It’s weird to have an off-day just after the All-Star break, but here we are. Still plenty to discuss today, though …
- The Cubs have made their first post-break roster move to clarify what’ll happen now that they need to add a couple starters: it’s Zac Rosscup being optioned back to AAA Iowa, which opens up a spot for tomorrow’s starter, Kyle Hendricks. That was the most likely move, given that the Cubs will likely want to get back to a balance of eight relievers and four bench players. That would mean the next move would have a positional guy going out for Tsuyoshi Wada. It could be one of Junior Lake or Mike Olt, if the Cubs want to try and get them back on track at AAA, or it could be Arismendy Alcantara, given that Emilio Bonifacio will be back very soon (and the Cubs may want him getting regular starts before the Trade Deadline, just in case there’s a suitor). The rub there is that, if the Cubs option a player to AAA, he cannot be recalled for 10 days, unless there is an injury on the big league club. So if Alcantara is sent down, he won’t be back until early August at the earliest. But maybe that’s not that big of a deal?
- Absent a trade or an injury, it does seem like the choice comes down to Olt/Lake/Alcantara.
- Rick Renteria speaks about Tsuyoshi Wada’s progress this year, from his struggles in Spring Training to his minor league dominance to his successful big league debut (Cubs.com). It’s interesting, though, to hear Renteria talk about Wada slotting into the rotation slightly differently than Kyle Hendricks. With the latter, it sounds a bit more like he’s getting the job, and it’s his for a while. With Wada, Renteria would say only that he is starting on Wednesday, and “we’ll see where it goes from there.” The presence of guys like Dallas Beeler and Dan Straily, together with the outside chance of another rotation spot opening up via trade, I don’t think Renteria really can say much else.
- Jake Arrieta couldn’t eat solid foods for three days prior to yesterday’s start thanks to a stomach bug, and he still did what he did (Cubs.com). If 6.2 innings, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 8 K is now the measure of a “bad” Arrieta start, I think we’re all very, very happy.
- More on Travis Wood’s struggles from his pitching coach, Chris Bosio (Cubs.com).
- If you want the full skinny on that Anthony Rizzo catch yesterday, and why it resulted in a run, you can read more here.
- Jim Callis writes about the impending Competitive Balance Lottery (Wednesday), for which the Cubs will never be eligible (and for which the other teams in the NL Central will likely always be eligible).
- Zeke DeVoss was released from the organization a few days ago, but has already latched on with the A’s. Good for him, and best of luck.
- We’re entering the home stretch on the BN Blogathon fundraiser. I’m now locked into 33 hours of straight, no-break blogging on July 30 and 31, but you can get four more hours if we reach $12,000 raised for Make-A-Wish (that’s the cost of sponsoring two wishes):
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 21, 2014
MLBits: Phillies Avoid Epic Collapse, Previewing the Postseason Matchups, Judge Still Searching for No. 62, More
Cubs Prospect Notes: AFL Performances, Under-the-Radar Prospects, Nwogu, Perlaza, Devers, Brown, More
That Very Weird (And Bad!) Final Play, Bullpen Decisions, New Lights at Wrigley Field, and Other Cubs Bullets
The Brewers Walked It Off! … And Simultaneously Got Eliminated from Postseason Contention by the Phillies
A-Rob’s Woes Go Hollywood, the Curse of No. 12, Velus Lets It Hurt, Fields Lets it Rip, and Other Bears Bullets