better of late while dealing with rain seemingly every time he takes the hill. Beeler is 0-1 in his last six starts with a 2.67 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Beeler has allowed 30 hits with five walks and 28 strikeouts in his last 30 1/3 innings.
With Joe Maddon preferring to use Travis Wood out of the bullpen, the Cubs options on the 40-man roster for a fifth starter are rather limited. The front office is looking for pitching. Until a starter is added to the mix, Donn Roach, and possibly Dallas Beeler, will have an opportunity to improve his stock and help the Cubs win games.
Jorge Soler returned to Iowa’s lineup Thursday. After a scheduled day off, Soler batted second and played right field. Soler played all nine innings and went 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Soler is 1-for-10 with a walk and four strikeouts after three rehab games.
According to a report from Patrick Mooney, Jorge Soler could be activated this weekend. The I-Cubs wrap up their homestand Friday. Marty Pevey told the Des Moines Register he is expecting Soler to play all nine innings for the I-Cubs on Friday. With the night game at Wrigley and Iowa leaving town, it is setting up for Jorge Soler to return Saturday.
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals fired their scouting director, Chris Correa, as part of the ongoing investigation into employees of the team hacking the Astros’ database.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Correa was already on an “imposed leave of absence.” Correa denied any illegal conduct. However, Correa admitted “hacking into a Houston database but only to determine whether the Astros had stolen proprietary data” according to Derrick Goold’s sources.
Cubs Rumors Links Corner
• Jon Heyman posted 12 possible sellers, who might go and proposed deals. Heyman mentions the Cubs interest in RHP Jonathan Papelbon. And a rather unrealistic trade proposal … Starlin Castro and Javier Baez to the Padres for Andrew Cashner. With all due respect to Mr. Heyman, he missed the mark on this one while overvaluing Cashner he undervalued Castro and Baez. Correction: The report from Jon Heyman mentions “a prospect” coming back to the Cubs in his proposed trade.
News, Notes and Rumors
• From the MUST READ DEPARTMENT: Patrick Mooney posted an excellent report on the power dynamic between Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein.
• Exactly two years later it is night and day for Jake Arrieta and the Cubs.
• Joe Maddon really likes having Jonathan Herrera on his bench. And Maddon blasted ‘Johnny B. Goode’ after Thursday’s game to recognize Herrera’s career-game.
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Tigers “have scouted and done preliminary work on Marlins available starters. Miami has rotation depth to trade.”
• The Red Sox are eyeing young starters with multiple years of club control. Does that sound familiar? And according to Rob Bradford, the Sox are not likely to pursue “pitchers already owed a substantial chunk of money.” Based on that information, Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto would not be of interest to Ben Cherington.
• The Phillies placed RHP Aaron Harang on the DL with plantar faciatis. The Brewers hit Harang rather hard Wednesday and scored eight runs on 14 hits in five innings. It appears the Phillies waited too long to trade Harang.
• Comcast SportsNet reported Jon Lester buys into Joe Maddon’s magical gimmicks.
• The Cubs are preaching patience for their minor league pitching prospects according to a report from the Tribune.
• Kyle Schwarber can’t wait to play in the Futures Game near his home in Cincinnati next week. Schwarber is going to have a lot of family and friends at Great American Ball Park to see him play.
And last, but not least, Anthony Rizzo rode the subway following the Cubs 2-0 victory over the Mets in 11 innings on Wednesday night.
This Day In Cubstory
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Casey Fossum
2008 – Cubs released Ben Broussard
2001 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Juan Mateo
2001 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Felix Pie
1999 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Carlos Marmol
1987 – Jamie Moyer struck out seven straight batters, but the Cubs lost 3-1 to the Giants.
1987 – Casey Coleman, born
1987 – Zach Putnam, born
1980 – John Koronka, born
1971 – Don Kessinger hit an inside the park home run in Milt Pappas 3-1 victory over the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
1967 – Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Randy Hundley hit home runs and Rico Carty and Felipe Alou hit homers for the Braves, all in the first inning, that tied a Major League record for the most homers hit in a single inning, five. Carty homered later in the game but Glenn Beckert’s three-run homer helped the Cubs beat the Braves 12-6 in Atlanta.
1966 – Moises Alou, born
1955 – Matt Keough, born
1945 – Phil Cavarretta, Don Johnson and Stan Hack scored five runs each as the Cubs collected eight doubles and beat the Braves 24-2 behind Claude Passeau at Braves Field. Cavarretta drove in five runs. The Cubs scored the most runs in franchise history, post-1900.
1935 – Cubs release Kiki Cuyler in an effort to cut the team’s payroll.
1929 – The Cubs and Reds became the first teams to collectively turn nine double players in a Major League game. The Cubs turned five of the double plays and beat the Reds 7-5 at Wrigley Field.
1883 – The Chicago National League Ballclub beat Buffalo 31-7 on 32 hits at Lakefront Park. The team that would be known as the Cubs hit 14 doubles, four each by Cap Anson and Abner Dalrymple. Anson, Dalrymple and King Kelly had five hits each. Larry Corcoran was the winning pitcher.