Castro moves to the eighth spot
The Cubs and Chris Rusin take on Dan Haren and the Nationals tonight at Wrigley Field, where the ball has been carrying in batting practice on a warm evening. The news of the day is that Cubs manager Dale Sveum has Starlin Castro batting eighth for the first time this year, with Darwin Barney batting second and Nate Schierholtz batting cleanup.
Castro is 1-for-23 (.043) on the homestand, and for the year, his line is .242/.278/.343. Brian Bogusevic, a left-handed batter, is in the lineup batting sixth and playing left field. Donnie Murphy, who hit 2 homers last night, as did Schierholtz, bats fifth and plays third base.
“It’s gotten to the point where Murphy’s obviously doing his thing,” Sveum said. “(Darwin) Barney, I really like the way he’s been handling the bat and doing things and putting him in the 2-hole. Right now, obviously, things aren’t going real well swinging the bat (for Castro). Castillo’s been having great at-bats. Obviously, getting Bogusevic’s left-handed bat in there, you don’t want to put that in the (eighth) hole. Just one of those things right now where it’s the only fit.”
Anthony Rizzo is back in there hitting third after being sick and missing last night’s 11-1 victory over the Nats.
From the game notes: Chris Rusin and Jake Arrieta have combined to go 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 7 starts. The Cubs, via Elias, say that Arrieta is the second Cubs pitcher since 1900 to pitch at least 6 innings in each of his first 2 starts of the season, allowing 2 hits or fewer in each. Lon Warneke pitched a pair of 9-inning complete games in his first 2 starts of the season in 1934, allowing just 1 hit in each game.
Rusin is 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA. I asked Dale about the main differences between this year and last, when Rusin came up late in the year and went 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA.
Sveum said this: “I think it’s experience and probably being able to sit back and understand the difference between Triple-A and big-league hitters and, ‘How do I get them out? I know I got to get ahead. I got to be able to do this. I got to be able to keep the ball down. I have to use all my pitches, backdoor stuff, use arm-side, pitch inside.’ I think he’s pitched inside really well in his starts since he’s been here, which is key to any left-hander, to be able to pitch inside, especially late in the count.”
We’ll start at Class AA Tennessee, where Javier Baez hit a pair of doubles in going 3-for-4. Arismendy Alcantara hit his 14th home run. Rubi Silva tripled. He went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Justin Bour was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. He has a nine-game hitting streak. He’s 13-for-35 in the streak. Dae-Eun Rhee got the win, working 7 innings and giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. He is 5-1 with a 3.49 ERA.
Class AAA Iowa lost 3-2 at New Orleans. Reliever Zach Rosscup took the loss on an unearned run. He also walked two. Starter Casey Coleman worked 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out three. The I-Cubs managed just 4 hits.
Class A Daytona had the day off. Kris Bryant was named Florida State League player of the week for Aug. 12-18. In seven games, he was 9-for-25 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI.
The Kane County Cougars lost 9-2 at home to Clinton. Starter Starling Peralta got hit for 9 hits and 9 runs in 4.1 innings. He walked four and struck out one. Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-4 with a double.
Boise (A) lost 6-3 at Tri-City. Duane Underwood gave up 3 unearned runs in 4.1 innings. He allowed 2 hits while walking three and striking out one. Boise got just 5 singles.
Mesa (Rookie) lost 5-4 to the A’s. First baseman Kevin Brown was 1-for-3 with a double and 3 RBI. Johermyn Chavez pitched an inning, and Daury Torrez worked 4 innings of 6-hit, 3-run ball.