The Cubs improved to a season-high 11 games over .500 with Tuesday’s win over the Pirates. Before the game Joe Maddon discussed ideas he has for the lineup once Miguel Montero returns from the disabled list. Montero could be activated as soon as Thursday and multiple reports indicated Montero could be back at some point during the weekend series with the Giants.
With Maddon exploring ways to get Kyle Schwarber at bats when he is not behind the plate, Jorge Soler’s playing time could be affected. One of the options for Maddon is to have Schwarber play left field with Chris Coghlan moving to right. Coghlan also worked out at second base prior to Tuesday’s game at PNC and he could see time in the infield with Addison Russell moving to shortstop on those days.
Maddon said, “I’ve been conducting conversations with our guys in the front office to try to find out specifically what they have in mind. I know what I think. And I’ve told them that. So I’m not ready yet to specifically tell you what the plan’s going to be.”
Jorge Soler’s defensive issues have opened the possibility of Coghlan seeing time in right field. Jorge Soler has struggled with taking the right routes to balls.
Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella should figure into the equation over the next three weeks and give Maddon two more options.
Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella did not play Tuesday night while Javier Baez went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.
Joe Maddon explained to the beat writers, “Once Miggy comes back, I want it to be in place, so that there’s no gray areas and everybody knows what’s going on.”
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Full Report from the Tribune
Jake Arrieta dominated the Pirates on Tuesday night and picked up his career-high 12th win. And while a large part of the fan base and media discount a pitcher’s win total, the number of wins are still very important to the player.
Arrieta improved to 2-1 in his last four starts with a 1.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP … and in 22 games, Arrieta has allowed 111 hits with 37 walks and 152 strikeouts in 147 2/3 innings.
As the Sun-Times reported, Arrieta is nine innings shy of his career-high in innings pitched during a single season. Arrieta completed 156 2/3 innings last year and he ran his innings total for this year to 147 2/3 on Tuesday night. The Sun-Times did not include the 20 innings Arrieta completed during five minor league rehab starts last April. The Cubs have not said Arrieta’s innings will be limited and Joe Maddon clarified Tuesday his discussion about Arrieta’s pitch count was taken out of context.
During his post-game meeting Tuesday with the beat writers, Arrieta said his plan is to go out and dominate every time he takes the mound. And Joe Maddon does not think Arrieta has reached his full potential yet.
“He’s a really interesting pitcher. And I’ll say it again: He is not there yet. He is not as good as he’s going to become,” Maddon said. “When he really understands how to utilize all of his weapons, it could get scary. There’s another level of Arrieta over the next couple years. I firmly believe that.”
Chase Utley played second base and batted third Tuesday night for Double-A Reading in his second rehab game. Utley was 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Utley has three hits in seven at bats with a walk in two rehab games, one each with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading.
According to Ryan Lawrence, there are three teams that have shown interest in Utley … the Cubs, Yankees and Angels. Utley is scheduled to play for Reading again Wednesday night and could come off the DL as soon as Thursday.
The Cubs watched Utley workout at Wrigley during the series with the Phillies almost two weeks ago. Utley was traveling with the team at the time. As Ryan Lawrence explained, it will be tough for the Phillies to trade Chase Utley.
While the reports linking the Cubs to Chase Utley have increased the level of interest the front office has in acquiring Utley is unclear at this point.
C Taylor Teagarden was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. Teagarden was designated for assignment Sunday in order for LHP Clayton Richard to be recalled to make the start against the Brewers.
Taylor Teagarden played in eight games for the Cubs and was 3-for-15 with two RBI. Teagarden hit .294/.375/.437 in 43 games for the I-Cubs with four doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .812 OPS
News and Notes
• The Tribune reported Joe Maddon was dazzled by Starlin Castro’s defense.
• From ESPN Stats and Info: Anthony Rizzo was 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored Tuesday night and became the first Cubs’ cleanup batter with a four-hit game in Pittsburgh since Ernie Banks in 1956. Tuesday was Rizzo’s fourth, four-hit game of his career.
• According to Jesse Rogers, the Pirates met prior to Tuesday afternoon to discuss when Monday’s game will be made up. The Pirates and Cubs have a mutual off-day on Monday, Sept. 14 before the start of the three-game series between the two teams in Pittsburgh. Sept. 14 is the Pirates only day off next month and the players would have to give their approval due to the agreement with the MLBPA that teams will not play more than 20 consecutive days without a day off.
• 3B Jeimer Candelario went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBI on Tuesday night in the Smokies 6-5 win over the Barons. Candelario hit a three-run homer in the sixth that gave Double-A Tennessee the lead for good. Since his promotion to Double-A, Candelario is batting .353/.382/.549 (18-for-51) with four doubles, two home runs and a .931 OPS in 15 games. Candelario turns 22 in November.
• C Willson Contreras collected three more hits Tuesday and raised his league-leading batting average to .331. The 23-year old catcher is hitting .331/.410/.485 in 95 games this season with 26 doubles, four triples and six home runs for a .896 OPS.
And last, but not least, Comcast SportsNet explained why playing stupid is the smart move for the Cubs in pennant race.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Javier Baez made his Major League debut. Baez went 1-for-6 in a 6-5 Cubs win in 12 innings at Coors Field. Baez hit the game winner, a solo home run in the top of the 12th inning.
2013 – Cubs selected Thomas Neal off waivers from the Yankees
2012 – Darwin Barney set the Cubs’ All-Time record for consecutive games by a second baseman without committing an error. Barney was not charged with an error for the 91st straight game. Barney went onto set the NL mark of 127 straight errorless games by a second baseman, surpassing Cubs Hall of Famer and his former manager Ryne Sandberg.
2012 – Cubs traded Jeff Baker to the Tigers for a PTBNL. Detroit sent Marcelo Carreno and cash to the Cubs on Oct. 16, 2012 to complete the trade
2009 – Cubs released B.J. Ryan
2009 – Cubs released Jason Waddell
2007 – Tom Glavine beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field for career win No. 300
2000 – Sammy Sosa became the first player in Cubs history to collect 100 RBI in six consecutive seasons. Sosa broke the franchise record of five set by Hack Wilson (1926-30).
1981 – The Cubs traded Rick Reuschel to the Yankees for Doug Bird, Mike Griffin and $400,000.
1979 – Hack Wilson, Willie Mays and Warren Giles were inducted into the Hall of Fame
1979 – Cubs honored Jack Brickhouse for the 5,000th television broadcast of a game.
1977 – Eric Hinske, born
1977 – The Phillies signed amateur free agent Bobby Dernier
1945 – Cubs pounded out 22 hits in game one of a doubleheader against the Reds. The Cubs took the opener of the twin bill 12-5 behind three doubles and a single from Stan Hack and four hits from Phil Cavarretta. Claude Passeau picked up the win in game two, 2-1.
1943 – Cubs traded Bill Lee to the Phillies for Mickey Livingston
1913 – Cubs traded Ed Reulbach to the Brooklyn Superbas for Eddie Stack and cash
1911 – Frank Chance suspended Joe Tinker for indifferent play and fined Tinker $150.00. Tinker was reinstated the next day.
1894 – With Cap Anson at bat in the sixth inning, a fire broke out in the grandstand at West Side Grounds. With 10,000 on hand, a stampede injured hundreds as the crowd tore through the barbed wire fence that was installed to prevent the 25-cent bleacher fans from mobbing the umpires. The game was called after six innings with the Chicago National League team posting an 8-1 victory.