It’s the battle of the big-market white elephants as the Mets invade Wrigley to take on the Cubs. The Mets are 22-24, and their owner is making the media rounds ripping his players. The Cubs are 20-25. Had a chance to say hi to their owner in Boston. Lots of medical news to get to this evening. Here is the Cubs lineup against lefty Jonathon Niese:
Montanez came up today as the Cubs put Matt Garza on the DL with a bone bruise of his right elbow. The Cubs said there was no ligament damage and that Garza might be able to start in the series at St. Louis, which begins Friday, June 3. We went over Montanez’s hitting line at Class AAA Iowa on today’s morning blog. He’s in there tonight against the lefty. As you know, the Cubs drafted him in the first round of the 2000 draft as a shortstop. He said he “reached out” to the Cubs last winter and signed a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training as a nonroster man.
Speaking of the roster, the Cubs placed reliever Brian Schlitter on the 60-day DL to make room for Montanez on the 40-man.
GM Jim Hendry said catcher Geovany Soto would play in an extended-spring-training game tomorrow in Arizona and then head to Class AA Tennessee for two games. Geo figures to rejoin the Cubs this weekend. He’s been on the DL since May 11 with a groin strain.
Hendry said the news on Andrew Cashner was good. Cashner saw Dr. Lewis Yocum in L.A. yesterday about his strained right rotator cuff, and Yocum said there was no further damage and that surgery is not needed. Cashner, who has been shut down, will have to restart his rehab. He won’t be back any time soon.
Randy Wells has rejoined the team. He’ll start Saturday against the Pirates after Doug Davis pitches Friday. Wells has been out since early April with a strained right forearm. Although the numbers weren’t good Sunday in his rehab start for Iowa, Wells said he was happy with how things went.
Center fielder Marlon Byrd will have to take it easy on physical activity for the next week or two because of the facial fractures he suffered when hit by a pitch in Boston.
Speaking of hit batters, Kerry Wood has been fined by MLB for hitting Boston’s Jed Lowrie the other night. Both Wood and Big Z handled the “retaliation” the right way, by hitting batters (Z plunked Kevin Youkilis) away from the head. The two Boston batters knew the deal, and both went promptly to first base without incident. That’s why I wish MLB would stay out of it. Let the players police themselves and stop requiring the umpires to be mind readers.
We’ll have quotes and more details in the paper tomorrow and also online.
Tyler Colvin hit his first homer for Class AAA Iowa in Monday's 10-5 loss to Las Vegas. He was 2-for-4, with the homer coming in the first inning. Bryan LaHair hit his 11th, and Marquez Smith hit his fourth Austin Bibens-Dirkx got rocked for 10 hits and 8 runs in 3.1 innings.
Class AA Tennessee rallied past Mobile 6-5. Trey McNutt had his longest outing in awhile, working 5 innings and giving up 5 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned. He walked one and struck out four. Infielder Ryan Flaherty and pitcher Rob Whitenack were named Southern League hitter and pitcher of the week, respectively. Whitenack was called up from Daytona (A) after tearing it up there. In the game, Marwin Gonzalez extended a hitting streak to six games. DJ LeMahieu's streak went to five games. He's hitting .371. Chris Carpenter recorded his first save after being sent down from Iowa.
Daytona extended its winning streak to six, getting homers from Michael Burgess, Justin Bour and Jake Opitz. Bour (.326) went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, giving him 36. Rubi Silva, called up recently from Peoria, extended a hitting streak to seven games, going 2-for-4.
Peoria (A) won its fifth straight, beating Clinton 9-4. Dallas Beeler started, working 4.1 innings and giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Matt Szczur extended a hitting streak to nine games, going 3-for-5. He's at .339.
"We have a lot of raw talent and it's showing," Chiefs center fielder Matt Szczur told the Peoria Journal Star's Kevin Capie. "(Manager Casey Kopitzke) gives us the green light and lets us use our athleticism."