Hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend. The weather was perfect and the Cubs continuing their winning ways made things even better.
The Cubs’ bats have been pretty quiet lately, but the wins keep coming. The runs will come eventually, and when that happens on a consistent basis, that’s when things will get really fun.
In a move that should help turn things in the right direction, Jorge Soler was activated from the disabled list and started in right field. He went hitless in his return, but hit the ball hard a couple times — including a shot to center that he just missed taking out of the park.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Cubs sent down outfielder Matt Szczur back to Triple-A.
Heading into a big series with St. Louis beginning tonight, the Cubs are eight games above .500 and in possession of the second wildcard spot (with a 3.5-game lead over the Giants and Mets). Buckle up for what’s going to be a wild summer of baseball.
The rest plan
Just as he said he would, Joe Maddon has been gradually resting his top players — on Sunday it was Anthony Rizzo’s turn.
The plan seems to have worked for Kris Bryant, who got the day off on Thursday (his first since being called up). Since then, Bryant has been seeing the ball better and crushing baseballs.
Let’s hope this rest gets Bryant and Rizzo rolling because when the two of them are both on their games, the Cubs’ lineup is downright dangerous.
Possible deadline moves
The Cubs will be looking to add a left-handed outfield bat by the deadline, and two names to monitor are the Brewers’ Gerardo Parra and the Padres’ Will Venable, according to Jon Morosi.
Parra is having the better season so far, and he’s younger. He also would provide very solid defense. However, the Cubs may be more familiar with Venable given their former connections to San Diego.
Both players are reportedly very good clubhouse presences. Count me in for either of these guys as a back-up outfielder down the stretch.
* Tsuyoshi Wada will make a rehab start for Double-A Tennessee today. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Wada is ready to come back. I would think newly acquired Clayton Richard would get another shot to start, after his impressive performance Saturday night.
* The Cubs have signed RHP Ben Rowen to a minor-league deal. He had a combined 2.41 ERA pitching between Double-A and Triple-A in the Orioles organization. Rowen will report to Iowa.