miguel montero cubsThe Cubs limp into today’s finale against the White Sox, and boy do I hope they win. Losing like they did to the Cardinals on Wednesday and then getting swept at home by the White Sox? Not exactly what I want to spend four off-days thinking about.

  • Miguel Montero left yesterday’s game early after apparently jamming his thumb at some point in the first inning. He underwent an MRI, and is not likely to be available today (Cubs.com). That could force the Cubs to bring back David Ross (concussion) from the disabled list, which he’s been cleared to do, but that would require a roster move. Hopefully that move wouldn’t be putting Montero on the DL, because, even as he’s struggled lately at the plate, the Cubs could ill-afford to have him go down for any significant length of time.
  • If he does miss a long stretch, I think you’ll see the Cubs going with David Ross and Taylor Teagarden for a while, rather than bringing up Kyle Schwarber. That’s just my guess, mind you, but when you watch Schwarber behind the plate at Iowa, the best way you could describe the glove is “not ready.” If he were to come up right now, I would have concerns about the Cubs’ pitchers being able to execute what they want, I would have concerns about the baserunning game, and I would have concerns about Schwarber’s progress as a developing catcher being interrupted and impacted long-term. The bat … well, I imagine it would help the Cubs. And maybe it would help enough to offset those other concerns. I just don’t think it’s going to happen quite yet. For now, Schwarber will be playing in the All-Star Futures Game today in Cincinnati at 2pm CT.

  • What else can you say right now about the Cubs’ struggles than “figure it out.” That was Jon Lester’s message after yesterday’s game (CSN). It’s no real mystery, though: if you’ve got a bunch of guys all in deep, protracted slumps at the plate (Fowler, Castro, Montero, Russell, most notably), you’re not going to score many runs. That’s been the story for the Cubs.
  • Starlin Castro discusses his second half plans, which mostly involve having good at bats, because, well, you know (CSN).
  • Rafael Soriano has now appeared in three games for the Tennessee Smokies, and, although he didn’t allow an earned run in either of his second two appearances (like his first), he didn’t record any strikeouts and allowed two hits and a walk. He’s pitched every other day since July 6, so he could go again today. I wonder at what point (or if) he’ll be moved up to AAA Iowa. At this rate, he projects to be ready to join the big league team, if they decide he’s looking good, within another week or two.

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