4/27 Extra bases
* For the first time this season and 10th time in his career, Ryan Kalish was the leadoff man.
“He has the ability and the history coming up as being a guy who can work the count,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Sunday about having Kalish lead off. “I thought it was an appropriate substitution.”
Renteria wanted to give Emilio Bonifacio a day off and preferred keeping Junior Lake in the No. 2 spot, so Kalish got the assignment. Does it make a difference?
“The only difference is you see the first pitch of the game — that’s it,” Kalish said. “It’s all standard from there.
“I will say about the leadoff position is that being out there, it’s important to have a good idea of the strike zone, especially early,” he said. “I’m not saying you can’t be aggressive early, because that’s cool, too. You want to make sure you have control of the zone and show that we’re going to do that today.”
* Jake Arrieta, who made his fifth Minor League rehab start on Saturday, will join the Cubs in Cincinnati on Monday. When the right-hander returns to the rotation is still to be determined. Arrieta was slowed this spring by tightness in his right shoulder. On Saturday, he threw 44 pitches over two innings for Double-A Tennessee, which was a short outing because it’s the equivalent of the last Spring Training start for pitchers.
“Jake did a nice job yesterday,” Renteria said. “He worked through it healthy and we’ll see where he’s at once we put our eyes on him.”
Carlos Villanueva is 1-3 with a 10.19 ERA in four starts, and scheduled to pitch Wednesday in the series finale against the Reds. It’s unlikely Arrieta would be activated and take Villanueva’s spot, pitching on four days rest, but Renteria said no decision would be made until he and pitching coach Chris Bosio get a chance to see the right-hander.
* Nate Schierholtz started on Sunday against Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta even though the Cubs outfielder is 0-for-14 in his career against the pitcher.
“He doesn’t like being out of the lineup,” Renteria said. “I thought, let me give Nate another day. He’s a pretty strong man and he’s prepared on a daily basis to come out and perform. We wanted to give [Ryan] Sweeney a day and keep him off his feet a little bit. Schierholtz is a pretty resilient individual and I think he’ll work his way out of it.”
Schierholtz is scuffling against right-handers, and entered Sunday’s game 10-for-59 (.169) against righties.
– Carrie Muskat