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kyle hendricks cubs featureI’d be remiss if I didn’t offer some heartfelt sympathy for folks affected by that Malaysian Airlines/Ukraine disaster. Just an unbelievable thing. On to lighter fare …

  • Kyle Hendricks has been named the Cubs’ fourth starter (Cubs.com), not only in terms of his making the next open start after the first three guys (which will come on Tuesday in Chicago against the Padres), but also in terms of him getting a legitimate chance to stick in the rotation. Given that Hendricks is theoretically ready to get an extended look, and has the most upside of the collection of back-end-ish starters at AAA, he’s definitely the guy you want to see first. I am totally on board with, and totally excited by, this decision. It would be really nice to have a better idea of what the Cubs have in Hendricks heading into 2015. In his MLB debut in Cincinnati, Hendricks was really impressive.
  • The fifth starter hasn’t been named yet, but if you were taking an educated stab, you’d note that Tsuyoshi Wada pitched (excellently) last night for the Iowa Cubs, and the Cubs’ next open starting day comes in exactly five days from that start. Pretty fair bet that he’ll be the guy for now. Given that Wada could theoretically be dealt before the deadline (lots of team control, but he’s also a veteran who might more reasonably entice a buyer than a younger fringe guy), I think he’s the right choice. I also still think there’s a chance he could be a back-end starter for the Cubs for the near-term. Might as well explore a guy like that. Of course, the Cubs might also want to explore Dan Straily and Dallas Beeler and Eric Jokisch and Chris Rusin for the same reasons. You kind of want to see another rotation spot opened up for the second half.
  • … all that said: because of an off-day between this and the next series, the Cubs could elect to go without a fifth starter this time through the rotation.
  • Rick Renteria says he thinks Edwin Jackson pitched pretty well last night (ESPN), and he did for those first four innings at least. From there, however, the story remained the same. It wasn’t a disastrous outing or anything like that, but it certainly wasn’t the kind of seven inning, one or two run, quality outing we’ve been waiting to see.
  • Renteria implied to ESPN that Emilio Bonifacio (oblique) could be back after a few more rehab games, depending on how he feels.
  • The Cubs have finally sued the “Billy Cub” character to get him/them to stop doing his/their thing outside of Wrigley Field (visiting with fans, posing for pictures, seeking tips). You may recall a kind of “last straw” incident earlier this year where a guy in the costume appeared to punch someone, on video, after his head was taken. The Cubs’ argument – boiling it down in a non-legal way – is that fans are confused into thinking that Billy Cub is actually affiliated with the Cubs, given the look, the name, and the Cubs hat. Since the Cubs have a right to control their own intellectual property, and especially now that the Cubs have their own cub mascot, it seems pretty understandable that the Cubs should want this shut down. When Billy does things, good or bad, casual game attendees – which is most of ‘em – think he’s an ambassador of the Cubs.
  • Remember that the Cubs signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal? No. Don’t worry. He’s been released.
  • Your BN Blogathon update:

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