The Cubs get an important piece of the puzzle back on Sunday and another could return from the DL as soon as Monday.
John Lackey takes the ball today as the Cubs will look to start another winning streak in the series and season series finale with the Giants. Lackey has been on the DL since Aug. 19. The Cubs need a healthy John Lackey for the big boy games that are on the horizon.
And Joe Maddon’s bullpen looks like it will get a boost on Labor Day.
The Cubs received excellent news from Hector Rondon on Saturday.
Rondon completed a bullpen session on the mound at Wrigley. Rondon was supposed to report to Iowa and pitch in the game at Principal Park on Saturday night. Rondon threw a simulated game at Wrigley against Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella instead of going to Iowa to pitch Saturday and Monday. Rondon told the beat writers that he felt good after the 22-pitch sim game.
“I feel really good and I’m back to normal now and my command is really good,” Rondon said. “Everything was good today.”
The Cubs will see how he feels Sunday and if as expected, Hector Rondon could be activated from the DL on Monday.
Having Rondon setup Aroldis Chapman is how the front office envisioned the backend of the bullpen. With Rondon and Chapman able to bring the heat from the eighth inning on, the Cubs must make sure he’s right before reinstating him from the DL.
Jeimer Candelario had another big night at the plate. Candelario went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI in Iowa’s 5-1 win over Colorado Springs.
Candelario is expected to be part of the September call ups after the I-Cubs play their final game of the season on Monday.
Candelario saw his hitting streak and on-base streak come to an end last weekend. Candelario reached base in 31 straight games. Candelario started a new streak last Sunday and he’s hit safely in his last seven games. Candelario has reached base either with a hit or a walk in 38 of his last 39 games.
Candelario is 16-for-36 in his last 10 games with six walks and five strikeouts.
In the 49 games since he was optioned back to Iowa, Candelario is hitting .333/.408/.522 with 14 doubles, a triple and six home runs for a .930 OPS. And he has 24 walks with 33 strikeouts in 180 at bats.
Joe Maddon could have two players added to his roster in Candelario and Albert Almora Jr. that have gotten hot at the Triple-A level at just the right time.
The Giants purchased the contract of veteran reliever Joe Nathan and officially added him to the roster before Saturday’s game at Wrigley.
Nathan got The Call on Friday and was at Wrigley in time to pitch in the game.
Bruce Bochy told the Giants’ beat writers that Nathan will be available to pitch in the sixth or seventh innings and maybe the eighth inning. Nathan could get save opportunities. Bochy reiterated Santiago Casilla is the team’s closer.
Nathan is wearing No. 74 for the Giants. And he should pitch in Sunday’s finale.
News and Notes
• Joel Sherman explained how Joe Maddon’s Cubs experiment is changing baseball.
• The Tribune reported Cubs open September with plenty of options for their playoff roster.
• FanGraphs – Kyle Hendricks as Jake Arrieta’ opposite.
• Josh Collmenter earned his first win with I-Cubs on Saturday night. Collmenter allowed one run on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in the 5-1 win over Colorado Springs. Collmenter made 97 pitches, 57 for strikes in five innings.
• Armando Rivero replaced Collmenter on Saturday night and tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in Iowa’s victory over Colorado Springs. Rivero gave up one hit without any walks, struck out three and was charged with a wild pitch. Rivero made 54 pitches, 32 for strikes. Rivero is 5-3 in 43 games this season, all in relief, with a 2.13 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. In 65 innings, Rivero has given up 41 hits with 35 walks and 105 strikeouts. According to Randy Wehofer, Rivero has the best K/9 ratio among relievers in the Pacific Coast League this season.
• Jorge Soler was scratched from Saturday’s lineup less than two hours before first pitch. The Cubs said Soler could not play because of an ingrown toenail. Soler hit for Tommy La Stella, who replaced him in the lineup, in the fifth inning. Soler struck out and stayed in the game. Soler played left, Matt Szczur moved to right. Soler was out of the game by the top of the seventh inning. Szczur moved back to left and Jason Heyward took over in right. The Cubs did not provide an update on Soler after the game.
• Julian Green denied a Tribune report that the Cubs will delay moving the bullpens to underneath the bleachers until the 2018 season. The Cubs are supposed to move the bullpen mounds this off-season as Part of Phase Three of the 1060 Project.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 3, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs released Rafael Soriano
2013 – Cubs claimed Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox
2009 – Cubs claimed Thomas Diamond off waivers from the Rangers
2002 – Cubs traded Bill Mueller to the Giants for Jeff Verplancke
1972 – Ferguson Jenkins won his 19th game of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Mets
1943 – Cubs traded Ken Raffensberger and Rip Russell to the Phillies for two PTBNL. The Phillies sent Andy Karl and Dick Conger to the Cubs on Sept. 30, 1943 to complete the trade. Andy Karl refused to report to the Cubs on April 1, 1944.
1929 – Cubs collected 10 straight hits in the fourth inning of a 13-6 win over the Braves at Wrigley Field
1919 – Eddie Waitkus, born
1918 – Rain cancelled game one of the World Series between the Cubs and Red Sox.
1902 – Alex Hardy made his big league debut with a 1-0 victory over Brooklyn. Hardy became the first 20th century National League pitcher to toss a shutout in his first game.
1891 – Mocking sports writers suggesting he had gotten too old to play, 40-year old Cap Anson played the entire game wearing a white beard. Anson went 0-for-3 with a walk in a 5-3 win over Boston at West Side Park
1885 – Jim McCormick won his 14th straight game in a 12-4 victory over Buffalo at West Side Park