Solid pitching? Check. Just enough hitting? Check.
It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight. Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five. The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out. Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.
Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed. Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive. Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win. Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.
Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!
Note: Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.
Not a bad way to go out, eh? Jorge Soler took Taijuan Walker deep last night, then was pulled because he was getting called up by the Cubs, solid night. Pure power on display here, gets a fastball up, and destroys it, I can’t wait for Wednesday when Soler is expected to make his debut with the Cubs in Cinicnnati.
I’m not going to lie, yesterday was a big day. For years now, we have talked about Javier Baez, reported on him, traveled to see him, provided live updates of his at bats in Tennessee, Iowa, etc. Yesterday we watched with all of you as Baez did something to help the Major League team, on the field. Sure, he’s just one guy, but he signals the next step in this process, and that is something to be truly excited about.
As soon as MLB gets their crap together I will embed.
The Cubs are going to trade Emilio Bonifacio. Per the reports, that may come way sooner than later, as multiple sources around the Cubs have said that a deal is very close.
The Orioles, Giants, Royals, Reds, and Mariners have been tied to Bonifacio as recently as this past week. If I had to guess, I think Bonifacio will be dealt to the Orioles, stay tuned. The Cubs signed Bonifacio rather close to the start of the 2014 season, and has provided all sorts of value all over the field. If the Cubs can turn Bonifacio into something tangible moving forward that would be a big win for the organization.
In a bit of a surprising move, the Cubs have acquired LHP Felix Doubront from the Red Sox for a player to be named later. From multiple reports, including one out of Boston from CSN, the Red Sox were not expected to get much for Doubront. Another report has the teams holding off on naming the player to be named later until after the Rule Five draft.
Doubront has recently voiced his displeasure with the Red Sox organization, so the writing was on the wall. The Cubs jumping up to make a deal for him is the surprising part, as the Cubs are in full sell mode, and this is a player that has the potential to help now. Doubront has struggled this year and was demoted to the Sox bullpen just recently, probably one of the reasons why Doubront was unhappy.
Before this year, Doubront won eleven games for the Red Sox in back to back seasons, while posting an ERA of 4.86 in 2012, and 4.32 in 2013 while helping the Sox win the World Series. I think that the Cubs want Doubront back in the rotation, and he could be a solid contributor once Bosio gets his hands on him.
Darwin Barney and his wife made a baby, because of that, we get Arismendy Alcantara! Now the news around baseball is that Alcantara will be up for just two games while Barney is on paternity leave, hopefully that paternity leave lasts longer, like three months. I don’t think a decision has been made with Alcantara yet, he belongs in the Majors, and has done nothing but hit recently at Iowa. Lately, Alcantara has been playing CF, I think that’s a clue as to what might happen when Barney returns, we’ll see what happens but we will be seeing more of Alcantara moving forward, and that’s a good thing.
LF – Coghlan
2B – Alcantara
1B – Rizzo
SS – Castro
3B – Valbuena
CF – Ruggiano
RF – Sweeney
C – Castillo
SP – Beeler
It was happy hugs in the Iowa dugout last night, as Kyle Hendricks was lifted after just two innings of work. The reason? He’s going to the show. GM Jed Hoyer confirmed today that Kyle Hendricks will be getting called up to the Cubs, and will make his Major League debut this week, most likely in Cincinnati. The Cubs play a double-header on Tuesday, so that makes sense, and there was a spot on the 40-man roster created with the Samardzija/Hammel trade to Oakland.
I’ve been a fan of Hendricks for a while, and I’m super excited that he is getting his shot. Ever since he was acquired from the Texas Rangers he has pitched his tail off to get to this spot. The thing about Hendricks is he’s a pitcher, relying on command and not velocity, but something has changed this year. The command is still there (23 walks in 102.2 innings), but he has been seen touching mid 90’s on the gun, a definite spike, and something that could take him to the next level.
Best of luck, Kyle.