The Rundown: Wada Struggles in Loss, Teams Targeting Ben Zobrist, Will Rafael Soriano Be an Answer for Cubs’ Bullpen?

The Cubs’ starting pitching has been a strength, but they’re still probably in need of one more starter.

Tsuyoshi Wada has been decent so far this year, but had his worst start of the season last night, giving up five runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings.

It was too much for the Cubs to overcome, as they ultimately dropped the game to the Nationals 7-5.

Wada’s start underscores the the need for a dependable fifth starter; I feel like his success will only last so long.

Hopefully he can tread water until the Cubs can pull off a deal at the trade deadline. Or perhaps Jacob Turner will be able to work his way back to a successful option.

Definitely something to monitor as the season rolls on.

Wide interest in Ben Zobrist

Infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist will undoubtedly draw a lot of interest from many teams. We’ve already heard that the Cubs could pursue him.

Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Nationals have had talks with the A’s about Zobrist, who could be used in left field until Jason Werth returns from injury (and then fill in all around afterward).

Jon Heyman writes that the Yankees could use Zobrist at second base.

Zobrist would be a great upgrade for the Cubs’ bench, and he is familiar with Joe Maddon from their days in Tampa Bay. But it sure sounds like there will be a lot of competition to land him.

Will Soriano be the answer?

The Cubs are one of three teams seriously pursuing free agent reliever Rafael Soriano, writes Patrick Mooney.

Soriano saved 32 games for the Nationals last season, but struggled after the All-Star break.

He also has history with Joe Maddon, when he saved 45 games for the AL East Champion Rays in 2010.

“As a closer, he was a guy that didn’t just throw the ball 100 miles an hour,” Maddon said. “He knows how to pitch. He and I used to have a lot of conversations about how he attacks certain hitters in the game, because he really sees things.”

The Cubs’ bullpen has actually been pretty good of late, but it could definitely use some stability. An extra arm with experience could end up working out pretty well.

Other notes

* You may remember him from Spring Training, but A’s switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been called up to the majors, after pitching well at Triple-A. He pitched two scoreless innings last night for the A’s, giving up only one hit. Very cool story.

* The awesome pick-off by David Ross that ended Thursday night’s game? It was called by first baseman Anthony Rizzo:


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