6/24 Extra bases

* Anthony Rizzo may not rank among the top five NL first basemen in the fan’s All-Star balloting but he got an endorsement from the Reds’ Joey Votto.

“Anthony’s made a big adjustment this year,” Votto said. “He’s always been a pretty excellent defender, and he’s always had the potential. It seems to me like he’s put it all together. He’s played like — he’s probably going to be an All-Star this year. He’s worthy of it.

“He’s played really quite well, and I hope he continues it because he’s set himself up this year for long-term success,” Votto said. “And I think the Cubs are probably pretty happy because they got him at a pretty fair price.”

Rizzo leads all NL first basemen in home runs, hitting his 16th on Monday, and trailed only the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen in walks entering Tuesday’s game.

* Jeff Samardzija doesn’t have the won-loss record that would justify being considered an All-Star, but Cubs manager Rick Renteria feels the right-hander should be on the NL team. Samardzija ranks seventh in the NL with a 2.53 ERA and also is seventh in strikeouts with 97. He just hasn’t gotten any run support. The right-hander has received one or less runs of support in eight of his 16 starts, and has a 2.82 ERA in those outings. He has a 1.63 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley Field, but is just 1-3 in those games.

“If the question is, would I recommend him? Yes,” Renteria said when asked if Samardzija should be on the All-Star team. “Would I be criticized for it? It really wouldn’t matter. He’s pitched extremely well. He’s among the top 10 pitchers in ERA. We haven’t scored a whole lot of runs for him.

“Is he an individual who deserves sincere consideration? Absolutely.”

* Emilio Bonifacio, on the disabled list with a right oblique strain since June 13, has yet to begin baseball activities as part of his rehab. Renteria said Bonifacio was making progress but there is no timetable for his return.

* Eli Whiteside, who was designated for assignment on Sunday to make room on the roster for Welington Castillo, has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa. Whiteside was 3-for-25 in eight games with the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat


“Comeback Player of the Year”….Rizzo or Castro…….let them both get the award……..

Four Hitters in our Cubs lineup could end up hitting below 200 tonight……..its early ……they will turn it around……

Jeff Pico is Reds pitching coach………I remember his cy young years with the Cubs……

Cubs should hire Mario Mendoza to help our below 200 hitters out…..

Any trade talk where Schierholtz or Villanueva might end up at?……

Who do you think will get traded first….Price or Samardzija?

Cubs Win…Cubs Win.

Reports saying out of Los Angeles, if the Dodgers lose out on Price, (Cardinals are favorites to land Price) Dodgers will go heavy on Samardzija………..who do they have in the farm system?

Joc Pederson would be a great young OFer in a deal and one of their top 2 arms between Zach Lee and Julio Urias…. Julio has the higher ceiling and is like 17 yr old in High A ball…. Lee has a lower ceiling in the good #2 area in AAA. Neither is setting the world on fire in their leagues this year but there is some talent there for sure. I would take a Pederson, Urias, filler arm, filler arm in a Shark deal.

Does Arrieta`s success mean we can anticipate his being packaged in a trade deal for prospects, as is the case with other starting Cubs` hurlers?

Arrieta is under team control through 2017, so it’s possible that he can be part of the rotation when the team is ready to compete. However, I’m sure no one on the Cubs is untouchable in a deal. A team would have to offer the right level of prospects and I’m sure the Cubs won’t actively shop Arrieta like they are Samardzija and Hammel, but if the situation is right then they would be willing to make a deal. Personally though, I would be surprised if Arrieta is not a part of the Cubs rotation to start the 2015 season.

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