As of this writing, there is a major rumor floating around. It’s a pretty nice rumor for Cubs fans. Lean in a little to your computer and I’ll tell you what it is. You ready? This team may be getting better. Over the last 24 games, they’ve posted a 14-10 record. While that may not look overly impressive on the whole, but it’s progress and should be reason for encouragement for you today. Part of that record included last night’s win to run the win streak to four in a row. It’s nice watching decent baseball. That said, let’s get to some news / notes.
NEWS / NOTES
- Pedro Strop came on last night to pitch a scoreless 9th inning. Since coming to Chicago, he’s made three appearances, two of them to finish a game, and has been good in all of them. Call it a hunch, but my guess is he’d be first candidate to take the closer role when / if Kevin Gregg is moved. No new rumors on Gregg at this point, but you’d have to imagine someone is willing to overpay for relief pitching down the stretch. If nothing else, call Jim Hendry. He can probably put a bug in Cashman’s ear in NY. He loves over paying for pen help. Just ask Scott Eyre, Bob Howry, etc.
- Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of home runs last night and continues to be crazy hot. I don’t necessarily see a move for Soriano before the non-waiver deadline, but he’s definitely a guy who could still be moved into August. His contract would pass through waivers and allow Theo / Jed to move him to a contender all the way up to the end of August and still allow him to be playoff eligible. At this point, he deserves that shot to play with a contender before his career is over. I have no malice toward Soriano. He took the money he was offered and has, for the most part, done his best to earn as much as possible.
- Travis Wood picked up the win last night and turned in another nice outing. In the beginning, that deal that sent Sean Marshall to the Reds didn’t look that great for the Cubs, but Wood’s development may turn that trade into a steal. He’s said he’d like a shot to pitch in the All Star game. It will be his choice, but I’d strongly encourage him not to.
- Scott Baker (remember him?) could be back with the team in a month or so as he continues to rehab from the elbow injury. That should be right around the time we’ve grown tired of Matt Garza‘s replacement, Chris Rusin, so the timing will be perfect. The hope had been to be able to see progress and flip Baker this year, but now the Cubs need to see progress and be forced to make a decision on if they want to sign him to another one year deal.
- Speaking of Garza, I suppose we need to address the latest rumors. I’m gonna go on record and predict that Garza will go to either the Indians or the Rangers. Those seem to be the teams that have scouted him the most heavily. Garza still believes the chances for an extension are at 50-50, but I don’t know that the organization feels the same. If the deal gets done with Cleveland, it better include Trevor Bauer.
- The Cubs announced yesterday that Shawn Camp has been released after being designated for assignment a few days earlier. So long!!!
A five game win streak would feel mighty nice. Let’s make that happen tonight behind Jeff Samardzija.