7/2 Extra bases

* With Scott Feldman gone via trade, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Carlos Villanueva will be stretched out to get back in the rotation. Feldman was scheduled to start on Tuesday but lefty Chris Rusin was called up from Triple-A Iowa to take his spot. Villanueva began the season in the rotation and made eight starts before he was moved to the bullpen to make room for Matt Garza. Villanueva was 1-3 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts, and has a 2.40 ERA in 15 relief appearances. Villanueva will need time to get stretched out, and most likely won’t be ready to start until mid July, Sveum said. Feldman, by the way, will make his first start for the Orioles on Wednesday against the White Sox.

* GM Jed Hoyer was asked about whether the trades on Tuesday tell the players the season is over.

“Unfortunately, we’re 10 games under .500 at this stage in the season,” Hoyer said. “We have three teams in our division with the three best records in the National League, or close to it. I think realistically, our chances of playing in October are small. We need to add a lot of talent to get better for the future. Players should be trying to win every single game, that’s the nature of their job. I would expect the players to look at it that way.”

Is Sveum worried about a change in attitude?

“I’m not concerned about that,” Sveum said. “We’re still viable and able to fill those roles now. If you start getting more thinner, then things change. I’m not worried — they’re professional players and they have to go out and perform.”

* Starlin Castro batted .167 in June, the worst month of his young career. The shortstop has gotten into some bad habits, Sveum said.

“He’s just got to slow things down and get in a better position to hit like he did when he first got here,” Sveum said.

* Rusin was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team on Tuesday. The game will be played July 17 in Reno. The lefty compiled a 7-7 record and 3.27 ERA in 17 games (16 starts), and leads the PCL in innings pitched.

— Carrie Muskat


Hoyer said, “our chances of playing in October are small.” Didn’t he say the same thing before last season?

What would you have them do Mamma? Bring up a better candidate than Rusin? Oh my….that may involve “RUSHING” a young player!!! OMG, can’t let THAT happen. Well it turns out even with Rusin’s past ML “experience” HE was the one actually RUSHED (3 days rest??) and it didn’t turn out so well…..so much for getting mucho experience at AAA ball in order to become “ready” for the bigs. AA ball, AAA ball, 20 years old or 30 years old….a minor leaguer is either GOOD enough for the bigs or not and until he gets there we won’t know. i.e. Vitters, Jackson, Carridad (where is he now anyway?), and most recently Rusin. But Szcuzr??? Gotta wait for HIM to be declared “ready” by the same people that declared Rusin ready for last night’s lackluster performance??? During this evolving loooooong season in flux the Cubs should be thinking more outside the box, rolling the dice more on some minor leaguers, giving them the same opportunity affored Vitters and Jackson.

All I can say after all that was done yesterday, then this, is lol.

Jasper, that’s what I was going for …. good man! Laughter is the best medicine, one just has to accept it as you do!! I’m glad you “got it”….

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