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* The Cubs will salute Hall of Famer Ernie Banks prior to Tuesday’s game against the Reds at Wrigley Field. Banks has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Billy Williams, Banks’ teammate on the Cubs and a fellow Hall of Famer, will introduce Banks on Tuesday. The festivities were expected to begin around 6:50 p.m. CT. before the Cubs face the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT.
No date has been set as to when Banks will receive the honor from President Barack Obama. The Medal of Freedom, established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States.
* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen on Monday and was expected to begin another rehab assignment starting Wednesday at Class A Daytona. The right-hander made three starts at low A Kane County, then one with Daytona, and weather interfered with his next outing. His longest start was 3 1/3 innings on July 29.
* Jorge Soler, sidelined with a stress fracture in his left tibia, was examined on Monday in Mesa, Ariz., and the test results were to be sent to the team’s medical staff in Chicago to gauge the progress the outfielder is making. Soler, who was playing for Class A Daytona, was injured in late June, and expected to be sidelined four to six weeks. The Cubs were hopeful he could return to action this season. Soler could play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in early October. Soler, 21, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs in 55 games with Daytona. He apparently fouled a ball off his left shin in Spring Training, and the injury flared up before the Florida State League All-Star Game.
* Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch, who threw a no-hitter on Aug. 6, has been named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 5-11. It’s the second award this season for the Double-A Tennessee left-hander, who was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April. Jokisch, 24, made history against Jacksonville with the Smokies’ first nine-inning no-hitter since Scot Elam in 1985. It was the first no-hitter since Mark Holliman tossed a seven-inning no-no in 2007. Jokisch lefty struck out eight and faced four batters over the minimum in a 10-0 win over the Suns.
* The Cubs’ game Sept. 7 against the Brewers has been changed to a 3:05 p.m. CT start time. It had originally been listed as a 12:05 p.m. CT start, but was adjusted at the request of national television, the team said. Friday’s and Saturday’s games against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field also will start at 3:05 p.m. CT.
The late afternoon games are tough because it’s an unusual time, and the shadows on Wrigley make it tricky for the players to see.
“The shadows and the sun in right field are horrendous and obviously, late in the game hitting, you better have the lead because it ain’t too easy hitting once those shadows come in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
— Carrie Muskat