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jorge soler cubsIt’s the time of year when, if you aren’t mowing multiple times per week, you’re screwed the next time you get out there to mow. I, uh, pretty much hate it.

  • Given the rainout earlier this week, and given his struggles the last two times out, the Cubs are skipping Jake Arrieta’s turn in the rotation, electing instead to keep Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel on regular rest (Carrie Muskat). Arrieta will work on some mechanical issues on the side. If you were more cynical, you’d point out that Samardzija and Hammel are potential trade pieces (and thus keeping them at optimum performance level is highly important right now), and Arrieta is more of a long-term piece (and thus keeping him healthy and with clean mechanics is highly important right now).
  • When lefty reliever Zac Rosscup, who has a promising future, went to the DL this week with “shoulder soreness,” there was cause to be concerned. Shoulder issues can be the death knell to a player’s career. But, good news! An MRI on Rosscup’s shoulder revealed only inflammation and fluid, but no structural damage (Cubs.com). When you’re talking about a hamstring, the words “inflammation” and “fluid” make you said, because you then know there’s a strain/tear. In the shoulder? It makes you breathe a sigh of relief, because that’s the kind of thing you can get over without surgery or long-term ill-effects. Rosscup will probably be out for a little while, but this – just as it was with C.J. Edwards – is relative good news.
  • Speaking of hamstrings, Jorge Soler did not play last night (obviously) for AA Tennessee after leaving Thursday night’s game with “hamstring tightness.” He has not yet been placed on the disabled list, which could just be the product of not having his roster replacement ready for a day or so, or it could be that the organization is awaiting the results of tests/MRI before making a decision. Given that the minor league DL is just seven days, if you were an insanely optimistic person, you could read that to mean that the organization’s initial reaction to the injury was a hope that he might miss less than a week. If you’re a more rational person, however, you’ve got to figure that just about any other explanation is the right one. With two relatively serious hamstring injuries already this year, it’s hard to see the Cubs putting Soler back out there so quickly unless it turns out that the hamstring tightness was totally something else, and he was just being extremely cautious (fearing that it was the hamstring). You just hope that it’s not an “inflammation” and “fluid” situation, because that could cost him another month.
  • Ricky Renteria’s reaction to the Cardinals’ reaction to those high-and-tight pitches on Thursday was pretty much perfect. He told Cubs.com that he understands the Cardinals’ reaction, but there was no intent behind the pitches, and everyone on both sides reacted as he would expect. He added that, when you go back and look at the tape, the pitches weren’t that close to the batters’ heads as you might think initially – when a batter sees an elevated pitch, he said, feeling like it’s too close to you is instinctual.
  • Quintessential Renteria quote (Cubs.com) on Jeff Samardzija not having any “wins” yet this year: “He may not have any victories on his record sheet in wins and losses, but for me, he’s won every single time he’s gone out there.” He just sounds so huggable. He’s also right.
  • Javier Baez had a single in last night’s game (and ripped a liner that would have been a hit, but was snagged on a diving play), and didn’t strike out in any of his four at bats. That may not sound like much, but it’s the first time in a week that he’s played a full game without striking out, and it’s happened just four times all year before yesterday.

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