Lots of stuff to get to, including a look at the minors and a bit of a different lineup. Speaking of the minors, I had a chance to ask GM Jim Hendry about pitcher Hayden Simpson, this year’s No. 1 draft pick. Jim says Simpson has mononucleosis and that the Cubs will take it easy on him. That was the plan anyway, since Simpson had a busy spring in college.
Tonight’s lineup vs. Roy Halladay:
“Truthfully, Castro’s been swinging the bat a little better,” Lou said of the lineup switch. “Moving him up to the 2 spot, and we just move Theriot to the bottom. It’s no big deal one way or another. The young kid’s been swinging the bat well.”
Castro’s overall line is .285/.343/.411 for a .754 OPS. In July, he’s at .333/.400/556 for a .956 OPS. Castro hasn’t made an error since July 6 at Arizona. The play I liked came at the end of yesterday’s disastrous ninth inning, when Castro showed he was still in the game, as he dived to start an inning-ending forceout.
Hope you caught the earlier blog of today. The Cubs confirmed that Carlos Zambrano would pitch a simulated game tomorrow in Mesa and then head to Iowa. He’ll pitch for Iowa later this week, perhaps Thursday. He may rejoin the team on the next road trip, to Houston and Colorado.
Hendry says he likes the job Jeff Samardzija has done at Iowa this year and that Jeff would stay in Iowa’s starting rotation for the remainder of the season. Iowa beat Oklahoma City yesterday 9-4 with Brad Snyder hitting a pair of 3-run homers. He has 14 homers for the season and a line of .305/.379/.555 for a .934 OPS. The Cubs claimed the 28-year-old outfielder off waivers from Cleveland in September 2008. Also for Iowa, catcher Welington Castillo hit his 10th homer Jay Jackson pitched 5 innings of 7-hit, 1 run ball to improve to 6-6 with a 3.55 ERA. He walked one and struck out six. Brian Schlitter (shoulder) made his first rehab appearance, working 1 scoreless inning.
Tennessee (AA) lost 5-4 in 14 innings to Montgomery. Robinson Chirinos hit his 12th homer. Steve Clevenger had his third straight game with at least 2 hits, going 3-for-7. Craig Muschko worked 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs.
Daytona (A) lost 9-4 to Ft. Myers. Rebel Ridling hit his ninth homer, and Michael Brenly extended his hitting streak to 16 games, going 1-for-5. He is 25-for-62 (.403) in the streak.
Peoria (A) won its fourth straight, 5-0 over Bowling Green. Robert Whitenack, who pitched here at Wrigley in the Road to Wrigley game, worked 7 innings of 2-hit ball, walking none and striking out 4. He’s 8-7 with a 5.42 ERA. Luis Flores homered, and Justin Bour reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with 2 walks.
Boise (A) got 18 hits in beating Salem-Keizer 10-3. Pierre LePage, a 2010 draftee, extended his hitting streak to six games, going 3-for-5. He’s 10-for-25 in the streak.
Jeff Gray, who is on the major-league DL, made a rehab start in Mesa, working 1 inning and giving up 2 hits and 1 run.