Chicago's Inside Pitch
The Cubs had no comment Monday on an ESPN Chicago report that said the Cubs were close to trading former closer Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Marmol was designated for assignment last Tuesday, meaning the Cubs have 10 days to release, trade or re-assign him.
If the Cubs can find a taker for Marmol, they may get a minor-league player in return along with a little relief from what’s left on Marmol’s $9.8 million salary for this year, or about $4.9 million.
If Marmol becomes a free agent, he can sign with another team, and the Cubs are on the hook for the whole salary. The Dodgers might see Marmol as a good fit for seventh- or eighth-inning relief work in setting up closer Kenley Jansen.
Well, that was fun.
To be truthful, Friday's White Sox-Indians doubleheader was some of the worst baseball I've seen in two decades on the beat.
I still remember the twinbill against the Boston Red Sox in August of 2007, when the White Sox dropped both games and were outscored 21-4.
And, if I remember correctly, former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen apologized to the media afterward for having to witness the carnage.
I'm sure Ozzie was happy he wasn't in the dugout Friday afternoon, Friday night and early Saturday morning.
It was a long, long day, and the White Sox lost Game 1 of a doubleheader to Cleveland 19-10 and lost Game 2 9-8.
"It seems like when things go bad, they go bad," Adam Dunn said. "Real bad."
It's been one injury after another for the White Sox this season, and Paul Konerko is the latest player to get bitten by the bug.
After missing Tuesday and Wednesday's interleague games against the Mets with a sore lower back, Paul Konerko had an MRI Thursday and six pain injections on Friday.
While the Sox’ 37-year-old captain said he feels a “little better,” he sat out Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field and is also out for Game 2.
Konerko said he’ll try to swing a bat Saturday. If he’s still unable to play, the disabled list is a definite possibility.
MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs got a dose of bad news as they’ve learned outfield prospect Jorge Soler will be out for perhaps the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left tibia. Soler was examined in Chicago yesterday. He fouled a pitch off the leg during a game with Class A Daytona.
Soler has a hitting line of .281/.343/.467 for the D-Cubs. He has 8 homers, 35 RBI, 21 walks and 38 strikeouts in 210 at-bats over 55 games.
There go the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks...
And, here come the White Sox, the not so mighty White Sox.
Like it or not, the Hawks' admirable postseason run is over, and they are the Stanley Cup champions for the second time in four years.
And, like it or not, it's baseball season in Chicago.
The Sox are back home tonight for the first of two interleague games vs. the New York Mets.
If you've been tuned in to hockey the last month or so, here's a quick update on the White Sox:
They are 31-42 and occupy last place in the AL Central. The Sox are coming off a 3-7 road trip and rank last in the American League with 272 runs scored, a .295 on-base percentage and 179 walks.
The White Sox are also tied for last in the AL with a .980 fielding percentage and have made 53 errors in 73 games.
MILWAUKEE – The Carlos Marmol era with the Cubs is over, and whatever you think of Marmol, he always was a standup guy who faced the media music whether he saved a game or blew the save chance.
“He never ducked anything,” said his agent, Paul Kinzer. “It’s a shame the fans didn’t get to see that side of him more.”
The Cubs designated Marmol for assignment today. They also selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic for assignment. Third baseman Ian Stewart and the Cubs also reached agreement on Stewart being released. The 10-game suspension Stewart received for his Twitter ran while he was with Class AAA Iowa was upheld.
The Cubs will finish with the Astros today before heading out on a road trip that will take them to Milwaukee, Seattle and Oakland. If the Cubs can win today, it will give them their first series victory at home since they took both games from the White Sox May 29-30. The Cubs are 0-3 in their last three home series after going 3-1-1 in five series at Wrigley from May 6-30.
Among the early workers today was Starlin Castro, who was taking grounders at short.
It’s a quiet early Saturday at Wrigley as the Cubs and Astros prepare for Game 2 of their series and the Blackhawks and Bruins get ready for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center. The 3 p.m. start to the Cubs game will make it tough for those on the team to get to the UC for puck drop.
“It’s too much,” said manager Dale Sveum, a big hockey guy. “I’ll just hunker down and watch it. It will take too long to get there after a 3-hour game. You wouldn’t even get there for the first period.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Cubs today as they open an interleague series against the Astros this afternoon at Wrigley Field. It’s still hard to get used to the Astros as an American League club. The Astros had a day game yesterday in Houston. Neither team took batting practice this morning, and it looks like rain might be moving in.
Matt Garza pitches for the Cubs, and with this being a day game after a night game, Garza will get his preferred catcher in Dioner Navarro. Welington Castillo caught last night in St. Louis. Navarro was behind the plate for Garza last Sunday in New York, where Carlos Marmol coughed up what looked to be a Garza victory. Manager Dale Sveum has said he doesn’t like pitchers having “personal catchers,” but it’s working out in this case.
It’s another day game after a night game here at Wrigley, but the night game was in a different sport as everybody here seemed to have stayed up for the Blackhawks triple-overtime winner in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. There are a lot of happy humans here, and speaking of that, Hawks and NBC color analyst Eddie Olczyk will sing during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Cubs will try to win one from the Reds, who have taken 12 in a row from the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The 12 straight losses by the Cubs to the same opponent at Wrigley is a franchise record.
For today’s game, the Cubs will move Starlin Castro back up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He has been batting seventh or sixth.