Greetings, all.  Some of you might know me from my former blog called A Cub Fan’s Obsession.  Others might remember me from when Joe and I started out in the podcasting world.  Well, I’ve now jumped on board here at VFTB as a contributor, and hopefully I’ll be able to add some good content to an already successful blog.

Enough with the delay… the good news of the day?  The Cubs decided to leave Jake Fox on the roster after activating Aramis Ramirez, Reed Johnson, & Angel Guzman.  Instead, Kevin Hart and Sam Fuld were sent back to Iowa, and David Patton was placed on the 15-day DL.

Although Fuld had done well on his most recent call up, keeping Fox was definitely priority.  Fox has done better than expected at 3rd in place of Ramirez, and when Ramirez gets a day or two off per week to ensure he stays healthy for the rest of the year, offensively speaking the lineup won’t lose that much in my opinion as Fox has proven thus far he can hit at the Major League level.  it also gives Pinella an option in LF when Soriano needs a game or two off every week as his slump continues.

Here’s hoping that with the regular-intended lineup for the 2009 season all back in place, the Cubs will start to become more consistent on offense as we head into the 2nd half of the season.

From the Cubs Media Department:

CHICAGO

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– The Chicago Cubs today activated third baseman Aramis Ramirez, outfielder Reed Johnson and right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman from the 15-day disabled list. In corresponding moves, right-handed pitcher Kevin Hart and outfielder Sam Fuld were optioned to Triple-A Iowa and right-handed pitcher David Patton was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 5) with right groin strain.

Ramirez, 31, is hitting .364 (24-for-66) with four home runs, 16 RBI and a 1.008 OPS in 18 games for the Cubs. He landed on the disabled list May 9 with a dislocated left shoulder suffered the day before in Milwaukee. The right-handed hitter appeared in three rehabilitation games with Single-A Peoria, July 3-5, going 3-for-6 with three walks, two runs, a double and a RBI.

In 787 career games for Chicago, Ramirez is hitting .300 (888-for-2962) while his 177 home runs rank 10th in franchise history. He joined the Cubs as part of a five-player trade with Pittsburgh July 22, 2003. All told, he has batted .285 (1,430-for-5,023) with 253 home runs and 897 RBI in 1,346 games between the Pirates (1998-2003) and Cubs (2003-2009).

Johnson, 32, landed on the disabled list June 25 (retroactive to June 21) with lower back spasms, and went 2-for-6 with two runs, a walk and a hit by pitch in three rehabilitation games with Peoria, July 3-5. He is hitting .268 (30-for-112) with six doubles, a triple, four home runs and 16 RBI in 43 games for the Cubs, including a .304 average (17-for-56) since May 24.

Johnson is in his second season with the Cubs after he signed as a free agent March 25, 2008. He owns a .283 career batting average (716-for-2,528) with 141 doubles, 15 triples, 52 home runs and 300 RBI in 762 games with Toronto (2003-2007) and Chicago (2008-2009).

Guzman, 27, is 2-1 with a save and a 2.53 ERA (9 ER/32.0 IP) in 28 relief appearances for the Cubs. He landed on the disabled list with a strained right triceps June 21, and tossed a total of 2.1 scoreless innings between rehab outings with Peoria and Triple-A Iowa, June 30-July 3, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three.

Originally signed by Chicago as a non-drafted free agent in November of 1999, Guzman is 2-8 with one save and a 5.13 ERA (73 ER/128.0 IP) in 61 games, 14 starts, for the Cubs since making his big league debut in 2006. He earned his first big league win April 18 of this season, tossing a scoreless inning vs. St. Louis.

Hart, 26, was recalled June 21 and posted a 1.59 ERA (1 ER/5.2 IP) with no record in four games for Chicago. He began the season with Iowa, going 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA (18 ER/52.1 IP) in 22 games (six starts).

Fuld, 27, batted .364 (4-for-11) with three runs, two doubles and two walks in six games for the Cubs since he was recalled June 29. He began the season at Iowa, where he posted a .286 (81-for-283) average with 16 doubles, eight triples, 27 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 73 contests, including a .398 (33-for-83) batting average in June.

Patton, 25, is 3-1 with a 5.63 ERA (15 ER/24.0 IP) in 17 relief appearances for Chicago, the first major league action of his career. He was obtained by the Cubs December 11, 2008, from Cincinnati after he was selected by the Reds from Colorado in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

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