Miguel Montero was in the Cubs’ clubhouse following Wednesday’s win over the Rockies and said he is close to returning from the disabled list. Montero is scheduled to travel with the team to Milwaukee after being re-examined by a hand specialist Thursday in Chicago.
Montero has been hitting and catching bullpens at the Cubs’ facility in Mesa. And he feels he is ready to come off the DL.
Montero jammed his left thumb on July 11 and was placed on the 15-day DL on July 17 with a sprained left thumb. Montero is not 100 percent and said he would not be until the off-season. According to multiple reports, it comes down to how much pain Montero can play through.
Joe Maddon double switched Starlin Castro out of Tuesday night’s game and while he was trying to keep Chris Coghlan’s bat in a lineup that has been struggling to score runs for a majority of the last two months, Maddon fueled the rumors the Cubs were about to trade Castro. And those rumors kicked into high gear when Castro was not in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s finale with the Rockies.
As it turns out, Wednesday was a scheduled day off for Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler.
The Cubs have reportedly been talking to teams about Castro and he’s heard the rumors. Maddon met with Castro at the shortstop’s request and told him he is not getting traded. Maddon would like to see Castro relax and just play baseball.
Starlin Castro met with the beat writers prior to Wednesday’s game after not talking with reporters Tuesday. And multiple reports indicated that Castro admitted the rumors are weighing on him.
Castro wants to stay and help the Cubs win. According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Castro “wasn’t exactly sure if Maddon meant for the moment … or if he is really safe through the deadline.”
Joe Maddon has stood behind Castro all season and supported his shortstop throughout what has been a rough year up to this point. And Maddon defended Castro, “When you’ve had that many offensive coordinators and head coaches, quarterbacks oftentimes become confused. It’s the same thing with young shortstops.”
Javier Baez was in Iowa’s starting lineup Wednesday night and played the entire game at shortstop. Baez went 0-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and three strikeouts.
In two games back from the disabled list, Baez is 2-for-9 with two home runs, a walk, four strikeouts and a stolen base.
Kyle Schwarber made his first start in left field Wednesday and could see a fair amount of time in the outfield once Miguel Montero is activated from the DL. Schwarber has been working with Dave Martinez on outfield drills since he was recalled on July 17 according to the Sun-Times.
Maddon likes the flexibility of Schwarber being able to play the outfield so he can keep his bat in the lineup, even on days in which he is the starting catcher.
RHP Neil Ramirez was placed on the 15-day DL prior to Wednesday’s game with left abdominal soreness. The good news is that Ramirez said his shoulder feels good.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Ramirez “felt a sharp pain in his left side” after he sneezed Sunday. Ramirez told the beat writers he was fine warming up Tuesday until he threw a slider “felt some pain and had to stop.”
It has been a difficult season for Neil Ramirez and he is hoping to be back soon.
Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella reported to Double-A Tennessee Wednesday and started a rehab assignment with the Smokies. La Stella played second base and batted fifth behind Willson Contreras.
La Stella was 1-for-2 with a single and two runs scored in three plate appearances. La Stella reached on catcher’s interference and scored in the second inning. Stephen Bruno pinch hit for La Stella in the sixth inning.
• According to Bruce Levine, Starlin Castro is “a sought-after commodity on the trade market, industry sources said. Some clubs project Castro as a third baseman in the future.”
• The Cubs and Padres are talking … and according to the Sun-Times, RHP Ian Kennedy is a large part of the discussions between the two teams.
• The Padres “are getting a lot more action on Tyson Ross than Andrew Cashner.” According to Scott Miller, Cashner has a “reputation among many scouts that he is soft and can’t put a team away.”
• According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are in the mix for David Price now that the Tigers have put him on the market.
News and Notes
• Jason Hammel is scheduled to pitch Friday night in Milwaukee and told Mark Gonzales his “left leg felt fine during pen session Tuesday and he is all set for his next start.”
• OF Albert Almora Jr. went 1-for-2 with three walks in the Smokies 5-2 victory over Montgomery on Wednesday night. Almora Jr. walked three times in the same game for the first time in his career. Almora Jr. has walked a career-high 19 times this season.
• Jon Lester keeps Cubs going with deadline looming according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
• Comcast SportsNet reported Jon Lester is hoping the front office gives the Cubs a boost at the trade deadline.
• Almost a year to the day that the Cubs traded for him LHP Felix Doubront was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays to make room on the roster for SS Troy Tulowitzki. Doubront was 1-1 in five games, four starts, for Toronto with a 4.76 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and 3.29 FIP.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs acquired Felix Doubront from the Red Sox for a PTBNL. Cubs sent Marco Hernandez to Boston on Dec. 15 to complete the trade.
2012 – Cubs acquired Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman from the Braves for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm
2012 – Cubs traded Geovany Soto to the Rangers for Jacob Brigham
2009 – Cubs acquired Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow from the Pirates for Josh Harrison, Jose Ascanio and Kevin Hart
2002 – Cubs released Travis Miller
2001 – Cubs traded Ruben Quevedo and Peter Zoccolillo to the Brewers for David Weathers and Roberto Miniel
1993 – Cubs acquired Tuffy Rhodes as part of a three-team trade. The Yankees sent John Habyan to the Royals, the Cubs sent Paul Assenmacher to the Yankees and the Cubs received Rhodes from the Royals.
1989 – Mark Grace belted a two-out, three-run homer off Rick Aguilera and gave the Cubs a 6-4 victory over the Mets. Les Lancaster won the game and the Cubs completed the three-game sweep over the Mets.
1985 – The Rangers signed amateur free agent Sammy Sosa
1957 – Steve Trout, born
1938 – Cubs traded Bob Logan and cash to the Washington Senators for Vance Page
1934 – Cubs purchased Clay Bryant from the Indians
1934 – Reds purchased Gilly Campbell from the Cubs
1933 – Cubs released Burleigh Grimes