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hector rondon cubsIt’s shaping up to be a busy Saturday, in terms of stuff to read, so take your phone with you while you enjoy the outdoors.

  • When Neil Ramirez came in for the save last night, everyone knew there must be something up with Hector Rondon. Yeah, Ramirez has actually been the better pitcher so far this year, but Rondon has been a stud, and isn’t about to lose his closer job – especially after not pitching for a week. Hey, wait a minute: Hector Rondon hasn’t pitched in a week. And he didn’t come in for the save last night. I’m suddenly nervous. Rondon is reportedly dealing with “elbow soreness” (Sun-Times), and he’ll throw a bullpen session today to see if it’s cleared up, or if it’s an actual issue.
  • You will recall that Rondon had Tommy John surgery in 2010, and then a follow-up elbow procedure in 2011 when he fractured his elbow. Speaking about holding Rondon out last night, manager Rick Renteria dropped the dreaded “not a big deal.” That almost always leads to something being worse than originally thought (except for the times when it doesn’t, and nobody remembers). Keep in mind, though: if Rondon heads to the DL, since he hasn’t pitched in a week, it could be a very short stay on the DL, since the Cubs can backdate it to the last time he pitched.
  • Starlin Castro hit his 9th homer last night, putting him on pace for 23 homers this year. That’s actually a pretty crazy number when you think about it – remember when folks used to dream on Castro filling into his body and developing power? Well, it’s happening.
  • The Cubs are still waiting on MRI results before elaborating on Emilio Bonifacio’s rib cage injury (Cubs.com). He went on the DL yesterday.
  • Speaking of rib cage injuries, Welington Castillo has been on the DL for 12 days with his rib cage inflammation issue – which, originally, wasn’t even certain to put him on the DL at all – and he’s still only taking swings off the tee (Cubs.com). It may be a little while yet before he returns, assuming he needs a short rehab stint.
  • Current Royals hitting coach, and former Cubs manager, Dale Sveum spoke to the media yesterday, as his Royals visited the White Sox, about his time with the Cubs, and his departure, but didn’t really reveal anything juicy (CSN, ESPNTribune). If you stretch to find something, it kinda-sorta sounds like he wasn’t ever 100% on board with the decision to try and change Starlin Castro’s approach at the plate, which makes you wonder how well that directive – which failed – was implemented if the coaching staff wasn’t totally committed to it.
  • Ryan Sweeney told the Tribune that Manny Ramirez was coaching guys up in Mesa when Sweeney was rehabbing there. Even as we wait for Ramirez to finally get to AAA Iowa (I wonder if he’ll arrive around the same time Kris Bryant does in the next week or two? Just me speculating – might be a nice way to take the pressure off of each of them, and distribute it a bit), it sounds like he’s taking well to the coaching role.

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