The Cubs made a roster move today that should provide some relief to the bullpen while keeping their starting rotation intact. They selected the contract of reliever Michael Bowden from Class AAA Iowa and optioned left Brooks Raley to Iowa. Raley pitched Sunday and he’ll likely come back and pitch one of the games of the day-night doubleheader Saturday at Cincinnati.
Because the Cubs are playing a doubleheader, they can go with a 26-man roster, something new. Saturday would be Raley’s day to pitch, so they’re making pretty good use of their roster.
The Cubs got Bowden in April from Boston for Marlon Byrd. The Cubs designated him for assignment June 1 and later outrighted him to Iowa, where he pitched well. He was 3-2 with 2 saves and a 2.76 ERA in 23 relief appearances for the I-Cubs.
Manager Dale Sveum said he’d probably use Bowden in the middle of games when the Cubs are behind. But he also said he needs to keep an eye on James Russell and Shawn Camp.
“We’ve got to really be careful with Camp and Russell right now,” Sveum said. “They’re 1 and 3 in all of baseball in appearances. Their appearances have been full innings, too. It’s not a situation where they’ll come in for one hitter. For the most part, they’ve gotten their three outs all year long in their appearances.”
In the National League, the appearance leader board looks like this:
Camp: 58 games
Wesley Wright, Houston: 57
Both Camp and Russell have looked a bit tired lately, so having an extra arm in the bullpen probably isn’t a bad idea.
The lineup looks like this:
Vitters did not play Sunday and only pinch hit Saturday, but Sveum said Sunday he may play all three games against the Astros. I asked Dale about Vitters batting second.
“It’s just a matter of getting him up there and getting him some at-bats, chance of the home run guys to pop some home runs possibly,” he said. “Break up him and Jackson. If anything else would have happened, it would have had to have been him and Jackson back to back. Castillo’s been swinging the bat pretty well, and I wanted to get him up a little bit higher, as well.”
We’ll have a lot more on the lineup machinations for our “take” in Tuesday’s newspaper.
From the game notes: Seven of the Cubs’ last nine games have been decided by 2 or fewer runs. The Cubs are 1-6 in those games and are 21-31 this season in games decided by 2 or fewer runs. The Cubs are 11-19 in 1-run games … Alfonso Soriano has 8 RBI in his last eight games and has stolen a base in three of his last six games. His 25 doubles are 2 shy of the 27 he hit all of last year. Soriano also is the only major-league left fielder to have handled at least 150 total chances without an error this season. He has handled 187 total chances and is one of seven qualifying outfielders overall without an error.
Class AAA Iowa won its suspended game Sunday, 10-8 over Las Vegas. Third baseman Greg Rohan was 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. The I-Cubs fell 3-2 in the regularly scheduled game. Frankie De La Cruz took the loss, working 5 innings and giving up 5 hits and 3 runs while walking four and striking out seven. He's 1-6 with a 3.80 ERA. Rohan was 1-for-4. He has driven in a run in four straight and has hit safely in nine of 11.
Class AA Tennessee beat Huntsville 4-0. Yoanner Negrin gave up 1 hit in 5 shutout innings. Justin Bour drove in his 100th run of the season. He has a line of .300/.367/.476.
Daytona (A) had its doubleheader rained out. Peoria (A) lost 6-5 at Beloit. Starling Peralta took the loss. He went 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 6 runs, 3 earned, waling five and striking out two. Peralta is 4-8 with a 3.27 ERA. Jorge Soler has his safely in three straight for the Chiefs. He was 1-for-3 with a walk. Zeke DeVoss was 2-for-4 with a walk.
DeVoss has been named the Midwest League player of the week for Aug. 6-12. During the week, he went 13-for-29 with 10 runs, 5 extra-base hits, 5 stolen bases and 4 RBI.
Boise (A) lost 10-9 to Salem-Keizer. Justin Amlung started and pitched 2 innings. Xavier Batista was 2-for-4 with 2 homers. Willson Contreras also homered, and Marco Hernandez extended his hitting streak to 17 games by going 2-for-5.
Mesa (Rookie) lost 10-8 to the Royals. Ryan McNeil worked 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 run. Albert Almora extended a hit streak to nine games, going 2-for-3 with a walk, 2 runs and a double.