The Rundown: Neil Ramirez Returning to Cubs, Schwarber Hits First AAA Homer, Donnie Dewees Makes Minor-League Debut

We’re in the midst of probably the hardest-to-watch stretch of the Cubs’ season so far.

Lack of run scoring was on center stage once again last night, as the Cubs lost 8-1 to the Cardinals. It’s hard to find a single positive from the game.

The Donn Roach experiment didn’t go well, as he lasted only 3.1 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. Some of the hits were off good pitches, and some were grounders that found holes.

But that’s pretty much Roach’s game: he’s a ground-ball pitcher who doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters.

Basically the highlight of the game for me was when the Fox broadcast shared the anecdote of Joe Maddon telling Addison Russell that he has to read Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63. I highly recommend the book if you haven’t read or heard of it — it’s about a guy who goes back in time to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Jason Hammel will start tomorrow to try and salvage this series. Normally I’d be a bit panicky about the way the Cubs have been playing. But if there was one person I’d trust to right the ship, it’d be Maddon.

The return of Ramirez!

After being on the disabled list since mid-April, Neil Ramirez will reportedly be activated for tonight’s game.

Even though the Cubs’ main issue right now is the offensive side of things, the return of Ramirez is great news, as he makes a solid bullpen even better.

A corresponding roster move will be announced today. It could be Donn Roach heading back to Triple-A if Tsuyoshi Wada isn’t placed on the disabled list.

Schwarber time

Kyle Schwarber hit his first home run since being sent to Triple-A last night. Batting third and playing catcher, he finished the game 3-for-4 with the homer, a double and two runs scored.

I love his answer after being asked about being a triple away from hitting for the cycle:

Other notes

* With the Cubs calling up Donn Roach to start last night’s game, Yoervis Medina was sent back to Triple-A. Medina was acquired from Seattle in the trade for Welington Castillo, and he looked decent with the Cubs. In three appearances, he pitched five scoreless innings, striking out three.

* Second-round pick Donnie Dewees made his debut for the Euguene Emeralds last night, playing right field. The current Eugene outfield is Dewees, Eloy Jiminez (highly touted international signing from 2013) and first-round pick Ian Happ. Pretty solid.

* RHP Dillon Maples has been promoted from Eugene and will report to the South Bend Cubs. Maples was drafted back in 2011 and showed a ton of promise, but he has struggled through the years with injuries and control issues.


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