Happy Fourth of July!
It’s the Fourth of July and for the first time in six years the Cubs will play a meaningful baseball game on America’s birthday.
The Cubs made a surprising move Friday when LHP Clayton Richard was acquired from the Pirates for cash considerations. Richard will make his first appearance in a big league game in over two years Saturday night. The Cubs announced Richard will start against the Marlins. RHP Donn Roach was sent to the minors. And a corresponding move to add Richard to the 40-man roster will be made at some point Saturday.
The Cubs have post-game fireworks scheduled for Saturday night at Wrigley Field for the first time … baseball, apple pie, fireworks at Wrigley. Happy Independence Day!
Harry Caray and the 7th Inning Stretch
After 17 years Cubs’ fans were able to sing along with Harry at Wrigley Field on Friday. The Cubs hit one out of the park by playing a video of Harry Caray singing the 7th Inning Stretch on the left field video board.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Harry Caray is the first video the Cubs will play on the left field video board of legends singing the stretch. The Cubs also plan on showing videos of Ron Santo and Ernie Banks. “The Cubs will primarily have live singers who will continue to sing from the press box, but on occasion, will utilize video footage of past performances.”
Signs are pointing to Jorge Soler being activated from the DL prior to Saturday night’s game. Soler told the Des Moines Register prior to Friday night’s game that he is “feeling 100 percent.”
Soler went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored Friday. Soler batted second and played all nine innings in right field. Soler scored from first base on a double by Kyle Schwarber.
In four rehab games, Jorge Soler went 2-for-13 with three walks and four strikeouts.
Kyle Schwarber had a good game at the plate Friday, but struggled in the field in Iowa’s 11-5 loss to Round Rock. Defensively, Schwarber committed a throwing error and was charged with his third passed ball. Round Rock also stole two bases.
Schwarber went 4-for-4 with a double, a walk and three RBI.
Kyle Schwarber is batting .375/.419/.625 with five doubles, a triple and a home run for a 1.044 OPS. In 11 games, Schwarber is 15-for-40 with three walks and 13 strikeouts.
RHP Rafael Soriano could be in Mesa soon according to a report from Carrie Muskat. Soriano has been dealing with visa issues, a process that can be rather slow as Jed Hoyer pointed out Friday.
Carrie Muskat indicated Friday afternoon that his “paperwork is done.” A timeframe was not given as to when Soriano will be at the team’s facility in Mesa. Once he gets to Arizona, he will still have to report to a minor league affiliate in order to pitch in actual games.
The Cubs have not said how the delay with the visa will impact the opt out he has in his contract. Shortly after Soriano signed the minor league deal with the Cubs, Jon Heyman reported if he is not in the majors by the time of the July 14 All-Star Game he can get out of his contract.
According to a report from Bruce Miles, Ian Happ is closing in on a promotion. Miles spoke with Theo Epstein about the Cubs’ first round draft pick. Epstein told Miles he “is close to having enough at-bats to move up, but we’re not quite there yet.”
After 15 games, Happ is batting .255/.418/.529 with two doubles, four home runs, 15 walks, 15 strikeouts and a .947 OPS.
Cubs Rumors Links Corner
• According to Comcast SportsNet, Theo Epstein and the Cubs are staying realistic with the trade deadline bearing down.
• The Tribune reported the Cubs won’t necessarily be buyers at the trade deadline.
News, Notes and Rumors
• On the one-year anniversary of the Cubs acquiring Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and cash for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, ESPN Chicago detailed how the Cubs pulled off the trade with the A’s.
• Joe Strauss broke down the Cardinals’ scandal. Strauss explained how bad it actually is and that it may get worse.
• Joe Maddon called on Winston Churchill as the Cubs offense searches for consistency according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• According to Rick Morrissey, Theo Epstein has it the easiest of all the sports executives in Chicago.
And last, but not least, LHP Felix Doubront is back in the big leagues. Doubront signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays after the Cubs released him in the spring. Doubront was 1-3 in nine Triple-A starts with a 2.44 ERA and 1.13 WHIP (36 hits allowed with 18 walks and 43 strikeouts in 48 innings).
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs traded Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland A’s for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and cash.
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Josh Paul
2003 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Al Alburquerque
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Trent Hubbard
1997 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Juan Cruz
1979 – Cubs purchased Miguel Dilone from the A’s
1979 – Reds purchased Sam Mejias from the Cubs
1977 – Cubs released Joe Decker
1966 – Ron Santo set a modern-day Cubs’ record by hitting in his 28th straight game. The Santo streak started May 31. The Cubs split a doubleheader with the Pirates at Wrigley Field, losing the first game 6-4. The Cubs won the second game 6-4 but Santo was held hitless and his streak came to an end.
1962 – Johnny Abrego, born
1942 – Stan Hack set a National League record of 54 games without an error at third base (Hack’s record has since been broken) in a 6-5 win over the Cardinals. Hack’s streak is snapped in the second game of the twin bill with the Cardinals when he bobbled a Stan Musial grounder with the bases loaded in the third inning. The Cubs dropped game two at Sportsman’s Park, 9-3.
1939 – Hank Leiber hit three consecutive home runs in a Cubs 6-4 loss to the Cardinals at Wrigley.
1934 – Kiki Cuyler hit three doubles, a triple and scored three runs in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park.
1929 – Hack Wilson jumped into the Reds dugout to settle a dispute with pitcher Ray Kolp. Wilson did not get to Kolp and was ejected from the game. The Cubs won the game 10-5. That night while waiting for a train at Union Station, Wilson was able to make his point to Reds pitcher Pete Donahue.
1929 – Bill Tremel, born
1928 – Chuck Tanner, born
1908 – Mordecai Brown pitched his fourth consecutive shutout, his second in three days and set a Cubs’ record (Ed Reulbach tied the record later in the season and Bill Lee equaled the mark in 1938). The Cubs topped the Pirates 2-0 in game one of a twin bill in Pittsburgh. The Cubs won the second game 8-3 behind Ed Reulbach with ‘Circus’ Solly Hofman driving in four runs with a pair of singles and a double.
1906 – Cubs swept the Pirates by identical 1-0 scores at West Side Grounds. Mordecai Brown hurled a one-hitter and Carl Lundgren tossed a five-hitter in game two.
1900 – Approximately 1,000 of the 10,000 fans in attendance at West Side Grounds were armed with revolvers and fired them consistently in celebration of the Fourth of July. There were holes shot in the stadium as the Cubs beat the Phillies in both games of a doubleheader.
1895 – The Chicago National League Ball Club took both games of a doubleheader from Cincinnati. 22,913 were on hand for the second game, the first time more than 20,000 fans attended a game in the history of Chicago baseball.