Addison Russell has shown steady improvement since he made his Major League debut on April 21. Russell learned how to play second base in the big leagues before making the permanent move to shortstop on Aug. 7. The 21-year old rookie shortstop is helping the Cubs win games with his glove and bat.
Anyone that saw Russell play shortstop knew in the spring it was only a matter of time before he was the Cubs everyday shortstop. Joe Maddon made the change on Aug. 7 and made Russell his starting shortstop while shifting a struggling Starlin Castro to a backup role. The Cubs were 59-48 after play on Aug. 6 and are 20-9 with Russell at shortstop, 79-57 for the season.
Over the last calendar month, Russell has 13 extra basehits (six home runs, six doubles and one triple) and three of his last four hits have left the park. Russell is also showing patience at the plate with better at bats and his two-out walk in the second inning of Monday’s game extended the inning for Dexter Fowler. And Fowler followed with a two-run double.
Russell is 4-for-18 in his last six games with three home runs and three walks. And his post-break slash line is a solid .268/.312/.484 with a .796 OPS. Russell has eight doubles, a triple and eight home runs in his last 46 games after managing 16 doubles and five home runs in his first 71 games in the big leagues.
As a shortstop, Addison Russell is batting .273/.305/.573 with seven double, a triple and eight home runs for a .878 OPS.
Kyle Schwarber felt better Monday and took a light round of batting practice in the cage. The Cubs, however, are not expecting him to play during the Cardinals series. Joe Maddon would not rule him out for the series and said the Cubs would know more about Schwarber’s status on Tuesday.
Schwarber said he hit off a tee “the other day” and Monday was his “first day full-go.” Schwarber also played catch with Henry Blanco.
Schwarber told ESPN Chicago he “didn’t feel any pain” and now it is “just about being extra cautious and giving it a little more time.” Schwarber has not played against the Cardinals and he’s “chomping at the bit to get back.”
Kyle Schwarber labeled his status as “day-to-day.”
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Full Report from Carrie Muskat
Carl Edwards Jr.
The Cubs called up RHP Carl Edwards Jr. prior to Monday’s game in St. Louis. Edwards Jr. made it to Busch Stadium around first pitch. Joe Maddon was able to get him into the game in the eighth inning. Edwards faced the minimum in his big league debut. Edwards walked the first batter he faced before settling down and getting a double play and a groundout.
Edwards Jr. admitted to Jesse Rogers that when he pulled up to Busch Stadium he said to himself, “Oh god, okay this is where I’m at.” ESPN Chicago reported teammates told him to be himself which helped him relax and give him confidence to take the mound in the majors for the first time.
His parents were at the game after boarding a plane for the first time and flying to St. Louis from South Carolina to see him make his debut. Edwards Jr. tipped his cap to his parents as he walked off the mound.
Carl Edwards Jr. told the beat writers, “I got my foot in the door and it’s all up to me now to dictate what my future holds in this game.”
Joe Maddon has been keeping tabs all season on Edwards Jr. according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Maddon thinks he is “the kind of talent that can be impactful going into October.”
Neil Ramirez picked up the win in game one of the Smokies’ twin bill with Biloxi on Monday. Ramirez completed one inning and retired all three batters he faced with a strikeout. Ramirez made eight pitches, six for strikes.
Ramirez appeared in three games out of the Smokies pen during his recent rehab assignment and allowed two runs, both earned, on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings (7.71 ERA, 1.71 WHIP).
With the Smokies’ season ending Monday, Ramirez will likely catch up with the Cubs in St. Louis. Ramirez can be activated from the DL with the expanded roster and if he is ready to pitch, he could give Joe Maddon another power arm in the pen. If he is not where he needs to be physically to contribute, having Ramirez on the active roster would not hurt the team.
The Cubs have not addressed the next step for Neil Ramirez.
News and Notes
• Chris Coghlan embraces the challenging journey that led him to the Cubs according to the Tribune. This is a must read report on Coghlan’s background that goes beyond the game.
• The Cubs got off to a good start in changing fortunes in St. Louis according to ESPN Chicago. The Sun-Times reported even if the Cubs can’t catch St. Louis, the Cubs must prove they can win there. And according to Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs sent a message as the beat up the Cardinals.
• Cubs’ rookies have hit 57 home runs this season, second most of any rookie class in franchise history. The Cubs rookies in 1966 that included Randy Hundley (19), Byron Browne (16), Adolfo Phillips (16), John Boccabella (6) and Ferguson Jenkins (1) hit 58 longballs that summer.
• According to Bob Nightengale, Monday was the worst shutout of the Cardinals by the Cubs at Busch Stadium in exactly 34 years. The Cubs shut out the Cardinals 10-0 on Sept. 7, 1981.
• Monday was the Cubs’ 17th shutout of the season, the second most in the majors this season (Dodgers, 19). The 17 shutouts are the most for the Cubs in a single season since 1972 (19).
• Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak told Bruce Miles he kind of liked it better when the Cubs were always finishing in last place.
• The Cubs slipped to No. 6 in ESPN’s weekly power rankings.
And last, but not least, the Brewers are moving up Fan Appreciation Night two weeks because of the Cubs. The Brewers rescheduled the tradition due to Miller Park likely being filled with Cubs fans for the last weekend of the regular season.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Darwin Barney set the National League record of 124 consecutive errorless games by a second baseman surpassing Ryne Sandberg,
1998 – Mark McGwire hit home run No. 62 off Steve Trachsel at Busch Stadium.
1987 – The Cubs dismissed manager Gene Michael and replaced him with Frank Lucchesi
1985 – Pete Rose collected two hits against Reggie Patterson at Wrigley Field and tied Ty Cobb’s career hit mark of 4,191. The game was suspended due to darkness which gave Rose a chance to become the All-Time Hits Leader in Cincinnati
1977 – Bruce Sutter struck out the first six batters he faced, including three men on nine pitches. Sutter posted his sixth win in seven decisions in a Cubs 3-2 victory over the Expos in 10 innings at Wrigley Field
1972 – Ferguson Jenkins beat the Phillies 4-3 for his 20th win of the season, the sixth straight year of 20 or more wins for the future Hall of Famer.
1954 – The New York Giants selected Joe Garagiola off waivers from the Cubs
1953 – The Cubs purchased the contract of Ernie Banks and Bill Dickey for $10,000 from the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro America League.
1952 – Cubs signed free amateur free agent Casey Wise
1941 – Cubs purchased Walt Lanfranconi from the Philadelphia Athletics