On Ryno, replay and the Cubs rotation
First off, congrats to Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg for being named interim manager of the Phillies, who today fired Charlie Manuel after a 4-19 stretch. When the Cubs named Mike Quade manager late in the 2010 season, I had a chance to go out to Des Moines and visit with Sandberg for a couple of days when he was managing the Cubs’ Class AAA Iowa team, and he could not have been more gracious.
Perhaps we’ll get a chance to visit with Darwin Barney of Jeff Samardzija about Ryno after today’s game against the Cardinals. Both played for Sandberg at Iowa. The Phillies visit Wrigley Field Aug. 30-Sept. 1. There shouldn’t be too much of a media crowd for that one.
Neither the previous Cubs baseball regime, led by Jim Hendry, nor the current front office, led by Theo Epstein, saw fit to hire Ryno as a big-league manager with the Cubs. We’ll see how it plays out.
The other topic of the day was expanded use of instant replay, and current Cubs manager Dale Sveum sounds like he’s all for it.
“It’s kind of interesting,” Sveum said. To get anything right, especially late in the game, I think it’s got to that point where it will be interesting to throw a flag from the dugout or however the process is going to work. Until it gets here, I can’t really dwell on in that much.
“I don’t see how there can be any negatives. There can’t be any negatives to make sure two or three plays a night are gotten right.”
The Cubs will start Jake Arrieta today after calling him up from Class AAA Iowa and optioning reliever Eduardo Sanchez there. Arrieta started the second game of the July 30 doubleheader against Milwaukee and got no decision, pitching 6 innings and giving up 2 hits and 1 run. The Cubs got him from Baltimore in the Scott Feldman trade. For the Orioles, he was 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA. At Class AAA Norfolk, he was 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA, and with Iowa, he went 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA.
Arrieta will be in the rotation to stay, with Carlos Villanueva moving from the rotation to the bullpen for the second time this year.
“He was throwing well,” Sveum said. “Velocities, everything. Command is still a little bit of an issue. It’s a power arm with a power cutter/slider and changeup and curveball. He was throwing the ball pretty well.
“We wanted to get him here with Bosio and see him and work with him and the system we have in place. We’re not judging anything. It’s just more of getting this guy to have command and understand how to use his pitches and do the things that he can do with that kind of power arm.”
Outfielder Brian Bogusevic will head to Iowa this weekend after beginning his minor-league rehab at Mesa of the Rookie league. Bogusevic is on the DL with a hamstring injury. Reliever Matt Guerrier is having surgery today to repair an elbow injury (flexor mass). The rehab process is less than for that of Tommy John surgery. Guerrier hopes to be able to pitch in 6-8 months. He said the other day that maybe he can get a nonroster invite to spring training from the Cubs.
From the game notes: Starlin Castro has gone 23 straight games at shortstop without an error. That’s 1 shy of his career-high errorless streak, set July 14-Aug. 9, 2011 … Despite leading the majors with 50 players used this season, the Cubs have used just eight starting pitchers, tied for second fewest in the majors with Arizona and Cincinnati. Atlanta has used an NL-low seven starters while Colorado, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh lead the league, having used 11 starting pitchers each.
Class AAA Iowa fell 9-1 to Sacramento, which piled up 12 hits. Brooks Raley took the loss, working 6 innings and giving up 7 hits and 4 runs while walking one and striking out seven. He fell to 7-9 with a 4.42 ERA.
Class AA Tennessee won its fifth straight, beating Chattanooga 4-3. Nick Struck got no decision, pitching 6.2 innings and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs while walking five and striking out four. Javier Baez hit his 13th home run while going 2-for-4 and extending a hitting streak to five games. After posting a .228 batting average in July, Baez is hitting .397 (23-for-58) with 8 doubles, 2 home runs and 14 RBI in August. Christian Villanueva hit his league-leading 36th double.
Daytona (A) fell 4-2 to Clearwater. C. J. Edwards started and worked 5 innings of 1-hit shutout ball, walking none and striking out three. He threw 52 pitches and retired 15 of the first 16 he faced. Edwards has not allowed more than 2 hits in any of his 4 starts with Daytona this season (14.2 innings pitched). He has struck out 20 hitters compared to walking just five.
“C.J. Edwards was lights out,” Daytona manager Dave Keller told Jeff Schaeffer of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “He set the tempo, throwing mostly all strikes.”
Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 with an RBI. He has hit safely in three of his first four games with Daytona.
The Kane County Cougars (A) beat Burlington 1-0 despite getting just 3 hits. Tyler Skulina worked 3 innings of 2-hit shutout ball, walking none and striking out four. Rob Zastryzny, drafted this year, recorded his first professional victory, working 3 innings of scoreless ball while striking out four.
Boise (A) got a nice pitching performance from Dillon Maples in an 8-3 victory over Eugene. Maples pitched 5 innings, giving up 1 hit and no runs while walking two and striking out nine. Maples improved to 5-0 with an 0.96 ERA. Catcher Lance Rymel hit his first home run. Shortstop Carlos Penalver extended a hit streak to 10 games by going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. He is batting .432 (16-for-37) in the streak.
Mesa (Rookie) lost to the Padres 9-7. David Garner started and pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. Brian Bogusevic was 1-for-2 with 3 walks, 2 runs, a double and a steal in his sixth rehab game.