Quick turnaround: Garza gets Navarro

Quick turnaround: Garza gets Navarro

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 06/21/2013 - 12:48

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 was set up,” Sveum said in his office this morning. “He had caught four days in a row. He caught every day in St. Louis. It was just a matter of having the quick turnover. Playing two games in 24 hours, you’ve got to get Navarro in there.”

We’ll have our minor-league report below. We had a chance to talk briefly with scouting and player-development chief Jason McLeod this morning. Jorge Soler is eligible to come off the DL at Class A Daytona today, but he likely won’t play tonight against Dunedin. Soler has had a shin injury, and the Cubs are taking it easy with him.

Speaking of Daytona, the Cubs have promoted pitcher Pierce Johnson from the Kane County Cougars to Dayton.

“He certainly earned it,” Jason said. “He’s at 70 innings right now. Looking at what he had planned for him for the year, we thought it would be a good challenge for him to go there.”

From the game notes: Cubs starters have tossed 42 quality starts this year, fifth most in the NL. Starters have a 2.01 ERA in quality-start games, and the team is 24-18 in those games. When the Cubs don’t get a quality start, the team is 5-24, and the starters have an ERA of 7.22 … Kevin Gregg is 10-for-10 in saves this year, joining Oakland’s Grant Balfour (17-for-17) and St. Louis’ Edward Mujica (21-for-21) as the three perfect closers … Cubs pitchers have 22 RBI, twice as many as that of San Diego pitchers, who are second. Scott Feldman leads all big-league pitchers with 8 RBI while Travis Wood is second in the majors, with 7.

MINOR-LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Class AAA Iowa finds itself in first place after Thursday’s 6-4 victory over Nashville. Yoanner Negrin got the win, working 8 innings and giving up 9 hits and 4 runs. He walked two and struck out seven, improving to 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA. Brian Bogusevic had a season-high 4 hits, going 4-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI. Junior Lake and Donnie Murphy each had 3 hits. Park Ridge’s Brian Schlitter recorded his fifth save.

Bogusevic, who played for the Astros, isn’t used to first place.

“Not this late in the season,” he told the Des Moines Register. “It’s exciting, I’m anxious to play some meaningful games late in the summer.”

Iowa had not held sole position of first place since April 22, 2011. The I-Cubs lost their first six games this year, the worst start in franchise history.

“Even with the slow start we’ve played pretty good baseball the last couple of months,” Bogusevic said. “To be in it, in late June now, is a good feeling … It’d be a lot better to be in first place in late August.”

Iowa manager Marty Pevey said Stewart may need a few days to prepare to play again.

Class AA Tennessee won its third straight, beating Chattanooga 3-2. Lefty Austin Kirk got the win, pitching 5.2 innings and giving up 1 hit and no runs. He walked four and struck out eight as he improved to 1-1 with a 4.86 ERA. Local guy Tony Zych pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, extending a scoreless string to 11.1 innings.

Class A Daytona began its second half with a 4-0 shutout of Dunedin. Matt Loosen got the win with 6 innings of 4-hit ball as he walked none and struck out eight.

“Every day, I go out there with the same game plan — early strikes, getting ahead in the count — and although my last two starts hadn't gone the way I wanted, that was still my mindset,” Loosen told the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Javier Baez hit his 15th homer. He was 1-for-20 since his 4-homer game June 10. Third baseman Ben Carhart was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a double. He’s at .286.

The Kane County Cougars got 14 hits but lost the first game of their second half, 5-3 to Quad Cities. Brian Smith took the loss, working 5 innings and giving up 6 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned. He’s 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA. Oliver Zapata was 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple and 2 RBI. Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-5, including his 14th double. Rock Shoulders reached base four time, going 2-for-3 with 2 walks, a double and a run. Marco Hernandez was 2-for-5 with a double.

Class A Boise had its game with Spokane rained out.

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