Yet another busy morning around the ballpark today. Losing teams keep you busier than winning teams sometimes. You hate to miss a day. That said, we’ll have lineups, a few notes and minor-league stuff. GM Jim Hendry returned from a trip to Daytona. He said the main thing he wanted to see down the stretch was good effort so the Cubs don’t “limp home.” The most interesting assertion I got was this:
“I’m here to tell you it’s not some kind of a major rebuilding job,” Jim said. “When you start seeing the improvement in the young people that we have and the type of young arms that we have and the arms that we have coming, you make three or four solid moves in the off-season and your young guys keep developing, then you’re right back to being a contending team, and that’s the way we’re going to go about it.”
The part I’m sure people will jump on will be the “three or four solid moves.” Will the Cubs have the wherewithal to make them, and, judging by the past few off-seasons, can Hendry and Co. pull them off? It could be his last shot.
Lineup vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo:
Lou says it’s just a day off for Soriano, so I wouldn’t read any “showcasing” into it for Fukudome. As I’ve been saying, the scenario with him looks to be an off-season deal. I’ve been asked a lot of Fukudome going back to Japan. Yes, it’s something the Cubs will explore.
I’d also expect them to look at a left-handed hitting first baseman to replace Derrek Lee.
The Cubs say pitcher Carlos Silva will undergo a diagnostic procedure Monday to determine if Silva needs a cardiac ablation. An ablation was what Mark DeRosa had a couple of springs ago, when he experienced an irregular heartbeat. Doctors would go in and render some heart tissue inoperative to get the rhythm right. The Cubs say they expect Silva to pitch again this year.
Lefty reliever John Grabow could be headed to Arizona tomorrow as his left knee is better. If all goes to plan, he’ll do a minor-league rehab and possibly rejoin the Cubs on the next homestand.
Jeff Samardzija improved to 9-1 with a 3.09 ERA Thursday for Iowa, as the I-Cubs beat Tacoma 8-3. Samardzija gave up 3 hits and 1 run while walking three and striking out three. The team says Samardzija is getting more consistent and keeping the ball down. Micah Hoffpauir and Bryan LaHair each hit his 18th homer, and Marquez Smith hit his fifth. Hoffpauir has a 14-game hitting streak (22-for-58, 379).
At Tennessee (AA), Chris Archer improved to 6-1 with an 0.46 ERA in an 11-3 win over Montgomery. Archer worked 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned. He walked five and struck out five. Matt Spencer hit 2 homers, giving him 14. Brett Jackson was 1-for-5 with 4 strikeouts. Tony Campana had 4 hits.
Daytona (A) lost its fourth straight, 7-2 to Jupiter. Alberto Cabrera worked 6 innings, giving up 10hits and 4 runs. He dropped to 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA. Ryan Flaherty hit his eighth homer. DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to eight games. He’s 14-for-35 (.400) in the streak.
Peoria (A) got a nice start from Su-Min Jung, a 2008 signee out of South Korea. Jung worked 5 innings of 2-hit shutout ball as the Chiefs beat Wisconsin 13-1. The right-hander improved to 7-3 with a 3.61 ERA. Justin Bour hit a grand slam and drove in 6. Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins each had 2 hits. D.J. Fitzgerald extended his hitting streak to seven.
Boise (A) fell 6-2 to Everett. Local boy Elliot Soto was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s out of Dundee-Crown High School.