Veras out, Castillo to disabled list
The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves today, and we'll dissect them all in tomorrow's “take” for the newspaper. In short, they designated failed closer Jose Veras for assignment as they welcomed Hector Rondon back from paternity leave. The move is a good shot of confidence for younger relievers Neil Ramirez and Brian Schlitter, neither of whom has done anything to get sent down.
“Jose gave us a couple of outings that were pretty good,” said manager Rick Renteria. “We've had our younger guys that have had to step up in certain situations and have done well. The organization has decided that we'll just continue to move in that direction, with some of the young relievers that we have.”
Catcher Welington Castillo went on the disabled list with left-rib-cage inflammation, and the Cubs selected the contract of veteran catcher Eli Whiteside from Class AAA Iowa. Castillo said he felt the injury with his first swing Sunday in Milwaukee. The Cubs say they feel the injury is a short-term thing. For now, Renteria said the Cubs will go by matchups in seeing who plays behind the plate between Whiteside and John Baker. Baker is in there tonight catching Jake Arrieta, who opposes the Mets' Zack Wheeler.
Renteria was asked what he's learned about being manager of the Cubs at the one-third point of the season.
“I think a lot of things have been confirmed more than things that I didn't know,” he said. “I know that the city wants a winner. I know that the community would like us to have more success than what we've had. But I'm trying to stay focused on the things that I think we are improving on. Our shortstop has done better. Our first baseman has come along. Our pitching has done a very nice job. I think some of the younger guys have shown some of the things they have. Olties's (Mike Olt) shown that he's got some pop.”
Where else to start but with Class AA Tennessee's Kris Bryant, who was named Southern League hitter of the week homors for May 26-June 1? Bryant went 11-for-23 (478) over that span with 7 runs, 2 doubles, 5 homers, 7 RBI and 9 walks. He led the league entering today with a .351 batting average, 18 homers, 49 RBI, 72 hits and 141 total bases. He also entered today leading in OPB (.455), slugging (.688) and OPS (1.143).
In Monday's game, Tennessee lost its eighth straight, falling 10-5 to Birmingham. Bryant was 2-for-4 with a run and a walk. Charles Cutler, Dustin Geiger and Anthony Giansanti had 2 hits apiece.
Still, the Cubs are not inclined to promote Bryant right now, either to Class AAA Iowa (where Christian Villanueva plays third base) or to the big club.
Dae-Eun Rhee took the loss, falling to 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA. He worked 6 innings, giving up 9 hits and 7 runs, 6 earned while walking one and striking out three.
Iowa lost 4-1 to Nashville. Dallas Beeler took the loss as he worked 7 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs.
Daytona (A) beat St. Lucie 3-1 to snap a five-game losing streak. Nathan Dorris got the win as he worked 6.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 run. Zeke DeVoss, Pin-Chieh Chen and Chadd Krist (.217) each had 2 singles.
The Kane County Cougars (A) lost 5-3 to Peoria. Duane Underwood got the loss as he pitched 5 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs, 1 earned. Underwood fell to 1-2 with a 2.43 ERA. Jacob Hannemann went 3-for-5 with a double, 2 RBI and his 17th stolen base.