A week after getting no-hit by Cole Hamels and the Phillies, things are looking a bit better for the Cubs.
They’ve won four in a row against teams they should be handling with ease. Anthony Rizzo homered in each of the wins, giving him 20 on the year.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for Rizzo to homer in every game for the remainder of the season. The Cubs would probably win most of those games, too.
Kyle Schwarber added his fourth home run of the year after taking the first 5 pitches he saw in his 7th-inning at-bat. He had battled through an 11-pitch AB to keep the inning alive for Rizzo’s homer earlier.
New Cub Tommy Hunter made his debut and recorded the save last night, with Hector Rondon throwing in the past three straight games. Hunter hit 99 mph on the radar gun, and admitted to feeling some adrenaline in his first game with the team. I dig Hunter’s sense of humor so far:
How about Chase Utley?
The Cubs are considering going after infielder Chase Utley in a waiver deal, according to Gordon Wittenmyer.
Utley is 36 and has had a rough year (.179/.257/.275) and is currently on the disabled list with an ankle injury. He should be close to a rehab assignment.
While the Cubs don’t have a lot of infield depth on the roster at the moment, they do have reinforcements likely on the way with Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and Mike Olt.
But Utley would provide a veteran presence and left-handed bat. I wouldn’t hate for the Cubs to pick up Utley, but I don’t view it as a necessity. Wittenmyer says it’s probably a long shot — but it’s something to keep an eye on in August.
* One downside of the Dan Haren trade is that he’s not ready to pitch in today’s game. Clayton Richard will take the mound today as a fill-in fifth starter. Haren’s first start is expected to be Wednesday.
* To make room on the roster for Haren, the Cubs sent RHP Yoervis Medina to Triple-A. They will need to make another move to add Clayton Richard for today’s start.
* Catcher Miguel Montero will begin a rehab assignment in Double-A today. He is definitely eager to get back into the Cubs lineup. Joe Maddon intimated before yesterday’s game that Kyle Schwarber will be sticking with the Cubs once Montero returns.
* Uh-oh: Tommy La Stella is feeling “soreness” in his oblique, which has slowed his rehab. He’s expected to play today, but I can’t say I’m not a tad worried. La Stella has missed basically the entire season with the oblique injury. I would think the Cubs’ decision to go after Chase Utley would be influenced by the health of La Stella.
* Javier Baez had a huge game for the I-Cubs yesterday, going 3-for-6 with two runs, a double and five RBIs. He also struck out three times. I’m thinking it won’t be long before we see Baez up with the Cubs. I’m excited to see what he can do, and to see whether his adjustments at the plate result in success at the MLB level.