5 Things Cub Fans Need to Know for August 4th
1. The Cubs won on Sunday to cap off a series win against the Dodgers – I didn’t think we’d get the series win going into Sunday’s game, considering that Edwin Jackson was on the mound. When you rank dead last in the NL among qualified starting pitchers, you don’t garner much confidence. Jackson was decent and was able to give us six innings of work. Going forward, the plan has to be to ride Jackson over the 100 pitch mark each and every start, regardless of the result. The results of the games going forward are meaningless and right now it’s more about eating innings and giving the young arms in the bullpen some rest down the stretch until reinforcements arrive in September. At that point, Renteria will be in hog heaven as he’ll be able to carry a 15 man bullpen. He can over-manage the crap out of some late inning September situations.
Starlin Castro got the “day off” to rest, but still managed to make a pinch hit appearance late. Stuff like that drives me insane. Give the guy a true day off. Don’t play him. Let him just take some time to clear his head and make art with John Baker.
2. There are still names who could be leaving before September 1st – Just because July 31st has passed, it doesn’t mean the Cubs are 100% done dealing. Trades can still happen, but it takes a little more work. At this point, a player would need to clear waivers before being eligible to be traded. Looking at the list of guys on the roster, there are a couple names that stand out to me as potentials: Jackson (if for some reason someone thinks they can fix him), Carlos Villanueva, and Nate Schierholtz are all names I could see potentially having some interest if a team feels they can get them on the cheap (they can) and that they can fix them (they can’t).
3. Arismendy Alcantara can pick it – If you missed the game, he made a dandy play going to the shortstop side of the diamond on Sunday.
4. Jed Hoyer is still keeping Javier Baez in AAA – Or at least that’s what they are saying. It’s just a matter of time before Baez is called up. Honestly, I could see it happen Friday when the Cubs return from the west coast trip to start a home stand. It’s a weekend series against the Rays and it would make a great time to get him up here to drum up interest. Then, a few weeks later, you call up Jorge Soler and let the two show what they have for the remainder of the season. The problem for Baez is that he’s not on the 40 man roster, which means someone has to be cleared off to make room for him. Soler is already on the roster, so the call up for him would be easy.
5. Minor Matters – Since being acquired from the Athletics, Addison Russell has played 25 games for AA Tennessee and has hit 8 home runs. He’s hitting .295 / .333 / .566 over that time and my guess is that he’s close to being promoted to AAA Iowa to get a taste there before the end of the season.