Chicago's Inside Pitch
We’re in the second inning here at U.S. Cellular Field, and the White Sox and Red Sox are scoreless.
But the big news of the night came a few minutes ago, when White Sox media relations director Bob Beghtol announced ace left-hander Chris Sale has been scratched from Wednesday night’s start vs. Boston with a “mild case” of tendinitis in his posterior throwing shoulder.
That doesn’t sound good, but the Sox also announced Sale will make his next scheduled start, Tuesday vs. the Cubs at the Cell.
Hector Santiago will start in place of Sale Wednesday vs. Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.78 ERA).
Sale is scheduled to talk to reporters after tonight’s game.
One could argue that pitcher Michael Bowden got a raw deal and that the Cubs should have cut loose reliever Shawn Camp, but that’s not what happened today. The Cubs activated pitcher Matt Garza to start tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. To make room they designated Bowden for assignment.
The Cubs also claimed right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bowden, a resident of Oswego and a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, was 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA and a WHIP of 1.14. He had 1 blown save. Camp is 1-1 with a 7.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.75 and 2 blown saves.
Sanchez, 24, will be assigned to Class AAA Iowa. He was 0-0 with 1 save and a 3.72 ERA (4 ER/9.2 IP) in 9 relief appearances for Class AAA Memphis this season.
New White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has taken a page out of predecessor Kenny Williams’ book.
Before the first game of every homestand, Hahn has made his way to the dugout after manager Robin Ventura finished talking to reporters and fielded questions.
It’s a good policy that helps keep fans in the loop. This afternoon, Hahn made it clear he’s not even remotely thinking about breaking up a Sox team that’s off to a wobbly 19-23 start.
We’re blogging all over the place today, so we might get a little bit full with all we have to do on our Sunday brunch blog. I’m a guest today on WGN-TV’s Leadoff Man show, with Len Kasper. Len was nice enough to invite me to be a guest blogger on WGN’s Stats Sunday blog.
So the Cubs have made their decision, or Matt Garza made it for them. Garza will come off the disabled list Tuesday night and pitch against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The upshot is that Carlos Villanueva gets bumped from the rotation and will go to the bullpen.
Garza has not pitched since last July. A “stress reaction” in his right elbow shut him down last year. Early in spring training this year, he suffered a left-lat-muscle strain. After 4 minor-league rehab starts, including a 6-inning performance this week at Class AAA Iowa, he proclaimed himself ready to go.
The Cubs face the tall task of going up against Matt Harvey today as they take on the Mets at 1:20 p.m. Harvey is 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA and a WHIP of 0.73. We’ll get to Cubs manager Dale Sveum’s comments about Harvey in a bit. First, Cubs pitcher Matt Garza made his rehab start at Class AAA Iowa last night and proclaimed himself ready to come off the DL.
“I don’t need another start down here,” Garza told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register after he pitched 6 scoreless innings. “There’s no reason for me to stay in the minor leagues.”
Garza gave up 2 hits while walking none and striking out six as he picked up the victory. He threw 75 pitches, 53 strikes, in his fourth rehab start. Garza faced 20 batters, and both hits were singles.
It was another teapot-tempest kind of day earlier as Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol denied a web site report that he wants out of town. The site, Bleacher Nation, wrote a story based on tweets and photos sent to the site by someone who photographed Marmol and his agents in a public area of his apartment building. The report had Marmol saying he “can’t wait” to get out of Chicago.
“I know what I said, but I didn’t say anything about baseball,” Marmol said. “I don’t know who that guy is or why he tweeted it or whatever. I don’t know where that came from.”
Marmol went on to say he loves Chicago and wants to stay here. The web site since has apologized for the way it handled the story.
The Cubs will send Carlos Villanueva to the mound tonight against the Colorado Rockies. Early this afternoon, it was warm at Wrigley Field, with the wind blowing out. The wind since has shifted, and it’s cool, but not chilly. It’s a big start for Villanueva, who could be headed to the bullpen when Matt Garza comes off the disabled list later this month. Or maybe not.
Manager Dale Sveum today said the Cubs could consider a six-man rotation for the short term once Garza gets back.
The big news of the day is the Cubs making official the signing of first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a contract guaranteed for seven years and $41 million. It could grow to nine years and $68 million if the Cubs exercise two option years. We’ll have more on this in our “take” for the Tuesday newspaper, and we’ll update the blog here after this afternoon’s news conference with Rizzo and GM Jed Hoyer.
Rizzo, who turns 24 on Aug. 8, will have this deal take him through two pre-arbitration years, four arbitration years and at least one, and perhaps two more, seasons of free agency.
We’re about 30 minutes away from first pitch here at U.S. Cellular Field, and it’s 39 degrees with a biting wind.
On the bright side, the White Sox were snowed out at Kansas City a week ago, so at least there will be baseball tonight.
The Sox (14-18) and Angels (12-22) play a three-game series, and it’s back out on the road for the South Siders, who just wrapped up a 4-4 trip to Texas, K.C. and New York.
“It's weird, but there's nothing you can do it so you just kind of go with it,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It's like you get home and I'm already packed and ready to go.”
Given their slow start, the last-place White Sox aren’t being given much of a chance to go anywhere in October.