The Cubs are going for their third straight series win today, something they haven’t done all year.
- The Cubs dedicated and revealed the Ron Santo statue before last night’s game, and it’s awesome. The statue shows Ronnie mid-throw, and is a beautiful tribute to a man whose life was devoted to the team he loved. Santo will now spend forever at Wrigley Field (both in statue and in his ashes, which will be scattered there today), which I suspect he’d be just fine with. Of course, I have a feeling Ronnie never left. (Photo from @CubsInsider.)
- Well, even though the Cubs aren’t itching to return him to the rotation, Jeff Samardzija says he’s “dying” to get back to being a starting pitcher, which is something he’s pretty much said for years. “I think it’s pretty obvious what I want to do for the future, but right now throwing consistently [in the bullpen] is really showing how far I have come,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from it. Looking back on it, I think it’s pretty obvious that I probably wasn’t ready to start in the big leagues, but I think we’re getting closer to it.”
- These comments concern me for a few reasons. Samardzija is having so much success as a reliever, you hate to mess with that. You also hate the idea that Samardzija is just working hard as a reliever right now to earn another shot at starting, and, if he doesn’t get that shot, his motivation will drop. Finally, I fear that Samardzija’s arm is simply one of those that works better as a reliever – when he can really let it all fly. Some guys can’t do that as a starter. We’ll see what happens, but, if Samardzija is this frank already, you better believe that, come Spring Training, he’s going to be very vocal about wanting to try to make the rotation. A good starter is more valuable than a good reliever, though, so I’d be open to the transition (the eighth in Samardzija’s professional career).
- The Cubs have 19 homers in their last 8 games. A bunch of those homers have been by Alfonso Soriano, who joined Andre Dawson and Hack Wilson as the only Cubs to have 20 homers in their first five seasons in Cubbie Blue.
- As pointed out by reader Michigan Goat, Aramis Ramirez has cooled considerably: while he’s sporting a .757 SLG over the last 30 days, that number drops to just .570 in the last 15 days. A .570 SLG is still pretty darn good, mind you, but it emphasizes just how hot he was in July (you know, when he was at his peak trade value…).
- A nice writeup on lefty prospect Chris Rusin. A fourth round pick in 2009 out of Kentucky, Rusin has slowly but steadily been moving through the Cubs’ system. The scouts don’t much like him, but the results have always been there. And now, he’s taking it to the offense-heavy PCL (AAA). Rusin turns 25 in October, so it’s time for him to get a look – be it now or next year.