Cubs to add Arrieta to rotation (plus full minors roundup)

Cubs to add Arrieta to rotation (plus full minors roundup)

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 08/14/2013 - 12:56

Another busy day at the ballpark on a cool Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley. The wind is blowing in again today as it has most of this season. So far, the wind has blown in 40 times and out 12 times. We’ve had six crosswinds. Overall, the Cubs have outhomered their opponents 75-48 here.

Manager Dale Sveum said this morning that right-hander Jake Arrieta will join the rotation Friday and start against the Cardinals with Carlos Villanueva going back to the bullpen. Arrieta, obtained from Baltimore in the Scott Feldman trade, was scratched from today’s scheduled start at Iowa. He started for the big club in the second game of the July 30 doubleheader against Milwaukee, going 6 innings and giving up 2 hits and 1 run.

It’s another “Sunday-looking” lineup today as Starlin Castro, Junior Lake and Darwin Barney get the day off against the tough curveball of Bronson Arroyo:

DeJesus, CF
McDonald, LF
Rizzo, 1B
Castillo, C
Schierholtz, RF
Murphy, SS
Watkins, 2B
Ransom, 3B
Rusin, P

After today, the Cubs rotation will be Arrieta, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson in the Friday-Sunday games against the Cardinals. They’ll pick up with Jeff Samardzija and Rusin in the first two games against Washington here beginning Monday.

Reliever Matt Guerrier, who is on the 60-day DL with right-elbow soreness, will get a second opinion from Dr. Timothy Kremchek. Guerrier says he has a tear in the pronator muscle. That usually requires surgery, but Guerrier says the recovery time is less than that of Tommy John surgery.

We’ll get to our minor-league report below. By now, you’ve probably heard that both Kris Bryant and Dan Vogelbach each homered in their first games for Class A Daytona Tuesday. Bryant was promoted from Class A Boise, and Vogelbach went up from the Kane County Cougars. On the flip side, third baseman Josh Vitters may be headed back to the disabled list after pulling up lame last night in Class AAA Iowa’s game. He has spent much of the season, since spring training, battling injuries.

I was checking the second-half splits of both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo today. Here is Castro since the all-star break:

.252/.279/.327 with 1 homer, 3 RBI, 4 walks and 26 strikeouts.

Here is Rizzo:

.210/.313/.410 with 5 homers, 11 RBI, 15 walks and 23 strikeouts. Fifty-two of Rizzo’s 105 hits this year have gone for extra bases.

We’ll expand more in the paper for tomorrow (online later tonight) but manager Dale Sveum says neither player is handling the fastball well, with both fouling off fastballs instead of driving them.

“You’ve got to be able to hit the fastball, that’s the bottom line,” Sveum said. “I’ll say that to the day I die. If you can’t hit the fastball, you’re going to struggle in this league. The bottom line is laying off the breaking ball. The bottom line is hitting the fastball. That’s where it all starts. It’s been around for 100 years. If you can’t hit the fastball, you can’t play in the big leagues.”


Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register has a nice feature on closer Brian Schlitter of the Iowa Cubs. Schlitter is a Park Ridge native who is closing games for the I-Cubs. Schlitter saw action in 7 games for the big club in 2010 and missed the 2011 season with an elbow injury.

Schlitter has converted his first 16 save chances for Iowa.

“He’s been a freaking savior for us,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey said in the story. “He’s bailed us out of numerous situations.”

Birch writes: “Instead of trying to simply blow hitters away with his electric fastball, he realized he had to harness his other pitches that he had trouble commanding at times.”

“That’s the mentality that I had,” Schlitter said. “The higher up you go, the hitters get better and they’re pretty good at timing pitches and hitting fastballs. Rehab was kind of a good thing to happen in the sense I was able to kind of reset.”

In Tuesday’s game, the I-Cubs gave up 9 walks and lost 6-4 to Sacramento. Kyle Hendricks got no decision. He worked 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 4 runs while walking three and striking out seven.

Edgar Gonzalez was 2-for-5, and Chad Noble was 2-for-4.

Class AA Tennessee won its fourth straight, beating Chattanooga 4-1. Eduardo Figueroa got the win, working 5 shutout innings and giving up 6 hits. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Christian Villanueva was 2-for-3 with a walk and his 33rd double, which leads the Southern League. Matt Szczur was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run.

Daytona split its doubleheader with Clearwater, winning 5-0 and losing 3-2. Dan Vogelbach homered in the first game, and Kris Bryant went deep in the second. Bryant has hit safely in 16 straight, including 15 in a row with Boise.

“It felt great,” Vogelbach told Sean Kernan of the Daytona Beach News Journal. “Any time you can put runs on the board and help your team win is good. That we're in a playoff hunt makes it even better. I want to win a ring.”

Kernan wrote that the Daytona players initially ignored Bryant after he hit his homer.

“They big-leagued me, so they didn't give me any high fives,” Bryant said. “It was pretty funny.”

Pierce Johnson was the Game 1 winner as he worked 5.2 innings, giving up 4 hits. He walked three and struck out seven. Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-3. In the second game, Yao-Lin Wang took the loss, working 5.1 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs while walking none and striking out eight.

The Cougars had the Day off. Boise routed Emerald 12-1. Duane Underwood started and worked 3 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run. Yasiel Balaguert hit his Northwest League-leading seventh homer, going 2-for-3 with 2 walks. David Bote was 3-for-4, and third baseman Jordan Hankins was 3-for-5, as he took over for Bryant. Hankins was drafted in the 11th round this year as a catcher out of Austin Peay.

“He’s been very patient, and he knows how it works,” manager Gary Van Tol told the Idaho Statesman’s Chris Langrill. “I know he’s excited to get back into the lineup.”

“You don’t change a thing,” Hankins told the paper. “Go out there and make the routine plays and the fundamental plays and have good at-bats. Everything else will take care of itself.”

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